Hotel De Tuilerieen
Hotel De Tuilerieen is an elegant patrician house from the 15th century that has been transformed into a luxurious, contemporary hotel. All rooms combine modern comfort with authentic charm.
There is nothing quite like biking through Belgium’s contrasting landscape of flatlands in Flanders and the rolling hills in French-speaking Wallonia. It’s truly a cyclist’s dream and home to arguably the most scenic cycling in Europe. There are miles of bicycle paths that zigzag along romantic canals and wind their way between quaint towns, charming castles, outdoor cafés and incredible restaurants. This combination of bicycle infrastructure, gorgeous scenery, delicious food and varied culture help explain why cycling is the country’s national sport. For pedaling aficionados, Belgium is a bicycling, foodie and craft beer mecca to include on your biking bucket list!
In Belgium, the beer culture is at a level of refinement, depth and complexity that easily rivals any renowned wine region. There are 1,100+ beers brewed in Belgium. In addition to six Trappist ales and other abbey beers, it churns out lagers such as Stella Artois and Jupiler. Tipplers can also choose from an array of wheat beers, brown ales, red beers, golden ales, saison beers based on old farmhouse recipes, and any number of regional brews. Our new Belgium bike tour gives you access to more boutique breweries than any other European bicycle tour. This is a dream cycling vacation!
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Welcome! Today we meet at 12:30 pm for a welcome toast and a quick ride in the town of Clervaux, Luxembourg. You will then have the opportunity to visit “The Family of Man.” This exhibition, housed in the Clervaux Chateau, comprises 503 photographs by 273 artists from 68 countries, and was created by Edward Steichen for the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
After breakfast we begin our first ride across the border into Belgium. We ride across the Ardennes—where the landscape alternates between forests and lush farmlands—see several WWII memorials and tiny villages, such as Achouffe, the site of the renowned La Chouffe brewery.
Today we ride further into the Belgian countryside. The mountains become more round and the creeks become smaller. A highlight of the day is Dinant, a town between the river Meuse and cliffs that features a magnificent overhanging citadel and is the home to the Leffe Abbey.
Today you’ll notice the road signs change from French to Flemish as we cross into Flanders, the Flemish part of Belgium. More than half of today’s ride is on a bike path built on an ancient railway. Namur, with its Citadel and historic town center, is a must-see along the way. We also stop in Hoegaarden, a small village that has always been an important brewing center, for a tasting and lunch. After lunch, we end our ride in the center of Leuven, a prominent historical and cultural Flemish center. We also have a visit to its amazing gothic city hall.
This is a mostly flat ride on a bike path along channels and riversides, a relaxing ride after challenging days. We ride along the Dijle River and to the charming Mechelen, a gem of a city that blends Flemish character and unique architecture represented by a stunning bell tower that’s open to visitors.
Today’s ride once again makes use of beautiful bike paths. The short extra loop starts from the Flemish market square in Geraardsbergen to the most iconic muren (walls)—Kapelmuur and Bosberg—which were made famous by the Tour of Flanders. The loop ends in our destination town of Oudenaarde, which has an amazing main square with several monumental buildings and one of the most important cycling museums in Belgium, which we visit!
The first part of our ride today offers an optional loop on the final circuit of Tour of Flanders, featuring more iconic cobblestone climbs such as Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont. The rest of the day is a quiet ride along channels, bike paths and Flemish countryside, ending in Belgium’s most popular UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic center of Bruges, where we meet a local guide for a tour.
On our final day of riding we cycle along the ancient canals that connect Bruges with the North Sea. Around midway through, we enter the Netherlands through the town of Sluis in an area known for its dunes, windmills and polders, riding along the sea. We visit the historical village of Damme (with an optional lunch) and ride along the picturesque channels surrounding Bruges.
After breakfast around 9 am, we part ways. Taxis are available to the Bruges train station or perhaps, another night or two in Bruges would be more desirable!