SCENIC HOLLAND – daily program

SCENIC HOLLAND - CULTURE TOUR -  September 2 - 13

PRICE: € 2450 - early booking discount (before 1st of March): € 2350

This culture tour is both for folk dancers and non-dancers. There will be limited dancing. Minimum 20 participants. Flights not included.

Single surcharge: € 390 

Saturday September 2 - arrival in the Netherlands

Welcome to The Netherlands. We will meet you at Hotel Hart van Weesp in the scenic village of Weesp, easy to reach located only 9 minutes by train from Amsterdam Central Station.

This evening we take a walk in Weesp to get acquainted with the small town, located on the river Vecht. It celebrated its 650th anniversary as a city in 2005. From the late Middle Ages, the river was a natural defense against invaders. Towards the direction of Amsterdam mansions of wealthy merchants along the Vecht are silent witnesses of the wealth of Golden Age initiated by worldwide trade in the 17th century .

Sunday September 3 - Amsterdam city walk - Marken & Volendam village

We go by train to Amsterdam to have a city walk in the world-famous 17th century capital of Holland. Half a day certainly isn't enough to explore the city, but it will be an invitation to go back and follow your own 'to see list'. You have every chance to continue your exploration the day after tomorrow. In the afternoon we go by bus to the touristic village of Volendam which is best known for its ‘national costume’ and have lunch there (included). Crossing the inner sea – IJsselmeer- a short trip by boat, we arrive in the small and scenic village of Marken, where the older inhabitants still wear their local ‘costume'. Houses are built on elevated areas or on poles to be save from the water on this former island, nowadays peninsula. Later in the afternoon we go back to Amsterdam and make a canal tour. Indeed a day to get acquainted with our water-rich country of which 1/3 part is situated below sea level. Dinner (included) is in Amsterdam in a restaurant with authentic Dutch style living rooms.

Monday September 4 - medieval castle Muiderslot  

Today we visit the Muiderslot, a medieval castle located in Muiden not far from Amsterdam, and have a guided tour. It was built in 1285 and played an important role in the history of The Netherlands.  Lunch in the small harbor town of Muiden is included. The bus will bring us back to Amsterdam to have a guided tour of the royal palace on Dam Square in the city centre. It was built between 1648 and 1665 as a town hall and later used by the Royal House as a reception palace. The building is regarded as The Netherlands' most important historical and cultural monument of the Golden Age. If our king has official receptions entry is not possible. In that case we plan a visit to Museum van Loon, a beautiful house along one of the canals designed in 1672. The interior of the house still exudes the atmosphere of the wealth that the city experienced at that time. There will be no dinner provided.

Tuesday September 5 - free day 

You have a complete day off to visit Amsterdam or maybe you prefer to rent a small boat in Weesp. Enjoy the historic buildings, beautiful museums and pleasant ambiance. Go for a stroll along the canals or through the Vondelpark, and explore the scenic inner city. Amsterdam is a unique place! In case you have no final plans yet, we can give you lots of suggestions.
You might want to visit the Rijksmuseum to see Rembrandt`s paintings or visit the Van Gogh museum. These visits are not included but we can help you book the tickets in advance. No dinner provided.

Wednesday September 6 - visit to Zaanse Schans 

Today we travel to the north to visit the Zaanse Schans. The craftsmanship from the 18th and 19th centuries is brought to life. Despite the fact that visitors from all over the world visit this place every day, it is good to know that people still live here. Keep this in mind during your visit. Stroll in the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh cookies, take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. Make sure not to miss the cheese factory, pewter forge and the various types of windmills. The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands, full of wooden houses, mills, barns and workshops. Lunch at the Zaanse Schans (included). After lunch the bus will drop you off in Amsterdam because there is still a lot to see. No dinner provided.

Thursday September 7 - free morning - leave for the countryside  

We willcheck out and leave the hotel at 10.00 to travel to the northeast of The Netherlands. On our way we will visit the scenic small harbour town of Blokzijl, have lunch there (included) and late afternoon we expect to arrive at our next destination. Our accommodation is rather special and can best be described as a huge group villa in traditional style with a big private terrace surrounded by woods. The villa can accomodate 20 people and has a living room, a TV, gas fireplace and a fully equipped open kitchen. All double rooms have a private bathroom. Welcome to the countryside.

Friday September 8 - traditional village Staphorst - visit Tineke & Maurits' farm house

Staphorst is one of the 5 villages where costumes are still worn. It is a conservative and religious village which is the reason it holds on to its traditions. Our tour continues to the small village of Frederiksoord. Go back 200 years in time and experience the story of Johannes van den Bosch and the first settlers (paupers and pioneers) who found a new future in the Vrije Koloniën van Weldadigheid (Free Colonies of Benevolence). Even for the Dutch this special project is relatively unknown. You have time to have lunch (not included) and we will have a guided tour in the museum and its surroundings. We plan to finish the day at Tineke and Maurits’ house, a former farm house, dating from 1810, and relax during buffet-style dinner.

Saturday September 9- national park De Hoge Veluwe and Kröller Muller Museum 

Leaving for a full day tour to the Kröller Muller Museum and National Park De Hoge Veluwe.
This visit will offer you a unique combination of visiting the museum which has the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world as well as masterpieces by other painters such as Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondriaan. But there is no need to stay indoors all the time because it also has one of the largest sculpture gardens in Europe where you can enjoy both sculptures and nature. Here is a link to a short promotion film: https://youtu.be/ij_f70XS_CY

The park also covers 5,500 hectares of woodland, heath, grasslands and shifting sands, and is the natural habitat for deer, mouflon and wild boar. On foot or on one of the free White Bicycles, you have time to roam around in nature. At the visitors’ center you can learn more about the nature, landscape, animals, culture and history of The Hoge Veluwe. Nature movies are shown in the auditorium, and in the Museonder you get a surprising look at everything that lives and has lived under the earth surface!
Enjoy this full day excursion of culture and nature.
Note: the restaurant in the park offers lunches, drinks etc. We have dinner in Apeldoorn (included) and visit a local folk dance group.

Sunday September 10 - dance workshops 

Ready for a dance activity? Today is the day to have some action during dance workshops with Tineke & Maurits and maybe another guest teacher. In case you are not a dance fanatic: our accommodation is situated in a beautiful area, excellent for hiking or biking.

Monday September 11 - visit to 'Dutch Venice ' Giethoorn village and the fortress of Bourtange

Are you ready to visit the Dutch Venice of the North? As Giethoorn has no roads, canals are the connection between the houses in the village. You have time to have lunch in Giethoorn (not included) and after lunch we depart to Bourtange in the northern province of Groningen. Near the German border fortress Bourtange is located . A unique historical defense that has no equal. Bourtange is a step back in time, to be more specific: it welcomes you in the year 1742!
After driving back we will have dinner (included) in the restaurant near our accommodation. Enjoy your free night 'home'.

Tuesday September 12- back to Weesp 

We leave for Weesp and will stay at the same hotel as where our tour started. Our travel leads us over the Afsluitdijk, a 32 kilometres (20 miles) long dike which has been protecting us against the force of the water for almost 100 years. Locks allow ships  passage. It is currently being strengthened and renewed, among other things by installing a fish migration river that will reconnect the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer (inland sea). Back in Weesp there will be free time for your last shopping/sightseeing and we will meet for a nice farewell dinner (included).

Wednesday September 13 - departure 

Departure. Have a good flight home ... or join our Oriental Turkey tour (leaving from Rotterdam airport with a direct flight to Kayseri in Capadocia.)

Included

- accommodation with breakfast
- English speaking guide
- A/C bus
- meals as mentioned in the program
- entrance fees of sightseeing places

Excluded

- surcharge single room SCENIC HOLLAND € 390
- international flight & connecting flight in case of 2 consecutive tours (we can assist in bookings)
- meals as mentioned in the program, drinks, any personal expenses such as telephone call, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
- tips to guide and drivers (indication: € 1 p. person per day for guide, equivalent for driver)
- possibly a visa (please see information under FAQ)

Note

The international flight can be booked after the organizer informs you that the minimum amount of 20 participants has been reached.