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Zuiderzee or Ijsselmeer? Put simply, it was once a saltwater sea (zee) and now it’s a freshwater lake (meer), following the construction of the Afsluitdijk embankment in the 1930s. But the old name is retained in the title of this circular route.

You’ll notice that it doesn’t cling tightly to the waterside. That’s because it follows the old boundary of the Zuiderzee, since when the land has been reclaimed as polders to form the province of Flevoland.

The route has less scenic variety in itself than other Dutch cycle tours. Much of the lake is protected by high dykes so you won’t have a constant view of the water, though this does provide some protection against the wind.

The real interest, though, is in exploring the many historic towns along the route – the western edge of the lake is best for these. You’ll often have the best views here, too. Leave time to explore and don’t set too ambitious a schedule. Modern industry and port facilities provide a striking contrast.

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