Between Belgium and Holland from Bruges on the Sailing Home
Come aboard the Sailing Home and discover Holland and Belgium, and the beautiful cities of Amsterdam and Bruges, by bike. You'll be able to admire a diverse landscape of polders, Dutch Flanders, creeks and winding dikes.
It's a unique and warm journey that awaits you, made up of sharing, encounters and discoveries.
Highlights of the trip :
- Delta works
- Ghent, Bruges and Amsterdam
- Flemish towns
Day 1 - Bruges to Ghent, 21 km
The barge is moored near the Bargeweg, a stone's throw from downtown Bruges and close to Bruges train station. Come aboard on Saturday between 12:30 and 1:30 pm. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea as you get to know the guide, skipper, crew and other passengers.
The boat leaves the quay at 2 pm.
On arrival in Ghent, you can take a bike ride along the canal from Bruges to Ghent. It's a gentle ride along towpaths and quiet roads. In Aalterbrug, the Sailing Home picks you up and sails back to Ghent.
Over dinner, the next day and the week's program are discussed. Instructions on cycling and safety procedures are also given.
Day 2 - Ghent
Free day to discover Ghent! This is a city proud of its past, with many well-preserved guild and patrician houses and old warehouses. Admire and visit the Gravensteen, a medieval castle, the Church of St. Nicholas (with 13th-century foundations), St. Bavo's Cathedral and the "Belfort" (belfry; 14th century). This lively town is packed with squares and cosy pubs.
Take advantage of the lively little squares where regulars come to eat until dawn on warm summer nights.
On this day, you can also go cycling with your guide. The bike route takes in the castles and luxurious villas of Destelbergen and the surrounding area, a lively town on the banks of the Scheldt.
Day 3 - Ghent to Middelburg, 45 km
You leave Belgium and enter the Netherlands. Over breakfast, you'll sail to Sas van Gent before cycling to Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Dutch Flanders). Take a short ferry trip from Breskens to Flushing and cross the Westerschelde. From Flushing, it's a 30-minute bike ride to Middelbrug, the capital of Zeeland.
The town of Middelburg has retained much of its historic and picturesque character. Beautiful 17th- and 18th-century merchant houses and warehouses line the canals. The medieval abbey is still used today as a museum and as the seat of the provincial government.
Day 4 - Middelburg to Zierikzee, 50 km
Cycle to the town of Veere, once an important trading center. From Veere, you cross the Veersgat dam to North Beveland and the Oosterschelde.
Huge locks are built into this dam and are sometimes closed during storms and high tides. They protect the south-western Netherlands from the sea. Cycling along the dike, you'll understand why it's one of the most difficult and costly challenges to protect the country and let sea water into the vast Delta area.
The Delta works are considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
After the dam, you reach Zierikzee.
Day 5 - Zierikzee to Willemstad by bike and sailing to Dordrecht, 55 km
Today's program includes a beautiful bike ride on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland. You'll visit Bruinisse.
The village's main source of income is mussel fishing.
On the Grevelingen dike, you can even see a statue of an open mussel. Continue on to Willemstad (a former fortified town), where you'll board the Sailing Home.
Sailing on to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands, situated between several busy waterways.
Day 6 - Dordrecht - sail to Gorinchem, cycle to Vianen, 50 km
From Gorinchem, you travel by barge to Woudrichem (an ancient fortified town), where you can visit the most famous castle in the Netherlands: Loevestein. You follow the Linge River through the Betuwe. This region is known for its many orchards and is covered in flowers in May. After the town of Leerdam, famous for its glass, you continue your cycling tour of Holland north to Vianen.
Day 7 - Vianen - sail to Breukelen and cycle to Amsterdam, 40 km
Over breakfast, the Sailing Home sails to Breukelen (Brooklyn). Cycle to Amsterdam along two of Holland's most beautiful rivers, the Vecht and Amstel.
Along the way, you'll admire pretty country houses and 18th-century mansions with their splendid gardens. The name Amsterdam derives from Amstelredamme. This means that the city grew out of a dam on the Amstel River. Enter Amsterdam by cycling along the Amstel River.
Holland's extensive network of cycle paths ensures a relatively easy ride back into the city, past some of the city's most remarkable landmarks.
In the evening, after a farewell dinner, you can enjoy a stroll along the canals or through the city center.
Day 8 - Amsterdam, end of trip
Your bike and boat trip ends in Amsterdam after breakfast, before 10am.
Due to the navigation plan, the route may be reversed or modified.