Around Gouda: multiple day bicycle tour in the Netherlands
Looking for a typical Dutch cycling experience? With the comfort of unpacking your bags once rather than traveling from place to place? And the opportunity to take a day off? Then the Around Gouda bike tour is perfect for you!
The around Gouda tour is a four day / three nights cycling tour in- and around the scenic pasturelands of the city. Each day you will get two cycling options: a longer route option and a shorter option. You can decide in the morning which of the two options you will choose to ride. The first day of the tour is without cycling so you get all the time you need to unpack and explore town.
Beside the cheese (cheese market on Thursdays), Gouda also has the largest Dutch candle factory. The city center is surrounded by canals, has city rights since 1272 and gained wealth in the 16th century. Also Gouda's array of historic churches and other buildings makes it a popular destination.
On the second day your equipment will be delivered 10:00 (10 AM) and after a bike fitting and tour orientation you will cruise through the beautiful Reeuwijk Lake District, just north of Gouda. The spectacular bike paths run right through the lakes. The return route to Gouda leads along the historic small towns of Oudewater, and Haastrecht, excellent places for a hearty lunch or just a cup of coffee with a piece of delicious Dutch apple pie.
The extended route follows a winding river to the villages of Linschoten and Montfoort.
The next day you will explore the southeastern polders cycling along the River Vlist. There is also optional canoeing on the river in Haastrecht. Arrival in Schoonhoven, situated on the border of the River Lek, with its very intimate town center complete with canals and some picturesque church towers. A ferry takes you to the other side of this important river where the route passes along a group of windmills at Groot-Ammers. This gives you the chance to cycle right under the enormous windmill sails. If one of the millers is working, he will no doubt be happy to show you the inside of his impressive workplace. Dutch millers are very proud of their ancient trade.
The extended route will ride along the road on top of the dike that runs beside the River Lek towards the historic fortified village of Nieuwpoort and also the Alblasserwaard polder.
The last day of the tour goes through the riverside village of Moordrecht. After a ferry crossing, the route continues over green pastures where large black and white spotted cows graze peacefully. The innumerable ditches and canals form an ingenious drainage system of which the Dutch are rightly proud and have worked so hard to create over the centuries. You return to Gouda at the end of the afternoon.
The extended route is highly recommended as it takes you to the famous Kinderdijk windmill group with it's 19 traditional windmills.