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Highlights of Flanders: Belgium’s History, Art, Nature, and Cuisine

New for 2020!

New for 2020!

New for 2020!

New for 2020!

New for 2020!
  • 8 nights | 28 miles/day
  • Self-guided from: €1265
  • View Dates
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Tour Type: Guided Self-guided

Tour description

This cycling tour through Flanders shows you the major highlights of Belgium. This is the perfect ride for anyone interested in the rich Belgium history, art, nature, and cuisine. The Flemish art cities of Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Mechelen, Leuven, and Brussels are the most famous and favorite cities of Belgium.

This unique trip combines these vibrant historic towns together with the smaller shopping, fashion and food cities of Hasselt and Maastricht. The bike ride in between these lovely towns will show you the variety of landscapes of the northern part of Belgium.

Daily program

Day 1: Arrival in Bruges
Exploration on foot to the town center. Bruges is one of the most scenic towns in Europe and the so-called ‘Venice of the north’.

Day 2: Bruges – Ghent (30 miles/48 km)
The tour starts in the morning with a ‘group’ bike fitting and a thorough explanation of your tour. After this ‘group’ instruction you will start your self guided tour.

Pedal out of the UNESCO World Heritage medieval city center, with its bell tower rising up over the wide-open market. The ride on this first day is mainly along the canal Ghent – Bruges. A nice quiet bike lane guides you through farmland and some lovely forest areas. Have your first coffee stop in Beernem or Sint Joris before heading on to Aalter. In Aalter you can decide to make a small detour to the city center to go for lunch, but you can also continue your trip, as along the route you will find a lot of lovely spots where you can enjoy your own prepared picnic. The van Vlaenderens mill in Vinderhoute is a clear landmark just before you enter the historic town of Ghent.

In 2020, don’t miss the chance to admire the world-famous masterpiece the Mystic Lamb by the Van Eyck brothers or just simply enjoy the great atmosphere this town offers and explore the small labyrinth of charming cobblestone streets, the Gravensteen castle, the Graslei, and the bell tower.

Day 3: Ghent – Antwerp (28-43 miles/45-70 km)
After breakfast, take a nice bike lane out of the historic town. Today’s ride is a long one but if you are worried about the distance, you can also opt to take the train to Lokeren which will reduce the ride by 15 miles/25 km. Lokeren is one of those small hidden gems with a friendly central square where you just have to sit down for a while.

From Lokeren onwards you will ride along lovely lakes, along one of the side arms of the river Schelde, the Durme, up to the Schelde, Flanders’ major river. Along the Schelde, you will encounter the cozy villages of Temse (with some small hills), Rupelmonde with its tide mill and Bazel with the castle Wissekerke.

From Bazel, it’s just a short ride to Antwerp. Antwerp is a good-looking city, with its range of medieval buildings in the central square and with numerous Art Nouveau gems in between. The access to this town is easy as you can reach the center by a 572-meter long foot and bike tunnel, 31 meters below the surface.

Day 4: Antwerp – Mechelen (24 miles/39 km)
Today’s ride is a short one giving you the opportunity to include an early morning visit to one of the museums in Antwerp. The ride today, as on the first day, is once again totally flat. Along the Schelde, the bike ride goes south out of town to Hemiksem, where you will find an interesting abbey. Near Niel, you will leave the Schelde and will join the Rupel, another lovely river, where you will find an interesting brickwork museum. This museum gives you a complete picture of ordinary brickwork in all its aspects.

In Boom, you have to take a ferry to cross the Rupel. As the ferry only runs a few times every hour, the restaurant nearby is a perfect lunch stop. By the maze of waterways, bridges, and sluices you will enter the city of Mechelen along the Dijle river. Mechelen is a small and picturesque city that is big on charm and history, thriving with quaint shops, car-free areas, and pleasant little squares. Your hotel is a brewery as well, a brewery tour and a good Belgian beer at dinner are a wonderful way to finish the evening!

Day 5: Mechelen (optional visit to Brussels by train)
In Mechelen, you will have a rest day. If you didn't enjoy the tour last night, why not start the morning with a brewery tour before taking the 30-minute train ride to Brussels. As the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, this metropolis is often referred to as the Capital of Europe. While it is certainly international, it offers more than government buildings. With over 75 museums and rich history, culture is easily accessible. Just think of ‘Manneken-Pis’, the Grand Place, the famous chocolates, the high-quality restaurants, and the nightlife scene. Finally, take a train back to Mechelen where you will stay for a second night.

Please, note the train tickets are not included and cost approximately €11 per person/way. You can see time tables and purchase tickets from Mechelen to Brussels central at www.nmbs.be.

Day 6: Mechelen – Leuven (22 miles/36 km)
The first part of the ride will be along the winding Dijle river up to the father Damien statue near Tremelo. Pass Werchter (known for its yearly musical festival with over 150,000 fans) with its rock museum and finally cycle on to Leuven, a vibrant student town. The University of Leuven is one of the most important and oldest universities in Europe. Leuven is also Belgium’s reigning brewing capital with the headquarters of Inbev, the second largest brewery in the world. Together with the beautiful historic city center, it makes Leuven a great place for the curious traveler!

Day 7: Leuven – Hasselt (27-44 miles/44-72 km)
In the town of Leuven, you will pass two lovely abbeys before heading out of town. Enjoy the lovely ride along rolling quiet streets and the forest areas near castle van Horst before heading to Scherpenheuvel. The basilica of Scherpenheuvel – the place of pilgrimage in Belgium – is the oldest dome church in the low countries, inaugurated in 1627 and with both Renaissance and Baroque characteristics. From Scherpenheuvel it’s just a short ride to the lovely historic town of Diest, with its beautiful and picturesque beguinage at the edge of the historic city center.

From Deist, you can take the train to reduce the ride by 17 miles/28 km. If you continue biking, the final part of the ride will be through mostly forested areas up to the Albert canal. This canal connects Antwerp with the river Maas. Hasselt, the capital of the Limburg province, is also situated along this canal and offers you an interesting stay for the night.

Day 8: Hasselt – Maastricht (33-40 miles/53-65 km)
The final day adds yet another great memory to your bike tour. Before leaving the town, you can admire the largest authentic Japanese garden in Europe. Cycle on along the Albert Canal to the area near Genk. As you are riding through lovely forests you will have no idea you are close to the third most significant economical city of Flanders. After leaving the forests and heathlands you will join Oud-Rekem, just a small village but one which has one of the most authentic preserved village centers of Belgium. The castle, city gate and other parts of the city walls have also been preserved. At this point, there are two options for your ride up to Maastricht. Either a beautiful ride along the Albert canal deeply sheltered in between steep hills with caves, or a short ride by crossing the Maas. Maastricht in the Netherlands is the final destination of your tour and maybe one of the most scenic Dutch towns with a rich history. In Maastricht, your tour will end and you will meet a representative to pick up the bike equipment in the late afternoon.

Day 9: Maastricht
The tour finishes after breakfast. The train station in Maastricht has perfect connections to all parts of the country.

Dates

Aug 2, 8; Sep 6, 13, 2020 (minimum 2 participants)

Prices

Local:

We price in local currencies to save you money. How?

Prices are shown in the local currency EUR.

Prices other than in the local currency are based on current exchange rates and will vary.

Prices other than in the local currency are based on current exchange rates and will vary.

Prices other than in the local currency are based on current exchange rates and will vary.

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€ 1265
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€ 455
Bike Rentals
E-bike
€ 115
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Tulip Cycling Terms and Conditions

Cancellation policy:
a) Cancellations refunds, minus €100 (number of days prior to the start of the trip):

  • 61 plus days - 100% of the total invoice costs
  • 31-60 days - 60% of the total invoice costs
  • 15-30 days - 30% of the total invoice costs
  • 0-14 days - no refund

b) At all times the tour operator shall refund the total invoice costs in case of natural disaster, large-scale riots or evacuations in the area of the cycle-routes.
c) The tour operator is not responsible for any late arrival due to travel delays, flight cancellation or illness.
d) There is no refund for shortening of the rental period, except for reasons mentioned in article 8b.
e) Changes and modifications in the initial booking will be subject to an administration fee of €25.

Article 1 - Definitions:
Country name: Where the expressions Dutch or Holland are used this is synonymous to The Netherlands.
Renter: Person or persons, mentioned in the rental contract, who is/are renting bicycling equipment and support from the tour operator.
Lessor: The tour operator.
Rental material/equipment: All articles, rented or loaned from the tour operator, itemized in the reservation form and notification of receipt, including all materials submitted to the renter, such as but not exclusively, the free accessories.
Booking / Reservation form: Form on which the renter is required to fill in identities and desired quantity of the rental equipment and support items.
Rental contract; Agreement between renter and lessor according to the tour confirmation form and tour invoice.
Tour confirmation form: Form with which the lessor confirms the booking of the cycling tour by the renter. The corresponding equipment and support for this tour is specified on the tour invoice, addressed to the renter.
Tour invoice: Form on which the lessor specifies the rental equipment and support items with the corresponding prices and the total amount. The total amount does not always include accommodation costs.
Notification of receipt: Form which the renter is obligated to sign on receipt of the rented and loaned equipment.
Rental period: Time between delivery of the rental equipment to the renter and return of the rental equipment to the tour operator.
Currency: The amounts mentioned in these Terms and Conditions are in the Euro currency.

Article 2 - Rental equipment:
a) The rental material may only be used by the designated renter and the members of his party as mentioned in the rental contract/notification of receipt.
b) Laminated maps, itineraries and other parts of a support package remain the property of the tour operator.
c) The use of the GPS device is strictly prohibited for persons under 15 years of age.
d) The rented bicycles may never be handed over to, or used by any persons, others then those mentioned in the rental contract.
e) It is explicitly prohibited for the renter to rent out the rented bicycles to a third party.
f) Renter is considered to take good care of the rented materials and to protect it, within reason, from damage, loss or theft. Added to article 2a, rental materials may only be used in accordance with its normal use and category. Only one person per bicycle.
g) The tour operator will deliver the rental material in a proper condition. If, in spite of that, any repairs during the rental period are necessary this can be done by a local bicycle repairer. The renter must, in case of more than wear-and-tear damage, consult the tour operator before handing over the bicycle to the repairer. At the end of the rental period a the tour operator representative will determine whether the material failure was more than regular wear-and-tear. If so, the repair expenses must be paid by the renter or will be subject to the equipment insurance conditions.
h) In case of unpredictable circumstances, the tour operator will offer substitute brands of equipment. This material will be of equal quality and will meet the specifications of the contracted equipment.

Article 3 - Rental period:
a) Rental equipment delivery will be between 8 and 11 a.m. on the first day of the rental period. The rental equipment will be delivered to the renter at the the tour operator headquarters or any other pre-arranged meeting point.
b) Delivery of the rental equipment can, on the renter's request, take place on the evening before the first tour day. This service is free of charge and the decision to meet with this request will be made by the tour operator exclusively.
c) Return of the equipment on the last tour day must be before 6 p.m. at the tour operator headquarters or any other pre-arranged meeting point.

Article 4 - Contract:
a) The contract is realized after the booking form is accepted by the lessor. The lessor will notify the renter of his acceptance by email. The written tour confirmation will state the names of the persons in the contract, the rental period and the reservation requests. The accompanying invoice will state the number and specifications of the rented equipment and the related prices.
b) The rental contract will be automatically dissolved, without serving any prior notice on the renter, if payment of the deposit payment is not received within 20 days from the payment date as indicated on the invoice. The dissolution of the contract does not in any way relieve the renter of his obligations, especially payment of the rent and deposit, forthcoming from the contract and the cancellation terms.
c) Changes and modifications in the initial booking will be subject to an administration fee of Euro 25. Requests for changes made within 30 days of the start of the tour are also dependent on equipment and accommodation availability. All changes in the initial booking will be confirmed by email or regular mail.
d) At the tour start and tour finish the renter must sign a notification of receipt and return. This notification states the number and specifications of the rented equipment and support, rental period, date of delivery and date of return.
e) The first renter mentioned on the reservation form must be over 16 years of age and will be the contracting person for payments, refunds and communication.
f) The first renter's signature on the notification of receipt and return is valid for all the items on the notifications.

Article 6 - Liability:
a) Renter is subject to Dutch, Belgium and German Traffic Laws. In particular, renter acknowledges that there is no bicycle-helmet obligation under this law (In Germany a helmet is obligated on a road bike or mountain bike as also for children).
b) Besides the pre-tour traffic rules instruction and briefing by the tour operator it is the responsibility of the renter and his party to be sufficiently informed about Dutch, Belgium and German Traffic Laws and regulations.
c) It is the renter's own responsibility to have sufficient insurance coverage against all claims that might arise from legal responsibility of the renter and his party such as responsibility for (non-equipment) damages, injuries, legal procedures and tort.
d) The tour operator can only be held responsible for direct damages or injuries that are a result of material failure. The responsibility is limited to failure that is a result of insufficient normal day-use maintenance by the lessor. For all other damages of goods and injuries of the renter, his party or a third party during the rental period, The tour operator cannot be held responsible nor can this derive any right to cancel (a part of) the rental contract.
e) The contract is submitted to Dutch Law and will be carried out under Dutch jurisdiction.
f) Disagreements and claims between both renter and lessor as well with a third party must be heard by a Dutch court in Arnhem or Zwolle.

Article 7 - Equipment insurance:
a) The insured: Renter of the tour operator equipment, as described on the booking form.
b) Insured articles: All tour operator equipment that has been rented and is used during a tour, as described on the booking form.
c) Coverage: Theft, damage or fire arising from any, calamity caused by internal or external sources.
d) Area: the insurance is valid within The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
e) Insurance-premium amounts to Euro 1 (one Euro) per person per day (minimum Euro 10). This is for one adult bicycle. If a E-bike, tandem or road bike is rented the insurance premium amounts to Euro 2 per person per day (minimum Euro 20). One child bike, if rented, is included.
f) Own risk / deductible: The first Euro 45 per renter per insured event will be paid by the insured (renter).
g) Damage: Renter must always immediately report a theft, loss or damage by accident to the tour operator and the local police. A referred police report and specified repair invoice must be handed over to the tour operator at the end of the rental period.
h) Restrictions: Renter is obligated to lock the bicycle(s) securely when left unattended. In case of loss or theft the renter must at all times be able to provide a police report describing the particular loss or theft, and the keys to the lock which were originally given to the renter at the start of the tour. If renter cannot provide those items, he will be held responsible for the combined loss and damages resulting from the theft or loss of the insured items: adult bike Euro 1100, tandem and road bike Euro 1650, E bike Euro 2500, child's bike/child trailer Euro 350, pair of panniers Euro 100, handlebar bag Euro 50, luggage trailer Euro 250, GPS device Euro 200, helmet Euro 40, poncho Euro 25, car trailer Euro 1500, free rental accessories Euro 20.
i) Damage- and loss exclusions: Non-designated use, criminal intent, negligence, molestation by war or large-scale riots, nuclear disasters. 

All photos used by permission. ©Tulip Cycling