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Duration
9 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • hotels
Meals
  • 8 Breakfasts

Price

$1420USD

Walk and cycle Europe with confidence

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Overview

Trip Code: CAB

Trip highlights


  • Discovering the fantastic cities of Amsterdam and Brussels
  • Sampling the exquisite chocolates, waffles and beer in atmospheric cafes and bars
  • Exploring the picturesque, quiet Dutch and Flemish countryside
  • Cycling at your own pace on a fantastic self guided itinerary

Cycling through Holland and Belgium has long been a favourite for UTracks travellers and this hotel based tour is no exception. From the canalways of Amsterdam follow a well signposted 340km route along a string of exceptional Dutch and Flemish towns to discover their unique sights. In Gouda, sample their famous cheese and fresh syrup waffles, visit Kinderdijk with its world famous complex of historic windmills and discover Bergen op Zoom with its eight hundred year history etched in its narrow streets and old squares. Crossing over to Belgium, there is ample opportunity to sip on the many varieties of beer in Antwerp, whilst chocolate lovers will be well rewarded for their cycling efforts. The final leg to Brussels is short to ensure plenty of time to explore the main sights such as the Grote Markt and the little statue of Manneken Pis. In the evenings stay in a selection of cycle friendly hotels, specially chosen for their local character.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Make your own way to Amsterdam and check into the first hotel. Amsterdam is one of the crown jewels of Europe and there is so much to do and see here. If you arrive early make sure you go for a walk to marvel at the 17th century townhouses in the World Heritage listed canal district. The Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Vondelpark or a canal cruise are just some of the many things you can do and see in Amsterdam.

Meals:  Nil

A leisurely morning to absorb a few more of the sights of bustling Amsterdam before you plunge into the peace and quiet of the “Groene Hart” or Green Heart, a pleasant rural area of low-lying polders with peat meadows and grazing cattle. It’s a flat, open, spacious landscape where church spires and windmills touch the horizon and clouds are reflected in lakes and canals. Your route will end in the popular commuter town of Woerden. Overnight in Woerden.

Meals:  B

Continuing your bike ride through a typically Dutch polder landscape with grassland criss-crossed by ditches and canals, you'll pass small farming communities and picturesque historical towns such as Oudewater. Oudewater is famous for it Heksenwaag (or Witches Weighhouse) where women accused of witchcraft were weighed to prove their innocence. Later you reach Schoonhoven known by its nickname: Zilverstad ("Silver City"), due to its silver industry. You may stop to visit the "Het Nederlands Zilvermuseum" (the Dutch Silver Museum) or admire the Van den Gheyn Beiaard in the tower of the medieval town hall of Schoonhoven as the town is also known for its clocks. The last leg is to the market town of Gouda. For the Dutch, Gouda is inextricably linked to cheese, candles, syrup waffles and a lovely historical centre. We recommend an evening stroll to soak up the yesteryear atmosphere and marvel at the large and attractive market square boasting a wonderful fifteenth century town hall as well as a Weighing House (“Waag”). Overnight Gouda.

Meals:  B

During today's cycle you will visit one of the Netherland's most popular tourist attractions - Kinderdijk, a world-famous complex of windmills. Here 19 historical windmills line the canal in the epitome of classic Dutch countryside. In Kinderdijk you can visit an authentic workshop and find out how these windmills were built and how they work. Your destination is Papendrecht, just a ferry crossing (or 3km) from one of Holland's oldest towns, Dordrecht. Dordrecht is completely surrounded by rivers, and beautiful bridges take you across the water and into the heart of the town. A visit to the scenic harbour quarter with its wonderful historical buildings should not be missed. Overnight in Papendrecht.

Meals:  B

This morning you will cycle past one of the few remaining freshwater tidal areas in Europe: Biesbosch National Park*. You'll pedal across a 1km-long bridge high above the Hollands Diep river and find yourself in The Netherlands' Brabant province. Passing village after village, why not stop for coffee and a big slice of fruit tart. Today's destination is Bergen op Zoom, 800 hundred years old and where the narrow streets, old squares and hundreds of monuments testify to a rich and dramatic past. Before settling in at one of the many cafes, don't forget to feast your eyes on Markiezenhof, the town's pride and joy. This late-Gothic mansion dating from 1485 was built by the local noble family and now serves as a museum and archive. Overnight in Bergen op Zoom. *Please note you will only cycle through de Biesbosch park on days that the ferry departs. If the ferry does not operate you will follow an alternative route.

Meals:  B

The landscape today is dominated by the surrounding woods. You can catch your breath on the border between the Netherlands and Belgium, in the De Zoom-Kalmthoutse Heide, a lovely cross-border nature reserve. Continue along the Scheldekaaien (quays on the River Scheldt) right into the historical heart of Antwerp. Antwerp is the largest town in Flanders and is Belgium's most important port city. After viewing the historical town centre you might like to venture to the hip and trendy parts of the city: ‘t Zuid and Het Eilandje. If you have worked up a thirst for Belgian beer you can visit the De Koninck brewery, operating since 1833, and its visitors centre which welcomes guests with tours and tastings. This brewery is best known for its ‘Bollekes’. Overnight in Antwerp.

Meals:  B

After a short stretch on the banks of the River Scheldt this morning, you will change course to follow the River Rupel, the shortest river in the country (only 10km long). In the region of the same name, the abandoned brick works and idle chimneys are silent witnesses of its industrial past. Continuing along the River Dijle, you'll enter the old town of Mechelen, a perfect place to stop for lunch where you can sample Belgian French fries, considered by locals to be the best in the world. Continue along the River Dijle to end your day in the town of Louvain, a pleasant university town where the oldest houses date from the 14th and 15th centuries. Don’t miss the Grand Béguinage - with 100 houses, it was set up in 1234 as a community for lay religious women and is now part of the university campus. You also might like to see the early-Gothic church of St John the Baptist, built in 1304. And round off your explorations at the Oude Markt (Old Market Square), nicknamed ‘the longest bar counter in the world’ due to the large number of bars and cafes on the square. Overnight Leuven/Louvain.

Meals:  B

The hills of the Belgian Brabant region and the extensive Sonian Forest set the scene for the cycle today. Brussels' main attraction is the fantastic Grote Markt (Great Market Square) which is surrounded by opulent guildhalls, the city's Town Hall, and the King's House building containing a museum. Nearby, the little statue of Manneken Pis still draws crowds. Your visit to Brussels can also include scrumptious hot waffles, chocolate, beer, culinary treats, shopping or soaking up the culture. If you don’t feel like cycling into Brussels, you can opt to catch a train at one of the stations along the route. One thing’s for sure: Brussels can’t be explored in one day and we are happy to assist with booking extra nights if you would like to extend your stay.

Meals:  B

The trip concludes this morning in Brussels after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts: Breakfasts are continental style and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices
  • 8 nights in 3-4 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Information pack including route notes, maps, tourist information per room booked, GPS tracks are available on request
  • Emergency hotline
  • Luggage transfer between hotels - limited to 1 piece of luggage per person weighing a max 20kg - excess charge for extra luggage items to be booked and paid before departure. Please note that small bags cannot be attached to the main luggage. They will be charged as separate pieces of luggage.
  • 21 speed rental bike with pannier, helmet, repair kit and lock (premium and e-bikes available - supplement applies)

  • Travel to and from Amsterdam / Brussels
  • All drinks, lunches and dinners (optional 6 dinner package - excludes in Brussels - supplement applies)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Ferries, allow approx 1-2 EUR per ferry
  • Bike insurance - can be pre-purchased through UTracks, please ask for our rates
  • Excess luggage - supplement applies. Each piece of extra luggage will be charged a supplement. Luggage cannot be heavier than 20kgs due to work safety rules.

Bike information


Grading

introductory to moderate  

This trip involves 7 days cycling between 37 and 75km/23 and 46.5mi per day, usually along paved cycle paths and quiet county roads across generally flat terrain. Only towards the end of the tour does the terrain become slightly hilly. The well sign-posted cycle route is generally low traffic and often car-free. In and out of the cities there will be some traffic. You need only carry your camera/rain gear and water bottle as your luggage is transported for you between hotels/inns. The trip is graded introductory to moderate and is considered suitable for beginners who have a good level of fitness. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list and we do provide one for each client.


Departure dates

Every Sunday from 2 May to 19 Sep

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season supplement applies for departures on selected start dates in May and June.
DN2
April and May are busy months, especially in the province of South-Holland and we are already experiencing availability problems. At the end of April and early May there is a flower parade in Noordwijk-Haarlem area, Formule 1 Grand Prix racing in Zandvoort (dates tba - usually in May). These events affect the availability of hotels in other cities in the region.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1420USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Premium bike supplementUSD$90
  • E-bike supplementUSD$140
  • Optional 4 dinners (not in Bergen, Antwerp & Brussels) - surchargeUSD$230
  • Single supplementUSD$360
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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