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Maastricht-Amsterdam 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 starts 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
Maastricht (6 km/3.75 mi.)
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. After the welcome meeting there is time for bicycle fitting and a short test-ride. After dinner the tour leader will take you for a walk through the centre of town. We advise you to come to Maastricht one or more days earlier, so that you will have plenty of time to discover this interesting city.
Maastricht is a beautifully preserved city with Roman roots. In this town you find the treasure house 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 to thoroughly enjoy yourself on the Vrijthof. You will not get bored!
Maastricht – Born | Born – Roermond (40 km/24 mi.)
During breakfast you join the barge to Born via the Juliana Canal, where you disembark at the locks. From here you bike over the Dutch/Belgian border into Belgium to Maaseik. This town is famous for the painters Hubert and Jan van Eyck. On the market square you see typical renaissance houses with their impressive facades. You can also use the opportunity to try a Belgian “pint” on this beautiful square. Then you continue to 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. Our destination for today is the city of Roermond, where of the river Roer and Meuse come together. Roermond is known by its rich cultural heritage. Since 1559 it has been a bishop city. In the centre 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. He is the architect of the Rijksmuseum and Central Station in Amsterdam.
Roermond – Venlo – Arcen (50 km/30 mi.)
Today you start biking from Roermond. First you follow the river on the east bank to the beautiful village of Beesel, where the grain mill ‘grey bear’ stands proudly along the river. Then you cross over to the other bank to Kessel. Kessel is one of the oldest villages on the Meuse. At lunchtime you arrive in Venlo, with many historical moments and a lively inner city. In the afternoon you ride to Arcen, a former fortified town on the banks of the Meuse. If there is still time left, you can visit the famous local castle gardens, known for their extensive and diverse flowers and other vegetation. Another option is the beer garden of the local brewery.
Arcen – Cuijk (53 km/32 mi.)
Today a magnificent bike tour is on the program. First you will bike pass Well where you find the Well castle with its heavy round brick tower dating from the 14th century. You continue through the National Park Maasduinen close to the German border. Around lunchtime you arrive in Afferden. You will find the barge again in Cuijk, another interesting city on the banks of the Meuse. 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.
Cuijk – Oss (40 km/24 mi.) | Oss – Heusden
Today you bike from Cuijk along the Meuse river to the cities Grave and Ravenstein. Both are medieval cities. 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. In Ravenstein you can visit the Tanner’s Cottages in the city park. From Oss you will join the barge again on which you will have a nice sail to Heusden, a very beautifully restored fortified city. Dinner tonight (not included) will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).
Heusden – Gorinchem | Gorinchem – Vianen (41 km/25 mi.)
In the morning you will join the barge to Gorinchem, a charming town on the river Waal. From there 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. In the afternoon you continue to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek.
Vianen – Breukelen | Breukelen – Amsterdam (42 km/26 mi.)
You will sail during breakfast. Today’s bike tour, that starts in Breukelen leads along the winding river Vecht to Amsterdam. In Loenen you will visit a mill. Final destination is Amsterdam, where you can take a tour through the canals or visit the Rijksmuseum or the van Gogh museum.
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Max. No. Guests
|Jun 22 2024
|Jun 29 2024
|Jul 06 2024
|Jul 13 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