We'll be visiting Bruges for a few days later this year. Any suggestions for where we should go bicycling while we're there?
I am also curious about this, I'm planning a summer trip. I had seen a suggestion somewhere about biking along the canal to Damme. I'm curious about any other suggestions of where to go. I would also be interested in recommendations of where to rent bikes in Bruges. Thanks in advance!
Yes you can bike to Damme along the canal and even following it further where it crosses other canals, locally known as the Sifon. Much further you can cross the canal at the first bridge and follow the narrow road to lovely Oostkerke. From there is also a narrow road to a white windmill. You can go back to the canal and go further to Sluis in The Netherlands, if you stay at the right side of the canal you have to cross it with a manual do-it-yourself ferry, fun to do. Near Sluis include tiny and lovely St Anna ter Muiden. If you like more biking explore also the biker friendly country-side north of Sluis (info VVV = local TI) with places like Retranchement.
North of Bruges is Lissewege worth to visit and certainly the large 13th century tithe barn Ter Doest. The road to it is at places less picturesque due to nearby industry, but biking via Dudzele you can avoid that as much as possible.
There is also a 50km long castle route south of Bruges. Most castles are build in 19th century gothic neostyle, but nevertheless nice to see. The castles of Loppem and Wijnendale (original) are open to public. The TI of Bruges can give more info about this cycle trip.
In season for a nice view over the surrounding area you can climb for €1 the churchtowers of Damme and Lissewege, the first has the best view.
Things to think about:
As this is mainly open and flat terrain (hard) wind can be very strenuous, compare it with going uphill.
Not all roads have seperate bike lanes, so be carefull with traffic, in this respect the ride to Damme is the most safe except in a lesser way the narrow country road to Oostkerke which is in use for all local traffic.
Renting bikes at several places in Bruges or from your hotel/B&B costs about €12 a day.
Sluis is nice but very touristy, especially Belgians who visit it for eating and shopping.
Wil, thanks for the information!
If you haven't cycled on cobblestones before, can I suggest you learn the skill of "posting" where you let your knees take the bumps not your bottom. Unless you are particularly well suspended in the bottom area.