Holland tour

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
climo
Posts: 518
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Holland tour

Postby climo » 10 Apr 2019, 12:57pm

I've got 2-4 weeks free next month so we're off on our 'bent trikes. We do about 40 miles per day so not far - it's a holiday!
Original plan was to go to Prague but not really enough time to stop and look on the way. So thought of Scotland but this springs weather is not shaping up so well and we're camping. So now thinking of Holland but is there enough variety of places / routes / scenes for that length of time? I think I may get bored of the flat terrain and canals.
Don't particularly want to go to France this year as 2 years running is enough for now.

Psamathe
Posts: 11119
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Holland tour

Postby Psamathe » 10 Apr 2019, 1:11pm

Holland-no (Holland is small). Netherlands-yes (it's bigger). To some dutch people the distinction is important and I had a few grateful comments when I used "Netherlands".

So, assuming we are talking about Netherlands:
I would say there is enough to do/see. I also do average 40 miles/day and spent virtually a month cycling round Netherlands (part of 2 month tour). Some parts are nicer than others; some areas are very built-up/densely populated.

n.b. Camp sites varied from fabulous to terrible. I found the "mini-camping" best - small campsites some on farms, some where people have converted their back gardens but people running them put in a massive effort to help you.

n.b. Many supermarkets don't accept credit cards and only accept cash or Maesto debit cards (are they even available in the UK?).

Ian

Thehairs1970
Posts: 189
Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 9:30am

Re: Holland tour

Postby Thehairs1970 » 10 Apr 2019, 1:26pm

I love Holland. Yes it is flat but there is so much mire to it than that. The west coast is beautiful with stunning North Sea beaches. Don't miss Leiden and The Hague as you head up to Harlem. Head over to Amsterdam for a few days then head North. Visit the windmill museum at Zaandam then head east to Edam, Volendam and Monickendam. Follow the inland coast up to Hoorn then on up to Texel. on the way, make sure you visit the museum at Enkhuizen but give yourself a whole day. It's fantastic. Texel is comparatively hilly and very windy. Get up to the very North to sea the lighthouse. If you can work them in to your itinerary, make sure you get to Gouda and Delft too.

This is all in the North Holland area. I am sure others have great things to say about the rest of it.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 14971
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Holland tour

Postby mjr » 10 Apr 2019, 1:41pm

Next month may be still just in time to visit Keukenhof, near Lisse, about 40 miles from the Hook. I've heard it described as Disneyland for tulips, with all the good (stunning displays, interesting attractions) and bad (prices, crowds) that that involves. I think the cycle parking is better at the car park entrance not the coach park one, but it's still only basically purpose-built wooden fences. There used to be left-luggage lockers at both, but the entrance has been improved since I visited.

If you want less flat, head for Utrecht (gentle) or Maastricht (highest point in NL nearby).

Other than that, there seems plenty to see. Later this year, I hope to visit on a bike for a third time on the way through other countries, but including Maastricht, Breda and Rotterdam in NL.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

climo
Posts: 518
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Re: Holland tour

Postby climo » 10 Apr 2019, 1:45pm

Psamathe wrote:Holland-no (Holland is small). Netherlands-yes (it's bigger). To some dutch people the distinction is important and I had a few grateful comments when I used "Netherlands".

So, assuming we are talking about Netherlands:
I would say there is enough to do/see. I also do average 40 miles/day and spent virtually a month cycling round Netherlands (part of 2 month tour). Some parts are nicer than others; some areas are very built-up/densely populated.

n.b. Camp sites varied from fabulous to terrible. I found the "mini-camping" best - small campsites some on farms, some where people have converted their back gardens but people running them put in a massive effort to help you.

n.b. Many supermarkets don't accept credit cards and only accept cash or Maesto debit cards (are they even available in the UK?).

Ian

Yes it's the Netherlands.
Thanks for the heads up about the supermarkets. Nothing is worse than to find yourself at the cashier with no money and a restless queue behind you :(

climo
Posts: 518
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Re: Holland tour

Postby climo » 10 Apr 2019, 2:14pm

mjr wrote:Next month may be still just in time to visit Keukenhof, near Lisse, about 40 miles from the Hook. I've heard it described as Disneyland for tulips, with all the good (stunning displays, interesting attractions) and bad (prices, crowds) that that involves. I think the cycle parking is better at the car park entrance not the coach park one, but it's still only basically purpose-built wooden fences. There used to be left-luggage lockers at both, but the entrance has been improved since I visited.

Looked it up and it seems that you can take your bike in.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 14971
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Holland tour

Postby mjr » 10 Apr 2019, 3:30pm

climo wrote:
mjr wrote:Next month may be still just in time to visit Keukenhof, near Lisse, [...]

Looked it up and it seems that you can take your bike in.

Where did you find that? https://keukenhof.nl/en/faq says " May I cycle in the park? No, Keukenhof is a truly pedestrian park." Also, for much of the day, a bike would be a nuisance in the busier areas.

Maybe you're looking at Keukenhof Castle or Keukenhof Wood, both across the road?

Also, I never had problems paying with Mastercard in Jumbo or Lidl in the last four years in the Netherlands for sure. It feels like ages since I found a shop of any size that didn't take cards. In northwestern Europe, even many small kiosks seem to accept contactless cards now - the main reason I carry cash while cycle touring is now roadside farm stalls and vending machines if you fancy some fresh strawberries. I thought Psamathe and I have discussed this before but I didn't find it now.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Psamathe
Posts: 11119
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Holland tour

Postby Psamathe » 10 Apr 2019, 3:40pm

......
Also, I never had problems paying with Mastercard in Jumbo or Lidl in the last four years in the Netherlands for sure. It feels like ages since I found a shop of any size that didn't take cards. In northwestern Europe, even many small kiosks seem to accept contactless cards now - the main reason I carry cash while cycle touring is now roadside farm stalls and vending machines if you fancy some fresh strawberries. I thought Psamathe and I have discussed this before but I didn't find it now.

Albert Heijn and Jumbo last summer (I mostly used Albert Heijn). They refused credit cards and in one or two stores I tried my UK debit card (Visa Debit) and their machines refused it as well. In the supermarkets it was not a big problem as they mostly had ATMs by the tills. Quite a few other places didn't take cards (but I can remember specific names any more). Some shops did take cards e.g. high street stores e.g. Bever (the expensive camping shops). It was certainly a consideration to make sure I always had enough cash.

Ian

climo
Posts: 518
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Re: Holland tour

Postby climo » 10 Apr 2019, 4:20pm

mjr wrote:
climo wrote:
mjr wrote:Next month may be still just in time to visit Keukenhof, near Lisse, [...]

Looked it up and it seems that you can take your bike in.

Where did you find that? https://keukenhof.nl/en/faq says " May I cycle in the park? No, Keukenhof is a truly pedestrian park." Also, for much of the day, a bike would be a nuisance in the busier areas.


Agreed re nuisance but it's here
https://tulipfestivalamsterdam.com/rent ... er-fields/
Rental bike at Keukenhof
Of course you can enjoy the flower fields on your own bike.
So a bit ambiguous.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 14971
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Holland tour

Postby mjr » 10 Apr 2019, 4:33pm

Psamathe wrote:Albert Heijn and Jumbo last summer (I mostly used Albert Heijn). They refused credit cards and in one or two stores I tried my UK debit card (Visa Debit) and their machines refused it as well.

Ah yes, AH is notorious as one to avoid if you want to pay with cards. But that's odd about Jumbo: they accept credit cards since 2014 and say so on their website: Visa, Mastercard and Amex. This reddit discussion mentions that it's only chipped cards, though.

I think UK debit cards which don't advertise themselves as transacting in Euros can sometimes cause problems. Some machines won't accept them and some machnes will offer to do the currency conversion for you at a terrible rate (DCC or Dynamic Currency Conversion). I think it's worth getting a travel card to reduce such scamming attempts if you travel abroad much.

climo wrote:Agreed re nuisance but it's here
https://tulipfestivalamsterdam.com/rent ... er-fields/
Rental bike at Keukenhof
Of course you can enjoy the flower fields on your own bike.
So a bit ambiguous.

Oh yes. I think that probably means the growing fields around it. There are nothing I'd call fields inside Keukenhof's paid area - more like beds and displays. There are loads of tulips being grown around there which you could ride among for free, but personally I felt that the displays in the park and the raised viewing platforms looking out over the fields were worth the €16 I think it cost a few years ago (now €17 from the looks of it).
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Psamathe
Posts: 11119
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Holland tour

Postby Psamathe » 10 Apr 2019, 5:06pm

mjr wrote:
Psamathe wrote:Albert Heijn and Jumbo last summer (I mostly used Albert Heijn). They refused credit cards and in one or two stores I tried my UK debit card (Visa Debit) and their machines refused it as well.

Ah yes, AH is notorious as one to avoid if you want to pay with cards. But that's odd about Jumbo: they accept credit cards since 2014 and say so on their website: Visa, Mastercard and Amex. This reddit discussion mentions that it's only chipped cards, though.

I think UK debit cards which don't advertise themselves as transacting in Euros can sometimes cause problems. Some machines won't accept them and some machnes will offer to do the currency conversion for you at a terrible rate (DCC or Dynamic Currency Conversion). I think it's worth getting a travel card to reduce such scamming attempts if you travel abroad much.
......

I'm pretty sure it was Jumbo (but not 100%) as I found those 2 the best quality - and I must confess the AH fruit bread rolls were really fantastic so I'd seek out AH everywhere!

Out of interest I had a scan through the reddit thread you linked to and one person said Jumbo don't and another said they do (or their web site says they do). Which makes me wonder if maybe everybody is right in that they only accept some cards (and I didn't experiment with my different cards). All my cards were Visa debit and credit and I guess I would have tried the debit assuming it was more likely to work but I can't remember. All my cards are chipped. I never use contactless and in a couple of places that tried the cards contactless the contactless bit would not even register to the machine (not supermarkets).

For my recent SA trip I did get a couple of prepaid debit travel cards and they seemed to work well so next overseas trip I'll experiment with them - but having done Netherlands fairly thoroughly last summer and having loved cycling there I doubt I'll go back as there are too many other countries I've not yet visited.

Ian

ajj
Posts: 12
Joined: 23 Apr 2016, 9:09pm

Re: Holland tour

Postby ajj » 10 Apr 2019, 11:34pm

My Visa debit, credit and pre-paid cards were refused in two different Aldi branches in the Netherlands last summer.

m-gineering
Posts: 153
Joined: 23 May 2015, 12:01pm

Re: Holland tour

Postby m-gineering » 11 Apr 2019, 7:36am

ajj wrote:My Visa debit, credit and pre-paid cards were refused in two different Aldi branches in the Netherlands last summer.


not surprised, processing credit cards will cost the company real money, where processing a debit card is virtually free. And Aldi is all about cutting cost .

All this and a lot more pointers about getting around in NL on my touring page, link below
Marten

Touring advice for NL: www.m-gineering.nl/touringg.htm

st599_uk
Posts: 185
Joined: 4 Nov 2018, 8:59pm

Re: Holland tour

Postby st599_uk » 11 Apr 2019, 1:47pm

ajj wrote:My Visa debit, credit and pre-paid cards were refused in two different Aldi branches in the Netherlands last summer.



I had Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard declined in a buthcers in Belgium - and the shop didn't accept cash.
A novice learning...
“the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”

Galloper
Posts: 197
Joined: 6 Dec 2012, 2:21pm

Re: Holland tour

Postby Galloper » 11 Apr 2019, 7:12pm

The area around Appeldoorn is pleasant, there are some woodland and heathland trails that may not be suitable for a 'bent but the area as a whole is pleasant. Het Loo, on the outskirts of the town is worth a visit.

Heading north, I've enjoyed some very pleasant days cycling around Leeuwarden and if you push a bit further east, just over the border in Germany, there's some lovely cycling on good cycle paths around Meppen.

South of Amsterdam, you can follow the North Sea cycle route which is quite spectacular in places. The massive sea control gates north of Walcheren are quite something.