Nederlands Deutsch English
Stichting Take Over Vereniging van Kleinschalige Reisorganisaties
Grass path Kanada-Gans bewölkten Himmel Lopikerkapel Libelle Polder path Bessen Polderweg Young swans Church of IJsselstein The river Lek Polder view Kerkepad

Birdwatching in the floodplains

  • Destination: Schoonhoven and IJsselstein
  • Kind of trip: Perfect place to see may different beautiful birds and some fantastic devolping flowers
  • Duration: 2 days (1 night)
  • Difficulty trip:
  • Inclusive: An overnight stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel with breakfast, VAT, city tax, maps, English route directions, GPS track, free parking and a small contribution to Zuid Hollands Landschap (
  • Exclusive: The outward and homeward journey, parking fees, lunch, dinner, lugage transport and travel and cancellation insurance
  • Dog: Dogs not allowed
  • Price:
    • Due to the high inflation, we unfortunately cannot give fixed prices. If the price is higher after booking, you have the possibility to cancel your trip. The prices quoted here are an approximation as good as possible.
    • € 115,- per person based on 2 people
    • € 149,- for 1 person
    • Are there more of you please contact Hike in Holland for pricing

This short hiking vacation, takes you along the floodplains of the river Lek, along polder paths, and through beautiful wetlands between the old cities of Schoonhoven and IJsselstein. This is a great walk, that takes you along the river Lek for quite a while (on the dike and through the floodplains). On your way back you’ll take a beautiful grass path through the natural area Willeskop, an area that proves that new nature actually works. There are numerous birds, and many a rare plant, like orchids, water soldiers and loosestrifes. Especially in spring the area is filled with colour. In summer the wetland is bustling with birds, like the Blue throats, Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings. Even the Water Rail or Bittern may show itself.


If you like birds, flowers, these are the walks for you. We saw many a bird and we met some ‘professional’ birdwatches who were ecstatic about the area Apart from that these walks take you through typical Dutch polders, through the meadows, along a meandering little stream with typical old Dutch farms and small houses, along the big river Lek, and through the picturesque villages of Schoonhoven and IJsselstein and the hamlet of Lopikerkapel. So we don’t know what’s not to like about these walks.

Day to Day

The river Lek near IJsselstein

The floodplain of the Lek

Day 1 Schoonhoven – IJsselstein (22 km)

You’ll arrive in the center of Schoonhoven, where you can park your car, or maybe spend an extra night in a nice hotel on the river. From there you’ll start your walk towards IJsselstein. You start walking on an old tax road (built by land owners, to get the farmers to their land) through the polder Lopikerwaard. This was a swamp until the 11th century, when people started digging canals and building mills to get the area fit for inhabitation. After this road you’ll arrive at the river Lek which we’ll follow for quite a while. Finally we walk through the small village of Lopikerkapel with its nice little church after which we’ll arrive in IJsselstein.
Migratory birds

Lapwings gather for departure in the natural area of Willeskop

Day 2 IJsselstein – Schoonhoven (22 km)

On the second day this route takes you along grass paths, through a pasture and along a church path back to Silver City Schoonhoven. The church path is a small path between the two villages of Cabauw and Polsbroekerdam. Posbroekerdam did not have a church, so the villagers would take this path to get to church. The grass path takes you through natural area Willeskop. Make sure to climb the viewing platform for even better views of this area. On arrival it’s certainly worth your while to have a look around Schoonhoven. This is a picturesque old town, once the silver capital of Holland. There is still a silver museum and several silversmiths you can visit.

Advice for extension

This trip can be extended in both Schoonhoven and IJsselstein. Both towns have historical city centers and museums, like the Silvermuseum in Schoonhoven, and in both towns you might rent a bycicle, boat or any other means of transport to see some more of the Green heart. From IJsselstein there is also  a direct tram that takes you to the city center of the historical town of Utrecht. If you need any advice, please email us at or call us at +31(0)6 10135509.

Prices extension:
Town 2 persons 1 person
Schoonhoven €75,- €105,-
IJsselstein €70,- €110,-

Price is per person per night and includes breakfast and tourist taxes.


This offer is covered by the STO Garant guarantee. You can find the conditions for this guarantee scheme on STO Garant’s.

Related trips

On the road to Schoonhoven

The Green Heart of Holland

8 days (7 nights)

Six days of walking in the Green Heart of Holland. Small rivers, big rivers and small historic villages

Gouda cheese

Witches and Syrupwaffles

2 days (1 night)

Walking along, rivers, lakes and through polders

View on the river Lek

Criss-cross through the Green Heart of Holland

4 days and 4 nights

Criss-Cross around Schoonhoven, 4 days walking across and around Schoonhoven