Remember Hans Brinker, the Dutch boy who put his finger in a hole in the dike to save his country? Remember that picture postcard of a row of majestic windmills under a great blue sky? Remember all those stereotypes of Holland, the wooden clogs, canals, bicycles, pancakes, tulip fields, polders, traditional costume? They’ll all come alive in front of your very eyes on this specially designed tour of nostalgia! The tour starts and finishes in Amsterdam allowing ample opportunity for exploring and museums. We’ve kept cycling distances short to give you more time at top tourist attractions such as Zaanse Schans and Volendam.
The shining countryside is flat, wide open and an oasis of peace. For all those romantic souls who can’t get enough of everything reminiscent of things past, this holiday promises to be a real treat.
Try to arrive early! One can spend an entire fantastic day just wandering through the 17th-century canal district gazing up at the beautiful old townhouses and warehouses... The whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Spend the morning visiting your favourite Amsterdam museum, or sitting in the sun on Rembrandtplein watching the world go by, or go for a walk in the famous red-light district. The possibilities are endless. As you leave the capital in the early afternoon, the urban buzz will soon make way for the peace and quiet of the countryside. This region is called Zuid-Kennemerland. In the low-lying peat landscape clouds are reflected in the water and reed sways in the wind. Top off your day roaming lovely downtown Haarlem, from impressive Grote Markt square, to the white drawbridge on the River Spaarne. Idyllic courtyards, known as ‘hofjes’, will set your heart a-flutter. In April and early May, you have the option of cycling a longer route of ca. 60 km where you can see the tulip fields.
In the morning, continue exploring the streets and squares of historical Haarlem. Should you wish to visit a museum, the Frans Hals museum of paintings from the Golden Age comes recommended. If your interests lie in the field of science, don’t miss exquisite Teijlers museum which has been drawing curious minds since 1784!
At midday, it’s time to jump back on your bikes to make your way along the banks of the River Spaarne to the pretty village of Spaarndam and the IJdijk dike. You’ll love the way some of the cute little old houses are perched high and dry atop the dike while others are sitting safe and snug behind it. Reputedly the oldest lock in the world, Kolksluis is still in working order and standing in such a breathtaking location, you must stop off for a look! The IJdijk is also where the monument stands to remember dear little Hans Brinker, the brave boy who saved the country from flooding by sticking his finger in a hole in the dike. (American fiction from A to Z, but never mind that...).
Pedalling on, you will reach the Zaan region, named after the River Zaan and justly famed for the adorable wooden houses, painted green, with white lace curtains in the windows! You can see several prime examples at Zaanse Schans, also known the world over for its gorgeous row of windmills. This whole place is picture perfect! There are lots of things to do and see here. You can visit windmills, workshops, museums, find out how to make wooden shoes or Dutch cheese... all in the name of nostalgia. After all that, sit down for a well-deserved pancake.
After a few pedals you'll reach recreational park Het Twiske. This is a favourite get-away for the people of Amsterdam. On a hot day, they’ll flee the city and cycle here to the lake for a dip. A varied landscape of wood, meadows and lakes will accompany you to Monnickendam. Today’s cycling trip concludes in festive fishing port Volendam. Browse the home-decor and gift shops for a great find or have a seat at a pavement cafe on the dike overlooking the water.
Near the old quarter of quaint red-brick houses, stands Volendams Museum where you can find out all about this close-knit community’s history, culture and folklore. Inspiring period rooms, traditional costumes and jewellery are part of the permanent exposition. There’s a section on eel fishery complete with model boats. The art collection is a delight but just wait till you see that truly incredible mosaic...
Via the isle of Marken, you will set off back to Amsterdam, arriving in plenty of time for more sightseeing.
The cycling holiday draws to a close. After breakfast at your hotel, it is time to go home.
|Single room, breakfast||680.00|
|Double room, breakfast||530.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Surcharges per person||€|
|Stay in Amsterdam on saturday||20.00|
|Stay in Amsterdam from:
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 2.75 x 5||13.75|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 5||25.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 5||15.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Theft insurance premium bike||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Extra luggage||€ 5.00 x 5||25.00|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 5||87.50|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
Art Hotel Amsterdam (3-stars) in district 'Westerpark', is only a 10 minute public transport ride from the center of Amsterdam. The hotel is on the border of Spaarndammerbuurt. The area is rich in Amsterdam School Architecture, making it a wonderful walking route with much to discover. Theater Amsterdam is located within walking distance of the hotel. Ideal for a night out!
Local history, contemporary ambiance and city allure. Hotel Lion d’Or is a renowned name both in Haarlem and beyond. As far back as 1839, travellers already knew where to find it, right in the centre of the medieval heart of the city. With Haarlem Station right on the doorstep, Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport and Zandvoort are within easy reach, and the location is also perfect for discovering the city of Haarlem itself. The famous ‘Haarlemse Hofjes’, trendy boutiques and cosy pubs are all within walking distance.
For a comfortable stay in the atmosphere of the historical Zaan region! Our modern 3 star Superior hotel is centrally located next to train station Zaandam. Our hotel has 102 spacious and modern rooms with all recent amenities. The rooms' contemporary and atmospheric interior all feature references to the historical Zaan region
Starting dates: Daily from April 1 till September 25
The closest airport you can fly into is Amsterdam Schipol (AMS).
From Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS), you can reach Amsterdam by train.
Parking possibilities at the hotel
If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. Our touring bikes are 24-speed gear. You will receive your rental bike at the start of your holiday and return it before you go home. All bikes are provided with chain locks.
Our hybrid bikes have 21-gears with hand brakes. We will assign the bikes according to gender, as we have both men- and women style bikes.
Our premium bikes are lightweight and make excellent touring bikes with 27-gears and disc brakes. The bikes are less heavy than our hybrid bikes: they weigh +/- 15 KG. We have both men- and women style premium bikes, which will be assigned according to gender. Our premium bikes have normal pedals. Most of our premium bikes are Koga Grand Tourer bikes or similar. Premium bikes are always on request.
Two of our mostly used race bikes are Montreal 74 Eddy Merckx and Blockhaus 67 Eddy Merckx, both unisex. The bikes are made from aluminium.
For children who are at least 125 cm, we can also arrange bikes (these are 24”or 26” for children that are bigger than 140 cm)
Tandem bikes are suitable for two adults only. The tandem bikes have a frame size of 48 cm. We mostly use the Victoria Spezial 8.7. This tandem bike comes with 24-derailleur gears or nuvinci gears. The height of the handle bars on a tandem bike cannot be adjusted.
E-bikes are always on request, as we have a limited amount of e-bikes available. Our e-bikes are unisex, have handbrakes and have ten gears. Our smallest e-bike has a frame size of 49 cm and is suitable for persons that are 155 cm (5ft1) or taller.
GPS tracks are available on request.
NOTE: In case of staying overnight in Amsterdam on Saturdays a surcharge of € 15,- per person in a double room applies (30€ per person and night in single room). It can also be applied in certain periods along the year.