Make your own way to the iconic city of Bruges. If you arrive early, make the most of your time in this wonderful, harmonious town. Explore the medieval looking buildings and feel the cobblestones beneath your feet. The city is picture perfect, with swans in the lake, stone archways and bridges, and pretty houses reflected in the canals all around you.
Today’s route follows the canal out of town. The Ghent-Bruges Canal, dating back to the 14th century, is one of the oldest in all of Belgium. The canal and it’s towpaths form a green corridor that is vital to the biodiversity of the area. Later, you will pass quiet, traditional villages such as Moerbrugge, Maria-Aalter and Knesselare, before peddaling through the flat, Flemish countryside to Maldegem. This evening, you will have the chance to put your feet up and relax in Maldegem.
The route today will guide you across the rural Meetjesland region, a cycling paradise of woods, meadowland and vast cropfields. Enjoy the play of light as you ride through the trees at Het Leen and Drongengoed. After that, you have an easy ride, through the flat Belgian landscape, to Eeklo, a small town known for its many sculptures. Finally, you will continue to Ghent. The Old Town of Ghent is like an open-air museum. A UNESCO Creative City of Music, the city is buzzing with art and culture. The music scene here is thriving. After dark, another side of the city comes to life, with a magical atmosphere brought to like by the town’s ingenious light plan.
For the most part, the River Scheldt will be your guide today. Allow it to lead you upstream, past a string of Flemish villages and towns. The 13th-century castle in the village of Laarne is an impressive landmark, and also serves as a great place for a break. It is also worthwhile making a stop in Dendermonde, to take a look at the Town Hall & Belfry and visit the Church of Our Lady, which boasts a beautiful baptismal font, dating back to the 11th century.
Fairly soon, you will find yourself, once again by the side of the Scheldt. You will cycle atop the river dike towards Antwerp. As a delightful break, why not visit De Zilverreiger, a regional museum, dedicated to preserving knowledge of local trades and crafts from times gone by, such as clog making. After a ferry crossing of the Scheldt, you will reach Kruibeke, home to Wissekerk Castle. In the 10th century this was a so-called water castle; part of the defensive line protecting Antwerp along the river. Your day will come to an end in Antwerp, a city with a long beer tradition, countless cafes, and endless shopping opportunities.
There is only a short ride today, so you have plenty of time to discover more of Antwerp. Why not visit a museum, before setting off towards Mechelen. If military heritage interests you, stop off in Mortsel to visit Fort no. 4. One of the (at one time) 8 Brialmont Forts (1860-1864) that made up the defensive line of Antwerp. Constructed from brick with sandstone decorations, it stands on an island surrounded by a ditch and glacis. Later you will continue along quiet country lanes, before riding alongside the River Nete, to Duffel. This is, as you might have guessed, the town where “duffel” originated from. The heavy, woolly material was used initially for bags and later for duffle coats, which were made popular by the British Royal Navy and are still around today. In the 15th century, duffel was produced here and exported all over Europe: a profitable business for then-prosperous Duffel. At the end of the day, you will have reached Mechelen, a small but attractive town, where you can enjoy a well earnt rest, and maybe a beer!
Tree-lined country lanes, will lead you past a series of ponds, along a river, around a wood, and finally through meadows and cropfields to Brussels. Along the way, pass Tervuren, known the Royal Africa Museum. In Brussels, you will find a fascinating mix of cultures, as can be seen in the streets, the architecture and even the menus of cafes and restaurants. Head for the Grande Place to enjoy a walk. Not only does Brussels have Manneken Pis, it also has the most delicious waffles, chocolates and pints. This is a city where culture vultures, shopaholics, and gourmets & gourmands can all make merry!
One last hotel breakfast buffet and your cycling holiday will come to an end. Make your own way home.
Starting point of the cycling holiday: Bruges
Total distance cycled: 320 km (approx)
Route Map (For guidance only):
Routes maybe subject to change or alteration. All route notes, maps and day-by-day information will be given to you upon arrival at the first hotel or at the welcome meeting. GPS/GPX Files are available for most our the cycling holidays we offer. Please ask us for details.
- Double room with private facilities
- Standard Bike Hire
- Breakfast and dinner when half board supplement is paid
- Luggage Transfer
- English roadbook + map
- Handy roadbook holder
- Booking costs
- Flights to/from the start and finish
- Evening meals (unless stated)
- Local daily taxes (Payable at the hotel)
- Water Bottles
- Travel Insurance
- Bike Insurance (unless stated)
- Welcome Meetings (unless stated)
- Transfers (unless included)
We have put a calendar of events together that will provide you with some inspiration of what you can expect on your holiday, and when the best time to jet off is. Now’s your chance to travel further than you can by foot and be part of a memorable and exciting two-wheel journey with us.