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Bike tour themes
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Bike tour themes

Holland, or the Netherlands as it is officially known, is a very bicycle-friendly country. The way that cycling is integrated into the traffic systems, the general small scale of everything and the flat terrain all contribute significantly in providing the perfect conditions for a stress-free bike tour.

To help you choose your own cycling holiday, Tulip Cycling has selected seven themes representing the best of Holland on a cycling holiday. Choose your favourite theme(s), then add your own special interests. Our route-planners will do the rest, creating your individual bike tour. Rest assured that you won't get bored, - there is so much to discover!

Tourist attractions for bike tours in the Netherlands
North Sea coastal bike path in Holland

North Sea coast
  • Dunes
  • Sandy beaches
  • Harbours
Keukenhof flower garden bike tour

  • Tulips
  • Keukenhof flower garden
  • Flower parades
Bike tour along historic windmills and waterways

Windmills & waterways
  • Polders
  • Windmills
  • Cheeses
Bike along river landscapes Rhine, Maas

River landscape
  • Rivers and dykes
  • Flood plains
  • Bird life
Hoge Veluwe and Kröller Müller bike tour

National park
  • Woods / forests
  • Heaths / moors
  • Sand drifts
Amsterdam, Delft and Leiden on bike

Historical cities
  • Medieval houses
  • 'Old masters' art
  • City canals
Bike vacation Operation Market Garden Holland

World War II reflection
  • Museums
  • Battlefield
  • War memorials

North Sea coast

The western coastline of The Netherlands is 300 kilometres (180 miles) long and is a unique stretch of sand and dunes. The beaches stretch from the Wadden Islands in the north, to the Belgian coast in the south, with only the odd river or harbour interrupting the coastline. The Netherlands is characterized by its long, broad beaches, lined with smooth, wind-blown dunes. The coastal regions boast their own special characteristics with their little seaside resorts villages, lighthouses and the wild, natural beauty of the almost unbroken lines of dunes.
If you're looking for crowds, you will find them on the beach on a hot summer day. But if you're looking for peace and quiet, there's plenty of that too. The beaches stretch for kilometres and offer anonymity even during the busiest periods. Just inland from the coast, there are many attractions, museums and events, which are easily accessible by bike. There is an almost uninterrupted bicycle path, leading from the northern town of Den Helder to Rotterdam.


Dutch fabulous flowers by bike
Springtime is a special time of the year to cycle along the North Sea coast on account of the breathtaking views of the bulb fields. Between the beginning of April and the first week of May, the famous Dutch bulb fields are at their best, providing a dramatic display of tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils kilometre after kilometre, and in all the colours of the rainbow. The prime growing region lies between Haarlem and Leiden, just 10 kilometres from the coast.

Combine this tour option with a visit to the famous 'Keukenhof' (Kitchen Garden) spring gardens.

Windmills & Waterways

The name 'The Netherlands' actually means 'the lowlands'. Many many years ago, much of Holland was covered with water, but over the centuries the land has gradually been reclaimed from the sea. The Dutch coastline is determined principally by dunes and man-made dikes or levées. Together they protect the low-lying parts (polders) of the country from the sea.

Approximately a-one third of the entire country lies below sea level, and the only place you will find hills is in the south-eastern province of Limburg.

Dutch water-engineering is impressive. Water from the low-lying polders is drained by a network of canals, slow flowing rivers and sluices and is finally pumped away by modern pumping stations, or sometimes older steam-pumps, or even by the famous old Dutch windmills. There are more than 1,000 windmills which have been well-preserved and are still in good working order. It is also possible to visit some of these windmills during your tour.

River landscape

The Rhine is the most important river in the Netherlands and consists of melt-water from the mountains of Germany and Switzerland and spills out over the flatlands of Holland. The result is an impressive lowlands landscape, laced with canals and interspersed by quaint tile-roofed villages. Along the major rivers, Rhine, Waal, IJssel and Maas you will find the most quiet bicycle paths guiding you from the German or Belgium border up to the Dutch coast.

National park

The largest national park in the Netherlands is situated in the central-eastern part of the country, near the town of Apeldoorn. It is called the Hoge Veluwe, and the origins of the area were formed some 200,000 years ago when the glaciers pushed up layers of soil creating huge banks, the so-called 'stuwwallen'. 10,000 years ago strong winds gradually covered the banks with sand.

Today the park, covering an area of 5,500 hectares, is a unique blend of forests and woods, shifting sands and heather moorlands providing a sense of isolation that is not to be found anywhere else on the Dutch mainland.. Red deer, wild boar and sheep roam freely. The many cycle paths criss-cross the park and there is almost no vehicular traffic.

The Hoge Veluwe recently renovated its Visitors Centre, as well as the beautiful and architecturally significant Hunting Lodge called St Hubertus. The gem of the park must be the famous Kröller-Müller Museum, containing 278 works by Van Gogh, as well as smaller collections of Picasso and Mondriaan and many others. Around the museum building there is an enchanting garden which houses Europe's largest collection of sculptures with works by Rodin, Moore, Giacometti and many more.

Historical cities

The history of the old Dutch cities is very interesting. Some have originate from outposts of the Roman army, also having endured floods, fires, wars, and it has to be said - modern architecture.

Despite a lack of building materials and swamp conditions, the merchants in the sixteenth century managed to amass unbelievable fortunes, building beautiful mansions with lavish interiors. The wealthier merchants commissioned artists to paint their portraits and so the famous Dutch School was born. Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals, to name but a few, all belonged to this school.

Dutch artisans making ceramic pottery also found new market for their products. This period of prosperity became known as the Golden Age. Today the illustrious period is still evident in some smaller Dutch cities such as Delft, Gouda and Leiden, as well as in the four main cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

Amsterdam is famous for the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank house, its beautiful canals and of course, its vibrant atmosphere. We recommend you visit the city before or after your cycle tour and take, public transport to get around using the train, tram and bus. The amount of traffic and number of people milling about the narrow streets would certainly not add anything to your cycling pleasure.

The Hague, on the other hand, is more distinguished and dignified as well as being famous for its royal palaces and parliament buildings.
In Utrecht you should explore the city's canals and the unusual pedestrian wharfs, five meters below street level.

Delft owes its name to the world 'delving', digging the oldest canal. The city has links to appealing cultural-historical values such as Delftware, the Dutch royal family and the Dutch East India Company.
From Delft you can easily visit Rotterdam, which was badly bombed during WWII, but has resurrected itself to become an icon of experimental post-war architecture, as well as being one of the largest commercial harbours in the world.

There are a countless number of places that will be of interest to you. Towns and villages, each with their own personality and uniqueness and of course many, many museums and parks.

World War II reflection

The Netherlands was able to stay neutral during World War I but the Second World War was a totally different story. On May 10, 1940 the Germans invaded by crossing the Eastern border. On May 15 surrender was signed after a German bombing blitz on Rotterdam, which destroyed most of the city. During the years 1940-1944 the Dutch suffered under the oppression of the German occupier. Although a sound Dutch resistance movement was formed, numerous Jews were deported to concentration camps and never returned. Many Dutch men were forced to hard labor in German war industries.

After the successful Allied invasion (D-day) in Normandy, the south of Holland was liberated in the summer of 1944. The Allies developed a paratrooper plan, Market Garden, to seize two bridges in Holland: one in Nijmegen and the other in Arnhem. Although the first objective was reached, second was a disaster. The paratroopers were annihilated by a German Panzer division, the survivors eventually escaping back behind Allied lines. The first months of 1945 were extremely costly for the Dutch. Thousands of people died of starvation in the cities, where the effects of the ever-decreasing food supplies were the most severe.

Finally, in April 1945 the Allied forces were able to push through and Holland was liberated on 5th May; three days before Germany's total surrender. With the arrival of freedom, the Dutch went from the depth of despair to soaring heights of joy. Experiences from WW II are engraved in the collective Dutch consciousness. This manifests itself in a day (4th May) of commemoration of all military and civil victims of war and the remembrance of the tremendous sacrifice of the foreign Allied liberation force.

Each year the end of World War II is celebrated on 'Liberation Day' which is on 5th May. The events and emotions of the dark years of the WWII period are well preserved in many museums, visitors centres and war cemeteries. Their purpose is to show the horrors of that period in the hope that 'this never again' will happen to future generations. Some major battle fields from 1940 and also the area where the 'Market Garden' operation took place are all within easy cycling distance, so that you may wish to include this theme along with your other preferences.
The support given by Tulip Cycling was excellent. The equipment, choice of bike paths and the pre-programmed GPS made the whole experience one of pure delight and fun with gorgeous sights all the way, wonderful accommodations and easy travel.
Tissot family, USA
A wonderful trip!!! Thanks to Peter for all his help to make it so special (and for convincing me to do the trip without a tour group). We had such a great time. My two 10 year old girls had such a great fun (and were proud of their accomplishment). It is a of a trip we will all remember. Thanks for everything! I’ve already recommended you to friends.
Sharon Moore
Just returned from our fabulous journey from Amsterdam to Bruges. It was outstanding! The itinerary, the equipment (bikes, GPS, maps, etc.) and our guide Peter were fantastic. Peter really have deep knowledge of his country, what a memorable ride across the Netherlands.
Brigitte and Francois
Thank you for everything. We packed lots of memories into this trip. It was a grand way to learn about Netherlands and see what a cultured and friendly place it is.
The GPS was essential, and we are so glad we learned to use it. Everytime, we wondered where is Peter taking us? We would come across a canal, field of flowers, quaint village, spectacular scenery. Thank you so much.
Susan and Billy Hobart
You run a very professional organization and we look forward to more tours in the future. You have made us biking enthusiasts.
Michael and Chau Smith
Because of you we had a magnificient trip! I’m excited to tell all my friends about my trip and this lovely country and encourage them to come and visit and use Tulip Cycling to see the country.
Mary Thomas
I thought I would just let you know we are having such a GREAT TIME!! Maybe you can find a job for a orthodontist and a Radiologist for us.?
Louise Taillard, South Africa
Thank you so much for this very enjoyable experience! Your organizational skills and attention to detail are outstanding.
Barbara Morgan
Just to thank you again for the wonderful trip, yours was the 7th we made and one of our favorites now
Alicia Fuentes
My wife and I just finished a 4 day self guided tour. It was fabulous! Tulip planned a route that we never could have found on our own. The equipment and handling of our luggage made everything easy. We loved the trip!!
Bob Brownson
Thank you Tulip Cycling for a exciting and scenic 5 day tour through part of your beautiful country. Peter’s meticulous organisation and first class equipment made our ride a memorable one.
Geoff and Bethany Canberra Australia
Our friends recommended this cycling trip for my 50th birthday and it was a fabulous celebration-- by far the best family vacation we’ve ever taken! The route Peter crafted for us was perfect-- so beautiful! The hotels were quaint, food was delicious. And our 11 and 12 year old loved riding tandem. I cried when we had to go home. We’ve talked about this trip for months... can’t wait to return. A 5-star experience!
Jane and Mark
The trip overall was our favorite vacation we've ever taken. We feel privileged to have visited. As a lifelong cyclist, it was like visiting the promised land.
Katherine and Stephen Coleman, USA
Thank you for organizing our trip this summer, we had a fantastic time and will definitely return in the future. We had so many good experiences traveling along the countryside enjoying the scenery and weather.
Auburn and Sean Brady, USA
We had a great time in Holland.
Thank you for everything.
Carvajal family, Mexico
Our memories are still fresh in our minds and we loved every minute of out time in the Netherlands. Your company ensured the cycling portion was flawless and most enjoyable. Thank you for providing top quality bicycles and support equipment.
John and Peg Lalonde, Canada
The tour was wonderful, and I've recommended your services highly to my friends. In particular, the route selection was superb.
Judith Macaluso, USA
We had the most wonderful holiday with your company and I wish to say a big thank you for all your hard work and professionalism in ensuring we had the best possible experience.
Gillian and John Au, UK
Tulip Cycling just got better!
We do a weeks self guided tour with Tulip Cycling every year and have now been cycling for 9 years each time in a different area of this lovely country.
John and Christine Widdowson, UK
Our trip with you was fantastic....and we've told many others about it. The GPS made it unique.
Martens family, USA
We have recommended your business to many people – as we had a terrific cycling trip, due to your professional organisation and fabulous path routing. The GPS was brilliant and the route really showcased the variety of experiences available in the Netherlands – there is no better way to see a country than through the eyes of a local.
Thank you, again.
Richard Lewis
It was truly an extraordinary journey, where everything was carefully prepared by you and your staff.
We were enchanted by the landscapes of flower fields, windmills, canals, small towns and by the kindness with which we were treated by the Dutch people. It was really unforgettable days that make us want to return, and invite our friends as well.
Emerson de Carvalho
Tailor made tour for 3 days of cycling for my husband, me and teenage son! Fantastic bikes, superb organization!!! A fantastic get away and we just had to show up. Lots of opportunity to add in our own stops along the way, the route details, booked hotels and luggage transport made for a stress free journey. Peter is outstanding and lives what he does. Every detail taken care of do you can just get on the bike pedal away with your GPS route!
We did a six day ride in June to mark my 70th birthday. The accommodations were amazing; small, neat, clean hotels and bed and breakfasts. The GPS was a little iffy for us, but Peter always answered our call for a quick fix! I would love to come back and do another ride.
Terry Dickow
Yes, one can DIY a bike trip around the country, but we believe that the depth of knowledge that Tulip provided for our ride took us to and through places that we would not otherwise have experienced just following a map or Google Maps over 16 days. We believe Tulip provided very good value and we recommend them highly.
Julie So
We asked Peter to plan a ride on our tandem from Amsterdam to Ghent, Belgium in 8 days in September 2018. He planned the route, with beautiful maps and excellent GPS, arranged the hotels and the luggage transport. We even go to almost see the King in The Hague.
Only thing he couldn't control was the weather, when a storm blew in from the North Sea. We got a bit wet and wind-blown, but thoroughly enjoyed all of his arrangements.
Dolly Craft
We did the short version of the historic town. It was perfect for us as an American family of four with two teenage kids (13 and 16). If we ever get another chance, we would do it again and probably build in more days to the trip to just enjoy the different towns.
Samantha Pearson
My husband and I did a 1-week tour through parts of the Netherlands in May 2018 and we loved our experience. Peter and Tulip Cycling were amazing! The level of detail and organization is spectacular! Communication with Peter is easy and quick. Our experience was so good that we are returning again next year with a large group! I highly recommend this tour company - you will be very pleased with the service!
Natascha Wesch
We were very happy with your cycling service. The e-bikes and GPS were an excellent choice for us as was your instruction at the outset. The Hanseatic tour was very interesting and the countryside beautiful. We particularly noticed how friendly and helpful the people in Holland are. We also noticed a more positive attitude about cyclists by motorists in Holland compared to motorists in Canada.
Jim May
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8131 SV Wijhe
The Netherlands

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