Open boat route: Over land, over sea
This varied route is perfect for a journey lasting a whole day or a tour lasting several days with an open boat. Sail from the Gooimeer or IJmeer over open water. Enjoy the stunning panoramas, inviting islands, majestic locks and green Almere. It is almost impossible to believe that not even 100 years ago, this was all water.
If you are starting in Almere Haven, you can rent an open boat at Ally Bootverhuur.
Sights on this route
Cappuccino (from junction 34)
Start your open boat tour from Almere Haven – Tip! Muiden (junction 52) is also a great starting point for this route. If you do not have your own open boat, then Ally Bootverhuur has a great luxurious open boat waiting for you. De Havenkom in Almere Haven makes a fine base camp with a boulevard full of terraces, right next to the Gooimeer. After your first cappuccino of the day, take hold of the steering. You’re going to exchange land for the water.
Towards the IJmeer two mini islands soon appear on the port side (left), with a sheltered bay between them. Together they form De Schelp island, near Jachthaven Naarden. On a sunny summer’s day it resembles a tropical island, with shady woods. A great place to spend a couple of hours doing absolutely nothing. During the day you are welcome to moor there, but you can also spend the night!
Natuureiland ‘t Hooft
Then you sail on the IJmeer, with ’t Hooft island. This nature island off the coast of Muiden is only open to visitors from sunrise to sunset. The island appears rough and adventurous with sand dunes and wild roses. You will see and hear many songbirds and aquatic birds. More at the quay and go off and explore. On a summer’s day you can even take a swim at one of the beaches.
Sail past ’t Hooft island from the green buoy IJM13 to the corner of Flevoland. Past the Oostvaardersdijk you will find the Pampushaven, a sheltered port of refuge and spot to anchor with lots of space and peace and quiet. According to insiders this is the best place for an exclusive sunset with the metropolitan region in the background. Would you like to experience that? Moor at the quay to spend the night.
NB! To sail to junction 51 you have to go around Pampushaven, there is no way through the harbour.
Bird Paradise (junction 51)
Continue sailing past the Oostvaardersdijk towards Oostvaardersdiep (junction 51). Behind the dike you can see the protected nature reserve Lepelaarplassen. This bird paradise with the sea eagle as its icon is part of Nieuw Land National Park. You will soon pass by, after going through the Zuidersluis lock.
The Zuidersluis offers good practice for operating a lock. You will encounter several more along this route, but this is the most impressive one with no less than 5 m difference in height! To operate this lock, call the central number (telephone number +31 (0)320 – 767 610 or VHF85, at most 1 hour beforehand). Or use the register button at the lock.
Lepelaarplassen (junctions 15, 71, 24)
From the lock you sail into the inland waterway of Almere. This is the Hoge Vaart, with the Lepelaarplassen on the starboard side (right). After passing the intersections at junctions 15 and 71, you can moor at Schateiland/Camping Waterhout (junction 24) to explore the Lepelaarplassen on foot. Over the Trekvogelpad past the Hoge Vaart, you arrive at De Lepelaar observation hut in 15 minutes. Here you have a majestic view over the nature reserve. With a bit of luck, you may spot the sea eagle!
Pirates and treasures? (junctions 19, 50, 81)
At Schateiland/Camping Waterhout you are in the Noorderplassen. There are more islands here with exciting names, like Muiterseiland [mutiny island], Pirateneiland [pirate island] and Zeeroverseiland [buccaneer island]. The story goes that pirates scoured this area in the days when the wild Zuiderzee still churned here...If you have children with you, moor somewhere here (for a maximum of 3x 24 hours) for a journey of discovery. Grab a spot on a terrace on the water at Brasserie Tien (Waterhout camping), Boathouse restaurant or De Kapitein.
Beatrixpark (junction 28)
From the Koning Willem-Alexanderwetering sail to the Beatrixsluis lock. Further on you will encounter yet another lock. Fun tip: at this self-service lock you initiate the locking process yourself by pushing a button. It is entirely automatic. Calmly sail into the lock like an experienced skipper or moor by the waiting quay until the light turns green.
When the sluice gates open, you move into the green oasis that is the Beatrixpark. With all of its bridges, it resembles a modern version of Giethoorn. Names like Krijgertjebrug [little warrior bridge], Wipbrug [seesaw bridge] and Touwspringbrug [skip rope bridge] give the game away that this is the domain of playing children. It is delightful to meander in your open boat down the broad promenade. And fun to watch people and be seen by them. This is the best place to moor for a picnic. You can also get access to a playground or play Almere miniature golf.
Growing Green Cities (junction 13)
The Olstgracht brings you deeper into the city. At the Pier you sail into the Weerwater. Suddenly, you see the imposing Floriade terrain in all its glory. A visit to the Floriade 2022 is highly recommended. The theme of this world horticultural expo is Growing Green Cities. It remains open through 9 October 2022. Moor by the beach pavilion Strand 22 at the Esplanade, enjoy a bite to eat and drink, and wander over the terrain. Would you prefer just to sail past it? Then moor in the little harbour at De Fantasie.
TIP! Go water-skiing or wakeboarding at Cable Park VIEW Almere!
Maximum enjoyment (junctions 83, 77)
Via junction 83 and junction 77 you sail in the direction of the Boswachterij Almeerderhout. Just go through the Kromme Weteringsluis lock and then you can enjoy all that greenery. The area consists of different wooded areas, and there are even beavers. From the open boat you may see traces of beavers. You can moor in the inner harbour of the Recreatieterrein Waterlandse bos.
Castle (junction 39)
At the fork at junction 39, you enter the Lange Wetering. If you have time, sail first in the direction of junction 17 (Hoge Vaart) before returning to Almere Haven (junction 34).
After a few minutes Kasteel Almere will appear on the port side (left). If you want, you can spend the night here at one of the free berths.
Havenaren (junction 34)
When you are ready to start the journey back to Almere Haven, keep going to junction 34. On this last piece of the route you sail through the oldest section of Almere. The residential neighbourhoods are surrounded here by greenery. It feels like a village. It’s not surprising that the residents call themselves Havenaren. After a number of bridges, you will arrive at the last challenge of this tour in half an hour: going through the Havenkomsluis lock. Always fun and exciting!
Havenkom (junction 34)
After this cruising adventure, enjoy relaxing on one of the terraces by the water. Tip: get an ice cream from Mariola Ijssalon (Promenade Almere Haven, right behind the inner harbour)!