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The Netherlands (Holland)

Green Heart

Bike and Barge holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£980 P.P.
The Netherlands (Holland)

Green Heart

Bike and Barge holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£980 P.P.
BOOK NOW
A popular cycling holiday in Holland, a country synonymous with cycling. The classic artist's landscape, flat, fertile and open, with long canals, windmills and the historic towns and villages are best explored by boat and bicycle - spend the days exploring by bike and the evening relaxing on a comfortable barge on the canals and lakes.
 
This particular cycling holiday, in the south of Holland, combines the classic Dutch landscape with time near the coast. It is a varied holiday that guarantees a striking introduction to the heart of the Netherlands. This relaxed holiday takes you along rivers one day and roaming the centre of 16th century towns such as Delft, Leiden and Haarlem, the next.  
 
We cycle past the amazing eighteen windmills of Kinderdijk, built around 1750, discover the world's largest seaport, Rotterdam, and cycle along the beach of Scheveningen near The Hague. There’s even some time for exploring museums and for watching the world go by in the outdoor cafés of Amsterdam.
 
These tours are run in conjunction with our partners in Holland and you will join their guests on the tour. Your accommodation for the week is on a specially designed boat, where you will be able to share experiences of the day with other cyclists over dinner. During the day route descriptions are provided and you are free to explore at your own pace if you wish.
 
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Holiday Highlights

  • Exploring Amsterdam
  • The town of Haarlem and its many interesting sites from the 17th century
  • Discovering the historical windmills of Kinderdijk
  • The famous 400-year-old Hortus Botanicus (Horticultural Garden) with its countless exotic plants and trees
  • Staying overnight in Leiden – a historic city with many little courtyards, façades, and historical buildings
  • Discovering Delft – a well-conserved medieval city with canals, a magnificent town hall and a royal tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk

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Every day was a sheer delight. The scenery was varied and beautiful. I woke up every day feeling excited about the days cycling ahead. I was never disappointed. This has been a brilliant holiday.

Cristina, Essex

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival Amsterdam - Sail to Spaarndam - Cycle to Haarlem
9 Miles / 15 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Dinner

Between 13:00 and 14.00 you’ll board your boat and be met by the captain, crew and local leader. After stowing your luggage you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and meet the other guests. The first part of the tour see us sailing to Spaarndam (at 14:15), known as the village of Hansje Brinker and from here we’ll take a gentle ride into the beautiful city of Haarlem.

Haarlem offers many interesting sites from the 17th century. The Market Square with the Grote Kerk (Great Church) or St. Bavo Kerk (1390-1520) is particularly well-known; Mozart gave a concert here! Other famous places include the Town Hall, the Waag (weighing-house) and the Vleeshal (the former Meat Hall, now housing part of the Frans Hals museum with many 17th-century old masters).

Day 2
Haarlem to Leiden (via the Dunes)
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today starts with a short ride through the centre of Haarlem to have a better look at some of the city’s typical almshouses. From Haarlem you’ll be cycling to the ‘Cruquiusgemaal’ (Cruquius Pumping Station), one of the three steam-powered pumping stations that drained the Haarlemmer Lake between 1849 and 1852. Now a museum, it gives you an excellent idea of the Dutch ‘battle against the water‘. You’ll then make your way through the dunes to the beach and on towards Leiden, your destination for the day.

Day 3
Leiden to Delft
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

You’ll leave Leiden in a southerly direction and ride along the Vliet canal. In Voorschoten you’ll turn westwards towards the coastline. ‘Wassenaarse Slag’ (the entrance to the beach near the Dutch town of Wassenaaryou) is a great spot to take a break. The beaches can be reached through the Meijendelse Slag at the southern end or the Wassenaarse Slag at the northern end of the 8 Km stretch of coast.

The route to Delft takes you along the water once again. The old centre of Delft is well worth a visit; a well-conserved medieval city with canals, a magnificent town hall and a royal tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk. .

Day 4
Free Day in Delft
Free Day
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today is yours to do with as you please! You can stay in Delft and discover the old centre or visit The Hague by public transport. Delft is a beautiful town to wander round; learn more about the famous dutch painter Vermeer at the Vermeer Centre or visit the Nieuwe Kerk. When the weather is clear the view from the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is spectacular; a large part of the Green Heart can be seen from here! It is here in Delft also, that the famous blue and white Delft Blue pottery originated and it’s still produced by hand.

The most prominent features of Delft are its five windmills, the tallest in the world. Once there were over twenty mills in the town, most of them being used for grinding grain for the distillers who distilled malt spirit for the jenever (Dutch type of gin) industry. The remaining five giants are still characteristic of the city.

The city of The Hague has an international character with its wide avenues, parks and stately mansions. Possible visits include the Peace Palace (housing the International Court of Justice) the Binnenhof, with the 13th-century Ridderzaal (Knights’ Hall) and the seat of the Dutch Government and Parliament.

Day 5
Delft to Gouda
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

The first part of today’s route will see you sailing through the centre of Rotterdam, thus giving you the best view of the modern architecture of this port. Your cycling day starts in Kinderdijk and then takes you through the Alblasserwaard, situated in between rivers and showing you a wide scenery of water and meadows.

Via the ‘storks village’ of Groot-Ammers you’ll cross the river Lek and enter Schoonhoven, renowned for its silver industry. In the Bartholomeus Church Olivier van Noort was buried, the first Hollander who made a trip around the world, in the 17th century. The bells in the little open tower of the town hall were cast out of his ship’s cannons.

You’ll continue on towards Gouda. Known for its cheese, pipes, stroopwafels (treacle-waffles) and pottery. You will also discover beautiful stained-glass windows, a fairytale-like town hall and atmospheric canals. Gouda is a beautiful Old-Dutch city and after dinner you will be able to talk a walk through the city.

Day 6
Gouda to Oude Wetering
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

From Gouda you will continue your tour over country roads, banks and channels through the Green Heart and polders to Oude Wetering, a sleepy village between the lakes of Braasemmermeer and Westeinderplannen.

On the way you pass the wetlands of Reeuwijkse Plassen, north of Gouda, and will ride through typical Dutch countryside with many waterways, green pastures and of course some windmills.

Day 7
Oude Wetering to Amsterdam
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today you will first ride to the village of Uithoorn. Circa 1885, several fortifications were built around Oude Wetering and Uithoorn as part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a 135 km long ring of fortifications around Amsterdam.

From Uithoorn you start your ride into Amsterdam. Amsterdam’s name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city’s origin as a dam of the river Amstel. The extensive network of bicycle paths ensures a relatively easy way back into the city, showing you some remarkable sites in the center.

Time for a farewell dinner and then you may wish to take a canal trip or take a stroll through the city.

Day 8
Departure Amsterdam
Departure
  • Meals: Breakfast

After our last breakfast, it’s time to disembark (by 10am) and say goodbye to your fellow passengers, your guide and the crew before starting your journey home.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The route is fairly easy-going and mostly flat (with just some gentle ups and downs when riding through the Dunes). The majority of the route will see you riding on a combination of cycle paths and cycle lanes (separated from motor vehicles), with around 35% of the route on roads shared with traffic. Due to the leisurely nature of the tour we do recommend a hybrid bike, however as the majority of the route sticks to tarmac the route is suitable for road bikes. (There may however be short sections on cobbles or hard-packed gravel or dirt roads where you may have to take extra care). The trip has a riding guide but you will get your own route notes on arrival, and maps are available to purchase so if you’d prefer not to stick with the group, you can cycle at your own pace.

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 1-2 : Easy/Gentle

Aspects of both our grade 1 and 2 holidays

Suitable for those looking for a relaxed ride

Occasional ups and downs

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Holidays that are graded as a 1-2, will have aspects of both our grade 1 and grade 2 holidays. These tours are still suitable for those looking for an accessible cycling holiday with manageable daily distances, along predominately flat terrain, however there will be some days / sections where we’d expect you to be up for a slightly cheeky challenge. It might be that the distances are a little longer on some days or that the terrain is slightly more undulating, but the rides are still relaxed and manageable for someone whose generally fit and healthy.

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The crew were fabulous, barge was lovely ( Liza Marleen) mountains of food and stunning Dutch countryside. We were very well looked after and I could have turned around and done the whole week again.

Louise, Bedford

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
08/05/2021 Zwaan
Return Date
15/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,380.00
Start Date
15/05/2021 Zwaan
Return Date
22/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,380.00
Start Date
22/05/2021 Wending
Return Date
29/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,095.00
Start Date
29/05/2021 Wending
Return Date
05/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,095.00
Start Date
12/06/2021 Wending
Return Date
19/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,095.00
Start Date
19/06/2021 Sailing Home
Return Date
26/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,250.00
Start Date
26/06/2021 Wending
Contact Us
Return Date
03/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£980.00
Start Date
10/07/2021 Wending
Return Date
17/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£980.00
Start Date
17/07/2021 Liza Marleen
Contact Us
Return Date
24/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,065.00
Start Date
24/07/2021 Wending
Return Date
31/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£980.00

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Whats Included Tick

A) Barge accommodation (shared twin / double en suite cabins) – Linen and towels provided

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) English speaking local leader

D) Daily route information

E) Ferry fares en route

F) GPX Tracks (available on request)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike

C) Single cabin (available if required)

D) Travel insurance

E) Personal clothing and equipment

F) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills etc)

G) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

H) Maps. These are available to purchase through Skedaddle. Great for if you want an overview of where you’ll be cycling, or if you fancy creating your own routes in addition to the scheduled rides. Please contact the office for more info

I) Travel to barge on arrival day and onward travel on departure day

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The Essentials

Travel Options

For this tour we ask that you make your own way to your barge on arrival and onwards at the end of the trip. If you plan on driving and taking the ferry to Amsterdam, the drive from Amsterdam to Oosterdok takes around half an hour. DFDS (www.dfdsseaways.co.uk) sail direct from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

The most convenient airport to fly into is Amsterdam (AMS). Once you have arrived at Amsterdam Schipol airport you will need to transfer by train to Amsterdam Central station. This takes around 20 minutes and costs approximately 5 Euros – there are many regular connections. We will provide you with directions from the Central Station to the boarding point at Oosterdok as it is only a short walk away. Alternatively you may wish to get a taxi direct from the airport to Oosterdok. A taxi from Schiphol to Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes and costs around 35 Euros.

Please check with Skedaddle before booking any flights so that we can ensure they fit in with the holiday schedule.

Accommodation

Accommodation for this trip is on a barge.

All cabins are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower and toilet, 220 voltage and central heating. There is limited storage space in the cabins. We recommend 1 large piece of luggage per person. You can slide this under the bed within the cabin.

Most cabins are 2-person cabins, the Liza Marleen also has cabins for 3 and 4 people. There are three ship categories that we use: Standard Plus (cabins with private shower/toilet; bunk beds) Comfort (cabins as StandardPlus but with twin beds) and Comfort Plus (with twin and double beds)

We will advise at the time of booking which standard of boat you will be on.

Bike Hire

The cost of bike hire is not included in the cost of the tour, but bikes are available to hire if required. Hire bikes are hybrids with semi-slicks, 24 gears and raised handlebars. They come with an odometer, a lock, pannier racks and bags, pump and water bottles.

Children’s bikes are available on request, we can provide child seats and for children between 4 and 8 tag-alongs are available. E-bikes, tandems and bike trailers can also be rented if requested far enough in advance.

Bikes do not come with helmets as standard, however we can provide them on request. Please request a helmet when booking. Helmets are compulsory for adults and children alike when riding with Skedaddle.

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News, Reviews & Stories

Reviews

9

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