Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Windmills of Holland
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Highlights

  • Easy cycle path and canal side riding
  • Potters town of ‘Blue’ Delft
  • UNESCO Windmills of Kinderdijk.
  • Rotterdam & Amsterdam
  • Gouda, the home of cheese

Combine bike and barge 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 Nights private cabin
  • All meals
  • Bike hire
  • Daily guided rides
  • Information pack & detailed route notes and map
  • Guided city walks of Rotterdam and Dordrecht

Excluded

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

Extras

  • Electric bike hire
  • Single Cabin

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.

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