Amstel and Vecht river tours

Castles, fortified cities, the Amsterdam water defence line, water management, the prettiest side of Amsterdam

We will start our Amstel and Vecht river tours with a scenic drive along the Amstel river.

First we visit the De Haar Castle. Originally medieval, it was rebuilt in the 19th century for Baron Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt and his wife Baroness Hélène de Rothschild. The castle is known for the lavish house parties held there in the first half of the twentieth century. Famous guests included Coco Chanel, Maria Callas, Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, Yves Saint Laurent, Joan Collins and Brigitte Bardot.

When the castle was renovated, the nearby town of Haarzuilens was relocated to make room for larger gardens, and rebuilt by the same architect as the castle, Pierre Cuijpers.

From Haarzuilens we continue to Breukelen (that gave its name to Brooklyn), one of many smaller towns where the large majority of the Dutch populations prefers to live.

During our Vecht river tour we will see the luxurious summer homes of the 17th Century Dutch merchants.
These mansions reflect the incredible wealth accumulated in Holland in that era.

We continue our Amstel and Vecht river tours via a very scenic route along the Vecht river to Weesp, Loenen and Muiden.
Depending on how much time left we will visit at the Muiderslot Castle near Amsterdam.
Or the pretty fortified city of Naarden.

Itinerary Amstel and Vecht river tours

  • pick-up anywhere in the greater Amsterdam area
  • drive to De Haar Castle
  • (optional) visit of the Castle and its gardens, or of the Gardens only (only suitable for people able to climb stairs)
  • visit Haarzuilens
  • visit Dutch Breukelen, where Brooklyn began (to see the original Brooklyn Bridge)
  • scenic drive back to Amsterdam along the Vecht River and its 17th Century summer houses
  • photo stop at Slot Zuylen castle
  • drop-off anywhere in greater Amsterdam area