With its numerous cultural sites and vast designated bike lane networks, the Netherlands is one of the best destinations for a cycling holiday. This Netherlands cycling break starts and finishes in Amsterdam, allowing ample opportunity for exploring and sightseeing. We’ve kept cycling distances short to give you more time at top tourist attractions such as Zaanse Schans and Volendam. All the routes are on quiet bike lanes, suitable for children as well, so the trip is also a good option for an active family holiday.
- Experience the Netherlands at its best: wooden clogs, canals, windmills
- Short cycle distances, plenty of time for sightseeing
- Starting in the Dutch capital: unparalleled Amsterdam
- An ideal trip for families and less experienced cyclists
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Day 1: Arrival Amsterdam*
Your holiday starts in Amsterdam, one of the crown jewels of Europe. With so much to see and do, you couldn’t wish for a more vibrant way to kick off your holiday. If you arrive early or book an extra night before the holiday, make sure to go for a walk to marvel at the townhouses in the 17th-century canal district (listed as a World Heritage Site). In case you have some time and energy left, you can also explore the infamous red-light district which attracts millions of curious tourists every year; or enjoy the street performers on friendly Rembrandtplein.
- Accommodation: Westcord Art Hotel or similar
*Please note that the following surcharges are applicable depending on the timing of your holiday:
Stay in Amsterdam on Saturday: £24 per person
Stay in Amsterdam in the periods listed below: £40 per person per night
29, 30 and 31 March 2024
20 April 2024
26,27 and 28 April 2024
9, 10, 11 and 12 May 2024
17,18 and 19 May 2024
Minimum of 2 nights is required on these dates.
Day 2: Amsterdam – Haarlem | 29km
Get an early start and beat the queues at the Van Gogh or Anne Frank museum. At the end of the morning, say “tot ziens!” to amazing Amsterdam and get on your bike to start your cycling trip through Kennemerland where a great variety of lovely countryside awaits: vast polders, tidy gardens, country estates, woods and beautiful peatland. You will spend the night in the elegant city of Haarlem. The attractive city centre offers a wealth of possibilities for shopping, delving into art and culture, or relaxing in cafes and restaurants. In April and early May, you have the option of cycling a longer route of approximately 60 km where you can see the tulip fields as well.
- Accommodation: Hotel Lion d’Or **** or similar
- Cycling for the day: 29km
Day 3: Haarlem – Zaandam | 37km
In the morning, continue exploring the streets and squares of historical Haarlem. If you are into museums, we would highly recommend Frans Hals Museum of paintings from the Golden Age. If your interests lie in the field of science, don’t miss exquisite Teijlers museum which has been drawing curious minds since 1784.
At midday, it’s time to jump back on your bikes to make your way along the banks of the River Spaarne to the pretty village of Spaarndam and the IJdijk dike. Pedalling on, you will reach the Zaan region, named after the River Zaan and justly famed for the adorable wooden houses, painted green, with white lace curtains in the windows. This whole place is picture-perfect, and there are lots of things to do and see. You can visit windmills, workshops, museums, find out how to make wooden shoes or Dutch cheese…as it was done back the old days.
- Accommodation: Best Western Zaan Inn*** or similar
- Cycling for the day: 37km
Day 4: Zaandam – Volendam | 31km
You’ll shortly reach the recreational park Het Twiske, a favourite get-away for the people of Amsterdam. On a hot day, they’ll flee the city and cycle to the lake here for a dip. A varied landscape of wood, meadows and lakes will accompany you to Monnickendam. Today’s cycling trip concludes in festive fishing port Volendam. Browse the home-decor and gift shops or have a seat at a pavement cafe on the dike overlooking the water.
- Accommodation: Hotel Old Dutch or similar
- Cycling for the day: 31km
Day 5: Volendam – Amsterdam | 35km
Near the old quarter of quaint red-brick houses, stands Volendams Museum where you can find out all about this close-knit community’s history, culture and folklore. Inspiring period rooms, traditional costumes and jewellery are part of the permanent exposition. Via the isle of Marken, you will set off back to Amsterdam, arriving in plenty of time for more sightseeing.
- Accommodation: Westcord Art Hotel or similar
- Cycling for the day: 35km
Day 6: Departure
Our services end after breakfast unless you have booked an extension or extra nights.
What to expect
Comfortable 3-star and 4-star hotels, all nights in twin/double rooms with en-suite facilities. 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.
Click to view default hotels
*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.
Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. Picnic lunches are optional at an extra charge and can be ordered locally, or products for picnics can be purchased in the towns where you’ll be staying. On some days you have the option of having your lunch in a restaurant along the way. You can have dinner at your hotel or nearby restaurants.
Difficulty and terrain
The daily distances are relatively short, approx. 30km per day, and the cycling is mostly on designated cycle paths without any traffic, so the trip is suitable for both beginner and intermediate cyclists. Renting an E-bike is also possible, which will make the cycling effortless (read more about difficulty grades). 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. There will be obligatory supplements on specific dates (check the itinerary above)
The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season. The Netherlands enjoys a moderate maritime climate. This type of climate generally features mild winters and cool summers. The average daily temperatures in summer are 17-20C. Precipitation, such as rain, is common throughout the year, which means there is no dry season. The best time to visit the country is June, but if you want to enjoy the tulips blooming, then April – mid-May.
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Our recommended airport for this tour is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS).
By train or bus
- In case you prefer to arrive by car, parking in Amsterdam is approx. €15 per day.
- The train from Schiphol to Amsterdam Sloterdijk departs six times per hour. Travel time is about 10min. A single ticket costs approx €4 per person excl. bicycle.
- For timetables and tickets, visit NS or use the Omio planner above.
- For bus details on how to reach the hotel, check 9292.
- 5 overnights in 3 and 4-star hotels as listed in the itinerary
- 5 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers between hotels (max. 1 piece of 20kg per person)
- Detailed travel information including route maps, route description, tourist attractions info and important telephone numbers
- 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
- Bike / e-bike rental
- Bike theft insurance
- Helmet rental
- Extra nights
- Obligatory second overnight / supplement for the hotels in Amsterdam on specific dates – check the itinerary above
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
- 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) should only be used for their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the booking
- The bicycle(s) should be returned to us in the same clean condition in which you received them
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, chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. Please note that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.
It is possible to insure your bike against theft. 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 purchase bicycle theft insurance from us, but don’t use the wheel lock, produce the original wheel lock key or a police theft report, you will be responsible for replacement cost, determined by us according to standard prices.