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Sail and Bike Tour 8-day Tulips of Holland from Zaanse - Amsterdam (WfF)
Enjoy Holland in the springtime in an unforgettable way, exploring enchanting Dutch landscapes by wheels and water during our Tulip Sail and Bike tour. Smell the tulips when cycling through the countryside, feel freedom in the breeze while sailing across the Wadden Sea and Lake IJsselmeer, and enjoy comfort and camaraderie on the beautiful sailing.
During this fascinating Sail and Bike trip, you will discover the best tulip areas that the Netherlands has to offer. Not only will you visit the famous Keukenhof gardens, known for its hundreds of thousands of blooming tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other bulb flowers. You will also bike through less famous, but equally gorgeous areas where tulips bloom in the spring months. A visit to the Hortus Bulborum is also on the program, giving you the chance to ramble through this unique garden museum, dedicated to the preservation of rare and historic bulbs.
But it is not only about tulips; during your week-long Sail and Bike tour, you will spend plenty of time in the historical cities of Haarlem and Alkmaar gems hidden from mass tourism. You will discover typical Dutch cultural highlights and cycle through pleasant, flat polders, the result of centuries of extensive land reclamation from the North Sea and the former Southern Sea (now IJsselmeer). The region you will cycle through has undergone such extensive impoldering, that you will soon realize the truth behind the proverb, “God created the earth, but the Dutch made Holland”.
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 and expanse of the North Sea beaches, the extremely bicycle-friendly island of Texel, the splendid flat landscapes, small dreamlike farm villages, and romantic, picturesque harbour towns. And all of this completed with the occasional fields full of beautiful flowers. Lend a hand or relax onboard During the second part of the tour you will sail across the large lake IJsselmeer to Enkhuizen and Hoorn. If you like you may be instructed by the experienced crew to lend a hand during navigating and hoisting the sails. Sailing experience is not necessary. Of course you are also very welcome to just relax and enjoy the sailing and scenery.
The imposing three-masted barquentine, made its maiden voyage in the spring of 2018. The interior of this recently restyled ship can best be described as refined. There are 10 well-equipped twin cabins, 1 smaller twin cabin and 1 junior-suite with two separate beds and 1 single cabin. In some of the twins a third (bunk) bed can be added, which makes it perfect for a family. Sumptuous meals are served in the restaurant and the ship’s bar is fully stocked; so the salon is the place to be after a day on the pedals. Or on deck, where you can burn some extra calories by helping to hoist the sails.
Slow Tours offers other Sail & Bike tours in Europe
You are welcome to check in between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., where your crew will welcome you with coffee and tea. The ship is docked next to the Zaanse Schans, a unique hamlet where people live and work alongside original houses and windmills built next to the river Zaan. This tiny village is dominated by its operating windmills — the oldest of which was built in 1673 — and these were used for grinding mustard seeds, spices, and paint components, extracting plant oil, and for sawing wood into planks. Late afternoon, you will have the option to take a little test ride.
Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar (42 km/27 mi.)
Your first cycling tour brings you to Limmen and Egmond-Binnen, and here you have the chance to bike through colorful tulip fields. Nearby, you will visit the Hortus Bulborum, a unique garden museum dedicated to the preservation of rare and historic bulbs. More than 4,000 tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other special flowers are planted here. Your cycling tour continues to Egmond at the North Sea, once more passing through the tulip fields. Your ship will be waiting for you near the historical city center of Alkmaar. This town is well known as a Dutch cheese city. As you wander through the streets, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of Alkmaar’s old town, with its well-preserved 17th-century buildings and narrow, winding canals.
Alkmaar – Den Helder (30 km/19 mi. or 50 km/31 mi.)
Today you can take a bike tour north of Alkmaar where you will find the most beautiful tulip fields on your way to the North Sea. The sandy beach here is one of the most wonderful to walk along in the entire Netherlands, the perfect spot for feeling the wind in your hair or simply enjoying the view. Close by — and certainly worth a visit — is the artist’s village of Bergen. Then you will bike on through the North-Holland Dune reserve to Den Helder: this piece of land wedged between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer boasts the world’s single biggest flowering bulb field. In one word: spectacular!
Den Helder – Oudeschild | Wadden island of Texel: round trip (43 km/29 mi. to 48 km/26 mi.)
During breakfast the ship will sail to the island of Texel, the largest of the Dutch Wadden Isles. Today you can choose to cycle a shorter route or to take a longer tour around the island. You will cycle through delightful natural parks, and even on Texel you will bike through fields of blooming flowers! The signposts lead you through picturesque villages and landscapes, and even to the Ecomare seal sanctuary. At the end of your cycling tour, you can enjoy a locally-brewed, well-deserved beer during a visit to the small brewery near Oudeschild.
Oudeschild – Enkhuizen | Sailing day
Today your ship will set sail to Enkhuizen. You may lend a hand during navigation and hoisting the sails. Previous sailing experience is not at all necessary. Of course, you are also very welcome to just relax and enjoy the sailing and scenery as you progress along the IJsselmeer. While sailing you will enjoy an extensive lunch on board. In the afternoon, the ship will arrive in Enkhuizen, an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. You can spend some time exploring here “the herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbor and an old town full of history. No dinner will be served tonight, to enable you to explore the city. You can make yourself a picnic meal or try one of the nice restaurants of Enkhuizen.
Enkhuizen – Hoorn | Hoorn – Volendam (28 km/20 mi.)
In the morning you will join the ship along the Ijsselmeer to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn, which was, in the 17th century, one of the world’s foremost harbors. Your afternoon ride goes to Volendam, a small and picturesque fishing harbor on the shores of Lake IJsselmeer. Along the way, you will pass Edam, which is known for its famous Edam cheese, covered in red or yellow wax. While this adorable village is now renowned for cheese, it was once an industrious shipyard and port. That’s why, in the 17th century, the town’s specialty became one of the most popular cheeses in the world. Sailors took wheels of Edam on their voyages – the cheese doesn’t spoil easily and could be traded for spices and other riches of the East.
Volendam – Keukenhof – Amsterdam | Full day bus excursion
Today a beautiful bus ride leads you through the oldest tulip fields of Holland to the famous Keukenhof Gardens. You will have plenty of time to discover the most beautiful bulb park in the world — Keukenhof is the place where spring springs. It features an overwhelming blaze of colors: seven million flowering tulips in a magnificent 80-acre setting of traditional and modern gardening architecture. You also can admire various hyacinths, daffodils, and many other vibrant flowers. In the afternoon the bus will bring you back to Amsterdam to spend a restful night here in your floating hotel.
End of your tour: after breakfast, you can disembark until 9.30 a.m.
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