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Grand 15-day Bike & Barge Tour of Holland - South to North
During this grand tour of Holland you will visit all major cities and highlights in the north and west of the Netherlands by bicycle and boat. The trip starts and ends in the capital Amsterdam. You will discover the diverse flat polder land on numerous cycle paths and quiet country roads. Take a look at the green rural area north of Amsterdam, the beach and dunes along the North Sea and romantic harbour towns on the coast of Lake IJsselmeer during wonderful cycling tours. Many guests consider a visit to the very cycle-friendly island Texel among the highlights of the trip. You will also cross the IJsselmeer to Stavoren, to visit the southwestern part of Friesland. Other highlights during this part of the tour include the Waterland region, the “Zaanse Schans” open air museum, Enkhuizen with the Zuiderzee Museum and the old city centers of Alkmaar, Medemblik, Hoorn and Volendam.
You will also visit the most well-known historical cities and towns in the west of the Netherlands, picturesque little villages and the beautiful scenery of the “Green Heart of Holland”,to the south of Amsterdam. Highlights during this part of the trip include Amsterdam with its beautiful canals, the cathedral city of Utrecht, the port of Rotterdam, Delft with its famous Delft Blue factories, the cheese city of Gouda, the 19 windmills at Kinderdijk (UNESCO Heritage Site), the silver city of Schoonhoven, the beautiful city center of Haarlem and the dunes and North Sea beach.
You will reside and stay in the same cabin for two weeks on board a very popular vessel for bike-boat holidays. Depending on your travel dates in 2017 you have the choice of a week of North Holland followed by a week South Holland or first South Holland and then North Holland.
*All highlights of Holland during one tour, No change of ship, nor cabin, € 110 p.p. discount compared to booking the tours separately.
Tour and accommodation on board 15 days/14 nights (Saturday-Saturday) from/to Amsterdam, cabin in the booked category
Full board (14x breakfast, 12x picnic lunch during bike tours, 14x three course dinner)
Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible); daily light cleaning of the cabin
Full cleaning of cabin incl. change of bed sheets on 2nd Saturday of the tour
Welcome drink and -speech on the first evening
Experienced and local Tour leader (multilingual incl. English) with daily briefings of the bike tours, some short city tours, during the day the tour leader is cycling the daily bike tour and can be reached on his/her cell phone
Printed instructions and detailed maps for the daily bike tours, 1 set per cabin
Short city walks (North-Holland: Zaandam, Enkhuizen; South-Holland: Rotterdam, Dordrecht) with the tour leader
Discounts on entrance fees and excursions as mentioned in the program, value up to €50
North-Holland: 1x night live music on board; South-Holland: Small cheese tasting and 1x live music night on board
Use of WiFi in the lounge of the ship
Daily complimentary coffee and tea till 4 pm
Transfers to/from the docking place Sumatrakade in Amsterdam
Rental bicycle or e-bike (optional)
Entrance fees & excursions
Fees for ferries during cycling tours
Drinks on board
Gratuities (at your discretion/optional)
Dietary requirements on request/surcharges may be calculated (pre-booking is necessary)
If you would like to rent a bike (80 euro) or e-bike (180 euro) please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Parking Amsterdam (self-parking or valet parking): rates and reservation on request
Slow Tours offers other Bike & Barge tours in Europe
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from 2 PM in Amsterdam (centre). While you are in Amsterdam make sure you take the opportunity to do some shopping, visit a museum or enjoy a canal tour (reduced price tickets available on board, until 10 PM). A canal tour is a unique way to see the capital of Holland from a different perspective. Your first night on board will be spent in Amsterdam, so you will have plenty of time to explore the city.
During breakfast: Amsterdam – Breukelen | Breukelen – Utrecht (Approx. 30-40 km/19-25 mi.) | Afternoon: Utrecht – Rotterdam
During breakfast the ship will cruise to Breukelen where, following the distribution of bicycles, your first day of cycling will see you tour along the beautiful and winding river Vecht with its enchanting background of imposing castles, country houses and quaint tearooms… there is simply no better way to start a cycle tour. You will follow the Vecht into the centre of Utrecht where you will have the opportunity to explore the Dom Cathedral tower and the beautiful centre of the old village. In the afternoon you will continue by ship from Utrecht to Rotterdam, your destination for the day. In the evening: a (free) short city walking tour.
Rotterdam – Schiedam – Delft – Rotterdam (Approx. 40 km/25 mi.) | Evening: Rotterdam – Dordrecht
You will cycle today via the ‘jenever city of Schiedam (jenever is a traditional Dutch gin) and through the Delfland area to Delft, famous, of course, for its blue earthenware. Visit the beautiful city centre with its small canals, picturesque streets, bridges and alleys. For many guests a visit to the Delftware factories of “Royal Delft” is one of the highlights of the tour. In the evening enjoy a dinner cruise from Rotterdam to Dordrecht with arrival at around 8 PM. In the evening enjoy a short walk around the city of Dordrecht (free).
Dordrecht – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – (Gouda) – Schoonhoven (Approx. 25-50 km/15–32 mi.)
First thing this morning the ship will sail from Dordrecht to Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 large windmills. All 19 windmills have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing and are a definite highlight – you will have the opportunity to visit one so don’t forget to bring your camera! You then have the choice between a longer bike tour with a visit to the beautiful cheese city of Gouda or a short bike tour through the Alblasserwaard. Both tours end in the “silver city” of Schoonhoven on the Lek River, where you can visit a silversmith. In the evening enjoy a small cheese tasting on board.
Schoonhoven – Oudewater – Utrecht (Approx. 50 km/32 mi.) | Afternoon: Utrecht – Beverwijk
Today you will cycle from Schoonhoven through the beautiful “Green Heart” of Holland via Oudewater (visit the Witches Weigh House) to Utrecht. Near Oudewater you can visit a traditional cheese farm where you can also buy delicious farm-made Gouda cheese. In the late afternoon the ship will sail from Utrecht to Beverwijk, your destination for the night. In the evening enjoy live music on board.
Beverwijk – North Sea coast – Haarlem – Beverwijk (Approx. 35-50 km/21-32 mi.) | Evening: Beverwijk – Zaandam
You will have the choice of 2 bike tours today, with both finishing in the historic city of Haarlem. If you are up to the challenge the longer tour takes you through the sand dunes of the North Sea coastline via Bloemendaal and Zandvoort - the shorter tour heads inland to Haarlem. On both tours you will cycle back to Beverwijk. In the evening your ship will sail to Zaandam.
Zaandam – Amsterdam (Approx. 30 km/19 mi.)
From Zaandam your final day of cycling will take you to the open air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ with its beautiful windmills, traditional wooden houses, an old Dutch village, a cheese farm and a traditional wooden clog maker. After exploring the museum continue to cycle through the recreational area of Twiske 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. From Zaandam you will cycle to the open air museum „Zaanse Schans“ (a.o. traditional wooden houses, windmills, cheese farm and wooden shoe „clog“ manufacturing). Continue bike tour through recreational area „Twiske“ to Amsterdam. Afternoon and evening in Amsterdam. If you didn’t go for a canal tour on the first day, you will have the opportunity to do it today.
Disembarkation: Amsterdam Disembarkation after breakfast: End of your trip, or continue on the Northern tour in the same cabin
Tour Details Holland: North-Holland Route
Embarkation and check-in starts at 2 PM in Amsterdam (centre). Take the opportunity to go shopping or explore downtown Amsterdam, world famous for its canals, its quirky ‘leaning’ buildings, museums, the Anne Frank House, the Waterlooplein Flea Market, the Dam Square in the historical center and heart of the city. A canal tour is a unique way to see the capital of Holland from another side. Welcome meeting, cocktail, dinner and first briefing on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam – Zaanse Schans – Zaandam (ca. 30-45 km / 19-28 miles*)
You will cycle out of Amsterdam via a well maintained cycling track. Very soon you will leave the city and cycle through the green area of Waterland and the recreational area of Twiske to the open air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ with its beautiful windmills, traditional wooden houses, an old Dutch village, a cheese farm and a traditional wooden clog maker. After exploring the museum continue just a few more miles to Zaandam. If you want to take a detour, opt for an additional cycling tour through various small villages in the Waterland area. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore and enjoy Zaandam.
Zaandam – Alkmaar (Approx. 50 km/31 mi.) | Alkmaar – Den Helder
Your second day of cycling leads you pedaling through the beautiful flat and green polder landscape via small villages. This “Land of Leeghwater” is a scenic green area located between the cities of Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Hoorn. Leeghwater was a 17th Century scientist, who invented a revolutionary system to reclaim marshland from the sea by pumping out water with a system of windmills, smaller and larger canals. Today’s destination is the city of Alkmaar, where the ship will be waiting for you with a hot shower, a good glass of wine, a cool beer and a delicious meal. During dinner the ship will navigate the Noordhollands Kanaal to the naval port of Den Helder.
Den Helder – Oudeschild | North Sea island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (your choice 15-65 km/9-41 mi.*) | Texel – Den Oever
During breakfast the ship will cross the Marsdiep, a deep tide-race between Den Helder and Texel Island to the harbor of Oudeschild.** You will quickly understand why the island of Texel is a favorite destination for many tourists as you cycle around this enchanting Dutch island. Charming villages, beautiful beaches and areas of natural importance are crisscrossed by a network of cycling tracks, making all areas of the island easily accessible. Swim at one of the wide sandy beaches, visit the seal sanctuary “Ecomare” and/or cycle the beautiful “Thijsse-route” (with signposting, approx. 25 miles) through picturesque villages and landscapes. At the end of your cycling tour yua can enjoy a locally brewed beer during a visit to the small brewery in the harbor of Oudeschild. In the evening the the ship will return to Den Oever on the mainland. The highlight of the evening will be a night of live music on board.
Den Oever – Stavoren | Stavoren South-west Friesland round trip (approx. 30-50 km/19-31 mi.*)
The ship will cross the large inland lake IJsselmeer to sail to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland. You can opt for a shorter or longer cycling tour: discover the nature area of Gaasterland or explore a part of the wide lake district, that Friesland is well-known for. You can also combine both options. Night in Stavoren, one of the famous 11 cities of Friesland.
Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen (approx. 30-50 km/19-31 mi.*)
Sail to Medemblik during breakfast. Take the short pedaling from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer (former “Zuiderzee”) coast directly to Enkhuizen, where you can spend the afternoon. Enkhuizen is an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. The “herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbor, an historical old town center and the very interesting “Zuiderzeemuseum“. If you prefer a longer cycling tour, ride from Medemblik to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn, in the 17th century one of the world’s leading harbors and name giver of Cape Horn. Enjoy your lunch break and make a short stroll of the old city. Continue by bike through some picturesque rural villages to Enkhuizen. In the evening enjoy a short city walking tour incl. a visit of a traditional cheese shop with presentation and cheese tasting.
Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam (Approx. 35-50 km/22-31 mi.*)
During breakfast the ship will sail to Volendam. Your final day of cycling will lead you through the beautiful area of ‘Waterland’ with its hundreds of small lakes and tiny canals. Recommended (extra miles) is a detour to the former island of Marken, to continue through the water shaped region of Waterland back to the Dutch capital city of 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.
Details: : Both possibilities are being offered – the guest can choose. All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. *: In case of unfavorable weather conditions, the captain may decide to sail to Texel on Monday evening or not at all: in the latter case you can reach Texel ferry (price approx. 5€ not incl.).
Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons. If guests don’t want to cycle a day (or more) they are welcome to relax and stay on board while the ship is sailing. On the arrival (first) day is it possible to put your luggage on board from 9:30 AM.
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