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Dutch Discovery

Edam, Amsterdam & Gouda
Archetypal Dutch landscapes peppered with pretty villages and crisscrossed with canals offer the perfect terrain for cycling – while your luggage is transported, cycle self-guided from Edam to Gouda, with a day in iconic Amsterdam along the way.

Holiday information


A cycling holiday in Holland

The country of Holland (strictly speaking 'The Netherlands') – its people, towns, cities and landscape – is so completely cycle-friendly that it seems only natural to discover it on two wheels, and this journey between the two charming ‘cheese towns’ of Edam and Gouda is a truly fascinating adventure. Beginning by the picturesque shores of Markermeer and the marshes of Ijmeer, you pedal via the colourful and cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam through the Netherlands’ ‘green heart’, to finish in historic Oudewater, gaining a true flavour of all things quintessentially Dutch along the way.


We are unable to offer this holiday in 2021, but hope to be able to do so again in 2022, with a slightly revised itinerary.


The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on almost any day of the week, and are free to add extra nights.

We have not provided elevation profiles for any of the routes on this holiday because it is largely on the flat.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    It can be sometimes be windy, so we recommend packing a windproof jacket, whatever the time of year.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 5 5 8 12 16 19 21 21 18 14 9 6
    mm 67 46 60 48 52 61 71 70 75 82 88 80
  • Arrival in Edam
    Night 1: at Hotel de Fortuna (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day cycling.
  • Choice of routes from Edam: 48km or 59km

    Circular route from Edam via Zaanse Schans: 59km
    This first option is a pleasant circuit that will take you inland to the historic museum-village of Zaanse Schans, which includes working windmills, hump-backed bridges, traditional green wooden houses and workshops dating back several hundred years, before returning to Edam.

    Circular route from Edam via Marken: 48km
    The second option heads to the harbour town of Volendam, where the local inhabitants wear traditional, colourful costumes throughout the summer. You then continue by ferry (pay locally) to the former island of Marken (now a peninsula), from where you cycle parallel to the waters of Ijseemeer, a good place for bird watching – ducks, geese and waders are common, but you may also spot rare bitterns, ospreys and bluethroats. Finally, you pass through handsome Broek, with its wooden houses, to return to Edam.
  • Edam to Amsterdam: 41km
    Leaving Edam, you head south to the fascinating city of Amsterdam along quiet roads and cycle paths, making use of a couple of the cheap river boat services to cross some of the canals along the way. To enter the city, you must pass through the Stelling van Amsterdam (Defence Line of Amsterdam), a 135-kilometre-long ring of fortifications consisting of 42 forts and protective lowlands which could be flooded during times of war. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other places of interest on the approach to the city centre include a tower from where wives bid goodbye to their sea-faring husbands, Amsterdam's oldest market square, a church with connections to Rembrandt, and the green open spaces of Vondelpark. Your destination is the Hotel Apollofirst, where you spend two nights.
    Cheese shop in Edam
  • Explore Amsterdam
    Enjoy a day exploring Amsterdam with our included city walking tour around the quieter canals of the western Grachtengordel (canal district). Follow our well-chosen route to discover what life on the canal is really like by visiting the Woonbootmuseum (Wooden Houseboat Museum), before sampling one of the 350 Dutch beers on offer at t'Arendsnert, a friendly Dutch beer cafe.
    Alternatively, you may prefer to wander round the truly spectacular Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, relax at one of the many waterside cafés, or take a boat trip on the canal to admire the terraces of narrow 17th-century merchants’ homes, characterised by large windows and decorative gable tops.
  • Amsterdam to Oudewater: 51km
    You leave the city via Beatrixpark, before cycling through typical 'polder' landscapes of central Holland – low-lying areas of canals, small lakes, and meadows grazed by cows. You cycle through Woerden, complete with a castle, before a scenic riverside route leads you to Oudewater, one of the Netherlands’ oldest small towns, famous for its witches’ weighing stool. In the 16th century, women accused of witchcraft came here to be weighed and, if deemed too heavy to fly a broomstick, they were acquitted! Your hotel for your final two nights is the Hotel Abrona in Oudewater.
    The route from Amsterdam to Oudewater
  • Circular route from Oudewater: 53km
    Today, we recommend a picturesque circuit to visit Gouda, passing through the Groene Hart (‘Green Heart’) of the Netherlands, characterised by verdant meadows and narrow blue canals. Every Thursday during the summer, the Gouda cheese market comes to life as farmers wearing traditional Dutch costumes throng in the square weighing and selling their wares. (Alternatively, you can buy cheese from several of the farms that you pass along the way.) You return via the large lakes around Reeuwijk, where beautiful houses sit amid a shimmering landscape of water. A perfect end to your relaxed discovery of this enchanting region.
    Quiet lanes around Oudewater


You stay in a variety of accommodation, from cosy, family-run inns to a high-quality city hotel.

Options to extend or shorten your stay

What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 2 dinners
    6 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • high-quality bicycle
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • We sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – cycling holidays are ideal in these times of social distancing, and we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety, not least taking tests before and after your holiday for many destinations.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
    Entry requirements for non-UK destinations & for re-entering the UK >
  • Our chosen bike rental shop will provide you with a Dutch city bike with 7 gears; a waterproof map case on handlebars; panniers/saddlebags; pump; puncture repair kit; and a lock. Electric bikes are available as an upgrade (see price panel), subject to availability, and must be requested at the time of booking. The bike shop also has a limited number of tandems.
  • No. We recommend that you bring your own.
  • Yes, we will provide GPX tracks for this holiday prior to departure so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. (We also provide maps and our tried-and-tested route notes, which remain the principal means of navigation).
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. On mornings when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation so that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.
  • Bike insurance is not included in the price of our cycling holidays, and unfortunately we can't supply such insurance. Some general travel insurance policies can or do provide cover for rented bikes, so it's worth seeing if your policy is one of these. The most important thing is to ensure that you take good care of your bike (you are responsible for damage to or loss of it while it is hired to you), always being careful to lock it up, ideally to an immovable object, and removing all easy-to-steal accessories whenever you leave it unattended.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines (but not, currently, with Ryanair). As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe, there’s a £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to take out our recommended travel insurance policy (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Holland, but not a visa. If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • Dutch is the most commonly spoken language. The currency is the Euro. Dutch time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit

    At Inntravel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you. We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them, regardless of what is happening in the European political sphere.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/30/2021 2:33:29 AM