Paris to Amsterdam

Enjoy this enchanting bike ride through Europe, where you will visit three countries and their amazing highlights. Visit Amsterdam’s renowned canals and the world-famous symbol of Paris, the Eiffel tower. These two important European cities have an abundance of history and museums where you can learn about them. However, it’s not all about the big capital cities. In between you will also pass beautiful countryside, and charming towns such as Gouda, Antwerp, and Ghent. Enjoy windmills, historical cities and delicious food and drink.

Calender 12 days

Difficulty: Leisurely

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Highlights large icon

Itinerary

Welcome to France’s capital and the ‘City of Lights’. Enjoy a stroll along the banks of the Seine River, visit the famous Notre Dam Cathedral, Louvre Museum, and of course the Eiffel Tower!

It’s time to get on the saddle! You will say goodbye to Paris on the Canal de l’Ourcq and Canal Saint-Martin, going via an open-air museum. For the first 30km from Paris to Gressy the Canal d’Ourcq provides rural scenery far away from cars. The landscape closer to Senlis entails forests and nature as you enter the region “Ile de France”, enjoy pines and sandy soil.

Today is a day of a renowned castle, medieval towns and a large forest area. Enjoy a morning in Chantilly seeing the castle, Great Stables, porcelain and lace and gastronomy industry (yes – the famous Chantilly cream was invented here). Senlis is an ancient city which can be learned about in the multiple museums there. Shortly after these towns you will cross the forest of the Halatte followed by the “plateau” of Nery. As you will be close to Béthisy-Saint-Pierre, it’s worth swinging by as you are there. Head down the Automne river and accompanying valley until you get to your stop for the night of Compiègne. This town lies close to the forest and is home to an impressive palace. The city itself boasts quaint shopping streets and museums.

The first thing we recommend doing today is visiting the abbey of Ourscamp. Once you have left here, continue on the route along the canal towards Noyon. Noyon is a city of Art and History and was the site of the coronation of Hugues Capet in 987. As you cycle to your destination for the day, you will pass natural areas which home over 200 species of bird in the Valley of the Oise. Saint-Quentin is the destination for the day, here you can find many Art Deco houses.

Firstly, cycle to the Touage Museum through rolling hills and rural villages. You will also see numerous memorial sites of the Great War in cemeteries, memorials, and vestiges of the Hindenburg line. Not far from here you will reach the sources of the L’Escaut, the river which you will follow for a short while and eventually ends up coming out in the North Sea in the Netherlands. A notable stop for today is the abbey of Vaucelles which sits in the Haute Vallée de l’Escaut, the abbey is an unusual building due to its structure and way in which it was restored. Through traditional villages and hamlets, you will reach your destination of Cambrai, a tranquil city filled with art and history. Discover its streets lined with half-timbered buildings. Be sure to try the famous “Bétises de Cambrai”!

Day 6 is a day of leisurely cycling through the Parc Naturel Régionel Scarpe-Escaut, the first French national park. This is where France meets Belgium via barges on the Escaut River. This land of waters and land has forests, marshes and ponds inhabited with many species. Today also has a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the mining villages.

It’s time to say goodbye to the 5 belltowers of Tournai, leaving Willonia and entering the province of Flanders. On route try one of the most famous Belgian local products “Geraardsbergst mattentaart” which is a pie full of history. Follow the River Scheldt and head into the old town of Oudenaarde (AD 974) and is also the centre of well-known cycle race “Ronde van Vlaanderen”. The tow paths along the river are now smooth cycle paths, they are occasionally leafy and go through open fields of Flanders. The day of cycling is rounded off in the cultural city of Ghent; the Belgians deem this to be their most beautiful city.

Continuing to head north, let the river Scheldt be your guide as you leave Ghent for Lokeren, this is a land of polders and bushes and wild nature. The popular city of Antwerp is Flanders’ largest town and the most important port city in Belgium. Start by taking a look at the historical town centre and then head to the popular parts of the city Zuid and Het Eilandje. By now you will have most likely worked up a thirst, quench it on a tasty Belgian beer! You can try it right from the source in the De Koninck beer brewery. It dates back to 1833 and now has a visitors’ centre which allows you to sample some beer and take a look around. It is best known for its “Bollekes”.

Most of the landscape on today’s route is wooded. Once you cross the border you will be greeted by De Zoom – Kalmthoutse Heide, which is a delightful nature reserve spreading across both countries. Enjoy an afternoon in Breda, the main city of Nassau in Holland which is home to many impressive monuments. The ancestors of the Royal family transformed Breda into a beautiful city with beautifully decorated buildings

The route today will lead you do Biesbosch National Park, one of the only places remaining in Europe with fresh tidal water. Cross Diep River by ferry and end up in Southern Netherlands. You will pass numerous villages where cafes invite you for cake a coffee. One of today’s highlights is Kinderdijk, the world-famous windmills. Whilst here you can enjoy an authentic workshop to learn more about them. Your stop for the night is Gouda, which has been a popular market destination for hundreds of years, with people coming from miles away to buy horses, cows, meat, turf, seeds, cheese and so on. In the evening why not take a small walk in the Old Town and embrace the historical atmosphere. You will find a beautiful market square, 15th century town hall and Weighing House or “Waag”.

Head through the Green Heart of Holland, a cycling paradise surrounded by water and with peat and polder landscapes. Your destination is Amsterdam, get to know the Netherland’s famous capital. Visit the 400-year-old canal district, exquisite museums such as the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s house. See performers and artists on Dam Square, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein, and of course visit the world-famous red-light district. Should you arrive early, you can visit the tree-lined canal systems, thin townhouses, and the 17th-century canal ring, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city truly does have endless things to do and deserves the popularity it has.

Enjoy a last breakfast and then either head home or stay for longer.

Route large icon

Route overview

Difficulty: Leisurely

Start point: Paris

End point: Amsterdam

Total distance: approx. 740km

Cycle through countryside on a fairly easy route. Go past national parks, canal ways and through busy cities on designates bike paths.

What’s included

  • 11 nights included
  • 3/4* Hotels
  • Breakfast Included
  • Detailed roadbook with maps and tourist information
  • 7 days a week service hotline
  • luggage transport to your next hotel
  • GPS tracks available

Not included

  • Any ferry crossings
Whats included

Check Availability

We have put together a fantastic selection of self-guided cycling holidays throughout Europe. All prices shown are per person sharing a double/twin room and exclude flights.

To book, please select a day of the week the cycling holiday operates on. If the tour starts daily, you can pick any date. If there is a specific start date e.g. Saturday or Sunday only, please choose the day of departure from the list of dates.

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