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Hansa Hilites 8-day Bike & Barge Tour
The Hansa Highlights Tour will take you through the central region of the Netherlands, a region shaped over millennia by the numerous rivers and streams that crisscross the area. You will cycle through the Rhine valley and its very beautiful tributary the IJssel River, cross the so-called border lakes region of the Netherlands and will visit fascinating cities and villages such as Amsterdam, Arnhem, Deventer, Kampen, Harderwijk and Elburg, to name a few. Given the flat terrain along the 125km IJssel valley, the tour is perfect for anyone who wants to leisurely cycle along the many winding trails in this diverse area. The natural beauty of the region is sure to impress as will the Hanseatic towns of the region that flourished during the Middle Ages when the IJssel was one of the most important trade routes in Europe. Another attraction is the so-called border lakes, between the “old” land with many beautiful harbour towns and the “new” land of the Flevoland, which was once the bottom of the sea, before the land was reclaimed in the 1950s and 1960s. In this area, you will leisurely cycle through a number of picturesque fishing harbours where life seemingly moves at a much slower pace. For many Dutch, this probably not so well-known area is one of their favourite cycling areas.
The barge has ten twin cabins (10 m² – 108 sq.ft.) with two separate beds. In two of the cabins, a bunk bed as the third bed is possible (on request). Each cabin has a recently renovated bathroom with a shower, toilet and basin. Windows can be opened and the cabins have ventilation and central heating. A hairdryer is available on request.
On the upper deck you will find the large and cozy lounge with the bar and dining area. Wi-Fi is available. The barge also has two large sundecks with storage room for the bicycles and sitting areas with tables and chairs, where you can have a drink. On nice evenings, or while cruising, you can enjoy the scenery from here. Furthermore, equipped with a double-roof of solar panels, the barge runs for a great part on green energy! This is not only environment-friendly, but also comfortable for guests: since the ship hardly needs to use a generator to produce electricity, the nights are still and quiet on board.
If you would like to rent a bike (85 EUR ) or e-bike (185 EUR) helmet (10 EUR), please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Slow Tours offers a number of other Bike & Barge Tours in Europe
Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you onboard is between 1 and 2pm in Amsterdam. At approximately 2pm the barge will leave Amsterdam to sail over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to Wijk bij Duurstede on the Rhine where you will spend your first night.
Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen | Wageningen – Arnhem 35km or 44 km
While you are enjoying breakfast, the barge will sail to Wageningen where you are finally off and cycling through the picturesque river valley of the Rhine. Along the way you will cycle through the woods and moorlands of the Veluwe. At the end of the day you pedal through the suburbs and past lovely parks such as Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal to Arnhem, where you spend the night close to the city centre. During the second world war, Arnhem was the battle scene of Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation in history. The operation ended in a failure because of the inability to capture a bridge over the Rhine River resulting in the destruction of the British 1st Airborne Division.
Arnhem – Doesburg | Doesburg – Zutphen | Zutphen – Deventer 26km or 42km
Today’s cycling tour takes you along the Hanseatic Town Route to the small village of Doesburg and along the IJssel to Bronkhorst, which has the distinction of being recognised as the smallest town in Holland. Guests will have two choices today, a shorter tour along the riverbank to Zutphen, or a longer bicycle trip via Vorden passing country houses, castles and rural estates. During dinner the barge will sail to Deventer where you have the option of a short guided walking tour in the evening.
Deventer – Hattem | Hattem – Kampen 36km or 48km
This morning you will enjoy a short bicycle ride along the IJssel riverbank before boarding a ferry at Wijhe to cross the river to Hattem. The 800-year-old town of Hattem has a rich history that is still clearly visible today. Guests have the opportunity, if they want, to stretch their legs with a longer bicycle trip through east Veluwe. During dinner the ship will sail to Kampen where you have the opportunity to go on an optional guided walking tour in the largest Hanseatic town in the Netherlands.
Kampen – Roggebotsluis | Roggebotsluis - Elburg – Harderwijk 48km
In the morning the barge will sail to the IJssel estuary and across the so-called border lakes. Today’s cycling tour starts at a lock, Roggebotsluis. From the lock you cycle along the border lakes to the fishing harbour of Elburg, where swimming, boating, surfing and fishing are favourite summertime activities. From Elburg the cycling tour goes to lovely Harderwijk through the woods and moorland at Elspeet. The night will be spent in Harderwijk’s old fishing harbour. In the 1500s Harderwijk boasted the largest fish market in the Zuiderzee region and it is still a fascinating old city to explore.
Harderwijk – Bunschoten – Spakenburg 35km or 59km
Today guests have two cycling choices: a short pedal along the coast or a combination of the coast route and a longer alternative that also takes in adjacent woodlands. The night will be spent in Spakenburg, a village well-known for its traditional costumes.
Spakenburg – Huizen | Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam 35km
During breakfast, you can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the barge. From Huizen you will cycle to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden, famous for its historic castle. From Muiden you will cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the world-famous city of Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are spent in Amsterdam. While you are there take the opportunity to visit Anne Frank’s home, the Rembrandt House Museum, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Dam Square, the very centre and heart of the city or maybe you could go on a canal tour.
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30am
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
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