Discovering the flower fields by bike. Keukenhof, Sassenheim, Hillegom, Lisse – 35km

Flower fields, Keukenhof, nice little villages and polder landscapes – April 2018

Flower field of daffodils near Sassenheim


This route is a perfect way to watch the flower fields in a relaxed way at close distance. The route has more or less the form of an eight with the Keukenhof in the middle of it. Besides that you come across many colorfull flower fields and the Keukenhof, the route crosses nice polder landscapes and a couple of villages which have a good choice of terraces. Further, underway there is the possibility to do additional activities, e.g. besides the flower exhibition of the Keukenhof to visit the museum dedicated to the history of the flowerfield region, have a flower bulb dinner or visit the Keukenhof estate with its castle (see further below for links). It can be crowded on the route, so going early in the morning or late afternoon is advised. Very well recommended.

Tractor in the field, near Sassenheim

Description trail

In general, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips are the most common type of flowers that you will find in the flowerfield region. At the start of the flowerfield season, you will mostly see yellow, white and pink since these are the most common colours of daffodils and hyacinths.  A couple of weeks after the daffodils, the tulips will start to flower with in addition the colors red and blue. This year the first fields of daffodil flowers came to blossom around mid april and generally the tulips will be visible later until around mid may. Each year this may differ depending on e.g. how strong and long the winter lasted.

Fields full of hyacinths – near Sassenheim

We started at the Sassenheim railway station, knooppunt 51, but you can start at any point in the route. When the train doors opened in Sassenheim, we could immediately smell the hyacinths out there which was a great start. The route first enters the village of Sassenheim but as soon as you leave it, the flower fields pop up.

It is funny to see how much effort people put in taking pictures or selfies. Signs that it is not allowed to enter the fields are massively ignored or even included in the pictures.

Flields with hyacinths – flowerfield near Sassenheim

The route generally includes polder landscape (flat land with little flows or canals through meadows or farming land). After a while you come across the Keukenhof. The difference with the flowers in the fields is that the Keukenhof has more different sorts of flowers and flowers which are more rare. The Keukenhof can be so full with visitors  that you have to go in rows through the park, no fun. However, they open until late in the evening, so if you get there by 18 o’clock you still have 1,5 hours for the visit which is long enough, and then the crowd is mostly gone. My experience is that on weekdays during these hours it is a very relaxed and quiet visit.

Landscape near Sassenheim

Next to the park there is the Keukenhof Estate with its castle and park around it (completely different from the flower park), also a good stop and clearly not as overwhelmed with visitors as the Keukenhof is.

The route continues through flower fields and polder landscape and also crosses Hillegom and again passes the Keukenhof. Just after that you enter Lisse. Most of the terraces can be found here where you can have a good break for lunch but there are lots of other good choices on the route.

Most of the pictures in this article are taken In the close area of the village of Sassenheim but the rest of the route was similar and interesting as well but at some time we simply had taken enough pictures that we didnot want to stop again.

Photo opportunity near Sassenheim
The result!

Just a remark as to manage expectations …. The route is very popular and crowded with bikers and all kinds of other type of traffic during the flowering months. Sometimes people even get irritated with others if they want to take that perfect picture but other people are hindering it. You might want to consider a weekday or going very early in the morning on a weekend day. However, are the crowds a reason to avoid this route? No I do not think so, the unique and colorfull views are still well worth it!

The route is very popular and can be very crowded, especially during weekends


Origin of the route:

Start and Finish: Sassenheim railway station (or any point near/close to the route), nr51 of ‘fietsknooppunt’. See gpx file with route further below. Order of Knooppunten: 51, 50, 58, 55, 57, 38, 07, 49, 40, 48, 11, 44, 15, 16, 17, 18, 94, 21, 13, 28, 40, 49, 29, 91, 30, 41, 54, 25, 51.

Type: circular route

Length: 35 km

Difficulty: easy, no real physical fitness required and no fancy bike needed, a hybride will do fine.

Terrain: flat, bike paths or quiet streets

How to get there? By car: you can easily park your car next to the railway station of Sassenheim. Public transport: You can get there by train and it is easily possible to take your bike on the train (~7 euros for 1 day, not possible during the rush hours on weekdays). There are several bike rentals on or close to the route, see for links further below.

Me in the train with our bikes in the designated area

Restaurants underway? Yes, several in Sassenheim, Lisse and Hillegom and further on the route.

Bike rentals:

– Lisse: Bim Bim Bikes;  Café Hotel de Engel; Café Hotel de Nachtegaal

– Hillegom: Bikerental Keukenhof

– Sassenheim: Profile De Fietsspecialist ; Biketotaal Van Hulst +31(0)252222550 (no website available)

Other possible activities underway:

– Keukenhof (flower exhibition gardens): a park with beautiful flower bulb gardens, including the more rare types of flower bulbs. If you want to avoid the crowds, either get there at the opening or late in the afternoon, after 18:00.

– Keukenhof Estate (castle and park): The castle, of which the first part was built in the 17th century, can be visited, as well as the park surrounding it. The castle itself shows how the nobility lived throughout the last centuries. The park can be visited for free.

– Museum black tulip (‘zwarte tulp’): here you will learn more about the flowerfields region and all that comes with the farming of flowerbulbs. Sometimes additional exhibitions of e.g. paintings of flowerfields.

– Dinner made of flower (bulbs), quite unique, in Lisse, only during the flowerfield season between ~mid march until ~mid may. Restaurant de Vier Seizoenen (I found out that the english version of the site is not very informative about their flower menu, the dutch version however is)


Medemblik 14 km – Groene Wissel

Medemblik historical centre, along the Ijsselmeer shore and through the polder (Grote Vliet nature area) – March 2018

Medemblik, harbour


This Groene Wissel trail is a nice combination of the old historical centre and picturesque harbour of Medemblik, the shore with views over the Ijsselmeer followed by the Grote Vliet area which is a bird’s paradise. The last part of the trail (several kilometers) were less interesting since it followed a broader asphalt road and a not so appealing neighborhood of Medemblik. I think you can combine this hike very well with lots of fun additional activities, e.g. going with the Steam tram, enjoying a drink on a terrace in picturesque Medemblik, play minigolf in Medemblik or pay a visit to the Steam Engine Museum and Castle Radboud. Overall we enjoyed the hike.

Medemblik, Koningin Emmapark, the home of a few lamas.

Description trail

The trail starts at the Steamtram station and first goes through the historical part of Medemblik. This little town dates back from before the middle ages and there are a lot of houses with old facades. The route continues through the harbour with its small private yachts.

Medemblik, along the Ijsselmeer shore

Just before the trail turns to the Ijselmeer shore, it goes through the Koningin Emmapark which is the home of a couple of lamas.

At the time of our hike there, it was freezing cold with a very strong wind. Although the weather didnot feel very comfortable, it created stunning icicles along the shore.

Medemblik, icicles along the Ijsselmeer shore

Some parts of the dike were very icy, however, alternatively you can go through the park or the grass next to it if it is too slippery. There were a lot of seabirds that could be watched from the shore. During summertime, in some spots along the shore, swimming is possible and you can even sunbath on the little beach. However, at the time we were there, only people wearing extremely warm clothes dared to hike along the shore.

Medemblik, Dutch Steam Engine Museum (Nederlands Stoommachinemuseum)

Almost halfway you enter the village Onderdijk where you can have a break for a simple lunch or a drink in Cafe Restaurant De Welkomst. We enjoyed our lunch there and we were very pleased with the friendliness of the lady who worked there.

Grote Vliet, nature area, birds’ paradise

After Onderdijk, the trail enters the nature area of the Grote Vliet. In case you like birding you definitely should bring a camera with telelens or binoculars since this will be generously rewarded. I only brought my small camera which had battery difficulties because of the cold so it was hard to take pictures anyway.

A door in picturesque Medemblik

After the nature area, the hike becomes less interesting but still has some nice spots like the old windmill on the Brakeweg. The hike ends in Medemblik with its nice harbour and picturesque houses of the old city centre. There, in summertime, it can be very lively with lots of terraces, a perfect end to this hike.


Overview Medemblik 14 km Groene Wissel trail. For the gpx file see further below

Start and Finish: Medemblik, steamtrain railway station

Type: circular route

Length: 14 km

Difficulty: easy

Terrain:  sand path and asphalt, flat

How to get there? By car: you can park your car next to the steamtram station. Alternatively, if this spot is full, there is free parking on the road outside the historical center and then you might need to walk at maximum a couple of hundred of meters to the start. Public transport:  Near the Steamtram station, the busstation is located. Different busses (numbers 139, 239, 415) come from Hoorn which has a trainstation.  You can also get there by steamtram coming from Hoorn or take the ferry from Enkhuizen (see links further below)

Restaurants underway? Yes, close to the starting/finish point in Medemblik and halfway in Onderdijk.

Additional activities underway:

– Steamtram: an old steam tram runs from Hoorn to Medemblik and vice versa. This tram runs from april until november.

– Ferry Enkhuizen-Medemblik: an authentic ferry runs between Enkhuizen and Medemblik and can be well combined with a ride in the old steamtram. The ferry usually runs from april until november. 

– Minigolf in Medemblik: next to restaurant Koekenbier in Koningin Emmapark in Medemblik.

– Castle Radboud: for a drink / lunch or an exhibition about the middle ages. At the time of our hike it was closed for renovation activities but it should reopen again  in Spring 2018.

– Steam engine museum: here you can learn all about steam engines and watch it working.