Kingsday Blooming North Holland!

$1,499 - includes Keukenhof ticket upon request!

April 25-May 2, 2020

Did you know that North Holland has the largest acreage of flower fields in the Netherlands! Come explore with us- open-air museum of the Zuiderzee, working windmills, Tulip Festival of Bloemendagen, a medieval castle, and rich foliage of the Island Texel. We experience the national holiday of Kingsday, cycle the North Sea Dunes to the glorious city of Alkmaar and visit to their famous Cheese Market, and enjoy tasty Dutch treats like Pannekoeken. The BEST SPRING TOUR of Holland!

Trip Itinerary

Amsterdam

Our trip starts Saturday afternoon with a loop ride into the Waterland region just north of Amsterdam.

Bike and Barge Holland Bicycle Tour

Cycling in the Waterland Region

This region just east of the bustling North Hollands Canal is a quiet area of former old fishing villages like Broek en Waterland where many impressive houses were built for local wealthy families. From the 17th century, the town was a popular tourist destination for people from nearby Amsterdam - even Napoleon famously came to visit here.

From here we head for charming Monnickendam — boasting a beautiful harbor where its oldest trade- shipbuilding, is still thriving.

Pedaling still north we'll stop by Katwoude to visit a cheese farm and clog maker.

Our first evening is spent in Amsterdam celebrating a Welcome Dinner with the ship crew and guests!

Hoorn

Sunday, our ship sails early to drop us at the town of Volendam where we start our cycling.

It's just a short ride along the beautiful Ijselmeer dijk to the quaint town of Edam — named after the famous cheese and whose many canals are criss-crossed still by lovely 17th century houses.

Bike and Barge Holland Bicycle Tour

Enjoying dinner on the Sundeck

We leave the water and pedal inland to enjoy the beautiful vastness of the Beemster Polder — an area drained between 1608 and 1612, and the oldest large area reclaimed from the sea in the Netherlands.

Coming eastward once more we enter the town of Hoorn — on the banks of the Ijsselmeer.

We'll take time to explore this typical old Zuidersee town, now with a thriving marina, wonderful period buidings from the Golden Age of East Indies trading, and quaint winding streets.

After dinner we enjoy a stroll with local guide, Lidia Tacx.

Cycling Kingsday-Medemblik

Walled towns abound in the Netherlands

Historic walled towns abound in the Netherlands.

Today is the most famous holiday of the Netherlands-Kingsday- celebrating the birthday of King Willlem Alexander. There is decoration and festivities everywhere as the Dutch love their king and an opportunity to party!

We'll head first to Enkhuizen- that still bears witness to its former prosperity with finely decorated Renaissance buidings , a beautiful church and stone tower, and the 17th century houses and warehouses of the former Dutch East India Company.

Here we enjoy the famous Zuiderzee Museum. Both an indoor and fascinating open-air museum, we will witness life as it was over a hundred years ago as we stroll through an authentic fishing village on the Ijsselmeer escorted by a museum guide.

From Enkhuizen we travel along the coast to Medemblik, explore the famous Castle Radboud and join in for Kingsday festivities.

Den Helder

Working Windmill Bike and the Like Bike and Barge Holland

Group visit to the Onderneming Windmill

Holland Flower Fields Bike and the Like Bike and Barge Holland

Gazing at the blooming Anna Paulowna flowers

We relax a little today as we follow the coast of the Waddenzee and partake of the Bloemendagen (Blooming Days) Festival of the Anna Paulowna polder.

On our way we stop at the Onderneming windmill in Hipolytueshof for a personal tour of a real functioning windmill!

Our destination is Den Helder- a bustling town famous for its residence of the Dutch Royal Navy where we visit the fascinating Marine Museum next to our boat docking.

Visit to Texel

One of the many beaches on the beautiful island of Texel

One of the many beaches on the beautiful island of Texel.

After breakfast we head for the morning ferry to Texel.

It will take a full day to totally explore this unique island with its beaches, pictuesque fishing villages, and nature preserves.

Suzie and Roger hope to share some of their favorite secluded bike paths!

We'll return to Den Helder on the late evening ferry and enjoy a hearty dinner on board our barge.

Alkmaar

Thursday, we ride the dunes of North Holland along the North Sea. We will enjoy miles of gently rolling terrain along paved paths following sandy landscapes overseeing views of vast polder landscapes producing summer crops and flowers.

As we turn inland we'll partake of beautiful old farmsteads and stop by a bakery in Scharwoude village where we find the oldest floating vegetable market in an area once known as the Empire of a Thousand Islands.

A short hop from here, we'll stop to photo three of the oldest windmills in Holland before heading into Alkmaar — the biggest town in North Holland known for its beautiful historic centre.

To Amsterdam

After breakfast on Friday, we'll head into town to enjoy Alkmaar's weekly cheese market. This exciting tradition with porters wearing white dress and straw hats is not to be missed.

Alkmaar Cheese Market

Friday Cheese Market Alkmaar.

We'll depart town heading in the direction of the De Schermer polder windmills and stop in the lovely village of De Rijp for a Pannekoeken lunch treat from Suzie.

Arriving at the Zan River we'll follow the water into the museum village of Zaanse Schanse — a delightful old hamlet with characteristic green wooden houses, charming gardens, tradesmen's workshops, and historic windmills all dating back to the seventeenth century.

Then it's only a hop-skip and jump from nature recreation area Het Twisk and to Het Ij ferry to carry us to Amsterdam.

We celebrate tonight at a special captain's farewell dinner!

Goodbye to the Netherlands

Saturday morning we will have an early breakfast, say our goodbyes to our cycling friends and wonderful crew and disembark at 9 a.m. for home.

Trip Difficulty

The Netherlands terrain is mostly flat, but we can experience wind and rain which are weather factors that impact cycling experience and ability.

We recommend this trip for an athletic/active person or recreational cyclist who can complete the daily mileage and likes to average 10 mph on easy/flat terrain while enjoying a leisurely trip.

We will average 30 miles on most days and advocate a "stop and smell the roses" philosophy to cycling. Our group cycles together as a shared experience. You are always welcome to 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. Please also note that itinerary and mileage can change due to weather conditions or routing and docking changes.

Transportation

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.

Additional Information

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.

Please visit the Trip Information page for more general trip information and registration. Also feel free to call us or e-mail Suzie and Roger with any questions.

Trip Photos