Cycling Holland

Cycling Holland

With a continuous series of dedicated cycle lanes that are very clearly marked, and the fact that the country is notoriously flat, Holland is an ideal place to see from the saddle.

On this tour we will experience both popular touristic highlights and hidden gems. We will enjoy riding by flower filled fields, cities full of history and spectacular scenery. Our riding will take us through the land of Mauve (the heart of Holland), the hometown of the famous painter Piet Mondriaan Amersfoort, the blooming city of Utrecht and we will cycle through the wonderful National Park of Soestduinen, the Utrechtse Heuvelrug and the Royal Gardens.

The cycling routes are 99% on flat bike paths, rated EASY. Total cycling length is approx 260 to 270km.

amst*** This tour is for the leisure cyclist who exercises regularly, and can ride up to 60 km (on flat roads) in a day.

Tour Highlights
• Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands
• Aalsmeer Flower Auction
• Zaanse Schans – beautiful, unique and full of windmills, handicraft shops and museums
• Alida Hoeve, Volendam – see how cheese is traditionally made, and visit the wooden shoe maker.
• Royal Delft Experience – the last remaining earthen ware factory from the 17th century
• Singer Museum, a unique, cultural heritage centre consisting of a museum, villa and sculpture garden.
• Utrecht Cathedral
• Soestdijk Palace, former home of Prince Bernhard and Princess Juliana

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Depart

We depart for Amsterdam.

Day 2: Amsterdam

Upon arrival in Amsterdam we embark on a leisurely canal cruise - one of the most memorable ways to discover the city. Then we transfer to our centrally located hotel. Tonight is our Welcome Dinner.

Day 3: Zaanse Schans / Edam / Volendam

Discover Holland’s traditional villages, culture and windmills on this fantastic excursion to the Dutch countryside. The Zaanse Schans is a residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh bread, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. We also visit Alida Hoeve for a cheese demonstration as well as wooden shoe making - a craft that is still being practised. We overnight back in Amsterdam and tonight dinner is on our own.

Day 4: Aalsmeer / Delft / Amersfoort

Leaving Amsterdam our first stop is Aalsmeer, a town of flower traders and growers, boat builders and sailors - a centre of Dutch tradition! Here we will visit the spectacular Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer Flower Auction, where more than 20 million flowers and plants are sold every day! The Royal City of Delft is our next stop, where The Royal Porceleyne Bottle is the last remaining pottery factory from the 17th century. Here, the world famous Delft Blue is completely painted by hand according to ancient traditions, and we will learn all about it during our visit here. We have some time in the town of Gouda before arriving in Soestduinen - our base for the next 7 nights.

Day 5: The Land of Mauve (Ride approx 45km)

This morning after getting personally fitted for our bikes,we start our first full day of cycling. Approaching Hilversum the landscape turns to open fields, and trees are replaced by heather. This is where the land of Mauve begins – beautiful landscape, lovely heather, sheep, magnificent thatched roofs and very friendly people - a region highly acclaimed by many artists for centuries. You may want to visit the Singer Museum in the village of Laren. The museum is devoted to presenting and preserving the collection of the American artist William Henry Singer and his wife Anna.

Day 6: Amersfoort (Ride approx 40km)

Cycling through Soesterduinen (a unique nature reserve with shifting sand dunes), our route takes us to the historic city of Amersfoort. Here, the old city walls with entrance gates ensure that the downtown area has perfectly managed to maintain its medieval appearance. You will have free time to explore this fascinating old city!

Day 7: Utrecht (Ride approx 48km)

We cycle from our hotel to Utrecht. The compact medieval city centre of Utrecht is perfect for exploring by foot or bicycle as the city really comes alive in the charming squares and countless alleyways. You may want to visit Utrecht Cathedral and the 112 meter high Dom Tower - a symbol of the city. If you climb the 465 steps of the tower (the highest church tower in the Netherlands) you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the whole city and the region.

Day 8: Bunschoten, Spakenburg and Eem (Ride approx 45km)

Today we cycle to the northern area of Amersfoort. Our route takes us through vast forests and the beautiful villages of Bunschoten, Spakenburg and Eem. We cycle to Soestdijk Palace - former palace of the Dutch Royal Family where we can see how Prince Bernhard and Princess (later Queen) Juliana lived for many years. You can wander through the period preserved state rooms as well as a number of private rooms.

Day 9: Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park (Ride approx 50km)

Today’s route takes us to the south of Amersfoort - an oasis of calm, nature and magnificent landscapes. We visit the Austerlitz Pyramid - a monumental obelisk built in 1804 in honour of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Day 10: Alongside the Valleikanaal (Ride approx 45km)

Our last day of cycling takes us along the Eem River - an area of Utrecht province where you can still enjoy the peaceful green countryside. We follow the dike to Bunschoten-Spakenburg - a beautiful village with authentic traditional Dutch features and welcoming people. Each day the older residents parade in their costumes and proudly explain the significance of the coloured fabrics. The centre of Spakenburg is centred around the old museum harbour, with its wharf bustling with fishing boats. Quaint shops, historic buildings, museums and cosy cafes and restaurants with their terraces make for a wonderful visit. This evening is our Farewell Dinner.

Day 11: Home

We fly back to Canada from Amsterdam.

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Cost per person: $5197
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