Time 5 hours
The town of Zandvoort is a beach resort community along the North Sea located west of Amsterdam. A scenic bike route can be completed from central Amsterdam to Zandvoort, although the route is too long to complete roundtrip in a day, so it's recommended to either return with your bike by train or to stay in Zandvoort for a night.
The bike route to Zandvoort passes through several areas of interest, including the scenic forested area of Spaarnwoude, the towns of Spaarndam and Haarlem, and the national park Zuid Kennemerland known for its sand dunes. A popular tourist attraction along the route in the town of Spaarndam is the statue of the boy with his finger in the dike, made popular by the American writer Hans Brinker in his novel, The Silver Skates.
The following route description begins at Amsterdam Centraal Station, however you can begin from anywhere in the city and make your way to Westerpark or Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station, depending where you are in the city. The route heads westward, out of the city center towards Spaarnwoude.
From Amsterdam Centraal Station, make your way out to the busy road that passes in front of the station called Prins Hendrikkade. Cross Prins Hendrikkade and immediately go right along the busy bike path, heading westward. Continue until you cross a canal and see that Prins Hendrikkade arrives at a intersection where it veers right. Go left at this point onto a street called Singel, then ride to the first street and immediately go right onto Haarlemerstraat. You will ride west along the busy Haarlemerstraat and quickly leave the central Amsterdam area behind.
After riding past several streets and canals along Haarlemerstraat, the route veers a quick left and then right before arriving at traffic lights. Continue straight at the intersection and cross the Willemsbrug (bridge). After the bridge, turn right before the traffic lights, cross the first street, then go left at the crosswalk and cross the main street into Westerpark. Do not ride under the train overpass, you need to cross into Westerpark just before the street passes under the trains.
Follow the path into Westerpark and veer to your right slightly just before reaching a grassy area where people are often sitting next to a small waterway. Ride uphill along the path before the path veers left and continues for the next 1.75km, passing green space on your right and office buildings to your left. This route is a popular route for many locals riding their bikes between the western neighbourhoods of Amsterdam and the central city area.
When the path reaches a road to the left, continue straight towards the nearby highway overpass and ride underneath it. After passing underneath the highway, you should be following tram tracks to your left as you pass several other large buildings and Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station to your right. When you arrive at the traffic lights at the intersection with Radarweg, go straight. At the first street past the traffic lights called Barajasweg, go left and follow the red bike path for 100-metres where it ends, then go right onto a cement path and follow the long, straight bike path known as the Flevoroute.
Continue following the bike path until you reach the end of it at a road. The path continues on the other side of the road but you will have to go to the intersection to your left, cross the street, then ride back to where the route continues. The path is called Brettenpad from this point but continues in the same direction, heading westward. There are several paths that branch off to the left and right but stay on the wider, main path. Pass under a train overpass and a few minutes further, go under a road overpass to where the bike path meets a junction. Go left at the junction and continue riding through the forested area, enjoying the peaceful ride.
Eventually, the path ends on a wide pathway with industrial buildings straight ahead. Go left and follow the bike path towards the highway overpass for the A5 Highway, riding under it. After passing under the A5, go left and ride along the path known as the Dubbele Buurt as you veer right and look over the a canal area to your right. Continue along this path until you reach a wooden bridge with white railings, then turn right and ride over the bridge. Follow the path after crossing the bridge as it veers left and continue straight past the houses, heading by the sign marking the entrance to Spaarnwoude. Continue riding as the bike path meets with a road to the right and watch for a entrance to the Spaarnwoude park area to your right. Stop and cross the street and ride into the park to where the map of the park stands.
From the map at the entrance to Spaarnwoude, ride across the nearby bridge and immediately go left onto the bike path right after the bridge. Ride until you reach a 4-way intersection, just before a lake known as the Grote Vijver. This intersection can easily be missed, so if you arrive at a lake to your left, you just missed the intersection (the lake is also worth seeing). Go left at the 4-way intersection and follow the trail and continue on this trail, staying straight at the intersections. After passing over 2 bridge, you arrive at a road. Go left and cross a 3rd bridge and exit Spaarnwoude to the main road.
The next section of the route continues on the dike straight ahead of you but to get there, you have to go left 50-metres, cross the road, and ride up onto the dike where you can then go right and follow it as it winds its way through the farm fields. Continue to follow the scenic road, known as Spaarndammerdijk, until it goes down a small hill and underneath the A9 highway overpass. Just after passing under the overpass, turn left onto the road called Kerkweg and ride for about 500-metres to a church and turn right onto the first street. Ride to the end of the street where a Fietspad (Bike Path) begins and follow that bike path out into the farm fields once again, enjoying the clear view around you. Just before a wooden bridge, take the bike path to the right and ride along to the end, where it veers left and goes up a small hill onto the road on the dike above. Follow this road into the town of Spaarndam.
Ride into Spaarndam and at the 3-way intersection, go left and ride across the bridge. Follow the narrow street, sharing it with the cars going in both directions and watch for the statue of the boy with his finger in the dike on the left side of the road. This iconic image was popularized, not by a Dutch person, but by an American writer named Hans Brinker in a novel he wrote called The Silver Skates.
Before leaving Spaarndam, there is an area of interest with cafes to stop for lunch or a coffee and then complete a short, extra loop around the town. Continue riding along the main street past the statue, ride over a bridge and watch for a church on your left. Turn left at the church, then immediately go left again onto a short road. At the end of the road, ride to the left side of the buildings and get off of your bike, walking around to the back of the building where you get to a waterway and historic walkway on the other side. Along this section are cafes and in the summer, this is a nice area to stop. Get back onto your bike and ride along the path next to the canal heading away from the centre of town. Within 10-minutes of riding, watch for a bridge you ride over and a water pump house to the right, which is used to pump the water out of the surrounding polders (if you reach a 3-way intersection with roads, you have gone about 150-metres too far). At the gate where there is a small parking lot, turn right and follow the gravel as it turns into a path alongside the fence, crossing a small bridge and reaching a road on the other side. At the road, go right and follow it and you will return to the main road that passes through the town of Spaarndam. Once back at the intersection with the main road, go right and ride back towards the statue of the boy with his finger in the dike.
Leave the town of Spaarndam the same way you entered by riding back along the narrow road, crossing the bridge, and then going right at the first intersection. After the intersection, turn right onto Lageweg and ride down the small hill along the road. About 250-metres later, look for a bike path on your left and turn onto it, riding over the small bridge. Immediately after the bridge, go right where the bike paths intersect, and follow the bike path heading south. The bike paths are fairly straight but they follow in the general direction of the road, offering a route away from the traffic. Eventually the bike path reaches a path that goes left or right. Go left and a short distance further, turn right onto another bike, again following in the general direction of the nearby road. When the bike path reaches the road, carefully cross to the other side and continue along the bike path.
Ride along the narrow bike path as it loops back to the road. At the road, go right and ride to the first road on your right, turning right onto Penningsveer. Follow Penningsveer for about 500-meters until you reach a windmill on the right. Across from the windmill, turn left onto the street Veerpolder and follow it as it winds its way through a polder area, eventually narrowing into a bike path. At a junction, go left and follow the path with the train tracks on your right side. After crossing over a long bridge, go right at the road, cross the train tracks and ride under the highway overpass. Cross the road to the bike path and turn right, following the bike path heading in a direction with the highway on your right side.
At the first street on your left called Liewegje, turn left and follow it for the next 1.5km heading south. The road passes houses to the left and several benches along the route to stop for a rest. At a 3-way intersection, turn right onto Nieuweweg (if you ride under a highway overpass, you've gone too far). Continue riding straight through the next intersection and into the park called Burgemeester Reinaldapark. Ride straight through the park, following the wide path until you reach the far end. Exit the park and cross the main street, then immediately go right on the bike path for 100-metres until you pass a canal on your left and reach a "bikes only" sign. Turn left and follow the path so the canal is to your left as the bike path quickly ends and you ride along the bumpy, cobblestone street called Zomerkade. Continue to follow the roads by turning left at the next 2 intersections so you keep the canal directly to your left. After a second left, you should still be riding on the street called Zomerkade as you ride through an intersection and follow the road until it veers right next to a city-soccer field and ends at a canal. At the canal, turn left and ride to the busy street at the end.
Upon reaching the busy street called Antoniestraat, go right but do not cross the main bridge where the road veers left. Instead, go to the right of the bridge and ride onto the narrow street that heads between the buildings. This street is still called Antoniestraat. Turn left at Hoogstraat, cross a bridge, and immediately go right riding next to the Spaarn River in central Haarlem. After just 75-metres, cross the street by turning left onto Damstraat and ride to the large church called De Grote of St. Bavokerk te Haarlem (The St. Bavo Church in Haarlem). Turn right at the church, the left so the church is to your left as you ride into the main square.
Leave central Haarlem by riding to the far end of the square on the western side and heading south along Koningstraat. Go straight at the intersection towards another, smaller square and onto Botermarkt and then ride to the far side of this square and follow the road as it turns right then make a left onto Barrettetestraat. Follow Barrettetestraat until you cross a bridge, then go left at the lights on the other side and ride along Leidsevaart. Ride for about 400-metres, then turn right onto Westergracht, following the well marked bike path. Follow this street for the next 1.5km as it passes over train tracks and changes names two times, eventually pass through a residential neighbourhood.
Turn left onto Ramplaan (if you reach the end of the long straight section, back track to Ramplaan). Ride to the end of Ramplaan and continue along the gravel path out into the field and pass between the trees. Turn right at the 3-way junction and ride to the road. Cross the road (Elswoutslaan) and immediately turn left onto the bike path riding up the short hill. Turn right at the first street and follow the bike path along Zijweg.
Ride along the bike path on the left side of Zijweg for about 1km until you reach a restaurant called Kraantje Lek. Turn left into the parking lot area and ride onto a path that heads uphill into the Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland. The park is famous for its sand dunes and the area has plenty of trails to explore. Stay on the main bike path as it weaves through the dunes before levelling and then heading downhill, following a route with the train tracks to your right. After riding along the path for about 2km, turn left at the first junction, following Blinkertweg.
Ride about 1.5km until you reach the end of this bike path. Turn right and follow the long, straight path for 1.5km into the town of Zandvoort. At the roundabout, go straight onto Prinsesseweg, continuing along the main roads as you twice veer left and arrive at a larger roundabout. Take the second right onto Klein Krocht and follow the road until the end, where you will have to do a quick left, then right as you ride up the hill to the street. Cross the street and head towards the open square to the left as you walk out to the end and over look the beach looking out in the North Sea.
Returning To Amsterdam
To return to Amsterdam in the same day, it's best to take the train from Zandvoort back to Amsterdam Central Station. The train station is only a few minutes by bike from the square where the route ended. Ride north along the main street called Burgemeester Engelbertsstraat and turn right onto Zeestraat. Turn left onto the first street and the 2nd building on your right is the train station.