Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Eleven cities tour - The Elfstedentocht

The Elfstedentocht (Eleven cities tour), at almost 200 kilometres (120 mi), is a speed skating match (with 300 contestants) and a leisure skating tour (with 16,000 skaters).

It is held in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands, touching every city (by history) of the province. It is held, in practice in January or February and not more than once in a winter, when the natural ice along the entire course is at least 15 centimetres (6 inch) thick; sometimes on consecutive years, other times with gaps that may exceed 20 years. When the ice is suitable the tour is announced, and starts within 48 hours.

The Elfstedentocht (Eleven cities tour) by ice skating
The Elfstedentocht (Eleven cities tour) by bike


Course and rules
The tour, almost 200 km in length, follows a route along frozen canals, rivers and lakes visiting the eleven historic Frisian cities: Leeuwarden, Sneek, IJlst, Sloten, Stavoren, Hindeloopen, Workum, Bolsward, Harlingen, Franeker, Dokkum, then returning to Leeuwarden. The tour is only if the ice is, and remains, at least 15 centimetres thick along the entire course as about 15,000 amateur skaters may take part, putting high requirements on the quality of the ice. The last tours were held in 1985, 1986 and 1997. All skaters must be members of the Association of the Eleven Frisian Cities. A starting permit is required. Skaters must collect a stamp in each city, and at three secret check points, and must finish the course before midnight.

The finishing point of the Elfstedentocht is a canal near Leeuwarden, called the "Bonkevaart", close to the landmark windmill, De Bullemolen, Lekkum.

The eleven cities
The course of the 1997 Elfstedentocht

The course can vary slightly from race to race, depending on the quality of the ice. The cumulative distance at each checkpoint in 1997 was:

    0 km: Leeuwarden
    22 km: Sneek (municipality Súdwest-Fryslân)
    26 km: IJlst (mun. Súdwest-Fryslân)
    40 km: Sloten (mun. Gaasterlân-Sleat)
    66 km: Stavoren (mun. Súdwest-Fryslân)
    77 km: Hindeloopen (mun. Súdwest-Fryslân)
    86 km: Workum (mun. Súdwest-Fryslân)
    99 km: Bolsward (mun. Súdwest-Fryslân)
    116 km: Harlingen
    129 km: Franeker (mun. Franekeradeel)
    174 km: Dokkum (mun. Dongeradeel)
    199 km: Leeuwarden

One of the tours on Google Map

The Elfstedentocht (Eleven cities tour) by ice skating

Print

The Elfstedentocht (Eleven cities tour) by Bike

Print

 

Latest news

Vermeer - famous Dutch painter from Delft

Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Read more...

Claire Morgan The Sound of Silence - Noord Brabants Museum

Claire Morgan - The Sound of Silence: 8 Oct 2016 t/m 8 Jan 2017.  This autumn, the Noordbrabants Museum will exhibit the intriguing work of a young artist from Northern Ireland, Claire Morgan. After successful exhibitions abroad, including in Britain, this will be her first solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands.

Read more...

Reflex Gallery is delighted to announce a major exhibition of the work of Donald Baechler

Reflex Gallery is delighted to announce a major exhibition of the work of Donald Baechler this September 2016. This will be the first extensive exhibition in the Netherlands for the world-famous American artist.

Read more...

500.000 tulips in bloom during the 2nd edition of Tulp Festival in Amsterdam

500.000 tulips in bloom during the 2nd edition of Tulp Festival in Amsterdam 60 locations , 400 varieties, walking and bike routes.
For the second year in succession, Amsterdam will be decked in the most glorious colours, throughout April and May. During the Tulp Festival 2016 visitors can marvel at more than 500,000 brightly coloured tulips, of more than 400 different varieties, at 60 locations throughout the capital.

Read more...

Netherlands Hotel Reviews by Real Guests

Netherlands Hotel Reviews by Real Guests. Recent reviews for Hotels in the Netherlands. See the reviews FULL Screen?

Read more...

Hotels close to more then 900 landmarks in Holland

A long list of landmarks in the Netherlands. We have this list in alphabetical order to find the city of your choice. Aalden Golfclub de Gelpenberg Book hotels close to this landmark Aalsmeer Aalsmeer Flower Auction Book hotels close to this landmark Aalten Aalten Station Book hotels close to this landmark Abcoude Abcoude Station Book hotels close to this landmark Aduard Zuidhorn Station Book hotels close to this landmark Akkrum Akkrum Station Book hotels close to this landmark

Read more...