Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Dutch Windmills
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Highlights

  • Enjoy cycling along the easy, flat waterways and cycle paths of Holland
  • Explore the cobbled streets and canals of Amsterdam
  • Relax on the Frisian Island of Texel
  • Discover the secrets of Edam cheese making
  • Journey through Polder fields and Windmills

Cycle and sail from the cultural hub of Amsterdam to the Frisian Island of Texel. Return each evening to the comfort of your boat to relax and recharge for the next day of Dutch exploration.

Beyond the cosmopolitan café culture of Amsterdam is the 30km sea wall, Afsluitdijk, the gateway to Northern Holland. Flat cycle paths lead you across a landscape of polder fields, windmills and onto the Frisian Island of Texel renowned for it’s pristine beaches and traditional fishing villages.

A visit to the cheese town of Edam and the town of Volendam where artists such as Picasso and Renoir exchanged sketched for lodgings, rounds off this very different tour of Holland.

Day 1: Arrive Amsterdam & Embarkation

Amsterdam is one of the most cultured cities Europe has to offer, so if you arrive early you can drop your bags off at the boat and explore the wonders of “The Dam”. Boarding is from 2:00 PM onwards. Make sure to be back onboard for 5:00 PM when the briefing on the week ahead begins. Later that evening enjoy a three-course meal and get to know your fellow cyclists.


Overnight: Amsterdam



Day 2: Cycle Zaandam to Alkmaar

Begin the day with a relaxed boat journey to the town of Zaandam. From here, hop into the saddle and cycle to the open-air museum “Zaanse Schans”, a truly authentic experience of Holland. The polder fields open up the landscape and the smell of cacao fills the air. An abundance of tulip fields, agricultural land, and canal paths lead you into the impressive modern city of Alkmaar where you will rendezvous with your boat and you are free to relax on deck with a chilled beer or wine.


Cycle: 45km


Overnight: Alkmaar



Day 3: Circular Cycle from Alkmaar

Discover the unique dune reserve of the province of North-Holland as you cycle through a collection of sleepy villages, where forested lanes give way to wind-sculpted dunes and the North Sea. After a visit to the beach and the artist's village of Bergen, return to Alkmaar where the boat will sail to the Naval and fishing port of Den Helder.


Cycle: 33 or 40km


Overnight: Den Helder



Day 4: Cycle the island of Texel

Relax over breakfast as we sail to the Isle of Texel. Cycle along beaches, colorful villages and the “Ecomare” seal sanctuary on the largest Dutch island in the North Sea. Why not sample the local delicacy ‘kibbeling’; small delicious cod pieces cooked in a spiced batter, together with a locally brewed beer from ‘Oudeschild’. Over dinner, the boat will return to the mainland port of Den Oever.


Cycle: Several options from 15 to 65km


Overnight: Den Oever



Day 5: Cycle Southwest Friesland

Cruise into Holland’s largest inland lake; IJsselmeer in the northern province of Friesland. Biking along the impressive IJsselmeer coast is one of the more relaxed days of cycling as you head to the small harbor of Stavoren, one of the famous 11 cities of Friesland.


Cycle: 43 or 55km


Overnight: Stavoren



Day 6: Cycle Medemblik to Enkhuizen

Your boat will cross IJsselmeer once more as you enjoy breakfast. Hop off at Medemblik and cycle along the coast to Enkhuizen. An ancient maritime city, spend the afternoon exploring the old city and Zuiderzee museum. If you prefer a longer ride, cycle from Medemblik via the 17th century Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn before continuing onto Enkhuizen. Whatever you choose, it’s promising to be an interesting ride!


Cycle: 30 or 50km


Overnight: Enkhuizen



Day 7: Cycle Volendam to Amsterdam

Begin with a sail to Volendam before leaving the boat on your final to cycle through a network of canals and lakes. Along the way visit a local cheese and learn the traditional methods of producing the Dutch cheese of Gouda. Later, ride into the Dutch capital Amsterdam and further explore this fascinating city either on foot or from a canal cruise.


Cycle: 35 or 50km


Overnight: Amsterdam



Day 8: Disembarkation & Onward Travel

Embarkation starts after breakfast and is possible until 09.30 AM. Depending on your onward travel arrangements, you may like to further explore Amsterdam. Your on board crew will be happy to help with onward taxis should you require.

Accommodation - "De Holland"

The ‘De Holland’ is a 34 cabin stylish river cruiser and has been renovated in 2018. The lower deck has 24 en-suite cabins with windows (non-opening for safety reasons), TV, air conditioning, a hairdryer and a twin bed configuration (either side by side or in an L-shape).


The upper deck offers 9 larger superior cabins with floor to ceiling sliding French windows. The is also 1 suite complete with minibar and sofa.


Enjoy a warm welcome from the crew as you board. Relax on the spacious deck to soak up the last of the sunshine after a day of cycling. The bar and restaurant area are perfect for gazing out over the water while you enjoy a cold beer after a day of cycling.


Although the cabins are spacious they will be smaller than an average hotel room so you may wish to consider using softer luggage that can easily be stored in the cupboard or under the beds.


All inside areas of the boat are non-smoking.



Meals

All meals on board are included. Breakfast usually consists of fruits, granola, yogurt, bread, cheeses, and meats. There are also extra cheeses, meats, bread and snacks to make yourself a picnic lunch each day. In the evenings, return to the comfort of your boat and enjoy 3-course dinners with your fellow cyclists.

Dietary requirements will be catered for where possible, please let us know at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements. Some special or unusual dietary requests may incur a surcharge.



De Holland Bike and Boat


De Holland Bike and Boat


Lower deck premium cabin


De Holland Bike and Boat


Upper deck suite


De Holland Bike and Boat

Availability

The Northern Holland Circuit departs every Saturday between April and October. Please check the website for departure and availability.


We do advise to book as early as possible in order to get your preferred cabins, 10 to 6 months in advance is the best way to secure your option, especially for June through to September.



Important for 2020 departures:


Due to works on the locks of Zaandam in 2020, some departure dates will be subject to change. This only applies to day 2 and 3 of the itinerary. The itinerary would remain the same with the exception of an overnight in Enkhuizen instead.


On day 2, cycle to Alkmaar as per the usual itinerary and enjoy a guided city tour through the historical centre. Afterwards, an included bus transfer will be provided to return to the boat in Enkhuizen where it will remain overnight. On day 3, the bus will return you to Alkmaar in the morning to allow you to continue your cycle as per the standard itinerary.



Grade & Terrain

Almost completely flat, this cycle tour is graded easy. The daily distance ranges between approximately 15km-60 km. You will be biking mostly on dedicated cycle paths alongside canals, rivers and through the iconic cities and towns of the region. Please be mindful of other cycle paths or road users at all times. Especially on routes that are shared with traffic.


This tour is well-suited to those who have never taken a cycling holiday before as you also have the option of skipping the cycling and relaxing on board.



Navigation

You will be issued with tour specific route notes and maps upon arrival. Your onboard tour leader will also give you a briefing each evening or in the morning about the day's cycle. Each daily ride is not guided but the onboard tour leader will be cycling the route each day and be available on their phone should you require assistance.


Each day usually follows the ‘Cycle Junction Network’ which takes you safely through the Netherlands. The route is waymarked throughout and we supply you with a detailed route map, guidebook and information pack so you will have no problem following the route. You will also be provided with an emergency telephone number for the trip.



Bikes

The bikes onboard are 7-gear unisex hybrid bikes with pedal brakes and are included in the cost of your trip. There are also E-bikes available upon request (at a supplement). All rental bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddlebag). Helmets are included but we strongly recommend that you bring your own helmet with you for safety reasons.


Due to very restricted space on board there is limited availability to bring your own bike – please check with us.



Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.



General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as good cycling shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to and from Amsterdam

By Air - Amsterdam Schiphol Airport just outside Amsterdam, is a major European airport and is served by direct flights from most major UK and European airports as well as international destinations.


By Train - Amsterdam is linked with London, either via Paris or Brussels (around 5 hours) by high speed train. Visit Rail Europe for prices and booking.


By Ferry/Car - Ferries from the UK to Holland run from Harwich to the Hook of Holland, Hull to Rotterdam and Newcastle to Amsterdam. Direct Ferries lists prices and schedules.


Included

  • 7 x Overnight in an en-suite cabin
  • Bike Hire
  • All meals, including packed lunches
  • Tea and coffee onboard until 4 PM
  • 2 x Guided city walks
  • Onboard tour leader, daily briefings and support
  • An information pack, detailed route notes and map
  • 24/7 telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to and from Amsterdam
  • Transfers to docking areas
  • Entrances or excursions
  • Drinks & Snacks
  • Gratuities

Extras

  • Electric bike hire (as a 7-speed bike is included this will just be a supplement)
  • Single / Solo cabin supplement(s)
  • Upper Deck Cabin Supplement

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised in order to secure you preferred cabin choice. This tour is particularly popular between the months of June-September.

How fit do I need to be?

Almost completely flat, this cycle tour is graded easy. The daily distance ranges between approximately 15km-60 km. You will be biking mostly on dedicated cycle paths alongside canals, rivers and through the iconic cities and towns of the region. This tour is well-suited to those who have never taken a cycling holiday before as it is on the level and predominantly traffic-free and you also have the option of skipping the cycling and relaxing on board.

What equipment do I need?

You will need comfortable sports shoes, comfortable clothes for cycling, waterproof jacket and trousers, a helmet and a sunhat. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.

What happens if I can't cycle a stage?

If you don't want to cycle it is possible to relax on the boat as it moves to the next port of call. Please always talk to the on board tour leader to discuss options.

Great trip

4

Pros: The daily rides (which is really why you do this trip) were fantastic. We had a nightly comprehensive review of the route, usually with long and short options, as well as highlights along the way. We appreciated the independence of not following our guide during the day, but we would run into her a few times and appreciated the warm hello and knowing that we weren't completely on our own. (Sandra is fantastic!) We had a mechanical bike issue, which can happen, and Sandra had a crew member bring a replacement part and got our problem solved really quickly. The scenery along the rides is beautiful, and spending time at the beach of the north sea was really a once in a lifetime experience. The accommodations were good. The room are small as expected, but nice and clean and the sun deck is great. The food is fine, nothing gourmet but was what we needed. It's great that you can make and pack your own sandwich daily. Cons: There was some lack of organization that was an issue. First, despite confirming multiple times that we were a group of six, two people in our group were assigned a dinner table with a group of four non-English speakers. It worked out fine, we just switched the four and four, we were lucky that worked out. Second, one of our friends is about 5 feet tall, and wasn't given a bike for her height. Despite noting her height when she signed up for the trip, the shorter bikes were given to people taller than her, who would not trade when asked by the crew. She had to leap up on her bike, it was unsafe and she ended up with bruises. Also, in Amsterdam our first night, we had to walk through the lobby of one boat to get to ours. Despite telling the night watch that we'd be back later, we couldn't get back in, and essentially had to climb onto the sun deck as we were locked out.

Biker

USA

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Fabulous cycling trip

5

Fantastic trip. Substituted the boat at the last minute but gave a 50 euro credit for the bar for each guest. New boat was comfortable and clean. Had a bit of a leaky AC unit in the ceiling in the bar area. But it was sunny outside so a little rain inside wasn't an issue. 😉

Traveling Canuck

Alberta, Canada

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I would definitely recommend it!

5

This was one of the best holidays I have been on. Our guide, Ida, was lovely! She knew a lot about the routes and took care of us. The staff on board were very friendly and respectful. And the food was absolutely fantastic!!

Boorie Rana

London

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Biking was good

3

The engagement with Macs Adventure was good. And the biking itself was good - helped tremendously by the gorgeous weather. My cabin on the boat was good and cleaned nicely each day. The food on the boat was good, including the sandwich makings provided at breakfast for packing a lunch each day. The boat had many languages and cultures represented across the ~60 guests. They assigned us to a particular table for meals based on our primary language - which turned out well since I was able to converse with the others at my table. I was disappointed in the lack of helpfulness from the tour guide - for example, she provided only minimal information when asked and, even then, sometimes provided wrong information. I suspect it may be due to a combination of her not listening and not fully understanding the language and perhaps some cultural differences. I appreciate it's difficult to find a tour guide who can speak multiple languages and fill the role of guide. In any case, it was frustrating. I think the problem was specific to this particular tour leader, which gives me hope for taking other tours. I am very sad to report a poor customer service interaction between a fellow guest and the manager on the boat - the manager yelled at the guest in the main dining room about something the manager incorrectly perceived, and refused to apologize (again, I think that problem was unique to that particular manager but it was disconcerting to hear all the same). I would recommend this tour to others - but only with the above caveats so they're aware of what they may encounter

Susie24

Amsterdam

Beautiful rides throughout the Netherlands

5

Lots of variety during the bike tours - countryside, small villages and towns plus some larger cities. Also a nice mix of stops during the day and walking tours in the evening. Guide was knowledgeable in respect to lunch and coffee stops as well as special attractions. Overall a great experience!

Lorrie

Regina Canada

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P?

4

A holiday which was very relaxing while enjoying enjoying cycling around the country. Easy to follow cycling ways.

Butch

North east England

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The distances might put you off, but go for it, fantastic

5

Very well organised trip. Easy cycling by numbers, so simple to find your way using the map provided. If you can ride a bike, you can do this trip. Short/long routes, you decide on the day just how energetic you feel.

Elaine

Perthshire

true

Overall a good format for cycling

4

The cabins were 'compact' as expected. What I wasn't expecting was to hear the toilet routines of the cabins on either side of mine at full volume. Not soundproofed at all!! Overall everything else was good

John

London

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Holland Bike & Boat: Northern Circuit

4.4 8

100.0

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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