Brussels to Bruges Bike and Boat – MS Magnifique

  • Category

    Bike and Boat
    Self Guided or Guided
  • Grade

    Easy
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Brussels / Bruges
  • Distance

    158 miles/254 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeFamilyRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

    Superior
  • Tour code

    008-101CBEB
Price From £#VALUE!

Overview

An easy and relaxing bike & boat cycling holiday through the lowlands of Flanders from Brussels to Bruges. Stay aboard the superb MS Magnifique barge, enjoying daily guided cycle rides through the unique polder landscape, visiting the historic cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Mechelen and Bruges.

Your floating home for the week will be the MS Magnifique offering spacious, en suite, air conditioned cabins as well as elegant and stylish public areas.

From the Belgian capital you’ll follow the River Schelde and other smaller canals and rivers through Flanders to the Bruges. Other highlights include history-packed Mechelen and the lively, attractive cities of Antwerp and Ghent. Of course, this is the land of wonderful beer and world famous chocolate and there will be numerous opportunities to sample both during this wonderful cycling holiday.

cycling in holland

Cycling in Holland

 

The daily guided bike rides cover around 27 miles per day and you can opt to cycle with the group or use the maps and route notes available to navigate yourself. The trails are almost entirely flat and the guides build in plenty of opportunities for breaks to enjoy the scenery and interesting towns on the way. If you do fancy a break from the cycling, you can always stay on board and let the scenery drift by as you relax on the sun deck or saloon of the Magnifique.

Itinerary & Map

The captain reserves the right to make changes to the planned route due to changing wind, tide and weather conditions, and where required by organizational necessities.

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Brussels

Brussels

Brussels

Upon arrival in Brussels make your way to the MS Magnifique at her mooring, you will be able to check-in between 1pm and 2pm. After the welcome briefing at 2pm you are free to relax or explore. The capital city of Belgium has much to offer; we suggest visiting Grand Place where 17th century architecture meets modern bars and restaurants resulting in a unique and captivating place to visit. For a chance to gauge the character and humour of Belgians, visit Manneken Pis. Cartoons are a huge part of Belgian visual culture, the best-known series being ‘The Adventures of Tin Tin’ so a visit to the Belgian Comic Book Centre is definitely worth it. The Magnifique may cruise to Zemst that evening or remain at her mooring in Brussels overnight – the crew will clarify which applies at check-in.

Day 2: Zemst – Mechelen – Willebroek, 23 miles/38 kms

Cyclists in Belgian countryside beside canal

Canal-side cycling in Belgium

If the Magnifique remained in Brussels overnight then we enjoy a breakfast cruise north to the town of Zemst from where our first ride begins. The route leads us to Mechelen where we can admire the many listed historic buildings in the old town centre. We then continue through the pleasant, gently undulating countryside to the town of Willebroek which sits on the canal of the same name. Here the Magnifique is waiting for us and remains moored overnight.

Day 3: Willebroek – Antwerp, 21 – 34 miles/34 – 54 kms

Antwerp

Today’s route leads us first to Lier, where we can see two UNESCO world heritage sites, the Beguinage and the Belfry. A Beguinage is an enclosed courtyard of simple terraced houses where in days gone by widows and spinsters could lead a religiously inspired independent life. We then continue to Antwerp, the day’s final destination. Antwerp is one of Flanders’ greatest old trading cities – don’t miss the Grote Market square, cathedral and impressive old city hall. The galley is closed this evening but the crew on board the Magnifique will be happy to recommend nearby restaurants.

Day 4: Antwerp – Temse – St. Amands, 21 – 31 miles/34 – 49 kms

cycling in holland

Cycling in Holland

Today’s ride leads us alongside the Schelde River upstream to St. Amands. After crossing the point at which the Rupel Canal joins the river we begin to follow a particularly scenic cycle path that tracks the river’s meanders through some beautiful, pristine countryside. Eventually we rejoin the Magnifique at her overnight mooring in the pleasant village of St. Amands.

Day 5: St. Amands – Ghent, 32 miles/52 kms

Ghent - Belgium

Ghent

A breakfast cruise delivers us to the charming town of Dendermonde where a visit to the impressive town square (Grote Markt) is a must before heading off. We then follow a very pleasant, riverside cycle path westwards to the city of Ghent. There is much to see in this beautiful old city including Gravensteen,  an impressive 12th century castle complete with moat and numerous turrets. The centre of the city is well preserved, featuring many historic buildings and cathedrals. St. Bavo cathedral houses the world famous multi-panel painting ‘The Adoration of the Majestic Lamb’ by Jan Van Eyck and should not be missed. The Magnifique moors for the night in a suburb of Ghent, approximately 30 cycling minutes for the centre.

Day 6: Ghent – Bruges, 13 – 28 miles/22 – 45 kms

Bruges canal scene at dusk

Bruges at dusk

Today’s ride starts just outside Ghent and leads us through the pleasant countryside of western Flanders to the City of Bruges. Probably the most beautiful Flemish City, Bruges has a long history stretching back to the Vikings. A network of cobbled streets and canals lined with wonderful old townhouses criss-cross the city centre. Every now and then these give way to quaint squares accommodating wonderful old churches and museums. Of course the Belgians are master chocolatiers and brewers and Bruges offers an abundance of chocolate shops and cosy bars.

Day 7: Bruges – North Sea Coast – Bruges, 23 – 31 miles/38 – 51kms

Damme

Our last ride is a round trip out to the North Sea Coast. The lovely route takes us through the beautiful and serene polder landscape of green fields, canals and small villages. At the coast we follow a cycle path through the dunes of the Het Zwin nature reserve. Here a 12km sandy beach beckons and you may be tempted to take a bracing dip in the North Sea if the weather is warm enough. Afterwards we cycle back to Bruges via a different but equally picturesque route for our final night aboard the Magnifique.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast it’s time to disembark , by 9.30am, and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2019 Arrival Dates
June29

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2019 Prices
008-101CBEB
Per person
29 Jun
 
Magnifique I - superior
Twin £1137                  
Triple £1088                  
Single £1520                  
Premium Twin £1333                  
Premium Triple £1255                  
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Deposit per person £200

Price Includes

7 nights aboard the Magnifique I. See practical information
7 x Breakfast, 6 x Packed lunch & 6 x Dinner (excludes one dinner in Antwerp)
Welcome drink and briefing
Daily coffee and tea until 4pm
Services of a tour guide
Maps & route information

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Drinks on-board
Supplements for special dietary requests
Gratuities/tips
Entrance fees, excursions and ferries

Supplements

Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£79)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£196)

Practical Information

Bikes

An example of the bike provided on this tour.

An example of the bike provided on this tour.

The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, hybrid models with 7 speeds and comfortable saddle with upright riding position. The bikes also come equipped with rear pannier, lock and repair kit.

Electric bikes are also available.

Helmets are included, however we always suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons.

Accommodation

On-board payments:
Cash and debit/credit cards accepted.

The captain reserves the right to make changes to the planned route due to changing wind, tide and weather conditions, and where required by organizational necessities.

Magnifique

MS Magnifique barge - Twin Cabin

Magnifique – Twin Cabin

The Magnifique is a wonderful boat and offering an excellent standard of accommodation and facilities.

She has 15 individually air-conditioned lower deck cabins with en-suite shower/wc, flat screen TV, mini-safe, hairdryer and portholes, which are locked for safety reasons. 11 are twin bedded cabins (11m²), and 4 are twin bedded premium cabins. The premium cabins are more spacious (14m²) and incorporate a small sitting area. Some cabins can be converted for triple occupancy with the addition of a bunk bed.

On the upper deck, there is a tastefully decorated spacious salon with restaurant, bar and lounge with wide screen TV, large windows to enjoy the scenery and free Wi-Fi. There are also two, partly covered teak sun-decks, with tables and chairs as well as a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and BBQ.

Meals:
A hearty breakfast is provided each morning, along with a packed lunch to take with you on the daily rides. A three-course meal is served on six evenings during the week in the convivial salon. On one night during the week the galley is closed and you will be free to step ashore and find somewhere to eat. The crew will be happy to make recommendations if you wish.

Daily complimentary coffee and tea is available between 3 pm and 4 pm.

Getting There

Fly to Brussels and take the train back to Brussels from Bruges

Research flights from the UK here

Gallery