Leave Amsterdam behind and soon find yourself amidst a splendid rural area: the Green Heart. One moment you'll be cycling in the middle of quiet lakes, the next you'll experience the old Dutch atmosphere in the historical centre of towns like Haarlem and Leiden. In contrast you visit the North Sea dunes and beaches.
Famous painters including Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Vermeer, lived and worked in the cities and green countryside of central Holland. Some sights will be reminiscent of their famous work you can see in the galleries in Amsterdam while pedaling this picturesque region.
Day 1 Arrive Amsterdam
Board from 2 – 5.30 pm. Welcome dinner on board to meet fellow guests and crew.
Day 2 Amsterdam – Zaandam – Haarlem (40 – 55 km)
Cruise to Zaandem then bike to the open air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ with its’ traditional wooden houses, windmills, cheese and clog manufacturing. Continue to Haarlem. Stroll through the lovely city centre and stop for a drink and ‘people-watching’ on one of the terraces in the Grote Markt (market square). You can extend today’s bike tour with a visit to the sea locks of IJmuiden and the Kennemer Dunes where you can see/visit some forts of the Defence Line of Amsterdam.
Day 3 Haarlem – North Sea Coast – Leiden (42 – 55 km)
Cycle along the North Sea Coast on the path once used by the fishermen’s wives to go to the market in Haarlem. You cycle through the dunes, via the seaside resorts Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee to Leiden; birthplace of Rembrandt in 1606. It’s a beautiful city criss-crossed with canals that are lined by beautiful 17thC buildings.
Day 4 Leiden – Delft (37 – 42 km)
Today’s destination is Delft where the world-famous Delft Blue pottery has been produced since the 17th century. Visit a Delft Blue porcelain then explore the beautifully preserved historic centre especially the royal crypts of the House of Orange in the New Church. After your visit you can cycle or take the train or tram to The Hague. Binnerhof and the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis) are ‘must see’ sights. Return to Delft for overnight.
Day 5 Delft – Rotterdam – Kinderdijk – Gouda (30 – 45 km):
Travel by barge through the international port of Rotterdam to Kinderdijk, the only place in the world with so many windmills in an authentic polder landscape. Continue cycling to the ‘cheese city’ of Gouda directly, or by a longer route via the ‘silver city’ of Schoonhoven.
Day 6 Gouda – Kudelstaart (55 km):
Cycle through the idyllic South Holland landscape, with its numerous little canals and lakes, to the small town of Kudelstaart.
Day 7 Kudelstaart – Amsterdam (15 – 40 km):
Leave early morning to cycle to the large flower auction at Aalsmeer (cost not included in tour). After breakfast, choose to cruise through the city of Amsterdam to our mooring place or cycle into the city through the city park Amsterdamse Bos or along the Amstel River. Afternoon free to see the many attractions of the city.
Day 8 Tour ends in Amsterdam
Disembark after breakfast.