Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Windmills of Holland
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Highlights

  • Easy cycle path and canal-side cycling through Holland
  • Visit the Potters town of ‘Blue’ Delft
  • Marvel at the historic windmills of Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore the cities of Rotterdam & Amsterdam
  • Discover Gouda, the home of Dutch cheese

Combine bike and boat to journey through the contrasts of Southern Holland. Easy going cycle paths link the futuristic city of Rotterdam with traditional craft towns of Delft, Gouda, and Schoonhoven.

South of Amsterdam, the River Vecht flows to the imposing Dom Tower of Utrecht. From here you’ll cycle and sail Holland’s ancient river paths through Europe’s busiest port, Rotterdam to the gin town of Schiedam.

Along the way, you’ll encounter the traditional potters of Delft, discover the cheese craft of Gouda and lose count of the perfectly preserved UNESCO windmills of Kinderdijk. Returning each evening to the comfort and calm of your boat makes for a very hassle-free adventure.

Day 1: Arrive Amsterdam & Embarkation

On arrival in the Dutch capital, your cabin will be available from 2 PM and you have all day and night to explore the city. The boat will not depart Amsterdam until the following morning, leaving you plenty of time to do some sightseeing, shop or relax. In the evening you will have a welcome briefing and enjoy dinner onboard the boat.


Overnight: On-board in Amsterdam



Day 2: Breukelen to Utrecht

Your first sailing to Breukelen takes place over breakfast. You then venture out on your bike along the winding river Vecht, passing local cottages and small castles. Your final destination is Utrecht, where you can visit the Dom tower imposing over the town. Once back on board, you sail to Rotterdam.


Cycle: 25 or 40 km


Overnight: On-board in Rotterdam



Day 3: Rotterdam, Schiedam & Delft

Today’s cycle goes in a loop from Rotterdam, taking in Schiedam via Delfland to Delft. Schiedam is known for the production of Jenever, a Dutch gin, whereas Delft is the center for local pottery making. Here you can visit Royal Delft, the only remaining factory of blue earthenware, still painted by hand.


Cycle back to the boat in Rotterdam and enjoy a short city walk in the evening.


Cycle: 28 or 50 km


Overnight: On-board in Rotterdam



Day 4: Kinderdijk to Schoonhoven

The choice is yours; take the “waterbus” to Alblasserdam and skip the first part of cycling, or hop in the saddle to reach Kinderdijk and its 19 incredible old-style windmills that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage. From here, the hardy can opt to cycle the longer route which encompasses the “City of Cheese”, Gouda. The shorter route goes through Alblasserwaard before both routes join in Schoonhoven, famous for its silver smithy.


Cycle: 30 or 58 km


Overnight: On-board in Schoonhoven



Day 5: Schoonhoven to Utrecht

Today takes you through the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland via Oudewater to Utrecht. Should last night’s cheese tasting not have satisfied your cheese needs, there is the opportunity to visit a traditional cheese farm near Oudewater. The (late) afternoon sees you sail from Utrecht to Haarlem, with live music entertainment on board.


Cycle: 45 km


Overnight: On-board in Haarlem



Day 6: Haarlem & The North Sea Coast

Enjoy a fantastic loop cycle with a few routes to choose from, once again. Both routes will take you past the sandy Kennemer dunes, where you can spot many bird species in the national park, as well as ponies and cows!


Cycle via seaside resorts Bloemendaal and Zandvoort as you cycle through forests back to the ship. The longer route continues to Cruquius pumping station, the largest steam engine in the world, before leading back to Haarlem. The ship sails to Zaandam that evening.


Cycle: 40 or 50 km


Overnight: On-board in Zaandam



Day 7: Zaandam to Amsterdam

Your final day’s cycling takes you from Zaandam to the open-air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ which is a true snippet of Dutch culture. Enjoy traditional wooden houses, windmills, cheese farming, and wooden shoe ‘clog’ manufacturing. A shorter cycle allows you time to explore Amsterdam again upon cycling into the city for the final leg of your journey.


Cycle: 30 or 45 km


Overnight: On-board in Amsterdam



Day 8: Amsterdam

After your last breakfast onboard of your boat it is time to disembark, until 9:30 AM. Connect to your onward travel plans afterward.

Accommodation

You stay on-board of river cruiser ‘De Amsterdam’ (56 cabins) or the recently renovated ‘De Nassau’ (34 cabins), which are medium-size cosy ships. All cabins are tastefully decorated, air-conditioned, en-suite and have windows that can not be opened. Facilities include a TV, hairdryer, mini safe and wardrobe. A warm welcome on board is guaranteed.


Enjoy the spacious deck to soak up the last of the sunshine. The bar and restaurant areas are perfect for gazing out over the river 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.


The boat is always docked at night and sails only during the day. All inside areas of the boat are non-smoking and a limited Wi-Fi service is available.



Single Cabins & Solo Cyclists

Single cabins are available although a supplement is payable. This trip is also available to solo cyclists (with a supplement) and is perfect as there are plenty of people to chat with every day.



Meals

All meals on board are included. Breakfast usually consists of fruits, granola, yogurt, breads, cheeses and meats. There are also extra cheeses, meats, breads and snacks to make yourself a picnic lunch each day. In the evenings, return to 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.


Coffee and tea are provided free of charge until 4.00PM.



De Amsterdam


De Amsterdam Bike and Boat


De Amsterdam Bike and Boat


De Amsterdam Bike and Boat



De Nassau


De Nassau Bike and Boat


De Nassau Bike and Boat


De Nassau Bike and Boat

Availability

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


Please note: On any tour departures between April 6 and (including) May 2 it is possible to visit the world-famous Tulip exhibition park “Keukenhof” in Lisse (from Haarlem, by bicycle or public transport; transfers/tickets/entrance fee not included).


Grade & Terrain



Almost completely flat this cycle tour is graded easy. The daily distance range from 25km-60km. You will be cycling along designated traffic free cycle paths and some quiet roads and along some busier routes through when approaching and departing towns and cities, so please be mindful of other road and cycle path users at all times.


This tour is particularly well suited to novice cyclists as the route is flat and predominantly traffic free. However, you have the option of staying on board or exploring locally on foot if you don’t feel like cycling.


Navigation


You will be issued with tour specific route notes and maps upon arrival. Your on board tour leader will also give you a briefing each evening or in the morning about the days cycle. Each daily ride is not guided but the on board 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 way marked 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 Bike 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 sun screen. 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, 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
  • All meals, including packed lunches
  • 7-gear bicycle
  • Detailed route notes with maps
  • Emergency support from tour leader
  • Welcome drink and tour briefing
  • Daily briefings
  • Short, guided walking tours in cities
  • Complimentary afternoon tea and coffee (until 4 PM)

Excluded

  • Travel to and from Amsterdam
  • Personal equipment
  • Drinks
  • Miscellaneous expenditure
  • Travel Insurance

Extras

  • Electric bike hire
  • Single Cabin
  • Cabin Upgrades

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 range from 25km-60km. You will be cycling along designated traffic free cycle paths and some quiet roads and along some busier routes through when approaching and departing towns and cities, so please be mindful of other road and cycle path users at all times.

This tour is particularly well suited to novice cyclists as the route is flat and predominantly traffic free. However, you have the option of staying on board or exploring locally on foot if you don’t feel like cycling.

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 scenery, great fun!

5

Having not cycled for many years, we weren't sure how we'd get on. We needn't have worried! Holland is so flat, the people are so friendly and helpful, that cycling was a pleasure. I had an ordinary bike, my husband an e-bike. All the bikes on board are build for comfort with wide, padded saddles and ordinary handlebars, which mean your posture is upright. No problems with back pains. Clear instructions were provided for each day's travel, with which cycle path numbers to look out for, as well as the route marked on a larger map. (I'd have liked a separate A4 version of the map route, as it didn't always have enough detail.) The first 2 days in Utrecht and Rotterdam were more urban, and the remainder were in mostly open countryside, on quiet paths or roads. There was some stunning scenery, and everything was very green and lush. We had a tour of a working windmill that is used as a sawmill, which was a tour highlight for us. I also really enjoyed visited Corrie ten Boom's house just off the central square in Haarlem, where she hid many Jews before being deported to Ravenbruk. The standard of food on board 'de Amsterdam' was very high - as good as any larger cruise we have been on. Breakfast offers a large choice of cooked food, cereals,fruit, bread, cheese, ham, pastries. You are given paper bags for your packed lunch, and use the breakfast buffet to select what you want for your sandwiches etc. There are 4 courses each evening, comprising of a starter, soup, main and dessert. There are 3 choices of main - meat, fish or vegetarian. Every afternoon there is coffee and cake - very welcome after a day in the saddle. The only thing that is extra is drinks. Cocktails were 6.50 Euros. We would definitely recommend this holiday. The cycling isn't too hard, the organisation and food are excellent. The scenery was beautiful. We're already looking at which holiday to book for next year!

Ailsa Biker

Orkney

true

Great itinerary

3

Great route , would not book again in boat without 2nd floor cabin upgrade,

Kski

Arizona

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Fabulous.

5

What a wonderful holiday - I could have stayed on board for another week! The boat and the crew were absolutely first class. We stayed in the most beautiful cabin - with the large sliding glass doors. The fixtures and fittings were top drawer and everywhere you went was spotlessly clean. Our cabin was large and well fitted out with everything we needed. Each cycle trip was well mapped out/explained for us and we were given a detailed map and route sheet for each day. The cycling was easy and the routes were varied and interesting, taking in local points of interest. Discounted tickets for the Royal Delft Factory/Museum and an Amsterdam canal tour were a welcome addition to the itinerary. The bikes provided were great quality and in perfect condition and the provision of panniers, water bottles and waterproof map-holders were very welcome and thoughtful additions. The only negative point I will mention was the quality/style of food presented for dinner. My partner and I found the evening meals rather bizarre and unfortunately not really to our liking. We were looking forward to local cheeses, herring, flammekuchen, fresh local produce etc. but were a little disappointed in the event. However, we skipped dinner on three nights and ate out in Delft at Bij Ons, which was one of the best meals we have ever had, anywhere, and for €31 per person it was the best vlaue for money. We also ate out in Zaandam at the Castell and in Amsterdam at the magnificent Sea Palace - somewhere not to be missed both for it's fantastic food and its breathtaking decor. We cycled 5 out of a possible 6 days, opting to spend a day cruising on the boat in the middle of the week. This was not only a welcome rest for our derrières but also a wonderful way to take in the beauty and bustle of the Netherlands waterways - never a dull moment. This holiday was absolutely fantastic, so good infact that my partner and I are already looking to book the Danube trip for 2019.

Salbunch

London

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I would highly recommend this trip

4

The barge moves at perfect times, while people are cycling or during dinner and then you watch the scenery out the windows. The barge is extremely stable. The major complaint I have is that this is an exercise vacation and water is NOT provided, which is ridiculous . If this product is being offered to Americans then offer water! Charge more for the trip and make water available 24/7 at no cost.

Heidi Babkiewich

Colorado

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Delightful Adventure!

5

This trip exceeded expectations. Food was plentiful and better than expected. Staff extremely helpful. Accommodations clean and comfortable but cramped but the dining room/lounge provided a very comfortable setting to hang out with friends. If you are planning on doing this trip bring as little as possible! I liked being able to bike at my own pace. Since this was self guided my friends and I enjoyed the freedom of visiting what interested us along the way rather than being held captive by a group schedule. Maps and directions provided were quite clear but we still managed to miss at least one turn every day! The Dutch people, who almost universally speak English well, were very helpful in getting us back on track. OUTSTANDING VALUE compared to other trips I have taken. I never expected such service and quality meals for the price I paid.

Angie

Erie, Pennsylvania

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What great vacation!

5

We had a great time. Even with fickled weather we had a ball. This is great for folks of any age and experience level. I woyld5do it again in a heartbeat!

Linda

New Mexico, USA

I would buy this product again

4

This was my first introduction to bicycle holiday and what better way and place to do it. Beautiful, save cycle paths, pretty towns and sites, and the fun of navigating like a "girl guide/scout". Getting lost and found is part of the fun and certainly makes you pay attention to your surroundings. A little pre trip cycle fitness and an e-bike upgrade made me the happy adventurer to my father's homeland. Our guide loves her country and supported all of us on our particular and reasonable needs. Accommodations were boat like- functional and mobile- not moving from one hotel to the next is a great feature of the bike boat experience.

The NZ Girl Guide

Oakland, CA

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Great Trip!

4

The directions could have been written a bit more specifically. That would have helped. More healthy greens and not overcooked veggies would have suited us better. Other than that, great fun, great bike and tour support, great accommodations. Enjoyed very much!

Kathleen

SF, CA

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Generally very good week, but with a few minor niggles

4

Overall a good holiday, despite a couple of bad weather days. Food, crew & leader very good. Cabins a bit basic & pretty small. Biggest niggle was the route from the boat to the main start of the bike tour - needs much more detailed maps, many of us got lost to & from the boat. Only other moan was the "get back to the boat by 4pm, because its moving to the next destination" for example - this meant a "rush" to get around the circuit, when we could have happily spend 1-2 more hours

Chris

Swindon

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Holland Bike & Boat: Southern Circuit

4.3 9

100.0

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