New Land Lelystad
Have you ever been to a city on the seabed? Lelystad is not quite Atlantis but is the youngest coastal city in the Netherlands. Named after Cornelis Lely, a politician and civil engineer. He designed the Zuiderzee Works, turning the Zuider Zee (Southern Sea) into a lake and converting the seabed into dry land.
Level 1: Lelystad Centre – Natuurpark Lelystad
7,7 km (± 27 mins)
1a. Lelystad The first part of the route runs through the Boswijk neighbourhood following the Gelderse Diep (canal).
1b. Natuurpark Lelystad Soon you’re cycling in Natuurpark Lelystad. Otters, storks, wild boars, elks, European bison, Père David’s deer (native to China). With all this nature, they’re not always easy to find. Helpfully, the otters are fed daily at 15:00 pm. The foresters at the visitor centre (12:00 – 17:00) will be happy to tell you all about the park and the latest animal news. Hajé restaurant (10:30 – 17:00) is located at the heart of the park. Perfect for coffee or a tasty, healthy lunch.
Level 2: Natuurpark Lelystad – Oostvaardersplassen
13,8 km (± 48 mins)
2a. Exploration Detour: Aviodrome From cycling to flying: Aviodrome is a nice detour. Flight simulators, 4D cinema experience and a unique collection of over 100 planes.
2b. Hollandse Hout This forest was planted in 1971 with high poplars and lies four meters below sealevel.
2c. Oostvaardersplassen A unique nature reserve of international importance as a swamp and habitat for birds. Large herds of Heck cattle, Konik horses (originally from Poland) and red deer are grazing in the grassy area and are visible from various viewpoints around the reserve.
2d. The Oostvaardersplassen Visitors Centre This information centre is the perfect starting point for various hiking and cycling routes. The restaurant’s terrace or the adjacent crow’s nest have a magnificent view over the ponds. With a bit of luck, you can spot the only nesting white-tailed eagles in the country, which have become the icon of the New Land National Park.
2e. Historic werkeiland Land reclamation of Eastern Flevoland started in 1950 from a “work island” in the middle of the IJsselmeer. Dikes were constructed, a harbour created and wooden barracks built. Soon followed by stone buildings. The complex is now recognized as a municipal monument.
Level 3: Oostvaardersplassen – City Centre
12,5 km (± 43 mins)
3a. Bataviakwartier Batavia was the capital of the Dutch East Indies, named after the Batavians, the Roman name for the Low Countries. Batavialand brings the Dutch relationship with water to life. Reclamation, dike building, expeditions around the world and overseas trade. From here, several ferries can take you to the newest land in the area: the Marker Wadden.
De Batavia A traditional 17th century Dutch shipbuilding yard. The highlight: the Batavia, a reconstruction of a VOC ship from the Dutch Golden Age, with guides telling stories of its adventures on the high seas. Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet This was the first fashion outlet centre in the Netherlands. Home to over 250 international fashion and lifestyle brands. Maybe best to leave your credit card at home.
3b. Experience Detour: Houtribsluizen and Exposure The new land landscape and the Flevoland high voltage pylons as a nervous system were the source of inspiration for Exposure, a gigantic land art sculpture by Antony Gormley. It will react over time to the changing environment such as the rising of the sea level.
3c. Back to City Centre Visit one of the many restaurants to eat and drink. Train leaves from here for Amsterdam.