(6 reviews)

Self-guided Bike and Barge

Web code NL022

Holland / Northern tour

Texel and IJsselmer

What you will experience in this tour are folklore and traditions in the Dutch coutryside and lovely villages on the shores of the North Sea. During the XVII century the whole area, which used to be covered with marshes, was reclaimed through the use of windmills. Enjoy your stay in the island of Texel, the beautiful beaches and the ancient port towns on the IJsselmeer, which will accompany you up to Amsterdam and its canals.
  • Day by Day


    1. Amsterdam
    Embarkation and check-in starts at 2 PM in Amsterdam (centre). Take the opportunity to go shopping or explore downtown Amsterdam, world famous for its canals, its quirky ‘leaning’ buildings, museums, the Anne Frank House, the Waterlooplein Flea Market, the Dam Square in the historical center and heart of the city. A canal tour is a unique way to see the capital of Holland from another side. Welcome meeting, cocktail, dinner and first briefing will be on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.

    2. Amsterdam – Alkmaar/Enkhuizen (45 km - 27 miles)
    The first cycling stretch of this tour takes you through small villages scattered in the beautiful flat and green polder landscape. The first stop is at the Zaanse Schans open air museum (free entry) with its traditional Old Dutch wooden houses, windmills and the cheese- and clog factory. After this visit you will cycle through the “Land of Leeghwater”, a green polder area between Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Hoorn. Stroll through the former whaler’s village De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. Your boat will be waiting for you near the historical city centre of Alkmaar.

    Due to works on the locks of Zaandam in 2020, from the beginning of the season until the end of May the tour will be subject to some changes. You will spend the night in Enkhuizen instead of Alkmaar and some transfers by bus will be included.


3. Alkmaar/Enkhuizen – Den Helder (40/55 km - 25/30 miles)

    Today you can discover the beautiful coastal area of North-Holland: an approx. 70 km (45 miles) long strip with forest, heathland and sand dunes and of course the wide sandy beaches of the North Sea. On the route — and certainly worth a visit — is the artist’s village of Bergen. Then you will bike all the way through the dunes and along the coast and beaches northward, to the navy harbour of Den Helder.

    There is a 17 km shorter option if you do not cycle to Den Helder, but to Schagen instead, and take the train (limited capacity for bicycles - approx. 30 min. - train tickets approx. € 13.00 not included) to Den Helder.

    After dinner visit and guided tour (incl.) of the light ship museum in Den Helder. Night on board in Den Helder.

    Due to works on the locks of Zaandam in 2020, from the beginning of the season until the end of May, after breakfast a coach will bring you back to Alkmaar, where today’s bike tour starts. 


4. Den Helder – Den Oever (several optons from 15/65 km to 9/41 miles)

    During breakfast De Holland will sail to the isle of Texel, where you can make a tour on the largest of the Dutch Northsea Isles. You will cycle through beautiful natural parks and have the opportunity for a stop and maybe a swim at the beach. Suggestion: cycle the beautiful “Thijsse- route” (with signposting, approx. 40 km/25 mi.) through picturesque villages and landscapes and visit the seal sanctuary “Ecomare” At the end of your cycling tour you can enjoy a locally brewed beer during a visit to the small brewery near Oudeschild. During dinner De Holland will return to the mainland and sail to Den Oever.

    * In case of unfavorable weather conditions, the captain may decide to sail to Texel on Monday evening or not at all: in the latter case you can reach Texel by ferry (price approx. € 5 pp, not incl.).


5. Den Oever – Stavoren (45/55 km - 27/34 miles)

    The vessel will cross the large inland lake IJsselmeer to sail to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland. You can opt for a shorter or longer cycling tour: discover the nature area of Gaasterland or explore a part of the wide lake district, that Friesland is well-known for. You can also combine both options. Night in Stavoren, one of the famous 11 cities of Friesland.

6. Stavoren – Enkhuizen (30/50 km - 19/31 miles)
    De Holland will cross the IJsselmeer again during breakfast. Take the short cycling trip from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer coast directly to Enkhuizen, where you can spend the afternoon. Enkhuizen is an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. The “herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbor, a historical old town centre and the very interesting Zuiderzeemuseum. If you prefer a longer cycling tour, ride from Medemblik to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn, one of the world’s leading harbors in the 17th century. Enjoy your lunch break and have a short stroll in the old city centre. Continue by bicycle to Enkhuizen pedalling though some picturesque contry villages. In the evening you can join a short city walk.


7. Enkhuizen – Amsterdam (35/50 km - 22/31 miles)

    During breakfast the boat will sail to Volendam. Your final day of cycling will lead you through the beautiful area of Waterland, with its hundreds of small lakes and tiny canals. Near Volendam you will have the opportunity to visit a cheese farm. A tour to the former island of Marken (extra cycling miles) is recommended to then continue through the water shaped region of Waterland back to the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer. If you didn’t go for a canal cruise on the first day, you can do so today.


8. Amsterdam.
    After breakfast: disembarkation around 9:30 a.m. and end of the tour.


    Attention! The itinerary of the following departures:

    1.08 abord De Holland

    8.08 abord De Holland

    15.08 abord De Holland

    will have some changes. More information during the booking process.


    Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or warnings issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles such as officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays and may even request a transfer by bus. These decisions are only taken by the boat’s captain. 

  • Route profile

    The Netherlands are the country of bycycles, mainly due to the flat landscape, beneath the sea level. The cycling path network, almost entirely paved, is very widespread and sign posted with white and red signals and with small numbered stumps called “mushrooms”,   signalled on the maps.

    It will not be hard to deal with this tour, but you will need to be a bit trained in order to stay a whole week on the saddle! Wind and rain are very frequent in this country and they might make your cycling difficult. Sometimes the bike lanes are separated from the street only by a red line, so you need to pay attention. Ask your guide on board, he/she will be able to give you more information.


  • How to get there

    The precise embarkation point will be written in the Final Tour Details that you will receive a few days before departure. Consider about a 15 minute bus ride from the train station to the point of embarkation (the busses are frequent).


    By Plane
    The easiest way to get to the starting point is flying into Amsterdam.

    In order to get to the embarkation point you need to leave from Amsterdam central station by taking the train directly at the airport. You can purchase the tickets at the cashiers, which usually accept debit and credit cards. The journey takes about 20 minutes, the cost is about €5. To book the train tickets in advance visit www.ns.nl.


    By Train
    The nearest arrival point is Amsterdam Centraal Station. More information on www.ns.nl


    By Car
    Parking in the centre of Amsterdam is very expensive, we suggest parking on the outskirt of  the city.


    On this website you can find the address of several parking places open 7 days a week: www.amsterdam.info/parking 

    In particular, we suggest the following parking places:
    - parking place at the Schiphol Airport in the Smart parking area, you can book it on www.schiphol.nl. The cost for 8 days is about 70/100 €.
    -  P1 Parking Amsterdam Centre: (Prins Hendrikkade 20A). This is the closest parking place to the embarkation points Scheepvaart Kwartier e Oosterdok. You can make a reservation on www.p1.nl. The cost for 8 days is about 160 €.


  • Accommodation and meals

    In this tour overnight, breakfast and dinner will be on board of the river boat.



    De Holland is a medium-sized cozy river cruise ship built in 1952 and completely refitted in 2017/2018.

    Lower deck
    There are 24 twin cabins (10 m² – 108 sq.ft.). Three twin cabins in the front have two separate beds, set next to each other as a hotel style bed (200 x 160 cm – 78 x 62 inches) and an additional fold away bunk bed as optional third bed (only for children).
    21 Twin cabins have two separate beds, set next to each other as a hotel style bed (200 x 160 cm – 78 x 62 inches). All lower deck cabins have a window (80 x 40 cm – 31 x 16 inches) that – for safety reasons – cannot be opened.

    Upper deck
    There are 9 identical twin cabins (10 m² – 108 sq.ft.) and 1 Suite (13 m² – 140 sq.ft.), all with two separate beds set next to each other as a hotel style bed (200 x 160 cm – 78 x 62 inches). All upper deck cabins and the suite have a “French Balcony” (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors) instead of a regular window.

    On previous request, in most cabins beds, normally set as hotel-style beds, can be arranged as two separate single beds.

    All 34 cabins aboard De Holland have an individual climate control system, digital TV, mini-safe, small wardrobe, hair dryer, 230V sockets and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. The Suite has the same amenities as the superior twin cabins but is larger.

    Common areas

    De Holland has a large salon with large panoramic windows on the upper deck that combines the restaurant, bar and a lounge area. Wi-Fi is available. On the partially roofed sun deck, chairs and sun loungers invite for a stay. Here you can relax and have a drink and enjoy the scenery while sailing. Bicycles will be stored on a separate part of the sun deck.

    In brief:

    • Passengers (max): 71
    • Private bathroom
    • Towels
    • 230 V socket
    • Air conditioning
    • Wi Fi in the lounge area
    • Hair dryer


    Have a look at the De Holland photo gallery



  • Bikes and accessories

    In this tour you can rent:

    - a lightweight frame unisex touring bike (name brand Gazelle Chamonix or Velo de Ville C100), equipped with Shimano 7 gears, gel-saddle and hand brake. All wheels are 28 inches.

    - a unisex e-bike Velo de Ville CEB 200 with Nexus 7 gears, 4 support levels and hand brakes.

    The bikes are equipped with:
    - pannier bag;
    - lock on the frame.


    You will be provided with a pump and a repair kit per cabin.


    In Holland bike helmets are not mandatory. We advise you wear one for your safety anyway. A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment



  • Accompanying material

    Upon settlement of the payment a few days before departure, you will receive via email the following:

    - embarkation voucher with details about the name of the boat and the precise embarkation point
    - Tour Notes
    - Final Tour Details


    If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to contact us before departure.


    Tour maps will be delivered on site.



  • By your side

    Every morning or evening our tour leader  will illustrate the route of the day. Don’t hesitate to ask him/her any question or doubt. If you have any problem during the day, you will be able to reach the tour leader on his/her mobiles. The tours are unaccompanied and unguided.  Languages spoken on board are English and German. 


    For the whole duration of your bike tour, you can contact us:

    • office +39 0444 1278430 from Monday to Friday 8:30-13:00 and 15:00-18:30 
    • emergency phone number every day 8:00-20:00 which will be specified in the Final Tour Details.
  • 6 Client reviews
    • Antonella

      Departure 08-15 August 2020

      Online from 10 September 2020

      La rotta Nord dell'Olanda è stato un tour entusiasmante e di straordinaria bellezza paesaggistica.

      Attraverso una rete ciclabile eccellente, abbiamo attraversato tradizionali ed incantevoli villaggi, mulini a vento perfettamente funzionanti e visitabili, praterie, pascoli, boschi e la meravigliosa campagna olandese.

      E poi ancora alte dune alberate, pittoreschi porticcioli, il mare del Nord. Anche l'esperienza in barca assolutamente positiva.

      L'organizzazione del tour è stata impeccabile: sia nella fase di organizzazione del viaggio da parte del personale di Girolibero per soddisfare ogni nostra richiesta, sia durante il viaggio da parte del personale di bordo.

      Decisamente un tour da consigliare per chi ama il binomio bici e barca, l'avventura e la natura.
    • Maria Elena

      Departure 01-08 August 2020

      Online from 20 August 2020

      Il paradiso della bicicletta
    • Marta

      Departure 04-11 August 2018

      Online from 25 August 2018

      Organizzazione perfetta, barca De Holland completamente ristrutturata quindi sia le cabine che le zone comuni davvero nuove, belle e pulitissime!
      Molta natura: dune sul mare, foreste e campi verdi.
      Paesini di mare deliziosi.
      Tour fattibile anche per i non allenati, un po’ di vento contro ma il sole è stato quasi sempre dalla nostra parte! Itinerari davvero semplici da seguire!
    • Nicolò

      Departure 11-18 August 2018

      Online from 23 August 2018

      Tour indicato per chi cerca una settimana di completo relax a contatto con la natura.
    • Georgia

      Departure 04-11 August 2018

      Online from 16 August 2018

      Bellissima esperienza; ottima la sistemazione in barca, il vitto e le bici; la rotta è stata incantevole.
    • Marcella Maria

      Departure 07-14 July 2018

      Online from 19 July 2018

      Assolutamente da consigliare

Tour details


from 849 €

8 days / 7 nights

Tour type
self-guided tour
Price per person
849 € standard cabin


every Saturday from 28.03 to 10.10.20



  • 7 overnights
  • full board (breakfast,self made packed lunch and dinner)
  • maps
  • gps tracks
  • on board tour guide (German and English)
  • bed linen and towels;
  • Hotline service


Not included

  • Transport to and from departure point
  • All drinks on board
  • Entrance fees to tourist attractions
  • extra transport
  • Anything that is not mentioned under included


40 € mid- season supplement (departure 16.05, 23.05, 30.05 and 12.09.20)
80 € high season supplement (from 6.06 to 5.09.20)
350 € single cabin lower deck
550 € single cabin upper deck

200 € superior cabin upper deck
350 € suite upper deck


80 € rental bike
180 € e-bike
10 € helmet


50 € gluten free/ nodiary menu (to be paid on spot)


150 € SPECIAL OFFER (departure 10.10.20)
50 € low season (departures 18.04, 25.04, 26.09, 3.10.20)

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