With Bike & Barge from Rotterdam to the Province of Zeeland
8 days / 7 nights | MS Olympia | Self-guided cycling tours
The province of Zeeland, also referred to as the „Land in the Sea“is located in the west of the Netherlands and mostly consists of islands and peninsulas. The Eastern and Western Scheldt estuaries reach far inland, thus making Zeeland a paradise for flora and fauna. Cycle with us from the energetic city of Rotterdam – the city stands for easy and relaxed togetherness like no other city in the Netherlands – to the province of Zeeland. Discover the historic towns of Zierikzee and Middelburg and the Delta Works, Holland’s most impressive storm surge barriers. Sample delicious mussels, oysters and Eastern Scheldt Lobster. You should not miss out on a stop in one of the numerous fish restaurants!
Day 1: Arrival in Rotterdam, Boat Tour Rotterdam – Dordrecht
Individual arrival in Rotterdam. Embarkation at about 04:00pm. You may have some time left to see Rotterdam’s stunning Market Hall. The Dutch refer to it as their version of the „Sistine Chapel“. At 05:00pm sail to Holland’s oldest town, Dordrecht, impressively located on an island between three wide rivers.
Day 2: Dordrecht – Willemstad – Hellevoetsluis (Cycling 45 km / 28 miles)
In the morning, set sail for Willemstad, a small fortified town dating from the 17th/18th century, which is well worth visiting. Here start for your first cycle tour. Cross the inland waters of Haringvliet over the Volkerakdam, and cycle through fields and past storybook villages like Zwartsluis and Goudswaard to the popular water sports centre of Hellevoetsluis.
Day 3: Hellevoetsluis – Bruinisse (Cycling 45 km / 28 miles)
With fine weather, it is worth to take a detour to the bathing beach of Rockanje, a wide fine-sandy beach with marvellous dunes, before starting the bike tour. Crossing the Haringvliet again, you pass through small villages like Stellendam with the mill Korenlust, the small water sport village of Herkingen and, continuing along the Grevelingendam, you reach the mussel village of Bruinisse.
Day 4: Bruinisse – Middelburg (Cycling 54 km / 34 miles)
Today cycle to the small town of Zierikzee, which is among the 10 most beautiful Dutch national heritage towns. The „fat tower“ rises high above the town. The top of the tower offers marvellous views over the town, the harbour and the island. Continue your tour crossing the Zeeland Bridge to Middelburg, the capital of the province of Zeeland. Once the second most important city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam, Middleburg is a town full of history. Numerous shops and cafes are waiting to be discovered.
Day 5: Boat Tour Middelburg – Veere, Cycle Tour Middelburg – Neeltje Jans – Veere (Cycling 35–55 km / 22–34 miles)
Destination of today’s cycle tour is Neeltje Jans. The former working island was created by rising a sand flat to facilitate the construction of the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, the most impressive construction of the Delta Works. You will have the possibility not only to marvel at the locks from up close but also from the inside. Afterwards, continue the cycle tour to Veere, a beautiful holiday seaside town, where once deeply loaded Scottish ships landed.
Day 6: Boat Tour Veere – Bruinisse – Willemstad, Cycle Tour Bruinisse – Willemstad (Cycling 34 km / 22 miles)
Cycle via Oude-Tonge – the small, popular water sports village was badly impacted by the 1953 flood catastrophe. 305 people are buried in a mass grave near the dike just outside the village – and via small villages like Achthuizen back to Willemstad.
Day 7: Willemstadt – Rotterdam (Cycling 39 km / 24 miles)
Today´s cycle tour starts in Willemstad and takes you back to Rotterdam. While passing the popular Erasmus Bridge you can see MS Olympia from a distance which already awaits you. Use the chance and experience Europe´s largest harbour on an interesting harbour tour.
Day 8: Departure from Rotterdam
Disembarkation until 09:00am and individual home journey home.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.
Day 6: Round Trip Veere / Bout tour Veere – Dordrecht (Cycling approx. 40 km / 25 miles)
Today you have another opportunity to enjoy the picturesque, typically Dutch landscape on the Peninsula Walcheren around the lively tourist towns of Veere and Middelburg. Nowhere in the Netherlands does the sun shine as often and long as on Walcheren. Alternatively, you can do one of yesterday's cycling tours.
Day 7: Dordrecht – Rotterdam (Cycling approx. 40 km / 25 miles)
On your last stretch, explore the best-known windmills in the Netherlands at Kinderdijk. The 19 windmills, which date back to the 18th century, are beautifully preserved and are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The windmills are well worth a visit! Follow the route along the Maas River up to Rotterdam, one of the largest ports in the world.