Biking the outskirts of Amsterdam, North Holland, the Netherlands. Flickr:francesca Cappa

Klompen for sale at the Zaanse Schans in Zaandam, the Netherlands. Flickr:Zicario Van Aalderen

Amsterdam to Bruges and Bruges to Amsterdam - 14 days

Netherlands, Belgium Bike + Barge Tours

A favorite bike and boat tour in Holland and Belgium! Slow travel as it was meant to be.

  • This is an epic twist on one of our most popular routes. A bike and boat tour in Holland and Belgium that is 14 days in length! Now, as you weave your way along the rivers and canals, on lovely country roads or designated bike paths, you can take your time and savor the moment.

    This is 'slow travel' as it was meant to be. The best of both countries will be showcased! On one end, Bruges and Ghent with romance and medieval enchantment will delight, and on the other, cosmopolitan Amsterdam, chock full of art, architecture, and ambience, will entertain. And in between, you have culture and history.

    Highlights: (where to begin?)

    • Bustling Amsterdam
    • Romantic Bruges
    • Historic Zaanse Schans
    • Enchanting Leiden
    • Cool Rotterdam
    • Ingenious Kinderdijik
    • Unforgettable Ieper
    • Quaint Middelburg

    Be sure to check out all of our bike and barge tours in the Netherlands.

  • Price £ 2417 $ 4,871 2820 NOK 26790 kr 24729 $ 3,215

    extra options

    Electric bike rental: £ 171 $ 345 200 NOK 1900 kr 1754 $ 228 Laundry service, per mesh bag (bag provided): £ 6 $ 13 8 NOK 71 kr 66 $ 9

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Regardless of your tour start, Amsterdam or Bruges, many people do fly into and out of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS). Another option is to fly into one airport and out of another. The international airport in Brussels also called Brussels National or Brussels-Zaventem (BRU) is 107 km from Bruges and well served by public transportation. There is a train station on the lower level of the airport so onward or return travel to/from Amsterdam or Bruges is very convenient.

    Local Travel

    Tour start Amsterdam:
    Arrival to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) and train shuttle to Amsterdam Centraal Train Station (20 minutes). Airport train station is located on the lower level of the airport. And the end of your tour in Bruges, you could either take a train back to AMS (3 1/2 to 4 hours/1 to 2 transfers) or fly out of Brussels (1 1/2 hours/1 transfer).
    Tour start Bruges:
    Arrival to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) and train to Bruges or arrive to Brussels and train to Bruges. And end of tour in Amsterdam, fly out of Amsterdam which is a 20 minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before travel. A very good website to research regional weather is weatherbase.com. The climate in Holland is considered maritime, greatly affected by the sea. Belgium as well is influence by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, with cool summers and moderate winters.

    Remarks

    There will be one cycling guide and support vehicle included in your tour. You can opt to cycle with the guide or for those who opt to cycle self guided, GPS tracks will be available. We suggest using the mobile offline application maps.me.
    To understand this application, please go to our blog post, Everything You Need to Know about Bike Touring with a GPS. You will find a link to download the app maps.me as well as a step by step instruction link. And don’t forget, we are here to help!

    DOCUMENTS:

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveller's responsibility to insure proper documentation.


Skill Level

This is an easy guided or self-guided bike tour with van support in which you will traverse mainly flat terrain. The majority of the cycling is on designated bike paths or well marked lanes. When entering or exiting towns, traffic will be encountered but always following the well-developed infrastructure for bicycles. There are many paths, signs, signals, and traffic lights designated solely for cyclists.

Where You’ll Stay

Aboard the Quo Vadis, a Comfort Plus Class boat. Delicious meals will be prepared for you daily with fresh products (mostly organic). Warm hospitality and unforgettable bike rides await you.

What’s Included

  • 13 nights accommodation
  • 13 breakfasts, 12 packed lunches, 1 lunch on board, 12 three course dinners
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and water on board
  • Welcome meeting and toast
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Tour guide and daily cycling meeting
  • Van support
  • 8-speed hybrid touring bicycle, including pannier, water bottle, helmet, and a lock
  • GPS Tracks
  • All ferry fares en route
  • Ticket for WWI Memorial Museum in Ypres
  • Ticket for Royal Delft Blue (De Porceleyne Fles) in Delft
  • Visit of cheese farm and windmill (Kinderdijk)
  • Canalboat tour
  • Transfer to/from Ypres
  • Free WiFi
  • Gratuities

What’s Not Included

  • 1 dinner in Yrpes
  • Drinks other than those indicated as included
  • Other entrance fees other than what is indicated as included
  • Private excursions
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy
Length14 days
From2820 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

2020

Bruges to Amsterdam: May 31, 2020
Amsterdam to Bruges:  June 14, 2020. Sold out.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Amsterdam to Bruges and Bruges to Amsterdam - 14 days Map

Day 1: Amsterdam,  2 or 15 mi. (3 or 24 km)
Day 2: Amsterdam - Zaansche Schans - Haarlem, 36 or 29 mi. (50 or 47 km)
Day 3: Haarlem - Cruquius - Leiden, 24 mi. (39 km)
Day 4: Leiden - Delft, via Katwijk, 37 mi. (57 km), via The Hague, 29 mi. (45 km), or direct, 20 mi. (32 km)
Day 5: Delft - Rotterdam - Kinderdijk - Dordrecht, 25  or 20 mi. (40 or 32 km)
Day 6: Dordrecht/Willemstad - Zierikzee, 35 or 29 mi. (56 or 46 km)
Day 7: Zierikzee - Veere - Middleburg, 33 or 16 mi. (52 or 26 km)
Day 8: Middleburg - Flushing - Sas Van Gent, 30 or 33 mi. (48 or 53 km)
Day 9: Sas van Ghent - Ghent, 18 mi. (28 km) 
Day 10: Ghent - Nevele - Kortrijk, 34 or 28 mi. (54 or 44 km)
Day 11: Kortrijk - Yrpes - Kortrijk, 28 or 23 mi. (45 or 36 km)
Day 12: Kortrijk - Deinze - Bruges, 36 or 29 mi. (58 or 47 km)
Day 13: Bruges, via the coast, 25 mi. (40 km) or 5 mi. (8 km)
Day 14: Bruges

Day 1: Amsterdam,  2 or 15 mi. (3 or 24 km)
Your cycling adventure starts in Amsterdam, famous for its 400 year old canal district, its museums, street artists and performers on the squares, the notorious red-light district, and much more. Try to arrive early so you have time to visit the historical center, a World Heritage site, and to admire the elegant tree-lined canals, tall narrow townhouses, and warehouses. Check-in begins at 10 am.  You will meet the crew and be assigned your bike. In the afternoon, a 10 - 20 km ride through the historical green suburbs and meadows of charming Waterland will get you accustomed to your bike. If you prefer you can take the opportunity to visit some of the interesting art collections of Van Gogh or the Rijksmuseum, and one of the historic houses like the Anne Frank or the Cromhout houses.

Day 2: Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans - Haarlem, 36 or 29 mi. (50 or 47 km)
Your cycling day begins with a ferry to Amsterdam North. From here, you start biking through the Ilperveld, a unique waterlandpark.You stop at the Zaanse Schans, a hamlet designed to showcase how people lived and worked in the past, dominated by fully operating windmills (one dating 1673) and original houses from the region. This town is an example of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.  The longer route leads through the ‘polder’ lands to the Hortus Bulborum with a collection of 4000 mostly historic types of bulbs (guided tour is possible) followed by a ride through the wildlands behind the sea dunes. The shorter route leads through green villages with wooden houses, tiny Spaarndam built around the lock, and the wooded area of the dunes near the North Sea. The Quo Vadis waits on the Spaarne, in the historical center of Haarlem, with the lively and monumental Grote Markt, little palaces of bankers, and charming courtyards.

Day 3: Haarlem - Cruquius - Leiden, 24 mi. (39 km)
After a short ride and a ferry transfer, you visit the Cruquius, a gothic revival steam mill that once drained the Haarlemmermeer. You can see it in operation, and there is a display of models which explain how the Dutch have battled the water. The Quo Vadis will be near the gate to the historic center of Leiden, famous for its university. Leiden means ‘at the waters’ and was founded around 800 AD at the confluence of the Old Rhine, the Vliet and the Mare rivers. At one time, it was the most important textile center in the Netherlands.

Day 4: Leiden - Delft, via Katwijk, 37 mi. (57 km), via The Hague, 29 mi. (45 km), or direct, 20 mi. (32 km)
Longer distance riders will follow the course of the Oude Rijn, through the former fishing towns of Katwijk and Scheveningen. The route continues through the dunes, along the coasts, and follows the remains of the Atlantikwall, the 1900 miles long coastal fortifications built by the Nazi Third Reich. The shorter tour leads through the luxurious Wassenaar Villa quarters and government center, The Hague, with the International Court of Justice, the Panorama Mesdag, an art museum featuring 19th-century artist Hendrik Mesdag's striking, panoramic beach painting, and the Royal art collection. The Quo Vadis will moor at the edge of charming Delft, with its  beautifully preserved historic center. The shorter distance leads through former peat fields and suburban parks and provides more time for Delft instead of The Hague.

Day 5: Delft - Rotterdam - Kinderdijk - Dordrecht, 30  or 20 mi. (48 or 32 km)
After a visit to the famous Delft Blue ceramics, the longer route leads by bike to Rotterdam, leaving Delft via the University campus with fine modern architecture, and the 17th centurygunpowder house in the water. After the historic lock of Overschie, you enter Rotterdam, along the orange prisonbuilding and the early modern Van Nelle factory, continuing to Delfshaven. The cyclists who choose the shorter route will navigate with the Quo Vadis to Rotterdam. If there is time, you may  visit the stunning markethall, the Rotterdam version of the Sistine Chapel, and despite the bombings of WWII, old Delfshaven (harbor of Delft) from where the Pilgrim fathers departed, and the late 19 th century Veerhaven. A fast ferry will transfer you to the Alblasserwaard, a fenland between the big rivers. Here, water management has always been  crucial.  Canals and ditches were dug and windmills were constructed. In Kinderdijk, 19 windmills remain. After a visit here, all cyclists pedal via an inland path until you  reach a cheesefarm to visit. From there, you have a longer or shorter distance through the fenland. The Quo Vadis is in the center of interesting Dordrecht, the oldest city in Holland, once an  important market because of its strategic location.

Day 6: Dordrecht/Willemstad - Zierikzee, 35 or 29 mi. (56 or 46 km)
During breakfast, you sail to Willemstad, a tiny historical garrison town with fortifications symbolizing the old Dutch republic. Today you will enter Zeeland, a province of the Netherlands marked by light, wind, water, and space. It is made up of islands so bridges and ferries will be carrying you across the waters as you drift down towards Belgium. Picture-book towns with ancient houses and cobbled streets line the banks. Traverse a patchwork landscape of vast polders, idyllic countryside, rolling dunes, and golden sand flats. 

Day 7: Zierikzee - Veere - Middleburg, 35 or 29 mi. (56 or 46 km)
A stroll down the narrow streets of Zierikzee is an absolute delight. Quaint old houses take you back in time to the town's glory days when ships set sail to sell salt, wool, fish, grain, and red dye as far afield as the Baltic and the Mediterranean. Your route continues to the charming village of Veere. From 1541, everything that was exported to Holland from Scotland (mainly wool) came ashore in, and was distributed from Veere. This contract brought the town not only prosperity but also a very lively Scottish expat community that stayed for 300 years. Walk in their footsteps as you take a tour of the sights. Cruising further south, you will discover the nostalgic splendor of the city of Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was one of the most important centers of trade in the Netherlands. With a strong headwind, this trip can be very strenuous. In that case you may prefer to do the first part of today's route on board the Quo Vadis,and start cycling at Zandkreek. The Quo Vadis will moor in Middelburg, founded in the 12th century as an abbey. The city was the second most important center for the Dutch East India Company, active in Africa colonizing the southern coasts and slave trading on the western coasts.

Day 8: Middleburg - Flushing - Sas Van Gent, 30 or 33 mi. (48 or 53 km)
In the morning you can visit Flushing, the historical navy harbor from where in the English-Dutch wars, attacks on London were made. There is a ferry crossing the Wester Scheldt, the gateway of Antwerp, to arrive in Zeeland's Flanders. There the route splits, one along the coast and one that leads more inland. Continuing along the Western Scheldt, you might spot some seals. Later, you pass the remains of the once prosperous town Biervliet and the mussel village, Philipine. The inland route leads to the 16th century fortress town IJzendijke and Belgium's charming Boekhoute. The Quo Vadis will be in the Dutch border town Sas van Ghent.

Day 9: Sas van Ghent - Ghent, 18 mi. (28 km)
After crossing the border with Belgium, you cycle through the spacious land and scattered villages of East Flanders, passing Assenede, Evergem with a moated castle, and Sleidinge, arriving in the early afternoon in lively Ghent. The Quo Vadis will be moored directly north of the center with an easy tram connection for a visit down town. The city is proud of its rich past, but it is much more than a museum town. This university town has an excellent mixture of medieval buildings, stylish shopping streets, early modern architecture, baroque churches and several squares with numerous terraces. The cathedral is impressive and shows the famous Ghent altarpiece, finished in 1432. A canal ride here will showcase the beautiful sights.

Day 10: Ghent - Nevele - Kortrijk, 34 or 28 mi. (54 or 44 km)
You will enjoy a sailing breakfast to Nevele. The short route offered today passes the region of the Leie river, appreciated by the landscape painters, via the estates Ooidonk and Ooigem, Deinze,  with the beautiful St. Mary and a fine collection of work from well known Leie painters, and finally, cosy Machelen with street art. The long route leads to the edge of Bruges’ environs: historic Tielt, rebuild after bombing in WWII,  and along Eperon d’Or, an Art Deco industrial museum,  the modern brewery Bierkasteel,  and the estates Ardooie and Ingelmunster.  The Quo Vadis will be anchored in Kortrijk, founded in Roman times and known for the Golden Spurs battle of 1302 where the Flemish cities beat the French king.

Day 11: Kortrijk - Yrpes - Kortrijk, 28 or 23 mi. (45 or 36 km)
Today there is a transfer to Ypres, which was on the frontline of WWI and destroyed after 4 battles. The impressive cloth hall with the Flanders Fields museum, 4 churches, 2 squares, the Menengate and many other historical buildings have been rebuilt, and give the city a feeling of the past. But the biggest treasures are the monuments of the more than 170 war cemeteries around Ypres, most of soldiers from the British commonwealth. About 30 of the most impressive cemetries and memorials can be visited. Every evening at 8 at the Menengate, the Last Post is blown to honor the fallen soldiers. You will stay in town for dinner and have a transfer back to the boat at 8.30 pm.

Day 12: Kortrijk - Deinze - Bruges, 36 or 29 mi. (58 or 47 km)
You start the day with a sailing breakfast and land in lively Deinze, afterwhich, you cycle to the formal gardens of the Poeke Castle. The route leads through a forested landscape on quiet paths and passes by other estates, like Bulskampveld with an English park and an enclosed garden. The longer route continues to the gothic revival castle of Loppem which can be visited. The Quo Vadis is moored just outside the fortifications of Bruges, near the train station. 

Bruges is one of the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. The restored medieval town is completely intact, with the addition of some fine baroque and gothic revival architecture. Bruges was once an international metropolis and center of commerce and art. With its ramparts, gates, and decorated gables, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will enjoy the lively streets and squares. A canal ride here will showcase the sights.You shouldn’t miss a visit to the medieval palace of the Gruuthuuze family and the small Groeningen collection with excellent paintings of Belgium masters. And if you like beer, The brewery The Half Moon does tours.

Day 13: Bruges, via the coast, 25 mi. (40 km) or 5 mi. (8 km)
Perhaps you would enjoy a city tour on bike which can be done in 1/2 day. The longer option of riding leads to the seaside resort Blankenberge with beaches, boulevards, and an Art Deco casino. On the way back, there is charming Lissewege with art exposition in the church and the remains of the old abbey Ter Doest, a enormous 14th century barn to keep the farmers taxes.

Day 14: Departure
Your tour officially ends at 9 am after breakfast.

 

 

Day 1: Bruges, optional 11 mi. (18 km)
Day 2: Extra day in Bruges, 25 mi. (40 km) via the coast or 5 mi. (8 km) within Bruges
Day 3: Bruges - Aalterbrug - Kortrijk, 34 or 30 mi. (55 or 48 km)
Day 4:  Kortrijk - Ypres - Kortrijk, 28 or 23 mi. (45 or 36 km) 
Day 5:  Kortrijk  - St.Eloois Vijve - Gent, 28 or 25 mi. (45 or 40 km)
Day 6: Ghent – Sas van Ghent – Middelburg, 30 or 33 mi.  (48 or 53 km)
Day 7: Middelburg - Veere - Zierikzee, 33 or 25 mi. (53 or 40 km)
Day 8: Zierikzee - Willemstad - Dordrecht, 34 or 25 mi. (54 or 40 km)
Day 9:  Dordrecht Rotterdam - Delft, 30 or 20 mi. (48 or 33 km)
Day 10: Delft – Leiden: via Katwijk, 37 mi. (57 km), via The Hague, 29 mi. (45 km), direct, 20 mi. (32 km)
Day 11: Leiden – Haarlem, 24 mi. (39 km)
Day 12. Haarlem – Amsterdam: 58 or 47 km, 36 or 29 miles
Day 13: Free day in Amsterdam, 31 or 15 mi. (50 or 24 km)
Day 14: Amsterdam, departure

Day 1: Bruges, optional 11 mi. (18 km)
Bruges is one of the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. The restored medieval town is completely intact, with the addition of some fine baroque and gothic revival architecture. Bruges was once an international metropolis and center of commerce and art. With its ramparts, gates, and decorated gables, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will enjoy the lively streets and squares. A canal ride here will showcase the sights.You shouldn’t miss a visit to the medieval palace of the Gruuthuuze family and the small Groeningen collection with excellent paintings of Belgium masters. And if you like beer, The brewery The Half Moon does tours.

You may begin check-in on board at 10 amm meet the crew, and even go for a short trial bike ride through the countryside, to tiny historic Damme. Or, if you prefer to stay in Bruges, you can visit the medieval palace of Gruuthuuze or the small Groeningen collection with excellent paintings of Belgium masters.

Day 2: Bruges, optional cycling 25 mi. (40 km) via the coast or 5 mi. (8 km) in Bruges
If you decide not to bike, even by foot, you will have enough time to enjoy the sights.  A city tour on bike (sometimes on cobblestones street) can also be enjoyed. The longer route leads to the seaside resort Blankenberge with beaches, boulevards and an Art Deco casino. On your return, you can pause in Lissewege to enjoy an art exposition in the church and the remains of the old abbey Ter Doest. The Gothic barn here is unique and was built around 1280. The barn of Ter Doest is the largest remaining barn of its kind.

Day 3: Bruges - Aalterbrug - Kortrijk, 34 or 30 mi. (55 or 48 km)
This day starts with a sailing breakfast to cycle at the edges of Bruges’ Environs. The shorter route leads to the formal gardens of castle Poeke, and then through peaceful farmland with villages like Wakken  and  St.Baafs Vijv, and then passing the estate of castle Ooigem Castle. The long route features historic Tielt, rebuilt after bombing in WWII, Eperon d’Or, an Art Deco industrial museum, the modern brewery Bierkasteel and the Ardooie and Ingelmunster Estates. The Quo Vadis awaits in Kortrijk, founded in Roman times and known for the Golden Spurs battle of 1302 when the united
Flemish towns defeated the French king.

Day 4:  Kortrijk - Ypres - Kortrijk, 28 or 23 mi. (45 or 36 km) 
Today there is a transfer to Ypres, which was on the frontline of WWI and destroyed after 4 battles. The impressive cloth hall with the Flanders Fields museum, 4 churches, 2 squares, the Menengate and many other historical buildings have been rebuilt, and give the city a feeling of the past. But the biggest treasures are the monuments of the more than 170 war cemeteries around Ypres, most of soldiers from the British commonwealth. About 30 of the most impressive cemetries and memorials can be visited. Every evening at 8 at the Menengate, the Last Post is blown to honor the fallen soldiers. You will stay in town for dinner and have a transfer back to the boat at 8.30 pm.

Day 5:  Kortrijk  - St.Eloois Vijve - Ghent, 28 or 25 mi. (45 or 40 km)
You will enjoy a sailing breakfast to Nevele. The longer route offered today passes the region of the Leie river, appreciated by the landscape painters, via the estates Ooidonk and Ooigem, Deinze,  with the beautiful St. Mary and a fine collection of work from well known Leie painters, and finally, cosy Machelen with street art. The shorter route follows a bikepath along the canalized Leie, later following winding lanes between fields and meadows, arriving early in lively Ghent. The Quo Vadis will be moored directly north of the center with an easy tram connection for a visit down town. The city is proud of its rich past, but it is much more than a museum town. This university town has an excellent mixture of medieval buildings, stylish shopping streets, early modern architecture, baroque churches and several squares with numerous terraces. The cathedral is impressive and shows the famous Ghent altarpiece, finished in 1432. A canal ride here will showcase the beautiful sights.

Day 6: Ghent – Sas van Ghent – Middelburg, 30 or 33 mi.  (48 or 53 km)
While you enjoy your breakfast, the Quo Vadis navigates across the border. An inland route leads to the  Boekhoute Castle and the small Dutch fortress town, IJzendijke. A more seaside route leads toward Philipine, remains of the once prosperous Biervliet, and along the sandbanks of the Wester Scheldt, the gateway for Antwerp harbour. You might spot some seals.
The Breskens ferry across the Scheldt transports to the former island of Walcheren and the  historical navy harbor from where in the English-Dutch wars, the  attacks on London were made. The Quo Vadis waits for you  in lovely Middelburg, founded in the 12th century as an abbey. The city was the second most important center for the Dutch East India Company, active in Africa colonizing the southern coasts and slave trading on the western coasts.

Day 7. Middelburg - Veere - Zierikzee, 33 or 25 mi. (53 or 40 km)
The route today takes place in the delta of Rhine, Maas and Scheldt rivers. Although the different islands got connected,  after the big flood disaster of 1953 with huge dams of the Delta Works, they all have retained their own character. One of the higlights of this tour is the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, the most impressive construction of the Delta Works. 

Your route continues to the charming village of Veere. From 1541, everything that was exported to Holland from Scotland (mainly wool) came ashore in, and was distributed from Veere. This contract brought the town not only prosperity but also a very lively Scottish expat community that stayed for 300 years.

The shorter track goes back to Beveland, providing a beautiful ride along the coast of the Eastern Scheldt.  The longer route continues via the storm barrier to Schouwen Island, along the wetlands at the Scheldt banks. The Quo Vadis can be found in Zierikzee, dominated by the ‘Fat tower’; once a rich trading-port with a beautiful harbor and lots of monuments. A stroll down the narrow streets of Zierikzee is an absolute delight. Quaint old houses take you back in time to the town's glory days when ships set sail to sell salt, wool, fish, grain, and red dye as far afield as the Baltic and the Mediterranean. 

Day 8:  Zierikzee - Willemstad - Dordrecht, 34 or 25 mi. (54 or 40 km)
Today you travel from Zeeland towards Holland. The longer distance can first visit  the  Watersnoodmuseum housed on a deserted spot in four large caissons, or chambers,  used to restore the dikes after the bombings in World War II. What follows is a lovely ride to the Island of Overflakkee and the town of Oude Tonge, badly impacted by the 1953 flood catastophe. 305 People were buried in a mass grave near the dike just outside the village. 

The shorter distance riders stay on board unitl St. Philips Island and begin to pedal to Brabant, along peaceful  treelined dikes with old ribbonlike hamlets. The two groups meet in Willemstad, a small historical garrison town with fortifications symbolising the old Dutch republic. Back on board, the Quo Vadis will navigate during dinner to the center of  Dordrecht, the oldest city of Holland, once an important market because of its strategic location.

 Day 8. Dordrecht - Kinderdijk - Rotterdam, 30, 12,  or 9 mi. (48, 20 or 14 km)
 A fast ferry will transfer to the Alblasserwaard, a fenland between the big rivers. Because of flooding and sinking of the land, water management was crucial. Canals and ditches were dug and windmills were constructed. At Kinderdijk, 19 well preserved windmills line in an impressive row. The long route continues via hamlet Donk,  followed by a ferry crossing at the charming river town,  Lekkerkerk, a ride on with lovely scenery along the dike, and then finally, ferry transfer to Rotterdam.  The short track also does Alblasserwaard and Kinderdijk, taking the fast ferry earlier for an afternoon in Rotterdam. 

This bustling city has many architectural highlights, some interesting museums, and is the main port of Holland. Skyscrapers stand in the scaffolds and  rise steadily towards the stars. On the Maas River, Erasmus Bridge is the gateway to the Kop van Zuid district. The modern architecture makes up what is known as ‘Manhattan on the Maas’. Here you can find the New Orleans and the Maastoren, the highest residential tower and the highest office building in the Netherlands. With so much of the city changing on a daily basis, it is internationally known as a city of architecture. The city also offers historical significance and some interesting museums such as the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, where you can find Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Dali, and Dutch Design.

Day  9:  Dordrecht - Rotterdam - Delft, 30 or 20 mi. (48 or 33 km)
This morning both routes start with a beautiful ride through Alblasserwaard, a fenland between the big rivers. Here, water management has always been  crucial.  Canals and ditches were dug and windmills were constructed. In Kinderdijk, 19 windmills remain. After a visit here, all cyclists pedal via an inland path until you  reach a cheesefarm and can see and taste how the Dutch produce their own cheese. From Alblasserdam both routes go via the fast ferry to Rotterdam, the Dutch Manhattan
with a skyline characterized by the Erasmus bridge. If there is time you may visit the stunning markethall, the Rotterdam version of the Sistine Chapel, the late 19 th century Veerhaven, and old Delfshaven (Delft harborr) from where the
Pilgrimfathers left. The short trackers will board the Quo Vadis to sail to Delft. The long track continues passing the early modern Van Nelle factory and the historic bridge of Overschie. More towards Delft this route goes via the 17th century gunpowder house and the University campus with fine modern architecture. A late afternon appointment can be made for the famous Delft Blue ceramics. This
charming town with a beautifully preserved historic center, is also famous for painter Vermeer and as headquarter of Dutch liberator William of Orange.

Day 10: Delft – Leiden: via Katwijk, 37 mi. (57 km), via The Hague, 29 mi. (45 km), direct, 20 mi. (32 km)
Longer distance riders will follow the course of the Oude Rijn, through the former fishing towns of Katwijk and Scheveningen. The route continues through the dunes, along the coasts, and follows the remains of the Atlantikwall, the 1900 miles long coastal fortifications built by the Nazi Third Reich.   The shorter tour leads through the luxurious Wassenaar Villa quarters and government center, The Hague, with the International Court of Justice, the Panorama Mesdag, an art museum featuring 19th-century artist Hendrik Mesdag's striking, panoramic beach painting, and the Royal art collection. The Quo Vadis will be near the gate to the historic center of Leiden, famous for its university. Leiden means ‘at the waters’ and was founded around 800 AD at the confluence of the Old Rhine, the Vliet and the Mare rivers. At one time, it was the most important textile center in the Netherlands.

 Day 11: Leiden – Haarlem, 24 mi. (39 km)
Today you pass the fertile ‘geestgronden’, the zone behind the dunes with a natural mix of clay, peat, and sand; used as horticultural fields, mostly for bulb flowers. At the edge of the former vast Haarlemmer Lake, stands the Cruquius, a gothic revival steam mill that once drained this lake. You can see it in operation. You continue via a little ferry and along the Spaarne river, to meet again with the Quo Vadis in the historical center of Haarlem, with the  lively and monumental Grote Markt, little palaces of bankers, and charming courtyards. 

Day 12. Haarlem – Amsterdam: 58 or 47 km, 36 or 29 miles
Today the longer route starts through wildlands behind the seadunes, followed by the ‘polderland’ with tiny Spaarndam build around the lock, with the statue of the boy that prevented a flooding. Here, you may meet the shorter distance riders, and together cycle together over high dikes with views on the Amsterdam harbor and passing historic villages with wooden houses. You stop in Zaanse Schans, a hamlet designed to showcase how people lived and worked in the past, dominated by fully operating windmills (one dating 1673) and original houses from the region. This town is an example of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. Via Ilperveld, a unique waterlandpark, you reach Amsterdam, where the Quo Vadis is moored in front of the historical center.

Day 13: Free day in Amsterdam
This whole day is for exploring Amsterdam, famous for its old canal district, museums, street artists and performers on the squares, a notorious red light district, and more. Admire the elegant tree lined canals, tall narrow townhouses and warehouses of the historical center, a World Heritage site. You have the opportunity to visit interesting art collections like that of Van Gogh or the Rijksmuseum, and one of the historic houses like the Anne Frank or the Cromhout houses.

Directly north of the city is Waterland, good for a pristine ride in the meadows. You cycle through the  village Broek in Waterland, tiny trading town Monnickendam, and the fishing town Volendam. By boat you will arrive to the island Marken with a few wooden hamlets, and silent Durgerdam. A shorter ride could be done partially in that same Waterland.

Day 14: Departure

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Amsterdam to Bruges and Bruges to Amsterdam - 14 days Boats + Barges

Quo Vadis Photo

Quo Vadis Belgium, Netherlands, Germany Deluxe Class Boat The beautiful MS Quo Vadis, a refurbished cargo barge, was put into service in April 2006 as a bike and boat vessel.

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