Traditionally, tourists flock to see the tulip fields south of Amsterdam, but those north of the capital are just as pretty and colourful. Are you planning a tranquil cycling holiday in the tulip season, between the beginning of April and mid-May? This journey leads you right through the heart of the northern bulb flower district with the Hortus Bulborum as an added bonus. Furthermore, the holiday showcases the fantastic natural beauty of the North Sea coast: Discover the highest and widest coastal dunes in the country, boasting a range of habitats from wind-blown sand ridges to open dune grasslands; and from scrub to woods.
In the other months the 7 day (Top of North Holland) and 8 day (North Holland Tour) trip is a good alternative.
This cycling holiday starts in cheese town Alkmaar. From the beginning of April to the end of September, tourists flock to see the traditional Friday morning cheese market. In addition, as of 2020, an evening cheese market will be held on Tuesdays in July and August. Waagplein is the market square where the cheeses were traditionally weighed, sampled and sold. The Weighing Hall is now home to a cheese museum. Both the old and the young have a good time learning about the craft of making Dutch cheese. Alkmaar has over a thousand monumental buildings. The many “hofjes” (group of almshouses centered around a courtyard), the characteristic inner-city canals and numerous cafes all combine to stir up thoughts of times past. You could visit the Accijnstoren from 1622 which used to serve as a tax office; the Great (or St. Laurence) Church; or the gorgeous Gothic Town Hall dating to 1520, with a slender tower topped by a delicate openwork spire. Finally, good news for fans of The Beatles: Alkmaar is home to the Beatles Museum that exhibits all kinds of Fab Four memorabilia.
After a hearty breakfast, set off for leafy Heiloo. Just south of the village, you will pass a place of pilgrimage dedicated to Our Lady for Distress. Soon after, you will reach the colourful Hortus Bulborum in Limmen. This fabulous garden provides a historical overview of tulips through the ages, the oldest cultivars dating back to the 16th century. It boasts over 4500 different cultivars of spring bulb flowers. Next, mount your bikes and get ready to see your first flowering bulb fields! Bulbs grow best in “geest” soil. In the Netherlands this can be found where our forefathers excavated the inner-most rows of coastal dunes until nearly ground water level and then covered the sandy soil with clay and organic matter brought in from elsewhere. That is why bulb flower fields often lie directly next to higher dunes, shielded from storms but close enough to the sea to get a lot of rain. Incidentally, most of the bulb flowers you see in the fields are not cultivated for the flowers, but for the bulbs, which are exported all over the world.
Next, cycle through the dunes to seaside resort Egmond aan Zee and go for a walk on the beach. Subsequently pedal up the coast towards the highest and widest dunes in the country. At the foot of those dunes, you will find the popular villages of Bergen and Schoorl. Continuing north, the landscape will change markedly as you enter the polders. You will cycle atop a dike called Westfriese Omringdijk (126 km long), once intended to protect the isle of West-Friesland from the menacing Zuiderzee. De Zijpe is a polder which was created at the end of the 16th century by draining a sea arm with the help of 22 polder windmills. Ten of them still stand and can be visited when the sails are turning. End the day in the village of Schagen where you will spend the night at a fantastic hotel. Shortcut: By skipping Heiloo, Limmen and Egmond aan Zee the route is shortened to 40 km.
A wonderful day awaits. In the heart of the northern bulb flower district, the largest adjoining area of tulipfields in the country, feast your eyes on a sea of colours. Your first port of call is picturesque Kolhorn where you will try to grasp the fact that until 1844 this former harbour and fishing village used to stand on the shore of the Zuiderzee i.e. all the land east of the village has been reclaimed from the sea. On the Westfriese Omring dike, visit two old barns that house local history museums. Next, follow the dike to the village of Keins and a simple chapel dedicated to the Holy Mary. At the adjacent water well, see if you can tune into the very special energy said to be present at this site. Subsequently relish a winding route past breathtaking bulb flower fields around Oudesluis, ‘t Zand and Breezand. After reaching the coast at De Kooy, bird spotters should cross Balgzand-kanaal to have a break at the bird watching screen. It overlooks Balgzand Polder, an industrial area where a sludge deposit has been transformed into a bird rock. Five-meter high sheer walls rise out of the water providing nesting places, safe from foxes and other predators. A unique breeding site and a sight to behold. At high tide, large groups of waders can be seen from up close. Short cut: Either skip Kolhorn or cycle a straight route north past Oudesluis and Anna Paulowna to the coast (45 km).
Tip: book an extra night in Den Helder, then you can visit Texel. The ferry crossing from Den Helder to Texel takes about twenty minutes. Texel is the largest of our five Wadden Islands, places of outstanding natural beauty. You’ll have a great time touring this island by bike, enjoying villages, countryside, dunes, beaches etc. There are many bike routes to choose from on Texel. Be sure to visit De Slufter, a beautiful nature reserve created by wind and sea.
Den Helder is a town and naval base at the northernmost tip of mainland North Holland province. MarineMuseum recounts the history of the Dutch Royal Navy. After a relaxing overnight stay and delicious breakfast at your hotel, mount your bikes for a last cycling day down the North Sea coast. Once again, savour the colours as the tulip fields take center stage, situated snugly behind the dunes, a natural protective barrier against stormy seas. At the village of Petten, however, a sea wall had to be built where the dunes had been washed away – find out more at the Information Center. Later on, enter the dunes of Schoorl for a wonderful bike ride past high dune tops, dense woods and fields of heather. In recent years, pioneering dune management in De Kerf has welcomed sea water into the dune valleys. This has led to a rapid increase in biodiversity. Eventually, you will arrive at the beach. Relax, sit in the sand and take in the sea view. Further along the coast, you will come to Bergen aan Zee. At this seaside resort, treat yourself to a bite to eat and a well-earned drink. The Zee Aquarium can be visited to see 300 types of North Sea fish up close. When you arrive back at your hotel in Alkmaar, put your feet up and look back on a colourful holiday. Short cut: Skip Bergen aan Zee (58 km).
After three full days of cycling, plenty of fresh air and much rejoicing in the beauty of the various landscapes, we believe you will sleep well. In the morning, relax and take your time over the excellent buffet breakfast. After that, your cycling holiday comes to an end.
Daily from April 1 till May 7
|Double room, breakfast||410.00|
|Single room, breakfast||530.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Grand Hotel Beatrix, Huisduinen||10.00|
|Bike Breakdown pass||€ 3.00 x 4||12.00|
|Child seat||€ 5.00 x 4||20.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 4||12.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 4||24.00|
|Theft insurance premium bike||€ 6.00 x 4||24.00|
|Extra luggage||€ 5.00 x 4||20.00|
|Add on bike||€ 6.00 x 4||24.00|
|Child trailer||€ 17.50 x 4||70.00|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4 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 week service hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included
Nearest Airport is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)