Starting in Amsterdam and finishing in Belgium's capital city of Brussels, we would expect you to want add a few extra nights on to do city breaks in both cities to discover the variety of architecture, historic sites and monuments as well as shopping arcades, parks, gardens, art galleries and museums. Discover why millions visit these two key European cities every year with Amsterdam's famous network of canals (a UNESCO World Heritage site), its infamous red light district and its fabulous squares - Dam, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. Brussels is famous for its food, comic strips, the world-famous Manneken Pis statue as well as the Atomium and the amazing Grand Place.
As well as the start and finish cities, this linear route is mostly flat cycling and allows you to discover even more Dutch and Belgian treats - for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. Archetypal images of Holland include its windmills and bridges with plenty of windmills in Kinderdijk and bridges in Papendrecht to feast your eyes on as you cycle across Holland's Green Heart. Famous local snacks from Gouda include syrup waffles (or stroopwafels) and cheese. Continuing southwards you'll get to see the Biesbosch National Park, one of Erurope's last remaining freshwater tidal areas, before heading over the border into Belgium where you'll discover the historical cities of Antwerp and Leuven with awe-inspiring architecture and delicious beer and mussels (moules) with Belgian triple-fried chips (frites). For those with a sweet tooth, Belgium's sweet and sugary gaufres (with various toppings) and the luxury pralines and chocolates are well worth trying an assortment.
Marvel at the townhouses along the 17th century canal district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You could also opt to saunter down the infamous red-light district which attracts millions of curious tourists every year; or enjoy the street performers on friendly Rembrandtplein.
Stay at the Westcord Art Hotel (3*) with breakfast
Today's route takes you through the Green Heart of Holland, a true cycling paradise, with characteristic peat and polder landscapes, small farming communities and picturesque historical towns such as Oudewater. It was to this place that women who had been accused of witchcraft fled from all over Europe to try to have their innocence proven by weighing. Finish your ride in medieval Gouda, discover this beautifully preserved town centre, visit the Gothic town hall and St. John's church. Stop off at a bakery to buy fresh syrup waffles (Gouda is the hometown of the famous stroopwafels) and pick up some Gouda cheese. If 49mi/79km is a little too far for you to cycle you can take the train for the last section reducing the route to 35mi/56km.
Stay at the Best Western Hotel Gouda with breakfast.
From Gouda you'll continue through the Green Heart of Holland to the village of Kinderdijk. Explore the site on which 19 windmills have stood majestically since 1740 and used to drain excess water out of the low-lying polder up into the River Lek. You can even pay one of the mills a visit. Your destination, Papendrecht, is just a ferry crossing away from of one of Holland’s oldest towns; Dordrecht, which is completely surrounded by rivers. Beautiful bridges take you across the water into the heart of town with its many monumental buildings around the harbour. The hotel in Papendrecht is just 3km outside the centre of Dordrecht on the north banks of the river.
Stay at the Apollo Hotel Papendrecht with breakfast.
Follow today's route past one of the few remaining freshwater tidal areas in Europe: the Biesbosch National Park. Crossing a one-kilometre-long bridge high above Holland's Diep river, you arrive in the south of the Netherlands. Continue through village after village, with Brabant hospitality enticing you in to stop for a cup of coffee and a big slice of fruit tart. Bergen op Zoom, today's destination, is 800 years old and the town's narrow streets, old squares and hundreds of monuments testify to a rich and dramatic past. Be sure to feast your eyes on Markiezenhof, a late-gothic mansion built by the local noble family in 1485, that now serves as a museum and archive, before you settle down at one of the many pavement cafes.
Please note you will only be able to cycle through the Biesbosch park on days when the ferry is running, which is not daily. An alternative route will be provided for days when there is no ferry service.
Stay at the Grand Hotel De Draak with breakfast.
The landscape along today's cycling route is predominantly wooded. On the border between the Netherlands and Belgium, catch your breath in De Zoom - Kalmthoutse Heide, a lovely cross-border nature reserve. The route takes you along the Scheldekaaien (quays on the River Scheldt) right into the historical heart of Antwerp, Belgium's most important port city and the largest town in Flanders. After seeing the historical centre you might like to venture to the hip and trendy parts of the city: 't Zuid and Het Eilandje. If you've worked up a thirst on your journey, consider a visit to the De Koninck beer brewery. It has been going strong since 1833 and has a new visitors centre welcoming guests wishing to look around and do some tasting. This brewery is best known for its 'bollekes', a type of rounded beer glass.
Stay at the Mercure Hotel Antwerp City South with breakfast.
After a short stretch on the banks of the River Scheldt, change course to follow the River Rupel, the shortest river in the country (nearly 10 km long). Along the way you'll see abandoned brick works and chimneys as silent witnesses of a tough industrial past. A good place to stop for lunch is the old town of Mechelen, within sight of the church tower of 13th century St. Rombold's cathedral or the Grand Place with its fabulous architecture. Continue along the River Dijle to end your day in the delightful university town of Leuven, where the oldest houses date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Discover the Grand Beguinage, a community for spinsters, set up in 1234, it consists of 100 houses and is now part of the university campus. Also visit the early-Gothic church of St. John the Baptist (1304) and the Old Market Square (Oude Markt), nicknamed 'the longest bar counter in the world' due to the enormous number of bars and cafes on the square.
Stay at the Radisson Park Inn Leuven with breakfast.
The hills of Belgian Brabant and the expansive Sonian Forest set the scene for today's cycle. There are also train options if you don't feel like cycling into the big city of Brussels. The city's main attraction is the fantastic Grand Place and the nearby little statue of Manneken Pis still draws the crowds although there's plenty more to see. Your visit to Brussels should involve culinary treats such as delicious hot waffles, chocolate, triple-fried frites and beer. You should also enjoy the shopping and culture. You'll be hard-pushed not to want to stay longer.
Stay at the NH Brussels Grand Place Arenberg with breakfast.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £ per adult per day and £ per child per day.
NEARBY:The Westcord Art Hotel in Amsterdam is a contemporary hotel that offers both 3 and 4 star accommodations, depending on the room category you stay in. Located just a 15 minute walk (or 5 minute bus ride) from the city centre, all rooms and suites have excellent facilities as well as unique artwork on the walls by Amsterdam artist Chiel van Zelst. There is also an art collection by famous Dutch artist Herman Brood in the hotel lobby.
Room upgrades: 4* Rooms
At the Westcord Art Hotel there is the option to upgrade to a 4* room. The Large Design Rooms offer more luxurious decor, more space including a seating area, an ensuite bathroom with rain shower, a minibar and an espresso machine.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
NEARBY:Located just 600m from the Markt, and next to the Gouwe River, this modern hotel offers 101 sound-proofed rooms all with ensuite bath or shower, complimentary Wi-Fi, flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities. The rooms are decorated with a warm, stylish colour palate and each floor has its own colour - red for the City Arms and the flag of Gouda; yellow for the colour of the famous Gouda cheese and blue for the city's waterways, bridges and locks. Each room has its own name and a photograph referring to a special landmark in Gouda. The hotel has a Bistro-Bar where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served.
NEARBY:The contemporary Apollo Hotel, located in Papendrecht's centre and just 3km from Dordrecht, offers 97 modern and elegant rooms with great facilities. Bedrooms have a small sitting area, complimentary Wi-Fi, minibar, tea & coffee making facilities and an ensuite bathroom with either a bath or shower. The hotel also has a comfy lounge bar, a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, a sun terrace and its own whisky distillery. There is a fitness centre just around the corner where guests have complimentary access.
NEARBY:Located right on Bergen op Zoom's main square and the Netherland's oldest hotel, the Grand Hotel de Draak has 62 comfortable and luxurious rooms, all ensuite with shower and/or bath and offering excellent facilities including complimentary Wi-Fi, tea and coffee and most rooms have air-conditioning. The hotel has a wellness area with sauna and Turkish steam bath as well as a small fitness room in the hotel's medieval 'dungeon'. There is a high-ceilinged breakfast room and Restaurant Hemingway serves classic cuisine with a French twist.
NEARBY:Housed in a modern contemporary glass building this four star hotel offers a convenient setting with the hotel's terrace overlooking the Hertoghe Park, the perfect place for a morning walk. There is easy access to the centre of Antwerp by tram from just outside the hotel. Relax at Gozo's Bar and Brasserie, offering Belgian beers, a selection of fine whiskies and international cuisine. Gozo's and the hotel's room service offering is open 7 days a week, 24h a day. There is also a wellness area with a fitness room and sauna.
NEARBY:The Radisson Park Inn is a contemporary hotel located close to Leuven's Central Station and within walking distance of the sights of the Grand Place (Grote Markt), the University Library and the Stella Artois brewery. The hotel's 133 bedrooms are modern, comfortable and offer tea and coffee making facilities and complementary Wi-Fi. The hotel has a fitness centre that is complimentary for guests and a Bar & Grill restaurant offering both international and regional favourites.
NEARBY:Located close to the Grande Place, this contemporary hotel offers a great base from which to explore this fabulous city. The hotel offers 155 stylish rooms with ensuite bathrooms, wooden flooring, complimentary Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, minibar, safe and satellite TV. The hotel has an 'Open Bar' in the lobby and a gym with a selection of Cardio equipment (treadmill, stationary bike, cross trainer) as well as weights and mats. Free for guests, water, fruit, and towels are also provided.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. However, as this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 7 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of and hotels
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
Route directions and maps
High quality bikes
Luggage transfers between hotels
How to book:
|2nd May 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|9th May 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|16th May 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|23rd May 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|30th May 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|6th Jun 2022||US$1979||Tour only: US$1979||Check availability|
|13th Jun 2022||US$1979||Tour only: US$1979||Check availability|
|20th Jun 2022||US$1979||Tour only: US$1979||Check availability|
|27th Jun 2022||US$1979||Tour only: US$1979||Check availability|
|4th Jul 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|11th Jul 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|18th Jul 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|25th Jul 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|1st Aug 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|8th Aug 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|15th Aug 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|22nd Aug 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|29th Aug 2022||US$1949||Tour only: US$1949||Check availability|
|5th Sep 2022||US$1979||Tour only: US$1979||Check availability|
|12th Sep 2022||US$1979||Tour only: US$1979||Check availability|
|19th Sep 2022||US$1979||Tour only: US$1979||Check availability|
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
Weekly departures on Mondays from 2nd May 2022 to 19th Sep 2022, for 7 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £130 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
This holiday does not include any flights or rail.