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.
|Double room, breakfast||520.00|
|Single room, breakfast||670.00|
|Extra night double room, breakfast only||70.00|
|Boutique Hotel Karel de Stoute, Gorinchem||25.00|
|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|
|Extra luggage||€ 5.00 x 5||25.00|
|Tag-along bike||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 5||87.50|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. A list of the hotels we work with appears below. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will try to request a comparable alternative if possible.
If you don’t bring your own bike, you can rent one 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 bike 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!
A standard hybrid bike is €13,00 a day.
Our hybrid bikes have 24-gears with hand brakes.
The hybrid bikes are circa 16,5 KG.
An electric bike is €27,00 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. We recommend a minimum height of 160 cm for the e-bike.
A child’s bike is € 11,00 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:
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.
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.
5 Nights included
3/4 Star hotels
Tourist tax included
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
Utrecht / Maarssen
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included
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.
...We did the Green Heartlands of Holland bike tour and had an amazing trip. Dutch Bike Tours exceeded our expectations every step of the way. I do recommend getting the GPS unit. Between the GPS and the number system we only veered off the path a few times. The route was curated to take us by the coolest landmarks and sights. The towns we stayed in where welcoming and authentic. I highly recommend this company to anyone interested in a bike tour. We had a lot of questions before the trip and Dutch bike tours was very responsive as well. The bikes were very new and easy to adjust to our liking...
...Kinderdijk was great, I enjoyed wandering around Gouda during the market and Oudewater - the witches weigh house was unique! I enjoyed the whole route, it was very varied and left me feeling that I really experienced what this country has to offer. The cycling distance struck a nice balance - it was leisurely while also giving a sense of achievement at the end. Dank u wel!...
...Some of the route went through beautiful farmland of well kept properties. The Dutch people take such pride in their homes as is evident by the care they take with their gardens and landscaping. Seeing the windmills along the calm waters of the canals was amazing...
... 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...