The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of twelve provinces in North-West Europe and three islands in the Caribbean.
Tulips and windmills are images that have become synonymous with The Netherlands as well as the iconic Dutch wooden clogs, rambling canals and the world’s best cheese markets. Photograph all of these famous sites plus those unique, “hard to get” photos, with Mirjam Evers, a Dutch native, professional photographer and one of the PQA founders. Mirjam will lead us to those “off the beaten path” locations that only a true Dutch native can access.
Our itinerary has been designed to capture the essence of Holland at the peak time of flower season. As we wind our way through North and South Holland, we have set up an itinerary that will bring us to locations of radiant color and dramatic light including private aerial flights to capture the stunning flower fields which nobody else is able to do.
The perfect Quest to bring along your spouse as well.
Take an aerial flight to photograph the stunning flower fields
Photograph Kinderdijk, home to 18th Century Windmills and declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site
Private cruise on the narrow canals in Amsterdam including a night shoot of the lit bridges reflecting in the canals
Bike tour through stunning flower fields
Photograph Zaansche Schansm, the reconstructed village of quaint wooden houses and historic windmills by foot and by boat
Photograph the world famous Alkmaar Cheese Market with private access and press passes inside the gates
Photograph the Keukenhof Gardens twice including a private boat tour
Private access to climb up the beautiful church in the square of Haarlem to photograph city views
Use of filters
Portrait lighting techniques using one flash
Questimonial: The Netherlands 2014
“Very simply put, the Netherlands was the BEST TRIP EVER!! This was my first trip with Photo Quest Adventures and it definitely won't be my last. Mirjam was an amazing tour guide and all the activities were a blast. I loved every single minute of it. We did and saw so many unique and beautiful things: of course the tulips and windmills, but also the Dutch countryside, architecture, and traditional Dutch culture. My absolute favorite thing we did and/or saw on this trip was...EVERYTHING! I can't narrow it down to just one thing!! My least favorite thing about this trip was that it ended and I had to come back home!! Thank you PQA for a trip of a lifetime, it was better than I ever dreamed it could be. I look forward to more trips with PQA in the future." — Amy Tilburg Welchez
Please note this is an all NEW itinerary with new and exciting locations from our previous trips.
April 22 - Depart USA
Leave the USA on your flights to Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS).
April 23 - Amsterdam Schiphol-Haarlem Tour
Arrive Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Transportation from the airport will be provided. Rooms won't be ready until about 2pm.
Depart for a casual walking tour to photograph the magnificent “Grote Markt,” often considered the most beautiful square in the Netherlands. We will have private access to the top of "Bavo Church" to photograph stunning views of Haarlem. Welcome dinner to taste a typical Dutch meal. (D)
April 24 - Keukenhof Gardens - Flower Fields
Depart early to photograph the Keukenhof Gardens. Enjoy the morning in one of the most impressive public gardens in the world. Open only nine weeks out of the year, the Keukenhof is a visual feast for the eyes. There are more than seven million bulbs planted on over 70-acres. For the adventurous photographers, we will rent orange bikes for a few hours and bike through the stunning flower fields. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
After a typical Dutch lunch, we will visit and photograph a local Dutch farm and learn everything about bulbs and how the whole process works. We will photograph other flower fields in the area as well.
April 25 - Kinderdijk-Rotterdam night shoot
In the afternoon, we will visit and photograph “Kinderdijk.” The 19 windmills at Kinderdijk are a symbol of the way the Netherlands manages its water. For a long period of time, they kept the land dry as it was plagued by subsidence and flooding - the Alblasserwaard, once a rough, wet area of peat, was eventually colonized and reclaimed by men.
Late afternoon, depart for Rotterdam to do a walking tour and night shoot of the city. Photograph the impressive cube houses designed by architect Piet Blom. The impressive skyline can be seen from afar, enhancing the city’s imposing appearance characterized by such landmarks as the Euromast observation tower and the swan-like curve of the Erasmus Bridge. Rotterdam is internationally renowned as a city of architecture, featuring many examples of innovative construction.
April 26 - Keukenhof Gardens - Delft
Depart early to photograph the Keukenhof Gardens for the second time. We will take a private boat tour to photograph the nearby flower fields. After lunch, it is optional to rent bikes and bike through the stunning flower fields. This afternoon, we will visit and photograph the lovely town of Delft. (B,D)
April 27 - Alkmaar Cheese Market - Zaansche Schans
Depart early morning for Alkmaar where cheese is still made in the time-honored way. The market is world famous for photographing the actual transportation weighing and trading, which takes place in a colorful setting. We will have press passes with special private access within the fence of the trading sessions, and will able to take portraits with the “cheese men," which is a very unique photo opportunity for our group.
After lunch, we will photograph “Zaansche Schans,” a reconstructed village of wooden houses and windmills, transporting us 300 years into the past. There are only 975 windmills left in all of The Netherlands, but in this place of unspoiled beauty you can photograph many of them. We will take a one hour boat tour to photograph the windmills in late afternoon light. (B)
April 28 - Aerial Flights- Amsterdam boat tour & night shoot
Depart to take aerial flights in Cessna single engine planes to photograph the flower fields. Everybody will get amazing photographs. In the afternoon, we will depart to Amsterdam (known as the Venice of the North) for a walking tour and private boat cruise through the famous canals. We'll see the beautiful homes that line the water, the fabled Skinny Bridge, and the famous Anne Frank House. We then enjoy a panoramic city tour to see the great landmarks of Amsterdam, including a photo stop at a windmill. We will do a night shoot of the canals and the lit bridges reflecting in the water before we head back to Haarlem. (B)
April 29 - Depart back to the USA
Early departure from Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS).
Itinerary is subject to change.
See some images from our last photography workshop here.
Accommodations based on double occupancy.
A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability.
Deanne is a Pulitzer Prize winning documentary photographer and multimedia storyteller based in San Francisco, California. She is a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine, and has been published in TIME, Newsweek, The Economist, Stern, and GEO. Deanne’s work has received awards from Pictures of the Year International, NPPA Best of Photojournalism, and the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Her imagery is part of the permanent collection at the Newseum, and their traveling exhibition of Pulitzer winning photographs. Additionally, her work has been exhibited at Visa pour L’Image in Perpignan, France, and with UNICEF Photo of the Year. When not on assignment, Deanne often lectures and teaches workshops.
Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ "second city," was bombed flat during WWII and spent the following decades rebuilding. You won’t find the classic Dutch medieval center here as it was swept away along with the other rubble and detritus of war. In its place is an architectural aesthetic that’s unique in Europe, a progressive perpetual-motion approach to construction that’s clearly a result of the city’s postwar, postmodern ‘anything goes’ philosophy. But tradition is strong elsewhere, for Rotterdam is Europe’s busiest port (and second in the world) – a lineage as a shipping nexus that dates back to 1572, when Spaniards being pursued by the rebel Sea Beggars were given shelter in the harbor. Rotterdam became a major port during the conflict, and it remains so to this day.
In the early 1980s, the city of Rotterdam asked the architect Piet Blom to design housing for a space located on top of a pedestrian bridge. He decided to go with a design familiar to him, the cube. His houses are perched on one corner on top of a hexagon-shaped pole structure with windows that angle skywards and others that angle down towards the street. The concept behind the cube houses is that each cube represents an abstract tree, turning the whole village (51 cubes) into a forest.
The Netherlands is a flatter than flat country most commonly associated with tulips, windmills, clogs and cheese. While such clichéd images of the Netherlands still hold true, Holland offers much more than the stereotypical national quirks. It's a small, vibrant nation that can be traversed in a few hours - but it begs a longer stay than that Amsterdam is the notorious capital, known for everything from its liberal approach to drugs and prostitution, to its network of canals, world-famous museums and historic architecture.
Visit the Holland tourism website for more information: http://us.holland.com/
Dutch is the national language of the Netherlands. Most of the Dutch people speak English, as well as other languages like German and French.
Although Dutch people complain a lot about the weather in their country, it is actually not that bad. There are no real extremes, like excessive heat or cold, hurricanes or alike. That said, summers are relatively cool with average daytime temperatures around 20 °C. The best months to travel around the Netherlands are April to August, when days are long and apart from occasional showers, rainfall is lowest.
The Netherlands, like many other European countries, uses the Euro (€). Throughout the country, there are lots of ATMs using the CIRRUS and PLUS networks. Most shops, restaurants and hotels accept major credit cards with a small processing fee added.
Sample the national dish, Boerenkool met worst ("Borecole with sausage"), which consists of green cabbage, potatoes, bacon and smoked sausage. Dutch cheese, beer and dairy products are considered of the highest standard and will provide much joy to the connoisseur.
Make sure you don't forget to try the special pancake restaurants, a real Dutch specialty. The delicious pancakes are large enough to be considered a whole dinner and you can choose from a great variety of toppings for your pancake.
On the go, kroketten (filled croquets) bitterballen and frieten met pindasaus (French fries with peanut butter dip) are the most popular fast foods.
Visitors from many countries do not need a visa if they are planning to stay in the Netherlands for less than 3 months. A valid passport is enough.
In general, the Netherlands is a very safe country, and with the usual precautions you won't experience any problems.
Traffic wise, the Netherlands is one of the safest countries in the world. The country is known for its network of bicycle lanes, which greatly improves the safety for cyclists. Be careful crossing the streets making sure to look for cyclists that can be traveling fairly fast.
The voltage in Holland is 220 volts. Travelers are advised to bring an adapter for two-prong, round-prong plugs with side grounding contacts.
Computer / Digital Accessories
Laptop with charger and Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom or Photomechanic (not mandatory)
Storage device, such as portable hard drives like Lacie hard drives
All cables for drives, computer, card readers, storage devices, etc.
Power converters/adapters for all international quests
Cover for camera (for shooting in the rain); Fotosharp makes simple, inexpensive covers
Lightweight tripod (carbon fiber)
Cable release (for night shots)
Small headlamp (flashlight)
Backpack (if you ride a bike on this trip)
Your camera's manual
Memory cards (bring plenty)
Sensor cleaning supplies
Flash with plenty of batteries
24-70 mm or 24-120mm lens for landscapes and cityscapes; also for portraits
Lens hoods for all lenses
Lint-free cloth to clean lenses and blower ball for dust
Lensbaby if you have one (or else you can try ours)
$4900 based on double occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $1450.
PQA will try to match you with a roommate if you do not opt for a single supplement. However, if a roommate is not available, you will be charged the additional single supplement fee.
Limited to 12 participants.
International airfare to/from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Beverages during meals and alcoholic beverages
Gratuities for your guides and drivers
Quest workshop fee
Airport transfer if you arrive on April 15th and depart on April 23rd
6 nights in a five-star hotel (based on double occupancy)
Private boat tour in Amsterdam
Private boat tour at the Keukenjof gardens
Boat tour Zaansche schans
All park entrance fees
English speaking guides/drivers
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.