Guided Tours

Entrepreneurs in the Netherlands offer a smorgasbord of excursions for individuals and groups.

Joy Ride Tours. This outfitter has an enthusiastic approach to private bike trips covering "anywhere you can ride a bike to or from Amsterdam." Suggestions include longer (but leisurely) visits to villages such as Durgerdam and Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. Other bike-free choices include a walking tour for foodies or a trip around the Anne Frank House in VR. 06/4361–1798; joyridetours.nl.

MacBike. Known as "the red ones," MacBike offers both guided and self-guided tours for architectural and historical interests. 020/620–0985; www.macbike.nl.

Orangebike. Offering both guided and self-guided options, this outfit caters to architectural and culinary interests. 06/4684–2083; www.orange-bike.nl.

Pampus Island. Boat excursions from Amsterdam include Pampus Island, with its fort that is part of the Amsterdam Defence Line. It can be reached from IJburg (020/427–8888www.amsterdamtouristferry.com) and Muiden. Guided or self-guided tours of the island are available. The 13th-century Muiderslot castle in Muiden is worth a visit in itself. 0294/262–679; www.pampus.nl.

VVV. Bus tours of the Holland-in-a-hurry variety, whether half- or full-day excursions, can be booked directly with most operators or via the Netherlands Board of Tourism offices, found throughout Holland. Just in front of Centraal Station, Stationsplein 10, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1012 AB. 020/702–6000; www.iamsterdam.com.

Wetlands Safari. For watery options, Wetlands Safari runs canoe trips through a 17th-century landscape of reedlands and boggy moors. Guided tours last around five hours, and the fee includes round-trip transport from Amsterdam, drinks, and lunch. Children under seven are not allowed. Be sure to wear rain boots or old footwear. 06/5355–2669; www.wetlandssafari.nl. €68.

Yellowbike. This popular firm runs guided tours not only of Amsterdam but its surrounding countryside. 020/620–6940; www.yellowbike.nl.

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