Self-Guided Highlights of Holland by Bike

Resort:Self-Guided Highlights of Holland by Bike
Operator: Explore
Destination: Europe, Netherlands
Price From: £975.00

Over View

Explore the green heart of Holland – countryside of polders, windmills, villages and meadows Historic towns including Haarlem, Gouda on this self-guided cycling holiday.

Amsterdam – Discover this vibrant historic Capital city

Delft Art – From Amsterdam throughout there are chances to see works by the grandmasters

Superb network of cycle paths – Travelling by bike at its best.


Day 1 Holiday starts in Amsterdam

Our cycling trips starts in Amsterdam today. Your bike will be delivered either today or tomorrow morning.

There are public transport options easily available to make your way from Amsterdam Airport (AMS) or from the Eurostar terminal.

With so much to do in this bustling city, you may like to consider arriving before the start of your holiday. If you get here early you may opt to wander around the gorgeous and surprisingly peaceful seventeenth century canal ring area (UNESCO World Heritage Site). If you like bustle, make your way to the city’s famous squares: Dam, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. Should you prefer to roam off the beaten track, saunter up Brouwersgracht or hire a canal bike and find out what the city looks like from the water.

Day 2 Cycle through Kennemerland countryside to Haarlem

You may choose to get an early start and beat the queues at the Van Gogh or Anne Frank museum. Alternatively you wish to move on first thing after breakfast, say ‘tot ziens!’ to amazing Amsterdam and mount your bike to journey through Kennemerland where a great variety of lovely countryside awaits: vast polders, wild(life) gardens, country estates, woods and beautiful peatland. You will stay the night in the elegant city of Haarlem. The attractive city centre offers a wealth of possibilities for shopping, delving into art and culture, or relaxing in cafes and restaurants.

Your total cycling distance today is approximately 21 kilometres.

Day 3 Ride past colourful flower fields (seasonal) to Leiden

Downtown Haarlem deserves to be thoroughly explored. We recommend a city walk to discover the city’s hidden ‘hofjes’. A hofje is a square of old tiny almshouses set around an idyllic courtyard, often built by the church or by private charity to house older people. Also dating back to the Dutch Golden Age, the works of Haarlem painter Frans Hals (group portraiture) and his townsmen including Jacob Ruysdael (land- and seascapes) and Pieter Saenredam (church interiors) are on display at the Frans Hals museum. In the afternoon get set for a colourful bike trip through the dune and bulb region. Perhaps visit between April and mid-May to capture the flower bulb fields in their full splendour! Tulips, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths are grown here commercially (for bulb export) and temporarily transform the landscape into one of the country’s best-loved tourist attractions. Leiden is Holland’s oldest university town, with a very busy cultural events calendar and a friendly city centre with canals, monuments, windmills and museums. The historical botanical gardens get special mention.

Your total cycling distance today is approximately 38 kilometres.

Day 4 Cycle through past polders, windmills and pastures to historic Delft

After taking your leave of lively Leiden, peace and quiet will reign once more in today’s typically Dutch scenery. Note all the orderly rectangles in this man-made polder landscape (mostly peatland reclamations). Let shining lakes and green pastures, old windmills and farmhouses pass you by whilst pedalling on to the famous city of Delft. The quiet charm of historical Delft is breathtaking. Most will associate Delft with its blue and white hand-painted pottery: Delftware. But did you know that painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) lived in Delft all his life? The Vermeer Centre gives illuminating insights into his life, works and city (no original paintings on show here).

Your total cycling distance today is approximately 24 kilometres.

Day 5 Ride through Holland’s ‘green heart’ to Gouda

This stretch of the cycle route takes you through the ‘Groene Hart’ area; a protected green belt adjacent to the urban sprawl of the ‘Randstad conurbation’, made up of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Balancing atop polder dikes, delight in characteristic villages, far horizons and pleasingly strict rectangles cut in fields of vibrant green. As you wander around the city of Gouda at the end of the day, don’t miss the gothic town hall (1450); the Weighing House (1667); the romantic inner city canals and the stained glass windows in St. John’s Church. Gouda is also famous for making syrup waffles (try one hot!) and candles. If you’re travelling in summer, you may like to plan your trip so that you can witness the traditional Thursday morning cheese market at the start of Day 6 (last Thursday in May till last Thursday in August – please check!).

Your total cycling distance today is approximately 34 kilometres.

Day 6 Continue cycling through the ‘green heart’ to Woerden

After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, get back on your bike and set off on the longest leg of this bike tour. Still in the ‘green heart’, the scenery is punctuated by rivers, small villages, meadows, polders and lakes (bird lovers, bring your binoculars). You may be tempted to stop for a sample of Dutch style apple tart! Thus fortified, continue on your way to Woerden.

Your total cycling distance today is approximately 38 kilometres.

Day 7 Cycle along the beautiful River Amstel to Amsterdam

Today is a short day so you have time to spend the afternoon in Amsterdam. From Mijdrecht you cycle towards the beautiful River Amstel. Amsterdam took its name from this river and also Amstel beer is named after the river. The Amstel brewery, as a lot of other breweries, was situated close to the Amstel river because clean river water was used to produce the beer. With the river as your guide you will cycle back to Amsterdam.

Your total cycling distance today is approximately 47 kilometres.

Day 8 Holiday ends in Amsterdam

After breakfast, the organised part of your cycling holiday comes to an end. Enjoy a big hearty breakfast one last time – don’t forget to try chocolate sprinkles!

Public transport is easy to arrange to get back to Amsterdam Airport (AMS) or the Eurostar terminal.