Nine iconic cycling routes full of highlights

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best.” Ernest Hemingway might well have been thinking about the Flemish region when he wrote these words. The iconic cycling routes take you and your bicycle along a host of locations that make Flanders so beautiful. This is human-powered travel at its best.

Flanders and the bicycle are a match made in heaven, something that seasoned cycling fans have long known. Every year, this beautiful terrain with its bergs (hills) and cobbles is the setting of the legendary spring classics. Time and again, the spring classics are one of the greatest sporting highlights of the year, with the Tour of Flanders cycling monument the crowning glory. Yet Flanders is not only for the lycra-clad diehards on two wheels. The recreational pedaleur is also perfectly at home here. Flanders offers a wide range of assets, all located within a compact area and in beautiful, undulating landscape – two factors that make Flanders the perfect place for a cycling trip, wouldn’t you agree?

Choose one of Flanders iconic cycling routes. These nine (sometimes substantial) tours connect the most beautiful parts of Flanders. Each route is built on a central theme and takes you along a variety of highlights via a network of pleasant cycle paths.

Would you like an example? We’re happy to oblige! On the Art Cities Route, you cycle through centuries of history, heritage and culture. This tour connects all the art cities in Flanders. Each one is a bustling destination, but with its own character. For example, you will discover the European capital of Brussels: historic and hip, bureaucratic and bizarre, with allure but without pretension. You will also visit Leuven, a city of centuries-old heritage and knowledge, and of course beer. You will stop in Mechelen: compact but valiant, historic and child-friendly. You will cycle to the magnificent and cool metropolis of Antwerp, home to Rubens and Europe’s second largest port. The next cycling destination is the city of three towers, historic and trendy Ghent, one of Europe’s best kept secrets. And then you will come to irresistibly enchanting Bruges, with heritage everywhere you look. Six cities, endless sights. Rarely has a single paragraph contained a more compelling offer. In short, there is much to experience on this 342-kilometre route. So, it would be a good idea to spread those many kilometers gently over several days.

Even this magnificent route is merely a suggestion. Would you like to create your own tailor-made cycling trip? Please check out the other iconic cycling routes. They all connect nicely with one another so that you can make your own particular combination. You choose the itinerary yourself. Here’s another golden tip: take your time. Enjoy things to the full and emphasize the “slow in slow travel.

Cruise across Flanders on magnificent bike roads
Cruise across Flanders on magnificent bike roads, © Visit Flanders.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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