Hi Rick Steve Belgium experts! I've got a question that really needs your special knowledge to answer.
My young family and I will do a short bike tour in Belgium in late August. we are confident about cycling from town to town, but need advice on what would be the most pleasant route. We have in the past been to Bruges and Brussels, are more interested in other places this time.
We like charming mostly flat countryside, beautiful villages and small cities, good food and drink, and some interesting sights, riding along rivers and canals.
We dislike too much industry, too many hills, too much traffic, and big cities.
I've numbered each night's sleeping city
A) Our first option would be to ride around West Flanders and the coast: Lille- 1 Ypres-(pass through Veurne)- 2 Neiuwport-(pass through Bruges)-3 Ghent- 4 Oudenarde- 5 Tournai.
B) Another option is to ride the cities where the Ardennes meets the flat land: Lille -1 Tournai- 2 Mons - 3 Charleroi - 4 Namur - 5 Leuven
C) Or try to spend more time in East Flanders: Lille - 1 Somewhere near Avelgem - 2 Ghent - 3 Lier (use train for part of this day) - 4 Mechelen - 5 Leuven
A few logistical points. We will probably start in Lille as that's where we get bikes and the train from CDG gets there fast enough for us to start riding our first day (we prefer to ride right away on our Europe trips, makes getting over jet lag so easy!). We would prefer a mix of 40-70km riding days, and are happy to take our bikes on the train for short trips to make longer days possible.
Any advice on which if these itineraries is the most beautiful and relaxing way to enjoy the good life would be appreciated, or tell us something different!
Thank you so much