Cycle & Stay: Holland's Great Ring
8 days I Hotel to Hotel I Self-guided cycle tour
Welcome to the ‘Randstad’, Holland’s ‘Great Ring’. It’s the Dutch way of referring to the four largest cities in the Netherlands and the big, beautiful watery ‘bit in the middle’ - Holland's 'Green Heart ' - which they encircle, south of the capital! From inland Utrecht and Amsterdam, you’ll find it looping its way round along the coast, past The Hague (Den Haag) to the Rhine delta, then sweeping back inland along the ‘Great Rivers’ via Rotterdam, taking in smaller, historic Dordrecht and Gornichem as it shadows the waterways back northwards. And what a wonderful cycle tour it makes – a ready-made ring, beset with must-see museums and real gems!
All the razzmatazz of canal capital, Amsterdam, is just a pretty pedal’s push along the rivers Vecht and Amstel from cultural cathedral city, Utrecht. But you’ll soon find yourself on the coast with time to explore resort favourites like Zandvoort, or discover the fascinating flora and fauna of the North Sea’s endless dunes. And if you’re cycling in the spring, who can resist nipping inland for a tiptoe through the tulips and moment to admire the colourful bulbfields?
From the harbours of the Hoek of Holland, the ‘New Waterway’ ship canal leads past tempting jenever (gin) distilleries, windmills and fishing villages to hip and happening Rotterdam, a massively modern place to be in comparison with Kinderdijk’s row of 19 old time windmills and the ‘Golden Age’ reminders at ‘River City’, Dordrecht, just upstream. Finally the ‘Dordtse Biesbosch’ national park sets the scene for the final more rural furlongs back to Utrecht via the walled town of Gornichem – don’t forget your binoculars.
Nice & Easy - Gentle touring by bike along flat cycle tracks and minor roads. Some small and short ascents only in areas where there are drainage dykes and bridges. Cycle map includes route options, so you have the flexibility to shorten or extend your bike tour as you wish.
* Utrecht – cathedral city of towering delights and historic wharves * Amsterdam – the cosmopolitan capital, with a canal area that’s brimful of culture and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site * Haarlem – historic centre and shoppers’ heaven * North Sea coast – dunes, beaches and the lively resort of Zandvoort * Scheveningen – vibrant, modern coastal resort * Rotterdam – impressive harbour city * Kinderdijk – windmill wonderland * Dordrecht – highly historic trading city with many monuments by the harbour * Biesbosch National Park – freshwater tidal area, almost unique in Europe * Gorinchem - historic walled town centre, monuments and former fishing industry hub.