Netherlands Bike & Barge
Gouda Cheese Shop
Some Highlights of this Tour:
Join us as we travel from Bruges, Belgium to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, on our luxury bike and barge tour. We’ll cycle through some of the best regions of these two countries where cycling rules! We'll start with a few days in Belgium, cycling and seeing the sites prior to boarding the barge as we cruise to Ghent, Antwerp, Kinderdijk, famous for windmills, Gouda, and ending in world-famous Amsterdam.
- Enjoy fine Belgian beers.
- Meet local cheese farmers and taste their products.
- Explore WWI battlegrounds in Poperinge and Ypres.
- Visit the windmills at Kinderdijk, a UNESCO world heritage site.
- Follow in the footsteps of Peter Paul Rubens, the most famous Flemish painter, as we visit the city of Antwerp that he called home.
June 7: Arrival Day
Welcome to the vibrant city of Brussels (Bruxelles), the capital city of Belgium! You might like to arrive a few days early to visit Brussels, a city steeped in history and culture. With roots dating back to Roman times, it has evolved into a vibrant European hub. Its iconic Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcases opulent 17th-century architecture. Brussels is also home to the European Union headquarters, symbolizing its pivotal role in modern geopolitics. Amidst its historical charm, the city boasts a rich culinary scene, celebrated for its delectable chocolates, waffles, and world-renowned Belgian beer. After our briefing and bike assembly, we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner together.
June 8: Brussels to Mons
Today we’ll enjoy a cycling tour from Brussels to Mons, a journey through Belgian history and culture. As you pedal through picturesque countryside, you'll encounter quaint villages and rolling hills, all steeped in tradition. One noteworthy stop is the DeCamm Lambeek Brewery in Gooik, a historic gem known for crafting exquisite lambic beers since 1820. Sip on these unique brews, fermented with wild yeast, and savor the taste of centuries past. Along the way, delve into the tales of famous battles and legends that have shaped this region, making it a captivating adventure for both history buffs and beer aficionados alike. Our destination is the small town of Mons, a UNESCO City, significant since Roman times and also the site of important battles in World War I. After dinner we’ll have time to stroll through the city.
June 9: Mons to Tournai
Our bike tour today will take us from Mons to Tournai, close to the French border and deep into Wallonia, as we’ll pedal through the former industrial backbone of Belgium between the Sambre and Meuse river valleys. Today mostly covered by forests and agricultural fields, it is no longer the rich industrial area it was in the 1800s. As we cycle towards Tournai, the city's striking Cathedral of Our Lady stands as a UNESCO World Heritage site, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Along the route, we'll traverse serene countryside, encounter charming villages, and immerse ourselves in the centuries-old traditions that have shaped this region, making for an unforgettable exploration of Belgian history and culture.
June 10: Tournai to Ypres
Today we leave the Wallonia to enter Flemish part of Belgium. Our bike tour will lead us to Ypres, a captivating journey through the heart of Belgian history and culture. Continuing to Ypres, we’ll discover the touching history of World War I, visiting the Menin Gate and battlefields that tell the stories of sacrifice and resilience and the Flanders Field Museum. This cycling tour weaves together the threads of art, history, and tradition of this remarkable region.
June 11: Ypres/Poperinge-Bruges
From Ypres we pedal northwest directly through the West Flanders region, passing by the town of Poperinge famous for the traditional breweries and the delicious chocolate. We won’t miss a stop to Westvleteren, one of only 6 authentic Trappist beers in Belgium (made by Trappist monks, a branch of Cistercian monks) which is continually ranked amongst the top beers in the world. The 16th Century St. Sixtus Abbey is not open to the public, but you can still enjoy the world's highest ranking beers from the In de Vrede café across the street before continuing on to the town of Esen (famous for its "mad brewers" brewery) where the true beer connoisseurs may want to enjoy the afternoon guided tour before arriving in Bruges the “Pearl of Flanders” a Unesco World Heritage-listed historical city. After dinner you can enjoy a lovely evening walk in Bruges.
June 12: Bruges Boat Embarkation
Today, we will enjoy a guided visit of Bruges. After the tour, you can decide to visit the chocolate museum, diamond museum or even the Belgian fry museum! Embarkation time in Bruges is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The ship awaits you in Bruges harbor. After a welcome meeting with the crew at 2 PM there is time for sampling at a beer bar late this afternoon! Dinner on board.
June 13: Bruges to Ghent
We will start the day pedaling towards Ghent through the beautiful Flemish landscape along the Ghent canal. On arrival in Ghent make sure you make the effort to discover the best of what this historic city has to offer during an afternoon stroll. Ghent’s medieval center features lovely, illuminated streets that are a must to explore, while the architectural richness in the center of the city has to be seen to be believed. During the Middle Ages Ghent was the 2nd largest European city, after Paris. The ship will dock for the night in a suburb of Ghent, and approx. 30 cycling minutes from the city center. Before dinner a small canal boat will take you for a guided tour through the historic city. Dinner on board.
June 14: Ghent-Dendermonde to St. Amands
In the morning we will spend some time in Ghent. Later in the morning we will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde located at the confluence of Dender and Schelde rivers. There is only one way to describe the landscape along the Schelde and that is magnificent. It is without doubt one of the natural highlights of the tour. During this section of the Schelde the speed of the ship will be determined by the height of the tide. We will travel from Dendermonde to St. Amands by either bicycle or barge depending on the tides. Your floating hotel will be docked for the night in St. Amands. Dinner on board.
June 15: St. Amands-Temse to Antwerp
Today we will follow the Schelde river further downstream through the Temse region to Antwerp. Over the centuries the Schelde river has held strategic importance for the Romans, Vikings, Spanish and Napoleon. Today it is a beautiful waterway just perfect for bike and barge holidays! Antwerp, your destination for the day, is a harbor city famous for handling up to 80% of the world’s rough diamonds and as the birthplace of the famous painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens. There are many highlights in the city to discover including: the City Hall, one of several majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period, the historical City Square Grote Markt, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle. Dinner on board.
June 16: Antwerp-Kreekrak Locks to Dordecht
This morning, the ship will sail along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and over the huge Kreekrak lock system. Here your bicycle tour starts through the beautiful Wouwse Plantage forest to Tholen, Tholen once was an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams, where many people fished for their living. Nowadays Tholen is connected to the mainland in various ways. But it is still a picturesque village with many relics of an eventful past. From Tholen you will join the ship again for a nice afternoon sail to the city of Dordrecht. Halfway the ship will pass the impressive Volkerak lock system. Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands is your destination for the day. The guide will take you for an evening walk and tell you about the history of the Netherlands. Dinner on board.
June 17: Dordecht to Vianen
Today we will start the tour with the waterbus, a fast ferry that will take you and your bicycle in just 10 minutes to Alblasserdam. After just a few minutes of cycling you will reach Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 UNESCO cultural heritage-listed windmills – one of which you can visit (don’t forget your camera!). The windmills were constructed in the 18th century to pump water out of the low Alblasserwaard polder (a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments). Then we’ll continue to Gouda, worldwide known for its unique cheese and traditional market, where we’ll stop to taste it. Pedaling through Schoonhoven, a city renowned for its talented silversmiths since the 17th century and called Zilverstad (Silver City) we’ll reach Vianen, a small, fortified town on the river Lek (Lower Rhine), where you will stay for the night and where you can explore at your leisure after dinner on board.
June 18: Vianen to Amsterdam
During breakfast the ship will cruise to Breukelen where you disembark to start cycling. Ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its beautiful mansions, small castles, impressive houses and their large gardens. After cycling through the villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland you will arrive at Nigtevecht where you can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue cycling through the historic town of Muiden and on to Amsterdam where you will meet the barge for the final time in Amsterdam harbor.
June 19: Amsterdam Loop to Monnickendam/Marken
After breakfast we’ll say goodbye to the boat crew, disembarking is planned until 9.30 a.m. . We’ll continue our cycling tour discovering fabulous Amsterdam and its surroundings, biking to Marken, with a delightful stopover in Monnickendam. As you pedal along the scenic route, you'll trace the footsteps of Dutch history. Monnickendam, a picturesque town dating back to the 14th century, boasts charming cobblestone streets and well-preserved architecture. Pause to explore its historic harbor, once a bustling center for ship building during the Golden Age. Continuing your ride, you'll cross the iconic dikes connecting the mainland to Marken, an island with a rich maritime heritage. Marvel at its iconic green houses, a testament to the enduring Dutch spirit of resilience and innovation. We’ll cycle back to Amsterdam by the late afternoon to enjoy the lively atmosphere along the typical canals.
June 20: Amsterdam Loop to Haarlem Sand Dunes
Today our cycling adventure will start from Amsterdam to Haarlem, crossing the lovely sand dunes of the Netherlands, and then return to Amsterdam. As you pedal through this picturesque route, you'll discover the historical significance of these dunes, which have served as natural barriers against the sea for centuries. Haarlem, a city rich in art and culture, beckons with its iconic museums and 17th-century architecture. In the area we’ll visit some remaining of the Atlantic Walls, the extensive system of costal defense and fortifications built by the Germans during WWII. After a day of exploration, we’ll return through the dunes, where their serene beauty has inspired artists like Van Gogh. This journey seamlessly weaves history, culture, and natural wonders into one unforgettable ride.
June 21: Departure Day
Depart for home or other destinations.
The description listed here is a very good approximation of this trip but routes may change marginally to improve the trip experience. We are now taking bookings for this tour. If you are interested in this tour, please Contact Us for more information or check out our info page to see what's included on a Tandem Bicycle Tour.