Van Gogh Tours

Van Gogh Tours

Another family-owned “Bread and Breakfast”, like Experience Plus, but an even better deal price-wise. How these guys can provide great support and 3-4 star accommodations at such cheap prices eludes us (although simpler brochures and the fact that the owners lead the vast majority of the tours has a lot to do with it). The self-guided tours where they provide baggage transfer and lodging are even better deals. The only drawback is they don’t have a huge variety of tour choices (about 10 spread through Italy, France, Holland, the U.S. and Austria). Companions – Van Gogh also offers lots of walking tours, and they don’t pile on the mileage, so the clientele is a little older than with other groups. And you’ve got to pay a supplement if you want to go single.

  • Operator Type:
    Full-Service Operator
  • Website:
  • Price Tier:
  • Avg Price Per Day:
  • Services:
    Bike Provided, SAG Van, Tour Guide
  • Country:
    Austria, France, Holland, Italy, United States

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38 Reviews

  1. Ilia Geltser, Denver, Colorado-Reply
    May 25, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    I have sent 4 kids (ages 16-22) on the tour organized by Denise (from Van Gogh Tours) in May 2023. 11 Days from Bruge to Amsterdam.
    The experience is superb: communications, planning, meeting time, hotel bookings, bicycles and accessories – very well organized, smooth, functional, pleasant. Modestly priced.
    I definitely recommend to fellow travelers. Will try to do the same tour with my wife and friends.

  2. Pam van Dinther - Calgary, Canada-Reply
    July 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    My husband and I along with another couple recently completed a bike and barge trip to Northern Holland. We were very impressed with the level of service Van Gogh tours provided from start to finish. First: when I originally contacted Van Gogh for information I was sent a timely reply. Any questions I had were answered right away. I even called one day and spoke to Susan who was able to answer my questions sufficiently and personably. When we signed up we were sent an information packet that contained some very helpful information about hotels in the area, transportation, currency, etc. FYI: Amsterdam at this time of year is extremely expensive. If you book a room outside of the city and take the train into Amsterdam you save at least half the price. We stayed in Haarlem which is a beautiful place to visit in its own right and close to beaches. Once the final payment was made we were given a second packet of information with even more very helpful suggestions. We were very happy with our first bike tour. The barges are about a twenty five minute walk from the train station. The barge accommodations were very comfortable. The room was more spacious than we expected. We had two large suitcases we were worried about, but we were able to fit them one on top of the other at the foot of our beds under a pull-out table and they were completely out of our way. Our friends had each a medium and a carry-on suitcase and it wasn’t as easy to stow. They kept one in the shower. There was a closet with shelves that were plenty large enough to store our clothes, etc. that we would need for the week. The bathroom was a nice size for a boat with an incredible rain shower. The spray and temperature was awesome. The breakfast in the morning was unchanging and rarely offered any warm offerings. There was a selection of bread, meat, and cheese. Once there was a boiled egg and once there was scrambled eggs. You make a sandwich from these to take with you for lunch on your bike trips. There are also granola bars and fruit and juice boxes. Breakfast and lunches never changed and this was a bit disappointing but I can see that this would be hard to make any different. The dinners made up for it. They were fine dining on a barge and absolutely amazing. The chef took into consideration dietary requirements. There was also a snack in the evenings. Tea seemed to be always available and when we asked hot chocolate packages were offered as well. The bikes were in good condition. The tours were nice and there were some very good spots we stopped including an awesome open air museum Einkhuisen (sp?). We always stopped for coffee in the morning and for lunch. It may have been nice to stop more often. I notice above that VG advertises a SAG van – we did not have this service available for some reason and our friend could’ve used it. We loved the scenery and the bike rides were just the right length. There were days in which we rode a shorter distance but the ones who preferred to ride the whole way were given that opportunity and did it on their own. We rode regular bikes but next time we may choose to do E-bikes. The reason for this really just came down to one day. Each day the riding was simple and flat, but one day we had the wind against us pretty much the whole day and this was the only day we had small hills to climb. That day also happened to be riding along the dunes which was quite scenic but we couldn’t really take it in as we were just struggling to keep up. If we had an E-bike we would have enjoyed the scenery that much more. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. She also took us for walking tours of the towns we were docked in at night. Sometimes we felt spent after a full day of cycling but we were really glad we took the time to stroll around and learn about the place we were staying. Anyway, we would highly recommend Van Gogh tours and we would love to do another biking trip in the future!

  3. Anne, Calgary Alberta CANADA-Reply
    May 17, 2019 at 1:08 am

    The Country of Tulips tour in the Netherlands was fabulous from start to finish. The bikes were great, the scenery was fabulous, the hotels were wonderful. Emma and Denise did a great job keeping our group of 12 together, moving at a relaxed pace so that everyone could enjoy the magnificent scenery. The bike lanes and paths in the Netherlands are incredible. Emma and Denise did a wonderful job of fitting in some unique cultural experiences for us; talking about tulips with experts and growers, a tour of the Hague by a local, a tour of a Delft pottery factory. We left feeling enchanted with the Netherlands.

  4. Dick and Lulu Sethre, Minneapolis, MN-Reply
    September 30, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    My wife and I did our second bike and barge tour with VGT in Sept, 2018. The first one, Amsterdam – Brugge, in 2016, was wonderful, but our second one, Mantova – Venice, exceeded our expectations. We had a group of 13, and had some probably inevitable scheduling hassles (on our part) but Emma and her colleague (her mother?) were very patient and helped resolve the problems. At the barge, some of us were a little early, expected to be only able to leave our luggage and come back “on time,” but were were greeted warmly and were able to relax on the deck until our berths were ready. The staff were fantastic. They all were Italian. Our guide, Vivian, was patient, knowledgeable about the communities and historical sites along the route, and had a great sense of humor. Our cook, Sylvia, worked wonders in the tiny kitchen and our evening meals were would you would expect in a good locale restaurant. The local dishes (ravioli stuffed with pumpkin, Motovan braised beef on polenta, biglioli pasta with parma cheese sauce, and seafood stew, were all hits with our group. Sylvia’s assistant and dessert chef, Christina, amazed us with delicious desserts that were works of art. The wine bar (you must pay extra, by the bottle) had excellent regional wines, very reasonably priced. Finally, the 4th member of the team was the barge captain and general fixer and helper, Frederico, who was exceptionally friendly and cheerful throughout the trip.

    The bike rides were in very pretty rural areas and interesting towns. We had ample stops for coffee, pastries and – particularly important – gelato! Finally, the tours that are part of the trip package added excellent value – we had a tour of a museum of amusement park/carnival rides (that was different!), a cheese factory followed by a cheese and wine tasting on a long table under a tree in the yard outside of the factory (very tasty and relaxing), a boat tour of a lake near Mantova, and – best of all- an excellent 1 1/2 hour introduction to Venice that helped us get an overview and get oriented. That tour enable use to make the most of the rest of our time in Venice.

    By the end of the tour we felt that the Italians and the guests had all become one team – it was sad to have to say “goodbye.”

    My wife and I are already planning our next tour with VGT, and hope to have a big enough group to charter the whole barge. Based on our pictures and stories form the trip, we already have more people who want to be part of the next one.

  5. Ingrid Owsiacki victoria BC-Reply
    March 3, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Van Gogh Tours was recommended to me by a client in Victoria, BC; we chose them based on that, and have subsequently spread the word. Our Tulip Time Bike and Barge trip in March 2017 was seamless, excellent dollar value, and Emma was always available and helpful with questions. Would highly recommend.

  6. Mary, New York, NY-Reply
    August 3, 2017 at 3:47 am

    I joined the Best of Provence Walking Tour guided by Emma. This is the second tour I have taken with Van Gogh. These trips are a great value for the price. The hotels we stayed at were charming and very comfortable with friendly staff. The hikes are well thought out and planned. The food of course was grand. The included meals were memorable and recommendations were really good. What stands out is the guide services from the owner of the company; Emma makes sure that each individual on the tour is taken care of. We could always stop for photo ops and she answered any of the questions I had.

  7. Tim Crowley, Brewster, MA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Great Trip from hello to good bye. My wife and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a Van Gogh guided trip to Normandy and Brittany. From the minute we were greated by the Van Gogh family at the train until they drove us to our departure train they were focused on providing us with the best service possible. The trip was planned perfectly – we were never bored nor did we ever say we had too much. They clearly know what works for their clients. All the hotels were nice – the meals all very good and the mix of cycling and site seeing was perfect. While they can not take credit for the weather it did not hurt that we have 6 days of sunshine! If you are looking for great service at a great value – go Van Gogh!!!!!

  8. Stan, Seattle, WA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    We used Van Gogh for a self-guided tour of Burgundy, and had mixed feelings about it. They messed up our first night’s reservation so that we initially arrived at an inn that had no record of us and no bikes or touring maps. The bikes were heavy clunkers with problematic gears; every minor hill felt like the Alps. And the tour directions occasionally left us totally befuddled. On the other hand, the accommodations were uniformly pleasant with meals that ranged from satisfactory to very good, and with proprietors that were friendly and helpful.

  9. M. Daniel, Charleston, IL-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Van Gogh Tours is led by the owners, who provide a relaxed bicycling pace in primarily rural settings. The tour guides are knowledgeable about the area, and on the particular tour I selected, the accommodations allowed for 2 nights’ stay at each of three spots. Food was an especially enjoyable feature. The guides, Mike and Huibertha, do a good job of accommodating their guest and keep the groups small.

    • Susan Guest, USA-Reply
      October 19, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      Thank you so much! We love to get to know our clients and ensure they really enjoy their tour. We are working on adding to the Self Guided tours, but our bike and hotel tours are very popular.

  10. Nancy Croft, Cleveland, Ohio-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Although VGT may not have the variety of tours that some of the larger companies have, they have a nice variety of mainstream as well as off-the-beaten-path biking tours. I’ve been biking with VGT for 10 of their 16 years and couldn’t be happier with their commitment to making everything “Just Right”. There’s only one brochure a year which might account for part of the way they keep their prices far lower than comparable companies while offering extremely high quality and incomparable service. … The groups are kept small, less than 17, and the hybrid bikes are kept in tip-top shape. The 3-5 star hotels are often smaller family run hotels. VGT welcomes all levels of bikers but if there’s a time when you don’t feel like biking, just hop in the van and ride along with the lonely van driver who is never far behind, providing even the slowest biker a sense of security. People from all walks of life enjoy VGT and become part of the Van Gogh family. Whether you come as a single, family, couple or as part of a group it really doesn’t seem to matter, VGT makes everyone feel welcome.

  11. E. Reed, Medford, MA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I was amazed at the value of the tour! The meals were amazing, the rides and support were even better. I have gone with bigger names, but this was the best expereince I have ever had!

  12. Christina B., Providence, RI-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    My husband and I have tried 3 bicycle tour companies, and Van Gogh is our favorite. The rides are well organized, the food and lodgings are great, and we always make friends. We’re in our 30’s and enjoy meeting bicyclists of all ages — teenagers through senior citizens.

    • Susan G, USA-Reply
      October 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you Christina. We really enjoy the feedback we get about people making new friends of all ages.

  13. Paul & Laura, Dayton OH-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    We took the self guided North Holland tour. Holland was flat, had a lot of bike trails, and almost everyone could help us in english. Van Gogh did a good job picking the routes, the things to see, the meals, and the hotels. The tour was not that expensive either. The only cloud on the whole trip was some difficulty following the directions, but we only made a few short detours.

  14. Christina B, Cambridge, MA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Van Gogh is great! The bicycle routes are interesting, the food is delicious, the accommodations are unique and often luxurious. Most importantly the tour guides are well-organized, relaxed, and lots of fun. I’ve been on 4 trips.

  15. Erika, Seattle, WA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    I’ve done three tours with this company and plan to do more. Here’s why: 1. They hire local folks (frequently natives) as guides. 2. They choose lodgings that are centrally located, so you can park your bike and then walk all over. I’ve looked at other companies that stay in flossier lodgings that are way out of town (let’s face it, aristocracy didn’t build their castles near anyone or anything else), so you’re marooned and can’t go exploring. 3. All lunches and some dinners are on your own. 4. The bike rental fee is included. The hassle factor of bringing my own bike is too high. I did that once and will never do it again.

  16. L. Clark, Winnipeg, MB Canada-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Beautiful accommodations, very helpful staff, and absolutely wonderful food thanks to the young chef aboard. My husband rode daily with Marjan, their guide, on the safe bike roads of The Netherlands. My days were spent idling on the covered deck viewing riparian scenery. We all joined in on the city tours, again lead by Marjan, each evening after supper. Would highly recommend this tour to riders with or without riding partners. First vacation I actually came home rested!

  17. Marianne D., Waltham, MA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    My husband and I took a bike and barge trip in the Netherlands. Our guide was engaging and fun, the cook on the barge fantastic, and the accommodations comfortable. Everything worked out very well, from the initial information, booking to the follow up. I would highly recommend Van Gogh Tours.

  18. Lisa, Barnstable, MA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    We had an unbelievable week in the Netherlands with Van Gogh tours- accomodations and meals on the barge were outstanding, crew was amazing, and the tour leader was great. It was a great way to see the Netherlands!-

  19. Terry Calen, San DIego, CA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    We have made two bike barge tours with Van Gough and enjoyed both very much. The guides are friendly, knowledgable, and fun. The barges are comfortable and the food is fantastic. Planning on more bike barge trips in the future.

  20. Mieke Martin, Blandford, Canada-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    We have made two bike barge tours with Van Gough and enjoyed both very much. The guides are friendly, knowledgable, and fun. The barges are comfortable and the food is fantastic. Planning on more bike barge trips in the future.

  21. Sharon G., Washington DC-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    The tour was beautiful, organized, and interesting. the accommodations were perfect, and perfectly located. The routes were easy, as they were advertised.

  22. L. Krysko, Edmonton, Alberta-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    From the moment we met with the group, we were looked after and could just enjoy every moment; not worrying about logistics. The tulips, windmills, culture; all of it was spectacular. There were spots like the North Sea where I wish we could have lingered longer, maybe next time. Emma is a natural as a cycle tour person Emma.

  23. Sue G., Hamilton, MA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I was amazed at the quality of this trip for the price. The food and accommodations were very impressive. Good thing I got to bike it off during the day! Great menu choices, foodies would love this tour company. I will never forget my white asparagus soup! The tour size is kept small and this makes for a friendly, companionable experience. Also, the guide allows time to linger at a site or to take pictures. You feel it is a very relaxed tour at times. I went on the Country of Tulips tour and the tour guide was very knowledgable about the culture, history and highlights of the areas we visited. The bikes were kept in tip top shape and ready to go each morning. Nice to have the van following as a few of the less athletic were able to bike partial days. This is my second trip with VGT. I am planning my next one with Van Gogh Tours.

  24. Kathy R., San Angelo, TX-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    We took the bike tour of Holland as a group of girls and we LOVED it!! The pace of the tour was perfect and the accommodations & food excellent. What a great way to see the country. Check out Van Gogh Tours, if we do another bike tour, we will be using Van Gogh.

  25. Noelle Anderson, Sacramento, CA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    We did a 6-day Holland bike tour in the spring of 2012. We had a wonderful time. The tulips were unbelievable; everyone should see them once in their lifetime. Our hosts/leaders were very kind and gracious even if we were a little wobbly on the bikes. The accommodations and the food were excellent.

  26. Olga L., Sugar Land, TX-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Everything was first class with Emma and Dennis – trails and sightseeing – amazing, hotels – remarkable, food – superb. We always felt very special. We fell in love with Netherlands. It was one of our best vacation.

  27. Jack Powers, Allentown, PA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    My wife and I did a guided bike tour in Holland. We had a great trip. The hotels were excellent. The food was terrific. The guides were friendly and knowlegable. The scenery was beautiful. We had such a wonderful time we are going on a second trip this year.

  28. Alfred Ross, New York, NY-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Excellent family-run tour group with particular emphasis in Holland. Friendly, efficient and very experienced with reasonable rates. Good equipment, first-rate hotels and restaurants.

  29. Andrew M., Santa Cruz, CA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    I toured with vgT in France during the 2013 TdF. The experience was absolutely the best and will be a cherished memory for life. Jamie and Joy of Outfitter Bike Tours are top notch people and run a top notch organization. They’re format and flexibility to meet my and other participants needs and interests are what set them apart in my mind. I highly recommend Outfitter Bike Tours.

  30. Pat P., Allentown, PA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Fabulous guided bike tour in Holland. Easy rides, great food and lovely accommodations. The tour owners are very knowledgeable about the country and very interested in your experience making sure that you get full cultural experience. Small group of very friendly people added to “trip of a lifetime” for our group. We have our next trip on the books with this company. Can’t wait!

  31. Marcia Pantaleão de Oliveira, Rio de Janeiro-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Best holiday ever! The tour is very organize. We are Brazilians and we went last year to see the tulips in Holland. We had a great time. Emma took care of everything. The hotels were grate. The places, the little towns, the bikes! Also they have a good price. So everything was perfect!

  32. Irene K., Oakland, CA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I went on the Van Gogh Tours’ Country of Tulips trip in 2015. It was absolutely terrific! The weather was glorious, the itinerary was beautiful/interesting with different scenery each day. VGT put us in charming 3* and 4* lodgings near the cycling trails. The guide (Emma in our case) led the way the entire time, at a steady and comfortable 10 – 12 mph. We had sturdy bicycles with upright handlebars which worked well on cobblestone streets! We had enough free time to explore but liked the fact that Emma came along on most meals. I plan to return with my children and grandchildren for another VGT trip some day.

  33. Meg M., Chicago, IL-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    My husband and I took the Amsterdam-Bruges Bike/barge on May 30, 2015. We were so pleased with the tour, guide (Wico) meals and especially the other, like-minded and international travelers. The rooms and baths were quite decent and common space was too. Plenty of support from Van Gogh as well. We are already thinking of another trip for next year!

  34. Debbie P., Pittsburgh, PA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    We did the six day tour with Van Gogh Tours – we all agreed it was extremely well run and exceeded expectations. This is a family owned and run business and it shows! The fields of tulips were spectacular and the other sights were well planned. Emma and Denise were personable and solicitous making sure everyone got the most out of this experience – singles, couples, athletes, non-athletes. After researching numerous other bike companies that run tulip tours, this one stands out.

  35. Bonnie and John S., Lower Burrell, PA-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    We had a blast on the Van Gogh Tour of Holland. Emma did a great job of planning a trip that allowed us to see different aspects of Holland — farms, villages, tulip fields, windmills, and cities. The hotels Emma booked were fine; the meals were divine. The highlight of the trip was the Keukenhof Gardens, a spectacular site. Emma and Denise, our guides, were delightful company and provided us with excellent bikes & service. They also let us explore & ride at our own pace. We highly recommend this trip.

  36. Shauna Fjeld, Wheat Ridge-Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    My husband and I went on the Tempting Tuscany tour this fall with four good friends and it was a trip of a lifetime. We had a wonderful native Italian guide who did his best to make the trip special for us including showing us where the best local places were to grab lunch and dinner in the most scenic areas. The rides were HILLY but worth every pedal stroke because the sceney was so beautiful. The hotels were all great as well. Highly recommended.