West Flanders / three countries (one week)
West Flanders and three countries
This one week tour combines many different aspects of south-west Belgium: three countries, medieval and mondern history with the Great War of 1914-'18 and the culture of beer brewing. Starting in Bruges you will go to Nieuwpoort, and then to Diksmuide. This town is well known for the "Trenches of Death" and the Yser-tower, reminding us of the Belgian resistance against German occupation. Then a bike ride to Ypres, the very center of the trench war. The memory of the war is kept alive in Ypres by the impressive "Last Post" ceremony which is carried out every day at 8 PM.
The "South-west Corner" is also the region where the hop is farmed and the best Belgian beers are brewed. You will visit the St. Sixtus brewery, where the Trappist monks make the Westvleteren trappist beer. Of course you will enjoy a glass of this beer, by many considered to be the best in the world.
Last but not least you will visit the French harbor Dunkirk in the most northern part of France and the medieval town Sluis, in the most southern part of the Netherlands.
Character of the tour
This one week tour is easy to do: no hills, flat or slightly waving lands as far as the eye can see.
Day 1 Saturday, Bruges Arrival at the barge, bike ride to Plassendale/Oudenburg.
Day 2 Sunday, Oudenburg - Nieuwpoort - Diksmuide Visit of the "Trenches of Death" and the Yser-tower
Day 3 Monday, Diksmuide - Ypres A "Great War" bike ride along the battlefields and war memorials. The day ends with the Last Post Ceremony at 8 PM in the Menen-gate in Ypres.
Day 4 Tuesday, Ypres - Veurne Biking to Poperinge to visit the hop farm Lemahieu and visit of the Abbey of St. Sixtus, where the Trappist monks brew the world famous Westvleteren beer.
Day 5 Wednesday, Daytour to Dunkirk, known from WW2 and many movies. Along the Belgian and French coast. You will meet the Feniks in Nieuwpoort.
Day 6, Thursday, Veurne - Plassendale/Oudenburg. We will bike along, and in the dunes and North Sea beach to Oudenburg.
Day 7, Back home to Bruges A varied tour through the northern part of the Flemish small-scale farmland with Belgian "White-Blue" cows and barley fields. Cross the border to the Netherlands to visit Sluis, a medieval fortified town.
Day 8, tour ends after breakfast.