The Green Heart of Holland: Countryside and Big Cities
5 days / 4 nights
The Green Heart is a rural area surrounded by the big cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. What saved it was its wetland and marshes: poor building ground! Instead, the bogs were used to harvest peat. Today, here is where you’ll find the picture book Holland of old: low-lying peat meadows with grazing cattle; vast polders under beautiful skies; lakes, streams and rivers; and pretty villages with monumental farmhouses. You will also stop at a number of attractive towns, including “cheese town” Gouda. Naturally, your bike holiday would not be complete without a visit to amazing Amsterdam! The terrain on this cycle tour is flat all the way. As on all our carefree cycle tours, we provide luggage transport and excellent accommodation
Highlights: Old town Utrecht, stately homes and garden pavilions along the river Vecht, City of Amsterdam, market place and town hall in Gouda, Castle de Haar with a beautiful garden
Day 1: Arrival in Utrecht.
Utrecht can be reached by train from Amsterdam Airport. Enjoy the Old town of Utrecht with its many historical buildings and the lively cafe terrasses.
Day 2: Utrecht – Amsterdam (Cycling 60 km /37 miles)
You will cycle to Amsterdam on the banks of the lovely little River Vecht. Characteristic for this area are the many stately homes and garden pavilions built by rich Amsterdam merchants in the 17th and 18th Centuries. At the end of the day, Amsterdam welcomes you with its 165 romantic inner-city canals, 1281 bridges and more than 600,000 bikes. Amsterdam is a city for exploring. There is so much to see and do, whether you like art, culture, an evening out or just looking around and taking in the spirit of the city. A canal boat tour gives you a better look at the lovely canal houses.
Day 3: Amsterdam – Gouda (Cycling 80 km / 50 miles)
Today is the day you cross the rural Green Heart. On the way, you will come across characteristic old Dutch towns and villages. As you wander around Gouda at the end of the day, don’t miss the Gothic town hall (1450); the Weighing House(1667); the romantic inner city canals and the stained glass windows in St. John’s Church. If possible, plan your trip so that you can witness the traditional Thursday morning cheese market at the start of Day 4. Gouda is also famous for making candles and syrup waffles (try one hot!).
Day 4: Gouda – Utrecht (Cycling 65 km / 40 miles)
The landscape of rivers, polders, lakes, woods, parks and marshy fens makes for a wonderful bike trip. You will see stately homes and castles along the way. The lively centre of the big city of Utrecht will draw you to its peaceful inner city canals and characteristic wharves, unique to Utrecht. Explore the pretty Museum Quarter, or go (window) shopping on some of the quieter shopping streets.
Day 5: After breakfast in your hotel, you will depart.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.