Cycle & Stay: Capital Encounters - From Amsterdam to Brussels
7 days I Hotel to Hotel I Self-guided cycle tour
Wow, this bike tour is capital stuff! Imagine the sheer spectacle and sense of achievement of cycling from Holland’s vibrant capital city all the way to Brussels, the absolute epicentre of Europe. At just over 200 miles (340 kms), it’s actually a surprisingly gentle week’s cycling adventure, across mainly flat, low traffic and sometimes even car-free Dutch and Flemish countryside, with just a tad more in the way of hills around Brabant’s Sonian Forest on the last cycling day. What’s more the miles just seem to sail by, when there’s so much to discover en route.
Pedal out from Amsterdam’s time-honoured inner-city canals, across the pleasant polders of Holland’s ‘Green Heart’ to that historic home of the famous ‘Gouda’ cheese and Kinderijk, where the beautiful sight of 19 windmills all in a row is sure to knock the wind out of your sails. Dordrecht, one of Holland’s oldest harbour towns, has monuments galore, but beyond the salty-fresh tidal waters of the unique Biesbosch National Park, Bergen op Zoom has marvels of its own in its Marziezenhof mansion.
Follow wooded ways and riverside rides across the Belgian border and right into the centre of Antwerp, where Rubens’ painted treasures await you in the cathedral and cooling beers from the De Koninck brewery are all part of art of enjoying the place. Relax in the company of the rivers Scheldt, Rupel and Dijle as you cycle to magnificent Mechelen and on to heritage city, Louvrain, with its charming ‘Oude Markt’. The shady Sonian Forest and Brabant hills mark your triumphant approach towards Brussels. The option is there to let the train take the strain, but somehow you just know that those delicious Belgian waffles on the ‘Grand Place’ just won’t taste quite the same if you do!
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 *Bergen op Zoom – narrow streets, historic squares and the famous Markiezenhof mansion * Antwerp – diamond city famed for its cathedral and famous son, Rubens * Mechelen – the city with a hugely historic, but very compact heart * Leuven (Louvrain) – university city with history around every corner * Brussels – gilded buildings, Gothic town hall, impressive marketplace and the Mannekin Pis!