Bike and Barge Holland: Flowers and the Green Heart of Holland!


April 18-25, 2020

A perfect bicycle tour to see the flower fields of the renowned Keukenhof, and acres of blossoming trees adorning Hollands "Green Heart". We'll harbor in the famous cities of Gouda, oldest city-Dordrecht, quaint Gorinchem - and the University town of Utrecht. Along the way we'll enjoy a working cheese farm, beautiful castles in the Utrecht forest, a real clog shoemaker, working windmills, and more!

Trip Itinerary

Oude Wetering (17 miles)

Today we sail just outside of Amsterdam where we disembark for a short ride to the beautiful Rembrandt Windmill in the old town of Sloten.

Our early visit to the Keukenhof affords plenty of time to leisurely cycle to our destination — Gouda. With over 300 preserved buildings, we hope to see lots of the historic center and enjoy traditional Stroop Waffles made fresh while we wait!

Keukenhof and Gouda (33 miles)

After breakfast we scurry an easy 6 miles to the famous Keukenhof — known as the Garden of Europe. We arrive early before the crowds and spend about 3 hours, taking in the spectacular grounds and all the pavilions packed with Expos, history and background of flowers, including all kinds of interesting information!

The touring and sites that you took us to were all excellent, the towns were something that you could only imagine unless you were there. The accommodations on the boat were more than any of us could have expected and so much more.

~ Mike Affrunti, Massachusetts

Dordrecht (20 miles)

We take it easy leaving Gouda today- first with a tour of famous St. Jans Church with gorgeous stained glass windows from 1500s.

Traveling South through beautiful polder landscape we stop to visit the De Jonge family run dairy and cheesmaker. Here the owner take us for a tour of her working farm and we learn about the important dairy industry in the Netherlands.

A few miles we'll enter the unique village of Kinderdijk — honored as a World Heritage Treasure by UNESCO in 1997. Since 1740 and preserved to this day, 19 sturdy mills were built in Kinderdijk — a concentration of this number found nowhere else in the world.

We end our day in the famous city of Dordrecht. Over a thousand years old, Dordrecht lies on the confluence of three mighty rivers. We'll explore the city's beauty and treasured history guided by friend and city Guilde member, Alfred.

Gorinchem (28-30 miles)

Today we head for a visit to a traditional Dutch shoemaker, Pieter Den Dekker. We'll enjoy morning cake and coffee and then he'll show us his time-honored craft only practiced today by a few passing-on a respected trade.

On the way we experience idyllic cycling through the Biesbosch National Park — a green maze of several rivers, islands and a vast network of narrow and wide creeks. Known as one of the largest, valuable natural areas in the Netherlands, it's also one of the few remaining fresh-water tidal areas in Europe.

We hop the waterbus across the Waal River to Gorinchem. Part of the impressive "Fortress Triangle", Gorichem's fortifications with bastions built in the sixteenth century are still almost completely intact.

We'll take time to explore the city with a town guide and enjoy a drink in one of the cozy cafes on the historic city square.

Wijk Bij Duurstede (25 miles)

We say goodbye to Gorinchem and cycle skirting the pastoral views along the dijk of the Waal River.

At the famous Fort Vuren we turn northward to join the beautiful Linge Route. This picturesque route takes you through the Betuwe region, famous for its fruit production. The meandering River Linge is flanked with orchards and pretty villages. At the end of April the fruit trees are in bloom and we will visit one of the local farms on our route.

We will stop by the little town of Buren — where the Dutch Monarchy holds its roots through the marriage of William of Orange and Anna Van Egmont. At the Cafe The Swaan it is Suzie's treat for coffee and delicious apple cake.

We end our day harbored at the Castle of the village of Duurstede, resting on the Lek Riverat the corner of the old Rhine. Even though it seems time stands still here, the town boasts a wonderful cabaret theatre on our agenda that evening!

I am still sorting through my 1500 photos, gees!! What a fabulous trip. I have told so many people that the adventure was made even better by Suzie and Roger's fun, care, knowledge, and attention.

~ Terry Burrows, Maine

Utrecht (26 miles)

Day 6 cycles to the vibrant city of Utrecht. We will be exploring the landscapes of the beautiful Utrecht forest on our way dotted by amazing estates built in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Our first stop will be a tour of the House of Doorn. Originally a moated castle of the 14th century, Huis Doorn was later bought by the last German Kaiser, Willem II, and converted into an elegant country house with spectacular orangerie and rose garden, at the end of the 18th century.

As we pass the Rijnauwen castle built in the 1200s by one of Utrechts most famous families of that century, we hope to stop and sample some of the delicious Pannekoek (Dutch pancakes) made in the Theehuis there. Then it's just a few miles through the impressive University area to the old city center.

At one time Utrecht was a Roman fortress built by Emperor Claudius along the river Rhine which still flows along the oldest canal in the city. Most historically, Utrecht is also the site, where in 1579 the seven provinces from the north of the country signed what became the Union Of Utrecht — ousting the Spaniard rulers and declaring the Netherlands as a free land.

We will take the rest of the afternoon to explore the vibrant and historic city center before cycling to our boat docking.

Back to Amsterdam (25-30 miles)

The Flora sails us to the quaint town of Breukelen where we start our cycling with a picturesque meander along the famous Vecht River- a region of centuries-old villages, expanses of pastureland punctuated by windmills, castles, and stately mansions built by Amsterdam merchants as weekend retreats during the 17th and 18th centuries.

At the village of Nederhorst den Berg we'll stop for lunch in the park square and a coffee pause at the Spiegelhuis cafe.

After this we head for the Rhine Canal and cycle a quiet path leading us to the center of Amsterdam.

This evening we'll celebrate a fun adventure with a special Farewell Dinner.

Good Bye to the Netherlands

Saturday morning we will have a farewell breakfast, say our goodbyes to cycling friends and the wonderful hospitality of the Flora. We 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.

So, we recommend this trip for an active person and recreational cyclist who can cycle 25-30 miles/day and likes to average 10 m.p.h. on easy/flat terrain while enjoying a leisurely trip. Leisurely means that we are never rushing and like to "smell the roses" enjoying the sites and stops along our route.

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.

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.