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The West Flanders region grants the ideal mix of culture and nature. It is one of those unique places, where you can enjoy silence along canals and open landscapes, but where culture is never far away. Along the tour, you can discover the history of World War I (Ieper and Diksmuide). The most interesting town on this tour is of course Bruges, the famous historic town with its wonderful cultural heritage.
Bruges called Brugge by its native Dutch language name which assumedly used to signify landing stage, it is one of Europe’s most important landmarks as the city has hardly changed since the Middle Ages. The comprises the historic city of Bruges proper, considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, and the towns of and most of its medieval architecture is intact, but also has fine modern art collections. Several beers are named for Bruges, such as Brugse Tripel, Brugs Blond, Brugs Witbier and Straffe Hendrik.
Level: Flat and easy, suitable for untrained bicyclists and families with children if able to bicycle 50 km/31 miles.
Bicycling path: Quiet, mostly paved backroads/marked bicycling lanes
Highlights The nice cycling along fields, canals, dunes and the coast, the architecture of monasteries, windmills and castles The medieval towns Ieper, Poperinge, Diksmuide and Bruges a world heritage, The coastal towns of De Haan, Heist and Knokke The burgundy atmosphere in pubs and restaurants and of course chocolate, waffles and French fries.
After arriving in Roeselare you can start with a small tour to the basilica of Dadizele and discover the landscape around the city. Or first visit Roeselare, with the National Cycling Museum, the brewery of Rodenbach, the old cemetary, the city park along the Mandel river, the Castle of Rumbeke with various exhibitions and the city center known for its vibrating shopping streets.
Our first cycling tour will bring us to Ieper, a beautiful medieval town with a stunning market place and the famous town-gate ‘Menenpoort’. We will also pass the Tyne Cot cemetery, the biggest churchyard for English soldiers all over the world. In Ieper, you can visit the ‘In Flanders Fields Museum’ (to be paid on the spot). Cycling around Ieper is a nice experience, especially passing through the charming hills. You can also walk around the city and follow the ramparts route.
On this tour, we will pass another nice medieval town: Poperinge, popular because of the ‘hoppe’ cultivated in this area. But, certainly also very interesting is the abbey of Saint Sixtus, where the best beer in the world is brewed. We will cycle further along the banks of the ‚Yzer‘ to Diksmuide, where the “Yzertoren”, a well-known monument of World War I, can be visited. You can also enjoy the beauty of the historic market place.
It is almost unbelievable how many cultural heritage can be discovered in such a rural region. Indeed, the destination we are all excited about is of course Bruges, with its historic town center and the stunning belfry.
The fifth day, we will explore the area between Bruges and Knokke, the most mondain village of the Belgian coast. It will again be an unforgettable trip, through the polder landscapes and the dunes. The main sight of this tour is the nature reserve ‘Het Zwin’ and the picturesque village Damme. Or, when it is warm enough, you can go swimming in the sea!
This day will again be an exciting day, as we will visit another nice place on the Belgian coast. De Haan is a village which has protected very well the “Belle Epoque” style 19th century.
Our last cycling tour will bring us back to Roeselare. This tour passes two nice castles, d’Aertrycke and Wijnendaele. They are both really worth a visit! After arrival in Roeselare, it is possible to visit the national cyclist museum, entrance fee to be paid on spot
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