8.30am Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide / driver in the hotel lobby, from where you will be taken for a short hour drive by luxurious private vehicle to medieval Delft. Before we make a visit to the historical city center, there will be a stop at one of the two original remaining Delftware manufacturers in the world, Heinen Delfts Blauw ‘The Factory’.
Did you know that more than 95% of all produced Delftware in the world is imitation? There will be an interesting tour through the small family company where you will see the process of making Delftware and of course the painters’ room. It is a small but most fascinating place! www.heinendelftsblauw.com
10.15am We continue with a short scenic drive to the medieval city center. Stroll along the canals and discover the most beautiful spots of historic Delft. The city is also known as miniature Amsterdam, because of its canals and the grand monumental merchants’ mansions in the old city center. The city center of Delft is one of the best-preserved examples of a medieval Dutch town. It is a city with rich historic and cultural heritage. Delft is also the city of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Think of his masterpiece “Gezicht op Delft” (View on Delft) and the Girl with the Pearl Earring.
Delft is the burial ground of members of the Royal family. Their crypt is located in the New Church. Besides the Royal family, several other famous people have also been buried in Delft. In the Old Church, the graves are located of the famous painter Johannes Vermeer and great ocean commanders such as Piet Hein and Maarten Tromp. Here, you will also find some spectacular stained-glass windows by the famous artist Joep Nicolas. Your guide will take you to both churches.www.nieuwekerk-delft.nl
Noon From here, it is only a 20-minute drive to the ‘Royal City’ The Hague, where you will be taken on a guided walk of the historical city center. The Hague is a historical city from the 13th Century, but it is also the city where King Willem Alexander lives and where you will find many world-famous museums. Most consider The Hague more upscale and local than Amsterdam. A surprising city! Upon arrival in The Hague there is leisure time for lunch. On the main square, you will find many local restaurants for a nice lunch. 1.30pm Fully refreshed, will start our walk in the oldest part of The Hague, the medieval parliament buildings ‘Inner court’ with the Knights Hall from the 13th century. Here, you will be taken for a guided tour of the famous Mauritshuis Museum, one of the most prominent and oldest museums in the Netherlands or even in the world! Their collection is in the top 3 world-wide.
The Mauritshuis Museum is home to the very best Dutch Golden Age paintings. The compact, yet world-renowned collection is housed in a 17th century building. Masterpieces such as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp by Rembrandt, The Goldfinch by Fabritius and The Bull by Potter are on permanent display in the intimate rooms. More than two hundred top works from Dutch and Flemish masters are on display in the historic yet intimate interior, with its silken wall covering, sparkling chandeliers and monumental painted ceilings. Genre paintings by Jan Steen, landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael, still lives by Adrian Coorte and portraits by Rubens offer a rich and varied representation of the best 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting. www.mauritshuis.nl 3pm We continue the walk towards the spectacular Panorama Mesdag Museum, for a guided tour. Along the way, we will walk through the Passage (1884) and there will be a stop at the Palace Noordeinde, the working Palace of King Willem Alexander.
3.45pm The Panorama is a cylindrical painting, more than 14 meters high and 120 meters in circumference. The vista of the sea, the dunes and Scheveningen village where painted by Hendrik Willem Mesdag in 1881. His wife Sientje Mesdag and several other painters of The Hague School also worked on this amazing painting. It is the oldest 19th century panorama in the world in its original site. Amazing and for sure a must-see in The Hague and for many the highlight of their stay in the Netherlands! www.mesdag.nl
4.15pm After this exciting tour, there will be a walk through the Lange Voorhout, back in the direction of the vehicle. The Lange Voorhout is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. Here you find the Escher Museum, which was the former winter Palace of Queen Emma, the luxurious Des Indes Hotel and the smallest house in The Hague. Did you know that this area stood sample for the Champs Elysees in Paris and Unter den Linden in Berlin? 5pm From here, you will be taken back to your hotel in Amsterdam, where you have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. You will arrive back around 6pm.