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Amsterdam to Maastricht 8-day Bike and Barge Tour (G)
“Thinking of Holland I see broad rivers languidly winding through endless fen, lines of incredibly tenuous poplars like giant plumes on the polder’s rim”. These lines of a famous poem by the Dutch poet Marsman characterize this wonderful journey between Amsterdam and Maastricht, the southernmost city in the Netherlands. Discover magical flat and green landscapes formed by the rivers Vecht, Lower Rhine, Waal, Linge and Meuse: a tangle of old gullies, cut-off meanders, dikes and flood plains with a typical flora and fauna. Visit historical towns, remarkable villages and some castles and gardens along these rivers. In the hospitable province of Limburg, cycling tours will cross borders regularly: although the Meuse flows through the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium are only a stone’s throw away. You can eat ‘Kuchen’ (cake) in a German ‘Konditorei’ in the morning and have a delicious afternoon beer in a street café in a Belgium village. The journey ends in Maastricht, the capital of the province of Limburg, famous for its lively centre and vibrant hospitality.
Your accomodation is a small and comfortable passenger barge. The ship, owned and operated by skipper Hans Petrus, sails under Dutch flag has been sailing in various areas in The Netherlands and Belgium for many years. The Gandalf is a very popular ship, ideal for bike and barge tours.
There are ten twin cabins (10 m² – 108 sq.ft.) with two separate beds. In two of the cabins a bunk bed as third bed is possible (on request). Each cabin has a recently renovated bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. Windows can be opened and the cabins have ventilation and central heating. A hair dryer is available on request.
If you would like to rent a bike (90 EUR) or e-bike (225 EUR) helmet (10 EUR), please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Slow Tours offers other Bike & Barge tours in Europe
Amsterdam – Weesp | testride in Weesp (11 km/6 mi.)
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Around 2 p.m. the barge sails to Weesp. This small city on the banks of the river Vecht has a historical centre with many canals and buildings dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth century. It also has a few beautiful windmills. The scenic river Vecht and the small roads along the river attract yachters and cyclists. As soon as you arrive the tour leader will organize a test ride. After dinner you will have time to stroll through this charming city.
Weesp – Utrecht (47 km/28 mi.) | Utrecht – Vianen
Your bike tour starts in Weesp. You will cycle along the beautiful meandering river Vecht with impressive mansions on its banks. Along the way you visit a real Dutch cheese farm, where cheese is still produced according to traditional methods. You will meet the barge in the city of Utrecht and from there you sail the Amsterdam-Rhine canal to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek
Vianen – Gorinchem (41 km/25 mi.) | Gorinchem – Heusden
From Vianen you cycle through a typical Dutch landscape to Leerdam a little town on the banks of the river Linge. Leerdam is famous for its glasswork. Later on you continue biking on the beautiful roads along the Linge to Gorinchem, a charming town on the river Waal. After a short visit, you will join the barge to Heusden.
Heusden – Lith | Lith – Cuijck (40 km/24 mi.)
During breakfast the ship sails from Heusden to Lith, a village on the Maas river. Here your bike tour will start, leading you along the river Maas to medieval towns like Ravenstein and Grave. In Ravenstein you can visit the Tanner’s Cottages and in Grave you will see canons from the time of Napoleon. Grave has also played an important role in Operation Market Garden during the second world war, because it was situated near an important bridge. This bridge is now called John S. Thompson Bridge. Following the Maas river you will meet the barge in Cuijk where you will spend the night. The St. Martins Church, a neo-gothic church, houses a very well kept baroc-organ (built 1639-1650). This organ is one of the oldest in the Netherlands. After dinner you will visit museum Ceuclum in Cuijk and you can climb the tower for a magnificent view of the Maas valley.
Cuijck – Arcen (53 km/32 mi.)
Today a magnificent bike tour is scheduled. You cycle along the Maas valley to Afferden and Heijen, right through the unique Maasheggen landscape. With its thorny hedges, that first came into use at the beginning of our era to keep cattle in and scare off Roman occupants, it’s the oldest cultural landscape in the Netherlands. The route continues through National Park Maasduinen, a long stretch of river dunes deposited by wind and the river Rhine. In the town of Well you will find the Well castle with its heavy round brick tower, dating from the 14th century. The destination for today is Arcen. If there is still time left, you can visit the famous local castle gardens. The castle garden is known for its extensive and diverse flowers and other vegetation. Another option is the beer garden of the local brewery Hertog Jan.
Arcen – Venlo – Roermond (50 km/30 mi.)
Again your bike route follows the Meuse river. Here and there you cross by ferry or bridge in order to follow the most interesting paths. The first stop is Venlo, with many historical monuments and a lively inner city. At lunchtime you arrive in Kessel, one of the oldest villages along the Meuse with an unusually restored castle. From there you cross to the other bank and continue the bike ride to the beautiful village of Beesel, where grain mill ‘Grey bear’ stands proudly next to the river. Today’s tour ends in the city of Roermond. Here the river Roer and Meuse converge. Catholic Roermond, since 1559 an episcopal city, is known for its rich cultural heritage. In the center you will find many historical buildings. Roermond is also the city of Pierre Cuypers, according to many the most important Dutch architect of the 19th century and the architect of the Rijksmuseum and Central Station in Amsterdam. A modern day attraction is the Designer outlet center, that draws throngs of fashionista’s. Dinner tonight (not included) will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).
Roermond – Born (42 km/25 mi.) | Born – Maastricht
Today, the cycling tour continues through charming villages and the beautiful landscape of the province of Limburg. First stop is Thorn, the ‘White Village’ on the Dutch/Belgian border known for its cobblestone streets and white painted houses. The only non-white building is the 14th-century church. From Thorn you cycle across the Dutch / Belgian border to the Belgian city of Maaseik. This city is famous for medieval painters Hubert and Jan van Eyck. In the market square you will see typical Renaissance-style houses with their impressive facades. You can also take the opportunity to have a nice Belgian “pint” on this beautiful square. You will find the ship in Born, from where you sail to Maastricht. Maastricht, the capital of the province of Limburg, is a beautifully preserved city with Roman roots and a French flair. In this town you find the treasure houses of the St. Servaas Church, the Bonnefanten museum for art and antiquity, and the Kazematten, a system of underground fortress works from the 18th century. In addition to these places of interest, it is also worthwhile visiting the marl caves, or just thoroughly enjoy yourself on the Vrijthof. You will not get bored!
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Max. No. Guests
|Jun 15 2024
|Jun 22 2024
|Jun 29 2024
|Jul 06 2024
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