Enjoy cycling through Old World fishing villages, scenic countryside and charming harbors along the IJsselmeer. Experience Friesland's rich historical sites and discover why the beauty of Friesland makes it a popular vacation destination. Only in Dutch Friesland the Frisian language - a cross between Scandinavian, English, and Dutch - is preserved and still actively spoken.
This tour takes us north of Amsterdam, crossing the shallow Wadden Sea, placed in 2009 on the World Heritage list by Unesco for its environmental treasures. Here we stay overnight on Terschelling, one of the most beautiful islands amidst this Wetland sanctuary. We cycle through the impressive polders of Flevoland, vast areas of reclaimed land from the last century. Here people live on average 9 feet below sea level, harvesting crops from the fertile clay soil of the bottom of what was once the salty Zuidersea.
Friesland is renowned for the beauty of its classified eleven cities, connected by bike trails and waterways. Some of them are just very charming fortified hamlets, all are worth a visit. The capital Leeuwarden dates back to the 8th century. You can enjoy exploring this monumental city on our day off and discover the traces of the Dutch royal family whose ancestor was Frisian. Other places of interest are the harbor of Harlingen, the old University City Franeker with its unique planetarium from 1781, and Sneek the water recreation center of the Lake District. While cycling through the pastoral landscape along stately Frisian farms, a horizon of brown and white sails of yachts and barges is never far away.
The tour begins and ends in Amsterdam. Your last full day is spent in Amsterdam.
Tours begin on Saturday in Europe; you must leave the USA on Friday to arrive on Saturday. Guests need to arrive at the barge by noon the day the tour starts. On the last day of the tour guests debark by 9:00 am.