Discover the delights of one of Europes most beautiful towns in Utrecht on this single centre cycling holiday. Well-planned routes, direct from the hotel in all directions, head out to discover areas of natural beauty including the New Dutch Waterline - an important military defence line in Dutch history as well as historical forts, castles and fortified towns.
Arrive in Utrecht On this trip you stay in Utrecht, taking day trips out to explore the surroundings. On your first day take time to discover the canals and many cosy cafes, national monuments, including the Dom Tower, museums and even world heritages sites. Utrecht is also the town of designer/architect Gerrit Rietveld and Dick Bruna who created the children's books about 'Miffy'.
Round Tour South - New Dutch Waterline 41.5mi / 67km or 39mi / 62km The Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (1870 - 1940) was an important military defence line in Dutch history. Canals and sluices made it possible to inundate large expanses of land to prvent the advance of enemy troops and vehicles and where inundation was not possible forts were built, blending in with the landscape - these have become local tourist attractions. The 85km length of the defensive line has become a green corridor, where wildlife has flourished due to restrictions on land use and building. You can shorten the route by 5km by taking a ferry at Fort Everdingen, the home of the Duits Lauret brewery, also a great place to stop for refreshments.
Round Tour West - Rivers Small Towns along the Waterline 41mi / 66km or 35mi / 57km Follow the River Vecht to De Haar Castle, the largest castle in the country. Beautifully restored in 1892, in neo-Gothic style, the castle welcomes visitors to tour its stunning rooms and halls as well as the beautiful gardens. Continue cycling to follow the River Old Rhine to the historic fortified town of Woerden then on to Oudewater where you can opt to visit the Weighing Hall (1482) where women used to be weighed to determine whether or not they were witches. Step on the scales to find out if you would have been deemed light enough to fly on a broomstick. Enjoy the natural scenery along the River Hollandsche Ijssel, which leads to the fortified town of Montfoort and its historical buildings. Follow the River Leidse Rijn back to Utrecht. Today you can shorten your route by 9 km by skipping Oudewater and the smaller rivers.
Round Tour North - Oostelijke Vechtplassen 43mi / 69km or 38mi / 61km Today's route takes you northwards to the Oostelijke Vechtplassen - the collective name for the 7,000-hectare nature reserve and lake district, created largely as a result of long-term peat extraction and important to many bird species. Cycle along its southern border, passing several New Dutch Waterline forts. Then cycling along the River Vecht, you visit a series of beautiful old villages such as Maarssen, Breukelen, Loenen aan de Vecht and Vreeland. You eventually reach the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park where you enjoy panoramic views. The wetlands beyond are also beautiful and tranquil with their very rare habitat type (floating mats of sphagnum mosses and other vegetation, anchored by sedges, on the surface of the water or on top of very wet peat). You can shorten your route by 8 km by skipping Vreeland and the nature reserves at Tienhoven and Molenpolder. Cycle directly to Groenekan instead.
Round Tour East - Castles, Orchards Woods 42mi / 68km or 47mi / 76km From Utrecht, today's route follows the Kromme Rijn and the Langbroekerwetering canal to historical Wijk bij Duurstede. Between the 7th and 9th centuries the city was a centre of international trade that was pillaged by the Vikings. The city has the only drive-through windmill in the world and the ruins of Duurstede Castle and the Castle Park are worth a visit. The nearby St. John the Baptist Great Church is a Gothic pseudo-basilica with an unfinished tower and is a national monument. The countryside scenery today alternates between meadows, castles, orchards and stately country houses. You also get to cycle through the woods at the edge of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park. On your way back to Utrecht, you reach the town of Doorn and its impressive castle, Slot Zeist, surrounded by a beautiful English landscaped park. You can also take a 5mi / 8km longer route. After Wijk bij Duurstede, follow the 'Limes', the old frontier of the Roman Empire, along the Lower Rhine. The beautiful village of Amerongen and Amerongen Castle are worth cycling the extra distance.
Leave Utrecht After breakfast depart from Utrecht.
British Airways Heathrow to Amsterdam 08:20/10:40 then taxi to the hotel approx 45 mins, payable locally. Alternatively train from Amsterdam to Utrecht and taxi to hotel 15 mins, all payable locally. Return: Taxi to airport approx 45 mins, payable locally. Alternatively taxi to train station 15 mins and train from Utrecht to Amsterdam, all payable locally. then British Airways Brussels to Heathrow 16:40/16:50.
Hotel Mitland (4 star) The contemporary Hotel Mitland is situated in a delightful park just 10 minutes cycle from the city centre. The hotel has 142 luxurious furnished rooms and four themed suites (Holland, Swan Lake, Romantic and Old Dutch Masters). All have king size bed, flat screen TV, air conditioning, tea coffee making facilities, ensuite bathroom with bath or shower, safe and refrigerator. The restaurant offers wonderful views of the old De Bilt fortress. The hotel has excellent facilities including a 9-lane bowling alley with bar, indoor swimming pool, fitness room, a brasserie with bar and some fabulous lakeview terraces.
Add 145 single supplement.
Want to read it later?
Download this tour’s PDF brochure and start tour planning offline