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The Netherlands (Holland)

Dutch Discoverer

Self-Guided Family Cycling Holiday




8 days

Prices from

£835 P.P.
Child Discount Applies
This tour is a real family friendly adventure that delivers excitement and relaxation at the same time. You will enjoy a memorable week in which your cycle route will include the best of Holland every day - sand dunes and beaches, historical town centres, calming canals and countryside, and magical windmills.
Your Dutch adventure starts and finishes in the city of Haarlem. A classic Dutch city with cobbled streets and lots to explore. Your journey will also take you to the town of Heemskerk and the iconic Amsterdam. The Netherlands is the perfect place to explore by bike as there isn’t a hill in sight. You will have the chance to explore beautiful locations, absorb the culture and history and wander through the sand dunes that stop the worlds flattest country from being flooded!
Your accommodation for the week is a selection of family friendly Stayokay Hostels that really cater for everyone’s needs, no matter what their age. Boasting family-friendly spaces and private en-suite rooms designed for 2 to 6 people, the accommodation is perfectly suited for your adventure and even includes staying in a converted thirteenth century Assumburg Castle complete with moat!
This family cycling holiday is all about great accommodation for the whole family, gentle cycling through the enchanting countryside, and the opportunity to use the fabulous cycling infrastructure to pedal through Amsterdam. We book all your accommodation, transfer your luggage and provide you with cycling routes and a detailed itinerary. Just contact us with your preferred dates and let Skedaddle show you the best way to enjoy a cycling holiday in Holland.

Holiday Highlights

  • Stay the night in a thirteenth century Dutch Castle
  • Spend a day exploring the city of Amsterdam
  • Enjoy relaxing, building sandcastles and jumping waves along the stunning coastline
  • Find out how Dutch Clogs and Cheese are made
  • Explore traditional magical windmills
  • Adventure into the picturesque village of Spaarndam

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Day 1
Arrival in Haarlem

Welcome to the historic city of Haarlem, your bikes will be ready to collect on arrival at your hostel along with all of your trip information.

Your accommodation is right next to a small park called Schoterbos, which is great to stretch those legs after your travels and get used to your bikes while exploring the beehives and flower gardens. Your base is just out of the city centre to give you time and space to get used to your bikes and cycling on Holland’s cyclepaths but be sure to make your way down to the city centre to see historical Haarlem in its full glory. There are lovely pavement cafes and restaurants and there is plenty to explore with museums such as the free archaeology museum for local finds and the wonderful old Teylers Art Museum. Alternatively, visit the De Adriaan Windmill and climb to the top for a view of the city.

Day 2
Exploring Haarlem - Loop Ride
20 Miles / 33 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today you can continue to explore the lovely city of Haarlem before setting off for the coast. Navigation for your trip is straightforward and something all the family can get involved with. Your route each day follows a network of numbered and signed cycle junctions so with your handy list of junction numbers it’s easy to share the navigation and everyone can have a go at looking out for signs and finding the way.

Everybody knows that this part of Holland is low-lying, so what stops the sea from flooding the land? Along most of the coastline it’s the sand dunes! Cycling towards the coast, as soon as you spot the dunes, you know that the sea can’t be far off. The whole family can go hunting for seashells, tiny hermit crabs, enjoy jumping waves and building magnificent sandcastles! You’ll finish back in Haarlem after your first cycle of the holiday.

Day 3
Haarlem to Heemskerk
19 Miles / 31 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast

You’ll be heading north today through the woods and dunes of Santpoort-Noord before your first stop at the town of IJmuiden, located at the mouth of the North Sea Canal. This industrial stop is quite a change from traditional and rural Holland but still quite fascinating! You can take a look at the blast furnaces at the steelworks and if you are lucky to see the famous lock system in action it can be quite mesmerising to see how it works to allow boats of all sizes to pass through to Amsterdam.

After crossing the huge canal by ferry (free for people and bikes) you’ll continue north through flat countryside to Heemskerk and your accommodation in the thirteenth century Assumburg Castle. This hostel is a dream come true. Surrounded by a moat and gardens it certainly looks the picture and perfect for those young princes and princesses!

Day 4
Heemskerk - Loop Ride
20 Miles / 33 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast

This will be another day well-spent, enjoying the coast at Castricum by the Sea. The route today is a little shorter to give you plenty of time to roam the sand dunes and relax at the seaside. Hopping back on the bikes it’s another leisurely cycle back to your castle for the night.

Day 5
Heemskerk to Amsterdam
27 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast

The spotlights are on the Zaan Region today, named after the River Zaan. The region is famous for its traditional architecture: green-painted wooden houses and windmills will be a regular sight on today’s cycle! Visit the popular area of Zaanse Schans, where you can find out about Dutch cheese making and how clogs are made! Explore the traditional windmills and climb right to the top to explore the view! If you fancy a break from cycling be sure to stop off in Het Twiske to give those legs a rest. This afternoon you can put all your cycling practice into use as you take the city cyclepaths into Amsterdam.

Day 6
Exploring Amsterdam
Activity Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today is dedicated to exploring Amsterdam. The city is packed with beautifully unique shops, fantastic museums, galleries and parks, and you could also lose yourself for a day simply wandering the maze of beautiful canals and narrow lanes! If you are looking for more cycling be sure to visit Vondel Park, a great green space stretching for 120 acres. And for relaxing on the waters edge make sure you check out Oosterdok where you can see a replica of the 17th century sailing ship “The Amsterdam”. If you want to board the ship, go to the National Maritime Museum and you’ll be in for a very interesting afternoon!

Day 7
Amsterdam to Haarlem
17 Miles / 27 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast

The cyclepaths get gradually quieter today as you cycle out of Amsterdam and back into the peaceful Dutch countryside. You will pass through the picturesque village of Spaarndam which was built around a dam across the River Spaarne and where you can see Kolksluis lock which is the oldest working lock in Europe (1280). When back in Haarlem make sure you find the “Little Hero of Haarlem” statue which is a Dutch folktale for children about a boy who stops the town from flooding by sticking his finger in a hole in the dam!

You will spend your final evening back in Haarlem so be sure to get any last minute sightseeing and a celebratory drink and ice cream!

Day 8
Departure from Haarlem
  • Meals: Breakfast

After filling up at the breakfast buffet, it’s time to make sure you have all your belongings, pack your bags and make your way home from your Dutch Family Adventure.

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The Cycling


The route is easy-going and mostly flat (with just some gentle ups and downs when riding through the dunes). The majority of the route will be on a combination of cycle paths and cycle lanes (separated from motor vehicles). There is some cycling on minor country roads but the vehicle traffic is mostly slow and very aware and considerate of cyclists. Cyclepaths in Holland are well-used and in urban areas they can be busy with commuters, long-distance riders and scooters all sharing the space and travelling at higher speeds. It’s a joy to join the cycling culture but you need to stay aware and be comfortable cycling on the correct side of the path. Due to the short distances and relaxed nature of the routes we recommend a comfortable hybrid or city bike.


Family Cycling Grade

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 families who are generally fit and healthy.

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Dates & Prices

Due to availability issues we are unable to take bookings at the moment. If you would like to be kept notified please register your interest or give us a call.

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation in hostels (shared family room / bunk beds)

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

C) Detailed route notes and maps

D) GPX files (on request) – Please let us know if you’d like a GPS unit to be provided (subject to availability)

E) Luggage transfers

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike

C) Travel insurance

D) Meals not stated in the itinerary

E) Personal clothing and equipment

F) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills etc)

G) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

H) Trains and ferries en route

I) Local city tax to be paid locally (amount varies)

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The Essentials

Travel Options

For this tour we ask that you make your way to your accommodation in Haarlem which is easily accessible by bus or train from major dutch transport hubs. From Haarlem Bus Station you can get the bus to J.H Leopoldstraat which takes around 10 minutes and costs approximately 3 Euros. When you step off the bus your first Hostel is right in front of you.

There are international train and ferry options arriving Rotterdam. For travel within The Netherlands you can check schedules and book train tickets via www.ns.nl/ and for bus timetables and tickets you can find more information at www.connexxion.nl/nl.

If you choose to fly, Amsterdam Schipol Airport (AMS) is the closest airport with many reasonably priced airlines flying from across the UK direct to Amsterdam. Once you have arrived at Schipol airport you can catch the train or bus to Haarlem.

Please check your travel arrangements with Saddle Skedaddle before booking so that we can ensure they fit in with the holiday schedule.


As with all of our trips we aim to use accommodation which showcases the style and hospitality of the area you are visiting. We always have comfort and convenience in mind when selecting such places.

For this trip you will be staying in StayOkay Hostels in their en-suite, private family rooms. Your bunk beds will be made up for you on arrival and towels will be included. The Hostels are extremely family friendly, modern and spacious, providing lots to do for all the family!

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent. These bikes are typically city bikes with 7 gear. We provide comfortable unisex bikes in various frame heights. (Men´s frames are available on request, but cannot always be guaranteed). Bikes come equipped with a pannier and handlebar bag, a tool kit, a puncture repair kit, a pump, a bike light and an extra lock. We also have e-bikes available which are typically unisex and have 10 gears.

You can also rent children’s bikes, trailers and child seats if required.

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