Between Belgium and Holland from Bruges on the Sailing Home
Pedal by day and sleep on the Sailing Homa by night on this bike and boat tour. Visit 2 countries with formidable cultural, environmental and gastronomic heritages: the Netherlands and Belgium. Admire the polders, the famous Kinderdijk windmills and the picturesque Flemish countryside. Of course, you'll have plenty of time to visit the cities of Bruges, Ghent and Amsterdam, as well as the Delta Plan, nicknamed the eighth wonder of the world! This cycling and boating trip through the Netherlands and Belgium will leave a lasting impression on you with its beauty and diversity.
Day 1: Bruges, cycle to Aalterbrug, sail to Ghent - 21 km
The barge is moored near the Bargeweg, close to Bruges city center and train station. You'll board the Sailing Home on Saturday between 12:30 and 1:30 pm. On arrival, you can settle in and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. You'll get to know the guide, skipper and crew, and of course the other passengers.
The barge leaves the quay at 2 p.m. Your first cycling experience is along the canal from Bruges to Ghent. It's an easy ride on towpaths and quiet roads. You join the barge in Aalterburg before sailing on to the bustling city of Ghent.
During dinner on board, you'll discuss the next day's program and the overall planning for the week.
The crew will also pass on instructions concerning the bike and safety procedures.
Day 2: Ghent
Today is free for you to enjoy your day.
The city of Ghent boasts a rich history, with many well-preserved guild and patrician houses and ancient warehouses. You can also admire the Gravensteen (a medieval castle), St. Nicholas Church (with 13th century foundations), St. Bavo's Cathedral and the "Belfort" (belfry; 14th century).
But Ghent is more than just a museum city. This lively city, with its many squares and friendly pubs, is a delightful mix of medieval buildings, elegant shopping streets, splendid townhouses and early 20th-century working-class neighborhoods, often home to students.
You can also enjoy the atmosphere of the lively little squares, where people eat until dawn on warm summer nights.
You can also go cycling with your guide. The castles and luxurious villas of Destelbergen and the surrounding area around Ghent are silent witnesses to the rich history of this beautiful city on the banks of the Scheldt.
Day 3: Ghent - Middelbrug - 45 km
Today, you'll be leaving Belgium for the Netherlands. Over breakfast, the barge will sail to Sas van Gent, then cycle to Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Dutch Flanders). A short ferry trip from Breskens to Flushing will take you across the Westerschelde. From Flushing, it's a 30-minute bike ride to Middelbrug, the capital of Zeeland.
The town of Middelburg retains much of its historic and picturesque character. Sumptuous 17th- and 18th-century merchant houses and warehouses line the canals. The medieval abbey is still used as a museum and as the seat of the provincial government.
Day 4: Middelbrug - Zierikzee - 50 km
Your day begins by bike to the town of Veere, once an important trading center. From Veere, you cross the Veersgat dam (where you can visit a beach) to North Beveland. You'll soon reach the Oosterschelde. The huge locks are built into this dike and can be closed during storms and high tides to protect the south-western Netherlands from the sea. This dike was one of the last in a series of barriers against the sea.
As you walk along the dike, you can see why it was one of the most difficult and costly challenges to protect the country from seawater entering the vast Delta area. That's why 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'll cycle back to Zierikzee.
Day 5: Zierikzee - Willemstad, sailing to Dordrecht - 55 km
Enjoy a beautiful bike ride on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland today before heading for Bruinisse. The village is known for its remoteness. The main source of income is mussel fishing. On the Grevelingen dike, you can see a statue of an open mussel. Continue on to Willemstad (an ancient fortified town), where you will embark. Sail to Dordrecht, one of Holland's oldest towns, at the crossroads of busy waterways.
Day 6: Dordrecht, sail to Gorinchem, cycle to Vianen - 50 km
We leave Gorinchem to visit Woudrichem (an ancient fortified town) and the Netherlands' most famous castle, Loevestein. You'll follow the meandering Linge River through the Betuwe. This region is known for its many orchards and is covered in flowers in May. Alongside the town of Leerdam, famous for its glass, you continue your tour of the Netherlands by bike, heading north towards Vianen.
Day 7: Vianen, sail to Breukelen, cycle to Amsterdam - 40 km
Over breakfast, the barge sails to Breukelen (Brooklyn), from where you cycle to Amsterdam along two of Holland's most beautiful rivers, the Vecht and Amstel. Along the way, you can admire magnificent country houses and 18th-century mansions with superb, well-kept gardens. Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, which indicates that the city grew out of a dam on the Amstel River.
Almost without realizing it, you enter Amsterdam by following the Amstel River. The extensive network of cycle paths ensures a relatively easy ride back into the city, while discovering some remarkable sites in the center. It's time to say goodbye to your bike.
Before your farewell dinner, take a stroll around town. In the evening, take time for a stroll along the canals or in the city center.
Day 8: Amsterdam
End of the bike and boat trip in the Netherlands after breakfast. Disembark before 10am.
Due to the navigation plan, the route may be reversed or modified.