Historic Holland by Bike & Comfortable Barge

8 Days / 7 Nights Guided Cycle Tour

Immerse yourself in the medieval Hanseatic period of Dutch history while discovering beautiful river landscapes, diverse natural areas, numerous historical cities and picturesque harbour towns. This area of Holland thrived during the Middle Ages under the auspices of the Hanseatic League, a confederation created to protect the economic interests of cities and countries throughout the Baltic region.

Cycle through the Rhine valley and its very beautiful tributary the IJssel River, one of the most important trade routes in Europe during the Middle Ages. Cross the border lakes of the IJssel, which lie between the “old” land of many beautiful harbour towns and the “new” land of the Flevoland, which was once the bottom of the IJssel lake before the land was reclaimed in 1932. This central region of Holland has fascinating cities you will visit such as Amsterdam, Doesburg, Deventer, Hardenwijk and Elburg, to name a few.

Your Journey

Day 1 Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede

Arrive Amsterdam and board your barge at 1 pm. At 2 pm you embark on a cruise through the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to Wijk bij Duurstede on the Rhine, where you will spend your first night.

Day 2 Wijk bij Duurstede - Wageningen – Arnhem (35 or 44 km)

Cruise during breakfast to Wageningen where you commence cycling through the picturesque river valley of the Rhine. Along the way visit the protected nature reserve “De Blauwe Kamer” (the Blue Chamber), followed by the woods and moorlands of Veluwe National Park. The 5400 hectare park is home to many plant and animal species and, importantly, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world. Continue to lovely Arnhem where you spend the night.

Day 3 Arnhem - Doesburg – Vorden – Zutphen (45 or 55 km)

Leave Arnhem on the barge and begin hour cycle tour in Doesburg and along the IJssel to Bronkhorst, which has the distinction of being recognised as the smallest town in Holland. You then have the choice to follow the river to Zutphen or a longer ride via Vorden passing country houses, castles and rural estates. During dinner, cruise to Deventer then take a guided stroll through the town afterwards.

Day 4 Deventer - Wijhe– Hattem – Kampen (40 or 56 km)

During breakfast, your boat will take you to Wijhe to begin your bike ride to Hattem. The 800-year-old town of Hattem has a rich history that is still clearly visible today. Option to continue cycling to Veluwe. From Zwolle continue to Kampen.  Enjoy an optional guided walking tour of this Hanseatic town.

Day 5 Kampen – Elburg – Harderwijk (48 or 56 km)

Leave Kampen and cycle along the border lakes of the IJssel to the fishing harbour of Elburg.  From Elburg the cycling tour continues through the woods and moorlands of the Veluwe to lovely Harderwijk where the night will be spent in its old fishing harbour.  In the 1500s Harderwijk boasted the largest fish market in the Zuiderzee region and is still a fascinating old city to explore. 

Day 6 Harderwijk – Bunschoten – Spakenburg (35 to 59 km)

Follow a coast route today with a longer alternative through adjacent woodlands to reach Spakenburg, a village where locals dress in traditional costumes.

Day 7 Spakenburg - Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam (Approx 35km)

From Huizen you will cycle to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden, famous for its historic castle. From Muiden cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the world famous city of Amsterdam where you have free time in the afternoon to explore.

Day 8 Tour ends in Amsterdam

Disembark after breakfast


Easy flat cycling mostly on dedicated cycle paths. You will need to be reasonably fit as there are days of 50 – 60 km of cycling. You do have the option to cruise with the barge if you wish to ‘skip’ a bike tour.


Breakfast daily, 6 packed lunches, 6 dinners (3 courses) onboard.

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