When to go

The Dutch cycle all year round, whatever the weather. They have to, as the bicycle is an important means of transport. People use their bikes to go to work, school or the shops. When the weather is good, the Dutch enjoy going out for recreational cycle rides. Each season is beautiful in its own way. So if you happen to be in Holland and the weather is fine, just get on your bicycle and enjoy the scenery. Although summer is the main holiday season, some landscapes are at their best at other times of the year.

Cycling through the seasons. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com

Best time for cycling

Weather wise the best months for cycling in Holland are May to October. The busiest months are July and August, when the Dutch have their school holidays. If you want to avoid the crowds, why not try springtime? You have a fair chance of good weather and that's when you’ll see Holland at its best.

For an overview of the Dutch national holidays, go to our Shops page.

Dutch Weather

Rain

Holland has a lot of water: rivers, canals and lakes. All this water might suggest that it rains a lot in Holland - and many Dutch cyclists would agree. Actually, statistics point out that it rains only 7% of the time, and the average rainfall is about 800 mm a year. Don’t let a little rain scare you off. Just make sure you’ve got reliable waterproof clothing that keeps you dry on the inside and you should be okay.

Some cyclists use the wind to their advantage! Photo © Holland-Cycling.com

Some cyclists use the wind to their advantage! Photo © Holland-Cycling.com

Wind

The flat and open landscapes of Holland are very exposed. Good for windmills, not for cyclists. The Dutch jokingly claim that when cycling on a dyke, they always have a headwind. When they turn back, the wind turns with them!

This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but still wind is a factor you will need to consider when planning your trip. The prevailing wind is West to South West. Take this into account when you’re planning to do a long-distance route. Statistically this gives you the biggest chance of favourable winds.

If you’re doing a day trip, find out the weather forecast. Let the wind direction determine which way round to do your route. If it's possible, do the open and exposed bits with the wind from behind. There is nothing more fun than whizzing through the countryside with a strong wind in your back!

Dutch Weather statistics

Holland has a temperate maritime climate with cool summers and moderate winters. On average it gets about 800 mm rain every year and 1600 hours of sunshine. The coast tends to be cooler, but enjoys more hours of sunshine than areas further inland.

Graphics © Holland-Cycling.com

Average temperature in Centigrade

Hours of sunshine per month

Rainfall per month (in mm)

Dutch landscapes at their best

Although summer is the main holiday season, some landscapes are at their best at other times of the year. Seeing the fruit trees in bloom, or the tulip fields with their splendid colours will turn your cycle trip into a very memorable experience.

Type of landscape At its best Main regions
Tulip fields In bloom from the end of March to the beginning of May.
Fruit trees In bloom from the second half of April to the first half of May.
  • Betuwe
  • Kromme Rijn Region
  • Zuid Limburg
Woodlands
  • Fresh spring colours: April - May
  • Autumn colours: October - November
Heath Blooms in splendid purple colours from August to September.
  • Veluwe
  • Utrechtse Heuvelrug
  • Drente
  • Noord Brabant
  • Limburg
  • Sallandse Heuvelrug
Wetlands and rivers Early in the season when the reed hasn't grown too high you get the best views. It is also the time the birds are nesting.