The 11-City Walking Tour is one of the three traditional 11-City Tours. The other tours are the Elfstedentocht on skates and bike Elfstedentocht. This latter is held every year. The skating only when sufficient ice is the Frisian bosom.
The history of the tours goes back to the early 20th century. The first Elfstedentocht on skates was held in 1909, the first bicycle Elfstedentocht in 1912.
The first official 11-Walking Cities was held on August 16 in 1946. Even before this time fanatics were walking the “Walking Tours but from this moment on the ‘foundation Frisian 11-Cities Hiking” was born. The hikers had a cargo ship for meals and a place to sleep. In all that time, the concept of ‘bed and meal remained unchanged. Still our hikers can choose full board. The straw mattresses from the early days changed into normal beds and it is even possible to book a bed in a hut. Three times the tour has been cancelled . This was in 2001, 2019 and 2020.
The 207-kilometer journey remains a great challenge. The number of participants has grown since the early years to a small 800 hikers per year for the 5-days hike. To facilitate access to the circuit, also introduced the 1-day and 3-day tour over the years. About 1,000 participants walk every year one or several day stages. For participants anticipate the 1-day or 3-day tour within the prescribed time, a commemorative medal. For those who walk the 5 day stages in several years, there has been a degree. For whom the tour ends in one edition, there is the coveted 11-City Cross. There are hikers who have hiked the trek more than 50 times. Participants who received both a cross of the 11-Cities Hike, Bike and the Elfstedentocht Elfstedentocht on skates can apply for a license. This annually during a ceremony, presented by the Commissioner of the King in Friesland. There have now been 1,500 issued.