Unique cycling tours past the treasures of northeast Friesland
3 and 6 day Markant Friesland Cycling Tours with luggage and breakdown service
DOKKUM (NL) - The Markant Friesland Route is the most enthralling cycling route in Friesland, second only to the route of the Elfstedentocht (Eleven Towns Skating Race). The Elfstedentocht route is 254 km long and takes you past all the province’s famous highlights. By contrast you should regard the 170 km long Markant Friesland route as a comfortable ‘expedition’ along almost completely unknown, but utterly unique places of interest. It is a trip full of pleasant surprises and one which gives you an insight into how Friesland and its rich cultural history came into being.
You will come across palaces of the landed nobility, meadows surrounded by timber embankments, romantic villages on top of knolls, the Lauwersmeer National Park, the Wadden Sea UNESCO world heritage site, Dokkum which is on the famous eleven towns skating route, medieval churches and remnants of monasteries, and more than twenty unique museums. Art, nature and culture - that is Markant Friesland.
A completely new experience
each and every day!
The three or six day Markant Friesland cycling tours take you right through the ‘knoll’ area and along the Wadden Sea coast to the Lauwersmeer National Park. Lauwersland is a haven of peace and quiet. It is a great place to escape the stress of today’s busy life. You will also explore the Noardlike Fryske Wâlden, the timber embankment landscape which is so typical of the Friese Wouden area, with the highlight being the De Kruidhof botanic garden where the Ice Age Museum is located.
The area to the south of Dokkum is particularly special because it is where, in 754, the world-famous missionary Bonifatius was murdered. He was the representative of the Frankish Empire and was born in 672 or 675 in Exeter, in southwest England. The mortal remains of the bishop, martyr and saint, who is regarded as the architect of Christianity in western Europe, are located in Fulda Abbey in Germany. Dokkum, which is jokingly referred to as ‘murder city’, is now a charming town on the route of the Eleven Towns Skating Race. It is well worth visiting and is twinned with Fulda.
The Frisian admiralty (navy) used to be based in Dokkum because it had a direct link to the sea. Admiralty house is now a large museum.
As you cycle past all the ‘stinzen’ and ‘staten’ (Frisian forts and castles) you will end up in numerous attractive towns and villages such as Burdaard, on the banks of the Dokkumer Ee waterway, which was home to the Frisian painter Ruurd Wiersma. You will follow the Eleven Towns Skating Route and will experience what the skaters refer to as the ‘hell of the north’.
No matter where you are, you will always see a knoll on the horizon, with a church spire on top, or a backdrop of centuries-old trees behind which lie secluded and picturesque villages. One of these is Veenklooster, a settlement that looks more like the villages you come across in the province of Drenthe, with its large old trees and a village square. It also has a magnificently furnished castle and castle gardens and a large agriculture museum.
Selected with care
You will stay in lodgings (hotels, bed and breakfast and guesthouses) on or nearby the Markant Friesland route. All these lodgings are in beautiful locations, either in a charming village or town centre, or out in the countryside. All the accommodation is clean and tidy and will have been checked by Friesland Holland. All provide warm welcomes, generous three course meals (in the case of lodgings with a restaurant) and good quality beds. Friesland Holland transports your luggage every day and provides a free breakdown service so that nothing disturbs your enjoyment of this other Friesland.
Combine your visit to northeast Friesland with a visit to the nearby Wadden Island of Ameland. The ferry to Ameland leaves from the town of Holwert, which is nearby, and the crossing takes just 45 minutes. The Friesland Holland tourist office has included cheap two and six day hotel deals in its programme.
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