A stunning nine day cycling tour from Amsterdam to Maastricht that takes in the beautiful and varied landscape of the Southern Netherlands, its medieval architecture, farmlands, forests, canals and the Dutch Golden Age, staying at beautifully located handpicked hotels, a tour that sweeps you through the Southern Netherlands' impressive history and its Burgundian way of life that in many ways resembles southern Europe. Starting off with typical Dutch lowlands with its canals, lakes, windmills and watermills, admiring how the Dutch have reclaimed environmentally so much of their land, you will finish your tour in the southernmost part of the Netherlands with its fabulous hills, caves and castles. Each town you pass through, Haarlem, Delft, Dordrecht, Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Roermond, Elsloo, Maastricht....has its own charm and character, its personality reflected in its architecture, fine museums, restaurants and cafes, and its people.
from £2,780 per person
Based on two people sharing a room
There are no extras, however you’ll love what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts Amsterdam and finishes Maastricht - 1st of April to 1st of October
Three 5* star hotels, two 4* star and three 'boutique' hotels, including a Castle
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Not so gentle cycling. More info...
Nine days of cycling 21 to 42 miles (33 km to 68 km) per day
Flattish with a few slopes
- Extend the tour with additional nights in Amsterdam or any of the stops en route.
1. Day one
Arrive in Amsterdam and settle into the Dylan Hotel, overlooking the Keizersgracht, one of the city's most scenic canals. The 17th- century canals of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List and a delight to wander along. But the city holds much more to explore than just historic canals. Why not visit the revitalised Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum or the Stedelijk Museum? Or, maybe Anne Frank's House is a 'must see' for you?
2. Day two
Amsterdam to Haarlem
After breakfast you will be transferred a short distance to the north of the city. Here you will be fitted with your bicycles and briefed on the tour. Your ride begins along a quiet and scenic canal that leads to the impressive and historic villages of Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, Volendam and Edam. The lowlands known as the ‘Twiske’ house a cluster of villages that are unique, showing off the Dutch history of the Golden Age, Zaanstreek’s typical green wooden houses and the famous Zaanse Schans windmills. Finally, cycling south you reach Haarlem, once a major North Sea trading port where the old town is surrounded by a defensive wall with cobblestone streets and gabled houses of medieval character. Today it is the heart of a major flower-bulb-growing district and famous for its outlying tulip fields, art museums and almshouses built around leafy courtyards.
38 miles (65 km)
3. Day three
Haarlem to Delft
The ride today is full of diversity, starting with beautiful forest areas as you head south along the Dutch coast, enjoying the North Sea and the coastal villages of Zandvoort, Noordwijk and Katwijk where car free bike paths run through rolling sand dunes. Heading inland you visit the beautiful historic town of Leiden which together with Delft are often called ‘small’ Amsterdam due to the sheer number of scenic canals. Biking along the canals, you reach the town of Delft which is known for Delftware, the hand-painted blue-and-white pottery. The medieval Oude Kerk in the old town is the burial site of Johannes Vermeer, one of the world’s greatest artists. Once the seat of the Royal House of Orange, the 15th-century Nieuwe Kerk is home to the family's tombs and overlooks Delft's lively market square.
40 miles (65 km)
4. Day four
Delft to Dordrecht
Cycling through lowlands and along canals, your first stop today is Schiedam where you see the five largest windmills in the world including ‘De Walvisch’ or ‘The Whale’ which once ground grain for the local distilleries. From here it's a short ride to Rotterdam, a city with a wealth of architectural styles following its bombing in the Second World War including sky-scrapers designed by many renowned Dutch modernist architects. Rotterdam is not only Europe’s largest port but is also a modern vibrant city with leading art musuems such as the Boijmans Van Beuningen with its impressive collection of Old Masters, Modernist and Contemporary Art. Pedalling on, you reach the historic town of Dordrecht, Holland’s oldest city with its grand monuments and museums, ancient warehouses and the busy merchant streets that commemorate the wealthy history of this city by the water.
34 miles (55 km)
5. Day five
Dordrecht to Den Bosch
The scene changes today as you cycle through the Biesbosch National Park, one of the last areas of freshwater tidal wetlands in north-western Europe. Pedalling along the Merwede river leads you to the fortified village of Woudrichem where you will find the impressive medieval Loevestein castle enlarged by William The Silent in the sixteenth century. Beyond the fortified village of Heusden, you will reach Hertogenbosch or Den Bosch. It’s a fascinating city full of old buildings, wonderful museums, great shops, welcoming cafés and good restaurants. You can stroll around the city and discover the medieval architecture, take a boat tour of the centuries-old canal system, or go for a bicycle ride along the fortresses. There is loads to explore within a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
38 or 42 miles (60 or 68 km)
6. Day six
Den Bosch to Eindhoven
Today you are riding through the historic province of Noord Brabant, once a state of the Holy Roman Empire and the scene of conflict between the Protestant Dutch Republic and Catholic Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With a variety of farmland, forests and the beautiful Dommel river you will cycle through the incredible achievements of reclaimed land or polders, masterpieces of Dutch ingenuity. Today is a day of scenery, landscape and beautiful bike paths. The town of Eindhoven known for its technology and design hub, and as the birthplace of Philips Electronics, has a number of museums including The Philips Museum and the Van Abbemuseum which focuses on art and design.
28 miles (45 km)
7. Day seven
Eindhoven to Roermond
The beautiful Dommel river leads you past historic watermills and through forest areas and heather fields. Cycling south towards the Belgium border you reach the Thorn region where a Benedictine nunnery founded in the 10th century is located. Take a break in this beautiful village and cycle on along the Maas river to Roermond, where your hotel is located on the shores of the lakes formed from the confluence of the Meuse, Roer and Swalm. The town belonged to the duchy of Guelders for many centuries and remains the seat of the Bishop of Limburg. With a host of cultural and historical artefacts, its centre is designated as a conservation area with a number of listed buildings and a skyline dominated by St. Christopher Cathedral, dating back to the 15th Century and the Munster Church, built in the 13th Century.
40 miles (65 km)
8. Day eight
Roermond to Elsloo
Riding through the province of Limburg, this most southern part of the Netherlands is known for its lovely hilly landscape, not typically Dutch at all! But by following the beautiful Maas river you won’t have any difficult hills to master and you will pass through the village of Stevensweert, its street plan still very much that of the former fortress built by the Spanish during the Eighty Years’ War, the Dutch War of Independence of the seventeenth century. At Elsloo, feel the warmth of the south, enjoy rich Burgundy cuisine, smell the forest around you, experience craftsmanship, listen to the silence and know that this lifestyle is a good one!
27 miles (45 km)
9. Day nine
Elsloo to Maastricht
Your final day is not a long ride and you have the pleasure of mastering the hilly part of the ride first, to Valkenburg aan de Geul with its castle, watermills, historic churches and old marl quarries or caves. Your last few miles are along the Geul which meanders between the hills to Maastricht, the final destination of your ‘Grand Tour of the Southern Netherlands’. A university city with medieval-era architecture and a vibrant cultural scene, Maastricht boasts the Gothic-style church of Sint Janskerk, the Romanesque Basilica of St. Servatius which houses a significant collection of religious art and the Bonnefanten art museum with its focus on contemporary art. Raise a glass in the cobbled streets of the old town to celebrate the completion of your tour!
21 miles (35 km)
10. Day ten