A superb week of easy, self-guided cycling across Belgium, starting off with the medieval marvels of Bruges and finishing in the great capital city of Brussels. In between, you have cultural gems of Ghent, a city that has revitalised itself from a little bit sleepy classical to contemporary cool and Antwerp, a modern city with cool architecture, great food scene and some gorgeous galleries. You can also quick swap urban for rural quickly while cycling from Bruges to Brussels, pootling along the River Scheldt, through woodland, meadows and alongside sleepy, traditional villages. E-bikes are also available to rent on this tour.
- Kasteel van Laarne
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrival in Bruges
Take time to wander through the cobblestone streets and along the canals of this magnificent medieval city.
- Accommodation: Hotel Velotel or similar
Day 2: Bruges – Maldegem | 54km
Begin the day by following the 14th-century Kanaal Gent-Brugge out of the city. The route then heads through flat Belgian countryside, past the villages of Moerbrugge, Maria-Aalter and Knesselare, before arriving in Maldegem.
- Accommodation: Amaryllis Maldegem or similar
- Cycling for the day: 54km
Day 3: Maldegem – Ghent | 57km
Today’s route takes you through the historical region of Meetjesland in East Flanders, heading through woodland, meadows and traditional farmland. Cycle through Het Leen and Drongengoedbos Forest towards Eeklo, a small town known for its many sculptures. After stopping for a break, the route continues toward Ghent, a UNESCO City of Music, which hosts many festivals, concerts and music institutions, as well as having a much celebrated culinary scene.
- Accommodation: Hotel Chamade or similar
- Cycling for the day: 57km
Day 4: Ghent – Dendermonde | 47km
Leaving Ghent behind, follow the River Scheldt upstream, passing through several small villages and towns. The village of Laarne boasts an impressive 13th-century castle, a perfect place to stop for lunch before continuing to Dendermonde. Visit Dendermonde’s town hall and belfry and discover the historic Church of Our Lady, home to an 11th-century baptismal font.
- Accommodation: Abalona or similar
- Cycling for the day: 47km
Day 5: Dendermonde – Antwerp | 57km
Today’s route begins by following the River Scheldt once again, cycling in the direction of Antwerp. Along the way, stop to visit Streekmuseum De Zilverreiger, a museum with a focus on the traditional trades and crafts of the region, such as basket weaving, river fishery, cooperage (barrel making), clog making and flax processing. From here, take the ferry across the Scheldt to reach Kruibeke, home to Kasteel Wissekerke, which dates back to the 10th century and historically made up part of Antwerp’s defence line along the river. The route ends in Antwerp, a city known for its beer, antique shopping and diamonds.
- Accommodation: Van der Valk Hotel or similar
- Cycling for the day: 57km
Day 6: Antwerp – Mechelen | 45km
Spend some time discovering Antwerp this morning, home to many museums and also with a fascinating Old Town, before beginning the journey towards Mechelen. We recommend a stop in Mortsel to visit Fort 4 of the Brialmont Forts and its surrounding parkland. From here, continue along the River Nete, before reaching Duffel, where duffel fabric originates from, with the fabric’s production and exportation beginning here in the 15th century. The route then heads to the outskirts of Sint-Katelijne-Waver and past Saint Ursula Institute, a former convent and boarding school complex which boasts an impressive blend of architectural styles and a unique Winter Garden.
- Accommodation: Hotel Vé or similar
- Cycling for the day: 45km
Day 7: Mechelen – Brussels | 65km
Today’s route is a tranquil rural one, through woodland and along the river trail, past Tervuren, before coming into Brussels. Spend the final evening of the tour exploring the capital, with favourite spots including Grand-Place and town hall or the famous statue Manneken Pis.
- Accommodation: NH Brussels EU Berlaymont or similar
- Cycling for the day: 65km
Day 8: Departure
Departure after breakfast.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of city hotels and aparthotels. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view default hotels
- Hotel Velotel
- Amaryllis Maldegem
- Hotel Chamade
- Van der Valk Hotel
- Hotel Vé
- NH Brussels EU Berlaymont
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available en route, lunches and snacks can either be bought from local shops or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either at the accommodation or from restaurants in the local area.
Difficulty and terrain
This cycling tour is rated as easy with the route following a combination of cycle paths and quiet, country roads with limited traffic. Although busier in the cities, the route uses cycle lanes wherever possible as Belgium is very cycle-friendly. The terrain is mostly flat, with an average daily cycling distance of 50-60km. The majority of the route is paved but at some points there will be some unsurfaced/gravel tracks (read more about difficulty grades).
When to go
This trip can depart on any Thursday between April and September.
Click to view travel options
By train or bus
By train: If you are able to travel to Belgium without flying, this holiday is reachable by rail, with railway stations in Brussels and Bruges. For more details, see the national rail operator SNCB.
From Brussels Airport-Zaventem train station there is a a direct train to Bruges (1.5h). For timetables and further information visit SNCB or use the Omio planner above.
From Oostende-Bruges Airport there is a regular shuttle bus to the city centre (1h).
- 7 nights in en-suite rooms
- 7 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers between hotels
- Detailed travel information including route maps, route descriptions, GPS tracks and important telephone numbers
- Tourist tax
- 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Ferry tickets
- Lunches, dinner, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Entry fees (payable locally)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- We can also offer this route in reverse, from Brussels to Bruges
- Half board option
- Bike rental
- Helmet rental
- Bike theft insurance
Both hybrid and e-bikes are available to rent on this tour. All bikes come with a bike lock, pannier, repair kit, front and rear lights and a bell. Helmets are available to rent on request. E-bikes can be charged at the hotels. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes. A limited number of tandem bikes are also available to rent upon request. Sample pictures attached below, note that the exact models may differ depending on availability, but the standard will be the same.
- Frame: Aluminium
- Gears: 27
- Assembly: Shimano Deore
- Brakes: Shimano V brakes (hand brakes)
- Pedals: flat pedals
- Weight: 16.5kg
- Model: Freebike Harlem
- Assembly: Shimano Nexus 8 gears
- Battery range: approximatly 100km (with normal use)
- Brakes: Shimano hydraulic discbrakes
- Pedals: flat pedals
- Weight: approximately 25kg