Bike and Barge Holland — Flowers, Golden Age towns and typical Dutch!
This tour is booked by Biketernity.
April 15-22, 2017
Enjoy the enchanting landscapes of Holland — where cycling is a way of life. We'll cycle the flower fields, visit a working windmill, see Delft pottery made, and visit lovely Golden Age towns- including a day sightseeing The Hague.
Cycle safe out of Amsterdam! (25 miles)
Our trip starts Saturday right before noon when we board our barge/hotel, get our bikes fitted and sail out of Amsterdam the quieter way.
Suzie stops to treat everyone to yummy Dutch ice cream in the 1000 year old village- Sloten- that manages to keep its picturesque view. Here we also enjoy a guided tour of the Rembrandt windmill and museum.
We arrive in the quiet village of Oude Wetering- just a skip away from bulb-fields and famous Keukenhof.
Visit to the Tulips and evening in Leiden (30ish miles)
We depart our boat quickly after breakfast so we can beat the crowds of the Keukenhof - the world's largest flower garden. On the way we follow the bulb fields of Abbenes and Lisse hoping to see early color.
We plan on several hours to browse the Keukenhof's magnificent acreage and enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds.
Passing the old town of Sassenheim and Warmond and fields bursting forth in colors of yellows, pinks and purples - we reach the city of Leiden.
Leiden is an unusually beautiful city, famous for being not only the birthplace of Rembrandt but where Clusius brought the first Dutch tulips into flower.
I can't believe how many things we were able to see in one short week! The Keukenhof was breathtaking ! We definitely will be back for another trip!!
~ Bill and Mary Scott, Illinois
Of significant importance is that Leiden is the home of the first university in Holland (1575), which has developed into a world-famous centre of science.
Hopefully arriving early, we are planning to park our bikes and enjoy a town walk with a local guide.
Delft-visit to working farm & Royal Delft! (30 miles)
We leave Leiden heading south for a visit to a 10-generation small family run organic dairy and cheesmaker. Here we'll take a tour and participate hands-on with a working farm and learn about the important dairy industry in the Netherlands.
Beautiful Oostport in Delft
We continue south through green nature areas and horse farms and following narrow canals until we reach the city of Delft.
Dating back to 1075, Delft is known as the birthplace of Golden Age artist Johannes Vermeer and the fine hand-crafting of Delftware porcelains.
Cyclists will visit the Royal Blue Delft Factory to see firsthand the artwork and production of fine porcelain in the world-famous Delft tradition.
After dinner, we will also enjoy a town walk of the picturesque city center with its romantic tree-lined canals and countless historic monuments.
The Hague- (25-30 miles)
A trip to the south of Netherlands is not complete without a visit to the The Hague!
The Hague's Binnenhof
The Dutch seat of government and home to the royal family, Den Haag is a stately, regal place filled with palatial embassies and mansions, green boulevards and parks- and bordered by a long stretch of beautiful beach.
Today our boat stays in Delft while we cycle a short 7 miles to the vibrant Haag and enjoy a wonderful visit to the city and its imposing monuments.
Afterwards, we'll head for the beautiful dunes and ride along the North Sea coast to the village of Kijkduin. Then it's back to Delft via parks, green areas and small greenhouse villages west of the city center.
Gouda via Rotterdam and Kinderdijk (30 miles)
Today we cycle a short distance along the Schie Canal into Rotterdam- first stopping to visit the famous Delft's Harbor where the Pilgrim Separatists in July 1620 embarked on the Speedwell. Here we will find the old "Hervormde Kerk" (Reformed Church) in which they worshiped prior to their departure for the New World.
We'll enjoy our lunch in beautiful "Het Park" and tour the lovely old harbor before departing for Kinderdijk aboard the Water Bus at the Erasmus Bridge.
Built in 1740 and preserved to this day, 19 sturdy mills were built in Kinderdijk — a concentration of this number found nowhere else in the world.
The Green Heart of Holland.
We head across the Lek River by ferry to Schoonhoven- founded in 1280 and called Silvertown because of its famous past in Silversmithing. We will take time to sightsee the beautiful town and enjoy a treat of typical apple cake on the town square.
Cycling north we'll travel through the Krimpenerwaard, a vast area of Holland's Green Heart polderlands separated by hundreds of canals and dotted with charming old villages. We cross the "Dutch Ijssel" by bridge to enter Gouda.
With over 300 preserved buildings, Gouda boasts a vibrant historic center including the 123-metre long St. Janskerk (St. Johns Church) with its world-famous stained-glass windows, the fabulous Gothic Town Hall and Waag (Weigh House).
We'll make a special visit to see, and of course enjoy, traditional Stroop Waffles made and sample chocolates from an original Gouda candy store.
Gouda and famous Cheese Market! (30 miles)
We will linger a bit this morning for the Thursday morning GOUDA CHEESE MARKET -a spectacular and historic scene with lively cheese trading and a market square full of assorted vendors showing their foods and trades.
We take leave of Gouda into the Goudse Hout- a recreational area surrounded by a huge lake that we cycle across like we're floating on the water while gazing upon a beautifully preserved grassland landscape.
Gouda Cheese Market
We'll pedal into the famous Floraculture area of Boskoop, famous for its more than 700 woody plant and perennial nurseries which sweep along stretches of land, divided by lovely narrow canals.
As we enjoy more "photo ops" passing Dutch farmhouses and large lake areas we rest a bit in the quaint town of Rijpwetering- home of Joop Zoetemelk- 1980 Tour de France Winner. Just a few more miles and we arrive in Kudelstaart resting on the banks of a gorgeous lake- the Westeinder Plassen.
Visit to the Flower Auction and Panekoek Breakfast on the lake! (20-25 miles)
We enjoy an early breakfast and cycle a few miles so we can get first peak at the workings of the famous Flower Auction of Aalsmeer - largest in the world. We will witness the exciting process in which millions of flowers and plants are bought and sold to be shipped to countries all over the world.
We'll head for the beautiful Amsterdamse Bos (forest) at the southern edge of the city. Created in 1937 from unused wetlands, the Bos is now a favorite place for cycling and watersports. We'll stop at the wonderful Pannekoeken House, Meer Zicht ( Lake View), where Suzie and Roger will treat the group to a traditional Dutch pancake treat- not to miss!.
Meandering through the outskirts of the city center we avoid busy Amsterdam to reach our boat.
We celebrate our final evening together with a special Farewell Dinner!
Good Bye to the Netherlands
Saturday morning we will have a farewell breakfast feast, say our goodbyes to cycling friends and the wonderful hospitality of our our captain and crew. We disembark at 9 a.m. for home.
The Netherlands terrain is mostly flat, but we can experience wind and rain which are weather factors that impact cycling experience and ability.
So, we recommend this trip for an athletic/active person or experienced cyclist who can complete the daily miles under some adverse weather - if it should be present- and likes to average 10-12 mph on easy/flat terrain while enjoying a leisurely trip.
We will average about 30 miles on most days with Suzie as ride leader and Roger as route "sweep" and mechanic. We advocate a "stop and smell the roses" philosophy to cycling and our group cycles together as a shared experience. Of course, you can always take a break from cycling and enjoy sailing from the sundeck of our barge — quite a delightful experience!
We do not use the assistance of a support vehicle on our Bike and Barge tours.
Amsterdam is serviced by Schiphol Airport, located just a few miles from the city center where our boats are located. There is both excellent public transportation and reasonably priced shuttle service available from the airport to the city.
As with all European trips, we advise our cyclists to arrive a few days early to acclimate to the time change, get acquainted with the new culture and sightsee beautiful Amsterdam.
WELKOM onboard the Sarah! Owners and hosts, Jur and Connie, are proud of their lovely vessel with roomy bedrooms featuring two lower beds and a private bath.
Our boat also features a spacious & comfortable dining area and salon for relaxing amd mingling. There is also a wonderful sundeck where we can enjoy afternoon snacks, socializing or quiet time while sailing.
More information including what to pack, pre-trip lodging in Amsterdam, traveling abroad, tips on airfare, and other important pre-trip details will be provided in our detailed WELCOME LETTER sent to you when we receive your registration for the trip.
Take a peek at one of our cyclists- Shari Bernhard's photos of her trip
We Include Lots!
- 7 nights / 8 days enjoying the hospitality and personal service of our own floating dutch boat-inn. Sleeping quarters in cozy double occupancy rooms, all with lower berths. All rooms have their own private bathroom.
- Hearty breakfasts, packed lunches for picnics, 6 dinners, wine and cheese parties. We enjoy one dinner free so you can experience a night out.
- Visit to the Keukenhof Flower Gardens, flower auction Bloemenveiling, Delft Pottery factory, Binnenhof Tour/Haag, historic Sloten Windmill, working farm visit, fares for bike ferries, and other exciting things Suzie finds along the way!
- Afternoon snacks and weekly wine and cheese party
- Town walks in most of our port towns
- Suzie and Roger; Ride Leaders
- Bicycle rental with pannier
Our new trip for 2016!