Holland - Past and Present
Netherlands Bike Tours
Biking through a lovely Dutch landscape
Who better to provide you with a bike tour in Holland than Tripsite? Our roots run deep here.
As you pedal through the Holland of today, with one of the best cycling infrastructures in the world, the Holland of yesterday will reveal itself to you. You will cycle two days (and more if you prefer) with our local guide and learn WWII history from the Dutch perspective, deepening and broadening your understanding of a continent's struggle against tyranny.
You will be based in the village of Amerongen, at the eclectic Napolean Schuur, next to the entrance of the National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug, nestled in the foreland of the Rhine River.
The scenery on this tour alternates between riverscapes, polders, farm land, and forests. Castles, mostly now privately owned, dot the landscape, and history abounds.
- Incredible Dutch cycling infrastructure
- WWII History
- Rhenen, Buren, and Culemborg
- Grebbe Water line remnants and history
- Dutch landscape
We feel that this tour has something for everyone. WWII buffs, take note. Cycling enthusiasts and promoters, take note. Nature and bird lovers, take note. And those who simply love everything, Dutch, take note. From your arrival in Holland, to your departure, there is opportunity to truly experience authentic and historic Holland.
Welcome to our home!
This tour can be combined with a hotel based tour in Otterlo for a complete WW II experience. Please take a look at our World War II Reflections tour!
See a complete list of our bike tours in the Netherlands.
Twin/double: £ 801 $ 1,774 € 994 NOK 9609 kr 8870 $ 1,153 Single supplement: £ 330 $ 732 € 410 NOK 3963 kr 3658 $ 476
Guide per additional day (per person, based on two people): £ 73 $ 161 € 90 NOK 870 kr 803 $ 104 Guide per addtional day (for solo traveler): pending
Farm tour (per person, based on two people): £ 8 $ 18 € 10 NOK 97 kr 89 $ 12 Supplement farm tour for solo traveler: £ 8 $ 18 € 10 NOK 97 kr 89 $ 12 Electric bike: pending
Extra night: pending
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
† Currency exchange rate set 90 days before travel.
Fly to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
From the airport you can take an intercity train in the direction of Nymegen. Exit train at Station Driebergen-Zeist. Travel time approx. 47 minutes. From this station you walk 3 minutes to the bus station and take local bus 50 from platform F in direction of Wageningen. Travel time is approx. 27 minutes. Exit bus at Amerongse Berg in Amerongen. The hotel is a two minute walk from the bus station. Total cost of train plus bus is approx. €14.
Best time of year to enjoy this tour is spring, summer, or fall. The Netherlands have a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, with cool summers and moderate winters. Always check local conditions before you travel.
There is a wonderful castle in Amerongen that is well worth a visit. For centuries this property was the stage on which the turbulent lives of the nobility were played out and today this beautifully restored castle houses a museum. The castle is open Tuesday through Sunday April 1 to October 31 from 11 am to 5 pm. It operates during the same hours, yet only from Thursdays through Sundays from November 1 to March 31. Guided tours are offered when the castle is open , starting every hour beginning at noon and concluding at 6 pm. No guests will be allowed entry to the castle after 6 pm on open days.
This is an easy, partially guided or totally guided (supplement applies) bike tour in which you stay in one hotel in the village of Amerongen. We have included the guide for the WWII themed routes, Route 1 and Route 2, but you can request our guide on any other or every remaining day. See pricing. Throughout this beautiful, relatively undiscovered part of Holland, you will cycle on the infamous and well maintained Dutch cycling network and quiet country roads. Entering and exiting any town is either done so on separate bike lanes or well marked lanes.
Where You’ll Stay
You will be accommodated in the Napoleon Schuur, next to the entrance of the National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug
- 6 nights accommodation
- 6 breakfasts
- 6 three-course dinners
- 5 days bike rental with handlebar bag, pannier, and repair kit with lock
- Guide included for two routes
- Farm tour
- Route descriptions and maps
What’s Not Included
Day 1: Amerongen
Day 2: WW2 Route (51 km)
Day 3: Wageningen Route (42 km)
Day 4: Rhine Route (38 km)
Day 5: Buren Culemborg Route (53 km)
Day 6: Castle Route (35 km)
Day 7: Departure
Day 1: Amerongen
Arrival and settle in to you accommodations at the Napoleon Schuur, located in the historic center of Amerongen. Plan on strolling this quaint village and visiting the Amerongen castle here. Hours are 11 - 5.
Day 2: WWII, 32 mi. (51 km)
This route mainly covers an area where heavy battles were fought at the beginning of WWII. You will cycle near the "water line", an area the Dutch had flooded to stop the Germans. History tells the story. The "Hollandic Water Line" was a Dutch defense tactic used for centuries. First conceived in 1629, it was constructed and revamped throughout history. The Dutch realized that flooding low-lying areas formed an excellent defence against enemy troops. Earth and brick fortifications were added throughout the years.
At the advent of WWII, this line of defense was simply too vulnerable to modern artillery and bombs to withstand a protracted siege and efforts began to prepare a new water line, the Grebbe Water Line.
Both water lines failed to hold back the German forces. Hitler thought that Holland would fall in a day, but the struggle lasted 5. Holland was forced into surrender by the aerial bombing of Rotterdam, and the threat of the same for Utrecht and Amsterdam.
Also on this day you will visit a modern day farm in Holland, getting a taste of the Holland of today. The farm is an example of precision agriculture that uses robots and computerized programs to optimize production. You will enjoy a tour of the farm.
- Museum Grebbelinie
Day 3: Wageningen Route, 26 mi. (42 km)
On this day, the theme of Holland of yesterday is continued as your guide expands further on the history of the area. You will also be introduced to the Holland of today, though you will have already experienced this! Amerongen, where you will be based, is a little paradise of tranquility, tucked away in a pristine national reserve. You will be cycling along a wonderful cycling network, through small cities, towns, and bergs. There are cyclists everywhere, the Dutch, living their lives, going to school, tending their gardens, shopping, having a coffee in the square. It is a very peaceful and safe environment. This is the other Holland, apart from Amsterdam, this is authentic Holland.
Wageningen is known for its world renowned agricultural university as is part of the "food valley", one of the largest food communities in the world, consisting of more than 1,510 international food companies and 20 research institutes. Wageningen University & Research (WUR) has been named the best global university for agricultural sciences according to U.S. News & World Report, 2016.
On the agenda as well today is Rhenen, where the German troops broke through the Dutch defense during WWII in May 1940. In 1945, the town was damaged again during the liberation of the country from German occupation. Many or all of the Dutch soldiers who were killed by the Germans near Rhenen lie buried in the Cemetery of Honor.
Other museums and point of interest in Wageningen:
- Soil museum
- Belmont Arboretum
- Het Depot (Sculptures Gallery)
- Cunera Church, built between 1492 - 1531
Day 4: Rhine Route, 24 mi. (38 km)
The majority of this route leads through the Betuwe, a region of historical, geographical, and agricultural importance. It is a very fertile region, located in the delta formed by the by the waters of the Rhine and Meuse Rivers. It is known for its fruit orchards and rich soil. This food valley is one of the best examples of Dutch agri food collaboration. In the last months of WWII, it became known as "Men's Island" or "Manneneiland" due to the evacuation of its entire civilian population during Operation Market Garden, leaving only soldiers behind.
- Castle Duurstede,
- Windmill Rijn en Lek
- Museum Dorestad
Day 5: Buren Culemborg Route, 32 mi. (53 km)
The majority of this route runs on the dike along the river Rhine passing through old towns along the way. Two in particular, Buren and Culemborg, feel as if time has stood still. You will find a museum in Buren called; “Buren en Oranje”, meaning the town and the royal Dutch family. The royal Dutch family is called “the House of Orange”.
- Marechaussee Museum
- Oranje Museum
- Elisabeth Weeshuis Museum
- Elvis Presley Museum
- Museum Jan van Riebeeckhuis
Day 6: Castle Route (35 km)
Nowhere in the Netherlands will you find as many castles as in the area north of the river Rhine. Many of these castles are still being inhabited by the nobility and their families. The farms that belong to the castle grounds can be recognized by the colored shutters of the buildings. Each family has it own colors. Sections of this same area belong to three different government owned nature preserves with very strict rules for land use.
- Museum Huis Doorn
- Von Gimborn Arboretum
Day 7: Departure
These routes can be done in any order.
If you are interested in a 100% WWII themed tour, you can combine this tour and your stay in Amerongen with a stay in Otterlo. Please take a look at our World War II Reflections tour!
On Day 5, you can take a taxi or be transferred to Otterlo, the perfect base to continue your journey into history.