Sailing and cycling is an adventurous way to discover the Netherlands! On our Sail & Bike trips you will spend the night on a luxurious three-masted ship. A great chef sails along and a crew member shows you the ropes – literally – so you can lend a hand if you want to. Blogger Jessica de Korte accompanied us for a week.
Would you like to learn more about our Sail & Bike tours? We’ve made an e-book of our sail & bike tours, containing plenty travel stories and the best routes to explore. It’s free! Ask for it here:
“Time to hoist the sails!” exclaims Marvin, the sailor on board. Writing on the deck with sidewalk chalk, he has just explained what we need to know. Which direction is the wind coming from? In which direction do we want to travel? How should we set the sails? On this trip, Marvin doesn’t have to ask for help twice; the guests arrive immediately. If you don’t feel like making the physical effort, you can still contribute by cheering them on from the sidelines: “That’s it! Pull it just a little bit further!”
The most beautiful bike rides
This morning we cycled from Enkhuizen, our starting point, to Medemblik. To the right is the huge lake called the Ijsselmeer. To the left are the meadows, old farms and cute little villages. Not only the many sheep welcome us, but also the owner of tea garden De Libel. “I get bikers from Boat Bike Tours very often, so nice!” says Marjolein Crevels (64), while a few young women walk up and down delivering cappuccinos and homemade cake. After our “zen moment,” we get back on our bikes, because the ship awaits!
Three-course menus from our chef
It is wonderful to board the ship after a bike ride. Sometimes I can smell the best aromas coming from the kitchen in the afternoon. Chef Stef Klomp gets up at 5 o’clock in the morning (!) to prepare everything: from marinating noodles for a poké bowl to simmering a stew. He has worked in many restaurants, but he calls the Sail & Bike trips his favorite. “You always have nice people around you. Everyone is on holiday, everyone is happy.”
So many charming places
A single week offers so many wonderful impressions! The Sail & Bike routes connect all the most beautiful spots. I not only get to cycle through nature reserves, but also through charming villages and towns. The IJsselmeer journey passes through Hoorn, a Golden Age city, and Vollenhove with its noble houses. During the Wadden Sea route I see Medemblik with its castle, and also the oldest planetarium in the world in Franeker. The cycling routes run along a series of marked junctions and are easy to follow with the free app.
Wow, a jacuzzi!
The sailing ships are remarkably spacious inside, with easily accessible stairs. The cabins have two beds next to each other and a private bathroom. There is even a suite available, with a sitting area and TV. I like the jacuzzi on the deck the most! It’s especially wonderful when the weather is a bit rough, to warm up the muscles after cycling. At night the sailing ship is often in a picturesque place, perfect for a pleasant walk or simply to enjoy the view from a sun lounger on deck.
Empty bike paths with sheep
The bike paths are completely empty in some places! For hours I hardly meet anyone: only sheep, nesting oystercatchers and black-tailed godwits. But there is always a café in sight just at the right time. Fortunately, whoever planned this route has thought of that too! Most days I cycle with another blogger, but one time I go out on my own, to cycle at my own pace. And the tips the captain/tour leader gives are great for each day’s ride. If you want, you can even stay on board for a day.
What a wonderful daily routine. Cycling and boating, time and time again. My head goes blank; the worries of home are gone. A cormorant sits on a post, a kestrel hangs praying in the air. On the ship there is always a chat with the other guests on board and the crew members, who are full of stories. Stef surprises us one more time with a three-course dinner: salmon with a hint of beetroot flavour. The sunset is perfect: deep orange colors the sky. A dignified farewell.
Looking for more travel inspiration? Jessica de Korte also made a video in which she takes viewers on her Sail & Bike Wadden Sea journey. See what it is like on a three-masted ship and how versatile the cycling routes are, with charming towns along the way and sights such as the Wrakkenmuseum (Shipwreck Museum!) on Terschelling and the Eise Eisinga Planetarium in Franeker.
Join a Sail & Bike trip from Boat Bike Tours
Does this sound like an adventure for you? Boat Bike Tours has several cycling and sailing trips. The Sail & Bike IJsselmeer & small Frisian cities is mainly about sailing and cycling along the IJsselmeer coast. The route goes through beautiful harbor towns, polders (areas of reclaimed land) and charming villages. If you would like to see national parks, picturesque former fishing villages as well as the Venice of the Netherlands, Giethoorn, then the Sail & Bike Ijsselmeer + National Parks trip is ideal. Prefer island hopping? On the Sail & Bike Wadden Sea trip you cross the Wadden Sea to both Texel and Terschelling.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about our trips, please email or call us at +31 (0) 20 72 35 400. You can request a quote here: Who knows? Maybe we’ll see you on one of our bike-boating holidays!