This is a wonderful cycling holiday through the Netherlands down into Belgium, past towns, villages, canals – all the time on high-quality cycling paths. In eight days of cycling, you will discover many delightful places off the beaten track. Starting in Amsterdam and travelling in a southwestern direction you will pass through Gouda, Dordrecht, Willemstad, Zierikzee, Middelburg, Vlissingen (Flushing), Sluis, Damme and Bruges. They are among the most picturesque towns in the Netherlands and Flanders and are remarkably well-preserved and evocative of centuries past. The route is predominantly rural and passes through a number of nature reserves.
- The city of Amsterdam
- Local pastoral countryside and scenic bike lanes
- Passing through the historic towns of Netherlands and Flanders
- The city of Bruges
Day 1: Arrival Amsterdam*
Your bicycle holiday starts in Amsterdam, famous for its gorgeous 400-year-old canal district, museums (the new Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, Anne Frank etc), street artists and performers on Dam, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein, the notorious red-light district and more. This city is brimming with things to see and do, guaranteeing a dynamic beginning to your holiday. Try to arrive early so you have time to admire the elegant tree-lined canals and tall narrow townhouses and warehouses dating back to 17th century (World Heritage Site).
Accommodation: Westcord Art Hotel or similar
Day 2: Amsterdam – Gouda/Bodegraven
After staying the night in bustling Amsterdam, 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. For centuries, people flocked from far and wide to buy horses, cows, meat, turf, seed, cheese etc, at weekly and annual markets in Gouda. We recommend an evening stroll around the old part of town to soak up the yesteryear atmosphere and marvel at the large and attractive market square boasting a wonderful fifteenth-century town hall as well as a Weighing House (“Waag”).
Accommodation: Campanile Hotel or similar
Cycling for the day: 79 km. If this distance is too long for you then you can split the day by booking an extra overnight in Woerden (48 km and 38 km)
Day 3: Gouda/Bodegraven – Papendrecht/Dordrecht
From Gouda you’ll cycle via the “Greenheart of Holland” to the village of Kinderdijk, explore the site where 19 windmills have been standing majestically in rows since 1740. They were used to drain excess water out of the low-lying polder up into the River Lek. One of the mills is open to the public. Your destination, Papendrecht, is just a ferry crossing away from of one of Holland’s oldest towns – Dordrecht, completely surrounded by rivers. Beautiful bridges take you across the water into the heart of town. Around the harbour, you will see many monumental buildings. The hotel in Papendrecht is just 3km outside the centre of Dordrecht on the north banks of the river.
Accommodation: Postillion Hotel Dordrecht or similar
Cycling for the day: 37 km
Day 4: Papendrecht/Dordrecht – Willemstad
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 rivers 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.
Accommodation: Hotel Mauritz or similar
Cycling for the day: 65 km
Day 5: Willemstad – Schuddebeurs
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 drift down 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.
Accommodation: Hostellerie Schuddebeurs
Cycling for the day: 50 km
Day 6: Schuddebeurs – Middelburg/Vlissingen
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. Your route continues to the charming village of Veere. From 1541 everything that was exported to Holland from Scotland (mainly wool) came ashore in 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. Cruising further south, you will discover the nostalgic splendour of the city of Middelburg, capital of Zeeland. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was one of the most important centres of trade in the Netherlands.
Accommodation: Hotel Aan de Dam or similar
Cycling for the day: 42 km
Day 7: Middelburg/Vlissingen – Bruges
After a hearty breakfast, you will cycle to Vlissingen. After Vlissingen hop on a ferry boat to Zeelandic Flanders with its winding country roads, pollard willows, wet meadows and scattered villages. 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 can really give you a sense of times gone by when it was at the centre of the European wool and cloth trade.
Accommodation: Brugge – Velotel**** or similar
Cycling for the day: 66 km
Day 8: Onward Travel
After breakfast, your cycling holiday has come to an end.
*Please note that the following surcharges are applicable depending on the timing of your holiday:
Stay in Amsterdam on Saturday: 20 GBP per person
Stay in Amsterdam in the periods listed below: 60 GBP per person
2nd – 5th April
16th – 17th April
13th -15th May
22nd – 24th May
15th – 17th Oct
Comfortable 3-star hotels during the trip and a 4-star hotel in Bruges. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
*Please note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included each day. For lunch and dinner, you can enjoy the cosy restaurants along the way. Inclusion of dinners is possible upon request.
Our recommended arrival/departure airport is the one in Amsterdam.
By Train or Car
There are good train connections both in Amsterdam and Bruges. Parking is possible at the hotel in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is less than 4 hours by train from London St Pancras (see details).
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on cycling days are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person).
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
Difficulty Grade: Easy to Moderate
The route of the tour goes along beautiful cycle paths and small side roads. The terrain is mostly flat and some of the longer sections can be made easier by adding an extra day in the middle or renting an E-bike so the trip is suitable even for those who are new to bike travel (read more about difficulty grades).
If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us, choosing between the following options:
- Standard touring bike with 24-speed gear
- Lightweight premium bike with 27-gears and disc brakes (Koga Grand Tourer or similar)
- E-bike, with a small electric engine and battery, which can be charged at the hotels
All bikes for this tour come with a defender lock with plug-in chain (cable lock that is attached to the regular lock)
- The bicycle(s) may only be used for its/their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the booking
- The bike(s) must be returned to us in the same (clean) state in which you received it/them
- You must take excellent care of the bicycle(s) as if it/they were your own. You must take every precaution against damage, loss or theft.
Damage, Loss and Theft
The renter will be held responsible for damages to or loss of the bicycle(s) or parts of it, as well as bicycle keys and chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. You must understand that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.
It is possible to ensure your bike against theft. The cost is 3 GBP per day for a standard hybrid bicycle and 6 GBP per day for an electric or premium bike. Bookable upon request.
Liability in the Event of Theft
- If you did not purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us before the start of the holiday, you will be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.
- If you did purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us, but you failed to lock the wheel lock and failed to produce the original wheel lock key and failed to produce an official theft report drawn up by the police, you will still be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.
Upon arrival, you will receive detailed travel information with route maps or overview maps, route description, tourist attractions and important telephone numbers.
When to Go
This trip is available from April until September. Weather is best in July – August.
- 7 overnights in 3 and 4-star hotels as listed in the itinerary
- 7 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers between hotels
- Detailed travel information including route maps, route description, tourist attractions info and important telephone numbers
- GPS tracks
- 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative
Options and Extras
- Single-room supplement (this applies to members of a group who require single-room accommodation)
- Solo traveller supplement (includes single room accommodation)
- Half-board meal plan (dinner included for the evenings)
- Bike rental, including theft insurance and repair assistance in case of need while on the road
- Flights and connecting land transfers to first / from last accommodation
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
- Local tourist taxes
- The ferry from Vlissingen to Breskens on Day 7 must be reserved in advance here
- One extra night in Amsterdam before the cycling holiday
- One extra night in Bruges after the cycling holiday