Find the Heartland of Cycling in Flanders, Belgium
Flanders is a one-of-a-kind paradise for cyclists of all skill and interest levels.
If there is one thing we can agree upon, not all cycling routes, skill sets, and goals of cyclists are the same. Some prefer a leisurely bike ride for an hour or two along picturesque canals, others can’t get enough even after a full day of riding on the iconic Flemish cobblestones and climbs of the Tour of Flanders. The tougher, the better! But no worries, Flanders has it all and can provide cycling adventures for everyone, regardless of age, interest, or abilities.
Are you ready to get on your bike and explore its beautiful sceneries, picturesque villages, and artistic cities during a leisurely bike ride? Simply rent a bike from one of the many local bike rental stores and you will be on your way in no time. Breathe in the fresh air as you leisurely cycle along the canals. Cycle to a windmill and plan a casual picnic in nature. An easy route for beginners leads you on a short 9-mile round trip ride from the UNESCO world heritage city of Bruges to the picturesque village of Damme. In the 13th century, Damme functioned as the port for Bruges. Enjoy lunch at ‘De Lamme Goedzak’ on the main market square overlooking the well-preserved medieval town hall. Damme is also home to numerous book stores and book fairs. Cyclists who want to continue can easily cycle all the way to the Dutch border before returning to Bruges for a combined 21-mile leisure cycling trip.
Follow the Signs
As you traverse through any of the Flemish landscapes and local villages, make sure to stop in one of the many local stores for an authentic Belgian waffle, chocolates, fries or a refreshing Belgian beer. Finding your way is easy. All cycling roads in Belgium are numbered and signposted. Follow the route number to your next destination without the need to remember any turns you may have to take. The Belgian cycling road system is over 7,500 miles long. Plan your routes online, via an app or with traditional maps before you leave or just ‘get lost’ on the cycling routes to discover many hidden treasures on the way.
Feel like having more adventure without exhausting yourself too much? Try one of the new nine iconic cycling routes. These routes are an average of 174 miles long, but can be done in shorter intervals. Due to popular demand, the new routes, which were supposed to be rolled out by 2024, have all been operational since June 2021. Jump on the new Coastal Route and explore the Belgian coast where you will find many surprises! From mouthwatering Michelin star rated restaurants to traditional ways of fishing shrimp on horseback (a recognized UNESCO world heritage), to flat sandy beaches, the Belgian coast manages to consistently amaze visitors. Stop at ‘Dierendonck’ in Nieuwpoort. Starting as a butchery, ‘Dierendonck’ has branched out in recent years and now offers its meats in the award-winning restaurant right next to the butchery. Hendrik Dierendonck, the owner, even raises his own cattle to ensure top notch quality. He has taken innovative steps in recent years towards more sustainable meat production and enjoys international recognition for his accomplishments.
Cycling for All
Flanders is truly a region that provides guests with a great, all-round cycling vacation. The castles, museums, medieval churches, picturesque villages, and artistic towns will fascinate culture lovers. Outdoorsy types can enjoy the complete tranquility of the Flemish countryside with national parks, woods, rolling hills, canals, and rivers.
For cyclists that are physically challenged, VISITFLANDERS works with commercial companies to facilitate cycling experiences for all cyclists, independent of their needs and physical challenges. G-Sport Vlaanderen has just launched its new GFIETST network, an online bike-sharing platform with over 120 rental points in Flanders where several adapted or “shared” bicycles can be rented. Available bikes range from recumbent bicycles to ones with a front platform for wheelchairs that able-bodied people can drive.
Cycling fanatics know when they have arrived in Flanders, the heartland of cycling. It is an all-in cycling destination, and Flandriens love to share their tips and tricks. Are you a fierce biker or a passionate supporter? In Flanders you will find everything you need to know about cycle racing. Watch the Tour of Flanders, a true spring classic, on the first weekend in April. The fall and winter seasons are filled with Gravel and Cyclocross races. Visit the Cycle Museum KOERS in Roeselare and the Tour of Flanders Centre in Oudenaarde. Discover interesting events to put on your bucket list.
Get inspired to ride on the roads where natives like Eddy Merckx, Johan Museeuw and Tom Boonen became legends. Ride like a Flandrien and take the Flandrien Challenge. VISITFLANDERS has teamed up with Strava, the popular sports app, to challenge your cycling passion. Hit 59 pre-defined iconic berg & cobble segments, all marked on the road and tracked online, within 72 hours to become a Flanders legend. Get your name engraved on a personalized cobblestone on the wall of fame in the Cycling Museum in Oudenaarde, the finish line of the Tour of Flanders. Congratulations, you have proven yourself a true Flandrien!
No matter your skill, ability or interests, Flanders is the heartland of cycling that has experiences for all cyclists.