Known for its vibrant tulip fields, Dutch cheeses and centuries-old windmills, the Netherlands is a heady mix of culture, nature and history. Cycling holidays in Holland are among the best ways to explore all that the country has to offer as you ride through picturesque scenery and between ancient villages and towns.
Much of the landscapes are flat and the twisting canal paths make cycling here a pure pleasure as you pass through cultural cities such as Haarlem, Gouda and, of course, the buzzing capital, Amsterdam. But don’t let the flatness of Holland fool you: this region comes to life in springtime with acres of flowers, making it one of the most beautiful destinations to explore on two wheels. Netherland cycling holidays offer incredible rewards for very little effort.
Once a great sailing nation, you’ll see the sophistication of the Dutch empire everywhere in the art, architecture and engineering of the canal-laced towns with their tall merchant’s buildings and photogenic streets. Explore the world-renowned galleries of famous Dutch artists, experience the cool café culture or simply soak up the natural beauty that surrounds you.
Your trip wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the local Dutch delicacies. Nibble on the famous cheeses such as Gouda, Edam and Leerdammer, or try some delicious Poffertjes, Stroopwafels and Stamppot during our Pearls of Holland tour. And the great thing about our Netherland cycling holidays is that you’ll burn off all those extra calories in no time!
Cycling Holidays in Holland
7 DaysfromAUD 2,299
Self-Guided Holidays (Excl. Flights)
Discover the Pearls of Holland on this mostly gentle circular cycling trip
Top Five Cities to Visit on Netherlands Cycling Holidays
Haarlem: As well as playing host to Bohemian pavement cafes and world-class restaurants, Haarlem is home to some of the Netherland’s greatest art galleries and museums. Teylers Museum is the oldest in the city and houses a curious collection of art, science and history pieces. You’ll discover everything here from ancient fossils to musical instruments. And don’t forget to explore Grote Markt, Haarlem’s historic centre, where magnificent buildings such as the UNESCO-listed, Gothic Grote Kerk line the square. In the summer, the square come alive with the Haarlem Culinair, an annual food festival where you can try speciality beers and listen to sound of live music pervading the streets.
Amsterdam: Most famous for the beautiful waterways that weave through the centre, the vibrant city of Amsterdam is a must-visit destination on cycling holidays in Holland. Its mesmerising backdrop of historic buildings are interwoven by narrow lanes lined with charming boutiques, flower stalls and atmospheric restaurants where the locals hang out. And you won’t get very far without coming across some impressive artwork. Amsterdam is world renowned for its museums and galleries, with the Van Gogh Museum being one of the most famous. Other notable museums include the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk, and the Hermitage, so if you’re an art lover you’ll be in your element here.
Getting around by bike in Amsterdam is a way of life for the locals, so you won’t feel out of place cycling in the Netherlands. But if you fancy a change, hop on a canal boat and admire the city from a different perspective.
Gouda: Mostly synonymous with the cheese of the same name, Gouda is a spellbinding city in South Holland. If you want to get your hands on this tasty cheese, don’t worry, you’ll find it everywhere! From the weekly Gouda cheese market and the Kaasboerderji Jongehoeve (a working cheese farm) to the many local shops that pepper the city, you can indulge to your heart’s content. But Gouda isn’t the only delicacy to make you salivate, a trip to the syrup waffle factory should also be on your list of places to visit when you’re cycling in the Netherlands.
If architecture is more your thing, everywhere you look you’ll see elegant buildings piercing the skyline. The City Hall is a Gothic masterpiece that takes pride of place at the heart of the Markt Square and is the oldest of its kind in the Netherlands.
Delft: It’s likely you’ll mostly associate Delftware, the distinctive blue and white hand-painted pottery, with the city but it was also the home of the famous artist, Johannes Vermeer. Visit the Vermeer Centre to learn more about his life and incredible artwork. As you explore Delft on one of our Netherland cycling holidays, you’ll pedal along glistening lakes and verdant pastures that are dotted with ancient windmills. The landscapes are just breath-taking and the city itself is equally as charming with its medieval old town, and laid-back cafes that grace the market square.
Leiden: Laced together by pretty canals, Leiden has a beguiling atmosphere that blends 17th-century architecture, fascinating museums and a colourful nightlife. On several of our cycling tours, you’ll ride among the Dune and Bulb region where blazing blooms of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths carpet the ground throughout springtime. You can also linger for longer to see the most beautiful flower exhibition at Keukenhof or visit the world-famous botanical gardens.
Highlights of Holland
1. Spring in Holland is a an absolute joy. Famous for the rush of colour and excitement that accompany the tulip season, springtime marks the start of longer sunnier dates and the sight of the fields coming to life as the tulips bloom is mesmerising. These scenes are best explored by bike, with miles and miles of the stunning blooms to explore.
2. Historic towns. Amsterdam is far from the only place in the Netherlands known for its beautiful canals. Escape to quieter towns like Haarlem and immerse yourself in beautiful streets.
3. Cyclist-friendly scenery. The Netherlands are famous cyclists, and the flat terrain and quiet country roads (and proliferation of cycle paths) make for stress-free cycling through some of the country’s prettiest places.
4. Great beers. Dutch beers are among the finest in the world – take the time to indulge at a ‘café’ – don’t be fooled, this is what we’d call a pub.
5. Wonderful waterways. Amsterdam is famous for its canals but it’s not alone; Holland is full of beautiful canals, rivers and lakes, not to mention the seaside routes along the coast.