Day by Day: Europe 2021 Bike Tour

Eva and me on the bike paths and at one of our campsites.

Here’s a day-by-day summary of our travels and distance covered on our tour to help you plan your own adventure. Although I originally plotted out a 1150 km route from Amsterdam to Copenhagen that would require about 100 km (62 miles) of biking each day during 11 days of travel time, my daughter Eva and I soon decided to lower our goal to around 50-75 km per day to enjoy our time together, and to build in more rest days to see more of Europe and my other daughter, Maya. Also, our actual route varied from the planned route when we headed to our overnight destinations, and also when we became more comfortable with our navigation skills and ventured in new directions.

  • 21 August: Arrived in Amsterdam, StayOkay Vondelpark Hostel. Excellent location, friendly staff, and a bike shed.

  • 22 August: Spent a second night at the same hostel to assemble our bikes (which we transported with us), and we biked 5 km around Vondelpark to make sure everything was working. We also bought our camping food supplies.

  • 23 August: Biked 86 km from Amsterdam to Haarlem (see the By Lima vegetarian cafe, south along the North Sea coast (with the wind on our backs on one of the most beautiful bike trails on our trip) toward Den Haag, then turned east on bike route LF 4, and later headed of the trail to Buitenplaats Molenwei campsite. Vicky provided an excellent shower and covered patio area, but the camping field can be damp in wet weather, and bring earplugs to block the sound of cars on the highway at night.

  • 24 August: Biked 78 km through small towns and farm fields into the beautiful city of Utrecht, where we spent the night at the StayOkay Hostel in the city center to reevaluate how much distance we wanted to cover each day.

  • 25 August: Biked 10 km around Utrecht, then another 40 km heading east to spend the night at a small farm and nature camping site, Den Ouden Dam See prior post for more details.

  • 26 August: Biked 66 km to another nature camping site, De Altena Although this site had good facilities, it was more isolated, and we did not see the owner until he came the next morning.

  • 27 August: Biked 81 km into a steady northern headwind, including about one hour of light rain showers, to Zwolle. Since we expected damp weather for the entire weekend, we stayed at the Lumen Hotel, a cycle-friendly establishment on the edge of the city.

  • 28 August: As planned, spent a second night at hotel in Zwolle in order to make arrangements to bring our bikes on an early Sunday morning train that crosses an international border, which was more complicated than expected. Read, which required us to make our reservation by phone, not online. Biked 10 km around the city.

  • 29 August: Rode the train from Zwolle to Osnabrück, made one connection to Hamburg, and another connection to our final distination of Lübeck. We biked about 5 km into the central city (in light showers) and then to the Vor dem Burgtor youth hostel Restocked our camping food supplies.

  • 30 August: Biked 72 km to Grube, where we camped in the garden of a Warmshowers host, Helge Siems—see our review.

  • 31 August: Biked 70 km to our tent site at Maribo Sø Camping in Denmark. While the grounds are set up primarily for small motor homes, the tent area near the beach was nicer than we expected. On this day we also crossed a long 4 km bridge and rode the Scandia ferry from Puttgarden, Germany to Røbdy, Denmark.

  • 1 September: Biked 93 km and spent our final night in shelters in the tent field at Vemmetofte Strand Camping in Faxe, Denmark.

  • 2 September: Biked 75 km to Copenhagen and stayed at the Axel Guldsmeden Hotel because it was located in the city center and train station (for our departure with our bike luggage to the Copenhagen airport) and also because they allowed us to keep our bikes overnight inside a secure courtyard near our room.

  • 3-5 September: Biked over 70 km while exploring the city of Copenhagen.

  • 761 km total distance travelled, according to my odometer. If you count only the distance we covered between overnight destinations from Amsterdam to Zwolle and from Lübeck to Copenhagen, and drop the riding we did inside cities, we biked about 660 km over 9 travel days, or about 73 km per day (ranging from a low of 40 km to a high of 93 km).

  • 0 flat tires.

  • 6 pounds of body weight lost, despite eating heartily.

  • Lots of happy memories.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was simply biking around Copenhagen with my daughters Eva and Maya.