Bicycling Belgium's Best Breweries

  • Itinerary Summary

    You don't want to miss this unique beer and bicycling opportunity - the only tour of Belgium that mixes excellent bicycling, lodging, food, plus visits to some of the important Belgian breweries. Starting near the capital of Belgium, we'll pedal through West Flanders (the Flemish part of Belgium) and finish in Tournai in the region of Wallonia where French is spoken. This tour concentrates on two important beer styles (to add a third, join our 11-day tour!). Lambic famous for its wild yeast fermentation method which results in a sour beer, and the breweries around Bruges (or Brugge in Flemish), a mix of Trappist (monk-brewed) breweries as well as historical breweries such as DeCam. You'll also bicycle through important WWI battleground sites. Gentle cycling terrain makes this a great tour for everyone; in fact the only "requirement" is that you enjoy good beer and fun!

    ***If this sounds great but you'd like a longer tour, check out our Bicycling Belgium's Best Breweries Plus! tour, which extends this itinerary by 3 days.***

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    1. Day 1: Arrive in Waterloo

      Highlights: Gothic and Medieval architecture, Belgian waffles

      We start our tour just south of Brussels in the town of Waterloo, famous worldwide for the 1815 defeat of French Emperor Napoleon by an Anglo-Allied army in the "Battle of Waterloo". You might choose to arrive a few days early in Brussels to explore the Belgian capital. Brussels hosts a variety of fascinating architectural sites - from medieval architecture to post-modern European Union buildings. Stroll through town where Belgian waffles and "moules frites", or mussels served with French fries abound and "brasseries" or "salon de thés" are aplenty. Meet this afternoon for a bike fitting and test ride to the Lion Mound, the site of the infamous battle. Welcome drinks and dinner together to celebrate the beginning of our Belgian bike and beer tour!

      Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D

      Lodging: Hotel Le Coté Vert

    2. Day 2: Flanders Cycling

      Highlights: Lambic beer, visit to DeCam Brewery

      Our ride takes us through Lambic region today as we head West into the upper Ardennes and the heart of Flanders. We'll pass the region known for its Lambic beer and we'll have a chance to visit a small brewery en route to taste some of this unique beer made with natural yeasts. Our destination today is one of the oldest towns in Flanders, Geraardsbergen.

      Distance: 60 km (37 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Geeraard

    3. Day 3: Ride to Oudenaarde

      Highlights: Cycling through picturesque Flemish towns and countryside, Oudenaarde, Tour de Flanders Region

      We pedal west today past lush fields along the gentle hills of Flanders - we're pedalling along the hills racers ride during the Tour de Flanders before continuing to our home for the night, Oudenaarde, a small Flemish town known once for its thriving tapestry economy. Today Oudenaarde is home to the museum of the Tour de Flanders that features the heroes of Flemish cycling, including Eddy Merkcx.

      Daily Mileage: 44 km (27 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: La Pomme d'Or

    4. Day 4: Cycling from Oudenaarde to Bruges

      Highlights: UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bruges, Flemish art museums, Flemish "primitives"

      We bike to one of Belgium's most impressive cities today, Bruges (Brugge in Flemish). A quiet bike route takes us through farmland to reach the center of Bruges and our hotel. Settle in and plan to visit Flemish art museums or just stroll along the canals that were once main arteries in the city. The imposing medieval square and City Hall combined with the fantastic architecture characterize this unique city. Bruges' city richness in history and architecture is well displayed in its stepped gable houses, the market square with the belfort, in unique historic neighborhoods such as the "Beguinage", a community of lay women from the 13th Century, or through the almshouses that dot the city's ramparts from the Middle Ages.

      Distance: 69 km (44 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Martin's Relais

    5. Day 5: Rest Day - Guided city visit

      Highlights: City tour, beer bar visit and tasting

      Enjoy a guided visit around the city of Bruges mid-morning after which you can decide to visit the chocolate museum, diamond museum or even the Belgian fry museum! Enjoy this fabulous city but be sure to save some energy to join us at Bruges' famous beer bar late this afternoon for samples! And remember if climbing up Bruges' famous belfry isn't enough exercise for you, a Tour Leader would be delighted to pedal to the North Sea and back with you.

      Distance: Optional 48 km (30 miles). Meals B

      Lodging: Martin's Relais

    6. Day 6: Bicycling Belgium's Countryside

      Highlights: Westvleteren home to the world's highest ranking beers, Ieper and Flanders Field Museum

      From Bruges we pedal southwest directly through the West Flanders region, passing by the town of Esen (famous for its "mad brewers" brewery). Serious beer connoisseurs may want to wait for the afternoon guided tour, but we have several miles still ahead of us, so most will pedal on to our quick lunch stop before reaching another important beer stop. Westvleteren is one of only 6 authentic Trappist beers in Belgium (made by Trappist monks, a branch of Cistercian monks) and one of which is continually ranked amongst the top beers in the world. The 16th Century St. Sixtus Abbey is not open to the public, but you can still enjoy the world's highest ranking beers from the In de Vrede café across the street before continuing on to the town of Ieper, home to a fascinating museum that starkly documents WWI's impact on the region.

      Distance: 83 km (52 miles). Meals: B, L

      Lodging: Hotel Ariane

    7. Day 7: Bicycling Wallonia and French Belgium

      Highlights: Bicycling into Wallonia, Tournai, Gothic and Romanesque Tournai's cathedral

      We leave the Flemish part of Belgium today to enter Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium. Wallonia or "Wallonie," as the French call it, makes up 55% of the geographic area of Belgium. Once the first industrialized region of all of continental Europe due to important coal and iron reserves, today Wallonia is famous for its Trappist beers (Chimay and Orval are both here) as well as some industry, services, and tourism. We bicycle to the town of Tournai, the oldest city in Belgium. Incredibly rich in the Middle Ages thanks to its textile industry, Tournai still preserves important Romanesque and Gothic churches and private houses which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

      Distance: 65 km (40 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Alcantara

    8. Day 8: Our tour ends today

      Highlights: Complimentary shuttle to Brussels

      Thanks for joining us on this beer and bike adventure! From Tournai, we'll shuttle you to our Meeting Hotel or airport in Brussels arriving late morning. Bon voyage and Goede Reis!

      Meals: B

      ***If this sounds great but you'd like a longer tour, check out our Bicycling Belgium's Best Breweries Plus! tour, which extends this itinerary by 3 days.***

    • Highlights

      Cycling quiet roads and paths, Waterloo, Flanders Field Museum, Historic hotels, WWI battle and historical sites, 1 Trappist tasting
    • Includes

      8 days, 7 nights accommodation; 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners, 1 lunch; 1 Trappist Beer visits; 'beer bar" in Bruges, 1 tastings with dinner; shuttle from and to Brussels plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

      Brussels / Tournai
    • Arrive/Depart

      Brussels Int'l Airport (BRU) / Brussels Int'l Airport
    • Total Distance

      321 km - with the option for 48 more (198 km with 30 extra)
    • Daily Distance

      Average per riding day 54 kms (34 miles)
    • Rating

      201 Flat rides on small roads and bike paths. Some short hills in Flanders on Day 2 and 3.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Meals on Your Bicycle Tour

      Information on how meals work on ExperiencePlus! Bicycle tours

    • Belgian Waffles

      From National Geographic Traveler comes an article about a century-old waffle house in Antwerp, Belgium

    • Brewed Force

      An article from The Economist: How a small, unremarkable country came to dominate the world of beermaking

    • Tapping the Essence of Belgium

      AFAR Magazine investigates the nuances and cultural elements of Belgium's internationally renowned brews

    • Incredible.

      Randy R., Encinitas, CA
    • I would go on any tour anywhere with this company.

      Joyce W., Encinitas, CA
    • Ilene and I had an incredible trip! Small group size, great guides, wonderful accommodations, great itinerary, chalk navigation and especially beer and cycling. This trip was a dream come true and we will remember it for years to come. Thank you!

      Stephen K., San Antonio, TX
    • Thanks for the great ride.

      Anthony C., Sydney, NSW
    • A lot of fun, good routes. Great total experience.

      Rick S., Revere, MA
    • Beautiful scenery, interesting historical sites, great chocolate!

      Carol W., New York, NY
    • Fun, fantastic....would do it again. Thanks for a great time.

      Kimberly B., Phoenix, AZ
    • I loved everything-especially the tour leaders. We are hooked - we'll definitely be doing more ExperiencePlus! tours in the future.

      Susan C., Brookeville, MD

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