Highlights of a short cycling break in Holland

Wednesday, 2 May 2012 10:47 AM

Booking short breaks doesn't mean you have to be restricted to one destination - by opting for a cycling holidays, you can see several places in one country over the course of a few days. Travel to Holland to explore Amsterdam, as well as a few nearby towns.

Starting out in Schagen, you will cycle south towards Edam, before continuing on to conclude your cycling holidays in Holland in the capital city of Amsterdam. Along the way, you'll pass typical Dutch countryside, canals, windmills and some beautiful villages.

Before you depart from Schagen, you should wander around its historic centre, with the market square and church of particular significance. Plan your trip during the summer and you are likely to be there to see its weekly folk parade, when locals dress up in historical outfits and dance their way through the streets, accompanied by traditional music.

Following the morning procession, performances take place all afternoon outside the church, while a market selling food, drink and locally-crafted goods is set up in the square.

After enjoying the delights of Schagen, you can look forward to a leisurely ride to Edam - home, of course, to the famous cheese of the same name. It would be difficult to visit the city as part of a Dutch cycling holidays and not learn more about this famous produce, so pay a visit to the restored 18th century cheese warehouses that run alongside one of the canals.

While the dairy produce is no longer manufactured here, the finished cheeses are still stored in the warehouses to mature and it is possible to visit the buildings for a tasting session. If you are in Edam during July or August, you could also include a trip to the weekly cheese market on your itinerary, where you can sample a few other Dutch varieties of this savoury treat.

You can burn off some of the cheese you've eaten in Edam on the next leg of your journey to Amsterdam, which is bursting with cultural and historical sites for you to explore. One of the most-visited places in the city is Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank, her family and other Jewish people hid during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in the second world war.

As well as the concealed room that the family lived in for two years, you can also view exhibits such as Anne's original diary, belongings owned by those in hiding and photos and historical documents from the period in the museum that is housed in the Prinsengracht building.

In addition to learning more about Amsterdam's history, you should see some of the art the Dutch capital is home to. One of the most famous painters to come out of the country is Van Gogh, so stopping off at the gallery dedicated to his work is essential for any culture vultures.

Some of his best-known paintings are on display here - including Bedroom in Arles, Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers and Yellow House - as well as letters written by the troubled artist to his brother Theo.

Pieces by other 19th century painters, such as Gaugin, Bernard, Breton, Monet and Redon, are also on show in the museum, allowing you to see how Van Gogh's work compares to some of the art produced by his contemporaries.

Use a bike to see more on a short break

Get a taste of Holland when you explore by bike

If you're looking for somewhere close to the UK for a short, active break Holland is the ideal choice. Take to two wheels and you'll be able to explore some of the country's fascinating sights in just a few days, including the vibrant Amsterdam.

The isles around Naples are good for sailing

Sailing in the Med: perfect for a short break

There are times when you just need to get away from all the stresses and strains of daily life, which is when short breaks can be a godsend. Obviously, if you’ve only got a few days, you don’t want to travel far, which is why the Med is a wonderful choice.

Naples' coastline is popular for sailing

Sailing breaks: perfect for a short getaway with the kids

Let’s face it, we all seem to have very busy lives nowadays and there never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done and still have time for some rest and relaxation. It can even be tough to squeeze in holidays, which is why short breaks are increasingly appealing to people from all walks of life.

Relax on a short trip to Amsterdam

Tips for a relaxing summer weekend in Amsterdam

There's nothing quite like taking a short getaway in the summer and really making the most of the season. Famous for its pretty canals and colourful blooms, Amsterdam is a wonderful destination for this kind of trip - but how can you make sure it's as relaxing as possible?

Great short break ideas

See more in less time with a short break

Short breaks may not give you as much time to relax and explore as a normal holiday, but that doesn't mean you can't still see and do a lot. The secret to a successful short break lies in choosing the right kind of trip - and we're going to offer you some tips.

Edinburgh is great for short cycling breaks

Go cycling on a short break in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a fantastic city for a short break thanks to its majestic castle, bustling bars, top restaurants and array of tourist attractions. However, Scotland's capital also boasts some wonderful great outdoors that are perfect for cycling.

Canal boating - an ideal way to explore Holland

Explore Giethoorn on a Holland canal boating break

If you're planning a short and relaxing break to the Netherlands, consider boat hire in Holland as your means of getting around. Take in glorious landscapes and picturesque villages like Giethoorn, as well as larger bustling towns, ancient castles and quaint windmills.

Treat yourself to a mini cruise

Cruises: a short break with a difference

If you only have a few nights to spare for your next holiday, it's likely you'll opt for a city break or a few days in a cosy B&B. However, there are ways to do something a little bit different - even when time is limited. You could, for example, go on a short cruise.

Coffee with a local in Amsterdam


This week IdealShortBreaks.co.uk is in Amsterdam drinking strong black coffee with local Machteld Ligtvoet, who gives us tips on some of his favourite local haunts – including where you can go to find one of the best views of the city.

Top five alternative Christmas markets

Alternative Christmas markets

Forget the likes of Germany and Eastern European favourites, Budapest, Krakow and Prague this year and why not head to some alternative Christmas market destinations for something a little different this festive season?