Holland, Belgium & France

Day 1  Overnight flight

Day 2  Zaanse Schans – Beemster Polder – Amsterdam 

2 Ruijs Travel - Netherlands - Zaanse Schans

Arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Meet your driver and tour escort and depart to the recreated Dutch village dating back to 1850 , the Zaanse Schans. Wander about the unique village, full of wooden houses, windmills, and workshops, and step back in time. Visit one of the mills that are still in operation, the bakery museum, see the cheese factory, tin foundry and view a range of traditional Dutch crafts such as cheese and clog making. Enjoy a typical Dutch Pancake lunch together. Time permitting, you will travel through the unique polder landscape (UNESCO World Heritage listed) of the Beemster Polder to Amsterdam. On route you will make a short stop in Edam, the city of cheese. Edam cheese has been a famous Dutch export product since the Golden Age. Check in at the hotel and have some time to relax before dinner. Welcome dinner and overnight in Amsterdam.

Day 3  Amsterdam

3 Ruijs Travel - Netherlands - Amsterdam

This morning enjoy a guided walking tour to discover Old Amsterdam. Amsterdam was founded in the Middle Ages and has many historical buildings. You will see the most important sights such as the Dam Square with the impressive Royal Palace and New Church, the Begijnhof, and the floating Flower Market. You will walk to the ‘Waterlooplein’ (Waterloo Square) with its famous market, the Rembrandt House and the Portuguese Synagogue. You will end the city tour with a narrated canal cruise and soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant city. During the canal cruise you will pass warehouses with beautiful decorated facades, noble mansions, iconic buildings, colorful houseboats and the 21st-century city that Amsterdam has become. In the afternoon you will visit the Rijksmuseum, with an expert guide. This museum features famous paintings such as Rembrandt’s `Night watch’ and `Jewish bride’. Paintings by Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael are on exhibit as well. Remainder of the day at leisure to explore this vibrant city on your own. You might want to visit the impressing Anne Frank house, the hiding place of the young Jewish girl who wrote her famous diary here. Or visit the Van Gogh museum, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, with a collection of over 200 paintings and 600 drawings by Vincent van Gogh. Overnight in Amsterdam.

Day 4  Amsterdam – Kinderdijk – The Hague

4 Ruijs Travel - Netherlands - Kinderdijk

Following an early breakfast, you will travel through the typical Dutch countryside to Kinderdijk, an UNESCO World Heritage listed site. You will first watch a short film about the area and the water management of the Dutch.  Enjoy a narrated boat tour, from the water you will see the unique collection of 18th century windmills, located in this remarkable village. Afterwards, visit one of the stunning windmills and have time to wander about at your own pace. Travel onwards to The Hague. Following a joint lunch, enjoy a guided city tour by coach. During the tour you will see the Houses of Parliament, Palace Noordeinde, the Kings working palace and Carnegie’s Peace Palace nowadays the International Court of Justice, and you will visit Panorama Mesdag. Panorama Mesdag is an unique panoramic painting showing the fishing village Scheveningen around 1880. At the Escher Museum you will see works by Dutchman Marits Cornelis Escher, which is one of the most famous graphic artists in the world. The way he plays with perspective, space and reality means, remains fascinating even today.  Highlight of the visit and crown on the exhibition is the seven meters long Metamorphosis III woodcut. Travel back to Amsterdam. Overnight in Amsterdam.

Day 5  Amsterdam – Delft – Antwerp – Bruges

Ruijs Travel - Netherlands - Royal Delft © Irene Putting

Today you will cross the border, into Belgium.  and drive to Ghent, a charming town with stunning architecture and lively squares. A local expert guide will show you Ghent, see important buildings from the Middle Ages, such as the UNESCO World Heritage listed Belfry Hall, the oldest part of the city, the ‘Korenlei ‘ and the ‘Graslei’ which is considered the most beautiful street in the city, due to the historic buildings and their facades’ reflection in the River Lys. You will continue to the St. Baafs Cathedral and see the famous Ghent Alter Piece by the Van Eyck brothers. After some free time you will depart for Bruges, also called the ‘Venice of the North’, your destination for the next two nights.
Overnight in Bruges.

Day 6  Bruges – Paris

6 Ruijs Travel - Belgium - Bruges

This morning enjoy a guided walking tour of Bruges. You will see the Holy Blood Cathedral, the Belfort, the Lake of Love, the Church of Our Lady with Michelangelo’s Marble Madonna, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Beguinage and the historic centre with its canals, lace workshops, ancient buildings. The tour ends at the ‘De Halve Maan Brewery’ where you will have lunch, followed by a guide tour. The tour introduces you to the making of the typical ‘Brugse Zot’ beer. In the afternoon you will travel to France. You will arrive in Paris, ‘the City of Lights’ in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Paris.


Day 7  Paris

7 Ruijs Travel France - Paris - Eiffel Tower

This morning you will enjoy a guided city tour to see the highlights of the city by coach and on foot. You will see the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Opéra Garnier, l’Arc de Triomphe, Avenue des Champs-Élysées,Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower. Enjoy a guided walk through the characteristic neighbourhood Montmartre. A district full of authentic charm, famous for the Sacré-Cœur. This Basilica, consecrated in 1919, is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. In the afternoon you will visit the most famous museum of the world; Musée du Louvre. Your local expert guide will guide you through the different wings of the museum. Besides the most famous artworks in the world, like the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and the Grecian Venus de Milo you will also see masterworks by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Veronese. The remainder of the afternoon is free to discover this vibrant and bustling city on your own. Overnight in Paris.


Day 8  Paris – Château de Versailles – Paris

8 Ruijs Travel - France - Chateau Versailles

After breakfast you will leave the city and travel to Versailles. Enjoy a guided tour of Château de Versailles. Visitors passing through the rich interior and vast gardens will understand why it was the glory of the Sun King’s reign. Louis XIV built the largest Palace in Europe beginning with his father’s modest hunting lodge. You will see the Grand Apartment, the Hall of Mirrors and King’s and Queen’s suites. The magnificent palace offers architectural splendour and artworks from 17th and 18th century  and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site for over 30 years. Besides the Château, you can marvel the Trianon Palace, the musical garden and the  palace park gardens as well. After this mesmerising visit you will travel back to Paris. The remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Enjoy a memorable farewell dinner at the Eiffel Tower this evening. Enjoy the food and the spectacular view over Paris.
Overnight in Paris.

Day 9 Departure

9 Ruijs Travel - France - Paris - Pont Alexandre & Les Invalides

After breakfast transfer to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight back home