Did you know that North Holland has the largest acreage of flower fields in the Netherlands? Come explore the open-air museum of the Zuiderzee, working windmills, Tulip Festival of Bloemendagen, a medieval castle and day exploring the beautiful Island Texel. We experience the national holiday of Kingsday, cycle to the glorious city of Alkmaar to visit their famous Cheese Market and enjoy tasty Dutch treats like Pannekoeken. The best spring tour of Holland!
Our cycling today enjoy views of the vast Ijsselmeer (former sea) along the dikes. There are lush polderlands and old villages to enjoy.
In the village of Katwoude we stop for a visit to a cheese farm and Dutch shoemaker. We end in Volendam, the most famous fishing village in Holland, to enjoy a lovely little harbor and traditional Dutch fish snacks. Our wonderful welcome dinner awaits!
It's just a short cycle along the dike today to quaint Edam, named after the famous cheese.Here we enjoy a short walk of this town from 1200.
We leave the water and pedal inland to enjoy the vast Beemster Polder, an area drained between 1608 and 1612 for agricultural use. We stop to visit Kastanjehoeve, a working milk farm before heading into beautiful Hoorn.
We'll take time to explore this typical Zuidersee town which now has a thriving marina and ornate period buildings from the Golden Age of East Indies trading. Friend and local guide, Lidia Tacx, takes us on a stroll of her town.
We'll head first to Enkhuizen with its finely decorated Renaissance buildings and the 17th century houses and warehouses of the former Dutch East India Company.
Here we enjoy the open-air Zuiderzee Museum. We will witness life as it was over a hundred years ago as we take a guided stroll through an authentic fishing village. From Enkhuizen we travel inland to Medemblik where we explore the medieval Castle Radboud and partake of open-air Monday Market.
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 are also cycling through Anna Paulowna polder boasting acres of tulip fields. It's also that community's Bloemendagen- with mosaic artwork of flowers along the streets.On our way we stop at the impressive Onderneming in Hipolytueshof for a personal tour of a real working windmill! Our destination is Den Helder, famous for its residence of the Dutch Royal Navy. We visit the fascinating Marine Museum next to our boat docking.
After breakfast we take the morning ferry to Texel. It will take a full day to totally explore this unique island with its beaches, picturesque 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 savor a hearty dinner onboard our barge.
Today, we ride the sandy dunes of North Holland along the North Sea. We will enjoy miles of gently rolling terrain overseeing views of beautiful flowers in the fields.
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. 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 center.
Tonight guests are free to enjoy the many cafes and restaurants in town for their dinner.
After breakfast, we'll head into Alkmaar to see its popular cheese market. This exciting tradition with porters wearing white dress and straw hats is not to be missed. Our next stop is the lovely village of De Rijp for a Pannekoeken (Dutch pancake) lunch treat from Suzie. We’ll follow beautiful countryside into the museum village Zaanse Schanse - a delightful old hamlet with characteristic green wooden houses, charming gardens, tradesmen's workshops, and historic windmills.
We cycle winding bike paths in the lovely nature area of Het Twisk leading to the short ferry into Amsterdam. Tonight we celebrate a special captain's farewell dinner!
Saturday morning we breakfast, say our goodbyes and disembark at 9 a.m.
The Netherlands terrain is mostly flat and we can experience some wind and rain which are factors that impact cycling. We recommend this trip for an active person and recreational cyclist who can enjoy a leisurely 25-30 mile/day tour averaging 10-m.p.h. on easy/flat terrain.
Leisurely for us means we are never rushing and like to "smell the roses" enjoying the sites along the way. We take advantage of the Netherlands excellent bicycle infrastructure and enjoy cycling, whenever possible, on dedicated cycle paths and separate on-road bike lanes.
We do not use the assistance of a support vehicle on our tours. We find our guiding system with Suzie as leader and Roger as group sweep has proven effective for enjoyment and safety. You are always welcome to take a break from cycling and enjoy time onboard sailing to the next destination— quite a delightful experience!
Please note that daily mileages indicated on the Itinerary page are averaged as closely as possible. Due to unforeseen circumstances such as docking changes, weather, road and nautical factors, we reserve the right to change routes in view of your safety.
Your trip starts in Amsterdam which is serviced by Schiphol Airport, located just a few miles from the city center where our boat is docked. 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.
We confirm your booking via email with a detailed Welcome Letter for your tour. In this letter you will find lots of pre-trip planning information like how to get to the trip start, pre-trip lodging in Amsterdam, weather, cycling in Holland, how and what to pack, international travel hints, tips on booking airfare, etc.
We are delighted to host our tour on the Hotel Boat Flora. The ship features comfy cabins with private bath, a lovely eating salon and lounging area, and outside deck to enjoy a drink and views of the water.
E-mail Suzie to inquire about openings and with any questions about this tour. We love to hear from you!