This route takes you around the lovely central part of Flanders. We have selected a string of beautiful historical towns for you to visit. Everybody knows Brussels, of course, with its grand market square, but have you ever been to Ghent? The heart of historical Ghent, especially around the quays on the River Leie, is like a picture from a book of fairytales. We also want to surprise you with lovely Sint Niklaas and Aalst. In Oudenaarde you may like to visit a museum dedicated to the Tour of Flanders, a tough road-cycling race which has been held every spring since 1919.
Organize your own journey to Mechelen and make sure you get there early to check out the compact and cute historical town center.
Your first stop is Rumst, a town at the confluence of the rivers Nete and Dijle. They join to form the Rupel, the river you will follow to the River Scheldt. Historically, the Rupel valley is known for its clay deposits, clay pits, brickyards and ovens for baking (roof)tiles. Museums tell the fascinating stories. Follow the River Scheldt to the Temse Bridge which takes you across the water to the town of Temse. From here, quiet, flat roads lead to Sint Niklaas, the town with the biggest market square in the whole of Belgium.
Set forth on quiet and flat roads through the Waasland region to Dendermonde where you will rejoin the Scheldt river. If you have an eye for nature, you will be interested to find out that you are cycling through a freshwater tidal habitat. What? Here? So far away from the sea? Yes, at high tide, seawater can flow upriver, unhindered, as far as the locks near Ghent. Obviously, the water gets less and less saline as it approaches Ghent, so there are gradual variations in (more or less salt-resistant) vegetation and in fauna (from water birds to fish) all the way from the mouth of the Scheldt to the locks. Interestingly, the daily motion of water flowing in and out is continuously etching changes into the landscape. Roaming the scenic Scheldeland region, you will pass Donkmeer lake and nature reserve, which started off as a loop in the Scheldt. Cycle atop the river dike and watch the boats glide by. There are many cafes along today’s route. The people of Ghent have done such a good job looking after their stunning historical patrimony. The beautiful town center is an absolute joy – and cool too!
After the hustle and bustle of Ghent, pedal to Nazareth and Gavere before you reach Oudenaarde at the foot of the Flemish Holls. Along the way, opt to visit Dhondt Dhaenens art museum in Sint Martens-Latem. The museum boasts a wealth of works by Flemish modern and contemporary artists. In Oudenaarde, fans of road bicycle racing should visit Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen, a museum dedicated to the Tour of Flanders. After glimpsing the Town Hall, you will realize that this town has known grander days. It used to be a thriving center of tapestry production. Visit one of the many breweries or the pretty beguinage.
Today we will steer clear of the notorious hills and cobbled lanes of the Tour of Flanders, keeping them on our right-hand side, but there will be some slopes later on. After the first few flat kilometers along the Scheldt, head for Zottegem, the town of Lamoral, Count of Egmont (1522-1568). Although Lamoral was a catholic and loyal to the Spanish king, he politely protested when the Spanish Inquisition was established in the Low Countries to eradicate the protestants. He was beheaded, along with the protestants. You will find many references to this character across town. Moving on, past the rural villages of Herzele and Haaltert, you will reach the town of Aalst on the River Dender, known for its carnaval.
For centuries this was one of the wealthiest hop farming regions in Europe. You will pass Afflichem Abbey where the famous beer was once brewed. Today it is brewed elsewhere but the monks’ old recipe is still strictly followed. Rolling country roads lead you to the capital of Europe and Belgium, Brussels. Be sure to leave enough time for sightseeing because besides having Manneken Pis, the most delicious waffles, chocolates and pints, Brussels also happens to be the city where culture vultures, shopaholics, and gourmets and gourmands make merry.
After one last tour of the Grande Place it’s time to leave the city behind. Cycle through the suburbs to Grimbergen, known for its abbey with a baroque basilica that was never completed. A sequence of diverse landscapes will pass you by, with trees, water and vast cropfields. Finally, you will reach the town where you started this bike holiday a week previously: Mechelen.
After breakfast, your holiday will come to an end.
Saturdays from April 4th till September 19th.
|Double room, breakfast||689.00|
|Single room, breakfast||1,039.00|
|Extra night (breakfast only)||70.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 7||21.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 7||42.00|
Mechelen - Mercure Hotel Vé****
Sint Niklaas - Ibis Sint Niklaas Centrum***
Gent - Europahotel ***
Oudenaarde - Leopold Hotel****
Aalst - Tower Hotel
Brussel - NH Brussels Grand Place Arenberg****
Mechelen - Mercure Hotel Vé****
All our bikes come with bell.
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.
Available sizes: Adult: 54-61cm, Child: 50-55cm.
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.
There is one small puncture kit included, which can be found in the pannier. In case a rental bike has another problem, we always advise you to go to a bike repair shop or call our emergency number which is provided in the travel documents.
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.
For children who are at least 125 cm, we can also arrange bikes (these are 24”or 26” for children that are bigger than 140 cm). These child bikes are KTM Life on White bikes
Assembly: Shimano (27 gears)
Brakes: Shimano V-brakes (hand brakes)
Pedals: Flat Pedals
The maximum body height for a child’s bike is 155 cm.
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 KTM FUN A4 2.0 or similar
They have a Bosch Active Line 400 Wh middle engine with a range of approx. 80km (normal use)
Assembly: Shimano (9 gears)
Brakes: Shimano discbrakes (handbrakes)
Pedals: Flat pedals
Our hybrid bikes have 27-gears
The bikes are KTM Life one Orange or similar bikes
Assembly: with Shimano (27 gears)
Brakes: Shimano rimbrakes (hand brakes)
Pedals: Flat pedals
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.
7 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 at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included