Rotterdam is a great base for a bike holiday. The port city is lively and exciting with a modern skyline. In contrast, the peaceful towns and villages that you will visit have retained much of the quaint charm and Olde Dutch building styles our cyclists love so well. Architecture aficionados may particularly enjoy this holiday as Rotterdam is a potpourri of architectural endeavours and work is underway on even higher and more spectacular skyscrapers. If you are mesmerized by larger-than-life high-tech, you’ll never forget your visit to the Port of Rotterdam, an amazing feat of engineering and logistics. The sheer scale of the ships, cranes and state-of-the-art container terminals is mindboggling.
We will provide you with a total of four bicycle routes to choose from:
Round tour to Delft, Vlaardingen and Schiedam
Round tour to Gouda and Rotte Meren lakes
Round tour to Kinderdijk and Dordrecht (opt to catch a water taxi for part of the route)
Round tour to Hoek of Holland, Maassluis, Maasvlakte/ships, Fast Ferry part of the way.
Most of Rotterdam was flattened by WWII bombings therefore much of what you see here is post-1945. The city never looked back, always striving for newer, bigger, better. The borough of Delfshaven escaped destruction as you will see when you pass through: The harbour area shows respectable age and is a picture of industrious small-town charm. Follow the River Schie out of the city and cycle through a rural landscape to the town of Delft. The university town has a beautiful historical centre with picturesque canals, squares and quaint houses. Tourists love traditional “Delft Blue” ceramics and here is where you can find out how it is manufactured. Continuing on an artistic note: Johannes Vermeer fans will want to visit the Vermeer Centre to brush up on their knowledge of the artist’s life (1632-1675, Delft) and painting techniques. Reproductions of all his works complete the picture. Finally, if you’re not claustrophobic or scared of heights, climb the steps of the Nieuwe Kerk church tower and enjoy the view from the top. Inside the church is a mausoleum for William the Silent, founding father of the House of Orange, our royal family. Your journey back to Rotterdam takes you through jenever-town Schiedam, known for its five “tallest traditional windmills in the world”.
From the hotel, cross the Erasmus Bridge and follow the rivers Maas and Hollandsche IJssel inland. Enter the peatland polders of the Green Heart of the Randstad conurbation. We call the Green Heart a cultural landscape because it is manmade countryside, stilled in time, testifying to many centuries of farmers working in wet and difficult conditions. The highlight of the day is cheese-town Gouda and what an enchanting place this is! Yes, this is where farmers took their cheeses on market day to be weighed and sold at the cheese market in front of the Weighing Hall. To witness all the action, plan your trip so you go to Gouda on a Thursday, market day (April thru August, in the morning!). Furthermore, don’t miss the 15th-century fairy-tale Town Hall with red shutters; and the 16th -century stained-glass windows in the Great Church of St. John. On your return to Rotterdam, enjoy more relaxing countryside as well as the lakes at Rottemeren recreational area, great for easy canoeing.
Start the day by contemplating Rotterdam from the water: Board a water bus with your bike and enjoy a laidback trip through the city to Krimpen aan de IJssel where a lovely old farmhouse has been turned into a museum of local cultural history. Cycle through pastureland and cross the River Lek by ferry to Kinderdijk. Get your camera out for this famous cultural heritage site where no less 19 polder mills reach for the skies. Since the 15th century, windmills have been regulating water levels here in the low-lying polder land. Wind power drives the water wheels that scoop up excess water out of the polder. A visit to one of the mills is unforgettable, if only to experience the shuddering, creaking and smells of a working wooden mill. Back on your bike, proceed south to Dordrecht which has a picturesque historical harbour quarter where exquisite old buildings, from warehouses to merchants’ residences, will enrapture you. There are three options for your return trip to Rotterdam: by bike, water bus or water taxi.
Ship spotters amongst you will have field day, today! Head west to Hoek van Holland to catch a breath of fresh air on the beach. Next, board a Fast Ferry to Maasvlakte. This industrial area is part of the port of Rotterdam and has deep-water access for big ships. Watch how bulk and container carriers, from 1000 harbours world-wide, are unloaded at amazing high-tech terminals. Distribution centres forward the goods by inland shipping, rail or road to destinations in Europe. All in the blink of an eye. Mighty cranes, towering ships, countless containers, clockwork timing: It’s simply awe-inspiring. Container depots offer storage and maintenance for empty containers awaiting pick-up. It’s a colourful sight that attracts hordes of photographers.
After breakfast this package holiday comes to an end. If you have some hours left in Rotterdam before you head off home, the delectable market hall (2014) is not to be missed! Equally pleasing to the eye is the City Hall, built exactly 100 years previously in 1914. The new railway station is quite striking and also opened in 2014. Rotterdam boast dozens of excellent museums.
|Daily from April 1 till September 25.|
|Per person in a double room
5 nights’ accommodation, breakfast included
|Start date in April, May, June or September||80.00|
|Single room (€ 50 x 5)||250,00|
|Dinner (€ 40 x 5)||200,00|
|Bike rental (€ 12 x 5)||60,00|
|E-Bike (€ 25 x 5)||125,00|
|Emergency Call Out Service/Bike breakdown pass (€ 2,75 x 5)||13,75|
Rotterdam - Hotel New York****
5 nights included
4 star hotel
Breakfast included, halfboard optional
Tourist information on all the places of interest.
The possibility of renting our bikes
7-days a week service-hotline
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included
...The Hotel New York was excellent and let us store the bikes indoors where we felt they were very safe. The countryside was very scenic and we enjoyed Delft, Gouda and Dordrecht. We never went to Hoek van Holland due to weather but were able to spend a lovely day in Rotterdam...