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 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.
Please note: We're currently making some improvements to our trips in Belgium for 2024 bookings. Holiday details may differ to what's currently on sale for 2023.
Arrive early and head for the enchanting cobbled streets and squares, canals, medieval-looking buildings and its charming ambiance.
Overnight Hotel Velotel, Bruges (breakfast included).
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.
Overnight Amaryllis Hotel, Maldegem (breakfast included).
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.
Overnight Chamade Hotel, Ghent (breakfast included).
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.
Overnight Abalona B&B, Dendermonde (breakfast included).
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.
Overnight Van de Valk Hotel, Antwerp (breakfast included).
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.
Overnight Mercure Hotel Vé, Mechelen (breakfast included).
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!
Overnight NH Brussels EU Berlaymont, Brussels (breakfast included).
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.
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.
NEARBY: This cozy and recently refurbished family-run hotel has just 12 bedrooms, all ensuite with bath and shower, TV, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi. The property also offers a sun terrace, bar and brasserie (open daily excl. Thursdays and Sundays). There is a choice of restaurants within a short walk or taxi ride of the hotel (the nearest is 1.2km away)
NEARBY: Hotel Chamade is a 3-star hotel located in a residential area, close to the Sint-Pieters station and within walking distance of the historical centre of Ghent. The comfortable, modern rooms have complimentary Wi-Fi, flat screen TV, minibar and tea & coffee making facilities as well as an ensuite bathroom with bath and/or shower. There is a breakfast room on the top floor with a buffet offering local produce where possible and a bar where you can have a drink. There are local restaurants (and a supermarket) in the same street as the hotel.
NEARBY: The Abalona luxury B&B, located just 1.9km from Dendermonde's market square, offers contemporary and very comfortable accommodation. As well as its own vineyard, the property offers a lounge area with a bar, a tranquil garden space with a koi carp pond and outdoor seating with parasols.
NEARBY: The Van der Valk Hotel is a contemporary 4 star hotel with excellent facilities and part of the family-owned Van der Valk group. The comfortable, ensuite rooms offer complimentary Wi-Fi, bathroom with rain shower, air conditioning, flat screen TV, free coffee and tea making facilities and a refrigerator with free 2 bottles of mineral water. There is also a heated swimming pool, a sauna (swimsuits obligatory) and a fitness room with both cardio and strength training equipment. The restaurant, Bistro Stiel is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner with typical Belgian dishes and seasonal suggestions while the cosy bar is open for quick and tasty snacks such as burgers or finger food.
NEARBY: This 4* design hotel sits on the cosiest little square in Mechelen - the Vismarkt - and is located in a former fish smokehouse and cigar factory. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and a wellness area with swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi and two saunas (wellness facilities are at an extra cost per person, payable locally).
NEARBY: Located in the heart of the European Quarter, this contemporary hotel offers a great base from which to explore this fabulous city. The hotel offers 214 stylish rooms with ensuite bathrooms, boasting plenty of space. The onsite restaurant and bar provides a cosy place to relax after a day on the bike.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Head Water were efficient and reliable in organising our trip which was as advertised. The cycling was good on mostly flat traffic free roads and paths through fields and villages and alongside canals and rivers. Cycling directions were mostly clear, following mostly well signposted cycle routes, apart from twice coming across unexpected diversions due to road/track works. Our ebikes were good, however one of us had hired an ordinary bike and it had no front suspension forks, which she found a problem on the occasional pebbly road in in villages, and it had no lights. The accommodation was generally good, clean and comfortable, in good locations
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
Bike fitting at the start of your holiday
Comprehensive route directions provided prior to departure
Luggage transfers between hotels
How to book:
To book this holidays speak to our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'book now' or 'check availability' button below.
To book this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'Book now' or 'check availability' button below.
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 call for details and prices
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £164 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
This holiday does not include any flights or rail.
To book this holidays speak to our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'book now' button above.
If you need further information before you book simply complete our Holiday Enquiry Form and a member of our sales team will get back to you.
To book this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'Book now' or 'Check availability' button below.