(9 reviews)

Self-guided Bike and Barge

Web code NL022

Holland / Northern tour

Texel and IJsselmer

What you will experience in this tour are folklore and traditions in the Dutch coutryside and lovely villages on the shores of the North Sea. During the XVII century the whole area, which used to be covered with marshes, was reclaimed through the use of windmills. Enjoy your stay in the island of Texel, the beautiful beaches and the ancient port towns on the IJsselmeer, which will accompany you up to Amsterdam and its canals.
  • Day by Day


    1. Amsterdam - Zaandam

    Embarkation and check-in between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping, to explore downtown Amsterdam, to make a canal cruise or to visit a museum. At 5 p.m. welcome drink and safety instructions, dinner and first briefing on board. During dinner short cruise to Zaandam.


    2. Zaandam - Alkmaar (44 km)
    Your first cycling tour starts in Breukelen. You’ll tour along the beautiful and winding river Vecht with its enchanting background of imposing castles, country houses and quaint tearooms. You will follow the Vecht into the center of Utrecht where you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful historical city center: the Dom Cathedral with its tower, the canals, special shops and nice cafes. In the afternoon you will continue by ship from Utrecht to Rotterdam.


    3. Alkmaar - Den Helder (33/40 km)

    Today you can discover the beautiful North-Holland Dune reserve. This is a 5.300 hectare large forest- and dune area with its unique landscapes. In these dunes the drinking water for almost the whole province of North-Holland is gained. After a visit to the beach and artists village Bergen you will return to Alkmaar where you can visit the wonderful city center. In the afternoon the ship will sail over the North-Holland Canal to the navy harbor of Den Helder.


    4. Den Helder - Den Oever (from 15 km to 65 km)

    After breakfast you’ll take a 20-minute ferry ride (ticket included) from Den Helder to the isle of Texel, where you can make beautiful cycling tours (you can chose the length between 15 to 65 kms) on the largest of the Dutch North Sea Isles. Ride through meadows, nature parks and dunes to small villages and have the opportunity for a stop and some bathing at the sandy North Sea beach, or visit the “Ecomare” seal sanctuary. In the late afternoon you will return by ferry to Den Helder. During dinner your ship will sail to Den Oever.

    5. Den Oever - Stavoren (43/55 km)

    The vessel will cross the large inland lake IJsselmeer to sail to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland. You can opt for a shorter or longer cycling tour: discover the nature area of Gaasterland or explore a part of the wide lake district, that Friesland is well-known for. You can also combine both options. Night in the small harbor of Stavoren, one of the famous traditional 11 cities of Friesland.


    6. Stavoren - Enkhuizen (30/50 km)

    The ship will cross the IJsselmeer again during breakfast. Take the short cycling trip from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer coast directly to Enkhuizen, where you can spend the afternoon. Enkhuizen is an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. The “herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbor, a historical old town centre and the very interesting Zuiderzeemuseum. If you prefer a longer cycling tour, ride from Medemblik to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn, in the 17th century one of the world’s leading harbors. Enjoy your lunch break and make a short stroll in the old city centre. Continue by bicycle to Enkhuizen via some picturesque rural villages. In the evening you can join a short city walk.

    7. Enkhuizen - Amsterdam (35/50 km)

    During breakfast the ship will sail to Volendam. Your final day of cycling will lead you through the beautiful area of Waterland, with its hundreds of small lakes and tiny canals. Near Volendam you will have the opportunity to visit a cheese farm. Recommended (extra cycling miles) is a tour to the former island of Marken, to continue through the water shaped region of Waterland back to the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer. If you didn’t go for a canal cruise on the first day, you can do so today.

    8. Amsterdam

    End of your tour: disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.



    Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles such as officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays and may even request a transfer by bus. These decisions are only taken by the barge’s captain.

  • Route profile

    The Netherlands are the country of bicycles, mainly due to the flat landscape, beneath the sea level. The cycling path network, almost entirely paved, is very widespread and sign posted with white and red signals and with small numbered stumps called “mushrooms”,   signalled on the maps.

    It will not be hard to deal with this tour, but you will need to be a bit trained in order to stay a whole week on the saddle! Wind and rain are very frequent in this country and they might make your cycling difficult. Sometimes the bike lanes are separated from the street only by a red line, so you need to pay attention. Ask your guide on board, he/she will be able to give you more information.



  • How to get there

    The precise embarkation point will be written in the Final Tour Details.


    By plane

    The best international airport to use for this trip is Amsterdam Schiphol. 

    In order to get to the embarkation point you need to leave from Amsterdam central station by taking the train directly at the airport. You can purchase the tickets at the cashiers, which usually accept debit and credit cards. The journey takes about 20 minutes, the cost is about € 5. 


    By train

    The main train station is Amsterdam Centraal Station. 


    By car

    Parking in the centre of Amsterdam is very expensive, we suggest parking on the outskirt of  the city.



  • Accommodation and meals

    The barge De Willemstad is equipped with: 

    - 8 suite cabins above deck (15m2)

    - 16 standard twin cabins above deck (10m2)

    - 24 standard twin cabins below deck (10m2)


    All cabins are ‘outside cabins’ that are equipped with two single beds, TV, mini safe and individually controlled air conditioning. Each cabin has a bathroom with shower, toilet and hairdryer.


    Common areas

    In the salon / bar with large panoramic windows on the upper deck, you can review the day’s experiences in a pleasant way while enjoying a beer or a glass of wine. Your physical well-being is taken care of in the tastefully furnished and air-conditioned restaurant on the lower deck. The spacious and partly covered sundeck offers space to let the landscape pass comfortably in a deck chair. The bicycles are stored on the rear part of the sun deck.


    Watch De Willemstad photo gallery.




  • Bikes and accessories

    Bikes are available in different sizes in unisex model

    • Touring bike with 7 gears with hand-brakes
    • E-bike with hand-brakes


    At the moment of booking you can draw up a bike insurance against theft and damage (touring bike € 10; e-bike € 25). This policy covers:

    • the theft of the bicycle only if you present the key of the lock;
    • the damage of the bicycle if it is not due to careless or improper behavior of the customer.


    All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

    1 pannier bag

    1 pump

    1 repair kit

    1 lock


    Bike helmets are not mandatory, but we advise you wear one for your safety anyway.




  • Accompanying material

    Before your arrival, you will receive an email from us with the digital information material. It contains:


    1. Link to download the App including maps, roadbook, points of interest and GPS tracks (you can use the App offline, too)


    2. Link to download the tour information material in Pdf:

    - Tour notes

    - Final tour details




  • By your side

    In the Final Tour Details you will find the contact phone numbers you can call during the tour in case of emergency.

  • 9 Client reviews
    • Laura

      Departure 06-13 August 2022

      Online from 19 August 2022

      Una splendida vacanza pedalando tra prati, canali, lande sabbiose e campagne immerse nella quiete. Piccoli paesi rurali e cittadine affacciate sul mare davvero incantevoli.
    • Alfio

      Departure 28 May - 04 June 2022

      Online from 18 June 2022

      Paesaggio stupendo, gite ben organizzate.
      A bordo della nave, buon servizio. Ottima la colazione.
    • Mirella

      Departure 28 May - 04 June 2022

      Online from 13 June 2022

      Paesaggi mozzafiato, tra mare, laghi e paesini immersi nel verde,
      l'unico inconveniente per chi opta per una bicicletta muscolare è il vento contrario, ma l'Olanda del nord è stupenda e vi farà dimenticare la fatica, le piste ciclabili sono ben segnalate
    • Antonella

      Departure 08-15 August 2020

      Online from 10 September 2020

      La rotta Nord dell'Olanda è stato un tour entusiasmante e di straordinaria bellezza paesaggistica.

      Attraverso una rete ciclabile eccellente, abbiamo attraversato tradizionali ed incantevoli villaggi, mulini a vento perfettamente funzionanti e visitabili, praterie, pascoli, boschi e la meravigliosa campagna olandese.

      E poi ancora alte dune alberate, pittoreschi porticcioli, il mare del Nord. Anche l'esperienza in barca assolutamente positiva.

      L'organizzazione del tour è stata impeccabile: sia nella fase di organizzazione del viaggio da parte del personale di Girolibero per soddisfare ogni nostra richiesta, sia durante il viaggio da parte del personale di bordo.

      Decisamente un tour da consigliare per chi ama il binomio bici e barca, l'avventura e la natura.
    • Maria Elena

      Departure 01-08 August 2020

      Online from 20 August 2020

      Il paradiso della bicicletta
    • Marta

      Departure 04-11 August 2018

      Online from 25 August 2018

      Organizzazione perfetta, barca De Holland completamente ristrutturata quindi sia le cabine che le zone comuni davvero nuove, belle e pulitissime!
      Molta natura: dune sul mare, foreste e campi verdi.
      Paesini di mare deliziosi.
      Tour fattibile anche per i non allenati, un po’ di vento contro ma il sole è stato quasi sempre dalla nostra parte! Itinerari davvero semplici da seguire!
    • Nicolò

      Departure 11-18 August 2018

      Online from 23 August 2018

      Tour indicato per chi cerca una settimana di completo relax a contatto con la natura.
    • Georgia

      Departure 04-11 August 2018

      Online from 16 August 2018

      Bellissima esperienza; ottima la sistemazione in barca, il vitto e le bici; la rotta è stata incantevole.
    • Marcella Maria

      Departure 07-14 July 2018

      Online from 19 July 2018

      Assolutamente da consigliare

Tour details


from 689 €

8 days / 7 nights

Tour type

Departure dates


on Saturday 1.04 - 7.10.2023



Price per person


Season 1 | 1.04, 8.04 and 7.10.2023

689 € in standard twin cabin below deck

1034 € in twin cabin single use





  • 7 overnights
  • Breakfast 
  • Self-made packed lunch
  • 7 dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board till 4 p.m.
  • Bed linen and towels
  • Digital tour information
  • Maps and GPS tracks
  • English speaking tour leader aboard
  • Hotline service


Not included

  • Beverages on board
  • Museums, fees and extras in general
  • Transfers to/from the docking place
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the section “Included”

Supplements per person


Season 2 | 15.04, 22.04, 23.09 and 30.09.2023

150 € in standard twin cabin below deck

225 € in twin cabin single use


Season 3 | 29.04, 9.09 and 16.09.2023

260 € in standard twin cabin below deck

390 € in twin cabin single use


Season 4 | 6.05 - 2.09.2023

370 € in standard twin cabin below deck

555 € in twin cabin single use



200 € upper deck twin cabin | Season 1, 2 and 3

250 € upper deck twin cabin | Season 4


300 € upper deck cabin for single use | Season 1, 2 and 3

375 € upper deck cabin for single use | Season 4


450 € suite cabin | Season 1, 2 and 3

500 € suite cabin | Season 4



Rental bikes

90 € Touring bike

195 € E-bike | limited availability

10 € helmet rental


10 € own touring bike 

25 € own e-bike

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