The area between Lek and Linge is blessed with diverse landscapes, from the serene banks of both rivers to lush green meadows, picturesque orchards and charming old farm estates. The scenery here is a true feast for the eyes. Exploring the region on foot or by bike allows you to experience its beauty up close and connect with nature in a way that is both relaxing and sporty. Get a taste of the authentic Dutch countryside with these tips to explore the region between Lek and Linge:
Sights and Activities between Lek and Linge
One of the best and easiest ways to discover the Dutch countryside, is to hop on a bike and to follow a cycling network of waypoints. We cycled the 44 km (27 mi) long Ontdek & Beleef route (Discover & Experience route). Along the way you will experience a mix of nature, history, culture, regional products and crafts.
Of course the Dutch polder landscape is as flat as a pancake, but the wind can blow strongly here, so renting an electric bike is not a superfluous luxury. So we were very happy with the electric rental bikes from Janssen Tweewielers in Vianen, which made this route a little easier for us.
Along the way you wil see many charming farmhouses with beautifully maintained gardens. These gardens are often bordered by narrow canals where ducks float around.
It probably doesn't get more Dutch than this view of a 19th century windmill with meadows and grazing cows in the background. Just outside the town of Meerkerk you will find Molen den Bonk (also called Bonkmolen) on the banks of the Merwedecanal. Until 1945 this mill was used for draining the Lakerveld polder. Nowadays the mill can be visited occasionally on Saturday afternoon when the miller is present.
We enjoyed many beautiful views during our cycle tour, but every now and then you should get off your bike to take in the silence and green environment. At this place it was so wonderfully quiet with only the sound of birds and the rustling of the reeds. During the day we were treated on many encounters with herons and even storks.
Many farmers sell their fresh produce in front of their farmhouse in cute little unattended stalls like this one. Sales are based on the principle of fair payment for what you take with you. We have seen fruits, vegetables, eggs, jams, juices and honey being sold on the side of the road. So it's advisable to bring a shopping bag so you can do your grocery shopping for your dinner along the way.
Dutch Master of glass art
Glass Studio 'De Oude Horn' is located in this beautiful pumping station along the Linge, which dates back to 1857. As of the year 1977 craftsman Bernard Heesen (who is called the Dutch Master of glass art) established his impressive glass studio here. Unfortunately we came by on a closing day, so make sure you stop by on the first Sunday of the month, between 12:00 and 17:00.
Leerdam is known as the Dutch hub for glassmaking. The cities' first glass factory (for bottles) opened its doors in 1765, and until this day this craftsmanship is still flourishing. Visitors can witness artisans in action at the Glasblazerij (glass studio) and gain insight into the artistry behind the shimmering glass masterpieces.
Just outside of the city center of Leerdam you will find the National Glassmuseum located in two villas of former glass factory directors. Nowadays the villas are connected by footbridges which makes it, in my opinion, a unique architectural masterpiece. The museum has an extensive collection of Dutch glass from around 1880 to the present day
Find all my recommendations about Leerdam here:
After our bike tour we went to Vreeswijk for dinner (more about the restaurant later in this blog post), which is a neighbourhood of Nieuwegein. It's a nice area to walk around and to enjoy the historical buildings along the Oude Sluis and the Lek.
One of the nicest sights in Vreeswijk is the Platte Brug (Flat Bridge) with is only accessible to pedestrians and cyclist. This double drawbridge has been in use since 1875.
Coffee and Sweets between Lek and Linge
Kaatjes Theetuin is located at the Diefdijk just outside of Leerdm, along the Ontdek & Beleef cycling route. Scattered throughout the lush garden there are seating areas to take a break with a cup of coffee or lunch, while free-range chickens roam freely between the tables. We stopped here for a cup of coffee and tea, and a piece of delicious home made pecan pie.
Another gem on the stunning Diefdijk is art gallery and coffee/tea garden Brandstof. The charming building is tucked away behind a lush apple orchard and vegetable garden, and has wonderful views over farmland with grazing cows. For us it was the perfect place to relax and unwind with a cup of coffee while enjoying some pretty artworks.
Lunch or dinner between Lek and Linge
The atmospheric Brasserie Het Raadhuis in Vreeswijk has sweeping views over the Lek on one side, and a beautiful view over the Oude Sluis on the other side. Best of both worlds in my opinion! We loved having dinner here, because the positive and radiant energy of owner Gaby and her team gave a very relaxed and pleasant ambience.
The burrata with a fresh salad of cucumber, tomato and pickled onion tasted great, and we also really liked the other dish with black quinoa and crispy fried tofu.
The menu offers a good balance between meat, fish and vegetarian options, and each individual dish comes with a wine suggestion.
Usually we eat vegetarian, but every once in a while we make an exception, and this time we choose this tasteful dish with sea bream and green asparagus. The garlic parmesan fries paired very well.
Always leave room for a dessert! For example, for this delicious poached pineapple with meringue, or tasty rhubarb tiramisu.
Hotel with Breakfast between Lek and Linge
A good night's sleep is very important during a weekend away, especially when you have cycled 44 kilometers against the wind ;) At Hotel Vianen by Valk Exclusief you are sure that you can relax when you have acces to you own private terrace, a whirlpool and a comfy king-size bed.
The breakfast buffet has an abundant choice of all types of fresh bread, fruits, bread toppings, cereals, dairy products and even made to order pancakes and omelettes. Our day stared extra well with an omelette with fresh vegetables and a fresh fruit salad.
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Please note: I was invited to experience a weekend between Lek and Linge