From: $790 USD
North Holland is truly a wonderful waterside region with hundreds of ponds, creeks, lakes, and canals. The many idyllic landscapes and the enchanting silence of this delightful Dutch province will definitely seduce you. It’s almost unbelievable that this quiet land with its charming villages, beautiful farms, and historic windmills is only 25 minutes from Amsterdam. For this cycling holiday, you will stay in the carefully selected cozy, three-star Hotel De Fortuna in the “cheese city” of Edam. It’s peacefully located in the center of this picturesque small town. The rooms are situated in five characteristic North Holland houses with a typical Dutch atmosphere. Most rooms overlook a stylish garden on the banks of a small canal. In the summer, you can sit in the garden and enjoy the flowers, singing birds, and small pleasure boats drifting by. From Edam you’ll cycle to the fascinating city of Amsterdam, but also to a number of the most delightful places in North-Holland: Hoorn, De Rijp, Volendam, Monnickendam, and the peninsular village of Marken!
Today you’ll arrive in Edam, leaving time to visit this beautiful little town. Historic Edam rests along the IJsselmeer, formerly called the South Sea (Zuiderzee), and is famous for its wonderful cheeses. It’s also home to a gorgeous 17th century town hall, a beautifully preserved Waag Museum, and a Gothic church – as well as one of the smallest drawbridges in all of Holland. Edam is an easy 30 minute bus ride from Amsterdam Central Station.
Today you’ll bike along the IJssel Lake to Monnickendam, a lovely quaint little port with picturesque canals, and then on to the peninsular village of Marken. Marken is known for its characteristic black and green wooden houses on stilts. The historic lighthouse is located on a breakwater in the former Zuider Zee. From Marken you’ll take the Ferry to Volendam. Volendam is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Netherlands, well-known for its old fishing boats and the traditional 18th century style clothing still worn by some residents. The women’s costume of Volendam is often featured on tourist postcards and posters (although there are believed to be fewer than 50 women, most of them elderly, who wear the costume as part of their daily lives today). In Volendam you can visit the local museum with, amongst other historic items, an exhibition on the traditional costume. From Volendam it is only a short ride back to your hotel in Edam. Dinner tonight will be in the pleasing restaurant of the Hotel de Fortuna, where you will spend all 4 nights of your trip and which offers fine international cuisine.
Today you‘ll cycle on quiet canal dikes through some of the oldest and deepest polders of North Holland before entering De Rijp, the village Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater called “Holland’s best village.” Leeghwater, who was born in De Rijp in 1575, engineered the amazing reclamation of the polders around the village and also designed the beautiful town hall in 1630. This is a lovely village for a stroll and a coffee stop. Afterwards, you will bike on to Schermerhorn where you will have the chance to climb up into an authentic, working windmill that also shows a brief film about the development of windmills and polders in the area. Later you’ll pass through several picturesque villages on our way to the historic Hoorn, once a major South Sea port and today a lively pleasure boat harbour town with terrific 17th century architecture. You can view a magnificent scale model of Hoorn as it was in 1650 in the ornate and interesting West Fries Museum. You’ll also have time to wander around the splendid old city center with its wonderful array of pubs, shops, and galleries. In the late afternoon you’ll bicycle along the IJsselmeer back to Edam. There’ll be time for shopping (or a good Dutch beer) before dinner in our hotel restaurant.
After breakfast, you’ll start our peaceful bike ride to Amsterdam via the village of Broek in Waterland. From here the quickest bike path to Amsterdam will take you along the water and the North Holland canal to Amsterdam North, where you’ll find the free ferry over the IJ to Amsterdam Center. You will have the full day to sightsee and visit museums in Amsterdam. However, since biking in Amsterdam is quite unnerving even though there are bike paths in the city, we strongly recommend that you leave your bike in the guarded bike parking (fietsenstalling) near the Central Station and take the tram to the museums. Dinner is on your own tonight in your choice of Amsterdam’s many varied restaurants before you bicycle back from the excitement of the city to peaceful Edam.
Alternative route to Zaanse Schans: If you’ve already been to Amsterdam or planning to extend you trip in Amsterdam than we have an alternative route to the Zaanse Schans. The Zaanse Schans is a residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. Despite the fact that visitors from all over the world visit this neighborhood every day, it is good to know that people still live here. Keep this in mind during your visit. Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh cookies, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. You should be sure not to miss the cheese factory, pewter foundry and the various windmills. The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands, full of wooden houses, mills, barns and workshops. Make a cycling or sailing trip, browse the shops or treat yourself at the pancake restaurant. A day out at the Zaanse Schans in North Holland is fun and educational.
Return your bike to the rental store in town and leave at your leisure after breakfast.
Green = Open | Yellow = Limited | Red = Full
Choose your own starting date
April to October
Prices are per person in US Dollars – inclusive bike rental
This tour can be guided upon request
24-speed hybrid bicycles in excellent condition are included in the price of the tour. These are equipped with helmet, pannier, map holder, pump, lock, and repair kit. 5-speed Dutch tandems, in excellent condition, are also available for rent.
**Electric bike rental $100
Included in the tour price you’ll receive daily buffet breakfast and two dinners. For the buffet breakfasts there’s an assortment of cold meats and cheeses, eggs, bread, jams, cereal, yogurt, fruit, coffee, and tea. For lunches you will be on your own and will usually be in a town with many restaurant options. The included dinners are at your hotel, and is a three course set menu. On the other night, you can either eat again at the hotel restaurant, or you can explore some of the charming restaurants in Amsterdam or Edam. We can accommodate many types of dietary restrictions including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy free. Please indicate these requests at the time of booking.
The accommodations listed below are examples of those usually used on the tour. Depending on availability, you may be booked in a different accommodation of equal quality.
We were very pleased with the bike portion of our trip in The Netherlands. La Fortuna Hotel in Edam was a wonderful place to stay for 3 days. The breakfasts were great and the dinners were outstanding. They made a special dessert the day we arrived – my birthday. It was a fabulous meal and a special way to celebrate my birthday. The package of information you provided was terrific. I’m “old school” and love maps and brochures, so it was great to get all of the print information you left. The Bike GPX app worked like a charm and we did never get lost. The only issue was needing to stop at a café on the way home from Zaanse Schans to charge the phone so we could complete the ride. I loved the routes you selected and riding on the fietspad and through the small villages. We particularly enjoyed visiting Marken and Volendam, with the bonus of the beautiful ferry ride! The weather was perfect for biking as well. It was such a wonderful way to see a small part of your beautiful country.
Fran and Hannah Goldman, June 2022
We went on the Edam/Hoorn unaccompanied bike trip and would highly recommend it. Edam is a fun, quaint, interesting town, and the hotel Fortuna is charming. Hoorn has a number of classic old buildings and interesting history. Denise (the new owner of Van Gogh Tours) is very helpful and responsive. Getting to Edam by bus is easy and convenient. The bike rides are fun, and flat (though the wind can be tiring). Generally the rides are on dikes or small side streets, so traffic is not a problem. The ride to Marken includes a ride back on the ferry, which is a nice change of pace. We wound up taking e-bikes for the ride to Hoorn, which was fortunate as it is a longer ride than the trip to Marken. We would definitely recommend this trip.
Elizabeth & Jim Bright, May 2022
This tour was amazing! The hotel was lovely with a beautiful garden and patio where we could sit by the canal. We ate dinner at the hotel twice and the food was wonderful. The three routes we took were all different, and Denise was great to send us an alternate ride instead of Amsterdam, as we had already been there and were eager to explore somewhere else. Each route had magnificent scenery and gave us a great way to experience the Netherlands. Ready with our bike tour notes, we loved the freedom of being able to stop along the way and visit the recommended sites, have a coffee, or just wander the lovely towns we rode through. I would highly recommend getting the route app to follow the route on your phone so you don’t have to try to navigate written directions while riding. This tour is a wonderful do-it-yourself kind of tour for people who want to explore on their own but appreciate the expertise and organizational skills of someone who knows the area. I would highly recommend Van Gogh Tours!
Dee & Robert Varnell, April 2022
We had a lovely 3 days on the bike riding along the trails. The maps were great and we enjoyed it very much. Thanks for coming up with the alternate plan for the 3rd day. The B & B was fabulous. The food was excellent.
Michelle & Charles Oseroff, April 2022