Bike and Barge: Southern Netherlands
The Netherlands is known for both its waterways and cycling, and this 8-day tour combines them both perfectly. Spend your days cycling through polder landscapes, along canals, and through traditional towns. In the afternoon your floating home Ms Normandie will be waiting for you where you can find peace and tranquillity looking out at the blue waters. You will see interesting cities with much history, such as Rotterdam and the famous windmills, which has UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
From £825.00 P/P
After making your own way to Rotterdam, you will embark on the boat at 4pm. After you have checked your bags in, you have an afternoon and evening to explore. Enjoy this beautiful city with its port, shopping centre and architecture.
Today it’s time for your first day on the bike! Your route will take you alongside the water until you get to Krimpen aan den Ijssel and Kinderdijk, here you will see a true iconic image of the Netherlands – the windmills! This group of 19 windmills were built in the 18th century and have UNESCO World Heritage Site status. From here you will travel through landscapes equipped with polders in Albwasserwaard until you get to Dordrecht. People think of Dordrecht as the Netherland’s oldest city and its history can be seen through the multiple restaurants, museums, and theatres. The port area is also more than worth visiting.
The day will start with a quick ferry ride to De Biesbosch National Park, this beautiful nature area is where many rivers meet and create a fresh-water delta. Here you can observe the natural and tranquil scenery by boat until you continue through the Rhine delta and entering Gorinchem in a water taxi. Here a highlight is the old town of this charming little city with its distinct buildings.
Enjoy a day of multiple highlights. Your first break from cycling will be in Leerdam, the home of famous Leerdammer cheese! You will then go to Vianen, a city with an old fort that invites you to stop and have a refreshment in one of its multiple cafes. You’ll then take a ferry across the Lek and then cycle on to Vreeswijk, which has many small streets to explore. Your next stop will be Nieuwegein, from where you can take an addition excursion to Fort Jutphaas, a secret green oasis. Your stop for the night will be Utrecht, thought of as the heart of the Netherlands. You will always know exactly where you are in the city by seeing the central cathedral.
In the morning before you set off on your day of cycling, enjoy a chance to explore the city of Utrecht. You will cycle through scenery characterised by polders via Oudewater, which is home to a well-known witch house, a building full of history and stories to be told. You will then go on to Schoonhoven, aka “The Silver City of the Netherlands”, this is a true quaint and traditional Dutch town.
Time to leave Schoonhaven and head for Gouda (yes, you’re right in thinking this is where the famous cheese comes from). Your stop for the evening will be Rotterdam, famous for its huge harbour where you can take an enjoyable harbour tour.
Today you have two options to choose from. The first choice goes to Delft, where we highly recommend a visit to the porcelain-manufacture building, then you will see the governmental seat in Den Haad and to the Scheveningen, a coastal town and health resort on the North Sea. The second option is getting back to Rotterdam by train (rail and bike not included, it will cost around €16 pp not in peak times). If you don’t fancy a bike ride and instead want to spend the day in Rotterdam, you won’t be short of things to do here.
Have one last breakfast and check out of the hotel at about 9:00am.
This is a self-guided, Leisurely round trip combining cycling with sailing.
Total distance cycled: 256 – 302km
Starting point of the cycling holiday: Rotterdam
Route Map (For guidance only):
Routes maybe subject to change or alteration. All route notes, maps and day-by-day information will be given to you upon arrival at the first hotel or at the welcome meeting. GPS/GPX Files are available for most of the cycling holidays we offer. Please ask us for details.
- Seven nights in outside cabins with private facilities in the booked cabin category
- Standard Bike Hire
- Program according to routing from/to Rotterdam
- All charges for harbours, bridges and locks
- Room cleaning every day, changing of towels and bed cloths as necessary
- Full board consisting of 7x breakfast, 6x lunch snack on board (non-cyclists) or lunch package for cycle tours,
6x coffee or tea in the afternoon, 7x 3-course-dinner
- Daily meeting for the cycle tours
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for daily individual bike tours (1 per cabin)
- GPS tracks
- Tour guide on board
Journey to and from Rotterdam, shuttles, bike rentals, entrance fees and excursions, city maps, ferry fees and fees for waterbus, travel insurances, parking fees, tips, drinks on board
Passenger car parking options in Rotterdam (subject to change
We have put a calendar of events together that will provide you with some inspiration of what you can expect on your holiday, and when the best time to jet off is. Now’s your chance to travel further than you can by foot and be part of a memorable and exciting two-wheel journey with us.