Roundtrip by Bike & Barge from Amsterdam: June 15th till 22nd 2019
A one-off adventure through 4 Dutch Provinces- including an exciting day cycling into Germany. This Cycling & Sailing Holiday ventures east through mediaeval towns and beautiful villages. The Betuwe Region is known as the Orchard of Holland, you will be there during peak fruit season! You’ll visit castles and forts, a working windmill, pick our own at organic fruit farms, enjoy town markets, and sample Dutch treats like Apple cake and Pannenkoek- all included in your trip!
Sailing: Amsterdam – Breukelen
Cycling: Breukelen – Utrecht appr. 23 km/14 miles
Specials: visit windmill Oud Zuilen
The trip starts at noon when you check-in at the hotel barge FLORA, settle into your cabin, and get your bike fitted and ready to go. By boat you sail along the Amsterdam Rhine Canal to the tiny town of Breukelen where the first cycling stretch along the famous river Vecht starts.
You now have entered the Province of Utrecht – a region of centuries-old villages, expanses of flat and watery pastureland punctuated by windmills, castles and dozens of mansions built by Amsterdam merchants as weekend retreats during the 17th and 18th centuries.
On the way you stop for a visit to a working windmill in the village of Oud-Zuilen before heading into the historical center of Utrecht.
Cycling: Utrecht -Tiel appr. 40 km/25 miles
Specials: visit Jam Museum Tiel
Following the river Lek, you enter the beautiful town of Wijk bij Duurstede, where we stop to see the town and Castle Duurstede, dating back to 1200.You’ll head south to explore the beautiful landscapes of the Betuwe region- a large fruit producing area known as the Orchard of Holland.
Cycling past many small villages like Buren, an old fortified town from the Middle Ages. A bit further on you pass several organic fruit farms and may sample the new crop of delicious strawberries and cherries.
At night your hotel barge will be moored in Tiel, one of the oldest towns of the Netherlands, dating back to the ninth century.Tiel once housed a famous jam factory called De Betuwe which has been replaced after its closing with an interesting Jam museum which you’ll get to visit on a town walk.
Cycling: Tiel – Nijmegen appr. 43 km/27 miles
Specials: city walk Nijmegen
Taking leave of Tiel you pass the castle Wijenburg. Today one may enjoy a quiet ride enjoying views from the river Waal dike.
Nijmegen is the oldest town in the Netherlands and was the home to the Romans and Emperor Charlemagne who built his castle there by the river. The plan is to arrive in Nijmegen early to enjoy the historic town center and festive Monday market within walking distance of your boat.
Cycling: Nijmegen – Nijmegen (Peek into Germany) appr. 55 km/34 miles
Specials: visit Castle Schwanenberg Kleve
Leaving Nijmegen for an ambitious cycling day following the river Rhine over ‘Via Romana’ roads dating back to the Roman Empire! First you come to the Millingerwaard, an area of natural beauty situated at the fork of the Rhine and Waal rivers. On the river bank the Romans had a large encampment.
Just a bit further you cross the border into Germany and enter the beautiful Rhine Plain. You cycle quiet countryside dotted by ancient villages along an old arm of the Rhine where nature seems to overflow.
In the medieval town of Kleve you enjoy lunch and after that a guided tour of the wondrous Castle Schwanenberg perched on a hillside overlooking the Rhine and Maas Rivers. This castle was home to the Family van Kleef whose daughter Anne was the 4th wife of Henry VIII. More beautiful woodlands takes you back to Nijmegen for the night.
Sailing: Nijmegen – Heumen
Cycling: Heumen – Zaltbommel appr. 48 km/30 miles
Specials: city walk Zaltbommel
During breakfast the ship sails to the village of Heumen where you will start cycling.
You will travel westward today along the river Maas which separates the Provinces of Gelderland and North Brabant. The dike affords beautiful shoreline views as you cycle through charming old towns and mediaval castle ruins.
By a tiny canal, the river Maas is connected to the river Waal. Today’s destination is Zaltbommel, sitting daintily by the water. First mentioned as ‘Bomela’ in the year 850, Zaltbommel received city rights in 1231.
We will take time for a stroll to some of the town’s noteable sites including a 15th century almshouse chapel; the medieval Waterpoort; and Market where the town’s side streets emanate boasting fine old 16th and 17th century houses.
Cycling: Zaltbommel – Vianen appr. 40 km/25 miles
Specials: Vianen:city walk and visit to Town Hall and Great Church
The tour crosses the river Waal and meanders through tiny towns abounding with orchards and moated castles like Castle Waardenburg- a polygonal beauty dating from 1280 and known as the former home of Faust and still haunted to this day.
Fort Everdingen is resting on the river Lek. This imposing fort was built between 1842-1847 as part of the new Dutch Water Line – an ingenious defense strategy combining fortresses and flooding of low-lying areas to keep enemies at bay.
Cycling westward you reach Vianen- a medieval fortified town. Within the canals and city walls, the strict geometric street pattern of the Middle Ages has been preserved.
Time to visit the beautifully preserved Town Hall (1425/1473) and Great Church (1542), and time permitting, we may even fit in a trip to a working cheese farm a few miles away!
Sailing: Vianen – Breukelen
Cycling: Breukelen – Amsterdam appr. 48 km/30 miles
Specials: Pannenkoek lunch
The day starts with a sailing breakfast back to Breukelen, where we started our cycling adventure. Today, however, we are not in a hurry and will enjoy the town market before heading north.
Today’s tour explores a vast lake area, with a lunch break in Nederhorst den Berg, to enjoy a typical Dutch lunch of Pannenkoek.
Entering the Province of North Holland the cyclists return to Amsterdam on fun bike paths winding through parks and forests with only a few blocks of city cycling.
The last evening will be celebrated with a special farewell dinner!
End of a lovely trip!
After breakfast we say our goodbyes to friends and crew of the ‘Flora’.
Please note that due to weather, sailing conditions and guide’s routing changes to enhance the trip, our itinerary can change daily.