Arrival in Utrecht.
Hidden away in the woods, hamlet Lage Vuursche will surprise you with a famous pancake inn and Queen Beatrix castle Drakensteyn, where shell return when she retires. Next stop is her parents palace. Along the shores of Randmeren lakes youll reach Harderwijk which used be a prosperous port but is now no longer by the sea... find out what happened!
Cycle through the woods and farmland of Flevopolder to Lelystad. In Nieuwland Museum you can see an exhibition on how the polder came to be. Cross Lake IJsselmeer to Enkhuizen atop a 30 km dike! You will see our Golden Age reflected in the historical buildings of pretty Enkhuizen. Dont miss the excellent Zuiderzee Museum! There is an exhibition about the days when trading ships from towns on the Zuiderzee sailed the seven seas. Moreover, in the park you can visit a recreated Zuiderzee village of old.
After looking around pretty Hoorn, which also made its fortune trading in the Golden Age, you will set off on today’s coast-to-coast bike route from Lake IJsselmeer to the North Sea. You will pass by Holland’s oldest polder, Beemster, drained by windmills in 1612(!). You can also visit an interesting "museum windmill” as well as "cheese town Alkmaar. The traditional cheese market is on Friday mornings.
The sandy beaches of the North Sea are backed by dune systems that safeguard the hinterland from the sea. Today you will cycle through a Dune Reserve and a National Park that protect the many species of dune flora and fauna. Cross the North Sea Canal by ferry and then set course for Zandvoort, a well-known seaside resort.
This stretch of the cycle tour takes you through sandy dunes and past multicoloured bulb fields (daffodils, hyacinths and tulips). On the coast, check out the resorts and beaches which each attract their own crowd.
Cycle south, along the coast through dunes and past seaside resorts. Then pedal east along the New Waterway ship canal, past fishing villages, windmills and jenever distilleries, to Rotterdam.
Modern Rotterdam offers architecture, art, port tours, a maritime museum and shops galore. The re-developed inner-city harbours are hotspots. You'll cycle via the village of Kinderdijk, explore the site 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, Papendrecht, is just a ferry crossing away from of one of Holland’s oldest towns; Dordrecht. Dordrecht is completely surrounded by rivers. Beautiful bridges take you across the water into the heart of town. Around the harbour you will see many monumental buildings.
Today you cycle through a part of Biesbosch National Park, one of the few remaining freshwater tidal areas in Europe. The countless islands of marshy willow woods, reed-lands and grasslands are surrounded by creeks and rivers. The place is a resting, foraging and breeding site for water birds. Nature lovers should visit Biesbosch Centre Dordrecht for information on this fascinating area. Before you arrive in Gorinchem you can, if you wish, take a boat trip to visit the interesting Loevesteijn castle. The town of Woudrichem is definitely worth a visit.
Gorinchems walled town centre has a long, turbulent history and over two hundred monuments to remember it by. It used to be big in fishery, markets and trade, but was often plagued by floods and conquerors (the town was the gateway to Holland). In the heart of the city of Utrecht lies the peaceful Oude Gracht (= Old Canal). Its characteristic wharves are unique to Utrecht. Nowadays they are the pleasant setting for waterside cafes and restaurants. Explore the Museum Quarter and go (window) shopping on some of the quieter shopping streets.
|Daily from May 1 till September 20.|
|Single room, breakfast||1,260.00|
|Double room, breakfast||960.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 2.75 x 10||27.50|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 10||50.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 10||30.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 10||60.00|
|Theft insurance premium bike||€ 6.00 x 10||60.00|
|Extra luggage||€ 5.00 x 10||50.00|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 10||60.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 10||175.00|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
Utrecht or Harderwijk
Utrecht - Hotel Mitland****
Harderwijk - Best Western Hotel Baars****
Enkhuizen - Hotel de Koepoort****
Alkmaar - Grand Hotel Alkmaar****
Zandvoort - Palace Hotel Zandvoort****
Scheveningen - Boulevard Hotel***
Rotterdam - Hotel SS Rotterdam****
Papendrecht - Apollo Hotel Papendrecht****
Gorinchem - Hotel Gorinchem***
10 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
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included
...Cycling through the wetlands, hearing the birds, and being on dedicated cycle lanes, and talking with the friendly and helpful Dutch people...
...Global level was Ok (much easier than Paris-london we did with our luggage just before :-) ) One day was too short but it was easy to extend the route with Maps. Very nice bike trip...
...The route was well planned and we loved the variety we saw in the Sand & Sea tour. Loved the bike route and pace of our trip - one of our best trips...
....Thanks, the tour was every bit as good as I hoped it would be. I also rode to Bunnik and back home (via Harwich Ferry), so I did 850 kilometres from my front door and back again. It was good to have luggage transfer as I could get my two panniers carried each day. It is much harder work with them on - I had five days riding with them on, so having them carried on the tour itself was very welcome. The GPS turned out to be essential on the tour, and made finding the way on each stage so much easier. On the non-tour days I used the Fietsersbond App on my android phone and it was okay, but not as good as a proper GPS. All the hotels were good, but I think that Hotel Gorinchem was the best of the lot. I have done bike and boat tours, and this time I wanted to do Hotel-Hotel touring, and travel light, so this is perfect and just what I wanted - about 50-60km a day and a three/four star hotel each day. So a self-guided tour of this type is definitely my preferred way of cycle-touring. I did start trying to plan one myself, but in the end you took care of all of that for me and made it much easier, and I only then had to pick one or two hotels either side of the tour....