Belgium is, of course, famous for its high quality production of beer and chocolate. Add to that mix: the country’s huge network of small, cycle friendly roads and paths, its incredible inventory of historically important battlefields and finally, its too good to believe “art” cities, and you could easily argue that Belgium is the bicycle tourist’s version of “heaven on earth”.
We will begin our tour in the Belgian region of Flanders, known for its medieval cities with magical market squares surrounded with steep-gabled brick houses, lofty spires and meandering canals. Flanders language is Dutch; the transportation of choice is bicycle and the food, beer and wine is something to truly savor and write home about.
We start our tour in Ghent, a city that charms with its exploration inviting cobbled streets, wandering canals and engaging museums. Let our little loop ride from Ghent introduce you to the wonders of wild yeast fermented lambic beer and the best bike race museum in Belgium.
We then ride to Bruges, a city that was forgotten for ages, but is now a discovered gem. Since this beautiful city is sometimes crowded with tourists, we avoid the crowds and take a nice countryside ride to the Netherlands coast. Don’t fret, the bus tourists will disappear by your return, giving you ample opportunity to enjoy the many pleasures of this remarkable town.
Our ride to Ieper puts you into the heart of Flanders countryside with its rich agricultural tapestry threaded by easy riding canal-side paths. We do include a stop for a tour at a famous Trappist style brewery. You deserve this reward before the final few miles into Ieper. World War I events take center stage in Ieper. Close to 500,000 soldiers were presumed lost or missing in the “Salient” or front line bulge that surrounded the town.
Wallonia is the southern, French speaking part of Belgium. The food and wine are magnifique and make up for the extra little exertions that the more rolling terrain may require. We journey to Tournai our first stop in Wallonia. The city was heavily firebombed during WWII but its Cathedral amazingly survived. The Grand Place with its uncountable shops, bars and restaurants is a great place to enjoy the company of your companions as you discuss the sites and wonders of this city.
Mons was declared a European City of Culture in 2015. This designation helped highlight its architectural treasures and wealth of museums. Enjoy the loop ride which juxtaposes the region’s recent prowess in mining and industrial processing with a prehistoric equivalent.
Marvel at Man’s technological achievements on our ride to Waterloo. The Brussels – Charleroi canal boasts topographic conquering constructions that simply need to be seen to be believed.
Waterloo has been one of Belgium’s most visited tourist destinations since soon after the famous 1815 battle. Here General Wellington led English, Dutch and German forces in a ferocious engagement with Napoleon’s legions. Visit the museum devoted to Wellington in town and then cycle to the battlefield site with its overlooks, museums and memorials as we proceed on our tour of a lifetime.
Our final stay is in the Flemish town of Leuven – a university town with charm and beauty in abundance. Savor the gustatorial rewards of being in Belgium while you marvel at the gothic excesses in the town square just steps from our hotel We haven’t left out a final opportunity to savor another medieval treasure with our quick romp to Mechelen.
So, have we enticed you with our brief overview of what you can expect to enjoy on this PennyWise Tour? We hope to convince you that this is one tour you don’t want to miss! Check out the day by day detailed description by clicking on the button below!