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

    4.8/5 (9)
    5 nights | 28 miles/day
    Self guided from EUR € 1007
    Rider Level: Leisure Electric bike tours
    4.8/5 (9)

    5 nights | 28 miles/day
    Self guided from EUR € 1007

    Rider Level: Leisure Electric bike tours

    Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

    • Best of Holland South

      5 night self guided bike tour in Holland

      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.

      Note: In the period around the Dutch Grand Prix pricing on this tour will be adjusted. Please inquire for pricing for these travel dates.

      Highlights

      • Medieval cities
      • Quaint villages
      • Cycling along the coast
      • Narrow canals
      • Windmills

      Learn More

      Learn more about self-guided tours.

    • Traveler photos

      • Kinderdijk (photo by Julane)
      • Gouda (photo by Julane)
      • Keukenhof (photo by Julane)
      • Tulip, hyacinth and daffodil fields (photo by Julane)
      • Marken (photo by Julane)
      • 1 Peter Vos from Tulip Cycling adjusting Ann's bike. (photo by Pedalann)
      • 2 We often rode on bike lanes along quiet roads. (photo by Pedalann)
      • 3 There were beautiful cycle paths through many nature parks. (photo by Pedalann)
      • 4 We passed lots of windmills. (photo by Pedalann)
      • 5 The Dutch use bicycles more than cars. (photo by Pedalann)
      • 6 Ann and Fred in the Leiden Botanic Garden. (photo by Pedalann)
    • 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.

      Surface and terrain

      This tour is easy cycling in mostly flat terrain. It has daily distances up to 28 miles (45 km). Approximately 30% of the tour is on quiet roads, 35% on dedicated bicycle paths, 30% of roads shared with traffic and 5% on dirt or gravel roads.


      Hotels

      These are sample hotels and may vary by availability.

      Eye Hotel, Utrecht
      https://www.eyehotel.nl/en/

      Hotel-Restaurant Belvedere, Schoonhoven
      www.hotelbelvedere.nl

      Best Western Plus, Cityhotel, Gouda
      www.bestwesterngouda.nl

      Hotel de Plataan, Delft
      www.hoteldeplataan.nl

      Huys van Leyden, Leiden
      www.huysvanleyden.nl

      Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.


      How to get there

      Tour start
      Nearest airport: Amsterdam, Holland
      Nearest train station: Utrecht, Holland

      Tour end
      Nearest airport: Amsterdam, Holland
      Nearest train station: Leiden, Holland

      Tips on getting to and from your tour

    • Dates

      Daily: Mar 26-Oct 2, 2022 (minimum 2 participants)

      Prices

      Tour package

      Per person, double occupancy € 1007
      Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room) € 265

      Bike Rentals

      E-bike € 50

      Extra Nights, Leiden, includes cycling to Keukenhof

      Per person, double occupancy € 160
      Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room) € 55

      Included services

      • 5 nights in double rooms (shower/toilet) in 3- and 4-star hotels
      • Breakfast/breakfast buffet
      • Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
      • Pre-tour documentation (tourist and route info)
      • Breakdown assistance
      • Top-class aluminum multi-speed hybrid touring bicycle with handlebar bag
      • GPS with itinerary (per group)
      • Laminated cycling maps
      • Equipment insurance
      • Equipment delivery in Utrecht; pick up in Leiden

      Bike rentals

      The bikes available and included in the cost of the tour are:

      • Koga 8-speed hybrid touring bikes

      The bikes available to rent (must be reserved at the time of booking):

      • Electric bikes(If booked extra night in Leiden, additional charge for the bike is €10 for this day)

      Tandem bikes and road bikes are available upon request (additional fees may apply).

      All bikes are equipped with a route package including:

      • Cycling maps
      • Handlebar bag
      • Repair kit
      • Pump
      • Water bottle
      • Cable lock

      Additional equipment available upon request for a charge:

      • Saddle bags
      • Helmet
      • Poncho
      • Luggage trailer

      Pedals:
      The bikes will have flat pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.

      Helmets:
      Helmets are not mandatory on this tour, but available upon request for an additional charge. We recommend that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.


      Tour Company

    • Route Map

      Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

      • Julane July 28, 2019

        Holland is better by bike!

        We combined this tour with the Best of Holland North tour (Dutch Villages, Landscapes, and the Keukenhof), starting in Utrecht and ending in Amersfoort. The owners of Tulip Cycling, Peter Vos and Liesbeth van Vulpen, did a fabulous job arranging charming and centrally located accommodations and providing excellent bikes with spot-on GPS routing. These two tours offered everything (and more) of what you expect to see in Holland: windmills, tulips, quaint towns, history, art, architecture. We recommend doing these tours in April when tulip, daffodil and hyacinth fields are in peak bloom and the Keukenhof is open.

        What was the date of your tour?
        April, 2019
        How many tours have you completed?
        20+
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • Kinderdijk (photo by Julane)
        • Gouda (photo by Julane)
        • Keukenhof (photo by Julane)
        • Tulip, hyacinth and daffodil fields (photo by Julane)
        • Marken (photo by Julane)
        • 5/5 Value
        • 5/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 5/5 Ease of navigation
        • 5/5 Tour documents
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection
      • Megan15 July 4, 2019

        Fantastic Experience

        We wanted to experience The Netherlands without the hustle and bustle of big cities, transport hassles, and finding hotels. For the four days of riding we followed our GPS map and rode through farming areas, alongside canals, and into beautiful historic towns where the courier had already delivered our bags to lovely small hotels. We did find some days a bit hard riding due to the 'Dutch headwind' and if we were to do another tour we would look for less kilometres per day to give us time to explore the towns along the way, and at the destination town and find coffee spots!. E-Bikes might have made this easier.

        What was the date of your tour?
        17-21 July 2019
        How many tours have you completed?
        None
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 4/5 Value
        • 4/5 Included meals
        • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 4/5 Scenery
        • 4/5 Ease of navigation
        • 3/5 Tour documents
        • 3/5 Local tour company services
        • 4/5 Route selection
      • Vova June 27, 2019

        What was the date of your tour?
        June 2019
        How many tours have you completed?
        2
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 5/5 Value
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 5/5 Ease of navigation
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection
      • 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.

        What was the date of your tour?
        August 19
        How many tours have you completed?
        1
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        First-time bike tourists
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 5/5 Value
        • 5/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 4/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 4/5 Ease of navigation
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection
      • 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!

        What was the date of your tour?
        Early August
        How many tours have you completed?
        1
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 5/5 Value
        • 5/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 4/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 5/5 Ease of navigation
        • 4/5 Tour documents
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection
      • TooTall6foot7 May 15, 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!

        What was the date of your tour?
        April 21 to April 26
        How many tours have you completed?
        One
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 4/5 Value
        • 4/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 4/5 Ease of navigation
        • 4/5 Tour documents
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection
      • 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.

        What was the date of your tour?
        September 5 - 10
        How many tours have you completed?
        This was our first one.
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        Much easier
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with young kids, Families with teens
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 5/5 Value
        • 5/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 5/5 Ease of navigation
        • 5/5 Tour documents
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection
      • Casual Cruisers October 27, 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.

        What was the date of your tour?
        late Sept. 2016
        How many tours have you completed?
        6
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 4/5 Value
        • 4/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 4/5 Hotels or boat
        • 4/5 Scenery
        • 5/5 Ease of navigation
        • 3/5 Tour documents
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection
      • Pedalann June 5, 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.

        What was the date of your tour?
        May 17 - 21, 2016
        How many tours have you completed?
        At least 15 of this type.
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        As expected
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Solo travelers, Families with teens
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 1 Peter Vos from Tulip Cycling adjusting Ann's bike. (photo by Pedalann)
        • 2 We often rode on bike lanes along quiet roads. (photo by Pedalann)
        • 3 There were beautiful cycle paths through many nature parks. (photo by Pedalann)
        • 4 We passed lots of windmills. (photo by Pedalann)
        • 5 The Dutch use bicycles more than cars. (photo by Pedalann)
        • 6 Ann and Fred in the Leiden Botanic Garden. (photo by Pedalann)
        • 5/5 Value
        • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 Hotels or boat
        • 5/5 Scenery
        • 5/5 Ease of navigation
        • 5/5 Tour documents
        • 5/5 Local tour company services
        • 5/5 Route selection