Holland-Cycling.com is an internet guide to cycling in Holland. We do not organise cycling holidays ourselves. To help you on your way, we made a selection of the most popular cycling holidays offered by Dutch tour operators. The information on this page is provided by the tour operator.

Historic military landscape

Are you in search of the unexpected? This cycling tour through a unique military landscape is sure to keep you on your toes. The New Dutch Water defence Line (85 km long) was an ingenious defensive system of dikes, sluices, canals, low forts and bunkers. When an army approached, wide stretches of land were intentionally flooded with 40 cm of water, too shallow for boats and too deep to traverse on foot.

New and Old Dutch Water Line

Tour operator: Dutch Bike Tours
Type of holiday: self-guided
Luggage transport: included
Accommodation: hotel
Number of days: 9 days
Price: from € 825,-

Today the Water Defence Line is a great area to explore by bike, scanning the green surroundings for signs of a military structure. There are 46 forts and five fortified towns in all, as well as bunkers, casemates, group shelters etc. Having been a military site, it was off-limits to the public for a long time, allowing wildlife to establish here.

This effectively turned it into a green corridor, an attractive route for nature lovers.

The route passes through lovely Naarden, Wijk bij Duurstede, Leerdam, Woudrichem and Gorinchem, towns that evoke the atmosphere of times past. Stop off for a visit to castles Muiderslot and Slot Loevesteijn.

The New Water Line was designed to replace the 17th-century Old Water Line. The dawn of modern warfare with airplanes rendered the system obsolete. Visit the Waterlinie Museum to understand the workings of inundation warfare.

The New Dutch Water Line is the largest national monument in the country and is a UNESCO World Heritage site nominee. Because it blends into the green scenery, it is known as the Netherlands’ biggest secret.

From Gorinchem you cycle back to your starting point in Abcoude in 2 days, now via the Old Dutch Water Line located west of Utrecht. You visit old fortified towns such as Nieuwpoort, charming ones like Oudewater (also known from the Heksenwaag), the silver city of Schoonhoven and cheese towns Woerden and Bodegraven. In between, you can enjoy a typical Dutch landscape of meadows with grazing cows and winding rivers.

There is also a 7-day version of this trip, which ends in Gorinchem. 

New and Old Dutch Water Line photo nr. 1
New and Old Dutch Water Line photo nr. 1
New and Old Dutch Water Line photo nr. 1
New and Old Dutch Water Line photo nr. 1

The information on this page has been provided by the tour operator. Please check the tour operator's website for the most up-to-date information.

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