|Day 1 (Sunday, May 3)
Our tour group gathers today in the lobby of the Hotel Herbergh, near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Soon we arrive at one of the world’s best-known and most beautiful gardens, Keukenhof, where magnificent displays of tulips are only a part of the flowery splendor. After our visit and free time in pretty Leiden, we come at day’s end to Delft and check into our canalside hotel. After a short walking tour and a break to enjoy the peaceful streets and squares, we have DINNER. OVERNIGHT DELFT
Day 2 (Monday, May 4)
Following a morning orientation to our tour, we spend the day in charming Delft. There is a lot to see, including two historically and architecturally significant churches, the Oude Kerk and the Nieuwe Kerk, the later containing the Netherlands royal crypt. Enjoy free time in the traffic-free center, perhaps shopping for some of the town’s signature Delftware ceramics. You may also be interested in the Prinsenhof Museum, with its important collection relating to the House of Orange. LUNCH. OVERNIGHT DELFT
Day 3 (Tuesday, May 5)
Today we make a day trip to the Dutch capital, Den Haag (The Hague). Here we find the recently renovated Mauritshuis museum, home to a collection of paintings considered among the finest in the world. Enjoy works by Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer (his Girl with a Pearl Earring hangs here). After free time in the handsome center, we return to Delft. OVERNIGHT DELFT
Day 4 (Wednesday, May 6)
Leaving Delft, we soon cross into Belgium and arrive in Antwerp, one of Belgium’s most beautiful cities. In our three-plus hours of free time, have lunch and visit the cathedral, the largest in Belgium, studded with many priceless works of art, including several paintings by Rubens. There also will be time to visit the Rubens house. In mid-afternoon we move on to Brugge (we know it as Bruges), our home for the next three nights. After checking into our centrally located hotel, we walk to DINNER. OVERNIGHT BRUGGE
Day 5 (Thursday, May 7)
This morning we set out to explore Brugge, considered Belgium’s most beautiful town and one of the most magnificent and well-preserved medieval cities in Europe. Our visits begin with two repositories of priceless art: the Bruggemuseum Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, a church boasting a Madonna and Child sculpture by Michaelangelo, which featured in the 2014 film Monuments Men; and the Groeninge Museum, sheltering an outstanding collection of Flemish primitive paintings (van Eyck, Memling, Pourbus and Bosch). LUNCH today. OVERNIGHT BRUGGE
Day 6 (Friday, May 8)
We continue exploring Brugge with a canal boat ride, viewing stately mansions. In late morning we travel by van to Gent (Ghent), steeped in history and rich in Flemish architecture. We admire the magnificent cathedral, with another art work featured in Monuments Men, Adoration of the Mystic Lamb Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck, and wander the medieval streets lined with fine houses. LUNCH. OVERNIGHT BRUGGE
Day 7 (Saturday, May 9)
From Brugge we head to bustling Brussels, Belgium’s capital and a center of European Union activity. If you wish, visit one of the city’s fine museums, such as the Musee d’Art Ancien et Moderne, with an outstanding collection of Flemish paintings, including works by Brueghel the Elder and Rubens. Whatever you do, don’t miss the central square, the Grand’Place, lined with baroque guildhalls. Later we return to the Netherlands and come, at day’s end, to Amsterdam. OVERNIGHT AMSTERDAM
Day 8 (Sunday, May 10)
Today we set out to explore exciting, beautiful Amsterdam. On foot and by tram, we get to know this civilized and lovely city. On our agenda is a visit to the moving memorial to Anne Frank, whose tale of hiding from the Nazis still resonates today. In the afternoon, join us for an experience that is quintessentially Amsterdam a boat tour of its extensive canal network. Along the way, we have an excellent LUNCH. OVERNIGHT AMSTERDAM
Day 9 (Monday, May 11)
On today’s agenda is some magnificent art the superb collection of the Rijksmuseum, home to Dutch masters, including Rembrandt and Vermeer; and the Van Gogh museum, crammed with masterpieces from this signature 19th century artist. DINNER tonight. OVERNIGHT AMSTERDAM
Day 10 (Tuesday, May 12)
Let’s make the most of our last day in Amsterdam, visiting whatever strikes your fancy. With the furnished Amsterdam tram and museum passes, there are endless possibilities. After LUNCH, you may want to tour one of the canalside mansions from Holland’s Golden Age. Your Intimate France guide will be happy to make suggestions based on your interests. OVERNIGHT AMSTERDAM
Day 11 (Wednesday, May 13)
Departing Amsterdam today, by mid-morning we are at the impressive royal palace of Het Loo, beautifully furnished and ornamented and reopened to the public only recently. Then it’s on to the Hoge Veluwe National Park and a treasure trove of Western European art. The Kröller-Müller Museum is home to a remarkable collection of 19th- and 20th-century paintings, including the second largest collection of works by van Gogh. (You’ve already seen the largest at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.) Then it’s on to the charming town of Deventer. DINNER. OVERNIGHT DEVENTER
Day 12 (Thursday, May 14)
Our last full day takes us across the Huitribdijk, a mighty dike protecting the inland sea called Markermeer. Arriving on the North Holland peninsula, we visit the charming seafaring town of Hoorne, with stone houses sculpted in a port theme. Our last visit is to the delightful Dutch town of Haarlem, with its outstanding Frans Hals Museum, boasting paintings by this Dutch master. Finally, at day’s end, we come to our comfortable hotel near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. OVERNIGHT BADHOEVEDORP, NEAR AMSTERDAM AIRPORT
Getaway day (Friday, May. 15)
It’s time to say goodbye to Netherlands and Belgium as you fly home from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport today.
MEALS Tour includes breakfast every day, as well as eight other meals (lunches and dinners), as indicated in BOLD CAPS on the itinerary.
Hotel Emauspoort, Delft, Netherlands
Hotel Biskajer, Brugge, Belgium
Hotel Delphi, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hotel Gilde, Deventer, Netherlands
Hotel Herbergh, Amsterdam airport
HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS Subject to change according to availability.
ITINERARY Details of this preliminary itinerary could change.
* TOUR PRICE Tentative tour price: $4,095 per person sharing accommodation, singles $725 extra. This is an estimate, as fluctuations in foreign currency rates may make a surcharge necessary or could result in a price reduction. Call us for details (800) 676-1247. Price quoted is for land arrangements only airfare is not included.