Cycling Holidays in Holland: The "Green Heart" and historical towns of South Holland
8 days / 7 nights | Ship: DE AMSTERDAM | Self guided bike tours
Cycling cruises: A unique concept, where a bike holiday and a journey on a comfortable ship are combined. Cycling cruises are ideal for those who like to cycle during the day and explore beautiful areas, without giving up a comfortable way of travelling. During our tours you don't have to pack and un-pack your suitcases every day to travel from one beautiful place to the next! Explore the western part and the "Green Heart" of Holland during this beautiful cycling cruise and enjoy many famous towns, interesting highlights, windmills, water and beautiful scenery.
Visit famous historical towns, picturesque cities and beautiful landscapes in the surprising varied "Green Heart" of Holland by bicycle and ship. Highlights are a.o. Amsterdam with the beautiful canals, Dom-city Utrecht, harbour city Rotterdam, Delft with its famous Delftware factories, cheese city Gouda, the windmills at Kinderdijk, silver city Schoonhoven, the historical centre of Haarlem, the dunes and the North Sea beach and the open air museum "Zaanse Schans". The Southern tour is the perfect tour to explore the variety of scenery in the central part of the Netherlands with many small canals and lakes, and also the beautiful old cities during daytime and in the evening.
You will live and travel on board of the DE AMSTERDAM, for many years one of the most beloved vessels for cycling cruises.
Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Amsterdam
Embarkation and check-in from 2 pm in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping, to explore downtown Amsterdam, to make a canal cruise or to visit a museum Welcome drink, dinner and first briefing on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.
Day 2 (Sun): Amsterdam – Breukelen | Breukelen – Utrecht (Cycling 25–40 km / 16–25 miles) | Utrecht – Rotterdam
Your first cycle tour starts in Breukelen. You'll tour along the beautiful and winding river Vecht with its enchanting background of imposing castles, country houses and quaint tearooms. You will follow the Vecht into the center of Utrecht where you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful historical city center: the Dom Cathedral with its tower, the canals, special shops and nice cafes. In the afternoon you will continue by ship from Utrecht to Rotterdam.
Day 3 (Mon): Rotterdam – Schiedam – Delft – Rotterdam (Cycling 28–50 km / 17–31 miles)
Today you will cycle via the "jenever city" of Schiedam and through the Delfland area to Delft, famous, of course, for its blue pottery. Visit the beautiful city center with its small canals, picturesque streets, bridges and alleys. For many of our guests a visit to the Delftware factory is one of the highlights of their tour. Afterwards, you will cycle back to Rotterdam, where you can enjoy a short city walk in the evening.
Day 4 (Tue): Rotterdam – Alblasserdam with the "waterbus" | Kinderdijk – (Gouda) – Schoonhoven (Cycling 30–58 km / 19–36 miles)
Today you can cycle the first part or the "waterbus" will take you and your bicycle to Alblasserdam. After just a few minutes of cycling you will reach Kinderdijk (UNESCO cultural heritage, with its impressive row of 19 large windmills). You then have the choice between a longer bike tour with a visit to the beautiful cheese city of Gouda and a short bike tour through the Alblasserwaard. Both tours end in the "silver city" of Schoonhoven, where you can visit a silversmith.
Day 5 (Wed): Schoonhoven – Oudewater – Utrecht (Cycling 45 km / 28 miles) | Afternoon: Utrecht – Haarlem
Today you will cycle from Schoonhoven through the beautiful "Green Heart" of Holland along small villages and quiet roads to Utrecht. On your way you can visit a traditional cheese farm and in Oudewater you can visit the Witches Weigh House. In the late afternoon the ship will sail from Utrecht to Haarlem.
Day 6 (Thu): Haarlem – North Sea coast – Haarlem (40–50 km / 25–31 miles) | Evening: Haarlem – Zaandam
Today you can choose from 2 bike tours. Both tours takes you through the beautiful Kennemer dunes, a national park where you can spot several bird species, Scottish Highland cows and Shetland ponies. After a visit to the seaside resorts Bloemendaal and Zandvoort you cycle through the forests and the center of Haarlem back to the ship. The longer cycling tour leads to the largest steam engine of the world, the Cruquius pumping station and back to Haarlem. During dinner your ship will cruise to Zaandam.
Day 7 (Fri): Zaandam – Amsterdam (Cycling 30–45 km / 19–28 miles)
From Zaandam your final day of cycling will take you to the open air museum the Zaanse Schans (free entry), with its beautiful windmills, an Old Dutch village with traditional wooden houses, a cheese farm and a traditional wooden clog maker. After exploring the museum you cycle through the recreational area "Twiske" back to Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer. If you didn't go for a canal tour on the first day, you will have the opportunity to do so today.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only. If there are days when you prefer not to cycle, then you are welcome to skip the bike tour and relax on board during the cruise to the next destination. The tour operator and the captain of the ship reserve the right to change the routes and programme due to nautical, technical or other reasons including weather conditions.
On the arrival day is it possible to put your luggage already on board as from 9 AM. Daily individual bike tours in you own pace: tour description, maps and daily briefings of the bike tour. During the day the tour leader is cycling the daily bike tour as well and in case of emergency or breakdown can be reached on his/her cell phone.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.