Spring Tulips & Historic Towns (short)Haarlem - Leiden - Gouda - Schoonhoven - Utrecht
After a few days in buzzing Amsterdam, it’s time to get on a bike and discover more of Holland’s highlights. Delightful towns are crammed with ancient monuments, lively cafés and some of the best museums. Your route is truly captivating with lush green fields, peaceful rivers, windmills and acres of tulip fields!
Holland (another name for ‘the Netherlands’) is the most bicycle-friendly country with thousands of kilometres of dedicated cycle paths. So, no better way to explore historic Leiden and picturesque Gouda, riding along the scenic river Vlist and enjoying the stunning view from the verandah of your hotel in Schoonhoven.
Our tours are rewowned for offering the most scenic routes. You can start any day of the week (subject to availablity) and your personal tour departure and finish are attended by our own expert staff. We're on hand throughout your tour and you’ll ride on a perfectly fitted top-class bike.
Advantages of a Tulip Cycling tour:
● Carefully planned itinerary to suit your interests and pace – or we’ll tailor-make your own tour.
● Only individual departures – choose your start and finish dates to fit in with your other plans.
● Tour introduction and end-of-tour meeting attended personally by our own expert staff.
● Our equipment and support is top rated to give you peace-of-mind.
● With our hotel bookings and luggage transport option, we provide you a full-service package.
Please note: This tour begins on a cycling day. We recommend arriving in the Netherlands a few days earlier and booking at least one pre-tour overnight in Amsterdam and/or in elegant Haarlem. Haarlem is 15 minutes from the centre of Amsterdam by train and gives you the best start to your tour.
Day 1 Haarlem – Leiden (42 km)
Your tour starts with a personal bike fitting and a thorough explanation of your tour in Haarlem. Pedal to the historic town centre at the main square near the Sint-Bavo church. This is the right spot to start exploring the town, the hidden ‘hofjes’ (squares with tiny houses), The Frans Hals museum, the Teyler museum or the Corrie ten Boom house. Afterwards you are biking through lovely forest areas to the coastal city of Zandvoort. Have a coffee or lunch break before heading south along the quiet coastal bike lane. Enjoy the coastal scenery, the sand dunes and maybe in summertime have a swim at the beach. In spring time (beginning of April to mid-May) the route goes by the flower district. The flower fields are one of the major highlights in the Netherlands. Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths transform the landscape into a coloured carpet. The Keukenhof flower garden is of course on your route and is a must to visit. The final destination is the beautiful historic town of Leiden, the oldest Dutch university town. If you should join this tour from the second half of May untill the end of the holiday season the route runs along the coastal bike lane up to the quaint coastal village of Noordwijk and finally up to the city of Leiden.
Day 2 Leiden – Gouda (43 km)
After breakfast you are biking through the historic town. If you haven’t been able to stroll around the town during your first evening, don’t worry as you will pass by all the highlights, including the Burcht van Leiden (a medieval fortification), the Botanical garden, the impressive city canal ‘Rapenburg’ and the windmill museum de Valk. Leaving the town of Leiden and entering the ‘green heart‘ of Holland pass canals and windmills riding all the way to Boskoop which is famous for its nurseries, particularly woody plants and perennials, situated on long stretches of land, divided by narrow canals. The final part of today’s ride takes you through one of the most lovely lake districts in the Netherlands, near Reeuwijk, your day’s journey finishing at the famous cheese town of Gouda. If you can, do try to visit the traditional Thursday morning cheese market at the start of Day 3.
Day 3 Gouda - Schoonhoven (45 km)
This will be your final visit of the town so don’t forget to buy some typical syrup waffles for breakfast before leaving. These waffles are very delicious and will give you plenty of energy for today’s ride! The ride from Gouda to Schoonhoven is through the typical Dutch landscape caught by so many famous painters. Bike lanes head along canals, lakes, the Rhine river and picturesque farms showing you bird life, cows and horses. The major attraction of the ride will of course be the UNESCO monument of the Kinderdijk windmill group. The windmills at Kinderdijk are a group of 19 monumental windmills built between 1738 and 1740, to keep water out of the polder. It is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands and one of the best-known Dutch tourist sites. The second part of the trip will be by the Rhine valley and up to the historic silver town of Schoonhoven. Since the 17th century, silver and goldsmiths have been working here and today Schoonhoven hosts the Dutch silver museum. The hotel is situated on the banks of the Rhine river, its terrace giving you a great view of the inland cruise ships stopping for a visit.
Day 4 Schoonhoven - Utrecht (45 km)
The final day adds yet another great memory to your bike tour. By leaving Schoonhoven you will ride along the picturesque river Vlist, a beloved stretch among cyclists and pedestrians, who enjoy walking or riding along it. The river itself is often navigated with canoes and if the river is sufficiently frozen in winter skating tours are organized for the ice enthusiasts. The ‘Heksenwaag’ (Witches Scales) is a famous highlight in the old centre of Oudewater. In the 16th century people accused of witchcraft all over Europe were allowed to prove their innocence in Oudewater and avoid being burned at the stake. After the weighing in they received an official certificate proclaiming that they were not witches! Even today you can get this certificate. The final destination of your ride today is the town of Utrecht which features many buildings and structures dating back to the Middle Ages. It has been the main religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century and until the Dutch Golden Age, was the most important city in Holland. In Utrecht your tour will stop and you will meet a Tulip Cycling representative once again. The train station of Utrecht has perfect connections to all parts of the country or to the airport.
Daily from April 1 till September 30
|Prices 2024 in Euro - No peak season charges - Prices include all taxes|
|Per person, sharing (‘Standard’ hotels, luggage transport in panniers on your bike, storage of your suitcases at Tulip Cycling)||€ 795|
|Per person, sharing (‘Standard’ hotels, daily luggage transport by courier service)||€ 990|
|Per person, sharing (‘Superior’ hotels, luggage transport in panniers on your bike, storage of your suitcases at Tulip Cycling)||€ 895|
|Per person, sharing (‘Superior’ hotels, daily luggage transport by courier service)||€ 1,090|
|Single room surcharge||On request|
|Extra nights in Leiden, Gouda or Schoonhoven||On request|
|Pre and post tour accommodation in Amsterdam, Haarlem and Utrecht||On request|
|E-bike supplement per person||€ 100|
|Additional items (extra panniers, helmets, ponchos, extra GPS devices)||Price list|
|Discount for groups of 4 or more||10%|
Not included in your package:
● Small ferry crossings where necessary (a few Euros per crossing, most require cash)
● Entry ticket to Keukenhof flower gardens (€20 pp; make sure to book in advance on the Keukenhof website)
● Optional equipment insurance covering theft and damage (€25 per bike per tour)
● Tulip Cycling is not libable for the impact of any adverse weather conditions on your tour.
You will be staying in comfortable ‘Standard’ 3* and 4* hotels within walking distance of the local sights so you can explore in the evening and find a choice of restaurants for dinner. Or you can choose the ‘Superior’ package with upgrades in Leiden and Gouda. Your package price includes breakfast and tourist/city tax.
The below are sample hotels, subject to availability. Tulip Cycling may suggest alternatives as appropriate.
‘Standard’ hotel package:
Leiden – Hotel Nieuw Minerva ***
Gouda – Best Western Plus City Hotel ****
Schoonhoven – Hotel Belvédère ***
‘Superior’ hotel package:
Leiden – Boutique hotel Huys van Leyden ****
Gouda – Relais & Châteaux Weeshuis Gouda ****
Schoonhoven – Hotel Belvédère ***
Included in this tour
|4 days of cycling (short cuts available every day)|
|3 nights in 'Standard' or 'Superior' hotels in town centres|
|Bicycle rental (with repair kit, pump, lock and water bottle)|
|Waterproof small pannier|
|Door to door route on GPS device and maps|
|Personal start and finish|
|Breakdown assistance and 24/7 help desk|
|Additional tourist information|