Cycle & Stay: Discovery Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges
8 days I Hotel to Hotel I Self-guided cycle tour
As classic destinations go, the canal cities of Amsterdam and Bruges are both so brimful of vibrant culture and heritage that they simply speak for themselves. But Holland and Flanders have so much more to offer in between and for every ‘big cheese’ like these, there are loads of other tasty places to explore.
Cycle out from Amsterdam into Holland’s ‘Green Heart’ and, across the low-lying polders, peppered with church spires and wonderful windmills, you’ll soon happen upon Gouda, the must-see market town that’s full of local flavour. Further south, famous Kinderdijk boasts 19 pretty mills all in a row and Dordrecht clocks up over 1,000 historic buildings, a magical marina and three nostalgic canals. Get a taste for the fish dishes here, then spin gently by the tidal creeks and willow-wooded islands of the unique Biesbosch National Park. With its amazing birdlife, be sure to have your binoculars in the top of the bike panniers, but you won’t be needing them to see the great star in Willemstad – it’s the shape of the fortified town itself!
Zeeland province is a voyage of discovery all of its own - islands, bridges, ferries, golden dunes, sandflats and ancient, picture-postcard towns like Zieriksee, Veere and the important ‘Dutch Golden Age’ trading centre, Middleburg. Park up by the terrace cafés and delicious ‘Zeeuwse bolussen’ pastries are also on the menu here – just great with a well-deserved coffee after all that pedalling down meandering lanes alongside the water-meadows of Zeelandic Flanders. Finally as you cross the border into Belgium, Napoleon’s ‘Damse Vaart’ canal is an unexpectedly romantic find, but nothing quite prepares you for the varied delights of Bruges, from its timeless canals and medieval masterpieces to its ‘Friet’ Museum… well, chips are a Belgian speciality after all!
This linear tour route is available in both directions, starting either in Amsterdam, Holland or Bruges in Belgium. Return travel to your start point is possible by train, but this is not included in the tour price.
Easy to Moderate: Gentle cycling tours in mainly flat terrain with some gentle hills, but no long or steep ascents. Individual stages of the cycle ride are generally short with some longer stages. Cycle map includes route options, so you have the flexibility to shorten or extend your bike tour as you wish.
* Amsterdam – the cosmopolitan capital, with a canal area that’s brimful of culture and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site * Gouda – historic market place and town hall, but simply a must for cheese-lovers *Kinderijk – windmill wonderland * Dordrecht – historic river intersection, one of Holland’s oldest towns * Biesbosch National Park – freshwater tidal area, almost unique in Europe *Willemstad – fortified, star-shaped town * Zierikzee – quaint, old trading town * Veere – the Dutch village with a flavour of Scotland *Middleburg – Zeeland’s capital city, historic trading hub *Vlissingen (Flushing) – lively seaside resort * Damse Vaart – Napoleon’s infamous Bruges-Schelde canal * Bruges – ‘Venice of the North’, and almost intact medieval city * North Sea coast – dunes, beaches and café culture