Day 1: Bruges
Bruges is well-known as the "pearl of Flanders" and shows itself as an enchanting, open city, which was discovered by tourists about 150 years ago. The main part of the medieval center remains exceptionally well preserved and can give a good insight of times gone by when Bruges was the centre of the European wool and cloth trade.
Day 2: Bruges – Vlissingen/Middelburg, approx. 66 km
After a rich breakfast, you hop on the bicycle and find your way again. Firstly, you cycle to Damme, a small enchanting town which lies directly on the romantic Damme-Canal. Afterwards your journey leads you the border and to Zeeland, a dutch province, where you’ll find light, wind, water and spacious polders. Bridges and ferries will take you from one island to the other in direction north-east. Some picturesque villages with old houses and cobbled streets will be with you for the next few days. Traverse a patchwork landscape of vast polders, idyllic countryside, rolling dunes and golden sand flats.
Day 3: Vlissingen/Middelburg – Schuddebeurs/Zierikzee, approx. 42 km
Discover the nostalgic splendour of the city of Middelburg, capital of Zeeland. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of the most important centres of trade in the Netherlands. 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. A wander down the narrow streets of Zierikzee is an absolute delight. Quaint little 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 Sea.
Day 4: Schuddebeurs/Zierikzee – Willemstad, approx. 50 km
Enjoy your last day in Zeeland. Today you traverse a patchwork landscape of vast polders, idyllic countryside, rolling dunes and golden sand flats. Willemstad has a small, but very interesting city center with a lot of well preserved houses dating back from the 17th and 18th century. This is a small, but absolutely typical dutch, fortified town.
Day 5: Willemstad – Papendrecht, approx. 65 km
Today’s way will lead you to the National Park De Biesbosch. As a result of a major flood in 1421, Biesbosch is one of the few remaining waterland habitats in Europe where the ecosystem has adapted both to saltwater coming in from the sea through tidal creeks, and to freshwater coming down in the rivers. It’s an ever-changing labyrinth of creeks and riverlets encompassing countless little islands of willow woods and reeds, a paradise for birds. Afterwards you cycle further to Papendrecht.
Day 6: Papendrecht – Gouda, approx. 37 km
Hit the trail once again and head for the village of Kinderdijk where nineteen majestetic windmills present a unique spectacle. In the age of wind they were used to drain excess water out of the low-lying polder up to the river Lek. On your way to Gouda you will be 2 m under sea level. Your destination for today is the cheese city Gouda, a rural, old dutch town with a really special city center. Not only for cheese people know Gouda but for the city hall, candles, sirup-waffles and canals. The hotel today lies beautifully on the Gouwe, only a few minutes by foot from the historical center away. We recommend an evening stroll around the old part of the town to soak up the yesteryear atmosphere and marvel at the large and attractive market square boasting a wonderful fifteenth century town hall as well as a Weighing House ("Waag").
Day 7: Gouda – Amsterdam, approx. 79 km
Today you will have a day full of differences: Plunge into the peace and quiet of the "Groene Hart" or the so-called "Green Heart", a pleasant rural area of low-lying polders with peat meadows and grazing cattle. It’s a flat, open, spacious landscape where church spires and windmills touch the horizon and clouds are reflected in lakes and canals. For centuries, people flocked from far and wide to buy horses, cows, meat, turf, seed, cheese etc. at weekly and annuel markets in Gouda. After 70 km on your bicycle you will finally arrive in the bustling city of Amsterdam. Try to have enough time to admire the elegant tree-lined canals and tall narrow townhouses and warehouses dating from the 17th century (UNESCO World Heritage Site). If you like, we are happy to book additional nights for you. Amsterdam, famous for its gorgeous 400-year-old canal district; museums (the new Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, Anne Frank etc.); street artists and performers on Dam, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein; a notorious red-light district and more. This city is brimming with things to see and do - you couldn’t wish for a more exciting, last highlight of your holiday.
Possibility of an extra night in Woerden: Day 7: approx. 38 km; Day 8: 48 km)
Day 8: Amsterdam
Individual departure or extension in Amsterdam.