Bicycle cruise on the Tulip and cheese route in Holland on the Zwaan
Would you like to discover Keukenhof in Holland, the most beautiful flower park in the world? 32 hectares of beautiful colorful fields with flower bulbs. Discover the most beautiful regions of Holland by bike on the tulip and cheese route aboard the Zwaan! Discover Zaanse Schans, north of Amsterdam with its traditional wooden houses, warehouses and windmills. Further north, around Alkmaar, you will see the most beautiful dunes in the Netherlands. At the end of your stay, you will explore the Beemster en Purmer polders.
Main points of interest :
- Keukenhof, the most beautiful flower park
- The polders, land conquered from water
- Aalsmeer, the biggest flower market
- Windmills at Zaanse Schans
Day 1 - Amsterdam
Boarding at 2 p.m. and luggage storage in your cabin. In a relaxed atmosphere, get to know the guide, the skipper, his crew and of course the other passengers. You first sail to Spaarndam, the village of Hansje Brinker. Hansje is an American novel character who saves the country from a flood by plugging a hole in the dike with his finger.
Pick up the bikes in Spaarndam to Haarlem where the barge awaits you.
The program for the next day and the rest of the week is transmitted to you during dinner.
Day 2 - Haarlem - Keukenhof - 40 km
Visit the Keukenhof Gardens, an impressive and colorful collection of millions and millions of flowering bulbs, in stunning traditional and modern gardens. And among these colors, you will see some surprising works of art.
Keukenhof is the showcase for the horticultural sector in the Netherlands, in particular bulb culture. More than 20 flower shows allow 500 flower growers to present all their flowers and plants.
You sleep in Leiden, a historic city with many ‘hofjes‘ (houses built around a small courtyard) and buildings from the 15th to the 18th century. It is also the birthplace of the painter Rembrandt.
Day 3 - Leiden - Kudelstaart - 45km
Visit the Haarlemmermeer, a polder which is four meters below sea level. It was the largest lake in the Netherlands! The cycle path guides you through the green heart of Holland, an area characterized by its small cycle paths, black and white cows, mills, ditches and all its canals. Your destination for the day is Kudelstaart, a small village by the Westeinderplassen lake.
Day 4 - Kudelstaart - Wormerveer - 45km
Morning visit to the auction market in Aalsmeer. every day the world market price of flowers and plants is defined.
Then take your breakfast while sailing towards Amsterdam. From the Nieuwe Meer lock, you cycle along the Amstel river to Amsterdam. A ferry then takes you across the ‘IJ’ river.
Return to nature with a visit to Zaanse Schans, its traditional wooden houses, its warehouses and its windmills. It is a bustling place where people live and work. You can visit a cheese factory, a clog factory and a traditional bakery.
Day 5 - Wormerveer - Alkmaar - 45km
Departing from Wormerveer, you will cross the most beautiful dunes in the Netherlands. If the weather is nice, you will have the opportunity to swim in the North Sea during the lunch break at the beach (beware: the water could be cold!). This stage ends in Alkmaar, a historic town where you can admire nearly 400 listed monuments. One of the most famous is the Grote Kerk which dates from the 15th century. A visit to the Cheese Museum, located in the historic Wagenbouw building, is also to be expected.
Day 6 - Alkmaar Purmerend - 45km
Bike ride on ancient seabed crossing the Beemster and Purmer polders. In the 17th century, two lakes were drained and turned into flat, fertile farmland. The polder mills still bear witness to this today. In De Rijp you can visit the birthplace of the mill builder and hydrographer Leeghwater. De Rijp and Graft are two charming villages typical of the 17th century. They enjoyed great prosperity through herring fishing and whaling. Overnight in Purmerend.
Day 7 - Purmerend - Amsterdam - 20 to 35 km
Purmerend is on the edge of an area called Waterland where roads and water are almost at the same level. You can visit the pretty villages of Zunderdorp and Ransdorp. Seasoned cyclists can take the longer route, which leads to the fishing villages of Edam, Volendam and Marken. These famous historic villages along the IJsselmeer (the old Zuiderzee, or South Sea) have become touristy, but are worth a look.
Back in Amsterdam, it's time to leave your bike. You will have the option to walk around town or take a canal boat trip before or after dinner.
Day 8 - Amsterdam
End of stay after breakfast before 10am.
Due to the navigation plan, the route may be reversed or changed.