It's a lot more than three hundred and twenty kilometres.
We made it without too much of a struggle, and had nice weather to boot. Whilst the cycling was not terribly challenging it was a genuine surprise and pleasure to see the varied coastal landscapes in the Netherlands again. The dune sections were lovelier than we remembered them and we'd be happy to do the West coast again in the near future. Next time though, I'd like to take the route via the Wadden Islands for a change. Maybe the route is shorter than the three hundred and sixty kilometres it turned out to be.
We were lucky to have had mostly favourable winds. In flat coastal landscapes there is simply nowhere to hide from a headwind. You just have to keep on plugging along with head down. We learned this the hard way a few years ago on a tour of Zeeland. Our Easter adventure (and autumn day from Nieuweschans to Delfzijl) would have been very different if we had had to battle with headwinds.
The distance was fine for four days and had Paul myself and Damae not had to work the following day then we might well have pushed on to Nieuweschans, around forty kilometres further. Karen did not find it exciting cycling but found it enjoyable enough. Having now done this we can say that what is interesting is the scale of the flat polder and high sea dyke landscape. It is also interesting to see the similarities between the Dutch and Danish NSCR routes and landscape. We have noticed that culturally these countries seem closer each other than say either of them with Norway.
If you are thinking of doing a section of the NSCR as a try-out then the Dutch route has a lot to recommend it. Whilst with favourable conditions you can whizz round in a few days, there is also lots to see on the way should you wish to take more time for the trip. Although nowhere near as impressive as the Norwegian NSCR, the Dutch coast is much, much easier going. The only hills of any significance are the dune sections, and the road surfaces are consistently better than on the Danish NSCR. The only potential pitfall, as with all exposed coastal routes, is to make sure you have the wind with you. Our advice is to check the forecast before you go and choose your starting point accordingly.
Getting to your starting point is relatively painless with a good train network, which is a good option from mainland Europe and flying to Schiphol which is also connected to the railway network. From the UK there are ferry services that conveniently drop you in some cases right on the route.
The NSCR in the Netherlands is not only a good introduction to what the country has to offer as a cycling holiday destination, but also a great place to start your own North Sea Cycle Saga. We certainly enjoyed ourselves.