This is the first stanza of the famous poem written by John McCrae in 1915, in name of those who had died in the Great War on the West Front. However, the poem was a call to arms; and the worst was yet to come. Battlefields, museums, cemeteries and memorials can be visited on Days 06 and 07 of this tour. Should you want to pay your respects at a specific grave or cemetery, do your research beforehand! http://www.greatwar.co.uk/trip-info/visit-1ww-battlefields.htm Once you know where the cemetery is, if necessary, we can try to adapt the cycle route for you to reach it. Most WWI-related places of interest are situated within the Bruges – Panne - Ypres triangle. If you want to stay longer, just book an extra night.
The happy highlight of this holiday is the wonderful town of Bruges.
Organize your own journey to Veurne. The beauty of the small Old Town will delight you. The main market square is one of the most beautiful in all of Belgium.
On your first cycling day, make your way up the North Sea coast. Art lovers may be interested to visit a museum dedicated to painter Paul Delvaux (1897-1994). Farther along, the well-known beach resort of Koksijde boasts the highest dune top on the coast. It used to be a beacon for sailors at sea. Proceed to Nieuwpoort, best-known for the battle that took place here in 1600 AD between a Spanish army and a Dutch army including English and Scottish regiments. Back then, the lesson learnt was that open-field battle is best avoided in favour of besieging a town. In West Front visitors’ centre you can find out what happened here 1914-1918. Top off your day in beach resort Oostende (Ostend) and watch the sun set into the sea.
We have planned a short trip for today to ensure you have ample time to explore Bruges. A good place to stop for a break is the village of Stalhille. Directly below the church tower you will find Antonie Demonie, master of many trades, glass-blower, basket weaver, beekeeper. While you sit and enjoy the view of the polder, savour a cup of honey tea or a glass of honey beer. Subsequently, wander through a peaceful nature reserve called the Meetkerkse Moeren: low-lying, open wetland where wild flowers grow in the meadows and where marilandica poplars are being reintroduced to provide shelter to bats and birds. Finally, crown your day in Bruges! This captivating town should be admired both by day and by night. Picture-perfect!
Follow a delightful route through the woody Houtland region. It is dotted with lovely castles and country estates. Near Oostkamp you can admire Pecsteen, Raepenburgh and Lakebos castles. Stop off in Torhout, Gitsberg and Hooglede and finally set course for Roeselaere.
In 1995 work got underway to transform farmland into Rhodesgoed woods. Poplar and willow were planted and paved the way for slow-growing oak, ash, cherry and beech. Today you will enjoy woods interspersed with wild-flower meadow. Already the area counts a great many different species of plants and animals, thanks in part to numerous ponds and meandering Rhodebeek brook. Take a break in the shoe town of Izegem where cyclists with a shoe fetish will want to wander the halls of Eperon d’Or museum. It showcases not only the finest “Chaussure d’Iseghem” shoes, but everything to do with shoe and brush production and the town’s industrial heritage. Next, ride through the slightly rolling, wide-open landscape of West Flanders to Kortrijk on the River Leie (Lys). Take your time to stroll around town to see the Belfry, Town Hall, beguinage and Gravenkapel, a chapel and mausoleum for the Counts of Flanders. The medieval Broel towers used to be part of the town’s fortifications and guarded the stone bridge across the river. If you have a fascination with colour, fingers crossed that St. Anthony’s church of the Passionist Fathers is open for you to see the greens, browns and golds in the painted interior.
Follow the River Leie out of town and head for Menen (Menin). The town museum presents the military history of this border town. Forty-eight thousand German soldiers lie buried in Menen War Cemetery. Then proceed to Beselare/Zonnebeke to ‘Passchendaele 1917’ Memorial Museum dedicated to the madness of the Battle of Passchendaele. From here there is a 3-km walking route to Tyne Cot Cemetery, with nearly twelve thousand Commonwealth graves and a wall with the names of another 35,000 soldiers with no known grave. Polygon Wood was the scene of fighting in the First, Second and the Third Battles of Ypres. The pinewoods harbour two British war cemeteries as well as memorials for soldiers from Australia and New Zealand. Later on, you can visit Hill62, Sanctuary Wood Museum, one of the few places where trenches have been preserved. There is a free app you can download onto your mobile device, 'You will end the day in Ypres. ‘In Flanders Fields’ Museum can be found in the immense and magnificent Lakenhalle (Cloth Hall) on the main Market Square. You may be interested to attend a poignant ceremony that takes place every evening at 20.00 hrs under the Menin Gate memorial for the soldiers who lost their lives in the trenches and whose graves are unnamed: Buglers play the “Last Post”.
The Allied wounded in the Ypres Salient were taken to Lijssenthoek, just outside the town of Poperinge. From 1915 this was the scene of four large British field hospitals with a total of 4000 beds. Ninety-seven percent of the wounded were patched up and moved on. But 11,000 soldiers of thirty different nationalities found a last resting place in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. Because most of them were alive upon arrival at the field hospital, their names were known and appear on the gravestones. Today, the excellent visitors’ center is a work in progress as more and more photographs and stories are linked to a specific gravestone. On to lighter matters. Cycle to Poperinge, a lovely town with a Gothic Town Hall and three gothic churches. Visit the Hop Museum where colourful characters introduce you to the Belgian beer and hop culture. Later on you will pass St.Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren. The monks are Cistercians of Strict Observance or Trappists. They pray and read and do manual work… in the brewery! This is one of six Belgian abbeys that brew Trappist beer. Then cycle the winding roads of West Flanders, past glistening streams, scattered villages and vast cropfields, to your destination Veurne.
After breakfast, your holiday will come to an end. It’s time to return home.
Saturdays from April 4th till September 19th.
|Double room, breakfast||649.00|
|Single room, breakfast||929.00|
|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|
Ieper - Hotel O***
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