Best of the Netherlands
7 days with Cosmos Rating:
Day 1 ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM AREA, HOLLAND.
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore Amsterdam on your own with the help of the CosmosGO app. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers. (D)
Day 2 AMSTERDAM AREA.
For centuries, this tiny nation of seafaring traders played a leading role in world history. It reclaimed 40% of its territory from the sea, and produces a healthy agricultural surplus in the midst of Europe’s most densely populated area—yet Holland manages to remain quaint and scenic. Your day begins with a canal cruise to see Amsterdam from water level. Complete the experience watching skilled craftsmen cut and polish precious stones at a diamond center, and follow a Local Guide who will point out Amsterdam’s highlights on the included city tour. Enjoy time this afternoon to explore on your own or attend an optional traditional Dutch dinner. (B)
Day 3 AMSTERDAM AREA–AALSMEER/KEUKENHOF–DELFT–ROTTERDAM.
Begin your day with a visit to the fascinating Aalsmeer flower auction or, when the tulips bloom, see some of the 7 million flowers planted annually at the world-famous Keukenhof—one of the world’s largest flower gardens (departures 0403 to 0501 and weather permitting). Continue to historic Delft to visit the famous Royal Delft pottery factory. See how this exquisite pottery is made, and marvel at the magnificent collection of hand-painted earthenware. Continue on to Rotterdam, the world’s busiest port, to marvel at the city’s futuristic architecture during your sightseeing with a Local Guide.
Today’s Distance: 99 mi/ 160 km (B)
Day 4 ROTTERDAM–GOUDA–ARNHEM AREA.
Arrive in Gouda, renowned for its cheese! Stroll around the picturesque narrow streets to the medieval Market Square, see the Gothic-style Town Hall with its red and white shutters and the Goudse Waag used for cheese weighing in the 17th-century. Then, enjoy your interactive cheese experience. Next, is Arnhem, site of the WWII Battle of Arnhem, where you will see John Frost Bridge, named after the commander of the British forces that held the bridge for four days. Enjoy time on your own to do some independent exploring.
Today’s Distance: 71 mi/ 115 km (B,D)
Day 5 ARNHEM AREA–GIETHOORN–GRONINGEN.
This morning, head for the village of Giethoorn, built on canals but quainter than cities like Venice or Amsterdam. Spend the night in the provincial capital of Groningen.
Today’s Distance: 134 mi/ 215 km (B)
Day 6 GRONINGEN–ZAANSE SCHANS–VOLENDAM–AMSTERDAM AREA.
Explore Groningen this morning, an important trade center in the 13th century hailed today as the “World Cycling City.” Cross over the 19-mile Barrier Dam, which is part of an incredible system of 1,200 miles of dikes, dams, and dunes built over the last 900 years to protect the part of Holland that is below sea level. Visit a wooden clog workshop in Zaanse Schans. Continue to the fishing village of Volendam, then arrive back in Amsterdam and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Today’s Distance: 137 mi/ 220 km (B,D)
Day 7 AMSTERDAM AREA.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
All This Included
Famous for its tulips, windmills, and wooden clogs, Holland is a delightful country with scenic landscapes, historic monuments, and vibrant cities. You’ll get to know the country on this affordable tour of the Netherlands starting and ending in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, Holland’s capital, is a pleasant, 700-year-old city whose elegant and classic architecture, cafés and restaurants, renowned museums, and picturesque canals—not to mention the bike paths throughout the city—make for a pleasurable atmosphere. Here, your city tour includes a cruise—the best way to see Amsterdam—through the elegant canals lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” On this Holland tour, you’ll also stay in Rotterdam, a young city with the world’s busiest port and known for its modern architecture and design, as well as in some of the minor but interesting towns where you’ll discover the rural atmosphere of this country.
The Netherlands are known for their flower production, which you will experience on the visit to the fascinating Aalsmeer flower auction where more than 20 million plants and flowers are sold daily. (Note that from April to May, the Aalsmeer flower auction visit is replaced by a visit to the spectacular 70-acre Keukenhof garden to see the incredible display of colors from seven million flower bulbs.)
You’ll also enjoy a visit of the Royal Delft Pottery Factory to see how this precious pottery is made. Visit Gouda, known for its namesake cheese and seasonal cheese market, regularly held on the medieval Markt square. Take a stroll in Volendam, known for its old fishing boats, characteristic small houses, drawbridges, and canals. Additionally, drive over the 19-mile Barrier Dam, constructed to protect the part of Holland that is below sea level.
For the value-minded traveler wanting to have an in-depth experience of the Netherlands, this is the perfect Holland vacation!
Amsterdam: Hotel Ibis Styles Amsterdam Airport
Rotterdam: Holiday Inn Express Central Station
Groningen: Mercure Hotel Groningen Martiniplaza
Terms and Conditions
* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.