It is possible for anyone with reasonable fitness to be able to cycle to Isle of Marken and back in a day.
For those who are a little more adventurous from Isle of Marken you can get a ferry accross to Volendam and then sort of make a day of it and a circular tour and come accross and back down South to Amsterdam.
All you need is a good Map and a sense of adventure. and Sandwiches and something to drink is good idea - although there are eating places at Isle of Marken and Volendam (a fish Restaurant at the former and at the latter - well the front at Volendam was very touristy so many many Restaurants/ Bars - full of local people too - ao good to come here - it is full of Dutch people - unlike Amsterdam. You can also try a Herring Sandwich - (Haring Brodje) although i got ill after having one here - but was no bother in Amsterdam) - maybe i overdid it with the Fish thing - because i did also have Fish Soup at the Fisher Restaurant at Isle of Marken.
BE PREPARED: For Wind and Rain - you are next to the North Sea here - you will probably get Wind and Rain all in the same day - as we had. However on the Isle of Marken and in Volendam when the clouds cleared the views accross the Sea were beautiful.
What to bring:
1. Something warm and Raincoat
2. Sunglasses (Yes it rains one moment - then Sun comes out - like in England)
3. Bread - so you can feed the Birds - they come onto your hand at the Isle of Marken.
PS - You do of course have to cross the Water to the North of Amsterdam Central Station to get here but ferries run throughout the whole day - and it is free - and they take you bikes free.
SHORTER ROUTE - If one wants to see a very typical very old Dutch village - then one can just come to Durgerdam and then cycle back from here - you go through here to Isle of Marken - but Durgerdan is not so far away - the Sea is however a long way from here - because it is now Marshes here - but nice to see the very very old houses and the very narrow brick paved street through here.
VOLENDAM - Ok a little more info. What i can tell you is that although Isle of Marken appears as a very nice quiet place - Volendam is in stark contrast and at the Weekend it was very lively - but i quite liked this too - coming out of Amsterdam this was as close as i came to the culture of the Dutch people having a good time. It felt like proper Holland.
i was the only one on the full bus who had come alone....however aving been in similar situations plenty of times I was not feeling too out of place. The first stop was the open air museum of Zannse Schans, it was breath takingly beautiful with such picture perfect windmills. I skipped the tour of the shoe factory so I could have more time with the wind mills! After spending a full hour there we were then taken to volendam- a fishing village jus half hour away from Amsterdam! Who would have belived it! A very picturesque village, touristy none-the less beautiful! Cobblestone paths leading upto the port that was full of amazing storks and gulls! One of the storks was so close to me, my shadow was falling on her! Obviously I couldn't stop taking photos of her! A totally unforgettable moment in my life!
A stroll by the road revealed a Volendam museum (which I didn't enter) next to which I picked some vanilla ice cream that totally made me reminiscent of my school days in bangalore!
Then the tour included a boat ride toMarken- another fishing village round the corner. As we headed off in the boat I caught some amazing pictures of yachts plying the-lake, I was surprised to be told!! I thought we were plying the sea till I was corrected by the comentary of my guide!
However the town of Marken was straight out of a fairy tale with green and blackhouses bordered neatly with white paint, more cats than humans and amazingly well decorated windows in almost every house!!I was amazed at the life's of the people here!! I totally appreciated the effort each of them had put in to make their houses so pretty and quaint!!! Hopefully I have learnt some tricks I can use in bangalore later!
We then boarded our bus to get back to the din of amsterdam at around seven in the evening.....
One easy and cheap daytrip is to take the bus N.110(7strips at your stippenkart) from Central Station to VOLENDAM(only 20' away). It's a touristic but nice fishing village with a lovely picturesque harbor, cheaper souvenir shops than Amsterdam, nice cafe/pubs near the sea and there is a store than you can get photographed in traditional costumes. The people are profesional so the picture you take will be better than you imagine. Go early because many tourists do the same.
After that you can take the boat (4euros) to MARKEN which is a nice peaceful village, stroll around the nice wooden houses and return back to Amsterdam with bus N.111(6strips at your stippenkard)
Amsterdam is great but you might want to go to Volendam for a few hours, I say its really worth it. It's a little fishing type of town about 20mins from Amsterdam. Theres countless souvenirs shops (better than Amsterdam's) so you can either shop or just stroll along the beach... I loved it :)
A small town a few miles from Amsterdam that makes a great day trip
Its a really beautiful area down at the harbour, especially if its a nice sunny day. Its great just to stroll around and I would recommend sitting eating a relaxing lunch on the harbour wall if its a good day! It is very touristy but you can see people there in traditional national costume.
Check out my Volendam page for more pics
The trip to Volendam is a nice break from Amsterdam. Take the boat for a pleasant day out. Here we are approaching Volendam.
If you get the chance, then visit this cute fishing village on the IJsselmeer. It is a very touristy area but everything is so nice there that it's worth a look...
This is a poffertjes stall in Volendam. Poffertjes are kind of very small pancakes, usually served with sugar & butter. Delicious!