Bruges - Paris
The most famous of our tours! From the Middle Ages of Bruges to the City of Light in two weeks. Most of our guests from Australia, Canada and New Zealand experience this tour as a journey of their own history because of the memories of the Great War. In Péronne, where ANZAC day is commemorated each year, the Feniks halts for a day to offer you the possibility to make a guided tour along the War Memorials of the First World War, like Villers-Bretonneux, the Victoria School and the 4th Division Memorial of the Australian Army Corps in Bellenglise.
From there you will continue along Compiègne, the castle of Chantilly, to Auvers sur Oise (where Vincent van Gogh lived and painted the last months of his life). The last day you will sail along La Défense, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Notre Dame while ending your tour in the midst of Paris.
Character of the tour
The tour is most of the time in slightly sloping countryside with occasionally some steeper hills. Daily average distance of 40 - 45 Km, sometimes 50 Km, or 4 to max. 5 hrs. by bike.
This is a two week tour, of which you can join the Feniks from Bruges to Péronne and then go further to Paris by train. The airport Charles de Gaulle is less than one hour by TGV from railway station Haute Picardie (appr. 12 Km from Péronne).
Saturday. Bruges Tryout bike ride into the countryside near Bruges. (Guided) walk in town in the evening.
Sunday. Bruges – Gent A ride in the typical Flanders countryside with smalll villages, patches of forest, rich fields and pastures into Gent. Visit some of the highlights (St. Baafscathedral with the famous triptique ‘Mystic Lamb’ of (brothers Van Eijck) Well lit Gent in the evening is another experience.
Monday. Gent -- Oudenaarde Ride in the countryside of Flanders, partly along the river Schelde to Oudenaarde, famous for its townhall, church, beerbreweries and the Tour of Flanders centre (cycling). Walk in town.
Tuesday. Oudenaarde – Tournai Visit of the centre in the morning. Ride in rolling country side, ancient cobblestone roads to Tournai. A visit to the immense cathedral (5 towers) is not to be missed! Walk in town after dinner.
Wednesday. Tournai – Bouchain/Arleux Start with an early sailing. The ship has to cover quite a distance today because the river makes a big loop. Nice riding in forest and visit to St. Amand-les- Eaux with its abbey-tower.
Thursday. Bouchain/Arleux – Hermies Arleux is at the beginning of the Canal du Nord. Following this canal takes a long time because of the shipping traffic and many locks. The captain might have to moor halfway ‘in the middle of nowhere’ in case of heavy traffic. But a night in the quiet country side has charm of its own.
Friday. Hermies – Peronne A short ride to the town of Peronne, following the canal, with at least one serious slope. In the afternoon option of another ride with a nice stay halfway.
Saturday. Peronne The Historial, the museum of WWI in the castle is worth while visiting. For guests who are interested a tour will be organised along important WWI sites (tour not included in price).
Sunday. Peronne – Pont ‘l Evèque/Noyon. Between Peronne and Compiègne there are some hills to be conquered. It’s the typical landscape of Northern France with undulating fields and small villages. Noyon has a very old interesting cathedral. The ship will be moored near Pont l’Eveque, some 3 km. from Noyon.
Monday. Pont l’Evèque – Compiègne. Nice ride in the forest. Visit to the Clairiere de l’Armistice (armistice place 1918/1940 in the forest) and continuing along the river Aisne and Oise, into Compiègne; beautiful palace where Louis XVI and Napoleon spent their summers.
Tuesday. Compiègne – Creil Ride through an immense forest including a visit to the castle of Pierrefonds. Nice cycling in the forest. Visit to the village in the forest St. Jean-aux-Bois and Roman ruins just south of it or a short ride on a new bikepath along the river bring us to Béthisy-St. Pierre and later to Creil, where the ship will be moored.
Wednesday. Creil – Pontoise Today is a ride in a wooded area with nice bikepaths. On our way to Pontoise we will make a stop near the little town of Auvers is connected with the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, who spent his last months here, producing a large number of paintings. Guided walk.
Thursday. Pontoise – Bougival Sailing downstream the river Oise and upstream Seine is one of the highlights of the tour but cycling near it too! Many interesting things to visit in a short distance. We start our bike ride in Conflans, the old riverport where Seine and Oise meet. Then to St. Germain-en-Laye with a museum with an impressive collection of human artifacts from early manhood until the early Middle Ages. Not far away from Bougival (4 km. mainly on bikepaths), is the chateau-museum of Malmaison with its beautiful park, the dwelling of Napoleon and Joséphine, his first wife. It’s a very good alternative for the grand but busy chateau at Versailles.
Friday. Bougival – Paris Today we are already in the suburbs op Paris, but with quite some green parts. Some serious hills are part of the day-trip. First goal is the terrain of the Palace of Versailles. Visit of the park. Most guests stay on board and see Paris from the river.
Saturday. Paris. After breakfast your bike-and-boat trip comes to an end.