Bike Tour Reviews: Best Of Holland South  Canals, Windmills & Historic Towns


Best of Holland South: Canals, Windmills & Historic Towns

COUNTRY: Holland

3 nights
4.7/5 (11)
Rider Level: Leisure Electric bike tours
Rider Level: Leisure Electric bike tours

4.7/5 (11)
3 nights

Self guided from EUR € 1110

Self-guided:
Daily: Mar 29 - Oct 1, 2024

Description:
"Thinking of Holland, I picture broad rivers meandering through unending lowland …” – Hendrik Marsman (1899 – 1940), poet … Windmills, castles, sunsets, rural scenes with cows, rivers, cityscapes, forests … Not the words from a Holland tourist brochure…

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  • Best of Holland South
    (5/5) 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.

    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
  • (5/5) 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
  • (5/5) 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
  • (5/5) 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
  • (5/5) 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
  • (5/5) Rachel Swerdlow April 13, 2023

    Gorgeous flat bike trip!

    We thoroughly enjoyed our ride. Adorable and interesting towns. We didn't have enough time to see and do everything there was to see and do. Hotels were charming. Great breakfast every morning. Recommend highly.

    • White stork nest along the route (photo by Rachel Swerdlow)
  • (5/5) 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
  • (5/5) 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
  • (4/5) Elizabeth Levine 7 months ago

    Seeing the Netherlands on 2 wheels

    The Netherlands are a cyclist’s dream- bike lanes and biking infrastructure everywhere- in villages as well as cities. This was amazing to experience- and to hop on 2 wheels and join in! The bicycles provided by Tulip cycling were top notch Dutch bicycles with automatic lights that turn on while pedaling. It was great to have our luggage shuttled to each hotel every day, so our bags were waiting for us when we arrived at each hotel ready for a hot shower and a change of clothes. Most of the hotels were 4- star and all had great breakfasts and all were walkable to the historic city centers with the market square, restaurants, cafes etc.
    Unfortunately the weather was poor during our cycling trip- very high winds and frequent heavy rain almost every day of our mid- September journey- this made the cycling much more difficult than we anticipated with the need to frequently stop to pull on rain gear- and the GPS device did not work well during storms so the navigation was also more difficult than expected. Several of the locals told us that frequent high winds and rain are typical in autumn and that the best months for cycling are May, June and July.
    Despite the bad weather we enjoyed the countryside, the lovely hotels, the friendly locals , the delicious food and the pace of life on the bicycle tour.

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    •  (photo by Elizabeth Levine)
    • 4/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 2/5 Ease of navigation
    • 2/5 Tour documents
    • 3/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • (4/5) 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
  • (4/5) 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