Tulips and Northern Holland Cycling Break

The bulb fields between Amsterdam and the North Sea Coast attract thousands of visitors each spring but for an equally stunning and slightly more peaceful spectacle we recommend visiting the bulb fields of northern Holland between Alkmaar and Den Helder. Kaleidoscopic fields of tulips, tranquil countryside, deserted beaches and quaint little towns await.

On this 4 night holiday you'll follow a circular route from and to the cheese town of Alkmaar. The route traces a lazy circle up to the northernmost tip of Holland and back again.

Quite a spectacle

The focus is most definitely the bulb fields and each day will reveal a kaleidoscopic extravaganza as you pedal through the largest adjoining area of tulip fields in the country. Besides this amazing spectacle you will also enjoy easy cycling on well maintained cycle paths along polder dykes to quirky villages, gorgeous sandy beaches and wild dune-scapes.

As well as spending two nights in the fascinating cheese town of Alkmaar, you will also spend a night in the charming rural town of Schagen and another in the old naval port of Den Helder. You can also opt to extend your stay in Den Helder and use the extra day to enjoy a day's cycling on the nearby island of Texel.

The cycling on this route is very flat and the vast majority follows cycle paths or very quiet secondary roads.

Tulips and Northern Holland Cycling Break

The bulb fields between Amsterdam and the North Sea Coast attract thousands of visitors each spring but for an equally stunning and slightly more peaceful spectacle we recommend visiting the bulb fields of northern Holland between Alkmaar and Den Helder. Kaleidoscopic fields of tulips, tranquil countryside, deserted beaches and quaint little towns await.

On this 4 night holiday you'll follow a circular route from and to the cheese town of Alkmaar. The route traces a lazy circle up to the northernmost tip of Holland and back again.

Quite a spectacle

The focus is most definitely the bulb fields and each day will reveal a kaleidoscopic extravaganza as you pedal through the largest adjoining area of tulip fields in the country. Besides this amazing spectacle you will also enjoy easy cycling on well maintained cycle paths along polder dykes to quirky villages, gorgeous sandy beaches and wild dune-scapes.

As well as spending two nights in the fascinating cheese town of Alkmaar, you will also spend a night in the charming rural town of Schagen and another in the old naval port of Den Helder. You can also opt to extend your stay in Den Helder and use the extra day to enjoy a day's cycling on the nearby island of Texel.

The cycling on this route is very flat and the vast majority follows cycle paths or very quiet secondary roads.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Alkmaar

Your adventure starts in the cheese town of Akmaar. Every Friday morning you can witness the traditional cheese market taking place in the main square and afterwards you may feel inclined to visit the cheese museum in what was once the cheese weighing house. The charming, narrow streets of the old town are a delight to explore on foot and are home to a wealth of cafes, bars, restaurants and quaint little shops. If you are fan of the Fab Four then the Beatles Museum is also definitely worth a visit.

Day 2 : Alkmaar - Schagen
38 miles/61 kms

After breakfast your cycling holiday begins with an easy ride to the nearby village of Heiloo. Shortly after that you reach the amazing Hortus Bulborum a fabulous Tulip garden and nursery that concerns itself with preserving many thousands of heirloom bulbs, some of which are no longer in commercial production. From here the route leads you out to the village of Egmond on the North Sea Coast. If the weather is fine you may be tempted to spend some time on the sandy beach before following the cycle path up the coast through the extensive sand dunes to the village of Schoorl. Here the scenery changes as you begin to cycle through the polder landscape so closely associated with this part of the world. Polders are essentially tracts of land that have been reclaimed from the sea. They are surrounded by dykes and many of them need to be pumped regularly to ensure they remain dry. This was once the job of the traditional windmills that dot the landscape but today electric pumps do most of the heavy work. You destination today is Schagen, a lovely little town with a very pleasant main square.

Day 3 : Schagen - Den Helder
35 miles/56 kms

Today's route leads you through the largest adjoining area of tulip fields in Holland. If you are lucky enough to have timed your holiday perfectly (the tulips bloom according to local weather conditions after all) you will cycle through seas of brightly coloured blooms stretching in all directions. This amazing spectacle will live long in the memory and is a photographer's dream. You'll visit the landlocked village of Kolhorn once a fishing village standing on the shores of the Zuidersee until the land to the east was reclaimed for bulb field polders. The route then leads you north, past more colourful tulip fields and some sleepy villages to Den Helder right on the tip of Northern Holland. This old naval town has been home to the Dutch Navy for centuries and the excellent Marine Museum is well worth a visit.

Top Tip: Why not book an extra night in Den Helder and use the extra day to visit the island of Texel just a twenty minute ferry ride away. Texel, the largest of the Wadden Islands offers serene natural beauty, quaint villages, dunes and beaches. It also has a network of well maintained bike paths.

Day 4 : Den Helder - Alkmaar
39 miles/63 kms

Today's ride leads you south along the North Sea Coast and once again the Tulip fields, protected from the sea by a barrier of sand dunes, take centre stage. The lovely beach at Petten is separated from the village by some impressive sea defences that highlight the eternal battle between the Dutch and the encroaching North Sea. A little further on you enjoy a wonderful ride through the sand dunes to Bergen aan Zee a lovely seaside village with another beautiful beach. From here you wend your way inland, past more tulip fields to the familiar town of Alkmaar where your adventure began three days ago and here you spend the last night of your holiday.

Day 5 : Alkmaar - end of trip

After breakfast it's time to check-out and head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

Smaller framed children’s bikes, trailers, tag-a-longs and child seats are also available.

All rental bikes on this tour come with breakdown and theft insurance included.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons, alternatively helmets are available for rent at the time of booking.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Alkmaar: Golden Tulip Hotel

Schagen: Slot van Schagen

Den Helder: Hotel Lands End

Local taxes

Some hotels in some countries have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting there

Fly to Amsterdam or take the Eurostar. Then take a local train from Amsterdam to Alkmaar (40 mins journey time).

Research flights from the UK here

Research Eurostar from UK here

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