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Dutch Island Hopping by Sail Bike & Sail – Mare fan Fryslan

Tour: BBNSF8-M
Bike & Boat Holiday

Here’s a gentle adventure with a difference. Ride the Dutch seas in style on board a luxurious, classic sailing schooner and explore the wonderfully wild Frisian Islands on the edge of the North Sea by bike. Set sail on the ‘Mare fan Fryslân’ or ‘Leafde fan Fryslân’  from historic Enkhuizen or pedal along Noord Holland’s Zuidersee coast to the great Den Oever dam causeway, then hop from island to island, exploring each one on nifty networks of cycle tracks. Visit Texel’s seal sanctuary, Holland’s oldest lighthouse on Terschelling and get amazing Frisian Island vistas from the high dunes of Vlieland. Historic harbours, polderlands, forests, dunes and mudflats, plus miles and miles of open water are all on the menu. A fab tour to try out your sea-legs, cycling-legs and new binoculars! 2024 Prices now available Read More


Europe, Holland

Start Day

Sat, Sun

Board Basis

Half Board

Prices from



8 Days, 7 Nights


Apr - Sept

Tour Grade

Grade 1 (Very Easy)

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Home > Europe > Dutch Island Hopping by Sail Bike & Sail – Mare fan Fryslan


Sailing from Enkhuizen to Den Oever and on from Frisian Island to Frisian Island, this is one luxurious and classic Dutch voyage of discovery with wonderful little cycling adventures to match. Make the comfortable 3 mast schooner, Mare fan Fryslân or Leafde fan Fryslân, your floating home and sail across the Zuidersee and Wadder Sea to unique places where polders, forests, dunes and mudflats create the most inspiringly wild and natural landscapes. An experience rather than just a tour, enjoy some really stylish sailing, brilliant wildlife watching, superbly gentle scenic cycling and a spot of culture and history too.


Tour Code:
Bike & Boat, Cycling
Bike & Boat Holiday
Europe, Holland
8 Days, 7 Nights
Board Basis:
Half Board
Apr - Sept


Please note:
Due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons, the exact details of itineraries / embarkation points may be modified at the discretion of the boat’s Captain. All overnights are on board your floating accommodation, the 3 mast sailing schooner, Mare fan Fryslân / Leafde fan Fryslân​ . Details of the transits to the next destination are outlined in the itinerary below, but may be subject to change.

Day 1 All aboard in Enkhuizen!

Join the beautiful 3 mast schooner, the Mare fan Fryslân / Leafde fan Fryslân, moored near the centre of Enkhuizen, a harbour town in the province of Noord Holland which played its part in history as home to the Dutch merchant fleet during the country’s Golden Age. Settle in to your cabin, then learn the ropes in the gentlest of ways at the Captain’s briefing over an aperitif before supper on board. In the evening, there’s time for a relaxing stroll around the picturesque inner town and its canals, past the 16th century fortifications and the monuments, churches and state mansions which recall the 17th century days when Enkhuizen was one of the wealthiest places in Holland.

Overnight mooring – Enkhuizen

Day 2 Set sail for the Islands  - or edge along the IJsselmeer

Fancy trying out your sea-legs then? As the ship hoists its sails to head up the great inland expanse of water now known as the IJsselmeer (formerly the ‘Zuidersee’) towards Den Oever, you can either choose to stay on board or take to two wheels to coast along the IJsselmeer edge through the gentle lowland landscapes. If you opt to pedal the polders, be sure to look out for steam trams en route carrying passengers to and from Medemblik. Today as well as being the home of the Dutch Steam Engine Museum, the little town is regular host to important sailing events. Back in 1517, 4000 invading pirates raised the town to the ground, but with its churches, town hall and number of houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, it makes for a pleasant place to prop up the bike and go for a wander. Finally continue along the coast to Den Oever where the great Afsluitdijk – the series of sluices which discharge the IJsselmeer into the Wadden Sea – stretches out across the waters. Don’t miss the 17th century, wooden smock windmill ‘De Hoop’ in the centre of town, before getting back on board the Mare fan Fryslân for an evening sail across the Wadden Sea to the island of Texel (weather permitting).

Overnight mooring – Den Oever or Oudeschilde on the Island of Texel

Miles 24  Kms  40

Day 3 At large on Holland’s biggest island

With its beautiful beaches and nature reserves, Texel is the ideal place to let your bike wheels go gently round on a circular tour of a length to suit both your interests and your energy levels. Follow at leisure the Thijsse cycle route, named after the nature lover who worked on the Illustrated Flora of the Netherlands. Pass by the daffodil bulb fields and white towered church of Den Hoorn. Discover Den Burg with its monuments and medieval origins or head to ‘Ecomare’, the island’s fascinating seal sanctuary. Back at Oudeschild, you’ll want to make time to sample the local ales at the little brewery, before settling back on the schooner Mare fan Fryslân which waits for you in the harbour.

Overnight mooring – Oudeschild.

Miles 24 Kms 40

Day 4 Seals, sand-bars and sail-boats

Time to give those two wheels a rest and take to the waters of the North Sea today when the tide and weather are on side and head northwards to the island of Terschelling – a unique journey through the sand-bars of the Wadden Sea where seals bask in the sunshine. Enjoy nature at its most exhilarating in the sun, sea and stiff breeze, before the square tower of the 400 year old ‘Brandaris’ lighthouse comes into view and the schooner finally finds harbour in West Terschelling on the island which is dotted with picturesque villages between its stretch of polder and sand dunes.

Overnight mooring – West Tershchelling.

Day 5 Get a bit twitchy on Terschelling

Swap your sea-legs for cycle legs – the bike is beckoning as the very best way to explore this magically natural island. With over 70 km of cycle paths, four delightful villages and countless wildlife encounters in this very special landscape, Terschelling is a paradise for two wheel tourers and ‘twitchers’ alike. Even if you’re not big on birdwatching, be sure to take your binoculars to the ‘Boschplaat’ heathland nature reserve to spot ducks, spoonbills, black-winged stilts and great black-backed gulls, as well as all sorts of butterflies and fascinating flora – it reveals an amazing side of this island life. Bike up to Midsland, taking in a world of shoreline, tidal marshes and forests, and look out for farmhouses producing delicious ice-creams and tempting cheeses, or try the local speciality here – cranberries. When you’ve had your fill, the Mare fan Fryslân is waiting to welcome you back on board at West Terschelling, on this the second biggest of the West Frisian Islands.

Overnight mooring – West Terschelling.
Miles  24 Kms 40

Day 6 Island views to remember

With the weather and tides hopefully in the great schooner’s favour, the aim today is to point the bow towards the smallest island on the tour, Vlieland. It’s a fascinating car-free world that’s home to only just over a thousand people and which has just one village to its name – so absolutely ideal for exploration by bike at your leisure. There’s no need to saddle up to reach the beach though as it’s only 100m from the harbour itself, so set to and scale the ‘Vuurboetsduin’ – the dune that’s the highest point of the island and drink in the impressive view out over the string of West Frisian Islands, the mudflats and the North Sea.

If tide or weather conditions regrettably make the journey to Vlieland not possible, then the Mare fan Fryslân / Leafde fan Fryslân will sail to the south-western part of the Province of Friesland. Here there is a scenic circular cycle tour available between Makkum and Stavoren – details and distances to be confirmed at the time.

Overnight mooring – Oost Vlieland  or southwest coast of Province of Friesland

Day 7 Sail away to Enkhuizen

Leaving island life or the Province of Friesland behind, the schooner takes to the waters for the return journey to Enkuizen. Time to feel the wind in your hair, taste the salt on your lips and enjoy some fantastic sailing before your feet touch dry land again in Enkhuizen.

Overnight mooring – Enkhuizen.

Day 8 Depart after breakfast

Following your final breakfast on board your floating home, why not get your final Dutch sea bearings in Enkhuizen’s Zuidersee Museum which tells the story of the waters you have sailed. Alternatively you might wish to stay a while longer in Holland and perhaps take in Amsterdam before your onward journey.

Extra nights in hotel accommodation can be booked to allow more time to explore at your leisure.

Programme of activities included in the price:

• Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
• Daily briefings regarding the bike tours from the multi-lingual tour leader
• Tea and coffee on board daily until 4pm
• Free wifi (limited use of data) on board in lounge area whilst in harbours.

Dates & Prices

Download Prices

For tour start days/dates, seasons and all prices, please click on the PRICES button above


En suite individually ventilated twin cabin, c. 10 sqm (premium cabins on Mare & Leafde van Fryslân c.12 sqm), shower/WC/washbasin. Limited number of triple cabins available.  Mare Fan Fryslan: main deck saloon/restaurant (air-conditioned) and bar with panoramic window; upper deck with seating, outdoor bar and jacuzzi. Free wi-fi when the boat is in harbour.  Leafde Fan Fryslân: saloon/restaurant on main deck; wheelhouse bar with panoramic views; sundecks with bar, jacuzzi and seating

Buffet/continental breakfast, packed lunch, one on board, and dinner

Hire of hybrid bicycle with 7 gears and hand/pedal brakes and single pannier bag.

Instructions and route maps provided on arrival, 1 per cabin

GPS files available on request

Other services:

  • Welcome drinks and briefing on the first evening
  • Daily route/weather briefings
  • Free coffee and tea on board

If you wish you can help to sail and steer the boat (no sailing experience required)

The detailed itinerary for this sail/bike tour will be affected by navigational issues such as winds, weather, and tides. These will be decided by the boat’s captain daily and discussed with guests. Please treat the published itinerary as a guide only

Please note that the price EXCLUDES

Drinks on board (except tea and coffee)

Cycle helmet

Excursions, entrance fees and any ferry fees during the tour 

Costs of getting to and from the tour area and transport to and from the dock in Enkhuizen.

Accommodation Options

On board EITHER the 3 mast sailing schooner, Mare fan Fryslân, or Leafde fan Fryslân (specific schooner depends upon departure date) in a 2 bed cabin with private facilities and ventilation system. We are pleased to discuss details on request.

Mare fan Fryslân

The barge has 14 cabins and can accommodate up to 28 passengers.

Cabin Upgrades:

  • Junior suite

Boat Plan & Details 

Leafde fan Fryslân

The barge has 13 cabins/suites and can accommodate up to 25 passengers.

Cabin Upgrades:

  • Junior suite

Boat Plan & Details 

More Information

Useful websites, travel information and tips to help you plan your journey to and from the country and location of your holiday.


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