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Best of Holland South: Canals, Windmills, and Historic Towns

“Our first trial of a family biking trip. We’re hooked!” — Juls

“Our first trial of a family biking trip. We’re hooked!” — Juls

“Our first trial of a family biking trip. We’re hooked!” — Juls

“Our first trial of a family biking trip. We’re hooked!” — Juls

“Our first trial of a family biking trip. We’re hooked!” — Juls
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  • 5 nights | 28 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 1
  • Self-guided from: €855
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Tour Type: Guided Self-guided

Tour description

The history of the old Dutch cities is admirable. Many cities were started as army posts of the Roman empire. They survived floods, destroying fires, wars and modern architecture.

Today's past is still present in some smaller Dutch towns such as Utrecht, Schoonhoven, Gouda, Delft and Leiden. Enjoy this bicycle tour in the Netherlands.

All nights you will stay at a hotel in the city center of an impressive historic town. If you wish, you may add additional days into this program as rest days to explore the cities.

For tours starting in April through mid May it's possible to add an extra day and night in Leiden to this program. This allows you to ride a loop from Leiden, passing the blooming fields of tulips, up to the famous Keukenhof flower garden.

Daily Program

This tour has an average cycling distance of 28 miles/45 km per day.

Day 1: Arrival in Utrecht
Utrecht is one of the oldest towns and the major university town in the Netherlands. Exploration on foot to the vibrant town center, with its interesting canal structure.
Overnight in Utrecht.

Day 2: Utrecht – Schoonhoven
Route through farmland and lowlands towards the quaint villages of Montfoort and Oudewater, along lovely canals by quiet bike lanes. End the day in the historic silver town of Schoonhoven.
Overnight in Schoonhoven.

Day 3: Schoonhoven – Gouda
Along the dikes of the Rhine river towards the UNESCO monument of the Kinderdijk windmill group. Biking along the narrow canals of central Holland to the famous cheese town of Gouda. On Thursday mornings you can visit the famous weekly cheese market.
Overnight in Gouda.

Day 4: Gouda – Delft
Cycling over the 'green heart' of Holland polder landscape. Enjoy the mixture of farmland and modern agricultural areas today before heading to the historic town center of Delft, well known for its blue pottery.
Overnight in Delft.

Day 5: Delft – Leiden
Bike to the beautiful governmental city of The Hague, with its impressive museums. Ride on by forests up to Scheveningen. Bike along the quiet coastal bicycle path through rolling sand dunes towards the fisherman village of Katwijk. Finish the day in the historic town of Leiden, which is one of the most beloved towns by tourists.
Overnight in Leiden.

Day 6: Leiden
The tour finishes after breakfast.

For tours starting in April through mid May it's possible to add an extra day and night in Leiden to this program. This allows you to ride a loop from Leiden, passing the blooming fields of tulips, up to the famous Keukenhof flower garden.

Route map

Maps reflect your approximate overnight locations and do not reflect your actual cycling route.


Daily: Mar 23-Oct 6, 2019 (minimum 2 participants)


Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
Extra Nights, Leiden, includes cycling to Keukenhof
Per person, double occupancy
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through The primary benefits of booking your tour through include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through We look forward to serving you!

Tulip Cycling Terms and Conditions

Cancellation policy:
a) Cancellations refunds, minus €100 (number of days prior to the start of the trip):

  • 61 plus days - 100% of the total invoice costs
  • 31-60 days - 60% of the total invoice costs
  • 15-30 days - 30% of the total invoice costs
  • 0-14 days - no refund

b) At all times the tour operator shall refund the total invoice costs in case of natural disaster, large-scale riots or evacuations in the area of the cycle-routes.
c) The tour operator is not responsible for any late arrival due to travel delays, flight cancellation or illness.
d) There is no refund for shortening of the rental period, except for reasons mentioned in article 8b.
e) Changes and modifications in the initial booking will be subject to an administration fee of €25.

Article 1 - Definitions:
Country name: Where the expressions Dutch or Holland are used this is synonymous to The Netherlands.
Renter: Person or persons, mentioned in the rental contract, who is/are renting bicycling equipment and support from the tour operator.
Lessor: The tour operator.
Rental material/equipment: All articles, rented or loaned from the tour operator, itemized in the reservation form and notification of receipt, including all materials submitted to the renter, such as but not exclusively, the free accessories.
Booking / Reservation form: Form on which the renter is required to fill in identities and desired quantity of the rental equipment and support items.
Rental contract; Agreement between renter and lessor according to the tour confirmation form and tour invoice.
Tour confirmation form: Form with which the lessor confirms the booking of the cycling tour by the renter. The corresponding equipment and support for this tour is specified on the tour invoice, addressed to the renter.
Tour invoice: Form on which the lessor specifies the rental equipment and support items with the corresponding prices and the total amount. The total amount does not always include accommodation costs.
Notification of receipt: Form which the renter is obligated to sign on receipt of the rented and loaned equipment.
Rental period: Time between delivery of the rental equipment to the renter and return of the rental equipment to the tour operator.
Currency: The amounts mentioned in these Terms and Conditions are in the Euro currency.

Article 2 - Rental equipment:
a) The rental material may only be used by the designated renter and the members of his party as mentioned in the rental contract/notification of receipt.
b) Laminated maps, itineraries and other parts of a support package remain the property of the tour operator.
c) The use of the GPS device is strictly prohibited for persons under 15 years of age.
d) The rented bicycles may never be handed over to, or used by any persons, others then those mentioned in the rental contract.
e) It is explicitly prohibited for the renter to rent out the rented bicycles to a third party.
f) Renter is considered to take good care of the rented materials and to protect it, within reason, from damage, loss or theft. Added to article 2a, rental materials may only be used in accordance with its normal use and category. Only one person per bicycle.
g) The tour operator will deliver the rental material in a proper condition. If, in spite of that, any repairs during the rental period are necessary this can be done by a local bicycle repairer. The renter must, in case of more than wear-and-tear damage, consult the tour operator before handing over the bicycle to the repairer. At the end of the rental period a the tour operator representative will determine whether the material failure was more than regular wear-and-tear. If so, the repair expenses must be paid by the renter or will be subject to the equipment insurance conditions.
h) In case of unpredictable circumstances, the tour operator will offer substitute brands of equipment. This material will be of equal quality and will meet the specifications of the contracted equipment.

Article 3 - Rental period:
a) Rental equipment delivery will be between 8 and 11 a.m. on the first day of the rental period. The rental equipment will be delivered to the renter at the the tour operator headquarters or any other pre-arranged meeting point.
b) Delivery of the rental equipment can, on the renter's request, take place on the evening before the first tour day. This service is free of charge and the decision to meet with this request will be made by the tour operator exclusively.
c) Return of the equipment on the last tour day must be before 6 p.m. at the tour operator headquarters or any other pre-arranged meeting point.

Article 4 - Contract:
a) The contract is realized after the booking form is accepted by the lessor. The lessor will notify the renter of his acceptance by email. The written tour confirmation will state the names of the persons in the contract, the rental period and the reservation requests. The accompanying invoice will state the number and specifications of the rented equipment and the related prices.
b) The rental contract will be automatically dissolved, without serving any prior notice on the renter, if payment of the deposit payment is not received within 20 days from the payment date as indicated on the invoice. The dissolution of the contract does not in any way relieve the renter of his obligations, especially payment of the rent and deposit, forthcoming from the contract and the cancellation terms.
c) Changes and modifications in the initial booking will be subject to an administration fee of Euro 25. Requests for changes made within 30 days of the start of the tour are also dependent on equipment and accommodation availability. All changes in the initial booking will be confirmed by email or regular mail.
d) At the tour start and tour finish the renter must sign a notification of receipt and return. This notification states the number and specifications of the rented equipment and support, rental period, date of delivery and date of return.
e) The first renter mentioned on the reservation form must be over 16 years of age and will be the contracting person for payments, refunds and communication.
f) The first renter's signature on the notification of receipt and return is valid for all the items on the notifications.

Article 6 - Liability:
a) Renter is subject to Dutch, Belgium and German Traffic Laws. In particular, renter acknowledges that there is no bicycle-helmet obligation under this law (In Germany a helmet is obligated on a road bike or mountain bike as also for children).
b) Besides the pre-tour traffic rules instruction and briefing by the tour operator it is the responsibility of the renter and his party to be sufficiently informed about Dutch, Belgium and German Traffic Laws and regulations.
c) It is the renter's own responsibility to have sufficient insurance coverage against all claims that might arise from legal responsibility of the renter and his party such as responsibility for (non-equipment) damages, injuries, legal procedures and tort.
d) The tour operator can only be held responsible for direct damages or injuries that are a result of material failure. The responsibility is limited to failure that is a result of insufficient normal day-use maintenance by the lessor. For all other damages of goods and injuries of the renter, his party or a third party during the rental period, The tour operator cannot be held responsible nor can this derive any right to cancel (a part of) the rental contract.
e) The contract is submitted to Dutch Law and will be carried out under Dutch jurisdiction.
f) Disagreements and claims between both renter and lessor as well with a third party must be heard by a Dutch court in Arnhem or Zwolle.

Article 7 - Equipment insurance:
a) The insured: Renter of the tour operator equipment, as described on the booking form.
b) Insured articles: All tour operator equipment that has been rented and is used during a tour, as described on the booking form.
c) Coverage: Theft, damage or fire arising from any, calamity caused by internal or external sources.
d) Area: the insurance is valid within The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
e) Insurance-premium amounts to Euro 1 (one Euro) per person per day (minimum Euro 10). This is for one adult bicycle. If a E-bike, tandem or road bike is rented the insurance premium amounts to Euro 2 per person per day (minimum Euro 20). One child bike, if rented, is included.
f) Own risk / deductible: The first Euro 45 per renter per insured event will be paid by the insured (renter).
g) Damage: Renter must always immediately report a theft, loss or damage by accident to the tour operator and the local police. A referred police report and specified repair invoice must be handed over to the tour operator at the end of the rental period.
h) Restrictions: Renter is obligated to lock the bicycle(s) securely when left unattended. In case of loss or theft the renter must at all times be able to provide a police report describing the particular loss or theft, and the keys to the lock which were originally given to the renter at the start of the tour. If renter cannot provide those items, he will be held responsible for the combined loss and damages resulting from the theft or loss of the insured items: adult bike Euro 1100, tandem and road bike Euro 1650, E bike Euro 2500, child's bike/child trailer Euro 350, pair of panniers Euro 100, handlebar bag Euro 50, luggage trailer Euro 250, GPS device Euro 200, helmet Euro 40, poncho Euro 25, car trailer Euro 1500, free rental accessories Euro 20.
i) Damage- and loss exclusions: Non-designated use, criminal intent, negligence, molestation by war or large-scale riots, nuclear disasters. 

All photos used by permission. ©Tulip Cycling


Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 5
  • 4 Star 1
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall


  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 2.7
  • Value 4.7
  • Included meals 4.6
  • Bikes & equipment 4.8
  • Hotels or boat 4.5
  • Scenery 4.8
  • Ease of navigation 4.7
  • Tour documents 4.2
  • Local tour company services 5
  • Route selection 5


Murphycreek September 18, 2018

Can't think of a better way to see Holland

We did this tour in late August, 2018. We are reasonably fit early 70 year olds from California. Neither of us had been on a bicycle in years. We loved it. Some observations:
-Probably the best, unique thing was the route. We were given a little GPS thing that told us where to go, turn by turn. It didn't just go from A to B. It took us through charming town centers, on farm roads through the polders, along rivers and canals, by windmills, through North Sea dunes, through tiny villages and suburbs. Even through an industrial park (think bulb and flower industries).
-The hotels ranged from very charming to just fine, and all were within a stroll of the heart of town.
-The bicycles were top notch, like new, lovingly maintained.
-The distances were just right. At the end of each day, we felt exercised but hardly exhausted, and deeply appreciated a cold beer.
-The weather was good. Pleasantly warm, some sun and some overcast. It started to rain just once, and around the next bend was an appealing hotel with a good lunch.
-We liked Peter-the-bike-guy very much. He has a stringy tour de France look, speaks excellent Euro-English, gave us clear, concise instruction on how to do things, and was amusing. Also, he was quite gracious when we told him about the bike falling into the canal.
-If we were doing the trip again (or knew beforehand what we know now), we would have made one change. We would have arranged to stay two nights in Gouda and Delft, and would have arrived a day earlier in Utrecht (we did stay an extra day in Leiden). This would have allowed us to spend time with the museums and other charms of these wonderful cities.
-Finally, we loved being immersed in Dutch bike culture. Everybody bikes, bikes are everywhere, isolated bike lanes go most places, cars respect bike rights, and oh-by-the-way people looked conspicuously leaner than in the rest of Europe, let alone in America.

Juls September 5, 2018

Fantastic family trip!

Our family of 4 (2 parents, 2 teenagers) had an absolutely wonderful time exploring Holland on bike. This trip was our first trial of a family biking trip, and we’re hooked! The routes took us through incredibly picturesque fields and towns, riding along canals while seeing windmills and farms and cottages galore! Each night we’d arrive in a different enchanting town. Peter of Tulip Tours was terrific - he was waiting for us at our first hotel and made sure we were comfortable on our bicycles (which were quite nice) and understood the GPS and had all of the information we’d need to manage our self-guided tour. We highly recommend this trip!

TooTall6foot7 May 16, 2018

Great trip!

Our trip was fantastic! Our local tour provider at Tulip Cycling, Peter Vos, couldn’t have been better. The bikes were brand new, the Garmin GPS worked perfectly and the routes and hotels he selected were awesome. The Belvedere Hotel in Schoonhoven was especially memorable. This was truly a trip of a lifetime that we hope is repeated soon! Thanks to Bike Tours for making it happen! We will be booking with you again!

Suekimnye September 19, 2017

Everything was perfect

This was a well thought out route. The hotels were all all interesting and unique. We loved the cities we visited and the sites were amazing.

Casual Cruisers October 28, 2016

Pedaling in the Polders

Peter of Tulip Cycling met us on the morning of our first cycling day. He was on time, the bikes were well prepared and Peter, a very personable host, was very patient and thorough in explaining everything to us.
Cycling was as described: flat, mostly trails or roads that see very little if any vehicle traffic.
Hotels were mostly fine. The Mastrichter Dom in Gouda was a disappointment: the room was clean and the attendant friendly enough but the room was small, awkward and noisy. Peter explained later that there have not been any appealing in-town hotels in Gouda but that the situation was being remedied with the opening of a new hotel presently.
The Hotel de Plataan in Delft was charmingly decorated and nicely equipped but the elevator didn’t go to the top floor (You’ve heard if such things?) and our rooms were on the top floor. Emergency egress wasn’t up to US standards but we otherwise enjoyed the stay.
The use of GPS for route tracking was nearly a winner. Peter has carefully prepared the GPS routes with many waypoints so that it’s generally very easy to know where to go. A couple practical limitations with the GPS displays caused some consternation: the displays are small and not bright enough for the brightest daylight conditions. We often had trouble discriminating between the colored line for the travelled route and those for streets in general. This necessitated frequent stops to peer at the display while shading it or stooping to get close to it.
As a route tracking strategy I think it is a great innovation (I have done half a dozen trips following the map and narrative system). With a better display this would be an obvious choice.
The cycling is not strenuous. The paths, roads and terrain were friendly. By the fourth day we had seen enough of the polders! They are charming and scenic enough but a bit repetitive after a while! The towns and cities were very interesting. We wished we had had more time to spend exploring those.
Our last day did not go according to plan as Tulip Cycling required the return of the bikes at 4:00 PM. We asked for an extension but it was not allowed. We could not complete the route in the available time so we hopped on a train for the last several miles. This was not a major disappointment for us but it certainly might be for some travelers. This detail should be clear at booking time.

Pedalann June 6, 2016

A wonderful way to discover old Holland

This tour focused on the historic cities of Utrecht, Schoonhoven, Gouda, Delft and Leiden. Mr. Vos from Tulip Cycling met us at our hotel in Utrecht with the bicycles, maps, GPS and lots of helpful information. It was my first time using a GPS to navigate a bicycle ride and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. In fact, I'm not certain we would have been able to do the trip as comfortably without it.
The hotels chosen by Tulip Cycling were located close to or in the old parts of the cities making it easy for us to walk around, visit museums and just enjoy the streets and canals of these old towns. The routes between the cities took us past interesting sites and through beautiful nature areas. I was happy that we had planned an extra day in Utrecht and in Leiden - and I was sorry the tour was so short.