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Dendermonde or nearby village?

Hi all -

We have our cycle tour itinerary pinned down except for one stop. We'll be riding up the Dender river from Geraardsbergen. We tend to 50k days (we ride with a small child in tow) and right there at that 50km mark is Dendermonde. Our next stop afterward would be Ghent, again about 50k from Dendermonde.

How is Dendermonde as a town? There's not a lot out there on the web. Our riding usually take 3 or 4 hours in the morning so we'll have the whole afternoon and evening to relax and enjoy the town. Is there a smaller town within 10k of Dendermonde that would be better? Sint-Amands for instance? Is it a better idea to push on another 18k to Sint Niklass? Thank you!

Posted by
12040 posts

I was only in Dendermonde for about an hour once. It struck me as a fairly typical Flemish town. Mostly clean, nice old Markt in the center, fairly modern and uninteresting as you move outwards. I don't know any of the towns in the area well enough to recommend one in particular.

Posted by
2004 posts

Dendermonde is a pleasant place, not directly spectacular but the main square is as Tom already notes lovely. Relaxing a few hours is possible but with a whole afternoon I think it will get boring soon. If it is open you can visit the smal maritime museum Baasrode on the way to Sint Amands. Near the museum is a ferry for crossing the Scheldt river and again close to Sint Amands, but ask the TI in Dendermonde if they are in service. There are nice cycle routes through the wetlands along the Scheldt river north of Sint Amands. You can have a break in Weert, there is also a little TI. Not to miss is the route north of castle Marnix van Sint-Aldegonde, the only place the castle is visible from a public road. The castle itself is open just a few days each year or only by appointment for groups larger as 10 persons.

Sint Niklaas is a bit the same as Dendermonde but way bigger and busier. There are a few nice buidlings like the town hall, for the rest the place is not directly a tourist destination besides the annual balloon festival in September. Not real worth a detour if you ask me

Posted by
1850 posts

Tom and Wil thank you both - you've been really helpful to me in figuring out how to optimize our short (5 night) bike tour in Flanders. I really appreciate it.

Soon I'll post what I think is out final itinerary and hopefully get some feedback on that from you two and others.


Posted by
2004 posts

Before posting your final plan just some extra info....

Likely not on the route you want to follow, the castle of Gaasbeek some 20km east of Ninove is worth to consider a detour to my opinion. Another lovely castle is Ooidonk along the river Leie south-west of Ghent. Open for visits during Sundays and Holidays, the garden every day except Mondays and Tuesday mornings. There are stretches with really nice scenery along the Leie (Afsnee / little church at the waterfront, Sint-Martens-Latem) between the centre of Ghent and the castle. To consider seriously if you ask me.

The town square of Aalst is nice, but as you bike along the Dender you will visit this place anyway I guess.

If the plan is to bike along the Schelde / Scheldt to Ghent you can think about visiting Brewery L.Huyghe in Melle. Tours are only for groups larger as 15 persons, but they will look if you can join one.