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biking vacation in Holland - questions

Hi,

I would like to do a bicycle vacation in Holland during tulip season - I will be going by myself because my friends all think I'm nuts. I was wondering if there is a reputable firm that I could book a trip with. I was thinking of the kind where you cycle from hotel to hotel or B&B and see the sites in between. These companies will map the trip, make the hotel arrangements, rent the bike and some will make sure your luggage gets to each stop so you don't have to cycle w/it (I am pushing 62 years old). Also, I am sort of a budget traveler. Any suggestions or help would be most appreciated.

Thanks

nak

Posted by
2827 posts

I'm not particularly aware of such tours in Netherlands. I'm sure they exist, but they are a nich, and probably a very expensive one.

If you want to travel by bike on a budget, the easiest solution is this:

  1. Buy yourself a bike upon arrival, an used or even new one, depending on how many days you are going to stay around

  2. Find a hotel that has a good location on areas you want to visit.

  3. Use trains to help you move around (you can take bicycles on national trains outside peak times (6.30-9.00; 16.30-19.00 weekdays) paying a € 4,00 supplement per day).

  4. When you are relocating from one hotel to another, travel with your single luggage and your bike on trains.

This will be much cheaper than any guided tour.

There are some specific areas where flower fields dominate the landscape, such as the land between Harlemmermeer and the inland dunes in the Randstad, the arch between Prumerend and Enkhuizen and some others.

You can check the network of bike paths here: http://en.routeplanner.fietsersbond.nl/ Red lines on that map (zoom in 3 levels at least) are segregated bike paths, exclusive for bicycles, mopeds and light scooters.

Posted by
6 posts

Hi Nancy,

Why do your friends think you're nuts?! This is a great idea!!
I hope you can find a suitable tour with the above suggestions. I stayed in that area just a few years ago so I wanted to chime in with a few details.
I would say, the main bulb-growing area is not that huge, and since it's so flat and there are bike lanes, it's really manageable. I'm not sure you'd need to go from hotel to hotel at all, unless you want to visit some of the larger cities as well.
We stayed in Noordwijkerhout, in a bungalow at De Gouden Spar: http://www.goudenspar.nl/en/ The bungalows are busy in the summer, but in spring they may not fill up until after the hotels all do. There are several bungalow parks in the area, and there are hotels too if that's what you prefer.
Bungalows are self-catering, so you would have to find the nearby Albert Heijn and get your own groceries and cook your meals. De Gouden Spar even has a few spare bikes just laying around that you can borrow. Admittedly, getting groceries is way easier with a car, although you might be able to borrow or rent a cargo bike.
Noordwijkerhout is nestled amongst bulb fields, and also across the street from a vast network of sand dunes that are full of paths - excellent for exploring. The walking/running paths are separate from the bike paths, and you can find your way out to the beach.

Also, we passed by at least one bike rental place nearby, which I believe was this one: http://www.rentabikevandam.nl/index_en.html

There is a parade called the Bloemencorso that goes from Noordwijk to the Keukenhof, and from Noordwijk or Noordwijkerhout you'd be close enough to bike over and find a spot to watch from. Looks like it's Saturday, May 3rd at 9am this year.

If you can't find a suitable package tour, you might do well to rent a car and also rent a bike, and pick a hotel or bungalow that suits you. You can take the car to go to the Keukenhof early in the day, to get groceries or run to the drugstore, and/or to range around the smaller highways and get pancakes at a couple of the old-school pancake restaurants. You can take the bike to meander around the little towns and the fields everywhere, or to jaunt out to the beach if you get a nice day for that.

Posted by
1498 posts

Nancy - You can get in contact with our national tourist organisation ANWB for more info about cycling holidays in The Netherlands. If you book a trip here check if the company is member of ANVR and SGR to be more secure that things are handled well if there is an issue.
The website www.nederlandfietsland.nl (non-profit) provides a lot of information, also in English about this kind of trips. You can also look at Cecilia’s Homepage, she is very active on many travel forums and an enthusiastic cyclist and helps often people with questions about cycling trips. Here website is: http://cile.home.xs4all.nl/

Posted by
2525 posts

Touring Netherlands by bicycle is a great way to see the country. The bike paths are great and safe. We did so utilizing Tulip Cycling and can also be booked through the U.S. company Bike Tours Direct. Bicycles included a a GPS and literally guided us front door to front door of each accommodation. Have a great trip.