During this week tour by boat and bike you will discover the middle of the Netherlands with its fascinating river landscapes.
In the east we experience the romantic and picturesque Betuwe with extensive fruit farms and in the west ancient polder land. We go on and along the magnificent Lek and Wal (distributary resp. lower course of the Rhine) and the lovely Linge river. Dreamy places and medieval citadel towns such as Nieuwpoort and Gorinchem are situated on the waterways, where above all city walls and centuries-old narrow streets determine the historic townscape.
Sat: Alphen aan den Rijn
Embarkation in Alphen a/d Rijn at 16.00 'o clock and welcome by the crew. Over a cup of coffee we will introduce you to the travel program. In the evening, explore the inner city of Alphen or/and end your first day with a cosy evening on board.
Our first sailing trip brings us on the Gouwe river through the tree nursery area of Boskoop. We pass a lock nearby Gouda and stop in Gouderack.
During our cycle tour we will enjoy the rural peace and natural abundance of "Krimpenerwaard", one of the oldest and most beautiful polder areas of Holland with a number of idyllic cheese farms.
A little ferry brings us to the other side of the river Lek and we cycle through peat pasture region "Ablasserwaard" along meandering small rivers and arrive in Kinderdijk, where we admire the eighteen overwhelming windmills built around 1750. In 1997 they were put on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. We bike further along the stork village "Liesveld" to Nieuwpoort where we meet the Ali-B2 moored for the night.
After dinner we advise you to walk along the town wall built in 1672 which encircled the town entirely.
Our morning cruise takes us on the magnificent Lek river, the quiet and rural Merwede canal lined by poplars and de lovely small river Linge to Leerdam famous for cheese and Royal Leerdam glass.
Cycling trough the Betuwe we experience a hidden paradise in the heart of the Netherlands, also called "the pleasure garden of the Netherlands". Fruit farms determine the landscape above all. We bike on dikes and country roads undisturbed of cars and motorbike from one village to the other.
After breakfast leisure time to learn more about the history of art of glass and the Royal Leerdam glass. How the ancient craft of glassblowing is practised can be seen in the Glass Centre of Leerdam, where glassblowers from all over the world are at work with a blowpipe, liquid glass and a red-hot furnace. And admire the work of glass artists from various countries in the National Glass museum and a number of galleries.
We enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruise on the small river Linge through the romantic Betuwe district, this time from the waterfront. Our mooring for tonight is in the nice town of Gorinchem (city rights in 1322), surrounded by water from all sides. Gorinchem, situated on the Merwede and the mouth of the Linge had been an important citadel and trade town for centuries.
After sunset, when street lights shine its romantic light over the historic districts of the town, Gorinchem is especially beautiful.
A guided walk gives us a good impression of the glorious history of the town. We visit the only still maintained town gate "Dalempoort" and the completely restored "Linge harbour" in the historic town centre.
Afterwards we cycle above all on the dikes of Rhine and Maas along dreamy dike villages overlooking the rivers and country. At the confluence of Waal and Maas you can find the medieval fortress Loevestein which we can visit. It belongs just like Gorinchem to the so-called triangle of fortified towns.
Back to Gorinchem you have leisure time.
Enjoy again the "Riverland" Holland during our sailing tour: On the Merwede river, the mighty lower course of the Rhine and along the confluence with the Maas and Noord rivers we cruise on the Holland's IJssel towards Gouda where we moor for one night.
Our afternoon biking tour brings us through the Dutch "Little Venice" along the "Reeuwijkse Lake route".
Stroll in the evening through the narrow streets and the beautiful market square with its fabulous Gothic Town Hall, one of the oldest Gothic city halls in the Netherlands. Don't forget to admire the 123-metre long St. Janskerk (St. John's Church) with its world-famous stained-glass windows.
Today we sail back to Alphen: Cruising on the Gouwe and Old Rhine rivers along the nice villages Waddinxveen and Boskoop we pass through 3 magnificent lifting bridges.
After lunch we bike along the "Braassemermeerroute" and pass some traditional farms.
En of course we enjoy the last evening dinner (captain's dinner!) on board.
Sat: Individual departure after breakfast.
The described cycle distances per day are about 35 km except on Sunday (about 43 km).