My husband and I are looking for a 5 or 6 day bike/barge tour in Holland or starting in Holland and following one of the rivers May 2013 Ideally, we're hoping for the option to either bike with a group or to day trip ourselves with provided maps. It appears that some of the US tour companies simply buy from suppliers so I'm not sure how best to book. Any experiences would be most appreciated. Thanks.
Hi Neighbor. My wife and I have experienced a number of self-guided bicycle trips in Europe. Bicycling is a great way to visit countries. We book through a U.S. company, and while there is a modest booking fee, it is worth it in my opinion given the quality services provided ans some level of security in case there is a problem. Our last bike trip was in the Netherlands. Excellent European style touring bikes with panniers were provided, along with a GPS with our route entered into the device. The GPS was also coded with our hotels, so it literally guided us to the front door of each. Biking in the the Netherlands is safe and enjoyable. I have no experience with barges and biking. If you would like more information, just send me a private message.
Check out www.biketoursdirect.com We have done 3 tours booked through them - all with European tour companies conducted in English (and usually German). We've done Tuscany, Croatia (Dalmatian Islands) and a bike/barge trip out of Amsterdam. The booking process is quite easy. This company doesn't lead any tours themselves - just makes the connections with the companies in Europe. We found this to be much less expensive than going with US based tour companies.
Thanks for the input!
Karen .. What tour did you do out of Amsterdam? What the best part of it? Any parts you wished had not been part of the tour?