Touring the Netherlands by bike or barge — or both
Being both below sea level and flat as day-old beer, the Netherlands is an ideal country for touring either by bicycle or barge.
Bike touring offers a lot of benefits, especially in bike-friendly European countries. For one thing,it lowers your local transportation costs down to nothing. When you’re traveling, “free” is one four-letter word you’ll always love hearing.
For another, you get to experience what it’s like to ride a bike in a place where folks on two wheels aren’t treated as the enemy by those on four. Drivers there tend to treat cyclists with courtesy and respect (what a concept!), if only because when they’re not behind the wheel, the drivers are often cyclists themselves.
And constantly burning calories with all that pedaling means you can partake of all that delightful European food and drink (almost) without guilt.
If nothing else, you’ll fit a lot easier in that Coach seat on the flight home.
The other good way to see the Netherlands is by boat — specifically, a barge tour. The country — including its capital, Amsterdam — is laced with canals, making a barge a very cool alternative to a bus.
While at this year’s Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show, I came across an outfit up in Redmond, WA that actually combines the two into a single trip. They’re called Bike & Barge Holland Tours. They’ve got trips going through the end of September.
Not surprisingly, most of their tours focus on the Netherlands’ capital city, Amsterdam, but they also offer trips to multiple Dutch cities and a sweep through the classic (and gorgeous) tulip country, as well as tours that range into nearby European countries like Belgium.
DID YOU KNOW?
Amsterdam is the world’s largest flower market. Most of the flowers you see in your favorite florist on in your local supermarket either came from or through here a day or so before.
The city’s flower trade ranges from a massive warehouse operation buzzing with forkifts, to the world’s only floating flower market, spread out along a row or covered canal barges.
Just try to resist the temptation to pick up one of those cannabis starter kits as a souvenir, okay? Just sayin’…
They even offer a four-country swing through the Netherlands, France, Germany and Luxembourg.
They aren’t cheap — $3,000 to $3,200 — but for the money, you get the use of a bike, a ride leader, almost all meals, museum and ferry fees, and returns to the airport or train station at the end of your trip.
Check here for more information…and tell ‘em I sent you!
Text by G. Gross | Bike pic by Diego Cervo
Powered by Facebook Comments