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12-day Cycling Tour from Amsterdam to Paris Level 3
This is a great cycling tour through France, Belgium and the Netherlands!
A dream bike ride through Europe, from the Eiffel tower of Paris to the canals of Amsterdam. These two European cities with big importance for history, world-famous buildings and museums are the start and the finish of this journey through 3 countries.
In between you will explore famous and beautiful towns like Ghent, Antwerp and Gouda as you cycle through varied landscapes. You will start in France, beautiful France with it's very wide spectrum of food and wines. Then discover medieval cities and villages in Belgium with great food, beer and chocolate. And then of course European cycle paradise Holland with water, windmills and a perfect cycle paths system.
Like to combine nature and culture?
Down the road wonderful nature meets fascinating towns when cycling towards the 'piece de resistance' – Amsterdam, with its famous canals (UNESCO world heritage site)
Please book your bikes when you book the tour: [email protected]
Slow Tours offers a number of other Cycling Tours in Europe
Day 1: Arrival Amsterdam Your holiday starts in Amsterdam, one of the crown-jewels of Europe. With so much to see and do, you couldn’t wish for a more vibrant way to kick off your holiday. If you arrive early, make sure to go for a walk to marvel at the townhouses in the 17th-century canal district (listed as World Heritage). Have you got time and energy left? Opt to saunter down the infamous red-light district which attracts millions of curious tourists every year
or enjoy the street performers on friendly Rembrandtplein.
! Bikes are not allowed on the train from Paris to Amsterdam (or vice versa). We therefore strongly recommend to book this trip with rental bikes, so you can leave the rental bikes at the hotel in Paris at the end of the trip
Day 2: Amsterdam - Gouda 79 km The first leg of the route takes you through the Green Heart of Holland, abounding in water. It is a true cycling paradise, with characteristic peat and polder landscapes, small farming communities and picturesque historical villages. End the day in medieval Gouda. Amble through the beautifully preserved town centre and visit the old town hall and St. John’s church. Stop off at a bakery to buy fresh syrup waffles (Gouda is the hometown of syrup waffles) and Gouda cheese - perhaps the world’s most famous type of cheese
Day 3: Gouda - Breda81 km Today’s highlight is one of the Netherlands’ most popular tourist attractions: Kinderdijk, a world-famous complex of windmills. Nineteen historical windmills reach to the skies in the epitome of classical Dutch countryside. You can visit an authentic workshop and find out how these mills were built and how they work. Have you always wanted to be a miller? This is where you can still learn the trade! You will cycle through Dordrecht, one of the Netherlands’ oldest towns. A visit to the scenic harbour quarter with its wonderful historical buildings should not be missed. The route will take you right past one of the few remaining fresh-water tidal areas in Europe: Biesbosch National Park. Upon crossing Hollands Diep river by ferry, you will find yourself in the south of the Netherlands. In village after village, Brabant hospitality will entice you to stop for a cup of coffee and big slice of fruit tart. Today’s destination is Breda. Please note you will only cycle through de Biesbosch park on days that the ferry departs. This ferry does not go daily. Currently, because of corona measures, it does not go at all. If the ferry does not go you follow an alternative route
Day 4: Breda - Antwerpen73 km Breda is the main city of Nassau in Holland, boasting many imposing monuments. The ancestors of our royal family converted Breda to a beautiful city with richly decorated buildings. The landscape along today’s cycling route is predominantly woody. On the border between the Netherlands and Belgium, catch your breath in De Zoom - Kalmthoutse Heide, a lovely cross-border nature reserve. The route takes you right into the historical and touristic heart of Antwerp. It’s the largest town in Flanders and Belgium’s most important port city. After viewing the historical town center you might like to venture to the hip and trendy parts of the city: ‘t Zuid and Het Eilandje. Have you worked up a thirst for Belgian beer? Consider visiting De Koninck beer brewery. It has been going strong since 1833 and has a new visitors centre welcoming guests wishing to look around and do some tasting. This brewery is best known for its ‘Bollekes’
Day 5: Antwerpen - Ghent90 km Cycling South, along the banks of the river Scheldt you will start on the LF2 Cities Cycle Route. The wide Schelde is not only a natural, but also a tourist attraction. By switching to the LF5 you head towards Dendermonde and Ghent. The bushes and polders show the wild and pure nature here. At the end of the day the sparkling cultural city of Ghent is waiting for you. The Belgians call Ghent their most beautiful city and the city will undoubtedly charm you.
You may be interested in spending an extra day in the lively city of Ghent. Wander through the delightful historical centre and then sit down at a pavement café. Or visit one of the interesting museums. If this sounds appealing, just mention - on the booking form – that you wish to book an additional night in Ghent. The cost is €70 per person staying in a double room and includes breakfast. Please note: if you book a day of rest in Ghent, your vacation starts a day earlier, on Wednesday instead of Thursday. The arrival date in Paris remains the same
Day 6: Ghent - Tournai79 km The river Scheldt is still your guide as you cycle to the old town of Oudenaarde (AD 974). Also centre of the famous classic cycle race "Ronde van Vlaanderen". The former towing paths along the banks have been transformed to smooth cycle paths, so occasionally leafy and then through the open fields of Flanders. Down the road do try one of the most famous Belgian local products "Geraardsbergse mattentaart", a pie with an ancient history of making. Directly after Kluisbergen you leave Flanders and you will enter the province of Wallonia with just a 20 km to go to Tournai.
Today we also offer you two alternative routes that go through the Flemish Ardennes, in case you don't want to follow the river all day long
Day 7: Tournai - Cambrai74 km While leaving the 5 bell-towers of Tournai behind you, ride the last on the Belgian cycle path along the Scheldt, before arriving in France. This day offers a pleasant ride through to the Parc Naturel Régional Scarpe-Escaut, the first French regional park. Here, Belgium and France link with the barges on Escaut river, between lands and waters where you pedal through to the forests, marshes and ponds populated with various species. You will discover the mining villages classified by UNESCO, the agricultural landscapes. Passing through typical villages and hamlets, you reach the town of Cambrai, peaceful city of Art and History. Take advantage of it to discover its streets, where half-timbered houses, rich private mansions, Flemish mansions mingle with pleasure. And don't leave without having tasted the famous "Bétises de Cambrai" or other local specialties
Day 8: Cambrai - Saint-Quentin51 km Today, you leave Cambrai by lodging the Canal de Saint-Quentin (inaugurated in 1810 by the Emperor Napoleon 1st), discover the Haute Vallée de l’Escaut. Here is a jewel: the abbey of Vaucelles (XII century). As it is presented to you today, the abbey remains an unusual construction both in its dimensions and the quality of its restoration. A few pedaling strokes and you pass the sources of l’Escaut, the famous river that you follow for kilometers and whose course flows into the North Sea in Netherlands. If you want, you can take the 6 km longer route to visit the interesting canal tunnel and the Touage museum. The route takes you through small hilly roads between villages devoted to agriculture and memorial sites of the Great War: cemeteries, memorials and vestiges of the Hindenburg line. Find the canal and its cycle path to finally reach Saint Quentin. Discover its streets with Art Deco houses, the details of which deserve to be spotted. It is the style adopted during the rebuilding of the city, which was hardly destroyed during the Great War and once again became a dynamic city, the economic capital of Haute Picardie
Day 9: Saint-Quentin - Compiègne75 km On the way to Compiegne, through the fertile valley of the Oise. The itinerary takes again the cycle path of the canals, to the discovery of Chauny. You cross vast natural areas with more than 200 species of birds. Continue towards Noyon, the route continues along the canal. Noyon is listed as a city of Art and History: medieval atmosphere around the cathedral which saw the coronation of Hugues Capet in 987. Then return to the shared tracks where a stop at the abbey of Ourscamp is recommended. When cycling through the woods of Compiègne, you will go past the "Clairière de l'Armstice", where the armistice (and the actual end) of the First Great War was signed. (and Hitler as revenge forced the French to sign the surrender treaty in 1940). Then you reach Compiègne, a large town bordering the forest, furrowed by charming and shopping streets and museums with varied collections
Day 10: Compiègne - Senlis67 km The program of the day: Prestigious castle, medieval towns and large forest area! Your journey starts in the forest of Compiègne to go via Pierrefonds and its enchanting castle to the abbey of Saint Jean aux Bois, with its well preserved abbey grounds, city gates and 850year old oak tree. The route continues alongside a number of Gallo Roman ruins to the Automne Valley, followed by the climb to the beautiful village of Néry. Via the forest of Halatte you’ll arrive in Senlis. Do you have some energy left? Cycle an additional 15 km through the forest of Halatte via Chantilly to Senlis. Chantilly is known for its castle (sometimes compared to a castle of the Loire), its Great Stables, its porcelain, its lace and its gastronomy (yes the famous cream Chantilly would have been invented here)
Day 11: Senlis - Paris72 km Last day by bike before arriving in the City of Light, the culmination of your journey! Leave Senlis and cycle in the forest for an itinerary in the heart of nature. No crossing of village to the doors of the region “Ile de France”: guaranteed change of scenery with its great pines! From Gressy to Paris, the route follows the nice cycle track of the Canal de l’Ourcq, a rural setting on the last 30 kilometers for a safe entrance into Paris, far from cars! Crossing the capital along the Canal de l’Ourcq and Canal Saint-Martin really allows us to dive into a history book, an open-air museum.
Those who want to end this tour in style, can cycle an optional 24 km and safe route through the city. Your hotel is your starting point. The route goes along the river Seine (and the Notre Dame) towards the Eiffeltower and back
Day 12: Departure from Paris End of your trip after breakfast. We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the beautiful city of Paris.
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|May 12 2022||May 22 2022||12||Single rooms||1,924€|
|Jul 07 2022||Jul 17 2022||12||Single rooms||1,924€|
|Aug 25 2022||Sep 04 2022||12||Single rooms||1,924€|
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote
Shows in English in Paris: Paris offers a wide variety of shows accessible to English-speakers. One-man shows, classic & modern theatre, musicals, cabarets and more are all performed in the city every night. You can get the full programme of shows in Paris to fit your city break dates by emailing [email protected]