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Northern Holland 8-day Bike & Barge Tour from/to Amsterdam (dW)
During this fascinating cycling cruise, you will discover the best of what the beautiful Provinces of North-Holland and Friesland offer. Explore flat “polder” landscapes – a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments – the North Sea coast, towering sand dunes, long sandy beaches, historic windmills, the island of Texel and the many picturesque harbour towns along the coast of IJsselmeer Lake. It is without a doubt a tour not to be missed! Nowhere else in the world will you find an area as fascinating as the Dutch Provinces of North Holland and Friesland, two areas rich in tradition.
Over the course of your week, you will be able to discover typical Dutch culture and cycle through a flat “polder land”, extensively reclaimed over the centuries from the North Sea and the former Southern Sea (now IJsselmeer). What you will soon realize is the truth behind the proverb “God created the earth but the Dutch made Holland”, such has been the extent of land reclamation in the region you will be cycling through. Since the 17th century in an effort to save disappearing land from encroaching water, protective dikes have been built, low lying land has been pumped dry and tidal dams have been created in creeks to prevent flooding, with the result that today’s green flat polder landscape is full of agricultural enterprise.
Given the Dutch love for cycling, the region is crisscrossed with many quiet cycle tracks that stretch from one end of the region to the other. You will be amazed by the beauty of the North Sea beaches, the towering sand dunes – who said there were no hills in Holland! – the extremely bicycle-friendly island of Texel, the beautiful flat landscapes, small dreamlike farm villages and romantic picturesque harbour villages. During the second part of the tour, you will cross the large lake IJsselmeer to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland. Other highlights during your week tour include the open-air museum “Zaanse Schans”, the historic city centre of Alkmaar and the old harbour cities of Medemblik, Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Volendam, the islands of Texel and Marken and – of course – Amsterdam with its beautiful canals.
The ship has a large salon with wide panoramic windows on the upper deck that combines the restaurant, bar and a lounge area. Wi-Fi is available. On the partially roofed sun deck, chairs and sun loungers invite for a stay. Here you can relax and have a drink and enjoy the scenery while sailing. Bicycles will be stored on a separate part of the sun deck.
The upper deck offers nine identical superior twin cabins (10 m² – 108 sq.ft.) and one suite (13 m² – 140 sq.ft.), all with two separate beds set next to each other as a hotel-style bed (200 x 160 cm – 78 x 62 inches). All upper deck cabins and the suite have a “French Balcony” (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors) instead of a regular window.
The lower deck has 24 twin cabins (10 m² – 108 sq.ft.). Three twin cabins in the front have two separate beds, set next to each other as a hotel-style bed (200 x 160 cm – 78 x 62 inches) and an additional fold away bunk bed as optional third bed. 21 twin cabins have two separate beds, set next to each other as a hotel-style bed (200 x 160 cm – 78 x 62 inches). All lower deck cabins have a window (80 x 40 cm – 31 x 16 inches) that – for safety reasons – cannot be opened. On previous request, in most cabins beds, normally set as hotel-style beds, can be arranged as two separate single beds.
All 34 cabins aboard have an individual climate control system, digital TV, mini-safe, small wardrobe, hairdryer, 230V sockets and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. The suite has the same amenities as the superior twin cabins but is larger.
If you would like to rent a bike (85 EUR), e-bike (185 EUR) or helmet (10 EUR), please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
(2023 bike prices 90 EUR or e-bike 195 EUR)
Slow Tours offers other Bike & Barge Tours in Europe
Embarkation and check-in from 2-4.30pm in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping, to explore downtown Amsterdam, to make a canal cruise or to visit a museum. At 5pm a welcome drink, dinner and first briefing on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar 44km
The first cycling trip of this tour takes you via small villages through the beautiful flat and green polder landscape. The first stop is at the Zaanse Schans open-air museum (free entry) with its traditional Old Dutch wooden houses, windmills and the cheese- and clog factory. After this visit you will cycle through the “Land of Leeghwater”, a green polder area between Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Hoorn. Stroll through the former whaler’s village De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. Your ship will be waiting for you near the historical city centre of Alkmaar.
Dune tour: Alkmaar – Den Helder 33km or 40km
Today you can discover the beautiful North-Holland Dune reserve. This is a 5,300-hectare large forest and dune area with its unique landscapes. In these dunes, the drinking water for almost the whole province of North-Holland is gained. After a visit to the beach and artists village Bergen you will return to Alkmaar where you can visit ou can visit the wonder the wonderful city centre. In the afternoon the ship will sail over the North-Holland Canal to the navy harbour of Den Helder.
Ferry to North Sea island of Texel: cycling round trips from 'T Hornje | Den Helder - Den Oever (several options from 15km to 65km
After breakfast, you’ll take a 20-minute ferry ride (ticket included) from Den Helder to the isle of Texel, where cycling is beautiful on the largest of the Dutch North Sea Isles. Ride through meadows, nature parks and dunes to small villages and have the opportunity for a stop and some bathing at the sandy North Sea beach, or visit the “E beach, or visit the “Ecomare” seal sanctuary. In the late afternoon, you will return by ferry to Den Helder. During dinner your ship will sail to Den Oever.
Den Oever – Stavoren | Southwest Friesland: round trip from/to Stavoren 43km or 55km
The vessel 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 the small harbour of Stavoren, one of the famous traditional 11 cities of Friesland.
Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen 30km or 50km
The ship will cross the IJsselmeer again during breakfast. Take the short cycling trip from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer 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 harbour, a historical old town centre 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 harbours. Enjoy your lunch break and make a short stroll in the old city centre. Continue by bicycle to Enkhuizen via some picturesque rural villages. In the evening you can join a short city walk.
Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam 35km or 50km
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. Near Volendam you will have the opportunity to visit a cheese farm. Recommended (extra cycling miles) is a tour 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 cruise on the first day, you can do so today.
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The weather was warm and beautiful- not a drop of rain during the entire bike/barge portion of our trip. The only rain we got was on one of the days prior to our bike/barge trip when we were touring Amsterdam on our own time. The staff and crew of the barge were amazing!! They were all very welcoming, friendly, and helpful. The ship was beautiful and very clean. I was surprised that our group of four were the only passengers that had declared English as our primary language. The crew was very good about explaining everything to us in English after the daily briefings that were done in German. The language barrier made it more challenging in getting to know the fellow passengers, but we did get to visit with a few that knew English (our fault for not knowing another language!). Holland is a beautiful country and the perfect way to see it was on a bike! The trip was very well organized. Loved the "Ride with GPS" system along with the daily route instructions- together the roads were easy to navigate. Lastly, you have been wonderful to deal with for these past 3 years!! I would not hesitate to recommend you and Slow Tours for this amazing trip, and also the crew of the barge. I know Covid has made this all very challenging for you and we appreciate all your extra efforts. We had a wonderful time- maybe you will be hearing from us again for another trip! - June 2022
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|Jun 18 2022||Jun 25 2022||71||Single rooms||0€|
|Jun 25 2022||Jul 02 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Jul 02 2022||Jul 09 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Jul 09 2022||Jul 16 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Jul 16 2022||Jul 23 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Jul 23 2022||Jul 30 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Jul 30 2022||Aug 06 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Aug 06 2022||Aug 13 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Aug 13 2022||Aug 20 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Aug 20 2022||Aug 27 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Aug 27 2022||Sep 03 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Sep 03 2022||Sep 10 2022||71||Single rooms||1,499€|
|Sep 10 2022||Sep 17 2022||71||Single rooms||0€|
|Sep 17 2022||Sep 24 2022||71||Single rooms||1,349€|
|Sep 24 2022||Oct 01 2022||71||Single rooms||1,199€|
|Oct 01 2022||Oct 08 2022||71||Single rooms||1,199€|
|Oct 08 2022||Oct 15 2022||71||Single rooms||974€|
|Apr 01 2023||Apr 08 2023||71||Single rooms||1,034€|
|Apr 08 2023||Apr 15 2023||71||Single rooms||1,034€|
|Apr 15 2023||Apr 22 2023||71||Single rooms||1,259€|
|Apr 22 2023||Apr 29 2023||71||Single rooms||1,259€|
|Apr 29 2023||May 06 2023||71||Single rooms||1,424€|
|May 06 2023||May 13 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|May 13 2023||May 20 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|May 20 2023||May 27 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|May 27 2023||Jun 03 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Jun 03 2023||Jun 10 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Jun 10 2023||Jun 17 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Jun 17 2023||Jun 24 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Jun 24 2023||Jul 01 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Jul 01 2023||Jul 08 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Jul 08 2023||Jul 15 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Jul 15 2023||Jul 22 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Jul 22 2023||Jul 29 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Jul 29 2023||Aug 05 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Aug 05 2023||Aug 12 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Aug 12 2023||Aug 19 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Aug 19 2023||Aug 26 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Aug 26 2023||Sep 02 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Sep 02 2023||Sep 09 2023||71||Single rooms||1,589€|
|Sep 09 2023||Sep 16 2023||71||Single rooms||1,424€|
|Sep 16 2023||Sep 23 2023||71||Single rooms||1,424€|
|Sep 23 2023||Sep 30 2023||71||Single rooms||1,259€|
|Sep 30 2023||Oct 07 2023||71||Single rooms||1,259€|
|Oct 07 2023||Oct 14 2023||71||Single rooms||1,034€|
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