"A Dutchman without a bike is like a fish without water" so the saying goes. In Holland, with nearly one bicycle for every person, everyone rides—even the royals. And in bike-crazy Belgium, home of cycling great Eddie Merckx, passion for le vélo is legendary. You'll find it in the pastoral flat-as-a-pannekoek landscape, amid the flower fields and silent canals. And in the bustling cities and storybook villages. You'll even find it post-ride—whether in the form of a fine Belgian Lambic or a pot of steamed mussels. Come bike with us in Holland and Belgium. And feel the love.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Navigating Bike PathsThe Dutch & Belgians are famous for their love of bikes. And that love of bikes has created an amazing labyrinth of bike paths and routes that extend throughout each country. Many of the paths we utilize on this trip are the equivalent of scenic byways, linking quaint villages and big cities alike. Navigating these intricate bike routes requires more attention to the directions than you might expect. Be prepared to make more stops than you usually would to ensure you're on the right track, all the while experiencing the occasional rush of riding among many locals as they commute and run errands by bike.
Days 1-2 Timeless scenery straight out of a Dutch masterpiece Begin with a leisurely ride from Alkmaar to Santpoort, located on the edge of a scenic coastal forest Savor traditional pannenkoeken (pancakes) by day and Michelin-starred cuisine by night In the spring, admire the vibrant floral designs at Keukenhof, the world's largest flower garden Pedal past forests and windmills on your way to Holland’s charming coast Emerald-green fields and horse farms lead the way to The Hague, our home for two nights.
Day 3 Bike through hamlets and countryside to Gouda, where the beloved cheese originates Delight in a visit to the World Heritage site of Kinderdijk, known for its 19 windmills once used to drain the surrounding floodplain Taste a wedge of distinctive Gouda—or perhaps a slice of appeltaart? Biking is a way of life in the Netherlands, and it's a pleasure to join the locals as you cruise through the region, passing dikes and quaint villages.
Days 4-6 Uncover the captivating history and culture of two countries in a single trip Bike over the border—welcome to Belgium! It's a scenic spin to romantic Bruges—nearly car-free and ideal for exploring on foot Discover the nooks and crannies of this stunningly preserved medieval city of narrow cobblestone streets, steep-gabled brick houses, lofty spires and meandering canals If you're overwhelmed by the bier choices in Belgium, try Zot, which has the distinction of being the only beer brewed in Bruges—it's also regarded as one of Belgium's finest—prost! Pedal to the Flemish village of Diksmuide, once the heart of Belgian resistance in World War I Enjoy a final spin through the forests and over the canals around Bruges.
- Uncover the captivating history and culture of two countries in a single trip
- Windmills, canals, pitch-roofed farmhouses and vast skies—scenery straight out of a Dutch masterpiece
- A welcoming bike culture of epic proportions
- Luxuriate in hotels reminiscent of the 17th-century Golden Age
- Treat your sweet tooth in Bruges, the center of the chocolate universe for many connoisseurs
Landgoed Duin & Kruidberg (1 night): A historic country estate situated within a national park and featuring a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Hotel des Indes (2 nights): Built in 1858 to host aristocrats and heads of state, this opulent former palace is set on the shady Lange Voorhout among the cafés, restaurants and shops of the historic city center. (pool, spa)
Hotel De Tuilerieën (2 nights): An elegant hotel—originally a 15th-century noble residence—overlooking Den Dyver, the most picturesque canal in Bruges. A Small Luxury Hotels of the World member. (pool)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
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* Includes a shuttle
2016 Dates & Pricing*
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Guest Trip Reviews
I'm delighted to be offering this trip as one of our Breakaway adventures. The biking is excellent, with routes that follow a mix of bicycling paths (fietspaden) as well as flat, peaceful rural roads and dike (dijk) walls. You'll enjoy a fantastic variety of historic sites, such as the World Heritage site of Kinderdijk and the beautiful central square of Bruges. And the hotels are truly superb, including one that rests in a national park and features a Michelin-starred restaurant.- Regional Manager, Holland & Belgium