GOOD NEWS: In response to COVID-19, TravelMaven has implemented more flexible payment policies until further notice. First, all $250 deposits are now fully refundable upon request. Second, final payment is not due until 45 days prior to departure. Taken together, this means travellers will not incur any financial risk and can cancel with a 100% refund until March 3, 2021.
Everyone should experience Amsterdam once in their life, and if you’ve ever wanted to see the tulips and windmills that made Holland famous, here's a chance to give yourself a real Dutch treat! Years ago I lived near Delft for a year and got to explore almost every corner of both Amsterdam and the rest of Holland. Now I’d like to share what I found with you.
Amsterdam has been attracting visitors for hundreds of years. It has also been featured in so many books and movies that many first-time visitors feel like they've been there before. One reason for its popularity is the city remains largely intact from the 17th and 18th centuries. It was not seriously damaged during the 20th century, and heritage designations have preserved almost all of the heirloom architecture.
For art lovers, the city is home to three world class museums: the Rijksmuseum; the Van Gogh Museum; and the Amsterdam City Museum. For history buffs, there's the Ann Frank House and Holocaust Museum. For fans of architecture, the city is basically one huge outdoor exhibit. And for those who want to wander the narrow streets late at night looking for whatever, well...
Beyond Amsterdam, the highlight for many will be our visit to the Keukenhof - the most famous tulip park in the world. This beautiful facility is only open six weeks a year, and has become Holland’s most popular tourist attraction. In my opinion, a visit to the Keukenhof in April is an unforgettable experience.
Leiden, our home away from home for a week, is a vibrant university town laced with canals and a great farmers’ market every Saturday and Wednesday. In terms of convenience, our hotel is right across the street from Leiden Station, and just a five minute walk from the city centre.
Beyond Amsterdam, Leiden and the Keukenhof, we'll also visit Delft, The Hague, Rotterdam, Haarlem and Kinderkijk. One of the best things about Holland is everything is close-by, and the train network makes intercity travel a breeze. We'll also walk through the Leiden Farmers Market, hike the dunes along the North Sea and bike out into farm country.
This is a small group tour, limited to 12 guests and geared to active adults. As your TravelMaven, my goal is to make your vacation amazing by combining the best of independent and group travel. In other words, I lay out a plan and make arrangements, but you retain the flexibility to manage your own time and do what you like. To this end, guests will also have lots of free time to pursue personal interests or relax.
I hope you decide to join us. Holland is a magical place.
Airfare: start at $839 (as of Jan 22/2020 )
Single Supplement: $885
TYPE: Great City; Bucket List
HOTEL: 3 star & 4 star
LENGTH: One Week
GROUP SIZE: max 12 guests
Amsterdam Walking Tour
Van Gogh Museum*
Leiden Farmers Market
Keukenhof Tulip Park
Aalsmeer Flower Auction *
Katwijk ann Zee beach *
Indonesian rijstafel dinner *
Royal Delft Blue factory
Delft Market Square
* denotes optional activity
2 nights Fine Seasons Hotel Amsterdam (or similar), 6 nights Golden Tulip Hotel Leiden, breakfast daily, 2 dinners, admission to all attractions, full-time Tour Concierge (Barry), all ground transportation and all taxes.
This tour is guaranteed to depart. This Land Package is in Canadian dollars, based on double occupancy and only guaranteed after a $250 deposit is received.
Day 1 (Friday) Depart Toronto
Our group will meet at Pearson Airport about 6:30 pm before catching our 9 pm direct flight to Holland.
Day 2 (Saturday) Amsterdam Walking Tour (D)
We will land at Schiphol Airport about 11 am, then take a 20 minute train ride into central Amsterdam. After dropping our bags at our hotel, we will take a neighbourhood walking tour and find some casual lunch. Afterwards, we'll return to the hotel to check-in and freshen up. In the early evening we'll head to a nearby restaurant for our Welcome Dinner.
Day 3 (Sunday) Free Day in Amsterdam (B)
There are many things to see in Amsterdam, and guests will be able to pick their own activities. Some may want to visit one or two of the famous art museums. Others may want to take a canal or river cruise. Barry will do his best to coordinate everyone's day, and for those who simply want to explore the city, they are welcome to join Barry on a daylong walking tour through the neighbourhoods.
(B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner)
Day 4 (Monday) Leiden & Katwijk ann Zee (B,D)
After an easy morning, we will check out of our hotel and catch a train to nearby Leiden. After checking into our hotel, we will catch a local bus to Katwijk aan Zee for a hike through the dunes and a walk along the North Sea beach. In the evening, we will go to a traditional Dutch pancake house for our second group dinner. Yum yum!
Day 5 (Tuesday) Keukenhof & Haarlem (B)
After breakfast, we will take a 30 minute bus ride to the nearby Keukenhof Tulip Park. Guests will be free to wander this amazing facility at their leisure. In the late afternoon, we will catch another local bus into Haarlem. After seeing the sights in this lovely city, we will return to Leiden by train for a free evening.
Day 6 (Wednesday) Free Day in Leiden (B)
This is the day when you get to set the program. For example, if there's a place in the Netherlands or nearby Belgium that you really want to see, this is the day to do it. Barry will help make arrangements for whatever you want to do. If you want to stay closer by, your first option is to go with Barry to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, leaving at 6 and returning by 10. For others, the Leiden Farmer’s Market is on. After lunch, Barry will also lead an optional bike tour into farm country. For others, a walking tour with a local photographer is available. Finally, guests may want to join Barry for an Indonesian rijstafel dinner.
Keukenhof Tulip Park
Day 7 (Thursday) Delft (B)
On this day we will visit Delft, one of Holland's most famous and picturesque small cities. After a short train ride, we will visit the Royal Delft Blue factory, followed by lunch and free time in the town square. Thursday is Market Day, so there will be lots of activity and things to see. Guests will be free to explore on their own and return to Leiden at their leisure, or stick with Barry for the afternoon.
Day 8 (Friday) Dordrecht, Kinderkijk and Rotterdam (B)
After an hour long train ride to Dordrecht, we will walk across town to catch a water-bus to Kinderdijk to see the largest collection of working windmills in the world. Afterwards, we will take another water-bus through Rotterdam's huge harbour to end up at the modern Markthall for dinner.
Day 9 (Saturday) The Hague, Scheveningen and Farewell Dinner (B,D)
We will head to the nearby capital of The Hague for a variety of activities, including Madurodam, Scheveningen Beach, the Dutch Parliament and the precious Mauritshuis Museum, home to Vermeer's famous Girl with a Pearl painting. To wrap up our week together, we'll have our Farewell Dinner.
Day 10 (Sunday) Heading home (B
Sunday will be our last morning. We will leave the hotel about 9 am to catch our noon hour flight home, arriving in Toronto about 2 pm.