8. Amsterdam: Keukenhof & Countryside Small Group Tour
Meet your guide and driver in central Amsterdam. A comfortable, air-conditioned luxurious minivan will take you to today’s destination Keukenhof. After a short ride from Amsterdam to the bulb flower area around Lisse, start your tour by making a scenic ride in this area. Depending upon the season, you will see a landscape with colorful bulb flower carpets in almost any color you can imagine. Try to find a spot where you can stop to make some pictures. Then, continue to the true highlight of this tour, the park Keukenhof. Once a mere kitchen garden filled with vegetables and herbs, the Keukenhof now has the distinction of being the world’s largest flower garden, hosting some 1,000,000 visitors per year. Wander through the 15 kilometers of footpaths and 32 hectares of gardens, where millions of bulbs are planted each year. Tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other spring bulbs of a variety of vibrant colors carpet the grounds.
After having spent about 3.5-hours in the gardens, continue to the windmill village of Zaanse Schans. This outdoor conservation area is situated on the banks of the Zaan River and is home to traditional 18th and 19th century architecture, including several functioning windmills. Watch live demonstrations of craftsmen at work, including a clog maker crafting the famous wooden shoes of the Netherlands. There will be some free time to explore the village on your own before traveling through the distinctive polders (land reclaimed from the water) of the Beemster area. Next is the opportunity to see how the world-famous Dutch cheese is made and, of course, to taste it at a cheese farm.
Finally, you will stop in the beautiful seaside village of Volendam. This typical fishing village with its bustling harbor has been a major tourist attraction as early as 1875. People come from all over to see the small buildings and houses and take in the locals in their traditional Dutch clothing. This is a great place to pick up souvenirs for those at home or a memento for yourself and to have photos taken in traditional Dutch costume. Finally, you will return to the city and can look back on a day full of great and typical Dutch highlights.