zaanse_schans

Cycling from Amsterdam Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Short Breaks
Destinations:
The Netherlands
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C03AM
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

4 Days Flight Inclusive
4 Days Land only
Ages: 12+

Trip Overview

Being based in Amsterdam will give the opportunity to discover the city's hotspots, whether that's the museums and squares, the art galleries of the Jordaan neighbourhood or the UNESCO World Heritage canal ring and its 17th century townhouses. There's also the city's infamous red-light district that draws thousands of curious tourists every year. Be sure to arrive early and leave late from Amsterdam (or add on some extra nights here).

Enjoy picture-postcard scenery as you ride out to the fishing village of Volendam, the cheese town of Edam or the elegant city of Haarlem with its lively main square, museums, art galleries and shopping options. The other routes take in Muiden Castle with the star-shaped fortification town of Naarden en route or a shorter ride to Zaandam on which you'll experience Dutch industrial heritage and beautiful windmills at Zaanse Schans.

At a Glance

  • 3 nights in a 3 star hotel in an en suite room
  • 2 days of cycling
  • Daily departures
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and map

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Amsterdam's UNESCO World Heritage canal ring and its cultural hotspots
  • Choice of routes for each of the two cycling days
  • Discover the elegant city of Haarlem, the fishing village of Volendam, the cheese town of Edam or the windmills of Zaanse Schans

Is This Trip for You?

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Average daily distance: 45km (28 miles) or 70km (43 miles)
No. of days cycling: 2
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 routes are available on each cycling day and are detailed in the route notes.

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.

Group

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, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Adult min age:
12

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Amsterdam
End City:
Amsterdam

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Amsterdam

    Marvel at the townhouses along the 17th century canal district, 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. Find out what the city looks like from the canals or you could opt to visit some of the cultural hotspots, including the Anne Frank and Van Gogh museums. You could even stroll down the infamous red-light district which attracts millions of curious tourists every year; or enjoy the street performers on friendly Rembrandtplein. There are four routes to choose from and you can do any route on either of the next two days.
    Stay 3 nights at the Westcord Art Hotel (3*) with breakfast

  • Day 2

    Amsterdam to Volendam or Haarlem

    Choose a longer route to Volendam or a shorter route to Haarlem today. The longer route (78km), with its picture-postcard scenery, takes in the fishing villages of Marken and Volendam as well as the famous cheese town of Edam. The shorter route (46km) takes you to the elegant city of Haarlem with its lively main square, cultural hotspots including the enormous Adriaan windmill, cafes, restaurants and plenty of retail options.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 78 km / 48 miles
  • Day 3

    Amsterdam to Muiden or Zaandam

    Choose a longer route to Muiden or a shorter route to Zaandam today. The longer route (63km) has a bit of a military theme with the destination being the castle at Muiden, at the mouth of the River Vecht and built around 1280. En route visit the star-shaped fortified town of Naarden which is very well preserved, complete with walls and moat. The shorter route (45km) has more of an industrial theme with cycling along the River Zaan with its quaint old factories and warehouses that line the river. Look forward to seeing the beautiful windmills and green houses at Zaanse Schans that continue to produce mustard, paint and oil to this day.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 39 km / 63 miles
  • Day 4

    Leave Amsterdam

    After breakfast, leave Amsterdam
    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel

westcord-art-hotel-amsterdam

The Westcord Art Hotel in Amsterdam is a contemporary hotel that offers both 3 and 4 star accommodations, depending on the room category you stay in. Located just a 15 minute walk (or 5 minute bus ride) from the city centre, all rooms and suites have excellent facilities as well as unique artwork on the walls by Amsterdam artist Chiel van Zelst. There is also an art collection by famous Dutch artist Herman Brood in the hotel lobby.
The hotel offers a Terrace Bar and a Brasserie for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as leisure facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, picnic area, sun terrace and gardens.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used.
Room upgrades: 4* Rooms
At the Westcord Art Hotel there is the option to upgrade to a 4* room. The Large Design Rooms offer more luxurious decor, more space including a seating area, an ensuite bathroom with rain shower, a minibar and an espresso machine.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £84.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts are included.

There are plenty of treats to be tried during your trip around Amsterdam with local specialities including croquettes, bitterballen (deep-fried crispy meatballs), dutch fries with various toppings (ask for 'patatje oorlog' for a dollop of peanut satay sauce, mayo and onions, or a 'patat speciaal' for a mix of curry ketchup, mayonnaise and onions). There's seafood in the form of raw herring and kibbeling (white fish gougons, normally served with a herby mayonnaise and lemon) as well as a huge selection of cheeses.

Sweet treats include 'poffertjes', pronounced "po-fer-jus", little fluffy clouds of battery goodness covered with powdered sugar; 'tompouce', a cream-filled rectangular pastry with a layer of smooth pink icing on top; dutch pancakes (more like crepes than the thick American pancakes); apple pie; 'ontbijtkoek' (a delicious, stodgey ginger cake that's even more yummy covered in butter) and stroopwafels, delicious thin waffles stuck together with a sticky layer of caramel.

There are also plenty of beers to try alongside jenever spirit - the precursor to gin. This spirit distilled from juniper berries has a malty flavour similar to whisky and was traditionally used for medicinal purposes before becoming one of the country’s signature drinks. Served in a tulip-shaped glass, it’s often served alongside a beer, a combination known as a 'kopstootje', meaning “head butt”.

Joining Instructions

Your trip normally starts at your hotel in Amsterdam on the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Hotel check-in times are normally from around 3pm.
We can arrange flights or trains to and from Amsterdam - please contact our sales team for more information and prices.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Amsterdam
Location end:
Amsterdam

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Warm top and leggings for the early spring and autumn departures

Windproof and waterproof layer

Comfortable shoes and clothes for the time off the bike if you want to explore the towns

Self-Guided Hire Bikes

We use touring bikes provided by our local agent. All bikes are supplied with:

  • rear pannier
  • bike lock
  • 1 puncture repair kit

Bike sizes will have been given to the local operator in advance from the heights you have given us on booking. However, when you receive your bike there will be the opportunity to test and adjust.

Please note helmets are not provided and we recommend that you take your own on this trip.

E-Bikes

Electric bikes offer all the thrills and healthy exercise of a regular bike, but with one crucial difference - power! A tiny electric motor (capped at 25mph) assists your pedalling, allowing you to make molehills out of mountains. Cycle further, see more, have more fun. They are just perfect if you want to try a trip with companions of differing fitness level - or a trip at a slightly harder grade - and want to know there’s a bit of motor power available if you need it. You can upgrade to an E-bike on a number of our European trips.

Bike Repairs

As you are riding unaccompanied, it is wise to know at least how to repair an inner tube before setting off on your bike! The bikes are serviced before being rented out so there should be no problems but there are emergency numbers provided in the route directions for more complex problems.

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount on the price of the holiday, as specified above.  You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees.

N.B This does not apply to trips within the UK, for which local bike hire is not included.

You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. It is also your responsibility to ensure your bike is roadworthy and suitable for the type of cycling to be undertaken. If in doubt, the model of local bike hire available should act as a guide and details of terrain, ascent and descent are available both in the itinerary and the ‘Is this trip for you’ sections. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

E-Bikes Available

Electric bikes offer all the thrills and healthy exercise of a regular bike, but with one crucial difference - power! A tiny electric motor (capped at 25mph) assists your pedalling, allowing you to make molehills out of mountains. Cycle further, see more, have more fun. They are just perfect if you want to try a trip with companions of differing fitness level - or a trip at a slightly harder grade - and want to know there’s a bit of motor power available if you need it.

amsterdam_bikes_on_bridge

Practical Information

Passport

The Netherlands

Two pages required for entry stamp.

A passport must be valid for at least six months beyond planned date of departure from the Schengen area.

Visa

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

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

The Netherlands

None required.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

The Netherlands's Timezone:
Europe/Amsterdam CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

The Netherlands's Electricity:

The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances, if the standard voltage in your country is between 220 - 240 V. If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 V - 127 V as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries, you'll need a voltage converter. You can also consider getting a combined power plug adapter/voltage converter.

European plug - 2 round pins.

Money

The Netherlands's Currency

The national currency of the Netherlands is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2021) of approximately 1.17 to the GBP, 0.85 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.62 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need money for lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks as well as any sites you wish to visit. Lunches can be inexpensive if you buy produce from local markets or shops and make up a picnic. However, if you stop at a café you can easily spend €15. We would recommend budgeting for €5-15 for lunches and allow an additional €10 a day for any extras. Dinners can cost between €15-40 depending on the type of restaurant you visit and would not include drinks.

Amsterdam evening

Responsible Tourism

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

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.