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Brussels-Bruges 8-day Bike & Barge tour
The Bruges to Brussels bike and barge tour is an absolute cycling classic that takes you through an enchanting river landscape bookended by these two iconic Belgian cities. During this eight day, seven night tour you will not only get the opportunity to discover the enchanting river/canal system of Belgium, but will also get to visit and explore the world famous cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Mechelen and Bruges. Along the way you will cycle through small traditional Belgian villages, will visit a number of famous local landmarks and, importantly, will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Belgium’s well-deserved reputation for superb food and drink. Major attractions of the tour include:
The city of Brussels, capitol of Europe;
Antwerp, a city famous for its vibrant nightlife, as the city of diamonds and for its harbor;
The opportunity to explore medieval Ghent;
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center of Bruges;
Mechelen, a small but very picturesque city
On a daily basis you will cycle along old tow paths next to small canals and rivers and via quiet country lanes to ancient villages steeped in history. Enjoy a coffee or one of the many village beers in an authentic Belgian pub where the locals approvingly raise their glass, especially when you arrive by bike.
If you would like to rent a bike or e-bike, please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Rental bicycle: €75 per week
Rental E-Bike: €165 per week (only on request, limited number available)
Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
Return to Brussels: there is a good train connection between these two cities.
Slow Tours offers other Bike & Barge tours in Europe
Individual arrival in Brussels. The barge awaits you in the Brussels harbor. Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from 3 to 5 p.m. Take some time to explore the capital of Belgium: walk through the historical city center, visit the Grote Markt square (Great Market square), arguably Europe’s most beautiful medieval square lined with guild houses, marvel at the Gothic town hall or visit the Royal Palace! The highlight of the palace, many will agree, is the Mirror Room which is adorned from floor to ceiling with mirrors and 11 luminous chandeliers.
Brussels – Vilvoorde | Vilvoorde – Mechelen – Willebroek (40 km/24 mi.)
During breakfast the ship will sail to Vilvoorde where, following the distribution of bicycles, your first day of cycling will see you travel to Mechelen a remarkable city that boasts more than 300 buildings that are historically listed. Of these, 8 are churches – all on less than 3 square kilometers! Cycle on from Mechelen past picturesque villages and large country estates to Willebroek where your floating hotel will be waiting with a warm shower and a delicious meal. When there is enough interest a beer tasting will be held on board (to be paid on board).
Willebroek – Antwerp (50 km/30 mi.)
Today you will cycle from Willebroek via Lier to Antwerp. Antwerp is a harbour city situated on the river Schelde famous for handling up to 80% of the world’s rough diamonds. Lively Antwerp is a hidden gem. Its medieval streets, Renaissance monuments and vibrant nightlife are a magnet for tourists from around the world. Highlights to be discovered include: the City Hall, one of several majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period, the historical City Square Grote Markt, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle.
Antwerp – St. Amands / Dendermonde (50 km/30 mi.) | St. Amands – Dendermonde
The bicycle tour today will take you upstream along the Schelde River to Hemiksem and on to Rupelmonde where the Schelde joins the Rupel River. After following the Rupel for a few kilometers you will reach the village of Niel and later the Walenhoek Nature Reserve. Along the way you will have the opportunity to visit an historical brick factory situated between Boom and Niel where bricks have been manufactured since the Middle Ages. Your destination for the day is the beautiful city of Dendermonde. A “must” to end the day’s cycling is a short stop for a drink at Dendermonde’s beautiful Flemish market square Grote Markt (Great Market square).
Dendermonde – Ghent (Merelbeke) (cycle tour approx. 48 km/29 mi)
Today you will cycle to the beautiful city of Ghent, where the ship will be moored in the suburb of Merelbeke which is approx. a 30 minute cycle from the city center. You will enjoy being able to explore the pedestrian area in Ghent’s town center, partly by bike and partly on foot. Ghent features lovely illuminated streets that are a must to explore, while the architectural richness in the historical center of the city has to be seen to be believed (during the Middle Ages Ghent was the 2nd largest European city after Paris).
Ghent – Vinderhoute – Bruges (40 km/24 mi.)
Part of the day’s cycling will be along the Ghent-Oostende-canal to Oostende through the beautiful Flemish landscape to Bruges, a lovely art city and Belgium’s most perfectly preserved medieval town. Widely described as the “Venice of the North”, Bruges attracts more than two million visitors every year who come for the ambience of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center. While you are here you can visit one of Bruges many museums or simply take in the stunning beauty and culture of this unforgettable city from the comfort of a sidewalk café.
Tour around Bruges to the North Sea (55 km/33 mi.)
Your final day of cycling takes you along a quiet canal and past beautiful poplar trees through an attractive polder landscape (a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments) dotted with small farm houses to the North Sea coast via the small city of Damme. Here you will have the opportunity to get your feet wet along an inviting 12 kilometer sandy beach, visit any one of numerous cafés and see the attractive dune landscape of “Het Zwin” (a unique nature reserve). On the return ride to Bruges you will cycle along a small picturesque canal.
Disembarkation after breakfast until 9:30 a.m.
If there is low or high water or bad weather conditions and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal)
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote