Cycling between tulips, beaches and dunes. How to discover Holland and the bulb region.

Is there really a cycle path that contains 6 unique elements such as the plain, the tulips, the sea, dunes and some monuments?
If you are looking for something like this and maybe with family or friends you cannot agree on what type of route to choose, perhaps the bollenstreek, also known as the region of the bulbs, could be right for you.
Here there is a path of almost 30 km to be done by bike that starts from the sea, crosses the dunes of the Dutch coast and gets lost in the flowery fields both in spring and summer. Typical Dutch villages, small towns, museums, castles, monuments and much more along a route suitable for all types of cyclists.

Let’s start by saying that if you love these places but don’t have too much desire to spend time organizing the choice of the route or maybe even worrying about the bike rental, there are some organized tours such as the flower tour (by bike and walk) that allows to discover the colorful flowerfields around Keukenhof and an audio guided tour through the tulip fields including bike rental in Lisse of about 10 km, during which you can admire the colorful fields around the Keukenhof park .

If instead you prefer the bollenstreek route and maybe you want to keep some extra excursions for the following days, here is the famous bollenstreek cycle path:
It starts from Noordwijkerhout (1), a typically flourishing Dutch village from which you can reach the equally typical coastal dunes (2) that embrace the sea. Here we have chosen an arrival point (or passage) where a panoramic parking for bikes is indicated on the map, however the cycle paths along the sea, between trees and infinite paths, are in typical Dutch style. The biggest risk you run is to lose yourself!
Respect the highway code and enjoy the landscape.

Noordwijk and its dunes
Noordwijk and its dunes

The third stage takes us to a truly suggestive place, always in the dunes and always on the sea. Langevelderslag Beach (3) is a truly divine place. If you love photography, maybe take advantage of the quieter hours to take unique and truly suggestive photos.

The fourth stop is the park of Het Langeveld (4). It is said that, especially at the end of the day, many deer and a few foxes can often be seen walking and grazing quietly in the park. Don’t disturb the animals and maybe take advantage of it to take some nice pictures of the wild nature.

From this moment on, we put the beaches behind us and enter the heart of the flowery Dutch plain. In spring, tulips bloom endlessly and maybe even daffodils or hyacinths, in summer it will be easier for you to come across some dahlia cultivation, for example.

Tulips flowerfields in Lisse, Holland
Tulips flowerfields in Lisse, Holland

The 5th stage (optional) takes us to the border between Hillegom and Lisse, through the flat Dutch cycle paths. One (5) Show Garden (FBT Showtuin), where you can also find flowers and plants to buy, is located among the endless Dutch fields on the way to Keukenhof (6), our next stop. Here, if you want you can spend a whole day so plan your itinerary well according to the duration of your holiday, also taking into account that, in general, the Keukenhof park remains open in the period between March and May.

The gardens of Keukenhof Castle (7) are located opposite the famous floral park. This estate consists of several gardens, including a dahlia garden in the summer months. The LAM museum is inside the estate and you can also find a zoo. Entrance and parking are free.

Dahlias in bloom in the gardens of Keukenhof Castle
Dahlias in bloom in the gardens of Keukenhof Castle

Continuing between the cycle paths n ° 29 and 91, you arrive in the center of Lisse (8), the small town where there are shops, restaurants with flower menus and also a tulip museum, a tourist office and some hotels.
In Lisse do not forget to visit the church of Sant’Agata (Sint Agathakerk), called the cathedral of the region of the bulbs. Built in 1903 it was designed by Jean H. van Groenendaal and is co-financed by bulb growers, who can be seen in the designs with bulb flowers on the walls of the church itself.

The 9th stage of our cycling tour takes us to the T Huys Dever (9),
built shortly after 1375, a so-called residential tower, also known as “donjon”. In the coastal region, Dever is the only surviving keep. After a period of decline, a group of friends decided to rebuild “De Huys Dever”. Anyone who visits it now finds itself in a medieval fairy tale!
‘T Huys Dever can be visited for free from Wednesday to Sunday from 14:00 to 17:00.

De Huys Dever
De Huys Dever     peter van der Wielen / CC BY-SA 3.0 NL

In the middle of the fields in bloom we arrive at the 10th and final destination: a typically Dutch greenhouse surrounded by infinite and endless colors. De Tulperij flower bulb nursery, (10) is our last stop before returning to the departure or perhaps before returning to the airport after returning the bike.

The extra tour

If you are not satisfied with what you have seen or are seeing and you want to take some extra satisfaction, this territory has a lot to offer from every point of view, for this you can always consider the idea of exploring the flower fields in an extravagant and alternative such as a flowerfield experience with electric vehicles, or the possibility of crossing the flowery fields with small three-seater electric Renault equipped with GPS, from which you can admire the spectacle of the Dutch landscape without laboring in the least, staying in small groups.

If, on the other hand, you want to exaggerate and take home or share incredible photos on social networks, a helicopter flight over the flower fields can be a unique opportunity to admire and tell a divine place.

You like flowers but do you prefer tastings? Between a tour and  another, you could devote yourself to some gastronomic tour, perhaps tasting Dutch cheeses, good wine or the famous Heineken Beer directly from the factory.

Have a good trip and a good holiday!

The tour map with departure and arrival from Noordwijkerhout
28.8 Km total

The stops in brief:

  1. Noordwijkerhout
  2. Fietsenstalling (bike parking in the dunes of Noordwijk)
  3. Lengevelderslag beach
  4. Het Langeveld Park
  5. (Not listed on the map) FBT showtuin
  6. Keukenhof
  7. Gardens of Keukenhof Castel
  8. Lisse
  9. T Huys Dever
  10. De Tulperij Bulb Flower nursey

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