The Afsluitdijk

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The Afsluitdijk

Ride across the Afsluitdijk between North Holland and Friesland: 32 kilometers between sea and lake.

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Windmills, polders, sluices and pumping stations… Holland has a unique history when it comes to water management. But the most impressive example is probably the Afsluitdijk.

  • Enjoy a unique view.
  • Cycle along the 32-kilometre-long Afsluitdijk.
  • With 300,000 visitors per year, the Afsluitdijk is one of Holland’s most popular water engineering constructions.

Enjoy a beautiful view

These days, the Afsluitdijk is more than just protection against floods. It is also a motorway used by thousands of people every day. You can drive, cycle or walk from one end to the other and enjoy the splendid view: on one side, the Wadden Sea, on the other, IJsselmeer lake.

Halfway across the Afsluitdijk stands the monument to Cornelis Lely. He was responsible for the largest land reclamation project in history: the creation of Flevoland. There, you can drink a cup of coffee at Lunchroom Het Monument, which features a watchtower designed by Dudok.

From sea to lake

The 32-kilometre-long Afsluitdijk, built between 1927 and 1933, is an important part of the Zuiderzee Works and connects the provinces of Friesland and North Holland. It also changed the saltwater Zuiderzee into the freshwater IJsselmeer. The Zuiderzee Works consisted of two parts. In the first stage, the Zuiderzee was dammed, turning it into a freshwater lake. The second part of the plan was the reclamation of new land. This meant that, after the Zuiderzee had been closed off, the entire new province of Flevoland was reclaimed from the waters.

More in the area.

Are you crossing the Afsluitdijk, and do you want to see more of the area? Then we highly recommend famous Zuiderzee settlements in Friesland such as Makkum, Stavoren and Hindelopen or the sea port of Harlingen. Other great places to visit are such authentic fishing towns as Enkhuizen and Hoorn (in North Holland), where you can enjoy some delicious fish in the harbour and stroll through centuries-old streets.

Editors’ tip

Right by the Afsluitdijk, you will also find the Wad, a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site where, at low tide, you can enjoy fantastic mudflat hiking. However, make sure that you have a guide, or that you are well aware of the dangers involved.

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Book a bicycle holiday

If you want to explore Holland by bicycle, check out our offer of organised bicycle holidays. The bicycle routes include baggage transport!

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Holland is home to many scenic areas and national parks with great walking tracks.