Starting in the historic centre of Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000 with a plethora of landmarks, museums and historical sights, the city has a fairytale atmosphere with its cobbled streets and squares, canals on which you can take boat trips past the traditional houses as well as its medieval architecture. Bruges is also world-famous for its lace production.
On your journey southeast, from the 'Venice of Northern Flanders', follow the artwork of the Flemish Masters - Van Eyck, Bruegel and Rubens with exhibitions and events during 2021 along the route. You get a chance to visit the iconic cities of Ghent and Antwerp before arriving in Brussels. The Old Town of Ghent is like an open-air museum - it is also a UNESCO Creative City of Music with the music scene here absolutely thriving. Visit forts and castles that made up the fortification line of Antwerp, a city famous for its beer traditions as well as its antiques, home decor curios and diamonds.
Arriving in Belgium's capital city of Brussels, you would be excused if you were to add a few extra nights on to do a city break here after the cycling ends to discover the variety of monuments, historic sites and architecture as well as shopping arcades, parks, gardens, art galleries and museums. Discover why Brussels is famous for its food, comic strips as well as the world-famous Manneken Pis statue, the Atomium and the amazing Grande Place.
Arrive early and head for the enchanting cobbled streets and squares, canals, medieval-looking buildings and its charming ambiance.
Stay at the Hotel Velotel with breakfast.
Follow the Ghent-Bruges Canal out of town today - it dates back to the 14th century and is one of the oldest in Belgium. Together with its towpath verges, it forms a green corridor that has proved valuable for biodiversity. Cycle through quiet villages such as Moerbrugge, Maria-Aalter and Knesselare and enjoy the flat Flemish countryside on the way to delightful Maldegem. In the evening, put your feet up or stroll round Maldegem.
Stay at the Amaryllis Hotel with breakfast.
Today you cross the rural Meetjesland region, a cycling paradise with woods, meadowland and vast cropfields. Enjoy the play of light as you ride your bike through the woods of Het Leen and Drongengoed then it's easy-pedalling through the flat landscape to Eeklo, a small town known for its many sculptures. Continue on to Ghent, the Old Town of which is like an open-air museum. The city is also a UNESCO Creative City of Music - the music scene here is absolutely thriving with festivals, music institutions, the carillon, concerts and students of music having a singsong on the quays… music is everywhere. After dark, the ambiance is magical, thanks to the town’s ingenious street lighting.
Stay at the Europahotel with breakfast.
For most of the day, the River Scheldt will be your guide - follow it upstream past a string of Flemish villages and towns. The 13th century castle in the village of Laarne is a real eyecatcher and a great place for a break. End the day in Dendermonde and be sure to discover the Town Hall & Belfry and visit the Church of Our Lady that boasts a baptismal font from the 11th century.
Stay at the Abalona B&B with breakfast.
Make your way back to the River Scheldt and cycle along the top of the river dike towards Antwerp. De Zilverreiger, a regional museum focused on preserving knowledge about trades and crafts that once flourished locally such as basket weaving, river fishery, cooperage (barrel making), flax processing and clog making provides a delightful interlude this morning. After crossing the Scheldt by ferry, you reach Kruibeke, home to Wissekerk Castle, which was a so-called water castle and part of the defense line of Antwerp along the river in the 10th century. Finish the day in Antwerp, a city with a long beer tradition and countless cafes.
Stay at the Hampton Antwerp with breakfast.
It’s only a short trip today so you have time to discover the beautiful Old Town of Antwerp or go shopping for antiques and curios, home deco, vintage fashion finds or even diamonds before setting off towards Mechelen. If you are into military heritage, visit Fort no. 4 of the original eight Brialmont Forts (1860-1864) that made up the defensive line of Antwerp. Continue along quiet country lanes and alongside the River Nete to Duffel (yes, this is actually the town where “duffel” originated from). In the 15th century, duffel was produced here and exported all over Europe. In the town of Sint-Kathelijne-Waver, at the Ursuline Institute, the convent/school complex, is a successful blend of art nouveau, neo-Gothic, neo-Empire and art deco. Best of all: the winter garden! Finish your day in Mechelen, home of the 13th century St Rumbold’s Cathedral and its tower with 360-degree views of the city.
Stay at the Mercure Hotel Vé with breakfast.
Cycle along tree-lined country lanes, past a series of ponds, along a river, around a wood and through meadows and cropfields towards Brussels. Along the way, pass Tervuren, known for the Royal Africa Museum. In Brussels itself, you'll find a cosmopolitan mix of cultures, as can be seen in the streets, the restaurant menus and the people. Make a bee-line for the Grande Place and go for a walk. Not only does Brussels have the Manneken Pis, it also has the most delicious waffles, chocolates and pints of craft beer. This is a city where culture vultures, shopaholics, gourmets & gourmands have the best time!
Stay at the NH Brussels Grand Place Arenberg with breakfast.
After breakfast, you depart from Brussels.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £ per adult per day and £ per child per day.
NEARBY:Located within easy reach of the centre of Bruges, the Velotel has 115 very comfortable and refurbished rooms, decorated with a nod to cycling tourism and with great facilities including ensuite bathroom with bath or shower, air-conditioning, flat screen TV and complimentary Wi-Fi. There is a garden, a restaurant with tea room and a bar with a lounge and sun terrace. Guests also have complimentary use of the sauna, fitness area, petanque and tennis.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. However, as this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 7 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of , and hotels
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
Route directions and maps
High quality bikes
Luggage transfers between hotels
How to book:
We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website. Please contact us for further details.
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
This holiday does not include any flights or rail.