Our cycling holidays in Belgium

A captivating immersion in European history

Get on your bike for an unforgettable Belgian adventure. Ride through the picturesque streets of Bruges, discover the richness of the Flemish plains and soak up the friendly atmosphere of the Belgians. Well-maintained cycle paths are not just paths, but gateways to a safe and comfortable experience, inviting you to discover all the charms of Belgium.

Explore Belgium by bike

Belgium’s rich cultural heritage and medieval architecture offer visitors a captivating immersion in European history.

The capital, Brussels, stands out for its Grand-Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its position as the headquarters of international institutions. Bruges, often called the “Venice of the North”, enchants visitors with its romantic canals and cobbled streets, while Antwerp, a major economic center, is renowned for its Gothic cathedral and diamond district.

Belgium’s landscapes are equally varied, from the Ardennes in the south, with their dense forests and rivers, to Flanders in the north, characterized by its vast flat fields and emblematic windmills. The Belgian coast, with its seaside resorts such as Ostend, attracts lovers of fine sandy beaches and lively walks. The countryside, rich in hidden treasures, reveals charming vineyards along the wine route, picturesque villages frozen in time, and historic sites recounting the country’s eventful history.

Indeed, Belgium’s cultural heritage is deeply marked by its key role in the First World War. The Flanders region was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting, including the Battle of Passchendaele. Battlefields, military cemeteries and memorials still dot the landscape today, reminders of the immense sacrifice made during this dark period in history.

Meanwhile, on the cultural front, Belgium is also the birthplace of famous comic strips such as Tintin and The Smurfs, which have conquered the world with their narrative ingenuity and artistic creativity. In the field of pictorial art, Belgium can also claim a notable place thanks to iconic artists such as René Magritte and Paul Delvaux, whose fascinating works have left a significant mark on the history of art.

Belgium and its people

Nestling in the heart of Western Europe, Belgium is a multi-faceted country renowned for its rich history, cultural diversity and unique charm. Divided into three distinct regions – Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south and the Brussels-Capital region in the centre – Belgium is a meeting place for different traditions and ways of life. The country’s multilingualism, with Dutch, French and German as official languages, reflects its cultural diversity.

Nevertheless, Belgians share a number of distinctive cultural and social traits, such as hospitality, reputed to be a true signature. They attach great importance to their traditions. Festivals such as the Carnaval de Binche, listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, offer a glimpse into local customs. Beer celebrations, such as the Belgian Beer Weekend, are also festive occasions steeped in tradition.

Belgian cuisine, renowned for its exquisite fusion of French and German flavors, offers a unique gastronomic experience. Belgians are proud of their mouth-watering specialties, including crispy fries, delicious waffles and renowned chocolates. The streets of Belgian cities are full of chocolatiers offering an impressive variety of pralines and truffles, testifying to the country’s artisanal expertise in chocolate.

Belgium is also famous for its wide range of craft beers. Belgian breweries offer a diversity of styles and flavors, from light lagers to rich, complex brown ales.

Cycling routes in Belgium

Cycling is a popular means of transport, and Belgium offers an extensive network of cycle paths.

The country has invested heavily in its network of cycle paths, offering a pleasant experience away from motorized traffic. Marked routes wind through a variety of landscapes, from urban routes to nature trails. Here are the major cycling routes in Belgium:

  • The Vennbahn: is an old railroad line converted into a cycle path that crosses the German-speaking region of Belgium, in particular the Hautes Fagnes. This cycle path offers a unique experience, passing through picturesque landscapes, forests and peat bogs, with the chance to explore the rolling hills of the Ardennes.
  • Bruges-Ghent Canal Network: this network of cycle paths follows the route of the canal between the cities of Bruges and Ghent. It offers a peaceful ride through the Flemish countryside, skirting canals and offering picturesque views.
  • RAVeL network (autonomous network of slow ways): the RAVeL is an extensive network of cycling and walking paths in Belgium, built on former railroads, towpaths and other slow lanes. It enables cyclists to explore the country in complete safety, away from road traffic.
  • Ardennes Cycling Route: this cycling route crosses the Ardennes region, offering cyclists the chance to discover the rolling countryside, dense forests and charming villages of this region renowned for its unspoilt nature.
  • Meuse Cycle Route: following the course of the Meuse River, this cycle route takes in the picturesque valleys, castles and villages along the river. It crosses Belgium and offers an immersive cycling experience.
  • Lange Fietsroutes network: LF routes are long-distance cycling itineraries that cross several countries, including Belgium. These routes offer options for keen cyclists wishing to cover long distances through varied landscapes.
  • Flanders by Bike (Vlaanderen Fietsland): this network offers cycling routes across Flanders, covering various regions and offering a variety of landscapes, including historic towns, verdant countryside and coastal regions.
  • Senne Network: this cycle route follows the course of the River Senne through the Brussels region, offering a pleasant way to discover the Belgian capital while enjoying the great outdoors.
  • The Meuse Castles Network: focusing on the Meuse valley, this network allows cyclists to visit picturesque castles while exploring the countryside along the river.
  • The Water Route: this cycling route focuses on discovering water-related areas, canals and rivers, offering a unique perspective on the Belgian landscape.
  • Lys Network: this cycle route follows the course of the River Lys, passing through charming towns and offering cyclists a picturesque experience of the Flanders region.

Belgian weather

Belgium’s temperate oceanic climate offers a pleasant diversity of four distinct seasons. Winters are generally cool, but average temperatures around 0°C make conditions milder than in other regions at similar latitudes. Summers are mild, with pleasant average temperatures of around 17-18°C.

Precipitation, although spread throughout the year, often takes the form of short showers, allowing for regular periods of sunshine. The maritime influence of the Atlantic Ocean means milder seasons, contributing to milder winters and cooler summers. In autumn and winter, fog can create picturesque landscapes, particularly in the valleys.

For cyclists, the advantage of this varied climate is the possibility of discovering Belgium by bike all year round. It’s advisable to bring rain- and cold-weather clothing, but the anticipation of climate change also offers opportunities for rides under changing skies, adding a charming dimension to the cycling-tourism experience. In addition, it’s always a good idea to check local weather forecasts for a successful cycling adventure.

The 8 must-sees

  • Bruges: nicknamed the “Venice of the North”, Bruges is a medieval Belgian city renowned for its picturesque canals, preserved architecture and romantic atmosphere.
  • The Ardennes: the Ardennes region offers wooded and undulating landscapes, perfect for hiking and outdoor activities. It’s also a place rich in history, with vestiges of the Second World War.
  • Canal from Bruges to Ghent: cruising along the canal between Bruges and Ghent offers a unique perspective on the Flemish countryside. It’s a charming way to discover the region.
  • Liège: this lively city in Wallonia is known for its dynamic cultural life, diverse architecture and Sunday market, the famous “La Batte”.
  • Belgian coast: sandy beaches, elegant resorts and delicious seafood specialties make the Belgian coast a popular destination, especially Knokke-Heist and Blankenberge.
  • Brussels: as the capital of Belgium, Brussels combines history, politics and modernity. The Grand-Place, the Atomium and the European institutions are must-see attractions.
  • Castles of the Meuse Valley: castles along the Meuse Valley offer a glimpse into Belgium’s feudal history. Some, like Freÿr Castle, are surrounded by magnificent gardens.
  • Tongerenmarkt: considered Europe’s oldest flea market, Tongerenmarkt is a paradise for bargain hunters. Antiques, objets d’art and curiosities are on sale every Sunday morning.