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Dutch Bike Tours Cycling holiday The Big Cities Tour
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The Big Cities Tour
The Big Cities Tour
Type :
Level :
Duration :
14 days
Cycling days :
 12
Comfort :
period:
May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Code:
14-00
History Amsterdam Culture Nature Cities
price from € 1.295
The Big Cities Tour
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The Big Cities Tour

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Bike Tour: The Big Cities Tour - 14 days

This is our longest cycle route: two action-packed weeks of many beautiful and interesting sights. Cultural landscapes such as panoramic polder landscapes with windmills, dikes, meadows, farmhouses; or bulb flower fields (in spring) will delight you. Natural landscapes such as lakes and rivers; dunes, woods and nature reserves will relax you. You will ride your bike on cycle tracks right through big cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Haarlem as well as picturesque smaller towns. You will be spoilt for choice of tourist attractions, many of them reminders of a rich history in trade and fishery. As to the terrain on this bike tour, it’s mostly flat except on the coast.
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Route
Day 1: Arrival in Utrecht
Day 2: Utrecht - Harderwijk
Day 3: Harderwijk - Enkhuizen
Day 4: Enkhuizen - Alkmaar
Day 5: Alkmaar - Zandvoort
Day 6: Zandvoort - Amsterdam
Day 7: Amsterdam - Utrecht
Day 8: Utrecht - Gouda
Day 9: Gouda - Scheveningen
Day 10: Scheveningen - Rotterdam
Day 11: Rotterdam - Papendrecht
Day 12: Papendrecht - Gorinchem
Day 13: Gorinchem - Utrecht
Day 14: Return Home

Day 1:    Arrival in Utrecht

Arrival in Utrecht.

Day 2:    Utrecht - Harderwijk
61 km

Hidden away in the woods is hamlet Lage Vuursche. Have a break at the famous pancake inn round the corner from Queen Beatrix castle Drakensteyn. Along the shores of Randmeren, lakes formed in 1957 when the Flevopolder was created, youll reach Harderwijk. This lively town was once a member of the Hansa League, a Northern European alliance of trading guilds in the 13th-17th Centuries. Harderwijk was a fishing port until 1932 when the Zuiderzee was cut off from the North Sea and work was started on the Flevopolder. Today, the Fish Gate and fish restaurants are among the many reminders of the towns fishing and seafaring past.

Day 3:    Harderwijk - Enkhuizen
61 km

Ride through the woods and farmland of Flevopolder to Lelystad. In Nieuwland Museum you can see an exhibition on why and 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 which includes an exhibition about the days when Dutch East India Company trading ships from towns on the Zuiderzee sailed the seven seas trading in spices and bulbs. Moreover, you can visit a recreated Zuiderzee village of old.

Day 4:    Enkhuizen - Alkmaar
59 km

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. If possible, plan your trip so you can see the Friday morning traditional cheese market.

Day 5:    Alkmaar - Zandvoort
57 km

The sandy beaches of the North Sea are backed by dune systems that safeguard the hinterland from the sea and supply drinking water to neighbouring towns. 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.

Day 6:    Zandvoort - Amsterdam
32 km

You'll love the elegant city of Haarlem, voted best city for shopping, Haarlems pedestrianised city centre and the three lovely market squares are a delight. Look up at the façades of historical buildings and spot the Renaissance style stepped gables and bell-shaped Dutch gables. At the end of the day, Amsterdam awaits! This wonderful city has surprises in store for everybody.

Day 7:    Amsterdam - Utrecht
61 km

Follow the River Amstel out of town. On the banks of the small River Vecht, Hollands Golden Age is reflected in the beautiful stately homes and garden pavilions built by rich Amsterdam merchants in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The lively centre of the big city of Utrecht will draw you to its attractive canals and unique 14th Century wharves.

Day 8:    Utrecht - Gouda
62 km

Today you’ll set course for Gouda and see stately homes, castles, woods, lakes and parks along the way. If possible, plan your trip so that you can visit the traditional Thursday morning cheese market at the start of Day 9. Gouda is also famous for making candles and syrup waffles (try one hot!).

Day 9:    Gouda - Scheveningen
64 km

Through open grassland you will cycle to The Hague, home to the government and the Queen. The Hague is brimming with things to do and see. You might like to take the opportunity to see Vermeer’s famous painting "The Girl with the Pearl Earring” in Mauritshuis Museum. Another favourite is Mesdag’s cylindrical Panorama of Scheveningen in 1881. Then climb back on your bike and check out 21st Century Scheveningen, the busy seaside resort where you’ll spend the night.

Day 10:    Scheveningen - Rotterdam
64 km

Cycle down the coast through dunes and past seaside resorts. Then pedal east along the New Waterway ship canal (completed in 1872), past fishing villages, windmills and jenever distilleries, to the great city of Rotterdam. Today you can also choose for a shorter route, which will take you through the beautifull city of Delft,  Today you can also choose for a 14 km shorter cycling route, which will take you through the beautiful city of Delft, the city where painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) lived.

Day 11:    Rotterdam - Papendrecht
31 km

Modern Rotterdam offers architecture, art, port tours, a maritime museum and shops galore. The re-developed inner-city harbours are hotspots. First you'll cycle to 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.

Day 12:    Papendrecht - Gorinchem
59 km

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.

Day 13:    Gorinchem - Utrecht
58 km

Gorinchem’s 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). "Glass town” Leerdam is a meeting place where glassblowers from many countries demonstrate their craft. As you near the end of this tour, stop off once again at the lovely city of Utrecht.

Day 14:    Return Home

After breakfast in your hotel, you will return home.

prices
Starting dates:
Daily from Mai 1 till September 17.

Price pp
Double room, breakfast 1,295.00
Single room, breakfast 1,685.00
Dinner 422.50
Extra night (breakfast only) 70.00
Extra night (breakfast only) Amsterdam 75.00
Upgrades pp/night
Boutique Hotel Karel de Stoute, Gorinchem 25.00
Westcord Art Hotel, Amsterdam 10.00
Surcharges per person
Stay in Amsterdam on saturday 20.00
Stay in Amsterdam from:
02 Apr 2021 - 05 Apr 2021
16 Apr 2021 - 17 Apr 2021
13 May 2021 - 15 May 2021
22 May 2021 - 24 May 2021
15 Oct 2021 - 17 Oct 2021
60.00
Rental bike
Child bike 130.00
Hybrid 156.00
Premium bike 260.00
Ebike 325.00
Extra services
Bike Breakdown pass € 3.00 x 13 39.00
Child seat € 5.00 x 13 65.00
Bike theft insurance € 3.00 x 13 39.00
E-bike theft insurance € 6.00 x 13 78.00
Theft insurance premium bike € 6.00 x 13 78.00
Extra luggage € 5.00 x 13 65.00
Add on bike € 6.00 x 13 78.00
Child trailer € 17.50 x 13 227.50
Bike helmet per piece 10.00
GPS per piece 20.00

Starting point:
Utrecht, Harderwijk or Amsterdam

Accommodation

Below are the accommodations that we book as standard for this trip. They are carefully selected by us for cyclists. All rooms have a shower or bath and toilet. If one of the hotels is fully booked, we will reserve a comparable alternative.

Hotel Mitland **** (Utrecht)
Best Western Hotel Baars **** (Harderwijk)
Hotel de Koepoort **** (Enkhuizen)
Grand Hotel Alkmaar **** (Alkmaar)
Palace Hotel Zandvoort **** (Zandvoort)
Westcord Art Hotel ***/**** (Amsterdam)
Best Western Hotel Gouda **** (Gouda)
Boulevard Hotel *** (Scheveningen)
Hotel SS Rotterdam **** (Rotterdam)
Apollo Hotel Papendrecht **** (Papendrecht)
Hotel Gorinchem *** (Gorinchem)
Bikes

If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. Our touring bikes are 24-speed gear. You can find all the information regarding our rental bikes below.

You will find your rental bikes waiting for you at your first hotel. The hotel reception staff will give you the keys for your bikes and direct you to the bicycle shed. All bikes are provided with chain locks. 

Why the Dutch don't wear helmets! 

Instruction video hybrid bike and e-bike

 

 

A standard hybrid bike is €12,00 a day.

Our hybrid bikes have 21-gears with hand brakes. 
The hybrid bikes are circa 16,5 KG.

Rental bike

An electric bike is €25,00 a day.

The e-bikes have a small electric engine and battery, which can be charged at the hotels. You still have to pedal: it just makes pedaling much easier. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes because of the electric engine. The weight of the e-bike is ca. 25 KG. 

 E-bike

A premium bike is €20,00 a day. 

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.
Our premium bikes have normal pedals.
Most of our premium bikes are Koga Grand Tourer bikes or similar. 

A child’s bike is € 10,00 a day.

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). 
The child bikes come with at least 7-gears and hand brakes. 
The maximum body height for a child’s bike is 155 cm. 

24" child bike:

26" child bike:

A Racing bike is € 20,00 a day.

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. 


All our rental bikes come with a bell.



All our adult bikes come with hand brakes. 



For children up to 30 months old (max. 15 KG) it is possible to rent a front child seat. This is not possible with e-bikes, due to the display.

For children older than 30 months (max. 22KG) it is possible to rent a rear child seat. This is also possible with e-bikes.

Both front- and rear child seats are €5,- per day.  



It is possible to rent a GPS device when you start your tour in Amsterdam, Bruges, Utrecht, Huizen or Bunnik for €20,-. 



Helmets are not mandatory in the Netherlands, but can be rented for €10,- per piece.
Available sizes: Adult: 54-61 cm, Child: 50-55 cm. 



All our bikes come with both front- and rear lights. You need to push the button on the lamp and it will flash three times. This means that the lights will automatically start working when it gets dark. 

When you push again, the lamp will flash one time and the lights will be turned off.



Our bikes come with a defender lock with plug in chain (cable lock that is attached to the regular lock, see picture).

You need to turn the key a bit, take out the pin from the cable lock and attach it to a pole/other bike/fence etc.

When you push the pin back into the regular lock, you need to lock the regular lock as you always do, and both locks will be secured.



1 pannier is included at the 'standard' bikes and the e-bikes.

Height: 42 cm
Depth front to the side: 17 cm
Wide top: 32 cm
Wide down: 23 cm
Volume: 20 liters
It has an easy click-on/click-off system. The panniers are water resistant, so everything will stay dry.



The rental bikes come with regular pedals, so no click-in/SPD pedals. 



All our bikes come with a quick release system, which makes it very easy to adjust the height of the saddle and the handle bars. 



There is one small puncture kit included, which can be found in the pannier. In case a rental bike has another problem, we always advise you to go to a bike repair shop or call the bike breakdown emergency number which is provided in the travel documents when you book this extra service.



Saddles can be adjusted in height without using any tools, see ‘Quick Release’.
Our saddles don’t come with a gel cover. 



Dutch Biketours does not provide water bottles. We can also not guarantee that there are bottle holders on the bikes. You will always receive 1x pannier, so you can always store your water bottle in your pannier.


A Tandem bike is € 20,00 a day.

We have a limited amount of tandem bikes available on request.
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.

A family tandem is €20,00 a day.

We have limited family tandem bikes available on request.
The family tandems have 7-gears and can be used for one adult and one child with a minimum body height of 125 cm.

 

A Tag-along bike is €6,00 a day.

A tag-along bike is a good option for children between approx. 100 cm and 125 cm, as they can pedal themselves and on their own pace but don’t have to worry about other traffic.

 

A child trailer is €17,50 a day.

Child trailers can be rented for a maximum of two children who are up to 100 cm (max. 35 KG in total).
We mostly use the XLC Duo 2 child trailer.
Child trailers are not possible in combination with e-bikes.  

Mile after wonderful mile of untroubled cycling is what we would wish our clients. However there is a minimal chance of breakdown along the way. If this thought is a nagging worry to you, a Bicycle Breakdown Assistance insurance policy may ease your mind. If you buy this insurance from our partner FietsNED in advance, their service is as follows. If your bike breaks down by the roadside a FietsNED bicycle repair man will drive to you in his repair van and fix your bike so you can continue your tour.You won’t have to pay him repair costs. If you are cycling on your own bicycle you will be charged for any new spare parts your bike may require. If you are renting a bicycle through Dutch Bike Tours any new parts are at our expense. If it turns out the bicycle cannot be repaired on the spot, or if you don’t wish to continue cycling, the repairman can drop you off somewhere in his van. One companion plus bikes may join you in the van.

The Bike Breakdown Pass is €3,- per day per bike and can only be booked for every participant in a booking. 

 

Do you wish to insure your bike against theft? The cost is € 3,- per day per standard hybrid bicycle.
For an electric bicycle, premium bike or racing bike: € 6,00 per day per bicycle.
Please see the General Terms and Conditions for Bicycle Hire and Insurance. 

If a rental bike gets stolen or damaged, we will hold the client responsible.
If your insurance does not cover this event, you will have to pay the costs yourself.

Article 1 Bike Rental Price

The bike rental price is determined by the rates mentioned on the Dutch Bike Tours website at the time of the booking; or as subsequently agreed.

Article 2 Payment

a. The rental price and any other due sums regarding the rental agreement must be paid before the bike is handed over to you.

b. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make use of the bike(s) you have rented, Dutch Bike Tours will not be held responsible for any resulting expenses or damage.

c. In the case of the article 2b, the client remains obliged to pay the full rental price and any other amounts mentioned in the invoice, in accordance with our General Terms and Conditions of Booking, unless the client can prove that his not being able to use the bike was the consequence of a defect that was already present at the beginning of the rental period.

Article 3 Rental Period

a. The rental period runs from the morning of the first cycling day (day 2) to the end of the holiday (the departure day), as stated in the booking confirmation.

b. Extension of the rental period is possible only after approval by us and according to the (extension) rates as mentioned in article 1.

c. No refunds are possible after the rental period begins. If you return the bike(s) to us before the end of your holiday, the rental agreement will automatically be terminated and you will not get any of your money back.

d. At the end of the last cycling day of your holiday, the bike(s) must be returned to the hotel from where it was/they were issued, no later than the time stated in the booking confirmation.
If you book a one way tour tour you can leave the bike at the last hotel of the trip. 

e. If the bike(s) is /are not returned by the return time stated in the booking confirmation, we will continue to charge you rent until such time as the bike(s) is/are returned to us or is/are received by us. In the event of late return, the rates as mentioned in article 1 will continue to apply, plus a fine of €25 per day. We also reserve the right to demand payment for any costs and/or damages suffered by us due to late return of our rental bike(s).

f. Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, in the event of late return of our rental bikes, we reserve the right to dissolve the rental agreement without judicial intervention and immediately claim back our bicycles where ever they may be and from whomever has them. Dutch Bike Tours also holds this right in the event that the client does not comply with any of the other conditions stated in this rental agreement.

Article 4 Improper Use

a. The bicycle(s) may only be used for its/their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the rental agreement.

b. The bike(s) must be returned to us in the same (clean!) state in which you received it/them.

c. You must take excellent care of the bicycle(s), as if it/they were your own. You must take every precaution against damage, loss or theft.

d. The bicycle may not be used on the beach; or on sandy paths in the dunes unless a paved path is unavailable.

Article 5 Damage, Loss and Theft

The renter will be held responsible for damages to or loss of the bicycle(s) or parts of it, as well as bicycle keys and chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. You must understand that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.

Article 6 Theft Insurance

It is possible to purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance. Covered are: damages arising out of the theft of the bicycle; and damages to the bicycle as a consequence of the theft. Not covered are: theft of bicycle parts; and damages arising out of attempted theft.

Article 7 Theft Insurance Premium

a. The premium for Bicycle Theft Insurance is € 3,00 per day per standard hybrid bicycle. For an electric bicycle € 6,00 per day as well for a Premium bike and racing bike.

The number of insurance days is the same as the number of cycling days as stated in our booking confirmation.

Article 8 Liability in the Event of Theft

a. If you did not purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us before the start of the holiday, you will be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.

b. If you did purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us, but you failed to lock the wheel lock and failed to produce the original wheel lock key and failed to produce an official theft report drawn up by the police, you will still be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.

Article 9 Costs During the Rental Period

Any charges and taxes regarding the rental bicycle(s), such as fines and ferry tickets, are to be paid by you. You will also be required to pay all costs ensuing from the use of the bicycle(s) such as parking fees, maintenance and repairs.

 

practical info

13 Nights included

3/4 Star Hotels

Tourist tax included

Breakfast included, Halfboard optional

Detailed roadbooks with maps and tourist information

The possibility of renting our bikes

7-days a week service-hotline

Luggage transport to your next hotel

CS Utrecht

Parking possibilities at the hotel

GPS-tracks availible

Any ferry crossings are not included

Arrival info

Nearest Airport is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

The train from Schiphol to Utrecht departs 4 times per hour. Travel time is about 30 minutes. A single ticket costs approx €10- per person excl. bicycle.

For timetables and tickets, go to www.ns.nl/en. For bus details, how to reach the hotel, check: www.9292.nl/en.

reviews

06-07-2018

...Fantastic trip exploring The Netherlands. Such a beautiful country and extremely safe to travel. Highly recommend the 14 day tour with a couple added rest days to break up the riding and do more exploring...

30-09-2017

... Just returned from Netherlands, having used your services and just want to thank you for everything. I made the Big Cities tour and it was just amazing! The selection of cities could not have been better. Also the service with the luggage was always on time =) Hope to be back soon for another holiday...

15-08-2017

... We just finished the last leg of our tour, and it's been the best vacation we've had in years. Thank you so much for everything! We left the bikes and the keys to the bike locks at the reception of the hotel
Looking forward to the next tour :)...

04-05-2016

We discovered a lot about the Netherlands that we had not known or perhaps hadn’t considered. The number of Herons, Egrets, and other birds was astounding. We hadn’t expected that. The amount of water and boats everywhere surprised us. And even though we had read about and seen videos about the bike culture, we were amazed at the number and variety of bikes, trikes, mopeds, and scooters that traveled the cities, towns, and countryside.

04-05-2016

...Gail and I had a wonderful time on our bike trip. The bikes were great, working well and problem free. The routes you selected were very interesting. We loved the way we would cross the countryside and them duck through small towns and places of interest. We really felt like we got a good insight into how Dutch people live. We met a lot of really nice Dutch people during our travels. It was a great cultural experience. Accommodations were top notch as well, very clean and we loved the breakfasts!...

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