A stunning tour to discover the hidden gems of Holland starting off in the cultural cauldron that is Amsterdam before setting off through beautiful historic towns with their fabulous Golden Age museums and Gothic churches, entering the Hoge Veluwe National Park, a landscape of heathlands, sand dunes and woodlands, contrasted by the manicured Baroque gardens of Loo Palace that reach out into the rivers and riverbanks of the river IJssel, teeming with floodwaters and birdlife to the Giethoorn, the 'Venice of the North', its boat filled waterways, footpaths, trails and centuries-old thatched-roof houses an evocative quiet backdrop, meadows and peat, to beautiful cycling before heading for the charms of the Dwarsgracht and the narrow streets of Kampen, a town positioned at the very mouth of the river IJssel, a member of the historically powerful and wealthy Hanseatic League. Throughout you will stay at stunning hotels each with real character and charm, and fabulous food, the very best in elegance and style.
from £2,080 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 daily (1st of April to 1st of October) from Amsterdam and finishes Kampen, an hour by train from Amsterdam
Three 5* star hotels and three deluxe hotels, each with its own charm and character
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
Gentle cycling (1) More info...
5 days of cycling 25 - 33 miles (32 - 41 km) per day
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 around. 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
Amersfoort to Otterlo
Shortly after breakfast we will transfer you to the beautiful historic town of Amersfoort in the heart of the Netherlands. The taxi ride will last about one hour. In Amersfoort you will meet your local host who will brief you on your itinerary, provide you with your route directions and check that your bicycle is correctly adjusted for you. Then you are off on your cycling adventure enjoying the well-preserved and protected medieval centre, admiring one of the tallest church towers in the Netherlands - Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren at just under a hundred metres high. The Mondrian House and the Flehite Museum, Dutch Art from the Golden Age to the mid twentieth century, are also worth a visit. The ride out of town is along quiet canals to the villages of Scherpenzeel, Renswoude and Lunteren. From Lunteren the landscape changes from open farmland to forest areas. Tonight you stay at the elegant and comfortable Hotel de Sterrenberg in Otterlo right on the edge of the Hoge Veluwe National Park.
27 miles (45 km)
3. Day three
Otterlo to Deventer
Your ride today takes you through the 'Hoge Veluwe' National Park, a beautiful landscape of heathlands, sand dunes and woodlands with an opportunity to visit the famous Kröller Müller museum and its leading modern and contemporary art collection. Built around a remarkable ninety paintings and a hundred and eighty drawings by Vincent van Gogh all collected by Helene Müller whose vision was a modernist art gallery in a natural setting also appropriate for displaying a hundred and sixty sculptures outdoor. From there you head for the historic town of Apeldoorn to admire Loo Palace built by King William III and Mary II, and the House of Orange-Nassau, before heading on to the IJsselhotel situated on the IJssel river with a stunning view of the historic town of Deventer, its narrow streets leading to the beautiful sixteenth century weighing-house or Waag. An early bicycle, a vélocipède, can be found in its museum.
30 or 33 miles (49 or 53 km)
4. Day four
Deventer to Zwolle
Today is a day of rivers and riverbanks with birdlife and floodwaters. Shortly after breakfast you will catch your first ferry crossing the river IJseel to the historic town of Deventer which together with Zwolle and Hattem formed part of the Hanseatic League. 'Flowing through time' their historic centres are attractive and capture something of the Dutch medieval and Golden Age of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The bike paths along the river IJssel are fun to ride and with short ferry hops too, will take you past floodwaters teeming with birdlife, and forested areas sheltering ancient estates. Tonight you will stay at the beautiful Hotel de Librije which together with its 3 star Michelin restaurant is run with great passion and enthusiasm by the Boer family.
26 or 28 miles (42 or 46 km)
5. Day five
Zwolle to Giethoorn
The eastern part of the Netherlands has many hidden gems for you to discover. It is highly scenic with a major highlight being Giethoorn, the 'Venice of the North'. Situated in ‘Wieden and Weerribben’ National Park, a boat trip and cycle paths through the quiet landscape of meadows and peat, will bring you to this remarkable town which has no roads - just canals and beautiful cycle paths! Giethoorn is in the Dutch province of Overijssel, its boat-filled waterways, footpaths, bicycle trails and centuries-old thatched-roof houses are one of the great charms of Europe. At De Lindenhof you will enjoy a spacious suite and the delights of a Michelin 2 starred restaurant.
25 miles (40 km)
6. Day six
Giethoorn to Kampen
Your last cycling day is one of the most beautiful. Leaving Giethoorn you head for the charm of Dwarsgracht with its thatched houses scattered along canals and then Blokzijl with its buildings having traditional neck, bell and stepped gables. From there you cycle on to Kampen, also a Hanseatic city, situated at the mouth of the river Ijssel which made it one of the most powerful and wealthy cities of the time. Its unique history is still very visible in its squares, streets and alleys and the Boetiek Hotel Kampen where you spend your final night, is the last hidden delight of your amazing 'Hidden Gems of Holland' tour.
26 miles (43 km)
7. Day seven
Enjoy your final breakfast and depart at your leisure. Amsterdam is about an hour away by train.