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

Price

$1490USD

Walk and cycle Europe with confidence

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Overview

Trip Code: UAB

Trip highlights


  • Cycling in a flat landscape through Holland's Green Heart
  • Exploring vibrant Amsterdam and historic Bruges
  • Sampling cheese in Gouda and waffles in Willemstad
  • Discovering the Biesbosch wetlands and pedalling past the famous Kinderdijk windmills

When it comes to self guided cycling holidays the cities and countryside of the Netherlands and Belgium are ideal for this flexible style of travel. This itinerary follows quality cycle paths past the delightful towns, villages and canals that the countries are famous for and will take you to regions you might otherwise never discover. Starting in the dynamic city of Amsterdam, where you should allow time to explore its many fine museums, you'll ride south to the Green Heart of the country, through some of the most picturesque, well preserved and evocative towns of the Netherlands and Flanders including the cheese capital of Gouda and the fortified town of Willemstad. The ride will also see you take in the famous Kinderdijk windmills, polders and nature reserves en-route to the Belgium city of Bruges, the pearl of the Flanders region.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

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 see and do here. If you arrive early make sure you go for a walk to marvel at the 17th century townhouses and warehouses in the World Heritage listed canal district. The Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Vondelpark or a canal cruise are just some of Amsterdam’s ‘must-do’s’.

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. 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 cycle for today ends in medieval Gouda. Here you can amble through the beautifully preserved town centre and visit the town hall, St John’s church, as well as a Weighing House (“Waag”). To reward your efforts in the saddle we recommend stopping at a bakery to buy fresh syrup waffles and some Gouda cheese, and an evening stroll to soak up the local atmosphere. Overnight in Gouda.

Meals:  B

During today’s cycle you will visit one of the Netherland’s most popular attractions - Kinderdijk. 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, Papendrecht, is just a ferry crossing away from of one of Holland’s oldest towns: Dordrecht, which is completely surrounded by rivers. Beautiful bridges take you across the water into the heart of town, and around the harbour you will see many monumental buildings. The hotel in Papendrecht is just 3km from the centre of Dordrecht, on the northern banks of the river. If you would prefer to stay in the centre of Dordrecht we have an optional upgrade to a 4 star hotel (supplement applies, must be requested at time of booking). Here the bike can only be parked outside, in front of the hotel (with camera surveillance).

Meals:  B

The result of a major flood in 1421, Biesbosch is one of the few remaining wetland habitats in Europe where the ecosystem has adapted both to saltwater coming in from the sea through tidal creeks, and to freshwater coming down in the rivers. It’s an ever changing labyrinth of creeks and riverlets encompassing countless little islands of willow woods and reeds, a paradise for birds. The ride takes you along the edges of this National Park. Round off the day in Willemstad, a fortified town shaped like a seven-point star. Please note you will only cycle through the Biesbosch park on days that the ferry departs. It does not operate daily. If the ferry does not operate you will follow an alternative route.

Meals:  B

Today you will enter Zeeland, a province of the Netherlands marked by light, wind, water and lots of space. It is made up of islands so bridges and ferries will be carrying you across the waters as you head towards Belgium. Picture-book towns with ancient houses and cobbled streets are lined up for the coming days. Traverse a patchwork landscape of vast polders, idyllic countryside, rolling dunes and golden sand flats. Overnight in Schuddebeurs or Zierikzee.

Meals:  B

A wander down the narrow streets of Zierikzee is an absolute delight. Quaint little old houses take you back in time to the town’s glory days when ships set sail to sell salt, wool, fish, grain and red dye as far afield as the Baltic and the Mediterranean. Today your route continues to the charming village of Veere. From 1541 everything that was exported from Scotland to Holland (mainly wool) came ashore here and was distributed from Veere. This contract brought the town not only prosperity but also a very lively Scottish expat community that stayed for 300 years. Walk in their footsteps as you take a tour of the sights. Heading further south, you will discover the nostalgic splendour of Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of the most important centres of trade in the Netherlands. Overnight in Middelburg or, dependent on availability, Vlissingen further towards the coast.

Meals:  B

After a hearty breakfast, hop on a ferry boat at Vlissengen to Zeelandic Flanders, with its winding country roads, pollard willows, wet meadows and scattered villages. (Attention! The ferry crossing from Vlissingen to Breskens must be reserved online in advance, link provided on booking). Having crossed the border into Belgium, you will reach the charming little town of Damme on the banks of the romantic Damse Vaart. From here, it’s only a short stretch to Bruges, known as the pearl of Flanders! It’s a truly enchanting town that has been welcoming tourists for about 150 years. With most of its medieval architecture intact, it remains exceptionally well preserved and will give you a sense of times gone by when it was the centre of the European wool and cloth trade. Overnight in Bruges. An optional upgrade is available in Bruges to a centrally located hotel is available - supplement applies, must be requested a time of booking.

Meals:  B

The trip concludes this morning in Bruges after breakfast. We can assist with extra nights accommodation on request, please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts: Breakfasts are continental style and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices
  • 8 nights in 3 to 4 star hotels on a twin share basis with private facilities. Optional upgrades available: to stay in Dordrecht on day 4 instead of Papendrecht, in Bruges on day 8 at a more centrally located 4* hotel
  • 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.
  • 24 speed hybrid rental bike with pannier, helmet, repair kit and lock (premium model and e-bikes available - supplement applies)

  • Travel to Amsterdam and from Bruges
  • All drinks, lunches and dinners. A dinner package can be 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
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Ferries - allow 1 to 4 EUR per ferry, transfers
  • GPS device - available for rent (supplement applies), bike breakdown and 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 66km/23 and 41mi 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-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 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

Daily from 1 Jun to 31 Aug (Thu, Fri and Sat from 1 Apr to 29 May and 2 to 30 Sep)

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season supplement applies for departures on selected start dates in April and May as shown.
DN2
April and May are busy months, especially in the province 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) and the Eurovision Song Contest (18-23 May) in Rotterdam. These events affect the availability of hotels in other cities in the region.
DN3
For departures running in reverse, see our trip 'Cycle Bruges to Amsterdam' - trip code CBA.

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

$1490USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Premium bike supplementUSD$90
  • E-bike supplementUSD$140
  • Single supplementUSD$320
  • Dinner SupplementUSD$350
*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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