BIKE AND BARGE HOLIDAY THROUGH HOLLAND’S GREEN HEART
Discover the Green Heart of Holland during this 8-day cycling holiday with our partner, Saddle Skedaddle. Your English-speaking tour guide will take you through the best bits of Holland’s Green Heart.You’ll be living in true Dutch style, with a bike as your daytime transport and your accommodation for the week on a modern barge with a group of other cyclists. All meals are included on this tour, too. Throughout the holiday, you can leave your luggage on the barge, so all you have to think about is enjoying your ride each day.
Day 1 & 2
Day 1 – Arrive in Amsterdam – sail to Spaarndam – cycle to Haarlem - 9 miles: You’ll board your barge at 2pm, meeting the captain and the rest of the guests. The barge will then set sail to Spaarndam before heading on to the stunning city of Haarlem.While in Haarlem check out the Market Square. The Grote Kerk in the square is particularly well known as it once housed a Mozart concert. There’s also the Town Hall and Weighing House, both fantastic structures. Visit the Frans Hals museum for a history or Holland and the 17th century artistic masters of the Golden Age of painting.
Day 2 - Haarlem to Leiden - 25 miles: Your second day will take your from Haarlem to Leiden via the Dutch dunes. After a morning cycle through the city centre of Haarlem, stopping to admire a few of the almshouses, you’ll head to the Cruquius steam-powered pumping station which is now a museum. From there you’ll cycling past the coastline towards, finishing in the charming city of Leiden.
Day 3 and 4
Day 3 - Leiden to Delft - 25 miles: On the third day you’ll head south from Leiden, cycling along the Vliet canal and on to the coast. Take a break at ‘Wassenaarse Slag’, the beach entrance near the town of Wassenaaryou. After your break follow the route the Delft, bringing you back to the water again. The beautiful old centre of Delft is perfect for a leisurely cycling, or walk, around. This medieval city is comprised of canals, a town hall and the Nieuwe Kerk where you’ll also find a royal tomb.
Day 4 - Free day in Delft:Explore Delft’s old centre. The Vermeer Centre is fantastic for art-lovers who would like to learn about painter Johannes Vermeer, famous for such works as ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’. Alternatively, learn all about Delft Blue pottery, which is still crafted by hand. If the weather is clear head to the top of Nieuwe Kerk for amazing views of the Green Heart. Delft is also home to the world’s 5 tallest windmills.
Image 1 credit:NBTC
Day 5 and 6
Day 5 - Delft to Gouda - 25 miles: From Delft you’ll sail through Rotterdam where you’ll get the best views of the port and architecture. You’ll begin your cycle at Kinderdijk, home to 19 windmills, following the route through meadows, passed meandering rivers. You’ll pass through Schoonhoven before reaching Gouda. Make sure you try the cheese and stroopwafels here before heading to the mesmerising town hall, with narrow, spiked turrets. Take a walk around the quaint old town after dinner and really get a feel for the city.
Day 6 - Gouda to Uithoorn - 28 miles: Your longest cycle yet, you’ll take the 28 mile trip from Gouda to Uithoorn via winding country roads and tranquil rivers, really exploring Holland’s Green Heart. Make sure to take a look around and admire the vast stretches of country landscapes. The modest town of Uithoorn surprisingly boasts a massive 135km ringed defence fortification, built from 1883-1920. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-see when you’re in the region.
Image 1 credit: Image credit: NBTC
Day 7 and 8
Day 7 – Uithoorn to Amsterdam - 22 miles: evening in Uithoorn, cycling along the Waver and Amstel rivers before you land back in the Dutch capital. You’ll then enjoy a farewell dinner before perhaps enjoying a stroll through Amsterdam.
Day 8 - Depart from Amsterdam: Disembarking by 10am, spend your day exploring Amsterdam’s shopping area of Nine Streets, the thriving art scene in Jordaan, or get lost in the countless museums and galleries or simply head back to your chosen port for your ferry home.