The Green Heart is a rural area surrounded by the big cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. What saved it was its wetland and marshes: poor building ground! Instead, the bogs were used to harvest peat. This bike tour will take you to the southern part of this area.
Here you’ll find the picture book Holland of old: low-lying peat meadows with grazing cattle; vast polders under beautiful skies; lakes, streams and rivers; and pretty villages with monumental farmhouses. You will sleep in attractive historical towns, including "cheese town” Gouda.
Arrival in Utrecht. Utrecht lies in the very center of the Netherlands, near woodland and the small River Kromme Rijn. The centre of Utrecht is not far away and has shops galore, museums and a friendly night life.
Start cycling from the hart of Holland and travel south, you'll reach "Glass town Leerdam, a meeting place where glassblowers from many countries demonstrate their craft. Further on, you´ll come across two more Dutch Water Line fortresses: Asperen and Vuren. Before you'll reach Gorinchem you can cross the River Waal by ferry boat and you will reach infamous and interesting Loevesteijn Castle. The nearby fortified town of Woudrichem is also well worth a visit.
Get your camera out for Kinderdijk, a UNESCO world heritage where 19 windmills have been standing majestically in rows since 1740. They were used to drain excess water out of the low-lying polder up into the River Lek. One of the mills is open to the public.
Your destination today is cheese town Gouda, also known for its candles and syrup waffles (try one hot!). If possible, plan your trip so that you can go to the traditional Thursday morning cheese market.
Today the route will take you past the river Vlist to the historical town Oudewater, famous for its monumental ‘Heksenwaag’. The 16th century Witches Weighhouse now serves as a museum. This town is a great place to stop for lunch and admire the beautiful historical buildings. Oudewater is also known for its many storks, so keep your eyes open along the way for these beautiful birds. You will end your day in historical Woerden, known for the cheesemarket on Saturdaymorning (apr-aug). Wander around the old fortress walls, enjoy the canals and taste the local products.
The landscape of rivers, polders, lakes, woods, parks and marshy fens makes for a wonderful bike trip today. The last part will take you along the water, through Breukelen, to your hotel. At the end of your day you have time for a final visit to Utrecht. In the heart of the old inner city lies the peaceful Oude Gracht (= Old Canal). Its characteristic quaysides are unique to Utrecht. Nowadays they are the pleasant setting for waterside cafes. Explore the pretty Museum Quarter, or go (window) shopping on some of the quieter shopping streets.
After breakfast in your hotel, you will return home.
|Daily from April 1 till September 25.|
|Single room, breakfast||610.00|
|Double room, breakfast||460.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|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|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 5||87.50|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
Utrecht - Hotel Mitland****
Gorinchem - Hotel Gorinchem***
Gouda - Best Western Hotel Gouda****
Woerden - Best Western Hotel Woerden***
5 Nights included
3/4 Star hotels
Breakfast included, Halfboard optional
Tourist information on all the places of interest
The possibility of renting our bikes
7-days a week service-hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Utrecht / Maarssen
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included
... I loved the idea of the bike tour and we enjoyed it. The Dutch Heartlands tour was pleasant and largely as expected. Gouda was a highlight of our vacation, especially as we were there on Thursday morning for the cheese market. However, Woerden seemed uninteresting and without particular charm...