Classic itinerary day-by-day

  1. 1. Day one

    Leiden

    Arrive in Leiden and settle into the stylish boutique hotel ‘Huys van Leyden’. Leiden has often been called the most beautiful city in the Netherlands. This isn’t surprising, considering its rich history that’s still visible everywhere in the charming city centre.

  2. 2. Day two

    Leiden to Haarlem

    After breakfast you meet with your local host. They will brief you on your trip and explain your route notes and tour package. Your host will have your cycling equipment to hand and will ensure all is fitted correctly for you. During April and the first half of May your first day will be a riot of colour as you ride through the fabulous flower fields and the famous ‘Keukenhof’ flower garden. After mid-May the ride will take you through the coastal area and the lovely villages of Katwijk aan Zee and Noordwijk aan Zee. Your overnight stay will be in the hotel ‘Lion D’Or’, a 19th Century town house in the heart of the city of Haarlem. Check out the old Dutch charm of this achingly pretty city. The cobbled streets are lined with historic buildings and grand churches and museums with plenty of antiques shops and cafes to tempt you.

    26 miles (42 km)

  3. 3. Day three

    Haarlem to Zaandam

    Your cycling today takes you through a National Park with its dunes, forest areas and mansions. Crossing the North Sea Canal by ferry - just 10 minutes, you pedal north through a quiet landscape of windmills and meadows to arrive in Zaandam, a city with a historic centre. Your overnight stay is Heerlijck Slaapen on the banks of the Zaan river, overlooking the water meadows.

    21 miles (33 km)

  4. 4. Day four

    Zaandam to Alkmaar

    Pedal through Zaanse Schans and wonder at the beauty of the windmills and houses remaining here from the 17th Century when literally thousands of windmills powered saws in the vicinity of Zaandam. Typically green and of wood, they are a fine sight. Cycling on through a traditional polder landscape along the ‘UItgeester’ and ‘Alkmaarder’ lake you reach the city of Alkmaar. Well known for its traditional cheese market (every Friday morning April to September) the town is also a popular cultural destination. The monumental Grand Hotel where you stay the night is situated in the historic city centre.

    20 miles (31 km)

  5. 5. Day five

    Alkmaar to Edam

    The northern peninsula of the ‘Noord Holland’ province was originally a swampy peat bog that was not suitable for permanent habitation. Step by step the Dutch have reclaimed the land. On today’s ride you will see this process by passing both older and more recently reclaimed polders. At the end of the day you will reach the shores of Lake Ijsselmeer, the former ‘Zuiderzee’ (sea). Your overnight stay is in the utterly charming town of Edam. Brimming with half-timbered houses, the town still hosts a colourful cheese market when large rounds of cheese are shunted around by locals. You stay in the wonderful boutique ‘Dam Hotel’ a few yards from the central canal.

    24 miles (39 km)

  6. 6. Day six

    Edam to Amsterdam

    Today is fun riding (again!) as you will discover Volendam where ships wonderfully old and new tie up. Don't miss the notable and delicious delicacy of smoked eel and then head for the short ferry crossing to the former island of Marken. Now connected to the mainland by a causeway, the peninsula is well known for its traditional wooden houses. Further south along the coast you reach the small fishing village of Monnickendam and tiny Broek in Waterland. The final stretch will be a ride along a cosy canal entering the capital of Holland, Amsterdam. A ferry hop takes you to heart of the city centre and then it’s just a short ride to your final hotel, The Bridge, right next to the famous ‘Magere Brug’ and the ‘Carré’ theatre.

    23 miles (37 km)

  7. 7. Day seven

    Depart Amsterdam

    Enjoy Amsterdam and depart at your leisure.