Discover food, art, and history as you cycle through the Dutch and Belgian countryside. Start in Amsterdam to tour the city's most prominent sites. Bike past tulip fields to Haarlem and Leiden, then take a cheese break in Gouda and revel in its charm. Pedal past windmills in Kinderdijk before exploring the wildlife of Biesbosch National Park. Head into Belgium to see the beautiful cities of Antwerp and Ghent, and get your fill of Belgian chocolate and beer as you roll toward a big finish in Bruges.


  • Explore Amsterdam to see important monuments and learn about its history
  • Have "high tea" in Delft on its famous blue and white porcelain ceramics
  • Ride past tulips and windmills, and perhaps spot a beaver in the Dutch countryside
  • Marvel at Ghent's stunning medieval architecture as you float along its canals
  • Taste cheese, beer, and chocolate as you cycle your way to Bruges for a big finish

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Guided Walking Tour of Jordaan & Western Islands Amsterdam
Day 2 Cycle to Haarlem, Explore Haarlem Haarlem
Day 3 Cycle to Leiden, Leiden Guided Walking Tour Leiden
Day 4 Cycle to Delft via The Hague, Delft Blue High Tea Delft
Day 5 Cycle to Haastrecht via Gouda Haastrecht
Day 6 Cycle to Dordrecht via Kinderdijk  Dordrecht
Day 7 Explore Dordrecht, Biesbosch National Park Dordrecht
Day 8 Cycle to Breda Breda
Day 9 Cycle to Antwerp, Antwerp Food Tour & Visit Rubens House Antwerp
Day 10 Cycle to Ghent, Scenic Boat Tour Ghent
Day 11 Cycle to Oudenaarde  Oudenaarde
Day 12 Cycle to Roeselare Roeselare
Day 13 Cycle to Bruges, Duvelorium Beer Tasting Bruges
Day 14 Free Time in Bruges or Brussels, Depart Brussels  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam, Guided Walking Tour of Jordaan & Western Islands

from Amsterdam airport to Amsterdam by train
One of Amsterdam's many canals

Welcome to the Netherlands! Upon arrival at Amsterdam airport, take the 15-minute train ride to your hotel (or opt for a taxi). Your hotel will be in the city center, a fantastic labyrinth of canals and small streets dotted with historic houses and other buildings. The center of Amsterdam is relatively small, and most places can be easily reached on foot, by bike, or by tram. Once settled in at your hotel, meet your guide to explore the Jordaan, a colorful neighborhood of Amsterdam with its narrow streets, canals, and hidden courtyards.

Wander this hip district with fashionable shops, restaurants, and trendy cafés that have retained their unique character. On Saturdays, people from all over Amsterdam visit the farmer's market for their weekend shopping, to eat renowned apple pie or Dutch new herring. Not far are the Western Islands, one of Amsterdam's best-kept secrets. The three islands were built in the early 1600s, at that time, on open water. Today you'll discover authentic workshops, warehouses, and streets with a village-like atmosphere. 

Day 2: Cycle to Haarlem, Explore Haarlem

Amsterdam to Haarlem self-guided cycle route
Cycle through Haarlem

Finish breakfast, and meet your host at your hotel. After handing over your luggage and a short briefing about the travel itinerary, bicycle, and GPS device, you'll start your cycling adventure! The first cycling day is easy, with about 18 miles (30 km). Leave the bustle of the city behind you and enter the unmistakable lowland landscapes. In the Kennemerland area, you will find an impressive variety of natural beauty, such as extensive marshland, unforgettable botanical gardens, deep forests, and beautiful wetlands. You'll spend the night in Haarlem, a city rich in art, culture, monuments, and cozy restaurants and cafés.

Your luggage will be waiting at your hotel, which will be the procedure every cycling day. You'll have the remainder of the day free. If you are interested in art, it's a 20-minute walk to the Frans Hals Museum. Together with Rembrandt and Vermeer, Frans Hals was one of the three most significant painters of the Dutch Golden Age. He mainly painted genre scenes and portraits and is best known for his freehand brushstroke. If you are interested in seeing more art, the Teylers Museum is the oldest in the Netherlands, with a vast collection of artwork.

Day 3: Cycle to Leiden, Leiden Guided Walking Tour

Haarlem to Leiden self-guided cycle route
Pedal among the tulips

It's time to leave the city and head into nature. Cycling paths will lead you through dunes, pristine forests, and a landscape of sand drifts. As the route continues south, you'll pedal through Bollenstreek, and in spring, you'll see endless rows of colorful tulips. After 25 miles (41 km) of cycling, you'll reach Leiden, a university city with canals, historic buildings, courtyards lovingly called hofjes, and thousands of bicycles. You can explore the city's monuments on foot and by bicycle.

Later today, your guide will take you on a walking tour of the historic city center. You'll also see magnificent buildings from centuries back when Rembrandt lived and worked here. Discover the hidden hofjes, centuries-old but still peaceful havens. Visit the Lakenhal Museum, offering a collection of paintings from the past four centuries, including several works by Rembrandt. Afterward, you could visit the nearby Museum of Archeology, the Museum Boerhaave (focused on science and medicine), or Naturalis (a museum of flora and fauna).

Day 4: Cycle to Delft via The Hague, Delft Blue High Tea

Leiden - The Hague - Delft self-guided cycle route
Pass through the beach resort of Scheveningen

Leave Leiden as you cycle 28 miles (45 km) today through a typical Dutch landscape with winding roads, vast lakes, historic mills, old farms, and grasslands. In less than an hour, you'll reach The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government. Pass by the Binnenhof, where you'll see the old buildings in which various ministries and courts are located. Ride by Mauritshuis Museum, with Johannes Vermeer's most famous painting: "The Girl with a Pearl Earring." Cycle through the chic part of The Hague toward Scheveningen, a beach resort where you can have lunch and get a breath of sea air.

Continue until you reach Delft, a charming historic city full of canals and beautiful monumental buildings. Tips for spending the rest of the afternoon include visiting the Vermeer Center, where you can see reproductions of Johannes Vermeer's work and studio. Head to a Delft Blue workshop, where you'll witness their traditional blue-and-white pottery being produced according to the old techniques. At the Royal Delft Museum, enjoy a high tea served in the blue and white Delftware. Savor scones with butter and jam, various cakes, petit fours, and sandwiches at the four centuries-old Delft Blue Factory.

Day 5: Cycle to Haastrecht via Gouda

Delft - Gouda - Haastrecht self-guided cycle route
Get to know Dutch cheese
This morning, your 25-mile (40 km) ride leads you through the green heart of the Netherlands, passing old Dutch towns and villages with extensive meadows, dikes, fields, and numerous canals. This cycling route will bring you to the charming city of Gouda. This fairy-tale town is not only known for its cheeses but also has stained glass windows found everywhere and atmospheric canals. Take time to stop, see the city, taste cheese, and buy some to take with you. After exploring the historic center, follow the Hollandsche IJssel until you reach the waterfront of Haastrecht, where you'll spend the night. 
Plan your trip to Belgium
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 6: Cycle to Dordrecht via Kinderdijk

Haastrecht - Kinderdijk - Dordrecht self-guided cycle route
It's windmills galore in Kinderdijk.

Starting from Haastrecht, you'll pedal 23 miles (38 km). As you continue, be on the lookout for the windmills of Kinderdijk. The area features no fewer than 16 windmills from the 18th century. Until 1868, these mills pumped water away from lower-lying regions. Now electric mills do the same job. But Kinderdijk is unique because there is nowhere else in the Netherlands where you'll see so many windmills together, all in such good condition. You'll want to stop for photos.

Continue on the last stretch of the ride to the historic city of Dordrecht, the oldest city in Holland. Located in a wetland area, it was an important merchant city primarily trading wood and wine. The historic city center is full of monuments that have been repurposed as restaurants, museums, and theaters.

Day 7: Explore Dordrecht, Biesbosch National Park

Great crested grebe swimming in Biesbosch National Park

Take a day off from cycling to explore the area a bit. In the afternoon, you'll be picked up from your hotel by a private boat for a two-hour adventure into Biesbosch National Park. Biesbosch is the largest freshwater tidal zone in Europe, with a mixture of willow-clad river banks, jungle-like creeks, and marshland. You will find a variety of bird species and a population of around 300 beavers, the largest rodent in Europe and the park's icon. This private tour will take you through the riverine area of this exceptional park. At the end of the excursion, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Alternatively, put your bicycle on the waterbus (a public boat) to Rotterdam. It's a city of many faces, known for its rough-and-tumble port history, trendy nightlife, upscale shopping options, and lively art scene. Rotterdam makes an easy side trip, and it's also possible to detour there and sightsee without your bike.

Day 8: Cycle to Breda 

Dordrecht to Breda self-guided cycle route
Cycle into Breda

Leave Dordrecht for Breda, a trip that's about 28 miles (45 km). It's a beautiful city that awaits you with many significant buildings, making it a convenient stop before crossing the border to Belgium. Wander its cobblestones streets and visit sites such as Bregijnhof, the Great Church, and Breda Castle. Relax over dinner in one of Breda's many restaurants, then get some rest for the next leg of the journey. 

Day 9: Cycle to Antwerp, Antwerp Food Tour & Visit Rubens House

Breda to Antwerp self-guided cycle route
Fuel up after today's cycle with a food tour of Antwerp

After cycling in the Netherlands for eight days, it's time to explore Belgium. Today's 33-mile (53 km) route leads through a wooded area and the Kalmthoutse Heide, a beautiful cross-border nature reserve between the Netherlands and Belgium. You'll end up in the heart of Antwerp, the largest city in Flanders (Flemish region) and the most crucial port in Belgium. This afternoon, indulge in Antwerp's cuisine with a walking food tour through the city. No food tour would be complete without a stop at a classic Belgian bakery, where you'll try the famous Belgian frieten (chips), chocolate, and waffles.

The smell alone is sure to make you drool! Since Antwerp is a harbor city, the local cuisine is Belgian and has international influences. The tour ends near one of the city's foodie hotspots, so you can continue to taste on your own if you're not too full already! It is a 10-minute walk to the Rubens House, the home of the famous painter Peter Paul Rubens in the 17th century. The house offers a brilliant opportunity to see some of the artist's works and incredible architecture from the era, learn more about how Rubens lived, and view many additional pieces from his students.

Day 10: Cycle to Ghent, Scenic Boat Tour

Antwerp to Ghent self-guided cycle route
Sunset in Ghent

From Antwerp, cycle along the Scheldt River to Ghent, a distance of 34 miles (55 km). The city center of Ghent is like an open-air museum. Pay a visit to the medieval castle Gravensteen, located right in the city center, and the massive Saint Bavo's Cathedral. Let yourself be enchanted in the evening by the wonderful Flemish atmosphere. The Belgians call this their most beautiful city, and it will enchant you. It is also possible to add a rest day in this lively city if you'd like to spend more time exploring. 

In the afternoon, you'll meet at the Leie River near the Grasbrug for a scenic boat tour, where you'll board a vessel that will take you on a leisurely, narrated tour of the canals of medieval Ghent. At the end of the 40-minute tour, you'll be dropped off at the same spot, from which you can set out to find some authentic local cuisine. Mussels, oysters, and eels in green sauce are specialties in Ghent. But don't worry, you'll be able to find Belgian waffles, moules-frites (mussels and fries), as well as irresistible Belgian chocolate.

Day 11: Cycle to Oudenaarde

Ghent to Oudenaarde self-guided cycle route
Say farewell to the canals of Ghent

This morning, you'll set out from Ghent, leaving the Scheldt to cycle 21 miles (34 km) to Nazareth via Sint-Martens-Latem and arrive at the Leie River. The beauty along this river inspired many Flemish artists, and it's for this reason that Sint-Martens-Latem is also called the "art municipality." A rich art collection can be found in the Museum of Dhondt Dhaenens. The Scheldt shows you the way south, in the direction of Oudenaarde. But before that, see the charming city of Gavere, where a battle was fought in 1453 between Philip the Good and the people of Ghent. 

Your final destination today is Oudenaarde, world-famous for its tapestries from the 16th to the end of the 18th century. You will learn about this city's history in the Museum Oudenaarde (MOU). A visit to the Tour of Flanders Center is a must for cycling enthusiasts. Local museums offer an overview of the history, and outdoor cafés provide great places to relax and recharge after the day's ride.

Day 12: Cycle to Roeselare

Oudenaarde to Roeselare self-guided cycle route
Enjoy a little beer tasting in Bierkasteel
Today you will cycle 25 miles (41 km) to Roeselare through the wooded area of ​​the Rhodesgoed, where you'll ride past the shoe town of Izegem. Just outside Izegem, beer lovers will find their mecca in the Bierkasteel, which includes 29 taps. Feel free to stop and taste because there'll only be 6.5 miles (9 km) remaining before you reach your final destination. Before arriving in Roeselare, you'll cycle on the gentle sloping roads from West Flanders to Waregem, where the only American military cemetery is located.

Day 13: Cycle to Bruges, Duvelorium Beer Tasting

Roeselare to Bruges self-guided cycle route
Sunset over Bruges 

Get ready for your final 37-mile (60 km) ride today, as you'll follow a beautiful route through Houtland. In this traditionally wooded region, dozens of beautiful castles and estates can be found. Near Oostkamp, admire the castles of Pecsteen, Raepenburgh, and Lakebos on your way to Bruges, your final destination. A true gem, the city is best explored on foot, full of cobblestoned alleys and charming squares. While strolling around the city center, gazing up at colorful facades, stop at one of the many chocolate shops Bruges is famous for. Admire the traditional lacework for sale in various shops and boutiques.

In the afternoon, head to the neo-Gothic Historium building. You'll find a cozy bar with an extensive drinks menu, where you will receive the necessary explanation about Belgian specialty beers. Try their beer-tasting menu of Duvel and other Belgian beers for about €12 per person. Enjoy a great view of the Market Square of Bruges from the panoramic terrace as you relax and unwind from your long ride.

Day 14: Free Time in Bruges or Brussels, Depart Brussels

Free time in Bruges or Brussels
Au revoir, Belgium!

Your cycling journey ends today. Since you'll have a late afternoon flight, you may either spend your free morning in Bruges and take the train to Brussels after lunch or take the train in the morning to explore Brussels. Whichever you choose, don't forget to load up on the chocolate before you leave! Safe travels!

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Map of Cycle the Netherlands & Belgium - 14 Days
Map of Cycle the Netherlands & Belgium - 14 Days