A 2-fold tour – through the dunes to Den Haag and back through villages (78km)

by Daniela
Den Haag 78km tour including route
This 78km tour is unique as it allows you to see the best from two worlds, the dunes with tourist spots and Den Haag with surrounding villages.
The first half of the tour pass along the coast through dunes. Here you can collect some elevation meters.
You arrive in Den Haag. The roads back lead you through various towns.
The tour starts in Lisse, a town 7km away from the dunes.
GPX Files: 4_CH&b_78km
All practical information you find at the end of the post.

Parking and starting point of the tour to Den Haag

You can park your car in the center of Lisse, where we start the tour today.
Of course, you can start the tour from any tourist town, like Noordwijk or Katwijk. However, I don’t recommend it unless you have a parking spot during your vacation. Otherwise, it only costs money you don’t need to spend in Lisse, as free parking is available. And it can be crowded during Summer time in Noordwijk and Katwijk.
Parking in Lisse for Den Haag Tour

Let's get ready to head to the coast

From Lisse, you go straight to the dunes. It takes about 7 km. At km 2, you pass by the Keukenhof. This is one of the major tourist attractions in this area. During spring time they display beautiful flower fields and arrangements.
You also pass the Keukenhof Castle with a small forest around. Maybe you will head there after the tour. There is a little cafe as well.
Den Haag drive by Keukenhof

In the area you are in, called Bollenstreek (flower bulb area), there are many artistic bulbs to see.

Den Haag Bollenstreek tour

After 7 km cycling through, what in the springtime are flower fields, you reach the dunes. Turn left and enter the small cycling path, which you will stay on until you get to Den Haag. You just leave the dune trails for cycling on the boulevard of Katwijk and Noordwijk.

Collect elevation meters

Cycling in The Netherlands usually means fighting against the wind, not the mountains. Especially on the coast, cycling in the dunes is the only way to gain some elevation meters. Of course, we are not talking about huge obstacles, but it is good enough to increase your heart rate for a while.

Noordwijk aan Zee Boulevard

After about 13 km, you arrive in Noordwijk, one of the touristic hot spots on the coast of Zuid Holland. Over the years, it became a bit outdated, and the boulevard with its hotels is undergoing quite some renovation (2022). Thus, you see some cranes and constructing fences.

Nevertheless, it is still a nice place for a drink or meal, especially in the beach tents down by the waterfront.

Noordwijk aan Zee has two boulevards. The one you drive through first, the Koningin Wilhelmina Boulevard, is the main and most popular one. That’s also where the shopping area of Noordwijk aan Zee is located. After a right turn, you enter the second boulevard. The Konigin Astrid Boulevard. This one is much calmer than the Koningin Wilhelmina Boulevard.
Continuing on the boulevard leads you straight into the dunes again.
The cycling paths are narrow and winding but in super condition.

Katwijk aan Zee Boulevard

After another couple of kilometers, you enter the next village, Katwijk aan Zee. Katwijk is also touristic, but not as much as Noordwijk. Also, the boulevard isn’t home to that many large hotels or restaurants.
So, if you want a less crowded place, you will like it here. They also have beach bars and restaurants at the waterfront.
One thing I find pretty cool about Katwijk aan Zee is that they have underground parking. So it does not even look flooded with cars in the Summer time.
Katwijk underground parking

On the way to Den Haag

The next stop is Den Haag. To get there, you enter the dunes cycling paths again when leaving Katwijk after 20km.
On this path, you stay for another 12-13 km. The cycling track is a little bit wider than the ones before. You can also spot little lakes within the dunes area. You pass by a couple of lookout points. I recommend walking up at least one, as the view is gorgeous. On a good day, you can see all the way to Den Hague/Scheveningen.
Den Haag Dunes on 78km tour
Overlook point Den Haag 78km
See to Den Haag from overlook point 78km
At the end of the dunes, you find a water dispenser on the right-hand side of a square. (Note: There are plenty before in Noordwijk and Katwijk if you really need to reload earlier.)
You also find a café and a public restroom on that square.
The end of the dunes area is pretty much marked by a tower (from the Dutch Water Company Dunea). It is called Watertoren Scheveningen. Scheveningen is a district of Den Haag with a waterfront boulevard, a beach, and an amusement pier.
Watertoren Den Haag

Entering Den Haag

After passing by the water tower, the way continues for a few hundred meters along the so-called Oostduinen (= East Dunes).
You reach a stop light and see the packed streets of Den Hague and Scheveningen.
However, we turn left before the stoplight to avoid those main streets.
You go parallel to a larger street from here, but your path is always separated by trees.
All the time in Den Haag, you hardly ever realize that you are in this bustling city as you always take minor roads and cycling paths.
Den Haag Backroads

After passing a cycling bridge to cross a large street (km 37), you pass by the Louwman Museum. If you are interested in automobile history, this is a great place to visit.

Right after the museum, you enter a small city forest.

Den Haag Louwman museum

Remaining part of the Tour

Between about km 39 and 43 (Leidschendam), you cycle along larger roads but always on good quality cycling paths.
After that, you cycle through a very tranquil area, including Vlietland. It is a large park that offers many activities, like watersports, camping, or recreational hiking/biking.
Taking the backroads from Den Haag
At km 51, you pass through Vlietwijk and then Adegeest. In Adegeest, at km 52, you turn left to enter a sports park area. It looks like a dead-end road, but no worries, it is the passing road. It’s just a bit confusing.
Starting at km 54, you pass the outer areas of Leiden up to Oegstgeest. These 7 or 8 km are not quiet and are probably the least fun part of the tour. Unfortunately, there is no way around this unless you considerably detour Leiden’s Eastern side.
I might do that at a later time to offer you an alternative.
Leaving Oegstgeest at km 61, you head straight back to Lisse, where you started.
If you are a racing bike fan, and I guess you are, you might know the company Tacx. On your way back to Lisse, you pass their headquarters in Oosteinde.
Tacx Headquater on Den Haag tour 78km

For some km, you cycle next to highway A44. But no worries, you use a cycling path that runs below the highway level, so you do not see it.

Den Haag back nice cycling paths

Before heading back to the parking, you pass by another of the artistic flower bulbs. From there, you already see the “skyline” of Lisse.

Skyline of Lisse Den Haag tour

Practical Information

Parking: in front of the Gemeentehuis Lisse (Adress: Heerenweg 254, 2161BS Lisse)

Water Dispenser: Watertoren Scheveningen (km 35), numerous along the boulevards of Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee 

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