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Netherlands & the Frisian Islands Coastal Explorer
13th June 2020 - 21st June 2020 (9 days)
A classic moving-on circular tour of North Holland and the surrounding areas combining the stunning coastal aspects with windswept seascapes where the fishing towns date back to the 12th century. There are forests, farmland and small villages to cycle through, mainly on traffic-free cycle paths and quiet backroads. We cycle up the west coast then, using ferries, visit the Frisian Islands of Texel and Vlieland, with time to explore. Our return route uses the cycle path on the 27km Houtribdijk Dam over the sea, followed by a visit to the Kinderdijk windmills. Staying in hotels and an Eco Hostel, with breakfast and most dinners included. Return ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager David Dunkling
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Places Available
- Accommodation Hotel & Hostel
- Board Basis Most Meals
- Travel Arrangements Ferry
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Carry Own Luggage
- Holiday Ref 03476
Saturday 13th June
Meet at Harwich International Ferry Terminal at 2100 for the 2300 Stena Line overnight ferry to the Hook of Holland. Meals: None
Sunday 14th June
After breakfast we disembark at approx 0800 and cycle along the coastal route to Zandvoort, passing through the charming city of The Hague with its medieval architecture, and the beach resort of Scheveningen famous for its unique pier. Zandvoort has a famous racing circuit and is a popular beach resort. Our hotel is ideally situated on the seafront. 59km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Monday 15th June
We leave Zandvoort and cycle to the port of Ijmuiden where we cross the North Sea Canal by ferry. We then cycle to Egmond aan Zee for lunch, famous for its lighthouse and sand dunes, before heading inland to the medieval city of Alkmaar. Set amongst ancient buildings and traditional working canals, there are several museums that would make a worthwhile visit. Our hotel is converted from a former college. Tonight you eat in a restaurant of your choice. 52km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B
Tuesday 16th June
Today we cycle from Alkmaar through the town of Bergen, a beach resort popluar for surfing and sailing. Then on to Den Helder for lunch. Den Helder is surrounded by water on three sides. After lunch we board the ferry to Texel and then cycle to Den Burg, the largest town on the island and ideal for a spot of tourist shopping. Overnight in a high standard modern Eco Hostel. 52km. Stay 2 nights. Meals: B D
Wednesday 17th June
No cycling today as we take the local bus to the north coast of Texel and board the ferry, a traditional ship, to Vlieland (weather permitting). As the ferry is unable to get all the way to the island due to the large sandflats we need to transfer on to a converted army truck for an exciting drive across these. Time to explore before returning to Den Burg by ferry and bus. Should bad weather prevent a visit to Vlieland we will remain on Texel and visit the Shipwreck Museum and the preserved fishing village of Oudeschild. Meals: B D
Thursday 18th June
We leave Texel by ferry back to the mainland and then cycle to the town of Medemblik for lunch, with time to explore the windmills, castle and historic buildings. We continue to the city of Enkhuizen with its pretty harbour, and considered to be one of the most beautiful and unspoilt cities in the Netherlands. Our boutique hotel, in the old town, has its own art collection. Tonight you again eat in a restaurant of your choice. 79km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B
Friday 19th June
Today we cycle from Enkhuizen using the cycle path on the 27km Houtribdijk Dam over the sea to Lelystad, a reclaimed city built on what was originally the seabed and is a great example of a well designed city for modern living. We then cycle by the Wolderwijd lake where there is a choice of coffee and lunch stops. Then on to Amersfoort where our hotel is located next to the former site of the Concentration Camp. 79km. Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Saturday 20th June
We cycle from Amersfoort to Utrecht for coffee then on to Kinderdijk for lunch, where the windmills are one of the most iconic landmarks in the Netherlands. We then take the Waterbus for part of the journey into Rotterdam, from where we cycle to the Hook of Holland, arriving by 2000 for the 2200 overnight ferry to Harwich. 98km. Meals: B
Sunday 21st June
Arrive at Harwich at 0630 where the tour ends. Meals: B
Meals: B = Breakfast D = Dinner
Accommodation & Meals
Four nights will be spent in hotels, three 4-star and one 3-star, and two nights in a modern Eco Hostel, sharing twin or double en-suite rooms. No single occupancy is available. Breakfast and dinner are included, apart from dinner on two evenings. Vegetarian and other dietary requirements should be detailed on the Booking Form. Breakfast is also included on the ferry.
No vehicle support is provided. Participants are expected to carry their own luggage.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is still valid on the date of their return to their home country. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether they require a visa. There are no compulsory health related requirements for UK residents, but you are strongly advised to check that your tetanus protection has not expired. You must also carry your European Health Insurance Card.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £995 is based on a minimum number of 10 people taking part in the holiday; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3. If there are insufficient bookings by 4th April 2020, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Return ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland sharing a 2-berth cabin
- 4 nights hotel, 2 nights hostel, sharing room
- 8 breakfasts, 4 dinners
- Return ferry to Texel and return bus/ferry from Texel to Vlieland
- Other ferries used on the rides
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from Harwich
- Drinks with dinner
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Entry fees at any attractions visited
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £290 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £705 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 4th April 2020.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 4th April 2020
From 4th April 2020 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
We travel up the west coast of North Holland and visit two of the Frisian Islands, Texel and Vlieland. The islands are an important UNESCO World Heritage Site with a unique and interesting ecology allowing wildlife to flourish in its natural environment, and are a bird watchers paradise. We return down the east coast before heading west and visiting Kinderdijk, famous for its 18th century windmills. Its water management network features 19 windmills and 3 pumping stations, plus dikes and reservoirs that control flooding in the polder (low-lying land). Waterways, footpaths and bike paths crisscross the area, leading to the main visitor centre and museums in preserved working windmills.
Rides & Rest Days
Rides will be led and most of each day will be spent cycling at around 16/18kmph (10/11mph) on the flat, slower into a headwind. You must be capable of cycling at this speed and used to cycling for full days whilst carrying your own luggage. The wind can be a problem and the route may need to be changed to take in more sheltered areas. It may not always be possible to follow the itinerary exactly as things do not always go according to plan. The last day to the ferry involves a long cycling day but we have plenty of time to do the distance as we don't need to arrive at the ferry terminal until 2000. There will be stops for coffee and lunch, time to take photos and for sightseeing during the day and in the evening.
Accommodation & Meals
Dinner isn't included on Monday and Thursday, to allow you to eat at a restaurant of your choice, although the Tour Manager is very happy for anyone to accompany him to the restaurant of his choice. Locked cycle storage is available at the accommodation.
Harwich is well served by train and you should take the train to Harwich International. Car parking is available at the ferry terminal but you will need to arrange this yourself.
The maximum number of participants will be 14 excluding the Tour Manager.
Weather & Clothing
Weather in the Netherlands can be very variable so there is a possibility of both heatwaves and cold, wet weather. Lightweight clothing that is windproof, waterproof and suitable for a range of temperatures is recommended. Hopefully sun cream will also be useful. In the evening the hotels seem to be very relaxed about what people wear, but smarter clothing is suggested, and maybe warmer clothing.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable for this tour. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. A low bottom gear (e.g. small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If you are unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Manager. Mudguards are optional but show courtesy to those who are following you in wet weather. New tyres are recommended of at least 28mm diameter. Participants will be expected to carry each day sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs.
Each participant is expected to bring, and carry, all of their own clothing, personal items and spares. You are advised to do some riding before the tour with a similar load to that which you will be carrying during the tour to get a feel for how your bike will handle.
Lights are a legal requirement at night and in poor visibility. Wearing a helmet is your personal choice.
Maps & Guides
Although the rides will be led, navigating in the Netherlands is very easy once you understand the Fietspad junction numbering system. Route sheets with instructions will be provided for each day's ride.
Travel Insurance & Advice
In addition to travel insurance, EU nationals should carry a European Health Insurance Card, obtainable from www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/. This enables you to take advantage of emergency medical services free or at a discount under a reciprocal provision that exists between EU member states. Your travel insurer may refuse to meet the extra costs of medical treatment if you do not carry this card.
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.