(Photo by Emily Goldfischer) Looking for a holiday that checks all the boxes—charming historic cities, delicious food, breathtaking countryside, is eco-friendly and you’re exercising? Oh, and by the way, it keeps your teen off the screens for a good portion of the day. This is not a fantasy. It is Flanders by Bike .
Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, is also one of the most popular cycling regions in Europe. Why? Because Flanders has pioneered a system of “cycling nodes,” clearly marked and impeccably maintained bike routes with signposts and distance information. The country now has over 12,000 kilometers (about 7,500 miles) of signposted cycle trails, which have been further organized into nine iconic routes by Flanders by Bike for different interests and fitness levels. Even better, the routes are synched up with Google Maps, so you can download the plan to your phone and go!
At the suggestion of Visit Flanders, we did the “Art Cities” route, which connects Brussels, Leuven, Mechelen, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges, through to the coast at Ostend, over 342 kilometers (about 212 miles) of trails. You can choose which city you start or end from, and modify the trail to suit your time frame. Due to only having five days, we cut out Brussels, Leuven and Ostend, but my 16-year-old son and I had so much fun, we are already planning to go back to see what we missed. Here are the highlights of our trip: First stop: Mechelen
Only a 20-minute train […]
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