In 2 days we make the connection from "In Flanders Fields" with Bruges "Venice of the North". On day 3 you might cycle back to the Battlefields...
Starting with the John McCrae poem and then a thirsty taste of the famous St.-Sixtus Trappist of Westvleteren. Enjoy the Belgian Coast (1 night in Ostend, Queen of Belgian coast-cities). Finally spend some time in the pearl of Flanders: Bruges, most charming city.
Why not also take the option for a 3th day and cycle back to Ypres, straight through the former battlefields of Passchendaele?
Part 1: 65 KM Location: Day 1: from Ypres up to the Belgian coast in Ostend
- Come to our bicycle center (if not yet done the evening before)
- We leave the historical town following the former river, now a canal. Of course we stop at Essex Farm Cemetery and the bunkers where John McCrae wrote his world famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.
- We face local castles and woods before approaching the Sint Sixtus Abbey where the world famous Westfleteren Trappist beer is produced. The Abbey-brewery is not open for visitors, but you feel the special vibes all around and of course, we will taste the exclusive beer and cheeses in the monastery pub.
- After a tasteful stop, we follow the river “Ijzer” up to Diksmuide and the mighty Tower of the Yzer (Ijzertoren – No more War!). Do you want to visit to the Tower Museum? Perhaps after lunch in a restaurant close to the riverside. You may visit as well the Trench of Death (tickets at the entrance).
- We keep following the river to Nieuwpoort (Newport-harbour). Our cycling day ends start at the famous King Albert’s monument (West Front Museum). There a coastal tram can be taken for our final kilometers up to Ostend, where we will spend the night. Our bicycles are picked up in Nieuwpoort of course.
- Of course you are allowed to cycle till the real finish if you really want to! (in self-guided version you have to – although we have an alternative cycle path from Diksmuide that makes a shortcut up to Ostend – you do miss the sea sight & tram experience though).
- Installation at hotel Royal Astor, a centrally located 3* in Oostende
- Dinner at own arrangements
- Night in Ostend
Part 2: 65 KM Location: Day 2: Ostend - coastline & medieval villages - Bruges
- Buffet breakfast
- Today we first follow the coastline. Beautiful architecture in ‘Belle Epoque’ De Haan. Then towards the big harbour of Zeebrugge. Proceed and have a look at the Flemish ‘St.-Tropez’ also known as Knokke-Het Zoute. Enjoy the nature reserve of the Zwin and cycle across the Belgian-Holland border for a while. Finally you go back in time of Flanders where a rich medieval history meets fascinating landscapes!
- Have a drinking stop in historical Damme and listen to the legend of local ‘Robin Hood’ Tijl Uylenspiegel!
- Finally our last kilometers to beautiful and charming Bruges.
- Installation at hotel Maraboe, centrally located 3* in Bruges.
Part 3: 75 KM Location: Optional 3th or 4th day: Back to Ypres
- You may spend a full day in Bruges, which is of course very recommended. This can be the end of your 2 days of cycling.
- We come to pick up the bicycles at the end of the day, as we also brought your luggage to Bruges.
- OR: you want to cycle back to Ypres on day 3, maybe day 4 (day 3 in Bruges). Especially in case of a self-guided tour this can be the best decision.
- Our itinerary back to Ypres will lead you along the medieval castle of the Earl of Flanders. We make a cycle tour that follows as much as possible forestial areas. But we must cross a quite economically vivid area (Roeselare). Agriculture is around also with the greenhouse cultivation of vegetables. It’s our connection towards the battlefields of Poelkapelle, Langemark (German Cemetery) or if you can keep up with the distance a turning back along the Passchendaele Tyne Cot Cemetery, before riding underneath the Menin Gate Memorial again.
- Try not to be in a hurry and spend a final well deserved night in Ypres. We might have a common dinner at the end of this tour again!
- 20h00 Participation at the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate
- Last night in Ypres – next day checking out of the hotel or B&B