Although the Dutch didn’t invent the bicycle, almost everyone in the country (including the king) rides one; the cycling infrastructure in both villages and throughout the countryside is superb. Cycling from the cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam to the charming village of Bruges, Belgium, you will experience the best of these two countries. From the Unesco World Heritage site of the Kinderdijk windmills to the chocolate makers in Bruges, this is a unique journey in Europe.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
  • A ride you will never forget: each of the rides will be memorable, along canals, dykes, and through charming villages.
  • Local expert guides for historic walks and visits.
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks.
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.

Straight Talk: Holland probably has more bike paths and routes in cities and countryside than any country in the world. And lots of locals ride their bikes (60% of all trips in Amsterdam are by bike!). This means that as you depart cities (of any size) you will see bike paths heading off in many directions. Rather than provide route instructions, we have found it easier to explain the signage to people and provide very detailed maps (1:50,000 scale) and gps of our route for those that like to use. Be prepared to stop more frequently than you might in countries with more open road and thrill in the fact that Holland has created these bike paths and signed routes to make it a pleasure to cycle.

Location

Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Day 1+2

Gouda

Gouda, Netherlands

Day 3

Dordrecht

Dordrecht, Netherlands

Day 4

Willemstad

Willemstad, Netherlands

Day 5

Schuddebeurs

Schuddebeurs, Netherlands

Day 6

Bruge

Bruges, Belgium

Day 8

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
7 nights lodging in 3-4 stars hotels
All breakfasts, 4 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Entrance fees for selected historical sites, museums and guided walking tours
Detailed maps
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2019

May 5-12
May 14-21
June 16-23
Sep 3-10
Sep 15-22

2020

May 12-19
June 9-16
June 16-23
Sep 1-8
Sep 8-15
Sep 15-22

Custom trips also available.

TRIP SIZE

4-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

8 days/ 7 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Amsterdam/ Bruges

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate

TERRAIN

Flat and scenic.

COST

US $2950 per person

Single Supplement
US $650

Bike Rental
US $180

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

1

Day 1

Arrival in Amsterdam

Our official meeting time is at 7 pm in Amsterdam, but for anyone that would like to do a short bike ride in Amsterdam, we will meet at 4 pm for a 15 km loop through Vondelpark and along canals through the city center, pointing out historical sites etc. Should you prefer to stroll, our hotel is close to museums and popular sights so you can walk easily. After a welcome reception at 7pm, we will dine at a favourite restaurant.
Hotel: College Hotel, Amsterdam

2

Day 2

Amsterdam to Gouda

Our route from Amsterdam begins along a quiet cycling path south along the Amstel River. Pass stately homes and gardens and on the river, rowing boats glide silently past. Lunch will be at a roadside bistro midway through the day. Arrive to Gouda, a village with a myriad of canals, a colourful market (and superb cheese). We will visit the city with a local guide to learn the fascinating history of this region, followed by dinner at Bij Ons, a local favourite.
Hotel: BW City Hotel, Gouda 
Distance: 77 km, elevation gain  – n/a*

3

Day 3

Gouda to Dordrecht

Today, we will cycle to the Unesco village of Kinderdijk, where 19 windmills have been standing majestically since 1740. These windmills were used to drain excess water from the low-lying polder to the River Lek. We reach Dordrecht via a short ferry ride. We typically arrive early afternoon – should you wish to visit Rotterdam it is just 30 minutes away by catamaran ferry. Dordrecht is one of Holland’s oldest towns and is completely surrounded by water. We will meet up for an optional walking tour and then enjoy dinner at an acclaimed restaurant where fresh fish never tasted better.
Hotel: Groothoofd Hotel, Dordrecht
Distance: 43 km, elevation gain – n/a*

4

Day 4

Dordrecht to Willemstad

Today, we will cycle through De Biesbosch National Park, one of the last freshwater tide areas in Europe and a rich flora and fauna wetland area. We make our way along quiet roads and bike paths to Zevenbergen where another fabulous lunch awaits and then continue to the charming village of Willemstad, a small historical village with well preserved fortifications. Visit the former mansion of Mauritz, the son of William of Orange or enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the many cafes that line the quaint harbour.
Hotel: Mauritz, Willemstad
Distance: 46 km, elevation gain – n/a*

5

Day 5

Willemstad to Schuddebeurs

We depart Willemstad and make our way to the charming village of Oude-Tonge. Zeeland is an archipelago of islands, inlets, and polders. Along the Grevelingenmeer beaches, watch the colourful sails of kites and windsurfers. After lunch at a local restaurant in Bruinisse, we make our way through apple, pear and cherry orchards and horse ranches. Taste wine at a vineyard that specializes in Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc varietals conveniently located a few km from our hotel. Dine tonight in the sublime dining room of the hotel.
Hotel: Hostellerie Schuddebeurs, Schuddebeurs
Distance: 46 km, elevation gain  – n/a.*

6

Day 6

Schuddebeurs to Middelburg

Start out the day by exploring nearby village of Zierikzee, where the city gate last closed for the night in 1866. Explore the Centrum, town hall and former prison, now a museum and then we make our way through Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt) National Park, the largest of the 20 National Parks in Netherlands and boasting remarkable bird life. From here, our route follows the North Sea coast where kilometers of sand dunes and splendid beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. Enjoy lunch while watching the aerial acrobatics of kite surfers who flock here for the onshore winds. Late afternoon, visit the utterly charming village of Veere, with a Scottish connection that you will learn as we tour the historic houses center. Arrive to Middelburg, a pleasant and prosperous town with a vibrant center.
Hotel: Hotel Loskade 45, Middelburg
Distance: 44 km, elevation gain  – n/a.*

7

Day 7

Middelburg to Brugge

Start the day with a ferry ride to the village of Breskens and to the market town of Sluis (we typically plan our trips to make market day) before cycling into Belgium and its enigmatic villages of Damme and then Bruges, often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’ and one of the most enchanting cities in Europe. We will discover its treasures on a walking tour with a local guide and then celebrate our trip finish with a celebratory dinner.
Hotel: Hotel Ter Duinen, Bruges
Distance: 60 km, elevation gain  – n/a.*

8

Day 8

Depart – you can depart at your leisure anytime after breakfast for onward travel. Trains depart for Amsterdam regularily.

*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.

College Hotel, Amsterdam

Set in Amsterdam’s fashion and museum district, this upscale hotel in a late 19th century former school building has rooms around a courtyard, a trendy bar and a fine restaurant occupying the former school gym, serving exciting “New Dutch’ cuisine.


Best Western Plus, Gouda

Set in a former redbrick factory building, this hotel overlooks the canal with modern interior and large airy rooms, chic bar and restaurant.


Groothoofd Hotel, Dordrecht

Set on a cobblestone street overlooking the harbor, this 4-star hotel in a monumental building is walking distance from everything in the historic center. The rooms are somewhat modest with views of the historic harbour.


Mauritz, Willemstad

We loved this hotel as soon as we walked in. With its contemporary and hip vibe, there is a warm welcome and comfortable guest rooms. With its Dutch colonial style and great restaurant on site, this is the ideal place to stay in Willemstad.


Hostellerie Schuddebeurs - Hampshire Hotel, Schuddebeurs

This is a memorable and distinctive inn with a quiet setting with an excellent in-house dining room so you don’t need to leave the warmth of this property to dine.


Hotel Loskade 45, Middleburg

Set on a quay this former warehouse, built in 1879, is only a short walking distance away from the main square. It has been a hotel since 1940 and even the former queen Wilhelmina has stayed here. Just recently renovated it offers comfortable, modern rooms.


Hotel Ter Duinen, Bruges

A charming hotel with bags of character. Contemporary sun lit rooms all in natural tones. Gorgeous Conservatory breakfast rooms and innercourtyard. An understated spot with plenty of charisma.



			

Trip Reviews

December 4, 2018

“Lovely region. Very comfortable hotels and very well situated.”

December 4, 2018

“Great meals, Guide expertise, accomodation. The bikes were excellent!”

December 4, 2018

“As always, I loved the freedom of seeing a new area away from the usual tourist travel routes. And, exploring through the eyes of young enthusiastic, local guides. Thank you for a memorable week.”

December 4, 2018

“The guides modified the route to accommodate my anxiety of cycling over a long bridge. The revised route along the North Sea, through a national park was beautiful. The majority of the hotels were outstanding. I really enjoyed having a guided walk with a historian through the towns/cities. The Netherlands is so clean and well maintained. We cycled where there was almost no car traffic. I felt extremely safe. I enjoyed riding every day and the company of the guides and the other cyclists.”

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