As you might have guessed, Rotterdam is closely linked with the river Rotte – the city is named after a dam in the river, right where the city market is today. The Rotte is my standard cycling training route. From the city center to the A12 highway and back, what I call the Tour de Rotte, is 35 kilometers. It’s like a mini-escape from the city, into picture-classic Dutch landscapes, with cows in open fields, wind-swept lakes and, of course, windmills. The Rotte is crossed by a multitude of bridges and even a tiny solar-powered ferry, so you can cross at almost any point and go back to the other bank.
Recreational options along the banks of the Rotte are endless – you can even go climbing or skiing, at any day of the year! But the Rotte is probably best experienced from the water. There are multiple boat-hiring locations on the Rotte (like here, here and here), where you can rent everything from a one-man kayak to a party-ship or a sailing yacht. A word of advice if you’re cycling – mind the wind. It usually blows away from the city, so that you might find the way back taking twice as long.