Bike through the Green Heart of Holland
Historical cities Amsterdam & Leiden
Rijksmuseum & Delft porcelain studio
Barges with max. 24 passengers
As its name implies, the “Green Heart” of Holland is a region through which the art, culture, natural beauty and history of Holland flows endlessly. This epic bike and barge tour spans over eight days and seven nights and offers a wealth of sights, sounds and tastes as you experience Dutch culture in the most authentic way possible.
Your home for the duration will be the Lena Maria, a charming barge that will dock nightly near the city centres of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Gouda and Leiden, to name but a few, thus giving you the option to explore each city at your leisure in the evenings.
The Green Heart balances visits to the towns and cities where artists such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Vermeer created some of the best art the world has ever seen with dreamy afternoons spent gliding through picture-postcard villages and unspoiled natural vistas of the “green lung” districts of central and South Holland.
If you want to immerse yourself completely in every aspect of Dutch culture, you cannot beat this tour!
Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
Day 1 (Sat): Amsterdam
Though the official introduction to this tour only takes place at 5:30 pm, you are able to check-in from 2:00 pm, unpack your luggage and take in some of the world-famous museums and attractions of Amsterdam. After the introduction to the tour and the crew, dinner will be served aboard the Lena Maria and you will select your rental bikes for the next day’s adventure!
Day 2 (Sun): Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Haarlem (40 km/24 mi. or 55 km/34 mi.)
After a leisurely breakfast onboard the Lena Maria, the ship will take you to Zaandam for a visit to the open-air museum “Zaanse Schans” where an entire 18th and 19th century Dutch village has been faithfully reconstructed. After learning about everything from Dutch cheese-making to clogs and windmills, you’ll cycle to Haarlem, the 16th century home of celebrated portraitist Frans Hals. For those feeling invigorated, there is an optional extension to the day’s cycling that takes you to the sea locks of Ijmuiden, the Kennemer Dunes and the Defence Line of Amsterdam forts, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After dinner, you’re free to take a starlit stroll through Haarlem’s city centre and market square.
Day 3 (Mon): Haarlem – North Sea coast – Leiden (42 km/25 mi. or 50 km/34 mi.)
After a hearty breakfast with your newfound friends aboard the Flora, you’ll take in some fresh sea air as you cycle past the magnificent dunes of the North Sea coast via the Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee resorts. Your destination? The university city and birthplace of Rembrandt in Leiden, a pearl of a city, the centre of which is crisscrossed with canals and impressive 17th-century buildings. If you’d like the brave the longer tour, it takes you from Haarlem through to the steam engine museum of Cruquius and the flower nurseries of Hillegom en route to Leiden.
Day 4 (Tue): Leiden – Delft (35 km/22 mi. or 41 km/34 mi.)
Onward to Delft! The birthplace of Holland’s famous blue porcelain (Delftware) where you will visit a fully-operational porcelain studio to learn the secrets of this ancient craft, as well as the royal crypt of the House of Orange. The longer cycling route passes Schveningen, a seaside resort en route to The Hague for a visit to the Peace Palace and the Binnenhof (Parliament) before you re-join the group in Delft.
Day 5 (Wed): Delft – Rotterdam – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Gouda (several options from 23 km/15 mi. to 66 km/41 mi.)
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast on the Lena Maria as you drift from Delft through the impressive international port of Rotterdam. Here you have the option to hop on the saddle and begin cycling, or take the lightning fast “Waterbus” to Alblasserdam. It’s a short cycle from there to one of Holland’s most impressive attractions, the 19 towering windmills of Kinderdijk. These UNESCO cultural heritage listed windmills are a highlight of the tour, so don’t forget to bring your camera as we’ll be visiting one of them to marvel at these engineering feats up close. From there we’ll cycle to Gouda, the cheese capital of Holland. Those still feeling fresh will have the option to cycle via the silver city of Schoonhoven before ending in Gouda for a well-deserved night’s rest.
Day 6 (Thu): Gouda – Kudelstaart (45 km/28 mi or 55 km/34 mi)
Take it the abundance of natural beauty the South Holland landscape has to offer as we cycle towards the village of Kudelstaart to re-join the Flora. Small canals, idyllic farms and rustic villages dot the landscape as you make your way to the Westeinder Plassen (“West End” lakes) where the Lena Maria is moored and where you’ll enjoy a sunset glass of wine as you lose yourself in the gorgeous scenery that makes up the beautiful view.
Day 7 (Fri): Kudelstaart – Aalsmeer – Amsterdam (30 km/19 mi. or 37 km/23 mi.)
Our second-last day kicks off with an optional extra (not included) for early-birds – a visit to the largest marketplace for flowers and plants in the world (Aalsmeer). We guarantee you that this bustling hive of activity will have more flowers in one place than you’ve ever seen! Should you wish, you can stay aboard the Lena Maria after a late breakfast as it returns to Amsterdam, or you can cycle into the city and visit the “Amsterdamse Bos” city park. The rest of the day is yours to spend visiting Amsterdam attractions such as the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Dam Square, Anne Frank’s House and the Rembrandt House Museum.
Day 8 (Sat): Amsterdam
All good things must come to an end! On the final morning of the tour we disembark after breakfast, which is served up until 9.30 am.
The price of a charter depends on many things. The beauty of the tours that we offer is that they are fully customizable. We can add extra services such as special bikes, extra meals or we can organize visits to the highlights of the region where you cycle that are not included in the program. That all affects the price. You can request a quote here for a trip of your choice. Our team of specialists will assist you to choose the right ship and itinerary or design a customized program for you.
8 days/7 nights
7 x breakfast
7 x 3-course dinner
Coffee and tea on board
Use of bed linen and towels
1 x cleaning of the cabin during the tour
Daily briefings by the tour leader
Fully guided cycling tours
Fees for ferries
Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
Use of a waterproof pannier bag
Bicycle rental or E-bike rental
Gratuities (at your discretion)
Entrance fees and excursions
Transfers to/from the docking place
Colorful Holland & Flanders bike tours
World-famous Amsterdam & Ghent
Extra time to relax in Antwerp & Bruges
Barge with max. 20 passengers
Discover magical green river landscapes
Historical cities Utrecht & Maastricht
Vibrant Limburg province hospitality
Barge with max. 20 passengers