Why should you spend your holidays in the Netherlands?
Did you know that almost 20% of our country is made up of water? And that 40% lies beneath sea level. Sheltered from the waves by a narrow strip of dunes and world-famous dykes? You could say that Holland is founded on water. And that it’s the water’s omnipresence that made our little country big and rich. The delta works, polders, mills, dykes and harbors, the wealth of our Golden Century, the VOC, the old towns along the water’s edge, our maritime museums: you’ll encounter it again and again on your cycling trip.
Speaking of cycling, did you know that there are more bicycles in The Netherlands than inhabitants? Young and old, everyone in Holland loves to ride a bike. Even the Dutch queen has often been seen on a bicycle. The flat countryside and the good infrastructure with many separate bike paths form the cyclist’s natural habitat. In 1988, Cycletours (specialized in cycling holidays all over the world for more than twenty-five years) combined these two aspects in a very special way: Bike & Barge, the perfect way to see, feel and exeperience the Netherlands.
This year though, we expanded our program with a number of hoteltrips, Bed & Bike. Relaxed cycling trips from hotel to hotel. Or based tours, staying in hotels where you feel at home. We take care of the accommodation, the bicycle, the itinerary, the transportation of luggage. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your cycling holliday. But whatever trip you choose, boat or hotel, we hope, no, we know that you will have a very pleasant stay and an unforgettable holiday in our great little country of water and bikes.
First of all, the Netherlands is a beautiful country! It is not a country of impressive landmasses or huge monuments though. It's a modest and therefore charming little country. The size of the country, the overall flatness of the land and the limited size of its monuments make the Netherlands a very picturesque country. Many foreigners who visit the Dutch countryside are amazed at the peace and quiet, the green fields, the small villages and the abscence of skyscrapers or tall towers.
The huge differences between the countryside in the southern and northeastern parts of the Netherlands and life in the large cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, also makes this a very diverse country. You can experience both a bustling cultural metropolis and a sleepy farmers' village on the same day.
the Netherlands is one of the smallest countries in Europe, which leads to an interesting change of perspective. For example, a Dutchman would call a three-hour drive quite a journey to the other side of the country, whereas an American might ride this distance on a daily basis. The good thing is you'll never have to travel from one sight to another for long.
On our Bike & Barge Holidays, the tours usually encompass one or more complete areas, providing you with a wide variety of sights in a matter of days. This small scale makes Holland the ideal country for a relaxed and varied cycling tour.
Safe and well-maintained
Holland has a charming traditional side to it, but it is also a very modern country and one of the wealthiest in Europe. This makes for excellent service and a high quality standard, wherever you go. In a large town or not, you'll always find a decent restaurant, a cozy café or some interesting shops. Holland is also famed for its excellent infrastructure. Virtually all bicycle paths are well-maintained, clean and safely seperated from busy roads. We are very proud that we have the best cycle lanes in the world, The total length of the cycle lanes is more then 19.000 kilometres. It makes cycling in Holland enjoyable and safe.
The past is alive!
A seemingly endless amount of Dutch cities, towns and villages have a historic center and are home to many monuments. Not only the large cities display their cultural wealth; Holland's smaller towns are also home to examples of impressive architecture and stunning art. Because of Holland's rich past, especially during the Golden Century, many monuments and other buildings are at least 300 years old. Amsterdam has one of the largest historic city centers in the world, as do many smaller towns. Lovers of art and history can't go without at least one visit to the Netherlands.
Water is everywhere
For lovers of water, the Netherlands is a true haven. You'll encounter examples of our life with and struggle against the water time and again in the various monuments and our way of life. If it weren't for our strong dikes and Delta Works, half of the Netherlands wouldn't even exist! Therefore, the Dutch have adapted the waters surrounding them to suit their every need. This makes Holland the ideal country for sailing, swimming or anything in and near the water.
Get the picture? Then feel free to click on a trip you're interested in to learn more about the Netherlands! We'd be glad to give you any more information you might require. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We hope to welcome you soon on one of our Bike & Barge or Bed & Bike Holidays!