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The 5 most beautiful cycling routes on IJsselmonde Island in Rotterdam

By Mathilde Simon
May 26, 2021

Are you in Rotterdam for a weekend and do you want to go out into nature? From the heart of Rotterdam you can easily reach Island IJsselmonde, a surprisingly varied and undiscovered area.

Here you will find green oases with beautiful forests, landscaped gardens and historic farms. Beautiful cycling routes take you across the island via dikes, woods and river paths. ‘Discover IJsselmonde’ has listed the 5 most beautiful cycling routes for you.

For more fun routes, be sure to check the website of Discover IJsselmonde and discover what else this beautiful part of Rotterdam has to offer!


1. Cycling route “Undiscovered IJsselmonde”

This 37-kilometer cycle route starts at the Erasmus Bridge and takes you further and further out of the city via the Blue Connection along the Zuiderpark and Zuidelijk Randpark.

Discover the beautiful polder area of Koedood, where Highlanders graze on the banks, and the historic farms on the Essendijk. Make sure to stop at the farm ‘de Buytenhof’, with a picking garden and café.

Then you cycle to the ‘Carnisse griende’, a special piece of nature where the tides of the Oude Maas provide unique flora and fauna. You can get off here for a short walk through willow paths.

Then cycle further along tree-lined paths and follow the river Waaltje where picnic benches, a beach and swimming platform also offer a nice stop. You will eventually return to the city via the Kooiwalbos.


2. Cycling route with the water bus to the highlights

Photo: Michel Mees

Would you like to combine cycling and sailing? This super varied route takes you through the city and nature.

From the Erasmus Bridge you can take your bicycle on the Waterbus to Heijplaat, a unique part of Rotterdam where you can drink a cup of coffee between old warehouses and containers. Via the working harbours you cycle to Pernis, with beautiful old dike houses.

After this, the route through nature begins. Follow the Oude Maas river on a wide cycle path. Be sure to get off along the way to view the Visserijgriend and the Ruigeplaatbos. Via the green banks of the river you then cycle on to the Rhoon and Carnis ‘grienden’, which are also worth a stopover, with their endless rows of pollard willows.

You cycle further through typical Dutch landscape. After a visit to the beautiful arboretum Munnikenpark, you can take the waterbus back to Rotterdam in Hendrik Ido Ambacht.


3. Cycling route “The rough round of IJsselmonde”

This bike tour of approximately 3.5 hours takes you along the rugged places of IJsselmonde. You cycle through the “bathtub” of Rotterdam. Due to the polder past, the IJsselmonde district is low and the streets are flooded after a heavy rain shower.

Your first green stop is the Eiland van Brienenoord, a nice place to take a walk. Then cycle on to the dike village Oud-IJsselmonde, with its classic dike. Historical dikes take you past small dike houses that contrast nicely with the urban skyline.

The varied route visits various green parks and eventually takes you to the end station Rotterdam Lombardijen.


4. Cycling route “The best of IJsselmonde”

Photo: Michel Mees

During this 44-kilometer cycle route you will discover the highlights of the versatile island of IJsselmonde.

The route starts at the Pendrecht windmill in the Zuidelijk Randpark and leads via dike villages to the banks of the Oude Maas. You will pass Koedood, a polder where Scottish Highlanders graze along a dammed river, and the Rhoon and Carnis ‘grienden’.

Cycle further through the Johannapolder and past the castle of Rhoon where you can get off to admire the beautiful castle garden.

Hungry? Stop along the way for a delicious pancake at Pancake House Oude Maas, or cycle a short distance and eat something tasty at De Buytenhof farm in Rhoon. You can also buy a picnic there or pick your own fruit and flowers.


5. Cycling route “The green southern edge of Rotterdam”

Photo: Marloes Kemming

During this 43-kilometer cycle tour you will be surprised by the green Zuiderpark, old country houses, farmlands and above all the mighty river Oude Maas.

You cycle along the car-free green bank, straight through nature. Here you can look out over grasslands, groves and the unique ‘grienden’; former willow plantations where nature is allowed to take its course nowadays. Narrow paths and deck paths invite you to take a walk here.

For a cup of coffee or a good lunch you can take a seat at Restaurant Abel. Then cycle a bit further to admire the castle of Rhoon with its beautiful garden. Beautiful green parks take you back to Rotterdam.

This is the perfect bike ride to optimally enjoy greenery and water along the way.


Want to know more? For more information about the cycling routes and the beautiful nature reserves on Eiland IJsselmonde, visit their website.

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