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Castles and Estates

Visit the east part of the Netherlands


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This trip takes you to Lochem, a small city that lies between leafy estates and is surrounded by a beautiful hinterland. Lochem has a long history which dates back to the middle ages and before. The first time it was mentioned is in an old document dating back from 1059 while excavations in and around the Great or Saint Gudula church proved the existence of a wooden church around 900. In 1233 the city received city rights. This trip provides the perfect opportunity to experience the wonderful nature and culture Holland has to offer.

Lochem lies in the area called “de Achterhoek”. It is a popular holiday area to slow down and get some rest. The area is filled with beautiful country estates, forests, small rivers and picturesque villages. Small-scaledness is the trump card here. The people here live in charming villages or beautiful historic little cities. These villages are ideal for short breaks during one of your trips. The area is declared by the Dutch as “the best cycling area in the Netherlands”. Considering the fact that cycling goes hand in hand with the Dutch culture, it’s a convincing statement about the area.


  • Type of tour Self-guided
  • Level 2
  • Duration 3,4,5 days
  • Distance 30 km
  • Picturesque countryside
  • Castles and country estates
  • Thickest tree of the Netherlands
  • Museum for Dutch Modern Realism

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Castle Route East


This is a beautiful and very varied route. The Gelderland Castle Route East has a total length of 355 kilometers. You can shorten the trip at some points, and so-called ‘day loops’ have been made. As other routes of this holiday arrangement already go to the south and to the west, we decided to head east and visit Diepenheim, Huis Weldam and Wegdem, castle Nijenhuis and Huize Diepenheim. The Park of Landgoed Warmelo can be visited. Diepenheim is an artists’ village, so you can expect many galleries, pleasant shops and cafés.

Day 2

Stork Route


On your way to the village of Laren, you cycle past Huize Ampsen. You continue through the pastures to the edge of the Gorsselse Heide (heathlands). At a six-forked intersection you take the Eikeboomlaan to Huize ‘t Joppe. You leave the pleasant village of Gorssel and cycle through the water meadows of the IJssel. In these floodplains you will come across elevated sections of land with houses and farms; they are the river dunes. Whenever the river floods, the farms and livestock can stay high and dry.
At the Gorsselse mill you will see a stork village. This country has a total of five stork villages. What once started as a bird sanctuary, has expanded into a densely populated stork village. The animals like the place so much that they don’t even bother leaving in the winter. In the vicinity you can see hunting storks and maybe their babies. Just outside the village of Gorssel you find the splendid country house ‘t Joppe. On your way back, remember the Sluice complex Eefde is worth visiting.

Day 3

Country Estates Route


This route links up a number of different country estates: De Boekhorst, Velhorst, ‘t Velde, De Voorst, De Ehze, Verwolde and Ampsen. Farms belong to the estates; the color of the shutters tells you which farms belong to which estates. The gently rolling countryside alternates between fields, meadows, wooded banks and forests. The Berkel, a 115 kilometer-long stream, flows through the village of Almen. Up to the start of the 20th century, long, flat boats, the ‘zomp’, plied their way up and down the stream; peat, timber and agricultural products were transported this way. In the house at Huis Verwolde you can enjoy a cup of tea and walk around.

Day 4

Graafschap Route


The name De Graafschap is related to a feudal past (‘graaf’ means ‘earl’). This is still quite evident in Vorden, Laren, Ruurlo and Lochem. You ride past eight castles or large country houses (manors), surrounded by estates with splendid lanes, forests, fields and Saxon farmsteads. The patterns and colors of the shutters of the farmhouses show which estate they belong to. The landscape consists of a gently rolling surface sand environment, with the old farmlands or ash trees around the villages and on the higher slopes. Between those areas there are many wet areas. You pass the Veengoot (peat drain) a few times, a drainage canal dug at the start of the 19th century thanks to the efforts of A.C.W. Staring (1767-1840), who was an agricultural scientist as well as a poet.

Day 5

Lochemse Berg cycling route


This area with its hilly landscape has two wooded peaks: the Lochemse Berg in the north and the Kaleberg in the south. They reach a height of almost 50 meters and are separated by a saddle-shaped lower part that is mainly used as farming land. The Geldersch Landschap foundation owns about three-quarters of this area that covers a good 200 hectares.
The route leaves the town of Lochem through a beautiful residential neighborhood from the start of this century, called Villapark Berkeloord. Next you pass the castle “De Cloese” on the Berkel and you see the “Witte Wieven”. Via Huize Beekvliet and past various ‘mountains’ you return to the hotel.

Travel Dates

Tour prices

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
Local Hybrid, € 10,- per day paid on the spot €0
Local E-bike, € 25,- per day paid on the spot €0
1 bike map 1 bike map Falk, scale 1:50,000 (1 inch = 0.8 miles) €9.50


  • 2/3 or4 nights in the hotel based on a 2-person room with shower/bath, lavatory
  • Daily Gelders breakfast buffet
  • 4-course dinner (2/3/4x)
  • Reception with coffee or tea
  • Free use of the indoor swimming pool
  • Route description and map
  • Parking space

Not included

  • Reservation costs (€ 20,- per booking)
  • Bicycle rent (paid on the spot)
  • Personal insurance
  • Tourist tax € 2,75 per person per night, to be paid on location
  • Excursions (entrance fee for museums/gardens/parks)

Special details

  • To book with at least 2 persons.
  • Please take good notice of our booking conditions.
  • No bicycle insurance available for this tour.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.


Arrival by air
Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam; from the airport you can take a train or taxi to Lochem. From the airport it takes between 2 and 2,5 hrs. to travel to Lochem by train. From the train station in Lochem its about 20 minutes walking  to the hotel. By car/taxi from Schiphol Airport it takes about 1,5 hrs.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Can I bring along my own bicycle?

    Yes, you may.  This has no bearing on the total cost of the trip, however, please state this at time of booking.  Sometimes an additional charge may be requested for the bicycle when transfering from one place to another.

  • What can I expect of the hotels along the way?

    For our trips, we generally utilize good 2-3 star hotels with a bathroom in each room. The accommodations vary a great deal, ranging from a very luxurious hotel to a simple chambre d’hôte and from a family hotel to a former cognac estate.

  • What will happen should I encounter problems along the way?

    Luckily, this rarely occurs, since our bicycles are virtually new and well-maintained.  Nevertheless, should you encounter a problem, then a quick phone call to our local agent will be sufficient.  He’ll ensure that you are back on your bike as soon as possible and, should it be necessary, you can exchange your bike through him.  We assume that you are able to fix a flat tire yourself, and for this purpose, we will provide you with a repair kit and bike pump.

  • When are the rental bicycles delivered?

    The rental bicycles are as a rule delivered on the evening of the day of arrival and must be returned upon arrival at the last hotel.

  • Does a support vehicle accompany us?

    Our experience has taught us that virtually every cyclist is able to make it to the next hotel without difficulties, since you’ll be setting your own pace and have the whole day for the journey.  Should circumstances render you unable to cycle further, then our agent will obligingly find you the best manner of public transportation and/or taxi.  The costs, in such a case, must be self-incurred.

More questions

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Lochem Castles and Estates


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