🚴 Route by bike
Yes, you have read correctly: hills! Obviously, I’m not talking a big mountain but this route pass through a wooded area with small hills, it is 250m above the sea level, more or less. Also, you can see 4 windmills during the route, dunes, the beach and several towns. A good place to have lunch is the beach, in the middle of the route. In Bergen (which actually means Mountains) there are some restaurants or, if you prefer to take your own food, after leaving Bergen there is a bike parking next to the beach access, it is a peaceful location with beautiful views of the sea.
I suggest to start the route in Alkmaar and visit the city where there is a well-known cheese market. You can check a couple of websites of Alkmaar to prepare the visit:
Alkmaar Cheese Market
Tourist information Alkmaar
🚍 The easiest way to get to Alkmaar is by train. Google maps can provide you with timetables or you can check also the local public transport site.
➤ How to do the route?
On the next map, you can observe the complete route and all the waypoints. Take a look at the map to know where each place is. The route starts at the Alkmaar Station and goes in a counter-clockwise direction.
Click on the next link to download the route we did, this includes the mentioned points. Keep in mind that on the map you see different colors and icons but on your phone app these characteristics are unavailable. In your phone, points only have one color and one icon.
Route GPX: Windmills, hills, dunes and beach – Alkmaar, Bergen and Egmond.
How do you use the GPX on your mobile phone?
First, you need an offline map app which allows the GPX format. I use OsmAnd. The app hasn’t maps so you should download the map of The Netherlands following its options. Next, you open the file with the app (you can send it by email and when you open it, the app will appear). You should check that you can see the route with your device. Now, you’re ready to use the phone as GPS (and with no Internet)!
Now the most important thing: the bike. I rented a bike in the Alkmaar Station, an OV-fiets (3’5 euro, you need a personal chipkaart to rent it). If you can’t rent those bikes, don’t worry there are also normal bikes available (7’5 euro + 20 ~ 50 euro deposit). Another option is taking your own bike with you, the price for carrying a bike in the train is 6 euro.
➤ My experience
The route is short and easy, considering that the road is mostly flat. First thing we did was the route. When we arrived at the town in the afternoon (5.30 pm) all shops were closed so I suggest to visit the town before. I think it will be more lively.
We started the route at the Alkmaar Station. The first windmill is very old and I liked it because it seemed to me very genuine. The best thing was when I saw the hills around me 😱 that surprised me! Besides, we saw some hairy cows in the dunes and deers in a park close to Alkmaar. The weather was good so the lunch time at the beach in the sun was awesome.
For all these reasons I encourage you to do the route!
➽ More activities in the Netherlands on Extra Netherlands.
Any contribution or question is welcome, please write a comment!