The showpiece of Friesland, the Eleven Cities Tour (Elfstedentocht)! The Royal Society of the Frisian Eleven Cities was founded in 1909. When possible they organize the Eleven Cities Tour on ice. It's been a while since this tour was held in Friesland. The last year the ice was thick enough to organize the event was in 1997. In 2012, it was equally exciting, but it turned out the ice still wasn’t strong enough. Every year we wait in suspense, will it happen this year? ( In Frisian: giet it oan? )
The tour of tours is still going strong! Although this has been said many times ,the Eleven Cities TourLeeuwarden, Sneek, IJlst, Sloten, Stavoren, Hindeloopen, Workum, Bolsward, Harlingen, Franeker en Dokkum. In 1963 the weather was so bad that the Eleven Cities Tour was named “The Hell of ’63”. Of the 10,000 participants, only 57 competition skaters and 72 tour skaters made it to the finish. This celebrated journey was filmed in 2009 and is now also available on DVD.
The eleven cities in Friesland are all worth visiting and each have their own charm and ambience. Each city has its own story and has a rich history . These towns are all located on the waterfront. The layout of bridges, terraces and boating activities make for a very cozy atmosphere. The canal in the capital city of Leeuwarden leads you through the town. You can lead your boat or canoe through and dock in the centre of town! Wooden bridges, characteristic gables and narrow streets characterize Hindeloopen, also one of the Frisian cities. Harlingen on the other hand is a real fisherman town. The ferries to and from the Frisian Islands come and go in the port of Harlingen. While looking over the Wadden Sea, you can stroll over the Wadden Sea Promenade and see the boats and ships pass by. Despite the variety in the Frisian cities, there is plenty to do and see everywhere. If you want to explore a city for a couple of days, it’s easy to book a hotel in town or nearby. Using the overview it’s easy to select the town that suits you best. You can instantly book your accommodation too! A real Frisian citytrip is easily planned now!
Despite the fact that the Eleven Cities Tour can most of the years not come to fruition, the alternative tours are always organized in the province. You can join them! You can cover the Eleven Cities Tour by bike, on foot, with the car or by boat. You can even spend the night in a different place every time. This way you don’t have to miss anything about Friesland! Throughout the year, events are organized in every city. You can visit the Fishing Days in Harlingen or go to the “Week of Sneek” in Sneek: there is always something to do in Friesland!Discover the overnight accommodation