The Wine & Cycling Heritage Tour
Flanders Fields/ Heuvelland - Full day
- Expandable to 50 or even 75 km
- Road bicycles or mountainbike (option)
- Choose your vinyard to visit!
- Wine and war on the same fields of Flanders...
For the more ‘Bourgondic’ cycling tourists among us, this wine and cycling heritage tour is a must. Monteberg & Entre Deux Monts in 'Heuvelland' are surprising discoveries in the capital region of beers and ... wine as well! Enjoy and listen our astonishing stories of heroic cycling classics (Ghent-Wevelgem) or Tour de France-passages. Get in touch with the famous champions of cycling, of which some of them were very local (Freddy Maertens, Frank Vandenbroucke, Johan Museeuw, Michel Pollentier...).
Since we have road race bicycles as well, you might try the extended version also (from 80 till max. 100 km through Flanders Mountains).
Last but not least, discover the very surprising "Zilver Cruys", several highly reputated wines that easily compete the better Loire & Bourgogne wines, but here cultivated in the former battlefields and so nearby Monuments & trenches.
Enjoy and listen to the astonishing stories of heroic cycling classics or Tour de France-passages in this area. You get the same vibes as if you were a cycling champion today!
Champions as Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, Roger De Vlaeminck, Freddy Maertens, Johan Museeuw, Frank Vandenbroucke wrote some of the most legendaric chapters in cycling while climbing the Kemmelberg or other local difficulties. In Modern Times we speak about Mark Cavendish, Greg Van Avermaet and Tom Boonen… Sporting guys who also knew or know to appreciate a good glass of wine at the end of a cycling day…
While tasting the harvest of these great Wine Vinyards, you suddenly get the while picture of this rich area. Wine Culture, as well as the Belgian Beer tradition gives pleasure to life.
Part 1: 0 KM Location: Starting in Ypres (our bike-center) or already in Heuvelland?
There about 10 vinyards nowadays in the region ‘Westhoek’ also known as Flanders Fields. Some of them are really on the flanks of the ‘hills’, called “mountains of Flanders”. We make a choice before and decide with you what vinyard we take in the program for a personal reception and explanation.
Part 2: 4 KM Location: Not only grapes here: apples, pears, strawberry-cultivation
Why not starting with a short ‘hello’ to another well appreciated cultivation of fruits? Meet the historic farm ‘Siam’ and their beautiful orchard.
Part 3: 8 KM Location: New vinyards are developping!
We cross the former battlefields of the Great War and yet, today we see how grapes are now overwhelming the flanks of former battle hills!
Part 4: 18 KM Location: Cycling stories everywhere.... So getting thirsty now?
On this tour we tell you stories of tremendous chapters in the history of professional cycling. As this region has a tradition with cycling classics such as Ghent-Wevelgem. But also the Dunkirk 5 Days and more than once the Tour de France has been passing by. More over, in the surrounding area some great cycling heroes grew up or used this hilly region for their specific training sessions. So start listen to our anecdotes, even about a horse that once was competing with a famous German sprinter on his way to Wevelgem!
You might get a thirsty feeling after an hour of cycling. We pass also some typical local cafés (pubs). Though we know the vinyard and wine farmers are waiting for us, a little stop brings perhaps relief?
Part 5: 25 KM Location: Guided tour on the vinyard and in the reception house
Different options of course: Entre Deux Monts with its great view on the terrace or do you (perhaps also) want to visit the Monteberg Vinyard and get in touch with the Six-family. They were the pioneers who restarted the wine culture around 2000 after for about 2 centuries it was wiped out here. Napoleon while exporting the French Revolution prohibited the wine culture in Flanders to protect his French wines. So a great tradition on these Mountains of Flanders was almost gone for ever. Now we are so grateful to the new wine farmers and oenophiles of “Heuvelland” that they studied about their own heritage and the very good soil for wine cultivation on these hills. Time to heave the glasses!
Part 6: Up to the hills! Location: 40 km
One cannot miss the Kemmelberg when facing the history of cycling in these area. Impressive and challenging climbing on cobble stones. Road race bike recommended (or would you prefer the electrical bicycle?). We take the safest way of going down.
Part 7: Rode- en Zwarteberg, Catsberg... Location: 50 km
Once you have tasted of climbing these beautiful hilly region, we are sure you will want more. Depending on our tailormade options we can add some more ‘mountains’: the Red Mountain, the Black Mountain (= translation of their Flemish names). And crossing the border up to the Catsberg or ‘Mont des Cats’. Once we go that far, distance can get a bit longer of course.
Part 8: 65 km Location: Final stop on our way back? Optional visit to a local wine- and beershop
We are independant tourleaders, so no commercial or buying pressure at all. But perhaps when passing by, some of you might getting interested in entering a local beer- and wineshop. We ‘ll show you the places. You decide to have a look or not. In the mean time we do enjoy some other stories about wine and cycling, a healthy romance.
Geniet na van een lekker drankje of versnapering in onze fietsbar, in het historisch centrum van Ieper!