Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders

 
Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
Bike holidays
    in Flanders

                 An ecological   Flanders, a city   Partners for
How to develop                                                     Cycling along the
                 discovery at    trip trough        your bike
a bike holiday                                                     node network
                 your own pace   nature             holiday
Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
Content                                                      Content

    Content                                                                Route 1                                   Route 2

                                                                 Beer route                                      Flemish
                                                                                                                 Masters route

I                                 II
                                                                    Read more        Angle-Right
    Flanders:                      Cycling in                                                                     Read more    Angle-Right
    Craftsmanship                  Flanders along
    at the heart of                the node                                Route 3
    Europe                         network:
                                   Attractive, safe              The Best of                                     A compendium
        Read more   Angle-Right
                                   and comfortable               Flanders route                                  of regional
                                                                                                                 cycling routes
                                       Read more   Angle-Right      Read more        Angle-Right
                                                                                                                  Read more    Angle-Right

III Cycling holidays

                                  IV
    in Flanders: a
    strong project                 B2B platform:
                                   Practical, useful
        Read more   Angle-Right    and inspiring
                                       Read more   Angle-Right
                                                                 V  Accessible
                                                                    tourism                                      VI  Partner
                                                                                                                     overview

                                                                       Read more                   Angle-Right          Read more            Angle-Right
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Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
I. Flanders: Craftsmanship at the heart of Europe

       Flanders:
I   Craftsmanship
    at the heart of                            Flanders is a tale of impressive
                                              Flemish people, ground-breaking
        Europe                                craftsmanship, historic heritage,
                                               astonishing landscapes and an
                                             unparalleled gastronomic, drinking
                                                     and dining culture.

                               Angle-Right      Art, heritage and the Flemish Masters

                               Angle-Right      Flavourful Flanders

                               Angle-Right      In Flanders Fields

                               Angle-Right      A wide array of landscapes and monuments

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Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
I. Flanders: Craftsmanship at the heart of Europe       I. Flanders: Craftsmanship at the heart of Europe

Art, heritage and the                                                              “In Flanders, we enjoy
Flemish Masters                                                                     life and we love good
Flanders is able to draw on a centuries-old cultural                                food. You'll continue
heritage that is as rich as it is varied. Its host of
world-famous museums, galleries and art centres                                     to experience that any
put this heritage on display, and special events                                    time you’re in Flanders
are organised in its honour all year round. Able to
boast artists such as Jan van Eyck, Pieter Bruegel                                  for a bite to eat”.
the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens and James Ensor,
                                                                                        Chef Peter Goossens - Hof van Cleve
Flanders promises art lovers the time of their life
when they visit. There’s no better time to visit
Flanders and discover the Flemish Masters than
from 2021 to 2022, when the Royal Museum of
Fine Arts in Antwerp will be reopened, 450 years of
Bruegel's life and work will be celebrated, and the                                 Flavourful Flanders
Ghent Altarpiece will be restored and returned to
                                                                                    With 97 restaurants listed with one or more
its home at St Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent.
                                                                                    Michelin stars, Flanders is more densely packed
                                                                                    with first-class dining establishments than
Discover the Flemish Masters route                                                  most places in the world. There’s no doubt that
                                                                                    anyone interested in treating themselves to
                                                                                    a first-rate culinary experience is sure to find
                                                                                    what they are looking for in Flanders. That said,
                                                                                    Flanders also has an incredibly broad selection
                                                                                    for any budget: from chip stands or street food
                                                                                    to cafés and brasseries. In addition to chips and
                                                                                    chocolate, Flanders has a prolific, exuberant
                                                                                    and centuries-old beer tradition that is still very
                                                                                    much alive today. Experts adore Flemish beers
                                                                                    for their diversity, real taste and character.

                                                                                    Discover the Beer Route

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Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
I. Flanders: Craftsmanship at the heart of Europe   I. Flanders: Craftsmanship at the heart of Europe

In Flanders Fields
For four years, Flanders also set the
dramatic stage for some of the bloodiest
battles of the First World War (1914-18).
To this day the landscape continues to
testify to this history of war. There are
hundreds of monuments and cemeteries
of tremendous historical significance to
people visiting from all corners of the
world. Visitors can visit any number of
different interactive museums. These
explain the various aspects of the conflict,        A wide array of landscapes
such as the battles, what daily life was like,      and monuments
and the consequences of war in general.
                                                    Golden fields of wheat, vast polders, dunes and sandy beaches
                                                    along the kilometre-long coast, with steep climbs in the
                                                    Flemish Ardennes or the purple moors of the Limburg Kempen:
                                                    it’s a feast of colour and texture for the eyes like no other.
                                                    Quiet areas, forests, lakes and winding rivers, and a landscape
                                                    punctuated with hidden abbeys, ancient castles, renowned
                                                    museums, cathedrals and churches. From picturesque villages
                                                    to the art cities of Flanders: there is something to do anywhere
                                                    you go in Flanders, where the landscape and monuments
                                                    shift from one to the other in just the blink of an eye. In a
                                                    nutshell, this means that providing your customers with an
                                                    unforgettable cycling experience is a job easily done. Send them
                                                    cycling through the water or the placid creeks of Meetjesland,
                                                    past impressive works of art and panoramic lookouts. Finish the
                                                    route off with historical monuments, a climb up a belfry or the
                                                    search for peace and quiet in one of the many nature reserves.

                                                    Discover the Best of Flanders route
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Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
I. Flanders: Craftsmanship at the heart of Europe                                                            I. Flanders: Craftsmanship at the heart of Europe

                                                                 97 km
                                 Bruges                                                            Antwerp

                                                                                                                                     84

                                                                                                      24 k
                                                      44                                                                                  km
                                                           km

                                                                                                       m
                                                                                      km
                                                                                 65

                                                                         Ghent             66 km
                                                                                                        Mechelen
                                                                                                                  32
                                                                                                                       km                      54 km
                                                                                                                                                             Hasselt
                                                                                                                            Leuven
                                                                                                    Brussels

                                                                                                               Accessibility and transport

                                                                                                               Flanders is at the heart of Europe. A host of air
                                                                                                               and train connections are available in Brussels,
                                                                                                               and European metropolises such as London, Paris,
     Several city trips with nature                                                                            Amsterdam or Berlin are nearby. The major Flemish
                                                                                                               cities aren’t too far from each other and are easily
     as the backdrop                                                                                           accessible by train, bus, car or bicycle. Flanders is a
                                                                                                               pioneer in the area of cycle nodes and currently has
     Mixing and matching trips to the major cities of
                                                                                                               over 12,000 kilometres of signposted paths
     Flanders to create a multi-day cycling trip is no trouble
     at all. The distances between them aren’t too large and
     nature offers a gorgeous backdrop along the way.

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Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
II. Cycling in Flanders along the node network: Attractive, safe and comfortable

  Cycling in Flanders
II along the node                    Cycling is more popular than ever

       network:                    and the node network definitely has
                                   something to do with that. Flanders
  Attractive, safe and            is the number-one pioneer in the area
                                  of cycle nodes and currently has over
      comfortable                 12,000 kilometres of signposted paths.

                                   Angle-Right   A Flemish first and the craftsmanship behind it

                                   Angle-Right   Simple and ingenious

                                   Angle-Right   Infinite variation

                                   Angle-Right   Flexible and easy

                                   Angle-Right   Safe and reliable

                                   Angle-Right   And so much more

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Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
II. Cycling in Flanders along the node network: Attractive, safe and comfortable   II. Cycling in Flanders along the node network: Attractive, safe and comfortable

                                                                                                              “Flanders is currently
                                                                                                               one of the most
                                                                                                               popular cycling
                                                                                                               regions in Europe:
                                                                                                               there are over 10
                                                                                                               million trips made
                                                                                                               along the cycle nodes.”

A Flemish first and
the craftsmanship
behind it
The concept of 'cycle nodes' was invented
by the Limburg mining engineer Hugo
Bollen. Initially, nodes ensured that miners
could find their way underground in the
coal mines. In 1995 the same principle was
applied above ground in Limburg, and that
was how the first cycling network was
born. Other provinces followed suit and
today the high-quality network of cycle
nodes has made the whole of Flanders
easily accessible. This example of ground-
breaking craftsmanship has not gone
unnoticed in neighbouring countries, and
as a result similar networks can be found                                                                 › Youtube video in EN with an
criss-crossing all of Europe.                                                                               explanation of cycle nodes
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Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
II. Cycling in Flanders along the node network: Attractive, safe and comfortable   II. Cycling in Flanders along the node network: Attractive, safe and comfortable

       Simple and ingenious                                                        Infinite variation
       The loveliest and safest routes have been delineated and                    The variation is unprecedented: from the flat Kempen
       the places where two bike paths cross, forms a node. Each                   with its beautiful towns and canals, to the rugged
       node has a number and along the routes there are signs                      Flemish Ardennes and the beautiful coast.
       pointing to the next node. The entire network is clearly                    You can take long rides through vast forests, with
       signposted in both directions. All signs are at eye level and               pleasant stops along the way at a Trappist abbey or
       at fixed distances from each intersection; the same sign is                 a castle, or perhaps go cycling through cities with
       also posted again after each intersection.                                  museums to visit or cafés with outdoor terraces where
                                                                                   you can enjoy a nice meal or simply savour a glass of
                                                                                   something nice. Or maybe you would prefer cycling by
                                                                                   the picturesque villages and beautiful river landscapes:
                                                                                   it's all possible in Flanders.

                                                                                   Flexible and easy
                                                                                   The major advantage of this system
                                                                                   is that as a cyclist you can lengthen
                                                                                   or shorten your route depending on
                                                                                   the circumstances. Depending on the
                                                                                   weather, time, physical condition or
                                                                                   travel group, adjustments can still be
                                                                                   made along the way based on the
                                                                                   clear node system.

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Bike holidays in Flanders - Visit Flanders
II. Cycling in Flanders along the node network: Attractive, safe and comfortable     II. Cycling in Flanders along the node network: Attractive, safe and comfortable

Safe and reliable                                                                    Traffic rules and safety

The cycling routes within the network                                                As a cyclist you are seen as a vulnerable road user
have been carefully arranged, which also                                             in Flanders, which also means that you benefit from
means that the safest bike paths in the                                              additional protection by the law. However, there are also
most beautiful regions of Flanders have                                              a number of traffic rules that have to be followed, and
been selected. The network is regularly                                              customers who bring their own bicycles with them must meet
maintained and updated, so that you                                                  the following requirements, among others:
can always guarantee your customers
the best routes along the most beautiful
                                                                                     --    A working bell
areas of Flanders.
                                                                                     --    Good front and rear brakes - one brake is
                                                                                           sufficient for children's bikes
                                                                                     --    A white or yellow light at the front and a red
                                                                                           light at the back
                                                                                     --    A white front reflector and a red rear reflector
                                                                                     --    Reflectors on the pedals
                                                                                     --    Reflectors in the wheels or tyres with a reflective side
                                                                                     --    Children's bikes, racing bikes and mountain
                                                                                           bikes do not need to be equipped with lights or
                                                                                           reflectors unless ridden in the dark

                                                                                     Even if it is not compulsory, wearing a helmet or a fluorescent
                                                                                     vest only serves to improve safety, especially where children
                                                                                     are concerned.

                                                                                     Special rules also apply to groups.

                                                                                   > Read more about the traffic rules and safe cycling in Flanders

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II. Cycling in Flanders along the node network: Attractive, safe and comfortable   II. Cycling in Flanders along the node network: Attractive, safe and comfortable

And so much more
In addition to the routes along the node
network there are all kinds of other routes
in Flanders, such as the country-wide
cycling routes or long-distance cycling
routes (LF routes). There are loop-shaped
themed routes, cycle highways, or short
and long routes along green spaces,
villages, and cities.

Discover the regional routes

                                                                                   Chevron-up Beer route

Theme and inspirational routes

Discover our three theme and inspirational routes,
each of which has been created entirely based on
the cycle node network.

  Angle-Right   Discover the Beer route

  Angle-Right   Discover the Flemish Masters route

  Angle-Right   Discover the Best of Flanders route

                                                                                   Chevron-up Flemish Masters route                     Chevron-up Best of Flanders route
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III. Cycling holidays in Flanders: a strong project

    Cycling holidays in     In 2017 the project to promote Flanders as a
III Flanders: a strong     multi-day cycling holiday destination abroad
                             was launched. The five Flemish provincial
          project             tourist organisations and VISITFLANDERS
                              joined forces to develop an even stronger
                           and more varied range: not just for domestic
                          recreational cyclists, but for those from abroad
                                                as well.

                                                  Serious cooperation between the public
                                    Angle-Right   and private sectors

                                    Angle-Right   The best bike service for bicycle tourists

                                                  The most beautiful Flemish routes along
                                    Angle-Right   the node network

                                    Angle-Right   Pictures for your biking holidays

                                    Angle-Right   Inspiration and examples of routes

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III. Cycling holidays in Flanders: a strong project             III. Cycling holidays in Flanders: a strong project

1 . Serious cooperation
    between the public and
    private sectors
       The project is supported by the over 1,600 partners
       involved and an additional 400 stakeholders. This
       means that you, as a Flanders cycling holiday
       organiser, are able to rely on a solid professional
       network which includes:

       --   All five Flemish provincial tourist organisations
       --   The Flemish Art Cities
       --   VISITFLANDERS
       --
       --
            The Association of Flemish Provinces
            Travel agencies and tour operators
                                                                2 . The best bike service
       --   Cycling route platforms and travel writers              for bicycle tourists
       --   Bicycle service companies (luggage transport,
            bicycle rental, insurance companies, bicycle               Trade and consumer needs were identified based
            transport companies, innovative bicycle repair             on advice from panels of experts and in-depth
            companies, etc.)                                           interviews. Innovative companies and cycling
       --   Tourist enterprises (accommodation, hotels,                experts worked together to develop a sustainable
            campsites, breweries, museums, attractions, etc.)          and updated range of products, with additional
                                                                       focus on, among other things:

                                                                       --   Rental of comfortable, modern bikes
                                                                       --   Efficient baggage transport
                                                                       --   Bicycle repair
                                                                       --   Bicycle insurance
                                                                       --   Custom catering for bicycle tourists

                                                                    › Discover all partners here
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III. Cycling holidays in Flanders: a strong project                    III. Cycling holidays in Flanders: a strong project

 3 . The most beautiful Flemish                                                 5 . Inspiration and
     routes along the node network                                                  examples of routes
         As a professional, you have the option of choosing from                        A brand new digital platform has been created as
         over 12,000 km of signposted paths along the most beautiful                    part of the 'Cycling Holidays in Flanders' project. On
         landscapes, picturesque villages and art cities that Flanders                  this B2B website you will find all the information,
         has to offer. The safest, most beautiful routes for your                       contacts and inspiration you need to assemble the
         customers have been carefully arranged based on the                            finest cycling routes and packages for your customers.
         principle behind the cycle nodes:
                                                                                     › Read more about the B2B inspiration platform
         --   Attractive
         --   Safe
         --   Reliable
         --   Comfortable
         --   Flexible
         --   Experience-rich

› Read more about Cycling in Flanders along
  the node network

 4 . Pictures for your biking
     holidays in Flanders
         As part of the promotional campaign of Flanders as a new
         top biking holidays destination, we have established a
         database of pictures. These pictures give a good overview
         of recreational cycling in Flanders. You can use these
         pictures freely for the development of your biking holidays
         in Flanders. Find all pictures on the B2B platform.

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III. Cycling holidays in Flanders: a strong project                                                               III. Cycling holidays in Flanders: a strong project

Timeline B2B                                                                                                                                           4 PILARS
Over the course of three years (2017-2019) the five                           Sectoral event                         2017                                                                   2019≤
Provincial Tourist Organisations will work in close                     Best of Flanders and
concert with all cycling holiday specialists, tourist                        Flemish Masters
offices and holiday travel agents, joining forces to                                                                                                                                      Product Trade
                                                                                                                  Sector incorporation       Start services      Image development          Marketing
put multi-day cycling holidays in Flanders on the                               B2B platform
international map. The end result is a varied range,                                  launch
more bicycle tourists and an image that solidly
promotes Flanders as a cycling holiday destination.                     Sectoral event
                                                                                                                          1                       2                     3                      4
                                                                        Holiday makers
               Kick off Event                                            Beer Route
                                                                                                                  Holiday makers
               Expert panel 1                          Services Event                                                  event                Start Campaign NL/BE                           Closing event

                               Expert panel 2                                                                                                                 Workshop and FAM trip

      2017                                                                    2018                                                         2019

      Q1              Q2                 Q3                Q4                Q1              Q2        Q3               Q4                Q1                  Q2             Q3               Q4

                      Innovative Business models for service partners                      Awareness   Holiday makers cycling campaign

                            Creation of inspirational routes                                              NL/BE TRADE: update offer

                                                               Set up B2B platform                               Creation Digital Trade Brochure

                                                                                     B2B Photography                                                     National and Foreign Product Trade Marketing

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IV. B2B platform: Practical, useful and inspiring

           B2B platform:
IV        Practical, useful     The building blocks for putting a multi-day
           and inspiring        Flemish cycling holiday together can all be
                                 found on the Cycling Holidays in Flanders
                               B2B platform. The platform has been specially
                               designed for anyone interested in developing
                               the best cycling holidays for their customers.

                                        Angle-Right   Infinite possibilities

                                        Angle-Right   Routes and useful addresses

                                        Angle-Right   Bicycle-friendly accommodations

                                        Angle-Right   Free content to spark your imagination

                                                      Are you interested in finding out how the
                                        Angle-Right   B2B platform works?

                                        Angle-Right   3 themed routes

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IV. B2B platform: Practical, useful and inspiring         IV. B2B platform: Practical, useful and inspiring

                                                                        Routes and useful
                                                                        addresses
                                                                        The platform doesn’t just provide you
                                                                        with breath-taking, inspirational routes,
                                                                        but also has handy lists of addresses for
                                                                        accommodations, attractions, sightseeing
                                                                        must-sees and a variety of service partners
                                                                        that can round out your cycling package.

              Infinite possibilities                                    Bicycle-friendly
              Mix and match building blocks or themes
                                                                        accommodations
              and then update your cycling holiday
                                                                        Accommodations were chosen along
              range with tourist attractions, gorgeous
                                                                        the different routes based on their close
              bike paths and reliable service partners.
                                                                        proximity to nodes, bike-friendly offer,
              Each route is based on the bicycle-
                                                                        sufficient capacity and excellent quality.
              friendly cycle node network.
                                                                        They are all listed on the B2B platform, and
                                                                        what's more, we also provide you with
                                                                        some great ideas later on in the magazine.

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IV. B2B platform: Practical, useful and inspiring                IV. B2B platform: Practical, useful and inspiring

          Free content to spark
          your imagination
          All information on the platform, to include texts
          and photos are free to use, subject to notice of
          copyright. That means you can work out your
          favourite routes for your brochure, flyer or website
          quickly and easily. You can select the content you
          want and download it for free.
                                                                                      Are you interested in finding out how
                                                                                      the B2B platform works?

                                                                           Cycling holidays in Flanders
                                                                           B2B platform:

                                                                           --   Tourist attractions
                                                                           --   3 themed routes
                                                                           --   The best bike paths
                                                                           --   The most captivating views
                                                                           --   Bicycle-friendly accommodations
                                                                           --   Reliable service partners
                                                                           --   Texts and pictures for promotional use, etc.

                                                                           > Get started with it yourself!

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IV. B2B platform: Practical, useful and inspiring                                      IV. B2B platform: Practical, useful and inspiring

3 themed routes                                              Beer route                   Flemish Masters route                       The Best of Flanders
                                                                                                                                            Route
The selection goes beyond                           Introduce your customers to        2021 - 2022 is the ideal time to
provincial borders and                              a beer culture that has been       (re)discover the Flemish Masters.          Create a route that passes by
is divided up into three                            declared Unesco World Herita-      The programme includes: the                unique activities just for cyclists
themes: Beer, the Flemish                           ge. Are you ready to bike your     grand reopening of the Royal               as well as other Flemish sites.
Masters and the Best                                way through the best beer          Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp             Send your customers cycling
of Flanders. Click the                              country in the world? Yes?         (KMSKA), 450 years of Bruegel,             through the water, past im-
building blocks, create a                           Then you’ll be cycling through     and the restoration and return             pressive works of art and up to
route, and download it for                          golden fields of grain, past hi-   of the Ghent Altarpiece to St              panoramic lookouts.
your own use.                                       dden abbeys and right beside       Bavo's Cathedral.
                                                    unforgettable breweries.
                                                                                       > Read more about the                      > Read more about the Best
                                                    > Read more about the                Flemish Masters route                      of Flanders Route
                                                      Beer route                       > Create your own Flemish                  > Create your own Best of
                                                    > Build your own Beer route          Masters Route                              Flanders Route

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ROUTE 1: Beer route

ROUTE
             Beer route
 1                         This route, created especially for beer aficionados,
                             will provide you with all the inspiration, tools
                             and building blocks you need to put together
                          cycling holidays that pass by the most noteworthy
                            highlights of the centuries-old beer tradition in
                            Flanders, which was listed as UNESCO intangible
                                         cultural heritage in 2016.

                                   Angle-Right   En route to the heart of the craft

                                   Angle-Right   Beer museums and interactive experience centres

                                   Angle-Right   Take time to savour the flavours

                                   Angle-Right   Colourful festivals

                                   Angle-Right   Map

                                        Click on the highlight for the website or on the icon next to
        38                              the highlight for practical info on the B2B platform.”          39
ROUTE 1: Beer route                                                          ROUTE 1: Beer route

What really makes this a
sensational cycling route for true
beer lovers are the breweries,                                                                     En route to the heart of
beer museums, beer pubs and                                                                        the craft
restaurants located near cycle                                                                     A visit to any one of the hundred-plus breweries in
nodes in the most splendid tourist                                                                 Flanders will provide your customers with a unique
                                                                                                   insight into the centuries-old Flemish beer tradition,
areas of the various provinces                                                                     while at the same time giving them a chance to
                                                                                                   taste exceptional, world-class beers. Along the way,
                                                                                                   they'll get the opportunity to learn about both
                                                                                                   authentic and contemporary brewing processes.

                                                                                     1             The Westvleteren brewery is tied to the Saint Sixtus
                                                                                                   Abbey of Westvleteren , where Trappist beer has
                                                                                                   been brewed since 1839. In the café just a stone’s throw
                                                                                                   away from the abbey, visitors discover why it has been
                                                                                                   voted the best beer in the world three times by the
                                                                                                   American, ratebeer.com.

                                                                                     2             In addition to the Gruut City Brewery in the heart
                                                                                                   of Ghent, Huyghe Brewery , on the outskirts of the
                                                                                                   city, also garners considerable attention, and not least
                                                                                                   because it is home to the internationally acclaimed
                                                                                                   pink elephant!
                                                                                     3
                                                                                                   For a different experience, the beer city of Oudenaarde
                                                                                                   indulges its visitors with the typical brown beers and
Chevron-up Huyghe Brewery, Ghent   Chevron-up Brewery Liefmans, Oudenaarde                         kriek lambics to be found in the Roman , Liefmans ,
                                                                                                   Cnudde and Smisje . breweries. The beer tradition
                                                                                                   dates all the way back to the 14th century.
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ROUTE 1: Beer route                                                               ROUTE 1: Beer route

                      Chevron-up Abbey of Westmalle

                      The Abbey of Westmalle was elevated to the status
        4             of abbey of the The Order of Cistercians of the Strict
                      Observance (its followers known as Trappists) in 1836.
                      The brewery and abbey themselves cannot be visited,
                      but you can enjoy a delicious Trippel, Double or Triptrap
                      in the nearby Café Trappisten.                                                            Chevron-up Brewery Wilderen

        5             Careful watch is kept over the speciality beers that
                      are conceived, brewed and consumed at De Kroon
                      Brewery in Neerijse. The De Kroon Brewery takes a
                      holistic approach to the brewery’s activities, focussing
                      especially on the artisan craft of brewing and taste
                      experience. Pater familias, Freddy Delvaux, is considered
                      Belgium's leading taste expert when it comes to beer.
        6
                      In Wilderen, the old brewery has been fully restored and
                      the contemporary architectural design creates a pleasant
                      tension between the monument of the old distillery and
                      the brewery’s contemporary build.                           Chevron-up Brewery De Kroon

42                                                                                                                                            43
ROUTE 1: Beer route                                                                   ROUTE 1: Beer route

                 Anyone interested in a taste of Flemish red ale should visit the                                                 Chevron-Down Brewery Het Anker, Mechelen

   7             Rodenbach brewery in Roeselare. Rodenbach is a certified
                 regional product, with its recipe dating all the way back to the
                 Middle Ages. Only the southern part of West Flanders brews this
                 one-of-a-kind beer.

                                                                                      Chevron-Down Brewery Rodenbach, Roeselare
                 Family brewery, Het Anker , has been brewing beer for
                 five generations in the Groot Begijnhof (Great Beguinage) in
   8             Mechelen. In addition to the brewery itself, they also have a
                 brasserie, hotel and whisky distillery.

                 In the little village of Lot, not far from Beersel, the history of
                 the 3 Fonteinen Brewery dates back to the close of the 19th
                 century, in 1887. The brewery is famous for its traditional lambic
   9             beers and its geuze distillery. At the lambik-O-droom, you can
                 stop by for a delicious glass of Lambik, geuze or kriek. For even
                 more depth of flavour, there are also vintage bottles available
                 for purchase.

                                                                                      However, the breweries
                                                                                      listed above are in no
                                                                                      way the only ones in
                                                                                                                                         Tip:
                                                                                      Flanders. All of Flanders is                       Group tours can only be
                                                                                      punctuated by a host of                            arranged after acquiring
                                                                                      different breweries, each                          the brewery's permission
                                                                                      laying claim to its own                            in advance. We recommend
                                                                                      unique character and style.                        booking at the earliest
                                                                                      They run the gamut from                            opportunity to ensure that
                                                                                      small family businesses to                         the tour takes place on the
                                                                                      large modern breweries.                            day you had in mind.

Chevron-up Brewery 3 Fonteinen, Beersel
44                                                                                                                                                                           45
ROUTE 1: Beer route                                                                             ROUTE 1: Beer route

             Beer museums and interactive                                             Chevron-Down City brewery De Koninck

             experience centres
             Anyone looking to steep themselves in beer culture has the option
  1          of visiting any one of the many museums and interactive experience
                                                                                                                             Chevron-Down Bocholter brewery museum
             centres in Flanders. One such example is Antwerp's city brewery,
             De Koninck , where the interactive process and innovative
             approach help immerse visitors in the history of Antwerp's beer and
             give them an intimate look at how local beers are brewed.

             The Bocholter brewery museum in Limburg - Europe's largest
  2          brewery museum - provides unique insight into the art of brewing
             beer throughout the history of the Industrial Revolution, from 1758 to
             the present day.

             At VBDCK VBDCK in Tielrode visitors discover how scientists were
  3          able to take the old yeast from two neglected old bottles of Kerelbier
             from the former brewery and breathe life back into it. That would
             make it possible for them to later also kick start the brewing process
             back up again for the original, sour kriek.

             And at the Bruges Beer Museum all of the senses are awakened,
  4          taking the visitor on a fantastic journey of discovery through every
                                                                                                        Chevron-up VBDCK
             captivating aspect of beer there is. The museum takes a holistic
             approach, with beer's history, brewing processes, types, Trappists and
             food pairing all playing a key role.

           › Discover here a couple of bike friendly
             lodging near the Beer Route                                                                                                                             Chevron-up Bruges Beer Museum

46                                                                                                                                                                                              47
ROUTE 1: Beer route                                                      ROUTE 1: Beer route

               Take time to savour the                                   Chevron-Down Café in ‘t Schippershuis

               flavours
  1            There is nothing more sumptuous than savouring
               a delicious meal or a refreshing beer during
               or after a day of cycling. For example,there's
               “Café in ’t Schippershuis” in Destelbergen to be tried
               out, with its stunning location on the Scheldedijk.

               Or try the “ ’T Hemelrijk” , one of the most famous
  2            Limburg beer cafés situated right in the centre of
               Hasselt. They offer an extensive selection of Belgian
               beers.

               In the cosy café-bistro “Het Brouwershuys” in
  3            Bellegem, cyclists can enjoy the warmth of traditional
               Belgian dishes and taste fantastic recommendations
               good for those only in the mood for a snack, as well as
               starving cyclists, ready for a full-course dinner.

                                                                            4                The Eizeringen café “In de Verzekering tegen de
                                                                                             Grote Dorst” [Insurance against Unbearable Thirst]
                                                                                             has had the honour of being voted best café in the
                                                                                             world, not just once, but several times now! What’s
                                                                                             more, it's right on the Beer route!

                                                                            5                Local pub, “’t Koningsrek Zates” opened its doors
                                                                                             in 1838, and ever since it's been welcoming anyone
                                                                                             who drops by with a refreshing pint. Due to its idyllic
                                                                                             location on the Scheldt, the café has been known for
                                                                                             years as the perfect stopover during a summer bike
                                                                                             ride along the dikes.
48     Chevron-up The Brouwershuys                                                                                                                     49
ROUTE 1: Beer route                                                            ROUTE 1: Beer route

             Colourful Festivals
             Is fully immersing your customers in Flemish beer culture
             what you’re going for? Yes? Then why not plan their
             trip during one of the many beer festivals in Flanders?

             For instance, in the last weekend of April, Leuven is magically
  1          transformed into the beer capital of Belgium. During the
             Zythos Beer Festival    visitors get to taste 500 different
             beers from 100 different brewers. There are also beer walks,
             beer workshops, Beer routes and tastings. Several hotels
             offer exciting and unexpected beer packages, and several
             restaurants serve up delicious beer-based dishes.

                                                                                 2          Beer Pass Weekend in Antwerp attracts loads of beer lovers
                                                                                            annually to the Groenplaats, where they get to taste and
                                                                                            discover the very best beers of Belgium. Several different new
                                                                                            beers are introduced every year.

                                                                                 3          There are also a number of other annual events and beer
                                                                                            festivals taking place in other Flemish locations: Bruges and
                                                                                            the Pajottenland, for instance. The Flemish Ardennes are
                                                                                            known for the Adriaen Brewery Festival and the Augustinian
                                                                                            Festival in Meetjesland is not to be left out either, where the
                                                                                            beer brewing tradition is brought to life in all its grandeur.

50                                                                                                                                                            51
ROUTE 1: Beer route                                                                 ROUTE 1: Beer route

Facts & figures

                                                                                                                                                   ca.   100
                                                                                                                                                   Number of breweries
                                                                                                                                                       in Flanders

                                                                                                                                                   ca.   160
                                                                                                                                                       Number of
                                                                                                                                                   breweries in Belgium

Figures 2012                      Figures 2012
                     4.469
                                                           Belgium is the crad-
                                                                                                  700
                                                           le of the beer world
          45.000                                           due to its diversity     Number of Belgian flavour profiles
                                                           and the four dif-
        Indirect employees                    2,2          ferent methods of                                                           75.000 VISITORS
        Direct employees              billion euros
                                                           fermentation: low,                     1.500                                 to the Belgian beer
                                                                                                                                             weekend
      Number of employees           Annual turnover of     high, spontaneous
     working at breweries in        breweries in Belgium
            Belgium
                                                           and mixed.                Number of Belgian beer brands
                                                                                                                                     The Belgian Beer Weekend
                                                                                                                                     has been included among
                                                                                                                                      the 10 best beer festivals
                                                           Belgium only pro-                              18.068.783 HL                and is acclaimed for its
                               Figures 2012                duces 1% of world                                                            scope and relevance.
               72L
                                                           beer production;
                               Belgian consumption
                                                           however, as just
                               This boils down to an       one country, it                                   Figures 2012

  8.023.289 hL                 annual consumption          brews 10x its po-            Export:              Total amount of Belgian beer produced:
                               of 72 litres per capita     pulation.              11.073.469 HL              18.068.783 HL Of which 11,073,468 hL (62%) is
                                                                                                             intended for export
52                                                                                                                                                                 53
ROUTE 1: Beer route                            ROUTE 1: Beer route

 Create your own Beer
 route for your customers

 Don't waste any time discovering our
 interactive Beer route, full of inspiration,
 tips, accommodations, must sees, photos
 and sample texts, all of which can freely*
 be made use of to create your own
 unique Beer route.

> Read more about the Beer route

 *subject to notice of copyright
                                                Angle-Right   Have a closer look at the map

 54                                                                                           55
ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route

ROUTE
               Flemish
2            Masters route           This inspirational route introduces your
                                    customers to the world and works of the
                                    greatest masters of all time, including such
                                     greats as van Eyck, Bruegel and Rubens;
                                      however, this route also provides them
                                     with a glimpse of the Flemish Primitives
                                                  and local artists.

                                      Angle-Right   A world that sparks the imagination

                                      Angle-Right   Breath-taking landscapes and cities

                                                    A journey made in the shadows of
                                      Angle-Right   cathedrals and castles

                                      Angle-Right   Renowned museums to inspire the senses

                                      Angle-Right   Map

                                           Click on the highlight for the website or on the icon next to
        56                                 the highlight for practical info on the B2B platform.”          57
ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route                                                ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route

A bike ride past fascinating museums,
interactive experience centres, age-
old abbeys, churches, monasteries                                                                 A world that sparks the
and castles are all part of the story
                                                                                                  imagination
that transformed Flanders into the
cradle of so much of Europe's art and                                                             At the height of Europe's artistic and cultural rebirth,
                                                                                                  which followed the close of the Middle Ages, Flanders
culture. There's no doubt about it: it's                                                          was the source of inspiration behind the renowned
a must for every true art lover!                                                                  art movements of the time: Flemish primitivism, the
                                                                                                  Renaissance and the Baroque. A glimpse into what
                                                                                                  shaped their world makes their masterpieces an
                                                                                                  almost tangible thing.

                                                                                                  There's no better place to catch a glimpse of this than the
                                                                                       1          Bokrijk Open Air Museum Traditional folk games, long-
                                                                                                  forgotten trades and the typical houses appear to have
                                                                                                  escaped, as it were, from one or more of Pieter Bruegel the
                                                                                                  Elder's many paintings. In 2019 it is these works of art that
                                                                                                  will take centre stage in 2019 for the “The World of Bruegel”
                                                                                                  exhibition.

                                                                                      2           For those interested in taking a peek behind the scenes in
                                                                                                  the studio of art giant, and the most masterful Baroque
                                                                                                  artist north of the Alps, you can visit the Rubens House
                                                                                                  in Antwerp. It is easily one of the most famous artist's
                                                                                                  residences in the world, housing myriad masterpieces,
                                                                                                  such as the portrait of Clara Serena and other works by
                                                                                                  Anthony van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens.
Chevron-up Open air museum Bokrijk, Genk   Chevron-up Rubens house, Antwerp

58                                                                                                                                                          59
ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route                                                                   ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route

              The Museum Hof van Busleyden vividly brings
  3           the Burgundian court culture of the 15th and 16th
              centuries back to life. The museum was given a
              thorough facelift and is one of the most splendid
              city palaces of the European Renaissance that still
              remains standing. Visitors will meet face-to-face with
              both Flemish and other masters, and while walking
              through the Museum and exploring the city centre,
              they will learn all there is to know about Burgundian
              Mechelen based on their experiences there.
                                                                                                                           Breath-taking
              The old Saint John's Hospital in Bruges exudes                                                               landscapes and cities
  4           eight centuries of history from every pore. The
              hospital, once the centre of charitable care for the
                                                                                                                           The beautiful Flemish landscapes and
              sick, the poor and pilgrims, is well-preserved with
                                                                                                                           everyday life in villages and cities also inspired
              its wards and chapel having been converted into a
                                                                                                                           the Flemish Masters to paint their most
              museum. These house an impressive collection of
                                                                                                                           beautiful works of art.
              archive records, artistic masterpieces and medical
              instruments. However, the main attraction is the
                                                                                                                           A good example, perhaps, is the vast countryside
              world-famous collection of paintings by Flemish                                                    1         patchworked with green fields, farms, grazing
              primitive, Hans Memling.
                                                                                                                           horses, stud farms, mills and tradesmen residences
                                                                                                                           in Peer and its surroundings. The name of Pieter
                                                                                                                           Bruegel the Elder can be found everywhere. These
                                                                                                                           days, visitors can get acquainted with his life and
                                                                                                                           work at the museum on the market.

                                                                                                                2          Maaseik too, the quaint, picturesque town
                                                                                                                           on the Meuse, inspired the famous brothers van
                                                                                                                           Eyck. The imaginations of visitors can’t help
                                                                                                                           but be captivated by the medieval houses, a
                                                                                                                           Chemists’ Museum full of countless rows of tiny
                                                                                                                           drawers and mysterious pots, and the age-old
                                                                                                                           ecclesiastical treasures to be found in the Church
60    Chevron-up Museum Hof van Busleyden, Mechelen   Chevron-up Saint-John's hospital, Bruges                             of Saint Catherine (Sint-Catherinakerk).          61
ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route                                        ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route

  3          Traditional trades often also form a point
             of interest for visitors, but were also often
             a common theme among the works of the
             Flemish Masters. At “The Moment” interactive
             experience centre, within the walls of the
                                                                                                       A journey made in the
             Averbode Abbey the crafts of yesteryear                                                   shadows of cathedrals
             are practised and given a new lease on life.
             There is an abbey café with a brewery on the
                                                                                                       and castles
             site, along with a cheese cave (where cheese
             is allowed to mature), bakery and abbey shop                                              Since the Middle Ages, the Flemish Masters
             where everything can be tasted. The nearby                                                and their artistry, creativity and technical
             "Lekdreef" is famous miles around for its ice                                             innovations have laid claim to the world’s
             cream, and tourists often flood the street                                                great esteem. Some of their most awe-
             looking for just the right ice cream from the                                             inspiring works can be admired in sites
             many ice cream vans parked along the lane.                                                interspersed all over Flanders; they are
                                                                                                       housed in locations both as diverse as
                                                                                                       they are unique.
                                                                                                   1
                                                                                                       One of these is St. Rumbold's Cathedral in
                                                                                                       the city of Mechelen. Here, after climbing up
                                                                                                       the 97 m high tower to the skywalk , visitors
                                                                                                       have the opportunity to marvel at Anthony
                                                                                                       van Dijck's painting, The Crucifixion.

                                                                                                   2   The Gothic St Bavo's Cathedral , is the
                                                                                                       oldest parish church in the beating heart
                                                                                                       of Ghent and is home to one of the most
                                                                                                       influential paintings ever to made: The Ghent
             Chevron-up Het Moment, Averbode Abbey           Chevron-up St. Rumbold's Cathedral,
                                                                        Mechelen                       Altarpiece by the brothers van Eyck. The
                                                                                                       newly restored masterpiece can be admired in
                                                                                                       MSK Ghent until the end of 2019.
             › Ontdek hier enkele fietsvriendelijke logies
               nabij de Vlaamse Meesters route
62                                                                                                                                           63
ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route                                           ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route

  3             If you have your heart set on discovering Bruegel
                                                                                                          Renowned museums
                outside of the norm, you can visit the “Feast of
                Fools” exhibition at Gaasbeek castle . Visitors are                                       to inspire the senses
                introduced to Bruegel's cynical humour, caricatures
                and covert messages uniquely, and through the
                                                                                                          There are also a host of renowned
                artist’s adulation of landscapes and rural life get an
                                                                                                          museums where your customers can
                intimate view of his internal world.
                                                                                                          bask in the art of the Flemish Masters,
                                                                                                          both those of international renown and
                Loppem castle is the only Belgian castle
  4             where both exterior and interior have been
                                                                                                          those famed regionally.

                preserved in their original state. Baron Charles
                                                                                                          For example, the collection at the "Museum
                van Caloen had the castle built between 1859
                                                                                                          of Deinze and the Leiestreek" (MUDEL)
                and 1862, and accenting this grand location,                                        1     consists of works created by artists
                done up in the then incredibly popular neo-Goth
                                                                                                          having lived and/or worked in the region
                style, is a uniquely Flemish touch. In addition to
                                                                                                          surrounding the River Lys. This makes
                the castle's own grandeur, it houses a lavish art
                                                                                                          the Deinze Museum a regional museum,
                collection and a beautifully landscaped park.
                                                                         Chevron-up MUDEL, Deinze         boasting not only national, but also even
                                                                                                          international appeal.

                                                                                                          The strength of the Museum of Fine Arts
                                                                                                          (MSK) in Ghent (lies in its collection's
                                                                                                    2     incredible diversity, which is in a class of its
                                                                                                          own. Never before have the Old Masters and
                                                                                                          the modernists been so perfectly juxtaposed
                                                                                                          as in this iconic museum's building. Until
                                                                                                          the end of 2019, visitors will also be able
                                                                                                          to watch the restorers of van Eyck's iconic
                                                                                                          Ghent Altarpiece at work, which will then
                                                                                                          be returned to its original home in St Bavo's
                                                                                                          Cathedral.

64    Chevron-up Gaasbeek castle                                                                                                                     65
ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route                                        ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route

              The M — Museum in Leuven combines
  3           contemporary art with that of the Old Masters, a
              combination unique in Flanders. This contemporary
              building designed by the pre-eminent architect,
              Stéphane Beel, is the perfect meeting spot for
              young and old alike. Dieric Bouts’ painting, The Last
              Supper, the central panel of the Altarpiece of the
              Holy Sacrament, can also be viewed in the St. Peter's
              Church. This too belongs to the M-collection.

              The Groeninge museum in Bruges and St. John's
  4           Hospital have a collection of primitive paintings
              that is unparalleled in all the world and serves as
              a true reference for the primitivism movement,
              with masterpieces by Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling,
              Hugo van der Goes and Gerard David. In addition,
              it also boasts neo-classical masterpieces of the
              18th and 19th centuries, masterpieces of Flemish
              expressionism and a host of post-war modern art
              for art lovers to savour.

66    Chevron-up Groeninge museum, Bruges                                                              67
ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route                ROUTE 2: Flemish Masters route

 Create your own Flemish
 Masters route for your
 customers

 Don't waste any time discovering our
 interactive Flemish Masters route, full of
 inspiration, tips, accommodations, must-
 sees, photos and sample texts, all of which
 can freely* be made use of to create your
 own unique Flemish Masters route.

> Read more about the
  Flemish Masters route

 *subject to notice of copyright
                                               Angle-Right   Have a closer look at the map

 68                                                                                          69
ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route

ROUTE
               The Best of
3            Flanders route            The many faces of Flanders: that's exactly
                                      what your customers will have the chance
                                      to discover on this inspirational route. And
                                     precisely like the other themed routes, these
                                        can be mixed and matched as much as
                                                        you’d like.

                                       Angle-Right   Breath-taking nature

                                       Angle-Right   Extraordinary experiences

                                       Angle-Right   A rich, eventful past

                                       Angle-Right   Picturesque scenes

                                       Angle-Right   The Flemish history of cycling

                                       Angle-Right   Map

                                            Click on the highlight for the website or on the icon next to
        70                                  the highlight for practical info on the B2B platform.”          71
ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route       ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route

Breath-taking nature and quiet areas,                  Breath-taking nature
a rich past replete with historic                      The rustic nature of Flanders isn’t just beautiful to
events and intriguing developments,                    look at, but also provides a sense of peace while
                                                       cycling from one major Flemish city to the next.
extraordinary experiences and the                      And it’s not only lovely from the saddle of your bike.
most picturesque settings are all pit                  Why not slow down, take a stroll and explore all the
                                                       splendour that Flemish nature has to offer?
stops along their way. It’s a feast for
the senses! All of the ideas that go        1          The Kalmthoutse Heide is one of the oldest and largest
                                                       nature reserves in Flanders. It is a rare relic of what was
into making a bike ride to remember                    once a European landscape covered in heathland. The
are right there for the taking.                        reserve is criss-crossed by several different hiking trails and
                                                       bike paths along with all kinds of animal and plant species
                                                       just waiting to be discovered.

                                                       Exploring Merksplas and Wortel, where vagrant colonies
                                            2          dwelt long ago, your customers will encounter a striking
                                                       landscape and an equally impressive heritage that go
                                                       hand-in-hand with their own riveting stories. The unusual
                                                       scenery, unadulterated enjoyment of cycling and bucolic
                                                       picnic spots easily make the Kempen’s old Colonies of
                                                       Benevolence worthy of being called the best of Flanders.

                                            3          The Zwin area is one of the most remarkable mud flats
                                                       and salt marches in Flanders, forming a ribbon along part
                                                       of the Belgian coast. Every day the sea waters rush in and
                                                       flood the area. The interplay between land and sea has
                                                       turned the Zwin Nature Park into a biotope that is one
                                                       of a kind. The land is blanketed with profuse and diverse
                                                       plant growth and huge numbers of birds can be seen
                                                       darting and flitting to and fro in search of food, looking for
72    Chevron-up Kalmthoutse Heide                     a mate or a place to stay the winter.                             73
ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route                                                           ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route

                                                                                              Chevron-Down Reading Between the Lines, Borgloon

               The largest natural lake in Flanders is situated in the
  4            Vinne Provincial Domain . This nature recreation
               project, unique in Europe, has a pointed focus on
               experiencing nature, hiking trails bursting with
               adventure, corduroy roads, watchtowers, and hides.

               Anyone who wants to know what it’s like to
               experience absolute peace and quiet should visit
               the sanctuary found at Castle d'Ursel . Away from                                               Extraordinary
  5            the sounds of the vroom and honking of cars, this
               sanctuary guarantees your customers a solitary spot
                                                                                                               experiences
               among the natural sounds of the fauna and flora
               residing there. A picnic in the castle’s landscaped
                                                                                                               Flanders is synonymous with rebirth and
               garden is also an experience not to be missed.
                                                                                                               innovation, and from time to time, you might just
                                                                                                               bump into a singular surprise waiting just around
            › Discover here bike friendly lodging near                                                         the bend of your cycling route.
              the Best of Flanders Route
                                                                                                 1             For example, your customers in Bokrijk can visit
                                                                                                               "Cycling through Water" a bike path that stretches
                                                                                                               across a natural pond over 200 m long. There really is
                                                                                                               nothing like cycling along a path at eye level with the
                                                                                                               water’s placid surface, in complete harmony with the
                                                                                                               unique landscape of the Wijers. It should come then as
                                                                                                               no surprise that Time Magazine gave it a place among
                                                                                                               its World’s 100 Greatest Places!

                                                                                                 2             Gijs Van Vaerenbergh's piece, Reading Between the
                                                                                                               Lines in Borgloon consists of 100 steel sheets stacked
                                                                                                               on top of each other in the shape of a church. The
                                                                                                               special way in which it has been designed keeps the
                                                                                                               Haspengouw landscape well within view. According to
                                                                                                               British newspaper, The Guardian, this is the most jaw-
74    Chevron-up Domain castle d’Ursel            Chevron-up Cycling through water, Bokrijk                    droppingly beautiful place in Belgium.                    75
ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route                                                  ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route

                                                                                     Chevron-Down   Tyne Cot Cemetry, Passendale

                    A rich, eventful past
                    The Flemish landscape is littered with monuments
                    and sightseeing must-sees that recall its rich
                    history, a past not only brimming with progress, but
                    one often characterising the region by turbulence                                                                       Chevron-Down   Africamuseum, Tervuren
                    and tumult.

         1          The colonial section of the Brussels International
                    Exposition of 1897 created the groundwork for the current
                    Africa Museum in Tervuren, which will reopen its doors
                    to the public in December of 2018 after having undergone
                    a thorough renovation and transformation. This museum
                    boasts the world's most prolific and renowned collection
                    of ethnographic objects from Central Africa. The lovely
                    French gardens behind the Neoclassical buildings also
                    appeal to the imagination.

         2          Lamentably, Flanders also formed the backdrop for some
                    of the most heated and bloody battles of the First World
                    War (1914-18). The Tyne Cot Cemetry is the largest
                    Commonwealth cemetery on the mainland and also stood as
                    main witness to the bloody Battle of Passchendaele.

                    At Genk’s former mining site, the C-Mine expedition
         3          interactively brings to life the area’s industrial past and
                    allows visitors to see what living and working in coal mines
                    was like. Visitors get to find out what it was like to be a
                    miner by going on an adventure through the former mines.
                                                                                                                  Chevron-up C-mine, Genk
                    To top it all off, they can climb the mine shaft, which stands
                    over 60 m high.
76                                                                                                                                                                                  77
ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route                                           ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route

              Picturesque scenes                                                                                    The Flemish history
              There is no better way to explore Flanders than by
                                                                                                                    of cycling
              bike. The landscapes sail peacefully by, with the
                                                                                                                    It's impossible to ignore: cycling and
              most picturesque scenes nigh impossible to miss.
                                                                                                                    Flanders are inextricably linked, nearly
                                                                                                                    synonymous in fact.
              For example, the St Michaels Bridge in Ghent
              comes to mind as the place to go for romantic
                                                                                                                    Not too far from the Old Kwaremont
     1        souls. Whichever way your customers look, they are
                                                                                                                    your customers can cycle or walk through
              completely surrounded by the historic city centre’s
                                                                                                                    a unique piece of cycling history. On the
              charming beauty. At dusk the lights of the city only
                                                                                                                    Ronde Van Vlaanderenstraat in Kwaremont
              enchant it further.
                                                                                                                    they are given the chance to peruse the
                                                                                                                    tribute gallery with its ten life-size portraits
              It is utterly impossible to miss the Castle of Laarne
                                                                                                                    of Flanders’ Finest cycling heroes, a 1.2
  2           from the idyllic village centres of Laarne and Kalken. It
                                                                                                                    kilometre-long list of champions along the
              is one of the best-preserved moated castles in Belgium,
                                                                                                                    road and a mosaic of all 76 Tour of Flanders
              with its oldest parts dating back to the 18th century.
                                                                                                                    winners decorating the magnificent Karel
              The natural landscape of the Kalkense Meersen is also
                                                                                                                    Van Wijnendaele monument.
              incredibly appealing for cycling enthusiasts.

                                                                                                                    KOERS in Roeselare is far and away the
              In the town of Diest, also known as the ‘City
                                                                                                                    best place for both young and old to catch
  3           of Orange’ , visitors have the opportunity to
                                                                                                                    the cycling bug and even racing fever too.
              experience the peace of its Beguinage, which dates
                                                                                                                    It’s a spot for cycling enthusiasts to share
              back to the 17th and 18th centuries and is listed as
                                                                                                                    their passion for racing and experience it
              UNESCO World Heritage. Located in Diest's ‘Xaverius’
                                                                                                                    all at the same time. After a visit to the
              house, the Flemish Centre for Food and Dining Culture
                                                                                                                    museum, it really doesn’t get any better
              has an herb garden, culinary museum and library,            >                                         than relaxing out on the spacious terrace
              where a book and antiques market is held every first
                                                                                                                    in the child-friendly museum gardens.
              Sunday of the month.
78                                                                                                                                                              79
ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route           ROUTE 3: The Best of Flanders route

 Create your own Best of
 Flanders route for your
 customers

 Don't waste any time discovering our
 interactive Best of Flanders route, full of
 inspiration, tips, accommodations, must-
 sees, photos and sample texts, all of which
 can freely* be made use of to create your
 own unique Best of Flanders route.

> Read more about the
  Best of Flanders route

 *subject to notice of copyright
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A compendium of regional cycling routes

     A compendium
       of regional
     cycling routes        In addition to this project, which introduces
                          you to a number of multi-day, cross-provincial
                         inspirational routes, there are many more gems
                            to be discovered by your customers at the
                         regional level. These work perfectly as day trips
                         or combined with one of the themed routes. To
                         make things just a touch easier, you will find a
                         compendium of routes for each province below.

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A compendium of regional cycling routes   A compendium of regional cycling routes

                                          Duvel Route (45 km)
                                          A relaxing bike ride with a refreshing beer along the way: it just doesn’t get better
                                          than that. The Duvel Route gives your customers an extra special treat thanks to its
                                          stunning and varied scenery. The Scheldeland is sure to enchant your customers as

                     Antwerp              they cycle past a mix of rivers, canals, marinas, bridges and ferries. This region is all
                                          about water. Your customers can learn all about Duvel's brewing process as they read
                                          the notice boards stationed along the route. And naturally this wouldn’t be the Duvel
                                          Route if it didn’t include — tasting! Your customers can take their pick from any one
                                          of the route’s charming restaurants and pubs.

                                          Scheldt River Dyke Route (43 km)
                                          High and low tide, the ferry timetables and the level of the locks create the
                                          rhythm of the Scheldeland's beating heart. For centuries the lives of the townsfolk
                                          played out on or near the water. The movement of the tides created a unique
                                          landscape of mudflats and salt marshes. The river itself was also an inexhaustible
                                          source of inspiration for writers, poets and sculptors. This cycling route tells the
                                          story of the Scheldt, both past and present. The paved and car-free dike roads
                                          make for comfortable, relaxed cycling. And waiting at the end of the bike ride,
                                          there's a plate of eel and a local beer to be had on a scenic waterfront terrace.

                                          Strawberry Route (40 km)
                                          The Strawberry Route illustrates just how important agriculture and horticulture
                                          are to this region. It combines the historic centre of Hoogstraten with the beautiful
                                          Markvallei and the vast countryside of the Dutch-Belgian borderlands. Your customers
                                          will cycle past strawberry fields and greenhouse after greenhouse filled to the brim
                                          with delicious strawberries. As a matter of fact, if they want to sample some, all they
                                          have to do is buy them fresh — straight from a vending machine!

                                          > Contact the Province of Antwerp for more information

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A compendium of regional cycling routes   A compendium of regional cycling routes

                                          River Lys Route (51 km)
                                          The River Lys route is a journey of discovery, where your customers will see

             East Flanders                the loveliest nooks of the Lys Valley between Ghent and Deinze, situated
                                          in a landscape that has served as inspiration to countless artists. It goes
                                          without saying that this is the perfect route for admiring their works in
                                          the museums along the way. A bike ride along picturesque villages such as
                                          Deurle and Sint-Martens-Latem and a visit to the majestic Ooidonk Castle
                                          are all part of this route.

                                          Castles Route (49 km)
                                          The rich industrialists of the past century built huge mansions and
                                          imposing castles on the banks of the River Scheldt. The Castles Route,
                                          which shows cyclists in and around Destelbergen, is just a stone's throw
                                          from Ghent and will escort your customers past meadows and beautiful
                                          parks with charming houses. The top attraction is the Castle of Laarne, a
                                          moated castle dating back to the Middle Ages.

                                          Plan Beer - Oudenaards Brown Route (31 km)
                                          This route combines cycling with beer brewing in the beer capital of the
                                          Flemish Ardennes. It’s a trip that spans beautiful landscapes and hilly roads
                                          with Flemish cobblestones, steep 'mountains' and fantastic views. Your
                                          customers can stop at one of the 11 authentic pubs or one of the four
                                          breweries (Liefmans, Roman, Cnudde and Smisje).

                                          > Contact the Province of East Flanders for more information

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A compendium of regional cycling routes   A compendium of regional cycling routes

       Flemish Brabant                    Beer and Wine Route (27km)
                                          Take a bike trip through nature, along the banks of the Demer,
                                          over the hills of the Hageland and into the Dyle River Valley. It’s
                                          the perfect route for tasting a Jack-Op beer or sampling one of the
                                          Hageland’s delicious wines.

                                          Blossom Route (42 km)
                                          This cycling route takes you past endless rows of fruit trees that are
                                          absolutely stunning in full bloom. From one historical attraction to the
                                          next, cycling along this route brings the promise of colourful scenery
                                          and the crisp, sweet scent of thousands of blossoms along the way.
                                          Your customers will also pass by Het Vinne Provincial Domain, where
                                          they can walk across Flanders’ largest natural lake on corduroy roads or
                                          around it passing its different watchtowers and hides.

                                          Geuze Route (38 km)
                                          Visit a brewery; taste a geuze; cycle up past Beersel Castle or through
                                          the enchanting Hallerbos. Or why not take a stroll about Halle or
                                          spend a spell relaxing on the sun terrace of Boelekewis in Huizingen?
                                          The delicious things to be tasted and the beautiful and varied nature
                                          more than make up for the gruelling stretches punctuating this
                                          incredibly hilly landscape!

                                          > Contact Tourism Flemish Brabant for more information

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A compendium of regional cycling routes   A compendium of regional cycling routes

                                          Discover Tongeren’s Ancient Past (45km)
                                          Tongeren, the first city in Belgium, provides an endless source of fascination with its
                                          Roman and medieval relics and its gorgeous basilica. Winding its way through the

                       Limburg
                                          De Kevie nature reserve, this rugged cycling route characterised by some seriously
                                          steep climbs passes through scenery that is punctuated with impressive castles and
                                          fortresses. However, it also goes through Herstappe, Belgium’s smallest municipality.

                                          Cycling in Voeren (25km)
                                          This route packs the very best of the Voer region into a single bike trip. It takes
                                          cyclists through rustic villages and tiny, quiet hamlets, including the picturesque
                                          Veurs which consists almost entirely of timber-framed houses and several castles
                                          and mills in the green, among which include the Sint-Pieters-Voeren Castle. Your
                                          customers will even get to spring across the border into the Netherlands for a
                                          tick. Handy tip: not a single metre of this cycling route includes level ground. The
                                          hilly character of this region, however, does reward your customers with the most
                                          impressive panoramas.

                                          From Herkenrode through De Wijers Route (35 km)
                                          This bike ride makes its way through the rich past and present of this region. Starting
                                          from Herkenrode Abbey, your customers will pedal eagerly out into the green. For
                                          those who love water, there's no lack of it here. The trip includes cycling past the
                                          canal’s waters and into the land of 1001 ponds (Wijers!), otherwise known as the De
                                          Wijers nature reserve. From the vantage point of the watchtower, your customers get
                                          a spectacular view across the ponds. In Bokrijk, there is a 212m long bike path that
                                          will even take them “under” the water level. The Time's listed Cycling Through Water
                                          will have your customers cycling at eye level with the water’s surface.

                                          > Contact the Province of Limburg for more information

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A compendium of regional cycling routes   A compendium of regional cycling routes

                                          Green Belt Bruges (53.2km)
                                          This cycling route introduces your customers to the diverse surroundings that
                                          encircle the World Heritage City of Bruges. The tour offers a diverse mix of forests,

           West Flanders                  castle parks, open landscapes with fields and meadows, straight canals and
                                          picturesque villages. There are also numerous historical sights to discover such as
                                          the Fortress of Beieren (a former military site that has been transformed into a
                                          recreational park), St. Trudo’s Abbey and Tillegem castle. Picnic areas, play areas
                                          and natural sites make the Green Belt Bruges a site not to be missed!

                                          Cogge-Geeraert (41km)
                                          This cycling route highlights how the Yser basin was flooded during the First
                                          World War and explains what the role of historical figures Karel Cogge and Hendrik
                                          Geeraert was in this gripping episode of the Battle of Yser. The route connects
                                          places and monuments that bear witness to this singular event and recall the
                                          great suffering of war: the King Albert I Monument in Nieuwpoort, the Town Hall
                                          and Country Estate in Veurne, the Belgian military cemeteries of Steenkerke and
                                          Ramskapelle, the bust of Karel Cogge, the Ganzepoot and the Frontzate (Belgian
                                          Railway Line 74).

                                          The Waterhoek Cycling Route (50 km)
                                          The Waterhoek Cycling Route takes your customers to the Upper Scheldt that
                                          divides Avelgem and Anzegem. The route starts out from the Pumping Station in
                                          Bossuit, where it goes on to trace the Bossuit-Kortrijk canal and the old Kortrijk-
                                          Ronse Railway Line 83 to Avelgem. From there your customers will start cycling
                                          towards Tiegemberg. On their way back they will pass by Kerkhove, Waarmaarde
                                          and the towpath along the River Scheldt.

                                          > Contact the Province of West Flanders for more information

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