pijl

Rhine and IJssel

From: $1,390 USD

8 Days / 7 Nights
Type: Guided
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Imagine Yourself…

  • Biking along the peaceful Rhine and IJssel rivers
  • Enjoying the magnificent beauty of Veluwe nature reserve
  • Exploring the small and charming Hanseatic towns
  • Visiting beautiful harbor villages and tasting the local fare

Overview

The Rhine & IJssel route takes you through the central region of the Netherlands, which was originally shaped by rivers. It cuts through the Rhine valley and its very beautiful tributary the IJssel, and across the so-called border lakes. The IJssel forks from the Rhine near Arnhem. Offering great scenic beauty, the 125 km winding river valley offers the cyclist a fantastic area in which to take trips without hills! You will visit various Hanseatic towns that flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries, due to the fact that the IJssel was then one of the most important trade routes in Europe. The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. You then go on to visit the border lakes of the IJsselmeer which lie between the “old” land of many beautiful harbor towns and new Flevoland (once the bottom of IJsselmeer lake) which was reclaimed in 1932. In this area you visit some picturesque fishing harbors. During the whole tour you travel through wood and moorland sections of the Achterhoek, Veluwe and Gooi nature reserves; this area is very suitable for bike tours and also loved by the Dutch bikers.

Daily Itinerary

  • DAY 1: Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede

    On Saturday afternoon you are expected between 1 and 2 p.m. on your boat, which is located at the Oosterdok, close to central station. When you arrive on board the ship you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.

    It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper and crew, and of course your fellow passengers.

    By barge you travel on the Amsterdam-Rijncanal in a southeasterly direction. This is one of the busiest waterways in Europe. It was dug to connect Amsterdam Seaport with the European hinterland. You spend the night in Wijk bij Duurstede on the river that, up to that point, is called the Rhine, but downstream the name changes to Lek. During the early Middle Ages, this town was a prestigious trading center. The marauding expeditions of the Norsemen put an end to their flourishing period however. The old city center is picturesque with its marketplace surrounded by trees, the town hall dating back to 1662 and the Main Church dating back to the 15th Century. On the other side of town you will find the hidden ruins of Duurstede Castle, consisting of the restored Burgundy Tower and the Donjon bell tower dating back to the 12th Century. In the 15th Century Bishop David of Burgundy lived in the castle. Tonight you will enjoy your first of many delicious dinners on the barge.

  • DAY 2: Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen – Arnhem – 25 miles (40 km)

    During breakfast, the ship sails to Wageningen. Arriving at Wageningen, the first bicycle trip is taken through the flat river valley of the Rhine. Along the way you will visit the protected nature reserve “De Blauwe Kamer” (the Blue Chamber), followed by the woods and moorlands of Veluwe National Park. The 5400 hectare park is home to many plant and animal species. In the National Park you can find the Kröller-Müller Museum, the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world. This visit requires 25 km more cycling and is optional. The guide will ride the shorter route excluding the museum and can provide a route description. In Oosterbeek you can visit the Airborne Museum. Later you ride through suburbs with lovely parks such as Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal to Arnhem, where you spend the night close to the center. Arnhem is the capital of the province of Gelderland. In September of 1944, the center of the town was heavily damaged by the efforts of the Allies to conquer the bridge over the Rhine over the Germans (Operation “Market Garden”). Unfortunately the plan backfired. Following the war, the city center was reconstructed to reflect its past patterns and design as closely as possible. Arnhem is generally known as the “Park City of the Netherlands” in large part due to its centuries old city parks, which extend well into the city center. Sonsbeek Park is the most important park of the city. It is located against the city’s dam walls and offers a multitude of breath taking views with far-reaching vistas of the Rhine river on the one hand and hidden, intimate corners on the other. It contains waterfalls, a belvedere and a watermill.

  • DAY 3: Arnhem – sailing to Doesburg – biking to Zutphen – 28 miles (45 km)

    In the morning we sail to the small Hanseatic town of Doesburg. We continue by bike via the Hanseatic Town Route along the IJssel to the beautiful small town of Bronkhorst. A visit to Zutphen should be possible and is recommended. Zutphen is a hanseatic town and one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. You will find many almshouses and courtyards here of which the Agnietenhof, an old convent dating from 1397, is especially noteworthy. The town contains many well-preserved houses and buildings dating back to the late Middle Ages of which Zutphen’s town hall, its surrounding square, “‘s Gravenhof”, the Vleeshuis (Meat Hall) and the Gothic Grote Kerk (Big Church) are good examples. During dinner the ship sails to Deventer. This city is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. It is therefore not surprising that the oldest stone house can be found in Deventer. In the Middle Ages, merchants from all over Europe came here to participate in the annual fairs.

  • DAY 4: Deventer – Zwolle by barge to Kampen – 30 miles (48 km)

    The first stretch of today’s route takes you via a park-like landscape directly east of the IJssel River. By Wijhe, you’ll cross the river and follow the meandering IJsseldijk (IJssel dike). Sometime in the afternoon, you’ll arrive in the 800-year-old town Hattem. This is a small town located at the foot of the hills of the Veluwe. On the other side lies Zwolle. In Hattem you will find the Anton Pieckmuseum, an artist who was inspired by the fairy tales of the Grimm Brothers. The museum is built from a couple of old houses. It shares its shelter with the Voermanmuseum, which present the paintings and drawings of both the father and son Voerman. You board in Hattem and during dinner you will sail to Kampen. Kampen is the largest hanseatic town and has been declared protected townscape. Kampen retained three of its original city gates from the Middle Ages: the Broederpoort, Cellebroederspoort and the Koornmarktpoort.

  • DAY 5: Kampen – Elburg – Harderwijk - 27 miles (44 km)

    Today the route leads you to the fortified town of Elburg. As far back as the 14th century this was a lively trading port. Just like Kampen and Harderwijk it was a member of the Hanseatic League, an organisation of merchants from north-western Europe in the late middle Ages.

    For those who like to cycle a little less today there is the option of leaving the ship only at Elburg. From here you continue along the former Zuiderzee shore. The last part of the route will take you through the large woods of the Veluwe, with its undulating landscape a remainder of the Ice Age. The Veluwe is the largest connected nature reserve of the Netherlands, totally consisting of sandy soil. The final town today is the Hanseatic Harderwijk, where you will spent the night in the old fishing harbour.

  • DAY 6: Harderwijk – Spakenburg - 28 miles (45 km)

    Today the ride will be a combination of flat, coastal landscape and woods and moorland around Ermelo and Putten. At Strand Nulde you can go for a nice swim, weather permitting. In the afternoon the trip continues along the Eem River, a small river flowing into the Eem Lake. In spite of the enormous density of population of the province of Utrecht, you can still find green countryside. On the road along the IJsselmeer dike you might have the opportunity to visit the old steem pumping station Arkemheem.

    Following the dike you enter Spakenburg from the west. Spakenburg has always been a fishermen’s port and now forms a kind of twin village with Bunschoten. Many wonderful wooden fishing boats are moored here and you may come across villagers in their traditional dress.

  • DAY 7: Spakenburg – sailing to Huizen - cycling to Amsterdam – 22 miles (35 km)

    In the morning during breakfast you will sail to Huizen. Today the bike route takes you through quiet polder land and a wooded area to one of the best-preserved fortified towns of the country, Naarden-Vesting. In Muiden the Muiderslot (Muider Castle) can be visited; a medieval castle that is still in good condition. The castle is a square water fortress with round towers on each corner. Within the walls there is a large building with step-gables. The Muiderslot was built in 1280 by Count Floris V, an immensely rich person (‘stone rich’ as we say in Dutch: in times when almost anything was built out of wood he could afford to have a stone castle built). The castle is situated on the spot where the Vecht flowed into the Zuiderzee, today’s IJsselmeer. During the French occupation the castle was used as a barracks for the French army. Since 1795 nobody lived in it any more and the castle started falling into decay.

    Restoration was taken up only in 1895, executed under the guidance of the well- known architect Pieter Cuypers. Winding roads along the little rivers Vecht and Gaasp will take you back to Amsterdam. A shorter way is also possible: from Muiden straight into town along the shores of the IJsselmeer. At about 4 PM you will be back at the place you left on Saturday. Time to hand in your bicycle and with several hours ahead of you, to further explore the city of Amsterdam.

  • DAY 8: Tour Ends

    Our tour concludes after breakfast, with departure before 10 a.m.

Dates & Prices

Green = Open | Yellow = Limited | Red = Full

Departure

Barge

Twin

Bunk

Single use

May 9

Anna Antal

$ 1620

$ 1390

$ 1760

May 16

Anna Antal

$ 1620

$ 1390

$ 1760

May 23

Anna Antal

$ 1620

$ 1390

$ 1760

May 30

Anna Antal

$ 1620

$ 1390

$ 1760

June 6

Anna Antal

$ 1620

$ 1390

$ 1760

June 13

Anna Antal

$ 1620

$ 1390

$ 1760

June 20

Anna Antal

$ 1620

$ 1390

$ 1760

June 27

Anna Antal

$ 1480

$ 1270

$ 1590

August 29

Anna Antal

$ 1620

$ 1390

$ 1760

September 5

Anna Antal

$ 1760

$ 1510

$ 1930

September 12

Anna Antal

$ 1760

$ 1510

$ 1930

September 19

Anna Antal

$ 1760

$ 1510

$ 1930

September 26

Anna Antal

$ 1620

$ 1390

$ 1760

Prices are per person in US Dollars – inclusive bike rental

  • What's included

    • 7 nights on board the ship (sheets, blankets, and two towels)
    • 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, and 7 dinners
    • Coffee and tea on board
    • 24-speed bicycle, incl. helmet, pannier bags, lock, water bottle, and bike insurance
    • Tour guide (multilingual)
    • Route information and road book
    • Ferry fares on the route
    • Reservation costs
  • Bikes

    A well maintained, comfortable 24-speed hybrid bicycle is available free of charge for each participant. Men and women’s models are available in sizes appropriate to your height. The bikes come with helmets, grip shifters, hand brakes, carrier bag, lock, repair kit, water bottle holders, water bottle, and bike insurance. Electric bikes can be rented for this tour ($130 per person).We advise you only to rent an electric bike if you have first tried one at home. They’re heavier than regular bikes and therefore can be difficult to maneuver. In addition, you can rent children’s bikes, child seats, bike trailers, and tag-alongs.

    Women's bike - Van Gogh Tours - Bike and Barge Mens bike - Van Gogh Tours - Bike and Barge Electric bike - Bike and Barge - Van Gogh Tours

  • Meals

    The cook prepares all meals: a substantial breakfast and a three-course dinner of very good quality. A packed lunch may be prepared after breakfast. Tea and coffee will be ready when you arrive on board in the afternoon. There’s a bar on board with reasonably-priced beer, wine, and soft drinks. If you have special meal requirements, please mention this when booking. In the case of a Vegan/gluten-free and lactose free diet there is an additional charge of $85 per week.

  • Not included

    • Airfare
    • Drinks from bar on board or when cycling
    • Admission fees to the various museums or places of interest (about €25)
    • Trip cancellation insurance

Accommodations

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.

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