amsterdam_bikes_on_bridge

Pearls of Holland Cycling

7 days
from
£1,089
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Cycling
Suitable for:
Age 12+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
C06HP
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Self-Guided Cycling
Group size:
1–12
Min age:
12

Discover the cities of Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Delft and Gouda with easy cycling between.

Discover the Pearls of Holland on this mostly gentle circular cycling trip, starting and ending in the delightful city of Amsterdam with its UNESCO World Heritage canal ring area, its bustling squares and cultural hotspots, including the Anne Frank and Van Gogh museums. The varied countryside of Holland beckons with a mix of rectangular polders (low-lying land reclaimed from rivers and protected by dykes), woodland, country estates and wild gardens. Cycle through beautiful traditional villages, past windmills and farmhouses and on to the famous flower fields near Haarlem (visit in April and early May for the full effect of the blooms).

As well as Amsterdam and the archetypal countryside of the Netherlands, you get to explore the cities of Haarlem, Leiden, Delft and Gouda, all with their own histories and cultural characters. Haarlem has a wealth of culture with the Frans Hals museum a must-see for art lovers with works from the Dutch Golden Age, as well as plenty of shopping, cafes and restaurants to choose from. The Keukenhof botanical gardens are worth a visit with over 7 million flowers in spring. Leiden is Holland's oldest university town and has a lively events calendar and canals, monuments windmills and museums offer some great sightseeing. Delft is world famous for its Delftware, the blue and white hand-painted pottery, but was also home to the artist Vermeer. Gouda, as well as being the venue for the famous summer cheese market (Thursday mornings April - August), has a fabulous, gothic town hall in the main square, romantic canals and even more food options with warm syrup waffles - perfect to try after a day of cycling. All the better to prepare you for the route back to Amsterdam.

Highlights

  • Discover the cities of Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Delft and Gouda with easy cycling between
  • Visit the Van Gogh and Vermeer museums, Delft potteries and the Gouda cheese market
  • If travelling in April and early May take in Holland's famous Tulip fields

Key information

  • 6 nights in 3 and 4 star hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days hotel to hotel cycling
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and map
  • Countries visited: The Netherlands

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Optional electric bikes
  • Half board upgrade (5 nights only)
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3944
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.

5

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

Cycle paths and tarmac roads

Day by day breakdown
Day 230.0km/19.0miles
Day 343.0km/27.0miles
Day 429.0km/18.5miles
Day 534.0km/21.5miles
Day 679.0km/49.0miles

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

Amsterdam
to
Amsterdam
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Amsterdam

    Wander around the iconic and surprisingly peaceful 17th century canal ring area of the city (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). For hustle and bustle, make your way to the city's famous squares or head off the beaten track along Brouwersgracht. Alternatively find out what the city looks like from the canals.
    Stay at the Westcord Art Hotel with breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 2

    Amsterdam to Haarlem

    Get an early start today and beat the queues at the Van Gogh or Anne Frank museum. Then, say 'farewell” or “tot ziens!” to Amsterdam and ride through Kennemerland with its lovely variety of countryside, from vast polders and country estates to woods and beautiful peatland. The attractive city centre of Haarlem offers a wealth of shopping, art and culture, or the option to just relax in cafes and restaurants.
    In April and early May, you have the option of cycling a longer route of c.60 km where you can see the tulip fields today.
    Stay at the Hotel Lion d'Or with breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Haarlem to Leiden

    Downtown Haarlem is worth exploring - discover the city’s hidden 'hofjes” (squares of tiny almshouses set around idyllic courtyards) and the Frans Hals Museum for Dutch Golden Age artworks. Continue on your journey to Leiden through the colourful Dune and Bulb Region. To capture the bulb flower fields in their full splendour try to time this holiday before mid-May. Tulips, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths are grown here commercially, for bulb export, and temporarily transform the landscape into one of the country’s best-loved tourist attractions. Should you want to spend a day at world famous Keukenhof flower exhibition, we recommend you book an extra night in Leiden. Leiden is Holland’s oldest university town and has a very busy cultural events calendar with a friendly city centre of canals, monuments, windmills and museums. The historical botanical gardens are definitely worth a visit.
    Stay at the Best Western Hotel Leiden with breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Leiden to Delft

    Today provides typically Dutch scenery with orderly, man-made rectangles in the polders (mostly peatland reclamations). You pedal past shining lakes, green pastures, old windmills and farmhouses on your way to the famous city of Delft. The melancholy charm of this historical city is breath-taking. Most will associate Delft with its blue and white hand-painted pottery: Delftware, however it was also home to painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). The Vermeer Centre gives illuminating insights into his life, works and city (no original paintings on show here).
    Stay at the Best Western Museumhotel with breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Delft to Gouda

    This stretch takes you through the Green Heart of Holland - a stronghold against urban sprawl. Balance your way along the top of polder dikes, delight in characteristic villages, far horizons and pleasingly strict rectangles cut by ditches in fields of vibrant green. As you wander around the city of Gouda at the end of the day, don’t miss the gothic town hall (1450); the Weighing House (1667); the romantic inner-city canals and the stained glass windows in St. John’s Church. Gouda is also famous for making syrup waffles (try one hot!) and candles. If you’re travelling in Summer, plan your trip so that you can witness the traditional Thursday morning cheese market at the start of Day 6 (early April till last Thursday in August).
    Stay at the Best Western Hotel Gouda with breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Gouda to Amsterdam

    Set off on the longest cycling leg today and bird lovers bring your binoculars! Once again, switch on your five senses to fully enjoy the characteristic countryside of the Green Heart. Drift past meadows, lakes and small villages whilst enjoying the wind in the rushes, the clouds reflected in the lakes and the picturesque River Amstel as you wend your way back to Amsterdam. Why not sample the famous Dutch style apple tart with your coffee en route?
    Should the prospect of 80 km be rather daunting, opt to split this leg by booking an extra night in Woerden (making two legs: 43 km and 49 km).
    Stay at the Westcord Art Hotel with breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Leave Amsterdam

    After a hearty breakfast, depart Amsterdam.

    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

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

All breakfasts are included.

There are plenty of treats to be tried during your trip in the Netherlands with local specialities including stroopwafels, cheese and beer.

Is this trip for you?

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Average daily distance: 43km (27 miles).
No. of days cycling: 5
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet cycling routes and tarmac roads. The terrain is mainly flat which means the distances achieved each day can be longer. Alternative shorter routes are available for day 6 with an extra day added if needed.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. Your bikes will be delivered to the start hotel, all set up relevant to your height and ready to go. Our local agent will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes into larger towns and cities.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe 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, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Families
Self-guided cycling holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you. We have suggested that 12yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. The daily distances are all published in the trip notes along with a description of each day's cycling so you have a good idea of what to expect. However, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts. The principle idea is that these holidays can be as flexible as you like, with logistical support but no group or leader to dictate the daily activities. Please consider the weather when choosing to book, temperatures can be high in the middle of summer.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3944
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

Hotels

Your accommodation during this trip is in three and four star hotels. The hotels are a mix of traditional and contemporary buildings and all offer excellent facilities and ensuite bathrooms. Should the named accommodation on the itinerary details not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used.  

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3944
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.

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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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