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Dutch Craft Flemish Art (Self Guided)
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Dutch Craft Flemish Art (Self Guided)

offered by supplier M16009 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 34 people
Destination(s): Netherlands   Belgium  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Cultural Journey  
Season: May - September
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 965 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 965 Pound Sterling (GBP)

Start & finish: Starts Saturdays from Amsterdam and finishes in Bruges or starts Saturdays from Bruges and finishes in Amsterdam. Amsterdam start: 25 May, 22 June, 6 July, 14 September. Bruges start: 4 May, 18 May, 1 June, 15 Jume, 29 June, 7 September, 21 September.

Accommodation: On board MS Magnifique, an elegant and luxurious 63 m long traditional Dutch barge sailing under a Dutch flag and management and completely modernised in 2010. It has 17 ensuite cabins each with porthole, individually controlled air conditioning and flat screen TV. On the upper deck, there is a tastefully furnished salon with restaurant, bar, lounge and large windows and two partly covered teak sun decks with chairs, tables and jacuzzi. Breakfast, 3 course dinner, picnic lunch and tea and coffee until 4pm each day are included.

Cycling mileage: 7 days of optional cycling 9 - 30 miles (15 - 50 km) per day . Bike hire is included. Helmets are not available.

Grade out of 5 based on distance and elevation: 1

Terrain: Flat

Traffic free: 95%

What could be more Dutch than to live aboard a traditional barge and tootle about on a bike through the lowlands where everything's an art form? Freewheel through the fields and polders immortalised in the works of the Dutch masters enroute to Antwerp, the city of Rubens. Windmills appear as sculptures. Medieval art inspires in Ghent. Flemish waterways charm with their beauty. Ancient buildings beg to be explored. Canals hum with cafe life. From Amsterdam to Bruges, its a work of art.

To this, we add wonderful flexibility. You can choose to cycle self guided on your own with route directions or be led by the guide with your fellow guests. Most days offer a choice of cycling distances and any day you can opt to stay on board. Your guide briefs you each morning, cycles the whole route and shares his knowledge as he leads you through the treasures of these art cities. Its a masterpeice in every sense!

Options:

Additional nights in Amsterdam and Bruges.
Book a 1 hour Amsterdam canal boat trip. Lugagge can be left on the boat from 9.30am on your arrival day.
Book an E bike.
Upgrade your cabin to a suite £220 per person.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Amsterdam to Vianen. Optional 9 miles (15 km).
Arrive in Amsterdam on Saturday and at 1pm board Magnifique which is moored in the heart of the city. Around 2pm the boat slips its mooring and sails to Nigtevecht. From here there is a short bike ride to Breukelen along the winding and beautiful river Vecht with its impressive riverside mansions and country houses. By the end of the afternoon the barge will have you in Vianen, a small fortified Dutch town on the river Lek. Lunch is not included today but dinner will be served on board.

Day 2: Vianen to Dordrecht. Optional 16 or 30 miles (25 or 50 km).
After breakfast there is an optional pedal along a charming route to Schoonhoven, known as the silver city. Those wanting the shorter ride disembark here to join the route through the Alblasserwaard to Kinderdijk. Here there is an impressive row of 19 large windmills listed by Unesco, one of which you can tour inside. The barge then takes you on to Dordrecht, an important shipping intersection and one of the oldest towns in Holland. You will spend the night in the historic port of Wolwevershaven.

Day 3: Dordrecht to Antwerp. Optional 21 miles (34 km).
Whilst you are eating your breakfast the ship will sail to Tholen. From there you ride through a forest area - the Wouwse Plantage to Bergen op Zoom and on southwards to imposing Kreekrak Lock. The ship docks at the end of the dam and from there it sails into Flanders through the impressive port of Antwerp to the city itself. Antwerp is not only known as the diamond city, but also as the native city of painter Rubens. You will find some of his paintings in the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Cathedral. Explore this beautiful old Flemish city centre after dinner on board.

Day 4: Antwerp to St Amands/ Dendermonde. Optional 25 or 34 miles (42 or 56 km).
Ride out of the port to the Zeeschelde and follow the beautiful but capricious tidal river Schelde upstream through Flanders. The bike path follows the dreamy banks of the river and leads through a magnificent landscape calling at Temse enroute. There is a choice of distances today and depending on the tide, the boat ties up at either St Amands or Dendermonde, a friendly little riverside town.

Day 5: St Amands/Dendermonde to Ghent. Optional 24 or 32 miles (38 or 52 km).
This morning you pedal along the banks of the river Schelde to reach Ghent where you can spend the afternoon exploring this lively university city and its rich past. Founded in Roman times, the city's prosperity was at its height in the late 13th and early 14th century when the textile industry brought great wealth. Many fine buildings such as Cloth Hall remain from that time. The cathedral houses some notable masterpieces of medieval art of which "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan van Eyck is the most famous. The ship is docked at the lock in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent

Day 6: Ghent to Bruges. Optional 14 or 28 miles (22 or 45 km).
Today's route ambles through the pretty Western Flanders countryside to Bruges and those wanting the shorter route stay on board a little longer this morning. Bruges, also called the Venice of the North, is probably the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old centre, which dates from the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact. Bruges was at that time a metropolis and center of commerce and art and you can still see this glory in its beautiful buildings.

Day 7: Bruges to the North Sea and back. Optional 30 miles (48 km).
Yours is the choice today of exploring wonderful Bruges in a little more depth or pedalling north to the coast and enjoying a cafe or three, a long sandy beach and the attractive dune landscape of Het Zwin a unique nature reserve. Along the way, ride a quiet poplar lined canal that threads its way through a rural polder landscape dotted with small farms. Return to Bruges for dinner on board.

Day 8: Depart Bruges.
After a final breakfast on Magnificent its time to say farewell and disembark by 10am.


Bruges Start

Day 1: Arrive Bruges.
Arrive in Bruges on Saturday and early in the afternoon board Magnifique which is moored in the heart of the city. The crew will welcome you and show you Bruges this afternoon and evening. Also called the Venice of the North, it is probably the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old centre, which dates from the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact. Bruges was at that time a metropolis and center of commerce and art and you can still see this glory in its beautiful buildings. Lunch is not included today but dinner will be served on board.

Day 2: Bruges to Ghent. Optional 14 or 28 miles (22 or 45 km).
Your day starts on the water and Magnifique will slip its moorings early and head out of town. Once in the countryside, its time to reach for the pedals and freewheel through Western Flanders heading for Ghent where you can spend the afternoon exploring this lively university city and its rich past. Founded in Roman times, the city's prosperity was at its height in the late 13th and early 14th century when the textile industry brought great wealth. Many fine buildings such as Cloth Hall remain from that time. The cathedral houses some notable masterpieces of medieval art of which "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan van Eyck is the most famous. The ship is docked at the lock in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent

Day 3: Ghent to St Amands. Optional 24 or 32 miles (38 or 52 km).
Ride downstream today along the banks of the tidal Schelde river, along one of its most beautiful and dreamy stretches. Love the peace and enjoy the views and wildlife of Flanders at its best.You may join the boat in Dendermonde, a friendly little riverside town or in St Amands depending on the tide. Those taking the shorter ride stay on board a little longer this morning.

Day 4: St Amands to Antwerp. Optional 25 or 34 miles (42 or 56 km).
Continuing to follow the capricious river, you thread your way through a magnificent landscape calling at Temse enroute. Next is the Zeeschelde and then through the impressive port of Antwerp to the city itself. Antwerp is not only known as the diamond city, but also as the native city of painter Rubens. You will find some of his paintings in the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Cathedral. Explore this beautiful old Flemish city centre after dinner on board.

Day 5: Antwerp to Dordrecht. Optional 15 or 28 miles (24 or 45 km).
Your barge takes you along the Schelde Rhine Canal this morning as you leave Flanders and head for Holland through the huge Kreekrak Locks to Tholen, a former fishing village set in the meadows of Zeeland. Pedalling from here you cycle along the impressive Volkerak locks to the fortified town of Willemstad and then on to Dordrecht, one of the oldest Dutch towns. The sections you cycle today may vary and your skipper will brief you in the morning.

Day 6: Dordrecht to Vianen. Optional 16 or 30 miles (25 or 50 km).
Stay on board until you reach Kinderdijk this morning. Here there is an impressive row of 19 large windmills listed by Unesco, one of which you can tour inside. Built in the 18th Century to pump water out of the Alblasserwaard polder, they appear a work of art. Continuing through the Dutch lowlands you reach Schoonhoven, known as silver city and further on arrive in Vianen, a small fortified Dutch town on the river Lek where your barge ties up for the night. Explore the town after dinner on board.

Day 7: Vianen to Amsterdam. Optional 21 miles (34 km).
Your last day of cycling starts in Breukelen where you pedal along the banks of the winding and beautiful river Vecht with its impressive riverside mansions, small castles and country houses with large gardens. Take in several charming villages and stop to visit a traditional cheese farm in Nigtevecht. You wind your way into the heart of Amsterdam along the Amstel river and rejoin the barge in the city's harbour for your final dinner on board.

Day 8: Depart Amsterdam.
After a final breakfast on Magnificent its time to say farewell and disembark by 10am.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:

Accommodation.
Breakfast, picnic lunch and 3 course dinner every day during the tour.
Tea and coffee up to 4pm
The services of our friendly hosts to coordinate your travel and brief you on your route.
Emergency support provided by your host.
A tour brochure.
Safeguarding of your payment.

Price Excludes:

Airfares.
Travel to and from the tour start and finish points.
Entrances to attractions unless specified.
Tea and coffee after 4pm
Alcoholic beverages.
Mini bars.
Meals pre and post the tour.

All prices are subject to change depending on accommodation availability.

About This Supplier
Photos: Next »
Location: England
Joined InfoHub: Mar 2007
Client Request Served: 234

Authentic travels by bike and on foot in the UK, France, Italy, Holland, Austria, Greece, Spain and the Baltics. Gentle and not so gentle tours available from one day upwards - self led or guided. Hand picked accommodation and a very personal service. Classic tours have carefully chosen attractive inns, individual...

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