Bike & Barge: From Bruges to Brussels - Cycling in Fantastic Flanders
8 days | Ship: MS Magnifique II | Guided or self-guided cycle tour
Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels and marvellously historic Mechelen too – put together all of Flanders’ inspiring ‘art city’ gems, add some classic scenic cycling in between and crown it all with a luxury Dutch barge as your floating hotel. It’s certainly one irresistible treasure of a tour and a very special treat too when your accommodation all the way from Bruges to Brussels is the on board the classic new premium barge, MS Magnifique II.
Whether you choose a standard cabin or treat yourself to a delightful upper deck suite with your own panoramic window views, there simply couldn’t be a more stylish way to relax – apart from pushing those pedals across the gentle Flemish landscapes and stopping to sit and sip a well-deserved Belgian beer on some rural café terrace of course!
Cycle out on guided or self-guided day rides to explore the medieval masterpieces of Bruges and take a gentle spin through green polder landscapes to the golden dunes of the coast, before cruising away to Moerebrugge and pedalling off along the Ghent-Oostende canal into Flanders’ famous university city. Second only in size to Paris in the Middle Ages, Ghent today is a still very much a beautiful treasure, but further along the River Schelde, historic Dendemonde and diamond trading city, Antwerp are calling. Pay homage here to the great Flemish painter, Rubens, and wonder at his work in the Cathedral of Our Lady, the largest Gothic church in the Low Countries. En route to Lier, the city’s suburbs make for some pretty scenic cycling with their smart villas and neat little gardens, then there’s another (River) ‘Nete’ cycleway as you head towards the Willebroek Canal. With its compact, historic centre and fascinating museums like ‘The Mad Art Collection’, Mecheln is a real must-see, before the gilded buildings, artistic offerings or cheeky little ‘Mannekin Pis’ in the beautiful centre of Brussels finally win your heart.
This linear tour route is available in both directions, starting either in Bruges or Brussels in Belgium. Return travel to your start point is possible by train, but this is not included in the tour price.
Nice & Easy - Gentle touring by bike along flat cycle tracks, along former canal- and river-side tow paths, minor roads and lanes lined with poplars. Some small and short ascents only in areas where there are drainage dykes and bridges. Cycle map includes route options, so you have the flexibility to shorten or extend your bike tour as you wish.
* Bruges – ‘Venice of the North’, and almost intact medieval city * North Sea coast – dunes, beaches and café culture * Ghent – university town packed with medieval art and architecture * Dendermonde – historic centre with ‘Vleeshuis’, city hall and belfry * Antwerp – diamond city famed for its cathedral and famous son, Rubens * Mechelen – the city with a hugely historic, but very compact heart * Brussels – gilded buildings, Gothic town hall and impressive marketplace