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Amsterdam to Bruges 8 Day Guided Bike and Barge Tour
Two countries, Holland and Belgium, united in one Bike & Barge holiday. Combining the highlights of Holland’s Golden Age and the heydays of the Flemish trade cities in the Middle Ages. And last but not least, Holland’s own world wonder: the Delta Works.
The Dutch 17th century Golden Age and the heyday of the Flemish trading cities of the Middle Ages are united in this route. Notice the big difference between the green polder landscape abounding in water, with its tranquil roads and villages and the old world of islands in Zeeland with its pastures, creeks, winding dikes and dams. On top of that the often so picturesque Flemish countryside between the Belgian monumental cities of Ghent and Bruges. The great rivers are a prominent feature in this part of the Netherlands and Belgium. Of course you will get to know our own, Dutch Wonder of the World: the Delta Works, evidence of the eternal battle against the waters of the sea.
Suitable for people of all ages. On some days you will be cycling through a windy area or (depending on the tour) may encounter short slopes with differences in heights up to 75 m. or (gently rolling terrain); with distances to 60 kilometers per day. You spend about 5 hours on your bicycle. This is a guided group tour.
Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck. Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury.
Free WiFi is (limited) available in lounge and on deck.
Most cabins are 2-person cabins (twin or double beds), but some barges also have single and triple cabins. All cabins have central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 220 voltage. Some barges have airconditioning. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.
If you would like to rent a Touring bike (110 EUR) or E-Bike (220 EUR), please contact [email protected] when booking
The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol-Amsterdam Central is € 4,30 per person for a single journey. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the airport to the barge in Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes. It costs about € 45. The tour ends one week later in Bruges, so another possibility is to fly to Brussels Airport (BRU). By train it is about 1½ hours from the airport to the railway station in Bruges. Walking distance from the train station to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the airport to the mooring place will take about 25 minutes and costs about € 45,-.
Slow Tours offers a range of Bike and Barge Tours Europe
Amsterdam - Oude Wetering 15km
You are expected to arrive on our barge on Saturday the latest at 2 PM. The barge needs to leave the mooring place in Amsterdam at 2.15 PM. It is very important you are on time. The barge can’t wait due the opening hours of bridges and/or locks. When you arrive on board the ship, you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper and crew and of course your fellow passengers. We sail to Oude Wetering where the guide will take you on a short ride to get used to your bikes.
Oude Wetering - Gouda 45km
From Oude Wetering you will continue your tour over country roads along river banks and channels through the Green Heart to the city known for its cheese: Gouda. Who thinks of Gouda, not only thinks of cheese, pipes, ‘stroopwafels’ (treacle-waffle) and pottery, but also of stained-glass windows, a fairy-like town hall and atmospheric canals. Gouda is a beautiful Old-Dutch city with a mostly intact city centre. As on most days, after dinner you can take a walk through the city.
Gouda - Dordrecht 39km
Today you will cycle along the Dutch IJssel, through the deepest lying polder of the Netherlands Krimpenerwaard and over narrow cycling paths to the river ‘Lek’. Here you will cross the river by ferry to Kinderdijk. From the embankments of the river Lek, you will witness an amazing view of the 19 windmills, which are now listed as a UNESCO’s World Heritage site. This is where you will take a break and visit the interior of a windmill. After a beautiful tour through the Alblasserwaardpolder you will take a fast ferry to the old town of Dordrecht, birthplace of independence of the Netherlands.
Dordrecht - Zierikzee 54km
From Dordrecht we will sail to the Delta area of the Dutch greater rivers during breakfast. Years ago, an open connection existed with the sea due to the many tributaries in this area. After the disastrous flooding in 1953, the Deltaplan was developed and most tidal outlets were closed from the sea by dams. Most parts of Zeeland were, and still are, under sea level and in 1953 the embankments were too weak and too low, causing this area to be at risk for flooding’s once in every 80 years. Now, because of the flood barriers, that chance is reduced to less than once every 4000 years. Just before reaching our destination of today (Zierikzee, on the island of Schouwen-Duivenland) we will visit the ‘Watersnoodmuseum’. This museum tells the tragic events of 1953 and is built in recently renewed caissons, once used for the last closure gap. This was done in November 1953, ten months after the storm surge which broke through more than 300 embankments. Zierikzee is a beautiful town and the centre of the ‘mussel culture’. The ‘Zeeuwse mosselen’ (blue mussels) are a renowned delicacy.
Zierikzee - Middelburg 51km
This morning you cycle along the Oosterschelde towards the North Sea, to cross the Oosterscheldedam. The enormous locks are built in this embankment and can be closed during storms and high tides protecting the south-west of the Netherlands against the sea. This embankment was one of the last in a series of barriers against the sea. When cycling along the embankment, one will realize why this has been one of the most difficult and costly challenges to protect the country now and in the future and to let seawater into the widespread Delta area. It is precisely why the Deltaworks are referred to as the one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. After this dam you will peddle to Middelburg, but not without visiting the picturesque port town of Veere. Middelburg is the lively principal town of Zeeland with many old houses, churches, the beautiful town hall and a pleasant shopping. Also to be found in Middelburg is the Roosevelt Academy, a liberal arts college, located in the former late-gothic town hall on the market of Middelburg.
Middelburg - Ghent 45km
Today you have to cross the ‘Westerschelde’, the only estuary which isn’t closed by a dam because it is the gateway to the port of Antwerp. A short ferry trip brings you from Vlissingen to Breskens in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Dutch-Flanders)! We are getting close to Belgium. On your daily cycle route you will cross the Dutch – Belgium border back and forth before you definitely cross the Dutch – Belgium border by boat to sail to Ghent.
Ghent - Bruges 45km
This morning you will cycle through Ghent to the scenic countryside of Oost-Vlaanderen (East-Flanders). Characteristic for this area are the woods, fields, small villages and castles. From the Aalterbrug (also for the shorter route) the last part of this route takes us over the former tow path along the canal of Oostende-Gent, the oldest canal of Belgium, to Bruges. The impressive city of Bruges is the end destination of this bike and barge trip. This evening you can enjoy the medieval city of Bruges and many of you are likely to stay another day in this beautiful city.
End of the tour after breakfast, before 10 AM. If you have an early flight, ask the the tour leader to arrange a taxi to the Airport.
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|May 02 2024||May 09 2024||22||Single rooms||1,485€|
|May 09 2024||May 16 2024||22||Single rooms||2,220€|
|May 16 2024||May 23 2024||22||Single rooms||1,695€|
|May 23 2024||May 30 2024||22||Single rooms||2,220€|
|Jun 06 2024||Jun 13 2024||22||Single rooms||1,695€|
|Jun 13 2024||Jun 20 2024||22||Single rooms||2,110€|
|Jun 20 2024||Jun 27 2024||22||Single rooms||2,220€|
|Jul 04 2024||Jul 11 2024||22||Single rooms||1,995€|
|Jul 11 2024||Jul 18 2024||22||Single rooms||1,530€|
|Jul 18 2024||Jul 25 2024||22||Single rooms||1,995€|
|Aug 01 2024||Aug 08 2024||22||Single rooms||2,995€|
|Aug 08 2024||Aug 15 2024||22||Single rooms||1,530€|
|Aug 15 2024||Aug 22 2024||22||Single rooms||2,220€|
|Aug 22 2024||Aug 29 2024||22||Single rooms||1,695€|
|Aug 29 2024||Sep 05 2024||22||Single rooms||2,220€|
|Sep 05 2024||Sep 12 2024||22||Single rooms||1,840€|
|Sep 12 2024||Sep 19 2024||22||Single rooms||2,420€|
|Sep 19 2024||Sep 26 2024||22||Single rooms||2,325€|
|Sep 26 2024||Oct 03 2024||22||Single rooms||2,220€|
|Oct 10 2024||Oct 17 2024||22||Single rooms||1,995€|
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