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4 day Bike Trip - Best Route for Tulips + Castles

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4 day Bike Trip - Best Route for Tulips + Castles

Hello people of expertise!

If you wouldn't mind taking a look at my plan so far - it would be appreciated. Our bike trip will be from April 15 - April 18, 2014 inclusive.

I have two trains of thought as to how we should do this.

#1 Plan

Day 1

Rent (Toerfits) at Macbike Central Train Station Amsterdam, take train to Zaanse Schans for 1/2 day walk about

Train to Lisse - 1/2 day walk about Keukenhof (pre-buy tickets online)

Train to Leiden - sleep overnight

Day 2

Ride from Leiden to Gouda - overnight

Day 3, Day 4

Ride from Gouda to Utrecht - overnight (2 nights)

End of Day 4 - return by train to Amsterdam

#2 Plan

Rent Bikes at Macbike - Central Station/Amsterdam

Train to Haarlem, Stay four nights

Train to Leiden, Gouda, Utrecht with bicycles (daily) and do day trips in and around each location. Train back to accommodations in Haarlem.

End of Day 4 - train back to Amsterdam

Am a bit leery about cycling on the coast in mid-April - might be chilly?

If we commit to PLan #1 - will need to book accommodations at each location - which will pressure us to get there rain or shine.

Want to see windmills, tulips, nature, castles. At least one of the group don't want to ride more than 30 km/day. Re: Plan #1: What is your opinion on two nights in Utrecht? If not Utrecht, what place would you suggest we stay two nights in.

Can you recommend a bike route book I should buy that is awesome for this area?

Much appreciated, Carol

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
1. Re: 4 day Bike Trip - Best Route for Tulips + Castles

See this thread: tripadvisor.com/…0

And this one: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188554-i5823-k669…

As for your plan #1: that is much more than 30km per day. The scenic bike routes are usually about 1.5 times as long as the fastest route by car (i.e. Leiden - Gouda = 31km by car, so about 45km by bike, unless you want to cycle alongside smelly boring motorways the whole time). The scenic routes go though meadows, past farms, through heathland, small towns, forests, tupip fields if you're lucky, castles if you're lucky or plan well.

I also think it would be impractical to rent a bike for 4 days if you're only going to use it for 2. It's a bit of a hassle to bring them on trains: you need to get special tickets, find the elevator or do kamikaze acts on escalators (also depends on your luggage), run to the carriage that allows bikes and which somehow never stop where you were waiting on the platform :-) , lift the bikes into the train inbetween hurrying people, guard the bikes and your luggage...

If I were you I'd wait and see what the weather is like. The country is super flat which means the wind is a strong factor. Having strong head wind (and maybe rain) all the way will make even a 20km ride, hell.

Biking in the rain is no fun, period.

As for maps, get some good bike maps that have the numbered junctions marked in them as well (knooppunten), and a map of all LF-routes could come in handy. (See the other threads for explanations.) You can find some info here too: http://holland.cyclingaroundtheworld.nl/

And this also has the LF-routes and such (although the Dutch version is more detailed): http://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/en

The app called "Fiets!" also allows you to 'connect the dots' = knooppunten = the numbered junction system; it also calculates the number of kilometers for you.




Edited: 29 September 2013, 04:17
Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
2. Re: 4 day Bike Trip - Best Route for Tulips + Castles

P.S. Great to see someone interested in more than Amsterdam, and cycling the country... you might be lucky and catch an almost-heatwave in April like we had a few years ago. Then again you might catch a very wintery April like we had this year. You can only be semi-sure of what the weather is going to be like about 2 days in advance....

Every city should have bike rental and also nice circular daytrips to be done from it (without luggage) using the numbered junctions.

3. Re: 4 day Bike Trip - Best Route for Tulips + Castles

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