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Holland’s Southern Relax Tulip Tour

  • 4.8

    (4)

  • 7 nights | 24 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 1
  • Guided from: €1060
  • 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 description

Between April and mid-May we offer special tulip bicycle tours in the Netherlands. The program is quite similar to the Southern Tour Relax, but in springtime this tour will be centered around the Tulip theme and of course you visit the "Keukenhof".

The tulip originated in Turkey. The tulip bulb reached The Netherlands at the end of the 16th century. The flower and bulb were thought to be so special that a lively trade arose quite quickly. In 1634 there was one single bulb that was so expensive that a whole canal-side house in Amsterdam cost the equivalent. In 1637 the government took the speculation in hand and the bulbs dropped in price drastically. The bulb and flower became "normal."

The route leads through vast fields of tulips. You will of course visit the world-famous, 32-hectare park The Keukenhof, where you can admire the wonderfully colourful fields with flowering bulbs in peace and quiet.

From Leiden it is simple to take the bus and spend a wonderful day at the Keukenhof. At the end of the day you'll catch the bus back to Leiden. The bus admission costs are included in the tour price. Between Leiden and Haarlem you will cycle through the bulb fields.

Daily program

The following planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances.

You are expected on the barge on Saturday by 2:00pm, at which time the boat leaves its mooring place in Amsterdam. The barge cannot wait due to the opening hours of bridges and locks, so plan your arrival accordingly.

Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Amsterdam – Uithoorn (9 miles/15 km)
When you arrive on board the ship, you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper and crew and of course your fellow passengers.

You will leave Amsterdam cruising on the river Amstel, with open connection to the sea. In the 12th century Amsterdam was no more than a modest settlement at the mouth of the river Amsteel, with open connection to the sea. In those days fishermen and craftsmen built a dam in the Amstel (now the site of the National Monument) and Amstel-re-damme was born. Amsterdam was granted a municipal charter in 1275 and has since expanded continually. In the 17th and 18th century Amsterdammers were the most prosperous Europeans. The famous rings of canals were dug in the Golden Age, the 17th century. Powerful merchants had their abundantly ornamented mansions built here, thus manifesting their riches.

Amsterdam is a city to be explored on foot and we recommend the following places of interest: the rings of canals; the Jordaan area, with its many pubs, outdoor cafés and quaint shops; Vondelpark with its open air concerts; Leidseplein; Rembrandtsplein; the antique shops in the Spiegel district; Museum Square with the Rijksmuseum (National Museum), Stedelijk Museum (Museum of Modern Art), Van Gogh Museum and off course the Anne Frank House. Other typical features of Amsterdam are its numerous 'hofjes' (almshouses), the floating flower market, and the hundreds of houseboats lining the canals. Amsterdam is inextricably related to the diamond-cutting industry, which has brought much fame to the city since the 17th century. The palace on Dam Square is sometimes called the eighth Wonder of the World as it was built on 13,659 piles.

During dinner aboard the ship, the program for the next day and the global planning of the week are discussed. After dinner you will make your first kilometers on your bike.
Overnight near Uithoorn

Day 2: Uithoorn – Gouda (28 miles/45 km)
From Uithoorn you will continue your tour over country roads, banks and channels through the Green Heart and polders to the city known for its cheese: Gouda.

Whoever thinks of Gouda, thinks not only of cheese, pipes, stroopwafels (treacle-waffle) and pottery, but also of stained-glass windows, a fairytale-like town hall and atmospheric canals. Gouda is a beautiful Old-Dutch city with a mostly intact city center.

The "St. Janskerk", Gouda's 123-metre-long church, with its renowned "Goudse Glazen" (leaded light windows), the beautiful gothic town hall and the "Waag" (a building once used for weighing cheese) are absolutely worth a visit. Furthermore, one should not forget the Goudse Kaas- en Ambachtenmuseum (Museum of Cheese and Crafts), the Museum of Dutch Resistance, the "Weeshuisplein" (famous square), the Catharinatuin, patios around the city and the Museumhaven, a harbor where historical ships are moored. Today is Sunday, the day on which most Dutch take out their bikes for a ride.

As on most days, after dinner you will take a walk through the city.
Overnight near Gouda

Day 3: Gouda – Kinderkijk – Rotterdam – Delft (25 miles/40 km)
From Gouda you cycle past scenic polders via Kinderdijk to Rotterdam. Kinderdijk has the largest group of windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills at Kinderdijk were still actively used until 1950. These days, a large pumping station is responsible for controlling the water level in the polder. Here you can visit a windmill.

From Kinderdijk you take the ferry to Rotterdam where your barge is waiting for you. In Rotterdam you embark and from there the barge takes you to Delft. Delft, the town famous for its pottery, the 'Delft blue'. The painter Johannes Vermeer has made the town famous, but it is also known as the town of William of Orange. William of Orange lies buried in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, the church where members of the House of Orange are still buried. An attraction in Delft is the Prinsenhof (Prince's Residence).

The Prinsenhof Museum is housed in the former St Agatha's monastery. In 1572 William of Orange chose the convent as one of his residences. It was from here that he led the revolt against the Spanish tyranny of Holland. He was murdered on the steps of the Prinsenhof on July 10, 1584, by Balthazar Gerards, a Spanish sympathiser. Two bullet holes in the wall of the stairs bear witness to this event.
Overnight near Delft

Day 4: Delft – Katwijk – Leiden (25 miles/40 km)
From Delft we cycle in the direction of The Hague, through the Haagse Bosch, a large park, and past the Royal Huis ten Bosch Palace.

A tranquil cycle path through the dunes leads you to Wassenaarse Slag. Here some remains of the Atlantikwall can still be seen. Five bunkers are connected by nearly 3,000-foot-long brick tunnels. Now the underground network serves as a bat reserve. The Atlantikwall was a 1,700-mile defense line, running from Norway via Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France to the border with Spain. This defence line, which was never completed, consisted of bunkers, canons and mine fields. At some places the bunkers are still there, such as in Zandvoort, Scheveningen, Oostende (Belgium) and Normandy (France).

Continue through the dunes, to Katwijk aan Zee, an old fishing village. The old inhabitants of Katwijk still speak their own dialect, 'Kattuks'.

Following the course of the Oude Rijn (Old Rhine) river we cycle to Leiden. Leiden originated around 800 AD as a market place at the confluence of the Old and New Rhine rivers, the Vliet River and the Mare ("Leyten" means "at the waters"). For a long time it was considered to be the second city after Amsterdam. It was the centre of the textile industry in medieval times. A well-known episode from the history of Leiden is the siege of 1574 by the Spanish. These were finally driven away after dikes had been broken through and a Watergeuzen (see Rotterdam) fleet had come to help. The relief of Leiden is still celebrated every year on October 3rd. In 1575 Leiden was given the right to establish a university as a reward for the courage shown during the siege. It is also the birthplace of Rembrandt (van Rijn!).

Leiden boasts 14 museums, including the Rijksmuseum for Anthropology with many priceless foreign objects, the Municipal Museum (Lakenhal, 1640) including works by Dou, Steen, Rembrandt and Van Goyen, the Rijksmuseum of Antiquities with Egyptian antiquities. The Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Garden), a 400-year-old garden with innumerable exotic plants and trees, is certainly worth seeing. In the centre of town you can go shopping or enjoy sitting on an outdoor terrace on the water's edge.

The ship is moored near the Zijlpoort, a gate that once formed part of the city walls.
Overnight near Leiden

Day 5: Leiden – visit to Keukenhof by public transport
Today you visit the Keukenhof gardens, the most beautiful spring park in the world. An overwhelming blaze of colors of seven million flowering tulips, in a magnificent 80-acres' background of traditional and modern gardening architecture. The many blossoms, the flowering rhododendrons and azaleas are a feast to the eye.

Keukenhof is the place where the spring breaks. In the Keukenhof various gardens and gardening styles can be found: the English Landscape Garden, the Historical Garden, the Natural Garden, the Japanese Natural Garden, the Formal Garden and three special colors gardens. Spread throughout the entire park there are approximately eighty sculptures from well-known Dutch artists. There are also several other art objects, such as the collection "Surprising Tulips."
Overnight near Leiden

Day 6: Leiden – via the flower bulb fields to Haarlem (25 miles/40 km)
From Leiden you cycle through wonderful flower beds in the direction of Haarlem. In the period of March to May the bulb fields are blooming, starting with daffodils and followed by hyacinths, tulips and lilies.

Once in the city of Haarlem, you make a short tour through the city to see some typical "hofjes" (almshouses), old houses around a central courtyard, now usually housing elderly people. These "hofjes" are definitely worth a visit.

Haarlem, which rendered its name to Harlem, New York, is a lively city with good shopping possibilities. At the same time there are many interesting 17th-century sights here. In particular the Grote Markt (Market Square) with the Great or St Bavo's Church (1390-1520) is well-known. Mozart was only one of the many St Bavo's organ players. Other famous attractions are the Frans Hals Museum (with many 17th-century paintings), the Town Hall, the Weigh House and the Vleeshal (Meat Hall, branch of the Frans Hals Museum, also with many 17th-century Dutch masters). On the river Spaarne the oldest museum of the Netherlands can be found: Teyler's Museum, with drawings by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael and others.

The ship is berthed in the city center, with a view of St Bavo's Church and with easy access to the Grote Markt with its many outdoor cafés.
Overnight near Haarlem

Day 7: Haarlem – Amsterdam (25 miles/40 km)
From Haarlem you sail to Spaarndam, a picturesque village on the edge of Haarlem, in the direction of Amsterdam. Spaarndam’s name comes from the dam built in the Spaarne River to limit the danger of flooding from the sea. Here you can find the statue of Hansje Brinker on the IJdijk. Hansje is a character from an American novel, which saved the country from flooding by putting his finger in the dike.

The Buitenhuizen ferry takes you across the North Sea Canal and from there you cycle to the Zaanse Schans.

The Zaanse Schans, with its traditional weatherboard houses, warehouses and windmills may give you the feeling of stepping back into the 17th or 18th century. Yet this is no open-air museum, but a lively neighborhood where people live and work. Among other things a cheese farm, a clog maker, and an old bakery can be visited here.
Overnight near Amsterdam

Day 8: Departure from Amsterdam
After breakfast the tour ends (disembarkation by 10:00am).

Route Map

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

Dates

Mar 30; Apr 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 2019
Low season: Mar 30, 2019 - Apr 12, 2019, May 04, 2019 - May 11, 2019
High season: Apr 13, 2019 - May 03, 2019

Prices

Sailing Home (Comfort DeLuxe class)

Mar 30; Apr 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 2019

Per person, double occupancy
€1140
High season surcharge
€110
Single cabin surcharge (1 person/1 cabin)
Low season
€510
High season
€560
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike
€90
Electrically assisted bike
€170
Children's bike
€55
Child's seat
€15
Tag-along
€50
Bike trailer
€85
Bike insurance, hybrid touring bike
€15
Bike insurance, electrically assisted bike
€40
Bike maps (must be ordered when booking)
€19
Discounts
Child, ages 0-2 sharing a room with at least 1 full paying adult (on base package price)
100%
Child, ages 3-11 sharing a room with at least 1 full paying adult (on base package price)
30%
Liza Marleen (Comfort class)

Apr 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 2019

Per person, double occupancy
€1120
High season surcharge
€109
Single cabin surcharge (1 person/1 cabin)
Low season
€490
High season
€536
Cabin upgrade (2-bed large cabin)
€100
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike
€90
Electrically assisted bike
€170
Children's bike
€55
Child's seat
€15
Tag-along
€50
Bike trailer
€85
Bike insurance, hybrid touring bike
€15
Bike insurance, electrically assisted bike
€40
Bike maps (must be ordered when booking)
€19
Discounts
Child, ages 0-2 sharing a room with at least 1 full paying adult (on base package price)
100%
Child, ages 3-11 sharing a room with at least 1 full paying adult (on base package price)
30%
Wending (Comfort class)

Apr 6, 27; May 4, 2019

Per person, double occupancy
€1060
High season surcharge
€105
Single cabin surcharge (1 person/1 cabin)
Low season
€185
High season
€200
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike
€90
Electrically assisted bike
€170
Children's bike
€55
Child's seat
€15
Tag-along
€50
Bike trailer
€85
Bike insurance, hybrid touring bike
€15
Bike insurance, electrically assisted bike
€40
Bike maps (must be ordered when booking)
€19
Discounts
Child, ages 0-2 sharing a room with at least 1 full paying adult (on base package price)
100%
Child, ages 3-11 sharing a room with at least 1 full paying adult (on base package price)
30%
Per person sharing a triple cabin (on base package price)
€-55
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com 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 BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Cycletours Holidays Terms and Conditions

Charge for Changes
If after booking a trip, you wish to make changes, bear in mind that you can be billed a surcharge to cover the costs of changes, This amounts to € 14,-. According to the ANVR terms and conditions, changes can generally be made up to 28 days prior to the departure date.

Cancellation conditions

  • Until 60 days before day of departure: € 65
  • 59-45 days before the day of departure: € 135
  • 44-30 days before the day of departure: € 270
  • 29 days before the day of departure- no show: 100% of the fare
    (Different conditions apply to group reservations/chartering a ship)

The conditions of all tours act on the Dutch jurisdiction. Any liability of the tour operator (the transporter) is limited to the amounts of the concerned insurance-company(s) of the tour operator / the transporter is (are) willing to pay, taken into account the maximum overages. The parties agree that the Dutch law applies to this agreement. Any conflicts arising out of this contract will be brought solely before a competent judge in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Travel Agreement
A travel agreement is reached with the traveler's acceptance of our offer. Acceptance can take place either directly through us or via the intermediary service of a booking office. As soon as you make a reservation, your accommodations will be arranged. When these arrangements have been settled, you'll receive word from us and thereupon, the invoice will be sent.

A confirmation of your booking together with the invoice will be sent within 72 hours. Travel documents will be sent via e-mail 3 weeks prior to departure. When booking more than 2 months before departure, payment in terms is possible. Deposit is 15% of the total amount. Second payment needs to be done at least 6 weeks prior to departure.

Travel Conditions
The tour operator is a member of the General Dutch Association of Tour operators (ANVR). This association publishes the ANVR-travel condition that includes the rights and duties of both the tour operator and the participant. These conditions are available upon request.

Travel Conditions
The tour operator is a member of the General Dutch Association of Tour operators (ANVR). This association publishes the ANVR-travel condition that includes the rights and duties of both the tour operator and the participant. These conditions are available upon request.

Cancellation of the tour
The tour operator reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure. The tour operator will offer an adequate alternative in case of such cancellation.

All photos used by permission. ©Cycletours Holidays

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

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

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    4.8

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 2
  • Value 5
  • Included meals 5
  • Bikes & equipment 4.7
  • Hotels or boat 4.3
  • Scenery 4.5
  • Ease of navigation 5
  • Tour documents 4.7
  • Local tour company services 5
  • Route selection 5
  • Guides (if applicable) 5

Reviews

Glen June 8, 2017

Tulip and Windmill Barge Tour

This was my third bike trip with Bike Tours.Com., but my first guided tour. Sietse, was an excellent guide, who kept us on a schedule but allowed us time to see things, gave us adequate coffee and lunch breaks. He always told us much information about each place as well as a voluntary walk at night in each town that we docked at, one does not get that on an unguided tour. Our chef, Nicole, was excellent, who I appreciated being on a gluten-free diet. The meals were healthy as well as delicious. The biking trip had very good trails with lots of canals and wildlife as well as windmills and of course the beautiful tulips, tulips, and tulips!

Debbi April 29, 2017

Tulips--Bike and Barge

We had a fabulous time. Great food, scenery, guide and fellow travelers. The only complaint was weather related--COLD! Not the fault of anyone but the weather gods.

Shari April 27, 2017

Tulip Tour... beautiful

Beautiful scenery. Great guide. Good food. Nice sturdy bikes. Great crew.
I wish the coffee was better, and croissants in the morning would be nice.

KarylC April 27, 2017

Tremendous Tulip Tour!

My husband and I enjoyed this tour beyond measure! The room on the barge, tho tiny, was functional and cozy. Our guide Burt was super cool and knowledgeable of the area. There was 26 riders, so perhaps a second guide would have been helpful, but it worked just fine with one. The scenery was unbelieveable and we LOVED seeing the tulips and riding through the bucolic countryside. Be sure to dress warm! My favorite pull was through the Dunes, otherworldly habitat for Holland. Every meal on the barge was delicious and the staff was friendly and helpful. If you like riding bikes and appreciate flowers, gardens, and bird life you will love this tour!