Bike cruise on the Tulip Route in the Netherlands on the Anna Antal
Cross the green heart of the Netherlands and the Kagerplassen Lakes on short cycling routes between the cities of Delft, Leiden, Haarlem and Amsterdam. Sail aboard the Anna Antal, a standard cruise ship for a unique and unforgettable cycling holiday.
On the Tulip Route, follow in the footsteps of great Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. You can also contemplate the flowering of tulips during the months of April and May.
The highlights of the trip :
- The historic cities of Haarlem, Delft and Leiden
- Keukenhof, the world famous flower park
- The windmills of Kinderdijk
- Gouda, the city of cheese
Day 1 - Amsterdam
Boarding at 1 p.m.
On the boat, you can leave your belongings in your cabin and then introduce your guide and members of the crew.
You leave Amsterdam on a cruise on the Amstel river to reach Ouderkerk-sur-Amstel.
Pick up the bikes for about 15 km in the Ronde Hoep polder towards Uithoorn.
During dinner on board the boat, the guide gives you the program for the week.
Day 2 - Uithoorn-Gouda, 45 km
From Uithoorn you continue your journey on country roads and along canals through the green heart and the polders to reach the town known for its cheese: Gouda.
You will also discover the "stroopwafels" (Dutch wafers), pottery, or even earthenware.
Gouda is an authentic Dutch town with an almost historic town center.
After dinner you will be free to explore the city.
Day 3 - Gouda: 40 km by bike to Kinderdijk then navigation to Rotterdam
From Gouda you cross the Alblasserwaard to Rotterdam.
Kinderdijk is known for its old windmills, they are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These mills were still used until 1950 to regulate the water level.
In Rotterdam you embark for Delft, the city known for its pottery, "the blue of Delft".
Possibility to visit the Prinsenhof museum which is located in the former Monastery of Saint Agatha.
Day 4 - Delft-Katwijk-Leiden, 40 km
You cycle towards The Hague through the Haagse Bosch Forest and past the Royal Palace, Huis ten Bosch. You then ride on a cycle path through the dunes towards Wassenaarse Slag. The eight kilometers of beach are known for their beautiful natural areas, such as Meijendel, the largest single-piece dune strip in South Holland.
Here still exist traces of the Atlantikwall (Atlantic Wall), the great line of defense 2,685 kilometers in length, built by the Germans during World War II. The underground corridors and bunkers form to this day a nature reserve of bats and have a protected status.
At the Wassenaarse Slag you will find breweries with a view of the North Sea.
Further on, in the dunes, is Katwijk aan Zee, an old fishing village. You go through Oude Rijn ("old Rhine") to arrive in Leiden. This is another historic town with many ‘hofjes‘, old facades and buildings from the 15th to the 18th century.
Day 5 - Leiden
Visit the Keukenhof Gardens, an impressive and colorful collection of millions of flowering bulbs, in a setting of beautiful traditional and modern gardens. Flowers like rhododendrons and azaleas are gorgeous. The pavilions will surprise you with unique flower displays. And among the richness of colors, you will see some surprising works of art.
Keukenhof is the showcase for the horticultural sector in the Netherlands, in particular bulb culture. The park is the showcase of 7 million spring-flowering bulbs, it is a veritable living catalog of 100 exhibitors. Over 20 flower shows allow 500 flower growers to present all their cut flowers and potted plants.
To get to Keukenhof you can take the bus. Keukenhof bus tickets and entrance fees are included in the price of the stay.
Day 6 - Leiden - via the flower fields - Haarlem, 40 km
From Leiden you drive through beautiful bulb flower fields to Haarlem. From March to May, the bulbous flower fields are in full bloom: first daffodils, then hyacinths, tulips and lilies.
In Haarlem you can see the ‘hofjes’ (houses built around a small courtyard) and the typical city canals. You can admire the large central square (Grote Markt), the town hall and St. Bavo's Church. Haarlem, which gave its name to Harlem, New York, is a bustling city ideal for shopping. Must-see museums are
- the Teylers Museum (one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands)
- the Frans Hals Museum (one of the old Dutch masters, those painters who worked during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century).
Day 7 - Haarlem - Amsterdam 40 km
Sail to Spaarndam, a picturesque village near Haarlem. The name Spaarndam comes from the dam built in the Spaarne river to limit the risk of flooding from the sea. On the IJdijk dyke is the statue of Hansje Brinker, a character from an American novel who saved the country from a flood by plugging a hole in the dike with his finger.
You cross the North Sea Canal by the Buitenhuizen ferry (the only connection between the ports of Amsterdam in the North Sea), then you drive towards Zaanse Schans.
The village of Zaanse Schans, with its traditional wooden houses, warehouses and windmills, will take you back a few centuries. Possibility to visit a cheese factory, a clog factory and a traditional bakery.
Back in Amsterdam, it's time to leave the bike. However, you can walk around town or take a canal boat trip before or after dinner.
Day 8 - Amsterdaam
End of stay after breakfast before 10am.
Due to the navigation plan, the route may be reversed or modified.