Cycling holiday Top of Amsterdam

Top of Amsterdam

Typical Dutch, cycling below sea level

Starting at € 895,-
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Summary
  • 8 Days Saturday to Saturday
  • 48 km average per day
  • Arrival Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • Departure Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Highlights
  • Fishing villages Volendam and Enkhuizen
  • Isle of Texel
  • Beemster polder, World Heritage List of UNESCO
  • Zaanse Schans, a unique piece of Dutch history
Characteristics
  • Guided Tour
  • Group Tour
  • Bike & Barge
  • Bikelevel 2

    Suitable for people of all ages. On some days you will be cycling through a windy area or (depending on the tour) may encounter short slopes with differences in heights up to 75 m. or (gently rolling terrain); with distances to 60 kilometers per day. You spend about 5 hours on your bicycle.

Discover Holland North of Amsterdam

Not until the 17th Century large parts of the area north of Amsterdam were recovered from the sea and reclaimed through the use of hundreds of windmills. It’s here that you will find the typical Dutch landscape of polders, mills and harbours.

The route brings you over small dykes and country roads. Many of the windmills are still in working order. You can get a feel for the old Dutch atmosphere in Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Volendam: traditional costumes, sailing ships and long johns on the clotheslines. If you want to experience what it was to live in one of those villages in the old days we recommend to visit ‘het Zuiderzeemuseum‘ in Enkhuizen. On day 4 you will sail to Texel, an island with thousands of sheep and a magnificent nature reserve. Back on the mainland the route brings you to Holland’s most beautiful dune area. These are also the only kilometers you will be cycling above sea level! Alkmaar will also provide a good picture of ancient times. It is the capital of Dutch cheese with its own cheese market and weigh-house for cheese. In Zaanse Schans, a lovely little hamlet on the banks of the river Zaan,  the mills, houses, shops and traditional Dutch crafts bring the past to life.

Daily Program

  • Day 1 Saturday: Amsterdam, round tour 15 km.

    Boarding between 3 pm and 4 pm. A simple settlement at the mouth of the river Amstel, with open connection to the sea: this was Amsterdam in the 12th century. Back on board, after the bike ride, the programme for the next day and the rest of the week will be explained to you at dinner time.

  • Day 2 Sunday: Amsterdam - Hoorn 46 km.

    You now leave Amsterdam, which is still very quiet at this hour. A ferry takes you to the Amsterdam Noord quarter and soon you will be cycling through the rural area of Waterland. In this soggy peat land the houses and villages are hardly above the level of the water.
    The former isle of Marken is visited. It was not until 1957 that this island was connected to the mainland by a dike and it has retained its own particular character. The inhabitants are the only ones allowed to use their cars, so Marken can only be visited on foot or on bike. The route continues to the historic village of Monnickendam, which received its municipal charter in 1355.
    Now you continue your way along the Gouwzee dike to Volendam. Originally Volendam was a small fishing community. Practically all its inhabitants used to wear their distinctive and picturesque traditional costumes. Volendam started as a settlement when Edam dug its new, shorter waterway to the Zuiderzee in the 14th century. The old harbour became superfluous, a new dike was built and soon farmers and fishermen settled down. In the second half of the 15th century a new village came into being: Volendam.
    From Volendam you sail in northerly direction towards the city of Hoorn. During the evening walk you will have the opportunity to get a good impression of this beautiful city with its rich past.

  • Day 3 Monday: Hoorn – Enkhuizen 30 km.

    You continue on the dike with a wonderful view over the Markermeer on your right and West-Frisian villages on your left-hand side. The recently (1976) built dike from Enkhuizen to Lelystad (in the Noordoostpolder) appears on the horizon. This was meant to be a polder dike for a huge new polder: the Markerwaard. However, the plans were never executed: with time perception changed. The environment and fresh water supply became more important. So today the dike is there, but no polder…
    The trip for today ends in Enkhuizen, a town which came into existence when two adjoining villages amalgamated. You can end your day with a visit to the Zuiderzeemuseum. This museum, which consists of an indoor and outdoor part, shows you the history of everyday life around the Zuiderzee until the middle of the 20th century.

  • Day 4 Tuesday: Enkhuizen – Texel 35 km

    The cycling tour starts on the IJsselmeer dike and is then left behind to go through a nature reserve and some typical West-Frisian villages. Then Medemblik comes in sight, the oldest city of West-Friesland (1289), with an illustrious past and with Radboud castle, dating from the 13th century. At Medemblik you get on board and sail the IJsselmeer and Wadden Sea to the isle of Texel.

  • Day 5 Wednesday: Texel, round trip, 35/48/62 km.

    The isle of Texel, which is one municipality, is the largest of the Dutch Waddeneilanden (Wadden islands). The average length of Texel is 20 km and the average width 8 km. Texel is highly appreciated by bird-watchers. In springtime about 80 different types of birds breed her, mainly in the dune areas, but all in all about 300 different species have been perceived on Texel. A tour around this island with its numerous cycle tracks is well worth the effort. You can choose between round trips of 35, 48 or 62 km. The guide will cycle the 35 km.

  • Day 6 Thursday: Texel - Alkmaar 60 km.

    The ship takes you back to the mainland, where you disembark in the city of Den Helder, the Dutch naval port, situated at the mouth of the Noord-Hollandskanaal.
    Today’s route takes you through the dunes. You pass by the unique nature reserve Het Zwanenwater (The Swans’ Water), with its lakes and boggy hollows in the dunes. A little further you cycle on the Hondsbossche Zeewering (Hondsbossche Sea Dike), with a spectacular view of the North Sea. You enter the area of the Schoorlse Duinen (Schoorl Dunes), where you will find the highest dunes in the country. During the last century many pine trees were planted here so now it is a rather woody region. Bergen is an artists’ village which attracts many painters, writers and architects.
    Your destination for today is Alkmaar, also called the City of Cheese. Its weigh-house was the first in the country (for weighing and trading of cheese).

  • Day 7 Friday: Alkmaar – Amsterdam, 55 km.

    The last stage of the week takes you through the ‘droogmakerij’ land with the 17th century towns of Schermerhorn, Graft and De Rijp. In Zaandam, you will visit the world famous hamlet and open air museum of Zaanse Schans. A unique place where people live and work, with original houses and windmills from the river Zaan area.
    The last stretch of the trip takes you through ’t Twiske (the Twiske) Leisure Park. Since the beginning of the Christian era the peat region around the Zaan had been used for cattle grazing. In the peat land ditches were dug to help draining the land. The dried peat was used as fuel. Once you are back at the barge in Amsterdam it is time to take leave of your bikes. In the afternoon there is still some time to go into town and after dinner you may want to finish off your trip by going on a city walk or taking a trip on one of Amsterdam’s canal boats.

  • Day 8 Saturday: Amsterdam, end of tour.

    End of the tour after breakfast, before 10 AM. If you have an early flight, ask the the tourleader to arrange a taxi to the Airport.

Cycling in Holland

Cycling in a cycle country

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of the country. The average daily distance is around 45 kilometers. Most participants prefer riding in a group with the cycling guide, but you can also ride individually. A road book is included (1x per cabin). Gps-tracks can be provided by e-mail.

Boarding in Amsterdam
Waterland
Marken
Hoorn
Zuiderzeemuseum
Enkhuizen
Cycling to Enkhuizen
Enkhuizen
Sailing to Texel
The Isle of Texel
Texel, Lighthouse
Cycling to Alkmaar
Taking the ferry
Cycling to Amsterdam
Zaanse Schans
Amsterdam

Travel Dates

Departure
End
Accommodation
Starting at
Availability
Departure
08 May 2021
End
15 May 2021
Accommodation
Liza Marleen
Starting at
€ 1.070,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
15 May 2021
End
22 May 2021
Accommodation
Anna Antal
Starting at
€ 910,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
22 May 2021
End
29 May 2021
Accommodation
Anna Antal
Starting at
€ 910,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
29 May 2021
End
05 Jun 2021
Accommodation
Anna Antal
Starting at
€ 910,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
05 Jun 2021
End
12 Jun 2021
Accommodation
Wending
Starting at
€ 995,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
12 Jun 2021
End
19 Jun 2021
Accommodation
Zwaan
Starting at
€ 1.150,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
19 Jun 2021
End
26 Jun 2021
Accommodation
Wending
Starting at
€ 995,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
10 Jul 2021
End
17 Jul 2021
Accommodation
Liza Marleen
Starting at
€ 965,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
17 Jul 2021
End
24 Jul 2021
Accommodation
Wending
Starting at
€ 895,-
Availability
Fully booked
Departure
24 Jul 2021
End
31 Jul 2021
Accommodation
Liza Marleen
Starting at
€ 965,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
31 Jul 2021
End
07 Aug 2021
Accommodation
Wending
Starting at
€ 895,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
07 Aug 2021
End
14 Aug 2021
Accommodation
Zwaan
Starting at
€ 1.150,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
14 Aug 2021
End
21 Aug 2021
Accommodation
Wending
Starting at
€ 995,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
21 Aug 2021
End
28 Aug 2021
Accommodation
Wending
Starting at
€ 995,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
28 Aug 2021
End
04 Sep 2021
Accommodation
Wending
Starting at
€ 995,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
04 Sep 2021
End
11 Sep 2021
Accommodation
Wending
Starting at
€ 1.095,-
Availability
Available
Book
Departure
11 Sep 2021
End
18 Sep 2021
Accommodation
Wending
Starting at
€ 1.095,-
Availability
Available
Book

What else do you need to know?

Prices per person 2021

Anna Antal
26 June - 07 August 

Twin cabin € 970,-
Bunk bed cabin € 820,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 1.045,-

01 May - 19 June / 14 August - 29 August / 25 September - 03 October
Twin cabin € 1.080,-
Bunk bed cabin € 910,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 1.165,-

04 September - 19 September
Twin cabin € 1.185,-
Bunk bed cabin € 999,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 1.280,-

Liza Marleen
26 June - 07 August

Twin cabin € 1.050,-
Single use € 1.525,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 2 pax € 1.270,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 3 pax €  965,-

01 May  - 19 June / 14 August - 29 August / 25 September - 03 October
Twin cabin € 1.170,-
Single use € 1.695,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 2 pax € 1.390,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 3 pax € 1.070,-

04 September - 19 September
Twin cabin € 1.285,-
Single use € 1.865,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 2 pax € 1.505,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 3 pax € 1.175,-

Wending
26 June - 07 August

Twin cabin € 970,-
Single use € 1.145,-
Triple cabin € 895,-

01 May - 19 June / 14 August - 29 August / 25 September - 03 October
Twin cabin € 1.080,-
Single use € 1.275,-
Triple cabin € 995,-

04 September - 19 September
Twin cabin € 1.185,-
Single use € 1.399,-
Triple cabin € 1.095,-

Zwaan
All departure dates

Luxury double cabin € 1.525,-
Twin cabin € 1.365,-
Smaller double front cabin € 1.150,-
Smaller front cabin for single use € 1.750,-

Not included
Rental bike per week € 95,-
E-bike per week € 180,-

Insurance for rental bike € 20,-
Insurance for e-bike € 40,-

Reservation costs € 20,- per booking.

Included

  • All nights on board (Sat.-Sat. 8 days / 7 nights),  cabin in the booked category;
  • Full board (7 x breakfast, 6 x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7 x three course dinner)
  • Use of bed linen and 2 towels (change of towels possible)
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide, cycles with the group
  • Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
  • Free WiFi is limited available in lounge and on deck
  • Road book, 1x per cabin
  • Ferry fares on the route

Not Included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Bicycle insurance (optional) € 15,- per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance electric bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 15 per tour
  • Cancellation insurance (optional)

Special details

  • Please take good notice of Terms & Conditions.
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.

Info

Boarding is between 3 PM and 4 PM. You are expected on our barge on Saturday at the latest at 4 PM. You can recognise the barge by the banner with Cycletours written on it. The name of your barge is printed on the voucher, which you will receive separately. After arrival there’s coffee and tea on board. Other drinks are also available on cash payment. If you want you can bring your luggage in advance: from noon onwards. The mooring place of the barge in Amsterdam is Oosterdok Zip-code 1011 VX (near the Science Center: ‘Nemo’, Oosterdok 2).

Airport

The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol-Amsterdam Central is € 4,30 per person for a single journey. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the airport to the barge in Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes. It costs about € 45,-.

Train

The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Central Station. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the station to the barge takes about 5 minutes: Costs about € 10,-.

Car

If you arrive by car, we recommend you to arrive earlier to unload your luggage. You can find more information about parking possibilities at I amsterdam. The nearest parking is Parking Centrum Oosterdok, (about € 150,- per week, it is not necessary to reserve in advance; 500m walking distance to the barge).

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later on Saturday morning after breakfast before 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Amsterdam. After the tour ends in you can take the train back to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. Should you have an early flight, no problem. You may leave as early as you need to.

Our barge, your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck. Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury.
Free WiFi is (limited) available in lounge and on deck.

What are the cabins like?

Most cabins are 2-person cabins, but some barges also have triple cabins. There are four categories: Standard Plus (cabins with private shower/toilet; bunk beds), Comfort (cabins as Standard Plus but with twin beds), Comfort Plus (cabins as Comfort, small ship or with air-conditioning) and Comfort DeLuxe (a very comfortable and tastefully furnished 5-star ship; cabins have twin beds and air-conditioning). In all categories the cabins have central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 220 voltage. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

The team, hospitality comes first

The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing. The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. A tour leader accompanies you during the bike ride and can assist in case of breakdowns. He/She will be your guide to point out the things of interest along the way and is multi-lingual (Dutch/English, some speak German and/or French).

The meals

Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you.
If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.

You and the group,new friends from around the world!

One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board, including people from e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, France and United Kingdom. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, solo travelers, couples and also families with children (during the school holidays). Most groups are made up of 12 to 26 people.

Cycling in Holland

Holland is a cycling country: 17 million inhabitants all with bikes. The number of cyclists necessitates a cycling infrastructure: cycle paths (30,000 km), cycle routes (long and short distance), cycle bridges, cycle tunnels, cycle ferries and special signposts for cyclists. Cycling is part of normal life in the Netherlands; parents bring their children to school by bike, people go to work by bike, factory workers, doctors, even the prime minister! Cyclists, of course, have to observe traffic rules and regulations. The most important rule is to remember that you are not alone on your bike and that you are sharing the road with your group and other road users. Your guide on board will tell you all you need to know about the traffic rules and regulations.

F.A.Q.

  • Do you accommodate for special diets

    Yes, this must be notified when booking, but at least 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet or vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50,- per week. On some tours there also is an additional charge of  € 50, – for lactose-free meals.

  • Do I have to wear a safety helmet in the Netherlands

    No, but it is of course sensible to wear one. We provide a safety helmet with our rental bikes, child seat, tag-along and child’s bicycle.

  • What happens if it rains

    Most people wear rainwear and get on their bicycle. If the weather makes cycling absolutely impossible (this doesn’t happen very often!) the guide will arrange an alternative programme which might include a longer visit to one of the towns along the way or cultural excursions.

  • Which countries do the participants come from

    The main countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and France. However we regularly welcome South Africans and Japanese guests.The common language on board is English.

  • Can I rejoin the barge before the end of a stage

    No, the barge doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.