Relaxing adventure? Surely this juxtaposition is impossible. How can you relax and have an adventure at the same time? Well, bike and boat trips allow you to explore areas that you may not have thought about previously, but entirely at your own pace, with the knowledge that your floating hotel is following you all the way.
The Amsterdam to Bruges Bike and Boat sees you spending your days cycling through stunning Dutch and Belgian countryside, and your evenings and nights gliding along on your floating hotel, eating, drinking and making merry as the world slides past.
Distance: Daily cycles of around 30-50km
Grade: Easy to Moderate. Although this trip is almost entirely flat, some days you will be cycling 50km which just takes it out of the ‘Easy’ grade. However, you have all day, so you will still have time for sightseeing and a leisurely lunch.
You board your ‘floating hotel’ in Amsterdam, the Capital of the Netherlands. From there you begin to cruise down the river (on the boat and by pedal power) through the beautiful cities of Antwerp and Ghent until reaching the medieval metropolis of Bruges.
There are four main cities on this trip (and a wealth of beautiful little towns and villages) and each of them offers something completely different in look, style and feel. Amsterdam is a relaxed, cosmopolitan city while remaining deeply Dutch in its manner. Antwerp is all cobbles and coolness. It is a haven for artists and fashion designers and hosts a dramatic medieval cathedral and riverside fortress.
Ghent is a surprisingly tourist-free city and is a smaller, much-loved version of Bruges. A place where people feel instantly relaxed and comfortable and a city that people always return to. Then there is Bruges to finish up. This medieval masterpiece is a photographers dream. Its soaring spires and long canals seem to capture light in a way that is entirely unique.
This trip also takes you through some outstanding areas of beauty. The UNESCO world heritage site of Kinderdijk. This classic windmill haven has been granted its status because of its sustainable way of using technology and nature for over 1000 years. And, it is incredibly beautiful too, which helps.
Also on the trip, you will take a day cycling through Het Zwin nature reserve on the Belgian Coast. It is nicknamed the bird airport because of the large amount of traffic it gets in migratory months, but all year round it is a haven for a huge range of plant and animal species. It is an intertidal zone, so the landscape changes every day depending on the tides and is a wonderful, wild experience to finish off your trip.
And of course, if cycling doesn’t take your fancy on any particular day, you can stay onboard your boat, sit on deck and watch the scenery slide by. Relax and be adventurous, it can happen.
Getting to Amsterdam is about as easy as it can be. Schipol is one of the biggest hub airports in the world and has connections from just about everywhere. From Bruges at the end, you are just 90 minutes by train from Brussels Airport, or you can travel back up to Amsterdam in under 3 hours.