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Duration
7 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 6 nights hotels
Meals
  • 6 Breakfasts

Price

$1250USD

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Overview

Trip Code: UCH

Trip highlights


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

If you're looking for the quintessential Dutch cycling experience, look no further. This self guided cycling trip in The Netherlands combines several all-time favourite cities; Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Delft and Gouda, each unique and brimming with typical old world Dutch character. The ride is perfect for a first time cycle trip or for those looking to slow down the pace. Each day's cycling distance is relatively short, allowing you time to explore out of the saddle and take in the highlights of each city or linger en route over a cheese tasting or coffee. Between the cities, the cycling route meanders through the quiet Dutch countryside, where you will encounter polders, windmills, fields of flowers (in the spring time), lakes and rivers. The itinerary really does provide a week long experience of the classic Dutch cultural and countryside gems.

Trip Grading

introductory

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Make your own arrival 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 things you can do and see in Amsterdam.

Meals:  Nil

If you haven't already paid a visit to the Van Gogh Museum or Anne Frank's house we recommended doing so early this morning in order to beat the queues. Later in the morning, say "tot ziens!” to amazing Amsterdam and start cycling through Kennemerland, where a great variety of lovely countryside awaits. You will see vast polders, wild(life) gardens, country estates, woods and beautiful peat land on your way to the elegant city of Haarlem. Its attractive city centre offers a wealth of possibilities for shopping, delving into art and culture, or relaxing in a cafe or restaurant. In April and early May, you have the option of cycling a longer route (60km/37mi)

Meals:  B

Downtown Haarlem deserves to be explored thoroughly. We recommend a city walk to discover its hidden "hofjes” - a square of tiny almshouses set around an idyllic courtyard, often built by the church or by a private charity to house single older women. 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. If you're cycling before mid-May you'll see the bulb flower 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 the oldest university town in the Netherlands. It has a very busy cultural events calendar and a friendly city centre with canals, monuments, windmills and museums to explore. The historical botanical gardens also deserve a special mention. Overnight Leiden. Note: If you want to spend a day at the world famous Keukenhof flower exhibition, we recommend booking an extra night in Leiden (must be done at the time of booking).

Meals:  B

After taking your leave of lively Leiden, peace and quiet will reign once more in today’s typical Dutch scenery. As you cycle you'll notice the orderly rectangles in the man-made polder landscape (mostly peat land reclamations). Pass by shining lakes and green pastures, old windmills and farmhouses as you pedal to the famous city of Delft, whose melancholy charm 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 the city (no original paintings on show here). Overnight in Delft.

Meals:  B

This stretch of the tour takes you through the Green Heart - a stronghold against urban sprawl in Randstad conurbation. Balancing atop polder dikes, delight in characteristic villages, distant horizons and pleasingly strict rectangles cut by ditches 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. Not only renowned for its cheese,Gouda is also famous for stroopwaffels (syrup waffles - try one hot!) and candles. If you’re travelling over the summer, plan your trip so that you can witness the traditional Thursday morning cheese market on the start of Day 6 (early April til that last Thursday in August). Overnight in Gouda.

Meals:  B

After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, get back on your bike and set off on the longest leg of the tour. Once again you will be cycling through the rural Green Heart. On the way, the scenery is punctuated by rivers, polders and lakes (bird lovers, be sure to bring your binoculars!). You'll pass small villages, lakes and meadows today. Do stop to sample a Dutch style apple tart! Continue on your way to Amsterdam following the beautiful Amstel River. Overnight Amsterdam. Note: If today's distance is too long you have 2 options: 1 - cycle to Woerden (38km/23.8mi) then take a train into Amsterdam (frequent services throughout the day, approx. 40 mins), or 2 - split this day and add a night in Woerden, making the tour an 8 day trip (day 6 38km/23.8mi, day 7 49km/30.6mi) - supplement applies, please ask for our rates, must be done at the time of booking.

Meals:  B

The trip concludes in Amsterdam after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts: Breakfasts are continental style and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices
  • 6 nights in 3-4 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Information pack including route notes & maps per room booked (GPS tracks available on request)
  • Luggage transfer between hotels - limited to 1 piece of luggage per person weighing a max 20kg. A charge for extra luggage items must 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.
  • Emergency hotline
  • 24 speed bike rental with pannier, helmet, repair kit and lock (electric bike available on request - supplement applies)

  • Travel to and from Amsterdam
  • All drinks, lunches and dinners. A dinner package is available (must be pre-booked) which includes a 3 course dinner each night - supplement applies
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Ferries - allow 1 to 2 EUR per ferry
  • Excess luggage - supplement applies. Each piece of extra luggage will be charged a supplement, max weight of 20kg applies (for work safety rules).

Bike information


Grading

introductory  

This trip involves 5 days cycling between 29 and 80km/18 and 50mi per day (although there are options to shorten the longest day) usually along paved cycle paths and quiet county roads across generally flat terrain. The well-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. Your luggage is transported for you between hotels/inns. The trip is graded introductory and is considered suitable for beginners. *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

Daily from 1 Apr to 24 Sep

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season supplement applies for departures on selected start dates in April, May and June as shown.
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

$1250USD

Options & Supplements*
  • E-bike supplementUSD$110
  • Optional 5 Dinner package (not in Haarlem)USD$220
  • Single SupplementUSD$270
*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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