We did the Green Heart Tour with 4 riding days. The areas we cycled through were indeed beautiful and green. The booklets giving maps and instructions were easy to follow. We loved our first ever self guided cycling trip.
The restaurant at Hotel Mijdrecht was fantastic for dinner with their special asparagus menu. In Ouderkerk a/d Amstel we had lunch at de Oude Smits, a restaurant along the water. It was terrific. In Abcoude we had lunch at the local central cafe, Cafe Eendracht. It too was excellent . In Woerden we had a very lovely lunch at Bistronoom.
In Vreeland we had coffee at the 350 year old restaurant/hotel called De Nederlanden.
The Oude Kerk in Gouda was spectacular to visit. In Woerden we wandered around and just enjoyed the historical centre.
The hotel in Utrecht was the Carlton President. It was full of business people and had very little appeal. The other hotels were fantastic and exceeded our expectations. The Amsterdam, Mijdrecht and Gouda hotels were wonderful!
My bike slipped a bit in the middle gears. My handle bar also became very loose and a kind man in Vreeland fixed it for me.
Green Heart Tour
Overall we loved it. I look forward to the opportunity of doing a different route someday. The ease of transport of our bags was notable: reliable and on time. Thank you! Opportunity to check in early to hotels was fantastic for the faster rider in our group.
The only couple items of constructive feedback are; a) the hotel room in Hoorn was REALLY small! and b) Den Helder was a good location for getting to Texel but otherwise our party found it limited.
Went to Swanlake outside of Den Helder on the way back to Alkmaar. Nice spot to go for a walk if one is not rushing.
We had not been clear that we were intended to have only one bag for transport. We were kindly provided with extra orange identifying tags however.
Top Of North Holland tour
Very well organised tour with good briefing notes at the first hotel and the luggage transfer was seamless. The maps were very helpful but the occasional cycle route number was absent and navigation by guesswork had to fill in the gaps. The bikes were of a good standard as were the hotels - the Best Western in Gouda was a particular favourite as it had a wonderful bath to soak the tired legs. The Inntel in Rotterdam was the least comfortable as the air conditioning was useless and it was particularly hot at the time. Being a city centre hotel it was too noisy to open the window. The staff in all the hotels were very helpful and the breakfasts were uniformly perfect.
We started and ended our holiday in Bunnik, and found the T Wapen Van Bunnik a perfect place to eat - on our 2 visits the food was delicious. Another highlight was the Kamphuizen in Gouda - the canal side seating (covered) was delightful and the set menu had enough variety.
The Maurithuis in Den Haag was beyond fabulous. Everyone, from the cultural philistine (me) to the most learned, should not miss this. Take your smart phone as you can get the audio guide via this for free!
The tour has been very exciting, relaxing and full of wonderfull sights and landscapes.
In almost every route that we did everyday from one city to another there were very nice and cute bars and restaurants to have something to eat or drink, except between Harderwijk and Amersfoort (if I don't get confused...) that it was a lot of Kms riding without any place to have a rest except a petrol station that is not very kind and comfortable to take forces again...
The tour is full of nice and interesting places, monuments, cities, etc. where you can rest, eat, visit, etc. and it's another incredible way to visit and know a new country.
In my opinion, sometimes the Knoopunts weren't very clear during the cycle plath, therefore it could be worth it to tell the next guests to pay attention also to others signs like the comparable way with other letters than i don't remember now or even to think about the future knoopunts without try to find the next one you need o you have to reach before the next one (i don't know if i explained very well...sorry)
Elvira Bondia Real
We chose the Bilderberg Groot Heideborgh Veluwe Star Tour, as we wanted to stay in the same hotel throughout the tour. The hotel is nicely and quietly situated in the forest. We had a great time and enjoyed this tour very much. A large part of the tour is in the shade under trees in the forest which suits us very well.
The hotel was great, nice room, good food. The pool was a bit small and fitness center should not be call fitness center. However we did not need it as we did sufficient exercise during the day on the bike. The bikes together with the panniers were good, although the rear de-railer on the man's bike needs adjusting which should be done before rental.
Thanks for all. Every thing OK :bikes, maps, hotels (restaurants in the hotels a little expensive), even whether !!
It has been a remarkable experience
Xavi and Natasha
Our family of 6 enjoyed a wonderful holiday biking the Cultural Gems tour, seeing Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Delft, and Gouda. We added extra routes to see The Hague and Utrecht. Our tour was well-organized, the hotels were unique and comfortable, and our luggage was always waiting at our next stop. The bike routes provided a diverse view of cities, towns, and the beautiful countryside. The Bike Netherlands team gave us exceptional service responding to emails and accommodating our last-minute requests. We highly recommend your company!
Restaurants we would recommend:
Amsterdam - Tomaz (classic Dutch)
Haarlem - De Jopenkerk (traditional Dutch)
Leiden - Gaspare Restaurante (Italian)
Delft - La Tasca (Mediterranean)
Gouda - Koeien en Kaas (meat and cheese)
Utrecht - Saigon (Vietnamese)
We enjoyed picnic lunches along the route.
We ate a good supply of stroopwafels.
In Amsterdam, we visited the Anne Frank house in the evening when the line was short and the van Gogh museum when it opened in the morning. We enjoyed biking through Vondelpark.
In Haarlem, the Grote Kerk and the organ impressed us.
We enjoyed walking the streets of Leiden.
Even though it was closed for tours, we were glad we walked to see the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis) in The Hague.
In Delft, we climbed the tower of the Nieuwe Kerk for a beautiful view, and since it was Thursday, we saw a re-enactment of cheese-trading in front of the Stadhuis. We made some purchases in the Delftware shop.
Between Gouda and Utrecht, we came upon beautiful Kasteel de Haar and enjoyed a tour.
We especially appreciated Yifatâ€™s quick responses to our emails and his willingness to accommodate our last-minute requests while on tour. You might recommend optional side routes off the standard routes, such as we did to The Hague. We found it helpful to follow route side routes with http://www.holland.com/global/tourism/interests/cycling/bicycle-route-planner.htm.
Otherwise, everything was great! Thanks so much!
The tour was very well organized. Places visited and route followed up were very nice and interesting, especially forests and wildlife, we will love to recommend it to others and also repeat it.
Bicycle were a in a very good conditions, and received a very quick solution when we had a flat wheel.
Jose Antonio Asensio Garcia
Jeff Willhamson, April 2016
Great format. Easy to understand the concept and then follow. The hotel transfer was seamless. All the hotels were beyond our expectations.
Heather Hamman, May 2016
This was a lovely bike tour with a superb variety of landscape and architecture. We enjoyed both the towns and the countryside and experienced all of the Dutch features we had been hoping for: tulips, cheese, windmills, canals and polders. The bikes were robust, comfortable and easy to ride.
We especially liked the Spaarne 66 cafe in Haarlem, where we had a welcome hot lunch on our wettest day, and the Eeterij Het Keldertje in Boskoop who served huge, delicious slices of Appeltaarte.
We were lucky to be in Holland on 27 April which was Koningstag and we experienced lots of celebrations in various towns along the way which we weren't expecting. The staff in the Versteege Wielersport shop in Zandvoort were extremely helpful and friendly when we were shopping for warm gloves and waterproofs.
Everything worked very well, thank you! :)
Cetra Coverdale, April 2016
"We have just returned to Amsterdam after completing our Grand Ijsselmeer tour. We had a great time and were impressed by the bikes, the organisation and the hotels that we stayed at. Our bikes and panniers are now locked in the garage of Casa 400 and we have returned our keys to reception. We will certainly use Bike Netherlands again for our next tour".
Steve and Hilary Hamnett, July 2014
"As I already wrote, all ticked like a Swiss clock. Only on the third day of riding our luggage arrived at the hotel after 6 pm. But we realized it was a problem that can happen"
Gideon Eshel, June 2014
"The tour was great, an interesting combination of routes and places to visit. The weather, unfortunately, did not cooperate and four out of the seven-day of the cycling were done in heavy rain and strong winds. But, as we say here "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and we certainly were proud that we were able to complete the trip and even enjoy it. The accommodations were very good - mostly in hotels in the center of town. The provided trip guidelines and maps were very helpful. In the future I recommend to use the Google maps for cycling, as they provide more information. Two places that were not mentioned in the touring guide but we really like are:
1. The Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, which we visited on our way from Haarlem to Leiden. It is one of the biggest spring gardens in the world and includes an amazing exhibition of orcades from all over the world.
2. The old Portugees Israeitische Beth Haim cemetery in Ouderkerkerplas (between junction 62 and 61), which we found on our way from Mijdrecht to Amsterdam. Worth the visit!
Hotels, luggage transfer and bikes - all were great.
The maps that were provided can be improved (see above note).
I recommend using copies of the VVV cycling maps, which are very clear. We bought one and used it all the time, as the provided maps lacked details."
Michal Lomask, May 2014
"Very well selected route ! Interesting landscapes and medieval towns , so you got a good impression of the country. Restaurants and bars were compared to Germany not so special, maybe we were just too used to our food. Regarding hotels, mostly very good hotels."
"We absolutely loved our biking tour of the Netherlands. We did 6 days of biking and enjoyed seeing so much of the country side. In Zanvoort we had delicious hamburgers at Vienna Cafe. We had a wonderful meal at The Bazaar in Rotterdam. In Gouda we bought a fresh baguette at the bakery, gouda cheese at a cheese shop and a bottle of wine at the grocery store and had a wonderful picnic. In Bunnick we enjoyed pizza at Caprese. We did most of the attractions already recommended in your booklet and enjoyed them very much. We really didn't find the gps very helpful. The big map of the bike trails and the trail numbers that we hooked on to the handle bars were most helpful. There were a few spots where the number wasn't on the chart, so you need to look at the map. But we always found our way. Also, a set of allen wrenches could be included in the pack. My husband stopped at a bike store in Utrech to tighten his handle bars which were really loose. We would do this tour (8-05 Holland's Old Towns Tour) again in a minute!"
Patricia Lawlor, 2013
"We had a fantastic trip to Zeeland â€“ all very well organised and particularly loved out hotel stops at Willemstad and near Zeirikzee. I would like to thank you for making our trip a pleasure from the booking process to the trip itself, - loved the countryside and the hospitality we encountered. Many thanks"
Lesley Ross, 2013
"Nice & not too demanding tour with many alternations on the track. Good route through Numern systematics. Detailed Description of the route length. We can recommend the Restaurent the hotel Medemblic . Very good quality and value for money."
Clemens Geiger, 8-06 Holland-Polderland-Tour, 2013
"It was a great tour with the perfect mix of countryside and town riding. The hotels were wonderful and the luggage transfer worked perfectly."
5-00 Green Heart tour,
Barbara Ellis, 2013
"We had a wonderful time biking the self-guided tour in Holland. Bike Netherlands was very efficient in the hotel and bike arrangements, and when we had trouble getting lost on the first day, they graciously brought a GPS to our hotel. Highly recommend that feature for non-dutch speakers, as the routes are marked, but not without mistakes, and once you get lost, it's hard to find your way back to the route. We loved Cafe Dauphine in Amsterdam near the hotel Casa 400. They had the best vegetable burger I've ever had. We also enjoyed "eat the world" in Utrecht, where you pay a flat fee and can choose up to 12 small dishes per person. We could only eat 4 each! We found that in order to make it from one place to the next on the tour, there really wasn't time to see much in the way of attractions. We enjoyed the wildlife very much, especially the water birds in the marshes along the way. We found a few outdoor markets in little towns that were fun, too. We looked for social dancing, and found a tango party at a bar in Utrecht one night. That was really fun, the people were wonderfully welcoming. If I recommend the tour to anyone, I will highly suggest they get the GPS, and try it out to confirm the route before they leave. The first day without the GPS it took us 9 hours to get from Bunnik to Amsterdam, spending a lot of time going in circles, trying to ask for help. With the GPS the second day it was better, but the route that it took us on was not the route on the paper map. We rode for over 3 hours before we figured that out, and then reprogrammed the GPS. From then on we had to restart the directions several times to get it back on track, if we lost reception for example. By the third day, using both the map and the GPS we were able to complete the ride with just a few missteps.
Also, I would let people know that although the biking is easy, to make it from one hotel to the next in 4 hours (as it says in the information) would mean riding very fast on the open trail outside of the towns. At a leisurely pace, (going 14-18 mph) riding consistently and stopping to take a picture now and then or stop for lunch, each day took us at least 7 hours of biking. We definitely would not have had time to visit any of the landmarks you suggested in the packet.
we had a blast, though, Frank was very helped, as was Emir with the GPS, and would recommend you heartily to others!!."
Rory Cohen, 5-00 Green Heart Tour, 2013
"Very enjoyable. The countryside was beautiful, routes well marked and routed us through picturesque villages and along the sea shore. Enjoyed the Friesian horses, the sheep and many waterfowl in the canals along the way. Quiet and relaxing. We did find it challenging to find restaurants but did. We did not have a lot of time to explore, but rather biked and took in the varied and ever changing scenery along the way. We did do some short stops along the way. Route information was good, however, better information on the route to get to the hotels would have been appreciated. Luggage transfer went without a hitch. Bikes performed well. Hotels were fine. Nice job to all"
Several pictures taken along the Friesian tour. Very enjoyable."
6-04 Frisian Towns and Lakes Tour, Mark Cupery, 2013
"The tour was very good, because of the bad weather we had to shorten the trip on the 3rd day and had to skip the 4th day.. It would be better to go over the detailed tour plan already at home. It was always difficult to find the start of each tour in the morning. In this regard we were missing maps in a large scale about the villages. The restaurants were booked by Dutch Bike Tours and were good, they became better from evening to evening"
6-03 Dunes and Deltaworks tour. Thomas Weise, 2013
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