In the historical town of Ypres, your journey through the Westhoek region begins. Along the way, you will make a short incursion over the border into France to visit the buzzing city of Lille. Then you will stay the night in Watou at Sint Bernardus brewery where you can do some tasting. Finally, you will cycle to a number of WWI battlefields and cemeteries before ending the tour back in Ypres.
Make your own way to Ypres. Explore the lovely town centre and admire the Lakenhalle, the Cloth Markte Hall. Discover 'In Flanders Fields', a museum with a mission. When evening falls, make your way to the 'Menen gate' to join the ceremony to remember the fallen soldiers. Buglers sound the 'Last Post' every evening at 20.00 hrs which is followed by a minute of silence.
The first part of this route is marked by flat, narrow and lonely roads through a wide-open West Flemish landscape. Along the way you will pass some typical West Flemish agricultural hamlets, each with a least one cafe. After about 20 km, choose whether to take the shortest route to Wervik or to make an extra loop towards Menin. We recommend the latter as the Market Square of Menin is a great place to lunch. The cross the border and cycle along the French side of the River Leie (Lys in French) to Wervik, once a thriving centre of of tobacco: farming, industry, trade and smuggling. Through the Northern French countryside, you will reach Lille, known by many as the first place in France on your way to Paris. But it is so much more: a city with a rich history: a beautiful, compact, historical center; and a modern, buzzing, cultural scene!
Follow the River Deûle out of Lille on a fast and comfortable cycling path away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Then travers the Northern French countryside back to the Leie and then back to West-Flanders. Very gradually, the landscape will become less flat. You will encounter small villages such as Ploegsteert and Dranouter. The shortest route follows the Belgian border (the right side of the road is Belgian, the left part is French) but a small detour brings you into Poperinge, 'the capital city of the good life'. In Poperinge you can look at some gothic buildings or visit the Hop Museum. Then you can hop back onto your bike and make straight for the brewery of Sint Bernardus in Watou, where you will find not only a beer but also your bed for the night, in the guesthouse next door. In the evening, enjoy a 'tasting menu' in which ou can sample several beers in combination with the traditional Flemish stew and chips.
Today's route is dedicated to beer and history, exactly what the Westhoek region is known for. Before long, you will reach the abbey of St.-Sixtus, where Westvleteren Trappist is brewed by monks. You cannot visit the brewey itself, but you can taste the Trappist in the café acros the road. A little further on, in Reninge, the Vandewalle brewery use 100% hop from Poperinge for their beer. Don't drink too much because further on you will cycle along the Ieperlee and IJzer canals. In the afternoon, you will arrive in the part of the Westhoek region that is known for the WWI battlefields. The Trench of Death, a last remnant of preserved trench system, is now a memorial site. For four years, Belgian and German soldiers manned these trenches, sometimes only a few meters apart. Many thousands lost their lives. When you have seen enough, resume your journey to Diksmuide. If you still have the energy, we recommend Stadslink, a 3-km walking tour of the prettiest places in town.
A last beautiful bike ride through the Westhoek region, on country lanes wiht wonderful views of the rolling landscape. A 10-km stretch of the route follows the Vrijbos trail trail. Further on, you will come to the WWI cemetries and the impressive Passchendaele Memorial Museum. At the end of the day, enter Ypres through the famous 'Menen-Gate'.
After breakfast, your holiday will come to an end. It’s time to return home.
Wednesdays from April 6 until September 20
|Double room, breakfast||519.00|
|Single room, breakfast||759.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 5||15.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 5||30.00|
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.
5 nights included
3/4 star hotels
Tourist tax included
Breakfast included, diner in Watou with beer tasting is included too
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
Nearest Airport is Brussels Airport (BRU).
The train journey from Brussels to Ypres is approximately 2.5 hours.
For timetables and tickets: Train.