From the Netherlands to Flanders by bike
Set off on an exceptional cycling trip from the Netherlands to Belgium, through cities steeped in history, picturesque villages and canals, all along top-quality cycle paths.
From Amsterdam to Bruges, explore charming places that would otherwise go unrecognized.
Capture the beauty of these picturesque towns in the Netherlands and Flanders in your photo album: Amsterdam, Gouda, Dordrecht, Willemstad, Zierikzee, Middelburg, Vlissingen, Sluis, Damme, and finally Bruges.
All these treasures bear remarkable witness to centuries gone by, preserving their charm of yesteryear. And to end on a more natural note, the tour, which is predominantly rural, passes through several nature reserves.
Tour highlights :
- picturesque villages and landscapes
- Bruges and Amsterdam
- The polders
- the mills of Kinderdijk
- Schouwen-Duiveland island
Day 1: Amsterdam
Your cycling tour begins in Amsterdam, often referred to as Europe's jewel par excellence. It's hard to imagine a more pleasant start to your vacation, with so many attractions and sites to discover. To take full advantage of this welcoming city, consider arriving early in Amsterdam and treat yourself to a first walk through its picturesque city center.
Just gazing at the magnificent mansions and 17th-century canals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, could take up an entire day. If time and energy permit, continue your exploration through the famous Red Light District, an area that attracts millions of visitors every year. Or enjoy the street artists at Rembrandtplein.
Overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 2: Amsterdam - Gouda - Bodegraven - 68 km
In the heart of the most urbanized region of the Netherlands, the Randstad, emerges a singular natural landscape: the Green Heart. In stark contrast to the hectic pace of daily life in the Randstad, this region has many facets to explore. From polders to peat bogs, from stretches of water to charming historic towns, every element contributes to the beauty of the landscape.
Your itinerary continues to the world-famous town of Gouda, famous for its cheese. Gouda is also famous for its delicious syrup waffles and candles. While you're in Gouda, do some typical Dutch shopping. Don't miss an early evening stroll along its picturesque canals, offering views of imposing old buildings. If the distance seems too great, you can split this stage into two.
Day 3: Gouda/Bodegraven - Papendrecht/Dordrecht - 38 km
Today, you'll have the opportunity to discover one of the Netherlands' most popular tourist attractions: the Kinderdijk windmills. The landscape surrounding the nineteen mills is as emblematic of Holland as the structures themselves. If you've ever wanted to know how to become a miller, this is the place to find out. You can learn how a windmill works and visit a mill workshop to observe the construction process.
For your overnight stay, you'll head for Papendrecht, north of Dordrecht. Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, invites you to explore its port district, with its monumental mansions. The hotel in Papendrecht is just 3 km from the center of Dordrecht, on the north bank of the river.
Day 4: Papendrecht - Willemstad - 65 km
Emerging from a major flood in 1421, the Biesbosch stands out as one of the few aquatic ecosystems in Europe adapted to both salt water, brought in from the sea by tidal streams, and fresh water, from the surrounding rivers. This ever-changing labyrinth of streams is home to countless small islands of willow and reed, providing a veritable paradise for birds.
Follow the edge of the national park, then end your day's cycling in Holland at Willemstad, a walled town in the shape of a seven-pointed star.
Please note that access to Biesbosch Park is only possible on days when the ferry operates. On days when there is no ferry service, an alternative route is available.
Day 5: Willemstad - Noordgouwe/Zierikzee - 50 km
This stage offers you the chance to enjoy a diversity of landscapes, from vast polders to rolling dunes and golden sandbanks. You'll cross the Grevelingenmeer bridge, the largest saltwater lake in Western Europe, to reach the island of Schouwen-Duiveland, often referred to as the jewel of Zeeland. And this appellation is well-founded.
Imposing dunes, wild beaches and charming forests create a captivating landscape.
Day 6: Noordgouwe/Zierikzee - Middelburg/Vlissingen - 43 km
The day begins with the discovery of a spectacular work of architecture: the Zeelandbrug. At the time of its construction, this bridge held the title of Europe's longest, with no less than fifty arches. With a breathtaking view of the Oosterschelde (Easterschelde), you cross the Zeelandbrug towards the island of Noord-Beveland, the smallest island in the province of Zeeland. Your itinerary continues to Middelburg, passing through the charming town of Veere, renowned as a center for water sports.
The capital of Zeeland, Middelburg is one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands, as evidenced by its rich architectural heritage. At the end of the day, you'll reach the maritime city par excellence, Vlissingen.
Day 7: Vlissingen - Bruges - 66 km
After a hearty breakfast, continue your cycling itinerary to Vlissingen, then board a ferry for Zeeland Flanders. Here you'll discover winding country roads, pollarded willows, wet meadows and scattered villages. Crossing the Belgian border, you'll reach the charming little town of Damme, situated along the banks of the romantic Damse Vaart.
From here, it's only a short distance to Bruges, renowned as the pearl of Flanders!
This truly enchanting destination has been attracting visitors for over 150 years. With much of its medieval architecture intact, the exceptionally well-preserved city center takes you back in time, when Bruges was at the heart of Europe's wool and cloth trade.
Day 8: End of bike tour in Bruges
Your tour ends after breakfast.