Holland in a nutshell
Day 1 Overnight flight
Day 2 Amsterdam
Welkom in Nederland! Arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Meet your driver and tour escort and depart to the city center of Amsterdam. The capital of the Netherlands is composed of 70 islands which are separated by nearly 50 miles of canals and connected by more than 1000 arched bridges. Your first acquaintance with Amsterdam will be by boat. Enjoy 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. Check in at the hotel and have some time to relax before dinner.
Welcome dinner and overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 3 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. Afterwards 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 – Alkmaar Cheese Market – Volendam – Amsterdam
After breakfast you will travel to Alkmaar for a visit of the famous Cheese market. At the ‘Waagplein’ a folkloric spectacle is taking place since 1365, held only on Friday morning from the end of March to September. See how cheese is traded according to a tradition that is centuries old. Watch the ‘kaasdragers’ – cheese porters, the ‘zetters’ – loaders, ‘ingooiers’ – cheese tossers and ‘waagmeesters’ – weighers in action. After some free time in Alkmaar, you will depart to the picturesque village of Volendam. The village has traditionally been a fishing village, since the closing of the Zuiderzee in 1932 the fishing industry is not that flourishing anymore, but the harbor area with its many boats is still bustling. Volendam’s traditional costume is one of the best known examples of the traditional costume (klederdracht) in Holland. Enjoy some free time in the village to explore on your own. You can for example have your picture taken in those traditional Dutch costumes or sample ‘Kibbeling’ – fried battered fish, smoked eel or the seasonal Herring. Overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 5 Amsterdam – Delft – The Hague
After breakfast you will leave Amsterdam for The Hague. You will first visit Delft, with its historic city center and famous for its characteristic Delft’s Blue Porcelain, Delftware. Enjoy some free time in the city centre. In the afternoon you will visit Royal Delft’s factory, ‘the Porceleyne Fles’ for a short tour and Delft Blue painting workshop. During the painting workshops you will experience what it is like to paint Delftware. Under professional guidance you will create your Delft Blue tile. Continue to The Hague, the seat of government, which is rather unique as the city is not the country’s capital. Upon arrival you will 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 and the Escher Museum. 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. Overnight in The Hague.
Day 6 The Hague – Kinderdijk – Rotterdam – The Hague
This morning you will travel through the typical Dutch countryside to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Marvel the unique collection of 18th century windmills, located in this remarkable village. You will first watch a short film is shown about the area and the water management of the Dutch. You will visit two of the stunning windmills and have time to wander about at your own pace. Your trip continues to Rotterdam, here you will board a cruise boat. During this enchanting cruise you will see the enormous activity of this world port up close. In addition to that, you can also enjoy the ever-changing decor of the famous Rotterdam skyline. You will see iconic buildings like the Erasmus Bridge, Hotel New York, the Euromast, the former cruise ship SS Rotterdam and of course the many skyscrapers. A delicious high tea with various sweet and savory delicacies will be served to you during the cruise. Before heading back to The Hague you will make a short stop at Rotterdam’s old harbour and its famous Cube Houses. Farewell dinner and overnight in The Hague.
Day 7 Departure
After breakfast you will depart for Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for your flight back home.