The first stanza of John McCrae’s famous 1915 poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ honours those who died in the Great War on the Western Front. Tragically, this poem eventually became a call to arms, as the worst was yet to come. Relive history from that era on Days 6 and 7 of this tour. Many WWI-related places of interest lie within the Bruges-Panne-Ypres triangle: battlefields, museums, cemeteries, memorials. Be sure to do a bit of research beforehand to draw up your battle plan! http://www.greatwar.co.uk/trip-info/visit-1ww-battlefields.htm
The happy highlight of this holiday is beautiful Bruges, well-preserved, renovated and rebuilt with just the right medieval look. The town’s satisfying, harmonious whole creates a storybook village, complete with cobbles and swan lake.
Make your way to Veurne, unpack a few things, then venture out into the delightful Old Town. Start your trip album with a few photos on the market square, one of the most beautiful in all of Belgium.
Sail out on your bike, heading up the North Sea coast. Art lovers might like to pause at the museum dedicated to painter Paul Delvaux (1897-1994). The popular beach resort of Koksijde boasts the highest dune around, formerly a “beacon” for sailors at sea. Next is Nieuwpoort, which recalls the Dutch-Spanish battle of 1600 and the years 1914-1918 on the West Front. Top off your day with a rest in the resort town of Oostende (Ostend) and marvel as the sun sinks into the sea.
Set off on a short cycling route, which ensures ample time to explore beautiful Bruges. Stop in Stalhille at a workshop beneath the church tower, where master Antonie Demonie displays his many trades as a glass-blower, basket weaver, beekeeper. Relax a bit and 'ponder the polder', while savouring a cup of honey tea or glass of honey beer. Wander through the peaceful nature reserve of Meetkerkse Moeren, open wetlands with flower-filled meadows and a habitat of poplars for bats and birds. Last but not least, the captivating town of Bruges absolutely must be admired both by day and by night. Picture-perfect!
Strike out on a delightful longer ride through the wooded terrain of Houtland, dotted with country estates and castles with exotic names. Stop off to see those found near Oostkamp -Pecsteen, Raepenburgh and Lakebos- and make time for a visit of Torhout, Gitsberg and Hooglede. At the end of the day, set your course for Roeselaere.
In 1995, work got underway to transform farmland into the Rhodesgoed Woods, first by planting of poplars and willows, later with slow-growing oak, ash, cherry and beech. 25 years later, the area provides habitat for a great number of plant and animal species, thanks in part to numerous ponds and the meandering Rhodebeek stream. For a change of pace, feed your fetish at the shoe capital of Izegem, wander the halls of Eperon d’Or Museum and learn about the town’s industrial heritage. Later, move into a country scene on slightly rolling terrain and take in the wide-open landscapes of West Flanders. Cycle to Kortrijk along the River Leie (Lys) and leave time to stroll the streets around the town hall. Whip out your camera for a shot of the belfry, beguinage, medieval Broel towers and the Gravenkapel. And entertain your fascination with colour at St. Anthony’s church, painted by the Passionist Fathers in green, brown and gold.
Let the River Leie lead you to the border town of Menen (Menin), where thousands of German soldiers lie buried at the War Cemetery. Then proceed to the Passchendaele 1917 Memorial in Beselare/Zonnebeke and stretch your legs on a 3-km walk to Tyne Cot Cemetery. See Polygon Wood, formerly the scene of fighting and home to two British war cemeteries and memorials to soldiers from Australia and New Zealand, and the Canadian Hill 62, one of the few places where trenches have been preserved. A free app aids in exploring the sites around Ypres and the town’s magnificent Lakenhalle houses an intriguing museum called “In Flanders Fields”, where every evening buglers play the 'Last Post'.
History buffs will have a field day at Lijssenthoek, former location of huge wartime hospitals and nowadays the final resting place for 11.000 soldiers of thirty different nationalities. Pause at the excellent visitors’ centre, a true work in progress. Cycling onward to Poperinge, art buffs will get a veritable master class in the Gothic style and gourmets can hang out at the Hops Museum, where colourful characters present Belgian beer and the culture of cultivating hops. At St Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, the Cistercians monks pray, read and work… in the brewery! Coming full circle, the winding roads of West Flanders find glistening streams, scattered villages and vast farmed fields on the way back to Veurne.
Your cycling holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast and it’s time to return home!
|Double room, breakfast||699.00|
|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|
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 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
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
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.
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 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, half board optional
Tourist information on all the places of interest
Rental bikes available
7-days a week service hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Parking available at the hotel
Ferry crossings are not included
The nearest airports are Ostend-Bruges (OST) and Brussels Airport (BRU).
The amount of miles was perfect for seeing Belgium countryside and getting to each town to see the highlights.