This is a bike tour that you’ll never forget: visit real historical windmills, take a walk on a North Sea beach and cycle through colorful tulip fields. Today we will take you on one of the most beautiful bike routes that you can experience: our Tulip Tours. See 5 highlights of this route and discover how varied a day on a bike in North Holland can be!Plan my trip
1. Holland like in a picture book: Zaanse Schans
It doesn’t get more Dutch than this! Windmills, a wooden shoe workshop, a cheesemaker and beautifully-restored wooden houses come together on this unique site. Don’t be put off by the tourist souvenir shops at the entrance! It is truly worthwhile to take a leisurely stroll across the grounds and admire the traditional Dutch houses with their beautiful gardens, the historic bakery and the cute corner shop. Even if Zaanse Schans (free entry) looks like a large open-air museum, it is also a small village; the houses are privately-owned and are actually still inhabited!
But the greatest treasures of Zaanse Schans are the seven fully-operational windmills on the banks of the Zaan River. The oldest of them dates from 1673. Take the time to visit at least one of the windmills in peace. Learn how they were – and still are – used to make color pigment, saw wood, make paper, grind spices or extract oil.
By the way, Zaanse Schans is not a historical village; it has only been around since 1963. At that time, the typical wooden houses from the area around the Zaan were rapidly disappearing. Fortunately, lovers of this historical architecture saved the buildings by moving them to Zaanse Schans.
2. Cycle paths through colorful tulip fields and rough dunes
Can you imagine a nicer contrast? This cycle route leads you through the middle of a rough and romantic dune landscape and also through lovely tulip fields. Between the towns of Egmond and Heiloo, millions of colorful flowers shine in the tulip season, which lasts from the end of March to the end of May. You can just get off your bike anywhere, admire the blaze of colors and take beautiful spring photos.
Paths specially designed for bicycles lead through the North Holland dune reserve too. You cycle through fragrant pine forests, sea buckthorn fields, dune grasslands and open sandy areas. It’s a beautiful nature experience!
3. Always worth it: a walk on the beach by the North Sea
If you are ever in the North Holland dunes, you should definitely park your bike and cross the last row of dunes on foot. You’ll reach the wide, white sandy beaches of the North Holland coast. Walk along the beach feeling the fresh sea breeze in your face and enjoying the vastness of the coastal scene. Maybe it’s even warm enough for a quick swim in the North Sea! After that, enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee or a cold beer in one of the beach pavilions available at almost every beach entrance. In any case, the view is terrific!
4. Rembrandt’s tulips in the Hortus Bulborum
There are quite a few special places to see tulips in the Netherlands, but the Hortus Bulborum is in a class of its own. It is actually a museum garden in which the blooming flowers are the exhibits. The main goal of the Hortus Bulborum is to preserve ancient and rare varieties of bulb flowers. In the course of almost 100 years, a collection that is unique in the world has now been created, with over 4,500 different types of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses. Many of these species are not bred commercially or only rarely, and are already very old.
Here you can even admire the original varieties of tulips that Rembrandt and other masters from the Golden Age immortalized in their paintings: for example, the legendary “Duc van Tol” from 1595 or the extravagantly-feathered parrot tulip “Zomerschoon” from 1620, which was in great demand during the “Tulip Mania” period. In the museum shop you can buy not only tulip-themed souvenirs, but also real flower bulbs for your own garden.
5. Not only cheese: the enchanting old town of Alkmaar
The perfect end to a day of cycling is a stroll through the beautiful old town of Alkmaar. The most famous tourist attraction of Alkmaar is the traditional cheese market, where porters dressed in traditional costumes stack over 2000 cheeses in long rows on the Waagplein. You can admire this spectacle every Friday from the beginning of April to the end of September between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
But Alkmaar has a lot more to offer too. Stroll along the dreamy canals with their beautifully-decorated houses. Discover lots of special shops and cafes. And take a little time to look for the magical hofjes. These small courtyard gardens are true oases of calm in the middle of the lively city center.
Would you like to experience this great bike tour for yourself?
It is part of our 8-day Tulip Tour, 8-day Tulip Tour Premium and the Sail & Bike Tulip Tour. Would you like to know more about our tulip tours? Download our free e-book with lots of photos, travel tips and travel reports here!
Now is the ideal time to plan your tulip tour by bike and boat. Just give us a call at +49 (0) 2102 42 0655 or reply to this email and we will be happy to help you find the right trip.Download free e-book here