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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • hotels
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1390USD

Walk and cycle Europe with confidence

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Overview

Trip Code: BUB

Trip highlights


  • Discovering the Art cities of Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels
  • Sampling the exquisite chocolates, waffles and beer in atmospheric cafes and bars
  • Exploring the picturesque, quiet Flemish countryside
  • Cycling at your own pace on a relaxed self guided itinerary

“Flemish Masters 2018-2021” is a special event in Belgium with a spotlight on the art cities of Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Mechelen and Brussels. The event showcases the three painters: Jan Van Eyck 1390–1441, Pieter Bruegel 1525-1569 and P.P. Rubens 1577-1640, who had connections to these art cities. During this week long cycle holiday, follow the Flemish Masters to the most beautiful towns in Belgium and admire their artworks in the Old Masters Museum in Brussels, St. Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, KMKSA and Rubens House in Antwerp, St. John’s Church in Mechelen and Groeninge Museum in Bruges. In between towns, there will be ample opportunity to explore the special pockets of this enchanting country. Much of the mainly flat route is alongside a river, past fields and through woods. At the end of the cycling day, stay in comfortable hotels and explore charming cities where local specialities such as beer, mussels and chocolate are waiting to be sampled.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

On arrival in Brussels, make your way to the joining hotel for check in then head for the Grande Place. 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 will thrive.

Meals:  Nil

After one last tour of the Grande Place it’s time to leave the city behind. Cycle through the suburbs to Grimbergen, known for its lovely abbey church, a baroque basilica. Then continue on tree-lined country lanes, past a series of ponds, along a river, around a wood and through meadows and cropfields to Mechelen: not as large as the other Flemish towns but just as nice.

Meals:  B

In the town of Sint-Kathelijne-Waver, at the Ursuline Institute, a boarding school run by nuns, an exquisite surprise awaits. The convent/school complex, Our Lady of Wavre, is a successful blend of art nouveau, neo-Gothic and art deco. Best of all, the winter garden. Feast your eyes on a masterpiece of art nouveau, an ode to nature, springtime and light. Back outside, continue through the countryside to Duffel on the River Nete. And, yes! This is actually the town where “duffel” originated from: the heavy, woolly material used initially for bags and later for duffle coats, made popular by the British Royal Navy and still trendy today. In the 15th century, duffel was produced here and exported all over Europe: a profitable business for then-prosperous Duffel. The route continues past Mortsel and Berchem. If you are into military heritage, stop off in Mortsel to visit Fort no. 4 of the originally eight Brialmont Forts (1860-1864) that made up the defensive line of Antwerp. It is built in brick with sandstone decorations and stands on an island surrounded by a ditch. Finish your day in Antwerp, a city with a long beer tradition and countless cafes. Discover the beautiful Old Town or go shopping for antiques and curio’s, home deco, vintage fashion finds or diamonds.

Meals:  B

During most of today’s route, the River Scheldt will show you the way. Near Kruibeke, you will find Wissekerk Castle. In the 10th century this was a so-called water castle and part of the defense line of Antwerp along the River. A little farther on, cross the Scheldt by ferry. Then proceed atop the river dike to De Zilverreiger, a regional museum focused on preserving knowledge about trades and crafts that once flourished locally: basket weaving, river fishery, cooperage (barrel making), flax processing and clog making. End the day in Dendermonde with its impressive Town Hall & Belfry. After checking in to your hotel, take some time to visit the Church of Our Lady boasting a baptismal font from the 11th century.

Meals:  B

You will soon be back on the Scheldt river banks, cycling past a string of Flemish villages and towns. Laarne Castle is a great place for a break before continuing to Ghent. The Old Town of Ghent is like an open-air museum. It is also a UNESCO Creative City of Music. The music scene here is thriving. Festivals, musical institutions, the carillon, concerts, students of music having a singsong on the quays… music is everywhere. After dark the ambiance is magical, thanks to the town’s ingenious lighting.

Meals:  B

Head west and discover the rural Meetjesland region, a cycling paradise with woods, meadowland and vast cropfields. It is an easy ride through the flat landscape to Eeklo, a small town known for its many sculptures. Continue through the Het Leen and Drongengoed woods. In the evening, put your feet up in Maldegem or Lembeke.

Meals:  B

Yet another lovely route through the flat Flemish countryside. After Maldegem you will pass some quiet villages such as Knesselare, Maria-Aalter and Moerbrugge. On the last stretch, follow the Ghent-Bruges canal which dates from the 14th century and is one of the oldest in the country. Together with its towpath verges, it forms a green corridor that is important for biodiversity. Your destination Bruges is a true gem, known as the 'Pearl of Flanders'. It is a truly enchanting town that has been welcoming tourists for about 150 years. With most of its medieval architecture intact, you have a sense of times gone by when the town was at the centre of the European wool and cloth trade. After checking in to your hotel, we recommend heading to the Markt for some delicious waffles, chocolates or beer.

Meals:  B

Arrangements conclude in Bruges after breakfast. We can assist with booking extra nights accommodation if you'd like to stay longer in Bruges - please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts: continental style and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices
  • 7 nights in 3-4 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Information pack including route notes, maps, tourist information per room booked. (GPS tracks are available on request)
  • Emergency hotline
  • Luggage transfer between hotels - limited to 1 piece of luggage per person weighing a max 20kg. Excess charge for extra luggage items to be booked and paid before departure. Please note that small bags cannot be attached to the main luggage, they will be charged as separate pieces of luggage.
  • 24 speed rental bike with pannier, helmet, repair kit and lock (e-bikes available - supplement applies)
  • Tourist tax

  • Travel to and from Bruges / Brussels
  • All drinks, lunches and dinners. A dinner package can be booked which includes a 3 course dinner each night except in Brussels and Dendermonde - supplement applies
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Ferries, allow approx 1-2 EUR per ferry
  • Excess luggage - supplement applies. Each piece of extra luggage will be charged a supplement. Luggage cannot be heavier than 20kgs due to work safety rules.

Bike information


Grading

moderate  

This trip involves 6 days cycling between 34 and 65km / 21 and 40mi per day, usually along paved cycle paths and quiet county roads across generally flat terrain. The well-posted cycle route is generally low traffic and often car-free. In and out of the cities there will be some traffic. You need only carry your camera/rain gear and water bottle. Your luggage is transported for you between hotels/inns. The trip is graded moderate and is considered suitable for competent cyclists with a good level of fitness. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list and we do provide one for each client.


Departure dates

Every Saturday from 3 Apr to 25 Sep

Notes

DN1
For a reverse itinerary beginning in Bruges see utracks.com/BCB

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1390USD

Options & Supplements*
  • E-Bike SupplementUSD$90
  • single supplementUSD$470
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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