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Self guided cycling tours in Holland

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Netherlands/Holland Biking
> Choose your tour > Big Cities Tour

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Fourteen-day tours
14-00 | Big Cities Tour
Cycling tour through Gelderland, North & South Holland
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Plenty of Possibilities
This tour is the longest bike route we offer. It consists of two full weeks of incredible sights. The landscapes you'll take in include polders, dikes, farmhouses, meadows, windmills, and fields of flowers. Nature will also dazzle you with rivers, lakes, dunes, forests, and nature preserves. You'll follow paths through the major cities of Haarlem, Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam and through small, charming villages. You'll have more than enough tourist attractions to choose from along the way, many of which will take you back to the days when fishing and trade were Holland's two major industries. You'll find mostly flat terrain, although the coastlines do contain some hilly areas. Riding up and down the dunes, while battling a headwind, proves to be quite a challenge for some cyclists. As with all of our bike tours, we'll make sure that your luggage is waiting for you when you arrive at the excellent accommodation we've arranged for you along your journey.


Day One: Arrive in Utrecht (Optional start & finish in Amsterdam and GPS)
You can easily catch the train that originates at Amsterdam Airport, or if you wish to travel by car, you'll find that the hotel in Utrecht offers free parking.

Sample hotel: Hotel Mitland or Carlton President

Day Two: Utrecht to Harderwijk (67 km)
You'll fall in love with the beautiful forests, polders, and waterscapes along the route from Bunnik to Harderwijk. You'll follow the shorelines of several lakes in the Randmeren area before you come to Harderwijk. Though this village, in the past, was a bustling fishing port right on the sea, today it looks over a polder and sits on the shore of a lake.

Sample hotel: Best Western Hotel Baars

Day Three: Harderwijk to Enkhuizen (62 km)
Cycle through the forests and farmlands in Flevopolder all the way to Lelystad, home of an exhibition that will show you the formation of the polder. You'll ride over a 32 kilometer dike to get across Lake IJsselmeer toward the town of Enkhuizen. One stop you might want to make there is the Zuiderzee Museum, where you'll learn about the Golden Age and see a recreated village from those days.

Sample hotel: Hotel Restaurant De Koepoort

Day Four: Enkhuizen to Alkmaar (55 km)
Today's journey gives you another glimpse of the Golden Age through Hoorn, which is filled with historic buildings. The route takes you from the coast of Lake IJsselmeer, through Alkmaar, which is known for its cheese, all the way to North Sea. You'll pass the oldest polder in the Netherlands on your way. Windmills were used to drain it in 1612. There's also one museum windmill that's worth a visit along the way.

Sample hotel: Grand Hotel Alkmaar

Day Five: Alkmaar to Zandvoort (53 km)
The beautiful North Sea beaches front systems of dunes that keep the low-laying area protected against the sea. On this day you'll ride through a nature preserve and a park that keep the numerous species of plants and animals safe on the dunes. You'll ride into Zandvoort, which is a famous resort by the sea.

Sample hotel: Palace Hotel Zandvoort

Day Six: Zandvoort to Amsterdam (42 km)
Today you'll ride toward Haarlem, catching a glimpse of St. Bavo, a basilica which is easily recognizable along the skyline. Haarlem has been voted the best shopping city, most likely for its city center, which is perfectly designed for pedestrians. While in the city, examine the historic fa?ades and look for the trademark gables. At day's end, you'll ride on to Amsterdam, which is full of surprises.

Sample hotel: Westcord Art Hotel

Day Seven: Amsterdam to Utrecht (67 km)
Trace the path of the Amstel River as you head out of Amsterdam. Along the Vecht River's banks, you'll see grand homes and stunning garden pavilions that were constructed by wealthy Amsterdam merchants during the 1600s and 1700s. You'll pass through Utrecht, a large city with a bustling city center that will attract you to the canals and unusual wharves. Do some shopping or take a walk through the Museum Quarter before moving on to Utrecht.

Sample hotel: Hotel Mitland or Carlton President

Day Eight: Utrecht  to Gouda (66 km)
On your way to Gouda, commonly known as "cheese town", you'll catch a glimpse of castles and ride through parks and forests. If at all possible, you should consider planning to be in Gouda on a Thursday morning so you can stop in at the cheese market. In addition to cheese, Gouda also offers world-famous hot waffles and homemade candles. 

Sample hotel: Best Western Hotel Gouda, four stars

Day Nine: Gouda to Scheveningen (64 km)
Today you'll visit The Hague, which is where the Queen of the Netherlands and the nation's government reside. There are numerous activities and sights to be taken in. One point of interest is Mauritshuis Museum, which is home to The Girl with the Pearl Earring, a famous painting by Johannes Vermeer. Another well-known painting here is Panorama of Scheveningen, which Mesdag painted in 1881. Finally you'll get back onto your bicycle and ride to Scheveningen, a 21st century resort, which is where you'll sleep tonight. 

Sample hotel: Boulevard Hotel

Day Ten: Scheveningen to Rotterdam (55 km)
When you ride south, you'll follow the coastline, weaving through the dunes and going through seaside resorts. Next you'll push east to the New Waterway, which you'll follow past a number of fishing villages, distilleries, and windmills until you reach Rotterdam.

Alternative Path through Delft
If you'd like to take a side tour, why not check out the town of Delft? It's a college town situated on the Schie River right between Rotterdam and The Hague. Take a stroll along cobbled streets while you check out the town center, which is filled with charming bridges and canals and crooked canals. You can opt to tour the Delft Blue factories where the easily recognized ceramics are made. Check out the Vermeer Center and Vermeer Walk to learn about Johannes Vermeer, a well-known painter who resided in Delft during the Baroque Period. Also check out Nieuwe Kerk, a church where the royal family has been buried for the past four centuries.

Sample hotel: Inntel Hotel Rotterdam or  Hotel New York or  SS Westcord Rotterdam

Day Eleven: Rotterdam to Papendrecht (31 km)
You'll start today in Rotterdam, which is a modern city where you'll find port tours, incredible architecture, art, a museum dedicated to maritime life, and plenty of shopping. Some of the city's hotspots are the harbors, which have been redeveloped over the years.

When you reach Dordrecht, which is considered to be one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands, you'll see that it sits amidst several rivers. Stunning bridges will carry you over the water and into the town center. The harbor here is especially beautiful.

Sample hotel: Apollo Hotel Papendrecht, four stars

Day Twelve: Papendrecht to Gorinchem (59 km)
Today you'll ride through Biesbosch National Park, which is one of Europe's last freshwater tidal regions. This part of your ride will take you past marshy forests, meadows, and landscapes filled with reeds. Water birds are a common sight in this area because they spend a lot of time breeding, foraging for food, and resting here. If you're especially fond of wildlife, stop in at Biesbosch Center Dordrecht to learn more about the inhabitants of this area.

Sample hotel: Hotel Gorinchem

Day Thirteen: Gorinchem to Utrecht  (55 km)
The town of Gorinchem (pronounced gorcum) has a rich but troubled history and a town center that's filled with more than 200 monuments to mark these turbulent memories. The town was once a thriving trade center and fishing village, but floods often plagued it and armies frequently attacked it because it was Holland's entrance point.

After your exploration of Gorinchem is complete, you'll ride north to Utrecht. The old inner city contains the Oude Gracht, or Old Canal. A string of caf?s lies along the Old Canal, which has quaysides that unlike those in other cities. Don't forget to visit the city's stunning Museum Quarter. Also Utrecht is a great place for shopping. 

Day Fourteen: Return Home (non-cycling day)
After a healthy breakfast, you'll head home.

Riding Distances
 Total distance: 673 km
 Average distance: 56 km
 Shortest distance: 31 km
 Longest distance: 67 km

Time in the Year
From April 1st to September  17th.

1255 Euro per person

Price includes:
 13 nights‘ double/twin room bed & breakfast accommodation in *** or **** hotels
 Luggage transfer between hotels
 Tour book with detailed route descriptions and maps
 Panniers  for carrying things you need on the road
 Emergency hotline operating 7 days a week from 7:00 to 23:00

Optional services:
 GPS (Only if you start & finish in Amsterdam) - 10 Euro
 24 gear bike hire - 156 euro (for other options please go to our bike hire page)
 Road Service - 35.75 euro
 Bike theft insurance - 3 euro per day (6 euro for electric bikes)
 Single room - 390 Euro
 Half board accommodation - 390 euro
 Extra night - 70 euro

Price does not include
 Ferry Crossing

Discounts / Group prices:
3 people sharing a room:
 A child aged 0-4 sharing a room with their parents is free of charge
 A child aged 4-11 sharing a room with their parents enjoys a 20% discount
 3 people over 12 years old sharing a room enjoy a 3% discount

 A group of 7-8 people enjoys a 7% discount per person
 A group of 9 people or more enjoys a 10% discount per person

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