Flemish Masters, Bruges - Antwerp - Brussels (or v.v., dep. 6 & 13 July)
This one week tour leads from Bruges via Ghent, Antwerp and the historical town Mechelen to Brussels. In Ghent you will visit the "Mystic Lamb" in the St. Baafs cathedral, painted by the brothers Van Eijck. After Ghent there is a bike ride along the river Scheldt to Antwerp. There you will have a stopover of two nights to give you the opportunity to visit several different museums and historical places:
- The house of Peter Paul Rubens, the absolute master of Flemish painting.
- Five monumental churches, within walking distance of each other. The Cathedral of Our Lady, St. Andrew’s Church, St. Charles Borromeo’s Church, St. James’s Church and St. Paul’s Church.
- The "MAS", museum on the bank of the river Scheldt.
- Visit of the Coogels-Osy-Lei, a neighborhood with many houses in Art-Deco, Art-Nouveau and Jugendstil.
From Antwerp you will bike again through Belgian's along the rivers Scheldt and Dijle and small-scall farmland to the historical city of Mechelen, with its baroque and gothic churches, ancient market square and buildings that represent the different historical episodes of Mechelen.
From Mechelen we will go to Brussels. Not only the contemporary center of political power, but also in the 16th century when Charles V reigned over the Habsburg empire and had one of his main residences in Brussels. If you have historical appetite there are plenty of possibilities to visit churches which date back to as early as the 11th and 12th century.
Character of the tour
This one week tour is easy biking: flat or slightly waving countryside.
Day 1 Saturday, Brussels Arrival at the barge, try out of bikes.
Day 2 Sunday, Vilvoorde - Willebroek Biking along the river Zenne to the historical town Mechelen with its 15th century cathedral and St. Rumbold's Tower. Then on along some small rivers to Willebroek.
Day 3 Monday, Willebroek - Antwerp Biking on the meandering dikes along the rivers Rupel and Nete to the picturesque city of Lier. Then on to Antwerp, where we will dock in an old dock: the Willemsdok.
Day 4 Tuesday, Antwerp stopover Opportunity to see this beautiful old town and visit exhibitions of the Flemish Masters. Including an excursion to the Coogels-Osy-Lei, a neighborhood with many houses in Art-Deco, Art Nouveau and Jugendstil.
Day 5 Antwerp - St. Amands - Dendergem Biking through marvelous nature along the river Scheldt via Temse to St. Amands and on to Dendermonde for the night.
Day 6 Dendergem - Ghent Another beautiful bike ride along the Scheldt to Ghent. Visit of the medieval town center and the St. Baafs cathedral with the triptique of the "Mystic Lamb" of the brothers Van Eyk.
Day 7 Ghent - Bruges Through the Flemish countryside to yet another highlight: Bruges. Famous for its baroque buildings, lace and chocolate. Need we say more?
Day 8 Bruges Tour ends after breakfast.