2023 Around Utrecht
Nearly a year ago, we met Jan and Eveline Bremmer on the Santos Fanday in Nieuw-Vennep. They published a booklet with a 300 km cycle route around the province of Utrecht.
You can purchase the booklet and download the GPS track via their website
They also have another site
in which Eveline provides a lot of info with the aim to inspire people to get on a bike. (both websites are in Dutch)
As the route goes in to a full circle, you can start wherever you want but Eveline and Jan are documenting the route in 6 tracks, starting in Rhenen. We decided to do it in 4 days but we think that doing it in 6 as suggested by the authors would have been a nicer experience as it allows more time to enjoy.
We were really impressed by the beauty of the entire route and would also recommend it to everyone who wants to try bike touring for the first time. Most of the route is flat and there are a lot of places for eating, drinking, sleeping, etc...
We have been camping and used this trip to try out our new Bikepacking tent.
Day 1 - Leerdam to Woerdense Verlaat
The night before we started cycling, we camped at the nature campsite "Kampeerbosje", just outside Leerdam. We left our car for 4 days at the campsite parking.
While Leerdam is for foreigners most know for the "Leerdammer cheese", they are in The Netherlands famous for the Leerdam Glass industry and the glassblowing of the Royal Leerdam Crystal.
We decided on this trip just a few days before as the weather forecast was finally predicting 4 days of "dry"weather after several weeks of rain.
Belgium and The Netherlands still did not have to many reasons to complain if you compare it with the stormy weather in the rest of Europe.
First night, still able to test if the new tent is waterproof but as from the next morning, the perfect cycle weather, dry and not to warm.
A large part of the route goes via "The Green Heart" of The Netherlands and we are also amazed by the prevalence of waterways in this region, just everywhere you're cycling next to rivers, canals, brooks and every village seems to have their own marina.
First day of cycling, we stayed at the Nature campsite Amstelkade.
That evening, we were exactly 20 years together. With no restaurants in the neighbourhood, we decided to celebrate our anniversary with some adventure food which we had been carrying around on previous trips the last 3 years and which was approaching expiry date.
But hey, the view was romantic and we had fresh flowers just next to our tent.
The nice dinner with bubbles would be for tomorrow.
Day 2 - Woerdense Verlaat to Baarn
Cycling around in The Netherlands of course means seeing lots of windmills.
The windmills in this area were essentially used for pumping water out of the lowlands and then back in the rivers beyond the banks so that the land could be farmed.
The Province of Utrecht used to have 200 mills of which 39 are still left.
Less widely known but even many more are the ferries over the rivers and canals. The one below being a cable-ferry whereby a cable between the 2 banks is used to pull the ferry from one end to the other.
Also very typical for The Netherlands are the Flat bottom sailing yachts which were mainly for use in the Wadden Sea of the North Sea. Characteristic of the flat bottom vessels are the two leeboards and the extremely low draft which also allows the ship to sail at low tide on the Wadden sea.
A lot of effort is spend to keep these historical ships in a good and original condition.
Towards the end of day 2, we cycled via the Gooi region which is known for its beautiful surroundings and houses. This is the Beverley Hills of The Netherlands where all the rich and famous like to live.
Day 3 - Baarn to Veenendaal
In Baarn, we stayed at the campsite De Zeven Linden. It's perfectly located in the forest of the Lage Vuursche and from the campsite, you are immediately in the forest.
After previous' nights improvised birthday dinner, we had booked a table in restaurant "Vuur", just 10 minutes walking from the campsite.
Finally we could order a glass of bubbles to celebrate our 20 years together.
The next morning, it was all back to basics, luckily we had a nice camping spot with a picnic table bench.
After just a few km's cycling, we already arrived at the Groeneveld Castle in Baarn.
One of the things you can't miss when you are visiting the Netherlands is apple cake with a nice cup of coffee.
I don't think we skipped it a single day, mmmmmm....
A good place to stop and enjoy this is Spakenburg with its many cafe's bordering the little harbour.
The rest of the day, we were again surprised by all the beautiful views along the way, and of course, we also did not miss the popup ice cream shop of a local blueberry farm.
Day 4 - Veenendaal to Leerdam
Last day of the trip started with a change of plans. In the course of the previous evening, it started to rain and while the weather forecast first indicated that it would all become better again as from the next morning, reality was a little different.
Opening our eyes around 7am, the rain was still pouring and we decided to close our eyes again.
Around 8, the forecast was showing dry weather at 10 and we decided to have breakfast in the tent.
At 11, the rain started to become drizzle and by lunch time, we were back on the road.
Plans were changed to skip the part around Rhenen and thereby reducing the trip with 28 km. Not really a lot but still giving us more time to spend on the rest of the route.
After conquering the "Utrechtse Heuvelrug" (with a whopping altitude of nearly 70 meters), we arrived in Amerongen where Linda discovered the bike café De Proloog. So after 5km, we were on our first stop for lunch.