Guided Bike and Barge

Web code BE013

Belgium / Cycling across Flanders

Brussels, Gent and Bruges

A journey by bike and boat across the beautiful flemish towns: Brussels, capital city of the European Union, Mechelen, tfamous for its tapestries, Antwerp and its diamonds, lively Ghent and finally Bruges, the flemish gem.
  • Day by Day

    map

    1° Individual arrival in Brussels

    The barge will be waiting for you in the Brussels harbour. Check-in on board will be from 3 to 5 pm. Take some time to explore the capital of Belgium: walk through the historical city centre, visit the Grote Markt square (Great Market square), alegedly Europe’s most beautiful medieval square framed in guild houses, marvel at the Gothic town hall or visit the Royal Palace! The highlight of the palace, many will agree, is the Mirror Room which is adorned from floor to ceiling with mirrors and 11 sparkling chandeliers

     

    2° Brussels – Willebroek (40 km - 24 miles)

    During breakfast the barge will sail to Vilvoorde where your first day of cycling will take you to Mechelen a remarkable city that can account for over 300 historically listed buildings. Eight of them are churches – all included in less than 3 square kilometres! Cycle on from Mechelen past picturesque villages and large country estates to Willebroek where your floating hotel for the night, will be waiting with a warm shower and a delicious meal. When there is enough interest a beer tasting will be held on board (to be paid on board).

     

    3° Willebroek – Antwerp (50 km - 30 miles)

    Today you will cycle from Willebroek to Antwerp  via Lier. Antwerp is an important  harbour town situated on the river Schelde and renowned for handling the vast majority of the world's rough diamonds. Its medieval streets, Renaissance monuments and vibrant nightlife are a magnet for tourists from around the world. Highlights to be discovered include: the City Hall, one of several majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period, the historical City Square Grote Markt, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle. For guests of the barge Magnifique, dinner will be in a restaurant of your choice (not incl. – restaurant recommendations on board).

     

    4° Antwerp – Dendermonde/St. Amand (50 km - 30 miles)

    Your bicycle tour today will take you upstream along the Schelde River to Hemiksem and on to Rupelmonde where the Schelde joins the Rupel River. After following the Rupel for a few kilometres you will reach the village of Niel and later the Walenhoek Nature Reserve. Along the way you will have the opportunity to visit an historical brick factory situated between Boom and Niel where bricks have been manufactured since the Middle Ages. Your destination for the day is the beautiful city of Dendermonde. Don’t forget to make a short stop for a drink at Dendermonde’s beautiful Flemish market square Grote Markt (Great Market square). Overnight in Dendermonde (Gandalf) or in St. Amand (Magnifique).

     

    5° St Amand/Dendermonde – Ghent (50 km - 30 miles)

    Today’s destination is the beautiful city of Ghent, where the barge will be moored in the suburb of Merelbeke which is approx. a 15 minute ride from the city centre. You will enjoy exploring the pedestrian area in Ghent’s town centre, partly by bike and partly on foot. Ghent is rich in historical building and maintains its appeal from the past and its special atmosphere. During the Middle Ages Ghent was the 2nd largest and most important European city after Paris. 

     

    6° Ghent – Bruges (40 km - 24 miles)

    Part of the cycling of the day will be along the Ghent-Oostende-canal to Oostende and on through the beautiful Flemish landscape to Bruges, a lovely art city and Belgium's best preserved medieval town. Often described as the “Venice of the North”, Bruges attracts more than two million visitors every year who come to enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical centre. While you are here you can visit one of Bruges many museums or simply take in the stunning beauty and culture of this unforgettable city sitting at a café.

     

    7° Tour around Bruges to the North Sea (55 km - 33 miles)

    Your final cycling day takes you along a quiet canal and past beautiful poplar trees through an attractive polder landscape (a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments) dotted with small farm houses spreading to the North Sea coast and crossing the small town of Damme. Here you will have the opportunity to get your feet wet along an inviting 12 kilometre sandy beach, visit any one of numerous cafés and see the attractive dune landscape of “Het Zwin” (a unique nature reserve). On the return ride to Bruges you will cycle along a small picturesque canal.

     

    8° Bruges

    Disembarkation just after breakfast, at aroubd 09:30 am. End of your tour.

     

    The itinerary may be subject to unexpected changes before and/or during your holiday due to unforseable circimstances such as: extreme weather conditions, unannounced road or repair works or law enforcements.

     

  • Route profile

    Belgian landscape is completely flat. Only during the fourth stretch you will find a short ascent. Recently Belgium and Holland have unified their cycling paths network so it’s all very organized and efficient.

    It will not be hard to deal with this tour, but you will need to be a bit trained in order to stay a whole week on the saddle! Wind and rain can be frequent in northern Europe and they might make your cycling difficult. Sometimes the bike lanes are separated from the street only by a red line, so you need to pay attention. Your guide on board, he will be able to give you more information.

     

  • How to get there

    The precise point of embarkation will be mentioned in the Final Tour Details that you will receive a few days before departure.

     

    By plane

    Brussels has two airports: Charleroi (45 km away form the centre) and International Zaventem (12 km).

     

    Contact us for a free airfare quotation.

     

    To get to the city centre you can take a shuttle bus (duration: 1 hour; cost: 13 € one way), whereas at the International you can find a train that takes you directly to the central station (duration: 20 minutes). Further information on the airport websites.

     

    By train

    The nearest arrival point is Bruxelles Gare du Nord (train station). More information on www.belgianrail.be/en

     

    By car

    We suggest that you reach Bruges and leave your car there, because it is a smaller town and its easier to find a parking place. Then you can get to the starting point in Brussels by train.

    The parking places in Bruges are:

    • Rail station, cost approx: 3,50 € per day. You will also get a bus ticket to reach Bruges city centre.
    • t’Zand, secure parking, cost: 9 € per day. Further information in the Final Tour Details.

     

  • Accommodation and meals

    For this tour dinner, overnight and breakfast will be aboard a river cruise boat, while lunch, which is still included, consists of a packed lunch. There are several boats available depending on the chosen departure date:

     

    GANDALF

    The beautiful Gandalf is a comfort class passenger ship that can accommodate 20-22 guests.

    Almost everything on this barge is on one level, including the comfortable salon which has gorgeous panoramic windows.

    Cabins
    There are 8 double cabins that are equipped with twin beds and 2 cabins that can be made into a triple with a bunk bed. All cabins come with private bathroom facilities, bed linens, towels, and central heating. There is a fan in each cabin, as well as windows that can be opened.

    The Gandalf also has a large deck, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the great views.

     

    Watch Gandalf photo gallery.

     

     

    MAGNIFIQUE

    Magnifique is 63 meters long and it accommodates max. 35 guests.
    The lower deck has 16 cabins:

    • 11 twin cabins (approx. 11 m², 2 single adjacent beds)
    • 4 premium twins (approx. 14 m², 2 single adjacent beds and a small sitting area)
    • 1 single cabin (approx. 8 m²)


    All cabins have fixed portholes, en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet, individually regulated AC, flat screen satellite TV, a small safe and a hair dryer. On request, an extra bed is available in some twin cabins (above one of the other beds).

    Common areas
    On the upper deck there are a tastefully furnished salon with restaurant, bar, lounge area with wide screen TV, large windows, Wi-Fi (with limited data use). There are two partly covered teak wooden sun decks with tables, chairs and a bicycle shed (front deck), a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and barbecue on the aft deck.

     

    Watch Magnifique photo gallery.

     

     
  • Bikes and accessories

    In this tour you can rent: 

    • unisex touring bicycles of the German brand Batavus Dinsdag, with normal mount (ladies model), 7 gears, hand brake and pedal brake. 
    • unisex e-bike with 7 gears and hand brake. 

     

    The bikes are equipped with: 

    • pannier bag
    • lock

     

    In each cabin you will find a pump and a repair kit.

     

    In Belgium bike helmets are not mandatory, nonetheless we suggest you wear one for your own safety. You can bring your own or you can reserve one at the weekly (free in the Magnifique, Gandalf € 10).

     

     

  • Accompanying material

    You will receive by email, a few days before departure:

    • Embarkation voucher with details on the name of the boat and the precise embarkation point;
    • Tour Notes
    • Final tour Details.

     

    Please confirm us that you have received all the information.

    If you have any doubt, please contact us before departure.

     

    You will receive in site:

    • tour maps. Do not worry if the map is small, your real guide is the numbers you will find on every crossing on the cycle paths, that will help you find the correct way. 

     

  • By your side

    Our tour leaders are multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German. Smart, entertaining, caring and endlessly enthusiastic, they have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, people, culture and local food. Thanks to a deep knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice about how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix your flat tyre.

     

    For the whole duration of your bike tour, you can contact us:

    • office +39 0444 1278430 from Monday to Friday 8:30-13:00 and 15:00-18:30 
    • emergency phone number every day 8:00-20:00 which will be specified in the Final Tour Detail
  • 1 Variations

Tour details

 

from 919 €

8 days / 7 nights, barge Gandalf

Tour type
self-guided
 
Price per person

919 € barge Gandalf

1159 € barge Magnifique


Departures

From Brussels: 

Boat Gandalf: 11.05, 25.05, 8.06, 22.06.19

Boat Magnifique: 29.06.1

 

from Bruges departures on this link

Included

  • 7 overnights
  • full board (breakfast, packed lunch and 7 dinners) on barge Gandalf (excluding drinks) / 6 dinners on barges Magnifique (excluding drinks)
  • accompanying material
  • tour leader
  • hotline service


Not included

  • Transport to and from departure point
  • All drinks on board and specified meals
  • Entrance fees to tourist attractions
  • Anything that is not mentioned under included

Supplements

390 € single cabin on Magnifique

250 € single cabin on Gandalf 

200 € premium cabin on Magnifique 

80 € rental bike

175 € E-bike

50 € gluten/lactose free menu (to be paid on spot)

 

Reductions

150 € third person in triple cabin 

240 € third person in upperdeck 

 

At Girolibero we believe in rewarding our customers: choose the most beautiful pictures or a video of your holiday, you can win a travel voucher worth € 300!
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