22618
Netherlands

A Cycling Journey: Tulips and Windmills in the Netherlands

Bicycle along Holland’s famed tulip fields as you learn the history of the country’s windmills, delve into the flower industry and enjoy the world-famous Bloemencorso flower parade.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22618RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
3,399
Flights start at
675
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9 days
8 nights
16 meals
7 B 2 L 7 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans, Bike Fitting, Orientation
Heiloo
L,D
Fletcher Hotel-Restaurant Heiloo

Activity note: There will be no biking today which provides an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after your international flight. Motocoach time approximately 1.15 hours (37 miles / 59 kilometers). Please note that daily biking distances are approximate and may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.

Morning: Arrival Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Your program leader will be waiting for you and soon you board a coach for de Zaanse Schans, a village with windmills, and a wooden shoe museum. We will learn the history of windmills when floods were frequent (we are standing on land considerably lower than the North Sea only a few miles away) and the present use of the windmills (grinding flour, pigments used in paints, mustard seeds and log cutting).

Lunch: Enjoy an authentic taste of the Netherlands at a village restaurant located in an 18th-century grain barn. The restaurant specializes in Dutch-style pancakes, savory or sweet treats, which can measure almost a foot in diameter, and often eaten as a main course.

Afternoon: We continue by motorcoach to Heiloo, in the province of North Holland. Upon arriving at the hotel, check in and get your room assignment. The Group Leader will be on hand to provide assistance as needed. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. A support vehicle will accompany the group while biking each day in the event of emergency situations. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during scheduled free time for informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Upon arrival in Heiloo, bicycles will be fitted to the participant and skill testing will take place. Please be aware that indicated motorcoach times as well as biking distances are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. All routes, field trips, and excursions are subject to change as weather conditions may affect the itinerary. The operators reserve the right to change the content of field trips and excursions without prior notice. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Join a welcome dinner in the hotel dining room, featuring a plated three-course dinner menu plus water; other beverages available for purchase. Dinner each night will follow this description.

Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or relax at the hotel. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

DAY
3
IBT Corner System & Safety, Dunes, Hortus Bulborum
Heiloo
B,D
Fletcher Hotel-Restaurant Heiloo

Activity note: Biking distance is 24 miles/39 kilometers on flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved bicycle paths.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the ample buffet offers eggs, meats, cheeses, cereals, yogurt, breads (and chocolate sprinkles), juices milk, water, and hot beverages. Breakfast each morning will follow this description.

Morning: After a plentiful breakfast, we attend a lecture on the IBT Corner System, designed to make sure you don’t get lost, followed by a safety lecture about the rules of the road. Luckily, the Netherlands has laws in place that give the two-wheeler many advantages; you have come to the right place. Begin your adventure with cycling through the dunes around Castricum and Bakkum. These dunes form part of the North Holland Dune Reserve, a nature reserve of 11,800 acres, extending from Wijk aan Zee to Schoorl.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Bakkum. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: After lunch, we head toward the town of Limmen, home to the Hortus Bulborum. This unique garden collection features over 4,000 spring flowers, primarily consisting of tulips, narcissus, and hyacinths. After our visit, we return to the hotel in Heiloo.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Your evenings are free to enjoy as you like. Spend time with new Road Scholar friends, go exploring on your own, or simply relax.

DAY
4
De Rijp, History of Dutch Flowers Lecture
Heiloo
B,D
Fletcher Hotel-Restaurant Heiloo

Activity note: Biking distance is 26 miles/42 kilometers on flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved bicycle paths.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We start our day heading toward De Rijp, past fields of tulips all along the way. As you bicycle on dedicated paved trails you realize that this country had the two-wheeler in mind when it designed an extensive network of bicycle paths. Indeed, you will see school children biking in groups to and from school, and parents heading for work or shop on their bikes. The bicycle is the Dutch primary mode of transportation.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in De Rijp, a village with an old church and a draw bridge.

Afternoon: After lunch we mount our bicycles again and head back toward our hotel in Heiloo. Before dinner, we visit a bulb grower and learn about their export business.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
Lisse, Bloemencorso
Lisse
B,D
Hotel De Nachtegaal

Activity note: Biking distance is 6 miles/10 kilometers on flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved bicycle paths. Motorcoach time approximately 45 minutes (30 miles/48 kilometers)

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We check out of our hotel after breakfast and board a motorcoach to Lisse where we drop off our luggage at our hotel, our home for the next four nights. From the hotel in Lisse, we bike to the surrounding tulip fields.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Lisse.

Afternoon: Attend the famous Bloemencorso (Flower Parade) in Lisse where you will see floats, boats, and cars covered with the season's bloom.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Amsterdam, Free Time
Lisse
B,D
Hotel De Nachtegaal

Activity note: There will be no biking today to allow us to explore Amsterdam. Motorcoach time approximately 1.30 hours round trip (59 miles /95 kilometers)

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: An early departure by motorcoach to Amsterdam, or as the Dutch call it, Mokum. Accompany your Group Leader to the center of Amsterdam to view Rembrandt Square, and finally the Begijnhof (Béguinage).This tranquil courtyard dates back to the 14th century, when it was built for the Béguines, pious women who chose to live like nuns but without taking formal vows. Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Amsterdam. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. If you haven’t already been there, venture to the Anne Frank House or the Rijksmuseum. If you want to relax, seek out one of the local cafés to sip a Heineken or cup of coffee while watching the locals.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Amsterdam.

Afternoon: After your free time in Amsterdam, return to Lisse via motorcoach in the late afternoon.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Aalsmeer Flower Auction; Cruquius Museum
Lisse
B,L,D
Hotel De Nachtegaal

Activity note: Motorcoach time is approximately 45 minutes 25 miles / 40 kilometers. Biking distance is 20 miles/ 32 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved bicycle paths.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: The day starts with a motorcoach ride to Aalsmeer to the largest flower auction in the Netherlands. Buyers from around the world bid on flowers and plants, watching a large clock showing the price per lot. This goes on for hours until all flowers have been sold. Within hours, all the flowers are loaded on trucks and headed for their destinations. Flowers for the USA are taken to the nearby airport and are for sale the next day, maybe at your local flower shop. We coach back to our hotel, then continue by bicycle to Cruquius.

Lunch: Enjoy soup, salad or a sandwich for lunch at the Theehuis Cruquius. Your meal includes water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: A docent at the Cruquius Museum will present the history of this former steam-powered pumping station, operational from 1850-1933. Learn about the technology used to drain the area around Amsterdam that was threatened with flooding in the past.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Dutch Economy Lecture, Keukenhof
Lisse
B,D
Hotel De Nachtegaal

Activity note: Biking distance is 6 miles/10 kilometerson flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved bicycle paths.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Begin the morning with a lecture on the economy of the Netherlands. After our lecture we mount our bikes and head for the Keukenhof.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in the Keukenhof. There are several restaurants so you will not have any difficulty finding food. Ask your group leader where the poffertjes place is (small pancakes covered in butter and sugar).

Afternoon: The Keukenhof gardens with their more than seven million bulbs are in bloom every spring, including over 800 varieties of tulips. Be sure you have your camera ready!

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at our farewell dinner. Get a good night's sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out time is 10:00 a.m. See your program's travel details regarding transfers. Transfer from the hotel to the airport is approximately 15 minutes (12 miles/19 kilometers).

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: Morning transfer to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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