Ideally, you would cycle this tour in spring, when Haspengouw, a region of orchard farmers, is at its most beautiful: For a short period in April – May, the landscape is ablaze with colour, thanks to the mesmerizing cherry, apple, and pear blossoms. Although it is impossible to predict exactly when the trees will flower, if you strike lucky, consider the blossoms to be the “cherry on the cake” of your cycling holiday, as the saying goes in these parts (icing on the cake!). For Haspengouw is lovely all year round!
In this paradise for cyclists, you will find low hills, romantic castles, fertile farmland, woods, historical towns and of course orchards. Thanks to its moist, clay-rich soil, this is reputedly the largest center of fruit production in Western Europe. For some very different scenery you will briefly digress into the Campine region which still boasts some marshy areas and heath; and into the Land of 1001 Ponds . On this tour, the roads and paths are flat to gently sloping; and low in traffic. The start and finish of the holiday is in the friendly university town of Hasselt.
Organize your own journey to Hasselt, a friendly and progressive place with an international outlook and an ambition for environmental sustainability. Check out the new Town Hall: ‘t Scheep. Here is a random selection of things to do: Fashionistas could pop into the fashion museum. Visit a 19th-century liquor distillery in the National Jenever Museum. If contemporary art and design make you happy, head for Z33. Finally, should you desire some peace and quiet after your journey, calm down in the Japanese garden.
Pedalling leasurely, leave Hasselt behind you and progress through the valley of the River Mombeek to Alken. Just before you reach Sint-Truiden, make a detour towards the Vinne. This park holds the only natural lake in Flanders. The lake is located along an important bird migration route so keep your eyes peeled for the Squacco Heron, Red-Rumped Swallow and Little Bittern. After that, it may well be time for a drink at the alcohol distillery of Wilderen. At the end of the day, enter the town of Sint-Truiden, packed with religious buildings and monuments from yesteryear. The courtyard beguinage and the belfry are UNESCO world heritage sites. The shops are full of fruit products; and if strawberries are in season, treat yourself to some fresh ones.
In the early morning, while you are still brimming with energy, climb the 196 steps to the top of Saint Trudo’s Abbey tower for an impressive view of the town. Then hit the trail and set forth on the gently rolling roads of Haspengouw along all the prettiest places of this fruity region. In the afternoon, you will reach Hoegaarden. We recommend a visit to the interactive visitors’ center at the local brewery. Finally, after a small detour to avoid some uncomfortable cobbled lanes, put your feet up in the town of Tienen.
Exit Tienen and enter lovely, leafy country estates and woods. In Tielt-Winge, climb a surrealistically hovering winding staircase, towering up above the woods. Farther on, you’ll find an authentic castle vineyard. Your next stop is Belgium’s most important pilgrimage site, Scherpenheuvel, which boasts the oldest central-plan domed church in the Low Countries. To conclude, crown your day in Diest, our secret gem, the biggest surprise of this holiday, as yet undiscovered by mass tourism. Explore the welcoming main square and the surrounding roads and alleys. Have a peek into the courtyard beguinage, one of the oldest, most beautiful and best preserved in Europe. Amble along the River Demer which flows through town once again, after having been covered up since the 1960s. A boardwalk, a cycling path, steps and seating invite the townspeople to spend time by the water.
Today’s leg of the tour takes you through the Campine region (Kempen), historically a sparsely populated, soggy and desolate place that people stayed away from. Today’s tourists go there for some peace and quiet. In Zichem, a 14th-century tower offers great views of the surroundings. Have a break at Averbode Abbey before cycling through Helschot woods, where the well-loved Flemish author Willem Elsschot (1882-1960) used to go to be inspired. Lastly, wander around in Tichelbroek nature reserve, marked by a lake, marshes, hayfields and woods.
Today you will never be far away from the Grote Nete river that meanders through the Campine region. Just beyond Meerhout, you will veer away from the river and move into the mining region of Limburg. Mining has changed the landscape forever. The mining museum in Beringen has all the stories. Next, explore the woody surroundings of Heusden-Zolder and Houthalen-Helchteren. For a last wonderful treat, discover the Wijers, Land of 1001 Ponds. Slalom your way around the ponds, marveling at the reflections and colourful vegetation. Finally, you will arrive back in Hasselt.
After breakfast, your holiday will come to an end. It’s time to return home.
Saturdays from April 3rd till September 25th.
4 x dinner (no dinner in Sint Truiden & Diest)
|Double room, breakfast||599.00|
|Single room, breakfast||839.00|
|Extra night, breakfast only||70.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 6||18.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 6||36.00|
|Bike helmet||per piece||10.00|
The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. A list of the hotels we work with appears below. If a certain accommodation is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a comparable alternative.
Our hybrid bikes are Giant Aero RS2 or similar bikes
Assembly: with Shimano Deore (24 gears)
Brakes: Shimano rimbrakes (hand brakes)
Pedals: Flat pedals
Weight: ca. 16,5 kg
The e-bikes have a small electric engine and battery, which can be charged at the hotels. You still have to pedal: it just makes pedaling much easier. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes because of the electric engine.
The e-bikes are Kalkhoff 2.0 Impulse or similar with 7 gears
They have a Bosch 500 Wh middle engine with a range of approx. 100km (normal use)
Pedals: Flat pedals
Weight: ca. 27 kilo.
Our childbikes are Giant, Merida or Golden Lion (aluminium)
Assembly: Shimano 7 gears
Brakes: Shimano (handbrakes)
Pedals: Flat pedals
Weight: ca. 14kg
Our roadbikes are Carbon Giant TCR/Defy, or Merida Reacto or similar
Assembly: Shimano 105 or Ultegra 20 gears
Brakes: Shimano 105 or Ultegra rim brakes
Pedals: We can provide flat pedals, toeclips, SPD, SPD-SL, Look or Keo pedals
Weight: depends on model and type but from 8,5 - 10 kg
Attention: If you rent a roadbike, those won't be provided with panniers
All our adult bikes come with hand brakes.
All our adult bikes come with hand brakes.
For children up to 30 months old (max. 15 KG) it is possible to rent a front child seat. This is not possible with e-bikes, due to the display.
For children older than 30 months (max. 22KG) it is possible to rent a rear child seat. This is also possible with e-bikes.
Helmets are not mandatory in Belgium, but can be rented. Most of the helmets are Lazer Compact helmets or Polisport
Available sizes: M, L and XL and also child helmets
All our bikes come with both front- and rear lights. You need to push the button on the lamp and it will flash three times. This means that the lights will automatically start working when it gets dark.
When you push again, the lamp will flash one time and the lights will be turned off.
All our bikes have locks on the bikes and we also provide one extra chain lock per couple of bikes.
Our e-bikes come with a defender lock with plug in chain (cable lock that is attached to the regular lock, see picture).
You need to turn the key a bit, take out the pin from the cable lock and attach it to a pole/other bike/fence etc.
When you push the pin back into the regular lock, you need to lock the regular lock as you always do, and both locks will be secured.
1 pannier is included at the 'standard' bikes and the e-bikes.
Height: 42 cm
Depth front to the side: 17 cm
Wide top: 32 cm
Wide down: 23 cm
Volume: 20 liters
It has an easy click-on/click-off system. The panniers are water resistant, so everything will stay dry.
The rental bikes come with regular pedals, so no click-in/SPD pedals or toe-clips.
All our bikes come with a quick release system, which makes it very easy to adjust the height of the saddle and the handle bars.
All bike are provided with a small repairkit including an extra inner tube, chain rivet extractor and hand pump. There is also one First Aid Kit per couple of bikes. Please leave this always in the bike after your tour!
Saddles can be adjusted in height without using any tools, see ‘Quick Release’.
Our saddles don’t come with a gel cover.
Belgian Biketours does not provide water bottles. We can also not guarantee that there are bottle holders on the bikes. You will always receive 1x pannier, so you can always store your water bottle in your pannier.
Our tandems are Multicycle, Sparta or Gazelle (all aluminium)
Assembly: Shimano Deore LX or Deore XT
Brakes: rim brakes Shimano Deore
Pedals: Flat pedals
Weight: ca. 30 kg
For a hybrid bike: € 3,00 per day per bicycle.
For an electric bicycle: € 6,00 per day per bicycle.
Please see the General Terms and Conditions for Bicycle Hire and Insurance.
Article 1 Bike Rental Price
The bike rental price is determined by the rates mentioned on the Belgian Bike Tours website at the time of the booking; or as subsequently agreed.
Article 2 Payment
a. The rental price and any other due sums regarding the rental agreement must be paid before the bike is handed over to you.
b. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make use of the bike(s) you have rented, Belgian Bike Tours will not be held responsible for any resulting expenses or damage.
c. In the case of the article 2b, the client remains obliged to pay the full rental price and any other amounts mentioned in the invoice, in accordance with our General Terms and Conditions of Booking, unless the client can prove that his not being able to use the bike was the consequence of a defect that was already present at the beginning of the rental period.
Article 3 Rental Period
a. The rental period runs from the morning of the first cycling day (day 2) to the end of the holiday (the day before departure day), as stated in the booking confirmation.
b. Extension of the rental period is possible only after approval by us and according to the (extension) rates as mentioned in article 1.
c. No refunds are possible after the rental period begins. If you return the bike(s) to us before the end of your holiday, the rental agreement will automatically be terminated and you will not get any of your money back.
d. At the end of the last cycling day of your holiday, the bike(s) must be returned to the hotel from where it was/they were issued, no later than the time stated in the booking confirmation.
If you book a one way tour tour you can leave the bike at the last hotel of the trip.
e. If the bike(s) is /are not returned by the return time stated in the booking confirmation, we will continue to charge you rent until such time as the bike(s) is/are returned to us or is/are received by us. In the event of late return, the rates as mentioned in article 1 will continue to apply, plus a fine of €25 per day. We also reserve the right to demand payment for any costs and/or damages suffered by us due to late return of our rental bike(s).
f. Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, in the event of late return of our rental bikes, we reserve the right to dissolve the rental agreement without judicial intervention and immediately claim back our bicycles where ever they may be and from whomever has them. Belgian Bike Tours also holds this right in the event that the client does not comply with any of the other conditions stated in this rental agreement.
Article 4 Improper Use
a. The bicycle(s) may only be used for its/their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the rental agreement.
b. The bike(s) must be returned to us in the same (clean!) state in which you received it/them.
c. You must take excellent care of the bicycle(s), as if it/they were your own. You must take every precaution against damage, loss or theft.
d. The bicycle may not be used on the beach; or on sandy paths in the dunes unless a paved path is unavailable.
Article 5 Damage, Loss and Theft
The renter will be held responsible for damages to or loss of the bicycle(s) or parts of it, as well as bicycle keys and chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. You must understand that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.
Article 6 Theft Insurance
It is possible to purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance. Covered are: damages arising out of the theft of the bicycle; and damages to the bicycle as a consequence of the theft. Not covered are: theft of bicycle parts; and damages arising out of attempted theft.
Article 7 Theft Insurance Premium
a. The premium for Bicycle Theft Insurance is € 3,00 per day per bicycle. For an electric bicycle € 6,00.
The number of insurance days is the same as the number of cycling days as stated in our booking confirmation.
Article 8 Liability in the Event of Theft
a. If you did not purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us before the start of the holiday, you will be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.
b. If you did purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us, but you failed to lock the wheel lock and failed to produce the original wheel lock key and failed to produce an official theft report drawn up by the police, you will still be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.
Article 9 Costs During the Rental Period
Any charges and taxes regarding the rental bicycle(s), such as fines and ferry tickets, are to be paid by you. You will also be required to pay all costs ensuing from the use of the bicycle(s) such as parking fees, maintenance and repairs.
6 nights included
3/4 star hotels
Tourist tax included
Breakfast included, halfboard optional
Tourist information on all the places of interest
The possibility of renting our bikes
7-days a week service-hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Parking possibilities near the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included