This charming tour gives you a truly special Dutch experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Along the way, you’ll visit the captivating, visually stunning Keukenhof Garden, where many new and exotic bulbs are on display; the historic cities of Delft, Leiden and The Hague; and the uniquely-Dutch, rural polder landscape with many windmills, lakes, lambs, charming unspoiled villages, and beautiful sand dunes. You’ll stay at three wonderful three- and four-star hotels (the first on the ocean, close to blooming fields of daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips; the second in the historic center of Delft; the last on a picturesque lake). After finishing pleasurable days of biking along safe, flat bicycle paths and small roads, you’ll enjoy five superb dinners of three or four-courses (the Dutch really know how to cook!). If you get tired during the day, or if you buy a few souvenirs, we always have the support van following close behind. Tours are 7 days and 6 nights long, with two nights each in three and four-star hotels in Noordwijk, Delft and Noorden. This tour is led personally by Emma and it’s limited to 14 people so you’ll be travelling with a guide who really knows the local area and can give you the best service VGT has to offer!
- Gliding through idyllic landscapes of farmland and vibrant tulip fields with the guidance of a local tulip expert
- Taking in the stunning panorama of a picturesque lake from your three/four-star hotel
- Following the footsteps of Rembrandt through gorgeous Leiden
- Winding through woods to pass by King Willem Alexander’s private mansion
- Sampling an array of the best Dutch cooking with expertly prepared three and four course meals
- Admiring some of the Netherland’s finest gardens in bloom, from the world-famous Keukenhof to private gardens in lovely villages
We’ll meet at 11 a.m. in the arrival hall of the central station in Leiden, a short train ride from Amsterdam. After lunch and a brief orientation meeting we’ll stroll through Leiden’s beautiful city center. We’ll “follow in the footsteps of Rembrandt” and visit St. Peters Church, where the American forefathers (The Pilgrims) prayed, before they departed to Delftshaven where they sailed on to Plymouth in Massachusetts. In the late afternoon we’ll transfer to our charming, four-star hotel in Noordwijkerhout, close to Holland’s famous tulip fields and bordering beautiful dunes. After fitting your bike, we’ll take an optional warm-up ride through the glorious tulip fields just inland from our hotel near the sand dunes. Tonight you’ll hear about the program for the next day and the routine for the rest of the week while enjoying your first scrumptious Dutch dinner in our hotel restaurant.
In the morning we’ll beat the crowds as we make an early visit to the Keukenhof, the world’s most spectacular flower garden with over 6 million bulbs, fantastically arranged amid fascinating outdoor sculptures, ponds, and fountains. Originally this was the 15th century kitchen garden of the Countess Jacoba van Beieren. You’ll certainly want to photograph this sensational display of color. After our Keukenhof visit, we’ll cycle north to Vogelenzang, stopping in one of the many tulip fields to take a group photo. After lunch, Herman van Amsterdam, a historian, writer, tulip expert, and local resident for over 30 years, will join us. He’ll bike with us for the afternoon, sharing the history of the tulip fields and the process of planting and harvesting bulbs. He’ll be able to answer many of the questions you might have about the local tulip industry. We’ll travel through the prosperous villages here, where we’ll admire private gardens in bloom and, of course, more tulip fields! Dinner is again in our hotel tonight.
We’ll say goodbye to the tulip fields and depart Noordwijk, taking a bike path through more of Holland’s most lovely sand dunes (rolling hills!). We’ll pass through Katwijk, a lovely former fishing village, and continue on to the Wassenaarse Slag. Here we’ll leave the dunes and cycle past the elegant estates of Wassenaar. We’ll follow a winding bike path through lovely woods and finally arrive in front of King Willem Alexander’s private mansion. From here, we’ll bike on to the center of the Hague, where we’ll admire many handsome buildings of the Dutch Government and the official palace of the king. We’ll have a hearty Dutch pancake lunch before biking the twelve-kilometer distance from the Hague to Delft, where we’ll be staying right in the center of town. Just before we reach our hotel we’ll have a chance to visit a Delft pottery factory where the world-renowned “Delft Blue” china is created. Our dinner tonight will be the famous Indonesian “rijstafel” which features a large assortment of dishes presented on warming plates right on our table. It’s a true feast and everyone always enjoys this night! After dinner we’ll go on a short orientation tour of Delft so you can imagine what you’d like to do on your own the following morning.
In the morning you’ll be free to visit the historic center of Delft by foot. You might like to visit the New Church (completed in 1380) where William of Orange is buried, or climb the steps to the bell tower where you’ll have a wonderful view over the red tiled roofs of Delft. You can also browse the town’s numerous shops and boutiques. For lunch, if you’re brave enough, you could try the famous “new herring” at a six-hundred-year-old fish stand near the magnificent town hall. In the afternoon you could join us for an optional bike ride through charming Dutch countryside to Schipluiden, a quaint little village southwest of Delft, and then continue on to the Nieuwe Waterweg. This is the major connection between Rotterdam, the world’s number one harbor, and the North Sea. From the terrace of a Waterweg restaurant you’ll have a marvelous view on a parade of barges, riverboats, and huge ocean cargo ships. Dinner will be on your own tonight in one of Delft’s many fine restaurants.
Our longest biking day will take us through the Westland, a fertile area full of greenhouses where the delicious tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers that Holland is famous for are grown. We’ll continue through this abundant green area of Holland along the tiny River Rotte, which has recently become a nature and wildlife reservation. On our way we’ll cruise by classic windmills and many cows, sheep, and lambs grazing peacefully. Later we’ll cycle through the “mecca of the shrub growing industry” and arrive in our private hotel, with a well-known gourmet restaurant, beautifully situated on an idyllic lake in Noorden.
Today we’ll follow the bucolic Jaagpad route through the surroundings of Noorden that the Dutch call the “Green Heart of Holland” and enjoy some of the best biking in the Netherlands. We’ll follow a curvy, picturesque peat river, the Meije, a photographer’s paradise with small farms and wildflower meadows all along its banks. We’ll be biking along typical Dutch canals, passing by large polders and beautiful lakes. Dutch farmers, who dug the peat to burn as fuel centuries ago, artificially created these lakes. We’ll stop for lunch and toast your Dutch biking accomplishments with a good Heineken or, we have to admit, a very superb Belgian Palm Beer! If you don’t need the time to pack for your trip home, you might rent a quiet electro boat this afternoon and visit the conservation area on the other side of the lake, which is also a bird and wildflower preserve, unique in all of Holland. Our farewell dinner will be in the candlelit restaurant of our hotel, where the food is lovingly prepared and beautifully presented especially for this occasion.
You’ll have an early morning group transfer to Schiphol Airport for your flight home or the next leg of your European vacation. We recommend getting a flight that leaves after 11 a.m. However, if you need to schedule an earlier flight that’s okay and we will arrange an appropriate transfer for you.
Dates & Prices
Color Key :
|2018 Tour Dates|
|Apr 29–May 5|
The Van Gogh guided cycling tour of Holland was recommended to us by friends that had done it previously.The organisation left nothing to be desired. Excellent accommodation, meals and great company. Our guides Emma and Denise were fantastic. The rides were designed to satisfy all levels of cyclists. Highly recommended
Thank you Emma and Jan for the wonderful bike tour! I saw parts of The Netherlands that I wouldn’t have traveled to on my own and was able to have a really good sense of the country and the people. The tour was very well organized and informative, and whether on country roads or in the city the guidance and support was excellent. Wonderful food, beautiful local hotels, and more apple pie than I thought imaginable. Can’t wait to go on another adventure.
I would have to say my bike trip was the best trip! We bike through the countryside and got to see the tulips. We where fortunate to pick the a great week to see tulips. The weather was cooler in morning and warmed up. It did not rain while biking but we did have rain gear in case. Both our tour guides where excellent and helpful in many ways. Sadly one person fell and broke her wrist. Our guides helped getting her to hospital and updating family. They gave best spot in Van after that and did some things so she enjoyed trip since unable to bike! It is nice to know you are looked after when things to not go just right. I enjoyed all the lodgings and food! I highly recommend.
I highly recommend Van Gogh Tours, Working with Emma was a pleasure. We took the Holland springtime tulip tour and it was wonderful. The accommodations, food and quality of tour were superb! The bikes were also top notch which is not always the case on tours. We were a group of 16 biking buddies and we all agreed that the trip could not have been more perfect and a memory that we will treasure. We are looking forward to booking our next trip with Van Gogh!
It was a great trip. The places, the hotels, the guides, the people. Everything was perfect!! We were in a guided tour around Holland and we loved to see the tulips and the country side. I highly recommend.
Van Gogh Tours tour of Holland by bicycle, in April 2015 was a joy! The routes planned were picturesque and interesting. The stops planned were at the right time and for good food or a site worth seeing. Emma and Denise were terrific guiding us and riding with us (they are both excellent photographers and took personal photos on our cameras). The lodging choices were comfortable, quaint, well situated and restful. The equipment was first class and the support van always available if needed. Holland is the most bicycle friendly country i have ever been to. GREAT INFRASTRUCTURE, beautiful scenery and gentle people. I highly recommend the experience.
My wife and I have taken a guided walking trip and 2 guided bike trips with Van Gogh Tours. In each case, every aspect of the trip was handled professionally. The pre-departure information was comprehensive and accurate. The trips went flawlessly in each case. The quality of the hotels and the meals was excellent. The routes each day were well planned – scenic and safe. There were mid morning and mid afternoon rest stops as well as a stop for lunch each day. Although there were guided to lead us, we were also given detailed directions, so that we could follow our progress, if we chose to do that. The guides were very friendly and had a keen desire to learn our interests. I can recommend Van Gogh Tours without any reservations.
I went on the 2015 Country of Tulips bicycle tour and enjoyed myself immensely. The itinerary took us to historic and beautiful locales. With Emma, the owner/guide cycling ahead at a steady 10-12 mph, I felt relaxed and could focus on the scenery. We had great weather, stayed in charming 3-star and 4-star lodgings, and ate very well. The bicycles are sturdy and you ride upright, like everyone else in the Netherlands. Unlike everyone else, though, we wore helmets which signaled drivers and other bicyclists that we were tourists so were given generous right of ways and wide berths. Very very nice. I am 67 years old and ride about 20 miles twice a week on level ground and rolling hills. I found this ride to be very doable, especially with Emma carefully gauging whether we were tiring and adjusting her speed accordingly. I plan to return to repeat this tour with VGT with my grandchildren!
I have been on thirteen Van Gogh Tours in five different European countries and have loved each and every one of the. Van Gogh is a mom-pop company, which keeps costs down, where the owner/operator is on tour with you every inch of the way. They take pride in personal service and strive to make each and every trip a wonderful experience for all who are involved. The bikes are high quality and if there is a breakdown or a flat they are right there with you so that they can either fix the problem or change out the bike. The Van Gogh owners take time and care in the selection of hotels and restaurants and select the highest quality of each and attempt to meet the needs of everyone’s diverse likes/dislikes and nutritional needs. The routes take you through the most lovely countryside, keeping you either on bike paths or lightly traveled roads. There are tours for every level of biking from the flat bike paths of Holland to the more rolling hillsides of France. In the past few years, the company changed hands and is now run by the original owner’s granddaughter. Our most recent tour was lead by Emma, who continues to strive to meet the Van Gogh Standard that meets/exceeds each and every travelers touring needs. We have made many lifelong biking friends through these tours who we still see and bike with in and around our own cities. Thanks Van Gogh for being such a great company where everyone feels like part of the family.
This trip sticks with you even when you come home. The warmth and comraderie of our guides and fellow bikers made each day so special. The beauty of the flowers and villages couldn’t be captured in just pictures, you have to have the full Dutch experience.
Emma and Denise worked as a team to provide a balance of touring and cultural expertise. Our guides took time to care for the needs of the riders.
Delightful romp through the North Holland countryside featuring coastal and Inlands landscapes waterways and dutch relationship to the water. Ample time to explore the old city of Delft dutch an Indonesian cuisine tulips countryside, and views. Small group bike tours are the Best way to explore a country as we wind our way through the countryside and small villages we see how the Dutch live in this historical setting and our fellow riders with their own unique backgrounds and interest help illuminate cultural aspects through the questions and observations. Terrific experience.
Holland’s small cities have retained their old country charm. The tour leaders were extremely helpful and would highly recommend this tour for everyone. All the hotels were good. I liked the central location of the Delft hotel, the speaciousness of the Noorden facility, and the proximity of the first hotel to the sea.
I have traveled twice with VanGogh Tours, once on a guided walking tour in Austria and on a guided bike and inn tour in Holland. I loved both times. The organization, the professionalism of the guides, the tours themselves, the inns where we stayed, the food, etc. Everything was wonderful. I would highly recommend.
I was very pleased with the excellent group dynamics the scenery was fantastic and the guides went above and beyond to make sure the clients enjoy the trip and found everything they were looking for. This trip was the first vacation trip I have taken where everything was arranged and taken care of. It was really relaxing even though they were damp chilly moments . The group consisted of folks who are used to dealing with whatever comes up and being at least somewhat independent. Refreshing!
This tour is a great way to experience Holland scenery, history, food. Biking route is well-planned and fun for all riders. I work in safety and see safety first in this tour good job!
I got to know the Netherlands as a country. Had been in Amsterdam many times before but this is the first time I got to know the Dutch people.
This tour was first class all the way. The size of the group, the weather and temperament of the people helped a lot, but the leaders were encouraging, positive, experienced, and knowledgeable and practical. This is our fourth trip with your company. This trip was the Cadillac of all. It compares favorably with guided kayak trips.
We traveled with our 12 year old grandson. He was made to feel very much a part of the group. I liked the Keukenhof gardens the best and I also enjoyed learning so much about the Netherlands. I don’t think I would have felt this way if our guides, Emma and Denise hadn’t done such an outstanding job. They are friendly, efficient, well prepared and knowledgeable.
This is a tour that brings you closer to the people, culture, way of life in the Netherlands. I love cycling and it was the best way to experience the Netherlands. I definitely will be recommending this tour! I will also be watching the website for future cycling tours. France, here I come!
I have nothing but positive things to say about the tour. I didn’t feel that anything was a surprise because the documents sent to us before the trip were so informative and helpful. The food was better than I expected! Both tour guides were extremely knowledgable and helpful. The routes were as described before the tour. All the hotels were excellent.
It exceeded my expectations, especially the food. Bikes were in great condition and comfortable. A good mix of settings for hotels. Loved the intimate group size.
Our tour was well thought out and perfectly executed by very caring, knowledgable professionals, who took the time to make sure all the participants were comfortable and enjoying the tour.
From the moment we met with the group, we were looked after and could just enjoy every moment; not worrying about logistics. The tulips, windmills, culture; all of it was spectacular. There were spots like the North Sea where I wish we could have lingered longer, maybe next time. Emma is a natural as a cycle tour person.
We had a blast on the Van Gogh Tour of Holland. Emma did a great job of planning a trip that allowed us to see different aspects of Holland — farms, villages, tulip fields, windmills, and cities. The hotels Emma booked were fine; the meals were divine. The highlight of the trip was the Keukenhof Gardens, a spectacular site. Emma and Denise, our guides, were delightful company and provided us with excellent bikes & service. They also let us explore & ride at our own pace. We highly recommend this trip.
We did the six day tour with Van Gogh Tours – we all agreed it was extremely well run and exceeded expectations. This is a family owned and run business and it shows! The fields of tulips were spectacular and the other sights were well planned. Emma and Denise were personable and solicitous making sure everyone got the most out of this experience – singles, couples, athletes, non-athletes. After researching numerous other bike companies that run tulip tours, this one stands out.
We stay for two nights each in 3 hotels. In Noordwijk, we usually book the Hogerhuys but when it is not available we book Hotel De Witte Raaf. In Noordwijk you will have the option to walk to the North sea after our second day of biking. It is an easy walk in the dunes. In Delft we stay right in the heart of the city, giving you easy access to all that Delft has to offer. In Noorden, we stay at a very small hotel located on a lake that is better know for their cuisine; people come from Amsterdam just to eat here! All accommodations include a healthy buffet breakfast.
WiFi is available on a limited basis in hotels. Don’t expect to have a perfect internet connection for your entire stay. Usually during the busiest hours when many people are online the speed gets slower, and some people may have trouble connecting.
The hotels listed below are examples of those usually used on the tour. Depending on availability, you may be booked in a different hotel of equal quality.
The Hogerhuys looks out over the seaside town of Noordwijk and is a five minute walk from the boulevard and beach. After a day of bike riding you might like to dip your feet in the sea. There are many shops and restaurants within easy walking distance of the hotel. Rooms are equipped with 5-star box-spring beds, a private bathroom, flat-screen TV with cable channels, telephone, mini-bar, safe and free Wi-Fi.
Hotel de Emauspoort
In the middle of the historic center of Delft, behind the impressive New Church, you will find the Hotel de Emauspoort centrally located in a unique and quiet area. A former bakery, in my opinion this hotel is the most charming one that we stay at. Dees or Jeroen, the owners, will greet us with a warm welcome, and you might see their young son Jip smiling and biking around the street. The hotel is located right in the heart of the city, so it is very easy to walk to all of the things that you might like to visit in the quaint town of Delft.
Hotel de Watergues
Our last hotel rests right on the Nieuwkoopse Plassen lake. This hotel only has 14 rooms, with smaller rooms in the front facing out to the lake, and larger rooms on the side looking over a small canal. We will eat together both nights in the hotel restaurant which is known far and wide for their wonderful cuisine. The dining rooms are overlooking the lake, and if the weather is warm enough, it is very nice to sit on the terrace with a beer or glass of wine and admire the view.
De Witte Raaf
This is the alternative hotel for Noordwijk, if we cannot secure the Hogerhuys. Hotel-Restaurant De Witte Raaf lies on the outskirts of the lively seaside town of Noordwijk. After a day of bike riding , you might like to walk through the one kilometer of beautiful dunes to walk in the sand. This hotel has great outdoor seating and when we stay here two dinners in the hotel restaurant are included.
- 6 nights’ lodging in three- and four-star hotels with private facilities
- 4 dinners, 5 lunches, 4 coffee breaks, and 6 breakfasts
- 24-speed bicycle
- Entrance to the Keukenhof
- 2-hour bike ride with Tulip Expert
- Outstanding, personalized leadership from VGT’s owner & local Dutch guide
- Support van
- Daily route directions
- Baggage handling
- All taxes and gratuities for the hotel and restaurant portions of the tour
24-speed hybrid Trek bikes are included on the tour. Bicycles come equipped with: grip shifters, handlebar bag, bell, cage, and water bottle. We have everything you’ll need in the van to make your biking experience more comfortable, including toe cages (no clips for clip in shoes), rear view mirrors, and rear panniers. It’s also possible to replace our pedals with your own “clip in” pedals. Helmets are not included so please bring a helmet! We do have a few helmets available for rent for $20 for the week. If you wish to rent one, please let us know ahead of time.
To rent an e-bike is also possible. Please inquire with us for the price. 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.
Included in the tour price you’ll receive daily buffet breakfast, 5 lunches, 4 coffee breaks and 4 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 we’ll stop together at restaurants that feature local ingredients and typical Dutch menus. Since we’re a group of up to 16 people (with guides), there will generally be a limited menu of 4-6 options. We hand pick the choices and people have always found something they’re happy with. On Wednesday you’ll have a free morning and afternoon, so you can find lunch at one of the many restaurants in Delft. For our coffee breaks, you’ll have your choice of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water, juice, or soda. If you need an extra pick-me-up you can always order some famous Dutch apple pie! Dinners are three- or four-courses with either a set menu or a choice of two options. The first night in Delft we eat Indonesian “rijstafel,” which is a large assortment of dishes. On this night dessert is not included. On two nights, dinner will be on your own, and you can choose one of many delicious restaurant options within easy walking distance from our hotel. 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.
- Gratuities for guides (optional)
- Alcoholic and bar beverages
- Two dinners
- One lunch
11 a.m. in front of the Starbucks in the arrival hall of Leiden Centrum Railroad Station, a short 17 minutes away from Schiphol Airport (35 minutes from Amsterdam central station). Trains leave every half-hour. For train schedules visit www.ns.nl.
The tour concludes the morning of day 7 after breakfast with group transfer by taxi to Schiphol Airport. From the hotel to the airport is about 40 minutes by van, making it possible to catch a return flight after 11 AM (Earlier flights are also possible). We’ll ask everyone the time of their flights, and book 1-2 taxis accordingly.