Luxury itinerary day-by-day
1. Day one
Arrive in the historic city of Leiden and settle into the Huys van Leyden hotel overlooking the Oude Vest, one of the city's most scenic canals. The Huys van Leyden is an intimate 4-star boutique hotel, perfect for the start of your tour. Within walking distance are Leiden's Botanic Garden, Hortus Botanicus, originally laid out in 1590, with its 10,000 botanical species, a must for those on the Tulip Trail (English language guides are available) and the National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) with its exceptional Egyptian collection including the Nubian Temple of Naffeh.
2. Day two
Leiden to Noordwijk
Shortly after breakfast your local host will meet you and brief you on your itinerary, discuss your route directions and check your bicycle is correctly adjusted for you. Then you are off on your cycling adventure as you freewheel through an open rural landscape where waterways, windmills and bridges are never far out of sight. In the afternoon you will reach the famous Duin- en Bollenstreek, the ‘Dune and Bulb’ district with its combination of beaches, flower fields, lakes and sixteenth century history. The flower season begins with the crocuses in March, followed by the spectacular flowering of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths which extends into early May. The famous Keukenhof flower garden can be visited either today or on Day 3 of your tour. Stay the night at The Hogerhuys in the lovely coastal village of Noordwijk, a five minute walk from the boulevard and beach.
22 miles (35 km)
3. Day three
Noordwijk to Haarlem
Leaving the village of Noordwijk you will witness the most dramatic and colourful display of flowers in the world - have your camera at the ready! With the irresistible combination of flowers, quaint villages and Dutch charm, the week of April 18th up to and including April 22nd is Flower Festival Week or Corsoweek with the main parade on April 21st from Noordwijk through to Haarlem where you can also admire the floats having checked into your beautiful Lion D’or, your hotel for the night. Hotels over that week do get fully booked so please book early.
21 miles (34 km)
4. Day four
Haarlem (train) to Alkmaar to Medemblik
The Lion D’or is situated on the square near the central train station of Haarlem so it is easy to catch a train to the historic town of Alkmaar which has many fascinating sites including Grote or Sint-Laurenskerk with its two world famous organs and highly decorated caseworks, and the Stedelijk Museum with its fabulous collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Dutch paintings. Alkmaar’s famous weekly cheese market at the Waagplein takes place on Friday mornings (starting in April). You can also visit the oldest sail-through auction in the world in Broek op Langedijk where you can experience the story of Dutch horticulture and trade, the 'Realm of a Thousand Islands' (not open on Mondays), buying vegetables and fruit at the push of a button. Leaving Alkmaar you are biking through lowlands, a mix of flower and farmlands, to the picturesque marine town of Medemblik on Lake IJsselmeer. Medemblik is the oldest town in West Friesland with many houses dating from the 17th and 18th century. Visit beautiful churches and Floris V's Radboud castle. Your hotel het Wapen van Medemblik is within walking distances of all the quiet streets and Lake IJselmeer itself.
24 miles (38 km)
5. Day five
Medemblik to Enkhuizen
Medemblik is not far from Enkhuizen but we can offer you a longer ride today taking in the historic town of Hoorn. For the shorter ride you pedal along the shores of Lake IJsselmeer and past more beautiful flowers. If you opt for the longer ride you will also visit the former harbour town of Hoorn. The Leiden – Haarlem region is the most famous in the country for its flowers; even so you will be surprised just how many stunning, colourful fields you will pass by today. Your final stop is Enkhuizen, a harbour town and a great place to stroll around. For your last night the beautiful Bed and Breakfast, Villa Enkhuizen, is a listed monument near the harbour.
16 or 28 miles (25 or 45 km)
6. Day six
Enjoy your final breakfast and depart at your leisure. If you're not in a hurry, you might like to visit the Zuiderzee museum with its focus on the themes of water, crafts and communities of the former Zuiderzee (now lake IJsselmeer). Amsterdam is just 1 hour away by train.
you will witness the most dramatic and colourful display of flowers in the world