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Cycling and staying overnight in Dutch nature with The Nature Friends Cycling Guide from Nivon

25 March 2020

The guide for day trips, weekends away and cycling vacations in your own country. A personal and green booklet for short and long cycling trips in the Netherlands with overnight stay. Magda Vodde (72), initiator of the guide, has mapped out eighteen unique cycling routes through the various landscapes of the Netherlands. Magda deviated from the familiar junction routes to discover the most beautiful parts of the Netherlands. These routes, 1,323 kilometers in total, connect the green-surrounded and budget-friendly naturefriendly houses and camping sites of Nivon. This makes the booklet suitable for day trips, weekends away and cycling vacations. The guide contains information about the routes, Nivon accommodations and personal tips from Magda about the area.

 

A year and a half ago, Magda started recording the routes between the Nivon accommodations. First, she cycled the routes according to the Cycling Association’s route planner and then deviated from the standard roads to go exploring. Magda: ‘I went looking for places where you feel you’ve lost your way for a moment. Places in the middle of nature. I alternated these with visits to local villages such as Ommen, Bronkhorst and Woudrichem. After all, during your cycling trip you also want to be able to drink a cup of coffee. The variety of landscapes and surroundings ensures that you’re always surprised by all the beauty that the Netherlands has to offer. Why should we travel to faraway places when we have so much to discover in our own country?

Cycling and staying overnight in the middle of nature

Each route in the guide starts and ends at a Nivon accommodation: an affordable place to spend the night surrounded by nature. The accommodations have private rooms and a common kitchen and living room and are managed entirely by volunteers. Put together your own cycling vacation by linking up the individual routes or make use of the four themed routes in the guide. Magda put together these routes for a weekend or longer trip. Like the themed route ‘Wind in the back’, which starts in the Biesbosch and ends near Almelo. With the average Dutch southwestern wind you have during this route the wind with you or in your back. The individual routes can be found throughout the Netherlands and vary in length. There are routes of 35 km which are suitable, for example, for a day trip with the children, and routes of 130 km for the real cycling enthusiast.

Sustainable vacations

The Dutch attach increasing importance to responsible travel. Iris Vermaas, project manager at Nivon: “Every form of travel or tourism has an impact on the environment, but holidaying at home is already more sustainable than abroad. Moreover, spending the night in a tent or in a Friends of Nature House from Nivon has the smallest CO2 footprint. During the cycling itself you don’t consume any fossil fuels and all destinations can be reached by public transport.” The cycling guide itself was also designed to be as sustainable as possible. “We printed the booklet responsibly on a tree-free paper made of 80% stone and 20% recycled clean plastic, also known as stone paper. This reduces the footprint of the guide by 67% compared to a paper booklet. In addition, the material is water resistant, giving the cyclist the assurance that the guide will last a long time.  If you cycle all the routes instead of driving by car, it will save almost 2 tons of CO2, or about seven times flying back and forth to Paris.”

Take an online look at the guide

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