Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • The 7 million flowers of the Keukenhof flower garden.
  • Fabulous easy cycling on flat roads and traffic free cycle paths.
  • Everything Dutch: Windmills, flower filled fields, canals and dikes.
  • Numerous museums and galleries including the Anne Frank and Van Gogh museums.
  • Tucking into a freshly baked hot syrup waffle.
  • Wandering through the weekly cheese market in Gouda.

Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Delft and Gouda, cities built for cycling, are home to the cultural gems of Holland and brimming with typical Olde Holland character. Cycle through flower filled fields, visit the World famous Keukenhof flower exhibition, explore charming towns and discover the cultural heart of Holland.

With relatively short cycling distances this trip gives plenty time for sight-seeing, allowing you to immerse yourself in Dutch culture; you can discover Haarlem’s hidden “hofjes”, visit at the Anne Frank and Van Gogh museums, shop at Gouda’s cheese market, sip a canal side coffee in Amsterdam and visit countless art galleries and museums. You can also add in an extra night on day 6 at the charming town of Woerden, before continuing onto Amsterdam the following day.

In spring Holland is covered in a carpet of brightly coloured tulips, daffodils and hyacinths and your route takes you through the heart of this riot of colour. Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower garden, made up of over 7 million bulbs is open from late March to late May and a highlight on day two.

Holland boats the world’s best cycling infrastructure and this cycling holiday is particularly well suited to families as the routes are predominantly traffic free.

Your holiday begins in Amsterdam before heading west to the elegant city of Haarlem and then south through flower filled fields to Keukenhof and on to the university town of Leiden. Delft, famous for its blue and white Delftware, is next on the itinerary before you head on to Gouda. Gouda’s cheese market and hot syrup waffles are a must! Finally your route takes you back to Amsterdam via Utrecht, which boasts the fine Dom Cathedral.

Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam

After arriving at your hotel in Amsterdam you can wander around the seventeenth century canal ring area (World Heritage Site). Make your way to the city’s famous squares: Dam, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. Should you prefer to roam off the beaten track, saunter up Brouwersgracht or hire a canal bike and find out what the city looks like from the water.


Overnight: Amsterdam Hotel


Day 2: Amsterdam to Haarlem

Get an early start to get the best from the Van Gogh or Anne Frank museums in Amsterdam before saying “tot ziens!” to Amsterdam at lunchtime.


Jumping on your bike you pedal through through Kennemerland through countryside made up of vast polders, country estates, woods and beautiful peat land to your overnight stop in the elegant city of Haarlem.


Cycle: 29 km


Overnight: Haarlem hotel


Day 3: Haarlem to Leiden

Begin your day with a city walk to discover Haarlems hidden “hofjes”. Squares of tiny almshouses set around idyllic courtyards these were often built by the church or private charities to house single older women.  Another highlight, which dates back to the Dutch golden age, are the works of Haarlem painters Frans Hals, Jacob Ruysdael & Pieter Saenredam which are on display at the Frans Hals Museum.


In the afternoon get set for a colourful cycle through the Dune and Bulb Region. Try to time your trip before mid-May to capture the bulb flower fields in their full splendour! Tulips, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths are grown here commercially and temporarily transform the landscape into a riot of colour, one of the country’s best-loved tourist attractions.


Keukenhof, which you pass on route, is the world’s largest flower garden featuring over 7 million flowers. Should you wish to visit Keukenhof flower exhibition, we would recommend you book an extra night in Leiden.


Leiden is our oldest university town. It has a very busy cultural events calendar and a friendly city centre with canals, monuments windmills and museums. The historical botanical gardens get special mention.


Cycle: 43 km


Overnight: Leiden Hotel


Day 4: Leiden to Delft

Leaving Leiden you can look forward to a peaceful day of cycling through typically Dutch scenery. An orderly landscape of rectangular polders, canals, lakes, green pastures, old windmills and farmhouses.


The melancholy charm of historical Delft is breathtaking. Most will associate Delft with its blue and white hand-painted pottery: Delftware. But did you know that painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) lived in Delft all his life? The Vermeer Centre gives illuminating insights into his life, works and the city although no original paintings are on show here.


Cycle: 24 km


Overnight: Delft Hotel


Day 5: Delft to Gouda

This stretch of your cycle tour through Holland takes you through the Green Heart of Holland. Cycling along polder dikes, through charming villages and along peaceful canals this is a simply delightful day. 


Gouda is a charming town of cobbled streets, canals and tightly packed canal houses bursting with style.


Highlights include the gothic town hall (1450), the Weighing House (1667), the romantic inner city canals and the stained glass windows in St. John’s Church.

Gouda is probably most famous for the cheese of the same name and syrup waffles (try one hot!). If you’re travelling in summer, plan your trip so that you can witness the traditional Thursday morning cheese market at the start of day 6 (last Thursday in June till last Thursday in August.


Cycle: 32 km


Overnight: Gouda hotel


Day 6: Gouda to Amsterdam

After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, get back on your bike and set off on the longest leg of your tour. But don’t worry, it is typically flat. If you prefer, you can also add an extra night at the charming town of Woerden, which reduces the distance to a 30km ride today (and 50km the following day).


Your route is punctuated by rivers, polders and lakes (bird lovers bring your binoculars!). In the heart of the busy city of Utrecht, at the foot of Dom cathedral, lies peaceful Oude Gracht (Old Canal). Its characteristic wharves are unique to Utrecht. Nowadays they are the pleasant setting for waterside cafes and restaurants. Do stop for a sample of Dutch style apple tart! Thus fortified, continue on your way back to Amsterdam pursuing beautiful River Vecht.


Cycle Gouda to Amsterdam: 80-85 km


Cycle Gouda to Woerden: 43 km


Cycle Woerden to Amsterdam: 49 km


Overnight: Amsterdam hotel


Day 7: Onward Travel 

Your cycling holiday has come to an end so it’s time to depart.

Accommodation

We specifically select your accommodation to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to cyclists, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We aim to give you an authentic experience and use local family run accommodations in 3* and 4* traditional Hotels.


Alternative Accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative
accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative
accommodation will be of the same standard as those described.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Solo Cyclists

This holiday is available for solo cyclists but we would recommend that you are experienced in cycling and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the holiday is slightly more expensive as some costs are not shared.


Additional Nights

You can add additional nights at any point along the cycle, please contact us for more details and we can add this to the booking.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included although you can add dinner as a prepaid option. Dinner is also available at nearby pubs or restaurants.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

Grade & Fitness

This cycling tour is graded Easy to Moderate. Your cycling route
follows a mixture of quiet country roads, lanes and tracks.  The route
is very flat with one long day at 80km, while the remaining days are
between 26km and 36km. You should be a regular cyclist and have a good
level of fitness to get the most from this holiday.


Navigation

We supply you with detailed turn by turn route descriptions, detailed
maps and a comprehensive pre departure information pack.The cycle
routes in Holland are comprehensively way marked and much of the route finding is a “follow the numbers”
exercise so you will have absolutely no problem following the route.


Availability

This holiday is available to start on any day of the week between 1st April - 1st October.


Time of Year 

The best time for cycling is during the spring months between April and May when the weather is a little cooler and the flowers are in bloom. Summer is also a very good time as the weather is fair and you have the opportunity for visiting the summer cheese markets.


Grade & Terrain

This cycling tour is graded Easy to Moderate. Your cycling route follows a mixture of quiet country roads, lanes and tracks.  The route is very flat with one long day at 69km, while the remaining days are between 26km and 36km. You should be a regular cyclist and have a good level of fitness to get the most from this holiday.  The route follows designated cycle lanes, paths and quiet country roads.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

We supply you with detailed turn by turn route descriptions, detailed maps and a comprehensive pre departure information pack.The cycle routes in Holland are comprehensively way marked and much of the route finding is a “follow the numbers” exercise so you will have absolutely no problem following the route.


Rental Bikes


 


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

Getting to/from Amsterdam

By Air - Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is served by direct flights from most major UK and European airports. 


By Ferry - Ferries depart daily between Newcastle and Amsterdam. Check DFDS Seaways for prices and booking.

Stenaline also run ferries 7 days a week from Harwich to Hook of Holland, while daily ferries between Hull and Rotterdam are run by P&O Ferries.


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.

Included

  • 6 nights in 3/4* hotels.
  • 6 Breakfasts.
  • Daily luggage transport (1 bag per person/ max. 20 kg).
  • Panniers to carry your day pack.
  • Detailed route descriptions and maps on arrival.
  • GPS file of the route if required
  • Pre-departure Information pack.
  • 24-hour assistance by phone.

Excluded

  • Drinks, snacks and lunches and dinners.
  • Travel to /from Amsterdam.
  • Bike hire - May be booked as an option.
  • Personal equipment.
  • Travel insurance - Adequate travel insurance is a prerequisite on all bookings.
  • Entrance fees to museums and attractions.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program.

Extras

  • Additional nights accommodation.
  • Bike hire.
  • Pre-book evening meals.
  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable.
  • Solo cyclists supplement if applicable.
  • Airport/taxi transfers.

How fit do I need to be?

The cycling is graded easy to moderate so you will enjoy the holiday more if you already enjoy an active lifestyle.  Daily cycles are a mixture of quiet country lanes and minor roads.  If you have a good level of fitness you will have no problem with the cycle

Which is the best airport to fly to?

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is served by direct flights from most major UK and European airports.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this holiday is extremely popular especially in the spring months when Hollands flowers are in bloom.  Please note you can start this holiday on any day of the week.  You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need comfortable cycling clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.  

How do the baggage transfers work? 

Your bags will be transferred to your next accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask that you limit your bags to one per person of max. 20kg in weight.

When is the best time of year?

The best time for cycling is during the spring months between April and May when the weather is a little cooler and the flowers are in bloom. Summer is also a very good time as the weather is fair and you have the opportunity for visiting the summer cheese markets. 

What happens if I am unable to cycle a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to get to your next overnight stop.

BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING TULIPS WITH FANTASTIC ACCOMMODATION

5

This was a fantastic way to see the main areas of Southern Holland from Amsterdam. The tulip season/festival is more beautiful and stunning than anyone can imagine, so April/early May is the best time to go. I was lucky - the weather was sunny while cycling [freezing in Amsterdam]. The fietspads or LS routes were hard to follow at times. I got lost many, many times. Fietspad Numbers disappear, numbers change for whatever reason, or two numbers point the same way! But that is travelling I guess and makes it more enoyable?! [maybe not at the time :) ] This is the way to see Holland - cyling - along with the millions of other cyclists in the Netherlands, so there is always someone to ask as well. Just a fantastic holiday!

KNutch

Adelaide, South Australia

true

Holland Biking Tour

3

Bike maps worthless because many knooppunt markers were missing, especially in city limits. Also your bike map had us riding thru construction zones at times. Do you ever try to follow your own maps?

Sharon

Michigan

false

Great holiday cycling around Holland.

4

We found the organisation excellent, hotels were great, the bikes superb and the luggage transfer spot-on. Our only small gripe was sometimes the route numbers at junctions did not match the numbers on the maps supplied, consequently causing us to get lost. Having said that, I have a feeling it is the fault of the actual quality of the signage not the maps being wrong and with a little ingenuity we were always able to get back on track again. Overall it was a fantastic experience and one that I would do again with Macs Adventures

Seanboy

Wirral

true

great trip through the stunning bulbfields

5

This was our second trip with Macs and once again it lived up to their promises. The stages are quite easy except for the last day of 80km back to Amsterdam. However the peace and tranquillity of the scenery through the wetlands then alongside the Amstel river more than made up for any soreness in the legs at the end. Be aware that sometimes the route numbers on the guide do not match the signposts but if you look at the map boards at each point it is easy to work out the correct direction. Unless you are a fanatical gardener then 2 hours is enough at the Keukenhof Gardens as it is extremely busy although well worth the visit as you pass the gates en route. For 5 star food at reasonable prices try the Crabbetje Brasserie in Delft and De Koekop in Leiden.

The Glenners

Perthshire

true

Tulips as Advertised!

5

We biked through the Netherlands during the 3rd week of April. The tulips cooperated and were in full glory! The fields are beautiful colors of cream, blue, red, yellow. Keukenhof Gardens were so beautiful they were almost surreal. Although Macs had no control, we were lucky to enjoy sunshine the entire trip. And be aware that the wind does blow; think windmills! Each day until the last we biked about 2 to 3 hours leisurely arriving for a coffee in the next city. That left plenty of time to walk about and see the sights.

Flat land biker

Minneapolis

true

I would recommend this tour.

5

The directions for navigating our way to each town could have been explained and interpreted a little better. A map of each town that we visited should have been provided with the pack. Some of the junctions were just not there, this lead to confusion at times. However we relied on our map reading and problem solving skills. Dutch Bike Tours should provide all clients with a GPS, we were not provided with one. Fortunately for us the Dutch people were very friendly and helpful if and when the need arose. Lots of fun, very good quality bikes and thoroughly enjoyed the towns that we visited and stayed in. Accommodation was excellent! Perfect time for cycling the scenery was spectacular! Would recommend this tour but take a GPS if Dutch Bike Tours are not going to provide one. A little more information on where a toilet, cafe......may be en route would also be useful. As far as Macs Adventure Tours goes, could not fault the organisation, very satisfied with their efficiency etc.

Cheryl and Linley

Bridgetown Australia Linley Alice Spring

true

Heart of Holland

4.5 6

83.3

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