Highlights of Holland by Barge

tours / Cycling

Highlights of Holland by Barge information and booking

  • Duration
    8 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
    introductory - moderate
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

  • 7 nights barge
Equipment Required
Bike helmet, wet weather gear, sunscreen, jogging shoes and sun hat. Note that storage capacity is limited in cabins and we recommend you bring a soft luggage bag. A comprehensive gear list is included in the pre-departure information provided on booking. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.


  • Cycling through countryside Holland
  • In Amsterdam, visit the museum The Rembrandt House and cycle tour along the river Amstel to see the landscapes of Rembrandt
  • In Zaanse Schans visit open air museum including several windmills
  • Exploring the port town of Hoorn and the windmill museum at Schermerhorn
  • Soaking up the hospitality onboard the comfortable barge

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Discover antiquated Dutch towns, castles and ports and experience the beauty of Holland's lakes, beaches and sand dunes. This itinerary ventures into the 'green heart' of the Netherlands and combines historic towns with picturesque countryside. From Amsterdam we board our barge and after exploring the city's canals we leave it behind for the tranquility of the Dutch countryside. Cycling through quiet lake areas we experience the medieval centres of Haarlem and Leiden at handlebar level. We explore scenic North-Holland and its ports, including Hoorn where we discover the spirit of the Dutch Golden Age.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners (does not include drinks) continental breakfasts are served and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. at breakfast you will prepare your packed lunch for the day which will be sandwiches, fruit & juice. if you choose not to cycle on a particular day, the crew will serve lunch on board. dinner will consist of three courses inclusive of either a pasta, vegetarian or meat dish.
  • 7 nights accommodation aboard a barge with private facilities on a twinshare basis. if you are travelling by yourself you will be matched with another passenger. cabins are configured with bunk beds (upper and lower), except for comfort departures which are two lower beds – price supplement applies.
  • Bicycle with 7 gears, pannier, lock and insurance
  • Entrance fee to museum and the windmill schermerhorn museum
  • Several city walking tours
  • Information pack including route notes and maps
  • Experienced multilingual (english, german and dutch) guide for cycle tours and city walks


Day 1 Arrive Amsterdam, short cycle along Amstel River (20km)
After boarding the barge in Amsterdam, the route will have you sailing right through the centre of Amsterdam to reach our evening’s destination. On arrival there will be a short cycle trip around the village of Uithoorn or Kudelstaart.
Day 2 Cycle through lake areas to Leiden, the birth place of Rembrandt (55km)
Today you’ll cross the real Green Heart of the Netherlands via the river Kromme Mijdrecht. The cycling will be on cycle paths through the lake areas of the Nieuwkoopse and Langeraarse Plassen and via villages like Meye and Papenveer. Your trip ends in Leiden, with its many 17th century houses built in the golden age of the city. Leiden’s origins date back to 1266 when it first gained city rights, though there was a Roman fort in the area in the 4th Century. A city walk in the historical centre of this birth place of Rembrandt with its numerous courtyards is certainly recommended.
Day 3 Cycle past the seaside and dunes to Zandvoort ending at Haarlem (50km)
Today’s itinerary leads to the seaside resort Katwijk and then through the dune area to Zandvoort. If weather permits, you may spend some time on the beach. Cycling on the path that was used by the fishermen’s wives to go to the market, your final destination today is the vibrant Haarlem. The small and easy to navigate centre invites one to do some shopping in what is considered to be the ‘best shopping town of the Netherlands’. The city has a rich history and is known for its textiles, beer brewing and as a major centre for the Tulip trade. Don’t forget to sit down and have a drink on one of the terraces in the Grote Markt - the central square, it is a great place to watch the world go by.
Day 4 Cross North Sea canal by ferry, cycle to Alkmaar (50km)
The first village you arrive in today is Spaarndam (the village of Hans Brinker). After the crossing of the North Sea canal by ferry, you continue cycling through rural villages like Nauerna and Zuideinde. After visiting the open air museum ‘the Zaanse Schans’, the itinerary continues along the River Zaan and the Knollendammer Canal to the town of Alkmaar, famed for its’ cheese production.
Day 5 Cycle to unique wood and dune area (55km)
The barge will remain in Alkmaar today. We will cycle to the unique wood and dune area near the villages of Bergen and Schoorl and see the Hondsbossche Zeewering, a sea wall. If you feel like it, you are, of course, free to visit the beach or to spend a day on your own in Alkmaar.
Day 6 Cycle to Hoorn (45km)
After passing Oterleek and Avenhorn, you arrive in Hoorn. There is time to explore this historical port town before you continue cycling along the coast road from where you have a splendid view over the IJssel Lake. Later you cycle along the canal ‘Beemsterringvaart’ to Purmerend. On the way visit the museum windmill in Schermerhorn.
Day 7 Cycle along IJssel Lake enroute to Amsterdam (50km)
The day begins with a cycle and look round the picturesque village of Edam. Afterwards you visit the fishing villages of Volendam and Marken. Take your time for a break and enjoy the atmosphere and the people in traditional costume. The cycle trip continues along the coastline of the IJssel Lake through Uitdam and Durgerdam in the direction Amsterdam. Via the ferry crossing the IJ, you arrive at the end point of the trip in the centre of Amsterdam. This afternoon, you will visit the former home of Rembrandt, where the painter lived with his wife Saskia for several years. In the evening you may wish to join the guide for a walk though the centre or you may (on your own account) go for a round trip of the Amsterdam canals.
Day 8 Trip concludes Amsterdam
The trip concludes after breakfast.