28 March 2019

Discover Aalsmeer and its surroundings with this bike route

Cycling through Aalsmeer means flowers and water, because the flower gardens, the flower auction and the Westeinderplassen with its water tower and islands are Aalsmeer’s pride and joy. But during this bike tour through Aalsmeer and its surroundings you will discover much more: from a windmill and soap workshop to Theo’s smoked eels and Koos and Monique’s dairy products. Let’s get going!

Old railway line and Stommeermolen

This bike tour in Aalsmeer starts at the Raadhuisplein. You cycle past the Bielzenpad, the site of the railway line between Aalsmeer and Haarleem until 1953, to the Stommeermolen. Make a short stop at the windmill which is one of the 29 national monuments in Aalsmeer. In 1919 lightning literally struck, but at the beginning of this century the Stommeermolen was once more in use as an auxiliary pumping station.

Windmill Stommeermolen

Geijlwijckerweg 10, Aalsmeer, Nederland
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Royal FloraHolland Flower Auction

A bike route through Aalsmeer and its surroundings is not complete without a floral element. 90% of the Dutch cut flower and plant trade goes under auction at Royal FloraHolland, making it the largest flower auction in Europe. Flowers and plants from all over the world are supplied by trucks for auction here. Would you like to see how the auction works? Then you’ll have to get up early, because it starts at 7:00.

Flower Auction Royal FloraHolland

Legmeerdijk 313, Aalsmeer, Nederland
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Watertoren Aalsmeer

From the flowers you can cycle to water: the Westeinderplassen. It is not a lighthouse on the edge of the Westeinderplassen, but a water tower. The Watertoren is not only the pride and joy of Aalsmeer, but it was also voted the most beautiful water tower in the Netherlands. Climb up the tower for a great view over the Westeinderplassen. You need to check the opening times in advance, because there is a nest box where peregrine falcons breed. You can’t climb the tower during their breeding season. 

Watertoren Aalsmeer

Kudelstaartseweg 16, Aalsmeer, Nederland
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Fort in Kudelstaart

This fort is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, a line of defence built around Amsterdam. Enemies could be kept at a safe distance by flooding the polders. However, by the time this fort (built in 1906) and the rest of the line was finished, aircrafts were already able to drop bombs. No shots were ever fired. A piece of history during the bike tour through Aalsmeer.

Fort Kudelstaart

Fort bij Kudelstaart, Kudelstaartseweg 96a, 1433 Kudelstaart, Nederland
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Soap Studio Uzepia

An artisan is a good word to describe Leontien from Uzepia. She makes and sells countless varieties of soap in her little studio. She uses no chemical ingredients, only oils, goat milk and donkey milk. She is full of enthusiasm about her soaps. This is an unmissable Aalsmeer attraction along the bike route.

Soap Studio Uzepia

Herenweg 23A, Kudelstaart, Nederland
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Smoked eel at Rekelhof Fisheries

All that cycling makes you hungry. Especially when you catch a sniff of fresh eel as you cycle past Theo Rekelhof’s shop. Theo casts his nets out on the Westeinderplassen nearly every day, catches eels and then smokes them himself. So, park up your bike and visit his shop on the Herenweg. You won’t have tried tastier and fresher eels than this.

On to the rural part of the bike route in Aalsmeer

Jump back on your bike. And on to Bilderdam. Along the way the landscape becomes more rural, because you are cycling down the towpath along the Drecht. Stop at Teahouse [H]eerlijk, next to the Tolhuissluis. The lock balances the difference in water level between the Amstel and the Rhine. For a long time, this was an important shipping route between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Drecht ends at the lock and the Amstel takes over. The bike path is pleasant along here because there are no cars.

Another nice place to stop is at Vrouwenwakker dairy farm. Koos and Monique keep cows and pigs here. You can buy their homemade dairy products in the farm shop. A nice souvenir to take home.

Historical Garden Aalsmeer

The name Aalsmeer is synonymous with the largest flower and plant auction house in the world. As well as flower trading, there are plenty of plants and flowers grown in the area. You can see and experience how it all started in this museum. There is an exhibition space, and ‘old flowers’ and plants are grown in the greenhouses and gardens. You can find things here like roses that you can no longer buy at florists. How do you find it? It’s simple, just be guided by their old-fashioned scent. These days, flowers are grown for their shelf life and not for their smell. It is an interesting place to visit during your bike ride through Aalsmeer.

Historical Garden Aalsmeer

Praamplein, Aalsmeer, Nederland
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Islands and strawberries on the Uiterweg

There are countless islands on both sides of the Uiterweg. Strips of peat where strawberries were grown in the mid-19th century. The strawberry was so important to Aalsmeer that it gave its colours to their flag: red, green and black. These colours represent the fruit, the leaf and the earth. There is also an ‘Aardbeienbrug’ (Strawberry bridge), which can be found on the Uiterweg at number 106.

The ferry takes you from the end of the Uiterweg to the Aalsmeerderdijk. Once safe and dry on the other side, you can cycle back to Aalsmeer centre. On the way back, you have a view over the peat islands.

Surf Island Aalsmeer

Kudelstaartseweg 20, Kudelstaart, Nederland
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