We recommend getting to Amsterdam early (or even a couple of nights before) to discover this wonderful city. Enjoy the famous squares of Dam or Rembrandtplein or spend some time on a canal boat and explore the city by water.
Today you will ride through the Groene Hart, or Green Heart, in the Randstad. Its a land that rails against urban sprawl, retaining its rural character characterised by its vibrant green fields. The Green Heart has numerous separated cycle paths allowing you to delve into the countryside. Your ride will finish in Gouda. For centuries, people flocked from far and wide to buy horses, cows, meats and cheese. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy an evening stroll or visit the gothic town hall and medieval buildings.
Today’s cycling is approximately 80km but please note that if this day is too long for you, we can split it in 2, with an overnight stay in Woerden.
Hit the trail once again and head for the village of Kinderdijk where nineteen majestic windmills present a unique spectacle. In the age of wind they were used to drain excess water out of the low-lying polder up into the River Lek. Pedalling on, you will reach one of the oldest towns in Holland, Dordrecht, completely surrounded by water. The area around the marina is a true gem. This oldest part of town counts over a thousand historical buildings.
Today you will ride to the edge of the Biesboch national park. The ecosystem has adapted to both the saltwater from the sea making its way inland, and the freshwater of the rivers, to create an ever-changing labyrinth of creeks and riverlets. Countless little islands of willow woods and reeds provide a paradise for birds. You will finish your ride today at Willemsatd, a fortified town shaped like a seven point star.
Today your ride takes you into Zeeland, a province made up of islands. Bridges and ferries will be carrying you across the waters as you head south towards Belgium. Picture-book towns with ancient houses and cobbled streets are lined up for the coming days. Traverse a patchwork landscape of vast polders, idyllic countryside, rolling dunes and golden sand flats.
A wander down the narrow streets of Zierikzee take you back in time to when ships set sail to sell salt, wool, fish and grain to the Baltic and the Mediterranean. Your route continues to the charming village of Veere, a town filled with Scottish expats in the middle ages from its trading history with Scotland. Cruising further south, you will discover the nostalgic splendour of the city of Middelburg, capital of Zeeland. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of the most important centres of trade in the Netherlands. At the end of the day, amble down to the beach in Vlissingen to watch the sun set into the sea.
After a hearty breakfast, hop on a ferry boat to Zeelandic Flanders with its winding country roads, pollard willows, wet meadows and scattered villages. Having crossed the border into Belgium, you will reach the charming little town of Damme on the banks of the romantic Damse Vaart. From here, it’s only a short stretch to Brugges, known as the pearl of Flanders. It’s a truly enchanting town that has been welcoming tourists for about 150 years. With most of its medieval architecture intact, it remains exceptionally well preserved and can really give you a sense of times gone by when it was at the centre of the European wool and cloth trade.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before departing for your homeward travel or spend some extra time in the enchanting city of Brugges.
The Netherlands, or lowlands, is aptly named, with half the country being less than a metre above sea level. You can be assured of almost entirely flat riding from place to place and the experience of crossing the Dutch polders, land reclaimed from the sea and which help provide the Netherlands with such fertile land. The riding remains flat as you cross the border where you can enjoy a frothy beer in one of Belgium’s many cobbled squares.