de_haar_castle_moat

Cycling from Utrecht

6 days
from
£699
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Cycling
Suitable for:
Age 12+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
C05UT
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Premium Adventures
Activity:
Self-Guided Cycling
Min age:
12

As well as exploring Utrecht along its many cycle paths, the daily routes on this holiday head out of the city in four different directions giving you an opportunity to discover the surrounding landscape, areas of natural beauty and historical fortified towns, castles and forts.

This single-centre cycling holiday is based in beautiful Utrecht, the Netherlands' fourth largest city and the country's religious centre since the 8th century. The city's ancient centre has many structures and buildings that date back to the High Middle Ages (1000 - 1250 AD) having been the country's most important city until Amsterdam took up the mantle during the Dutch Golden Age (1581 - 1672 AD). Still a major trade centre, sitting on the banks of the River Rhine, places of particular interest ar the Cathedral of Saint Martin and the Dom Tower, the tallest belfry in the Netherlands. As well as many theatres, art galleries, museums and music venues, the city also has a growing monument in the Letter sof Utrecht - an endless poem in the cobblestones of the Oude Gracht in Utrecht to which a letter gets added every Saturday. Utrecht was named a UNESCO City of Literature in 2017.

A recurring theme along the routes on this trip is the Dutch Waterline (the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie 1870-1940) - this was an important military defence line in Dutch history. Canals and sluices made it possible to inundate large expanses of land to keep an advancing enemy at bay. In places where inundation was not possible forts were built, blending in with the landscape. You'll also cycle past the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park - the largest wooded area in the Randstad.

Highlights

  • Discover areas of natural beauty along the New Dutch Waterline - an important military defence line in Dutch history
  • Visit historical forts, castles and fortified towns
  • Discover the delights of one of Europe's most beautiful towns - Utrecht

Key information

  • 5 nights accommodation in a 4 star hotel
  • All breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • High quality bikes
  • Countries visited: The Netherlands

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Route directions and maps
  • High quality bikes

What's not included

  • Upgrade to Half Board
  • Upgrade to electric bike
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request -compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

The majority of the cycling on this trip is on cycle paths and quiet roads with the majority being flat with the occasional short climb.

Day by day breakdown
Day 2 67.0km/41.5miles
Day 3 66.0km/41.0miles
Day 4 69.0km/43.0miles
Day 5 76.0km/47.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Expand all
Utrecht
to
Utrecht
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Utrecht

    On this trip you stay in Utrecht, taking day trips out to explore the surroundings. On your first day take time to discover the canals and many cosy cafes, national monuments, including the Dom Tower, museums and even world heritages sites. Utrecht is also the town of designer/architect Gerrit Rietveld and Dick Bruna who created the children's books about 'Miffy'.
    Stay at the Hotel Mitland with Breakfast for 5 nights

  • Day 2

    Round Tour South - New Dutch Waterline

    The Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (1870 - 1940) was an important military defence line in Dutch history. Canals and sluices made it possible to inundate large expanses of land to prvent the advance of enemy troops and vehicles and where inundation was not possible forts were built, blending in with the landscape - these have become local tourist attractions. The 85km length of the defensive line has become a green corridor, where wildlife has flourished due to restrictions on land use and building.
    You can shorten the route by 5km by taking a ferry at Fort Everdingen, the home of the Duits & Lauret brewery, also a great place to stop for refreshments.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Round Tour West - Rivers & Small Towns along the Waterline

    Follow the River Vecht to De Haar Castle, the largest castle in the country. Beautifully restored in 1892, in neo-Gothic style, the castle welcomes visitors to tour its stunning rooms and halls as well as the beautiful gardens. Continue cycling to follow the River Old Rhine to the historic fortified town of Woerden then on to Oudewater where you can opt to visit the Weighing Hall (1482) where women used to be weighed to determine whether or not they were witches. Step on the scales to find out if you would have been deemed light enough to fly on a broomstick. Enjoy the natural scenery along the River Hollandsche Ijssel, which leads to the fortified town of Montfoort and its historical buildings. Follow the River Leidse Rijn back to Utrecht.
    Today you can shorten your route by 9 km by skipping Oudewater and the smaller rivers.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Round Tour North – Oostelijke Vechtplassen

    Today's route takes you northwards to the Oostelijke Vechtplassen - the collective name for the 7,000-hectare nature reserve and lake district, created largely as a result of long-term peat extraction and important to many bird species. Cycle along its southern border, passing several New Dutch Waterline forts. Then cycling along the River Vecht, you visit a series of beautiful old villages such as Maarssen, Breukelen, Loenen aan de Vecht and Vreeland. You eventually reach the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park where you enjoy panoramic views. The wetlands beyond are also beautiful and tranquil with their very rare habitat type (floating mats of sphagnum mosses and other vegetation, anchored by sedges, on the surface of the water or on top of very wet peat).
    You can shorten your route by 8 km by skipping Vreeland and the nature reserves at Tienhoven and Molenpolder. Cycle directly to Groenekan instead.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Round Tour East – Castles, Orchards & Woods

    From Utrecht, today's route follows the Kromme Rijn and the Langbroekerwetering canal to historical Wijk bij Duurstede. Between the 7th and 9th centuries the city was a centre of international trade that was pillaged by the Vikings. The city has the only drive-through windmill in the world and the ruins of Duurstede Castle and the Castle Park are worth a visit. The nearby St. John the Baptist Great Church is a Gothic pseudo-basilica with an unfinished tower and is a national monument. The countryside scenery today alternates between meadows, castles, orchards and stately country houses. You also get to cycle through the woods at the edge of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park. On your way back to Utrecht, you reach the town of Doorn and its impressive castle, Slot Zeist, surrounded by a beautiful English landscaped park.
    You can also take a 5mi / 8km longer route. After Wijk bij Duurstede, follow the 'Limes', the old frontier of the Roman Empire, along the Lower Rhine. The beautiful village of Amerongen and Amerongen Castle are worth cycling the extra distance.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Leave Utrecht

    After breakfast depart from Utrecht.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Combine this trip with

Pearls of Holland Cycling

Discover the Pearls of Holland on this mostly gentle circular cycling trip

Cycling
Suitable for:
Age 12+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
7 Days from £949
Self-Guided (Excl. Flights)
View More Details

Essential Info

Visas

The Netherlands

Visit the Embassy of the Netherlands website for the most current visa information.

The Netherlands is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter the Netherlands for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.

No visa required for British passport holders.

For further Brexit travel advice please visit www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/brexit-advice-for-travellers

Vaccinations

The Netherlands

None required.

Eating and Drinking

The Netherlands offers a variety of famous cheeses and local specialities that may be found throughout the country. In Utrecht, Reypenaer is a unique artisanal cheese. A variety of Gouda, it is taken through a few maturation stages that take place in controlled conditions in an old warehouse near the Oude Rijn river.  There are three "aged" varieties: Reypenaer 1 year has a soft creamy texture and flavours that are slightly creamy, fruity, salty, and nutty. The slightly longer aged Reypenaer VSOP, aged for 2 years, has a delicate crystalline texture, a strong, full flavour and aromas of caramel, wood, hazelnut and chocolate. The longest aged is Reypenaer XO Reserve, ripened from 2.5 to 3 years, provides a complex, deep-flavoured cheese with mature crystalline texture and aromas of cognac, walnuts, butter, caramel and grass.

Dutch cuisine includes specialities such as krokets (various flavours including meat, seafood and cheese) that are breaded and deep-fried and can be eaten on their own or in a sandwich form in a bun or roll (broodje kroket);  stroopwafels, delicious caramel wafer biscuits originally from the city of Gouda. Other sweet treats include kletskop cookies, Weesper moppen cookies and Hopje candies flavoured with coffee and caramel.

Is this trip for you?

The majority of the cycling on this trip is on cycle paths and quiet roads with the majority being flat with the occasional short climb. Distances range from 57km to 76km on each day.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, our local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel

You'll stay in the 4* Mitland Hotel located in the outskirts of the city and next to a lovely city park. Enjoy your breakfast by the waterside, overlooking the northern moat of historic Fort De Bilt with the option to upgrade to half board and enjoy dinner at the hotel too. The hotel's facilities include a bowling alley, a swimming pool and fitness room. You can cycle to the town centre in less than 10 minutes.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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