Discover Belgium and Flanders by bike on the Wending
Come aboard the Wending to discover Holland and Belgium, and the beautiful cities of Amsterdam and Bruges. The countries may be flat, but they offer a diverse landscape of polders, Zeeland islands, coves and winding dikes.
Tour highlights :
- The windmills of Kinderdijk
- Delta works
- Ghent, Bruges and Amsterdam
Day 1 - Bruges, 21 km
The barge is moored near the Bargeweg, just outside Bruges city center and a stone's throw from Bruges train station. You can come aboard on Saturdays between 12.30 and 1.30 pm.
Take time to share a cup of coffee or tea and get to know the guide, skipper and crew, and of course the other passengers.
The boat leaves the dock at 2 p.m. You can try out the bikes along the canal from Bruges to Ghent. It's an easy ride along quiet towpaths and roads. At Aalterbrug, the barge picks you up and sails back to Ghent. During dinner on board, the next day's program and the week's schedule are discussed.
Instructions on cycling and safety procedures are also given.
Day 2 - Ghent
Today you'll have a free day to explore Ghent. It's a city proud of its rich past, with many well-preserved guild and patrician houses and ancient warehouses. See the Gravensteen (a medieval castle), St. Nicholas Church (with 13th-century foundations), St. Bavo's Cathedral and the "Belfort" (14th-century belfry). This lively city, with its many squares and friendly pubs, is a clever mix of medieval buildings, elegant shopping streets, superb townhouses and early 20th-century working-class districts.
Enjoy the lively little squares where you can eat until dawn on a warm summer's night.
You can also go cycling with your guide. The ride takes in the castles and luxurious villas of Destelbergen and the surrounding area, which lies on the banks of the Scheldt.
Day 3 - Ghent - Middelburg, 45 km
Today, you'll leave Belgium to cross the border into the Netherlands. Over breakfast, you'll sail to Sas van Gent before cycling to Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Dutch Flanders). Enjoy a short ferry trip from Breskens to Vlissingen (Flushing) and cross the Westerschelde. From Flushing, it's a 30-minute bike ride to Middelbrug, the capital of Zeeland.
The modern town of Middelburg has retained much of its historic and picturesque character. Its sumptuous 17th- and 18th-century merchant houses and warehouses line the canals. The medieval abbey is still used today as a museum and also as the seat of the provincial government.
Day 4 - Middelburg - Zierikzee, 50 km
Cycle to the town of Veere, once an important trading center. From Veere, you'll cross the Veersgat dam (where you'll have the chance to enjoy a beach) to North Beveland and the Oosterschelde. The huge locks are built into this dam and can be closed during storms and high tides. They protect the south-western Netherlands from the sea.
As you walk along the dike, you'll understand why it's one of the most difficult and costly challenges to protect the country and let sea water into the vast Delta area. That's why the Delta works are considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers. After the dam, you reach Zierikzee.
Day 5 - Zierikzee - Willemstad and sailing to Dordrecht, 55 km
A beautiful bike ride on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland is on today's program. You'll visit Bruinisse. The village's main source of income is mussel fishing. On the Grevelingen dike, you'll see a statue of an open mussel. Continue to Willemstad (a former fortified town), where you will board the barge. Sail to Dordrecht, one of Holland's oldest cities, situated between several busy waterways.
Day 6 - Dordrecht, sail to Gorinchem, cycle to Vianen, 50 km
From Gorinchem, you reach Woudrichem (an ancient fortified town) and the Netherlands' most famous castle, Loevestein. You follow the meandering Linge River through the Betuwe. This region is known for its many orchards, and is sure to be covered in blossom in May. After Leerdam, famous for its glass, you continue north to Vianen.
Day 7 - Vianen, sail to Breukelen and cycle to Amsterdam, 40 km
Over breakfast, the boat sails to Breukelen (Brooklyn), from where you cycle to Amsterdam along two of Holland's most beautiful rivers, the Vecht and Amstel. Along the way, you can admire magnificent country houses and 18th-century mansions with their splendid, well-kept gardens. Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, meaning that the city grew out of a dam on the Amstel River. You enter Amsterdam along the Amstel River.
The extensive network of cycle paths ensures a relatively easy ride back into the city, while passing a number of remarkable landmarks. Before your farewell dinner, take a stroll through the city. In the evening, take a stroll along the canals or through the city center.
Day 8 - Bruges, end of trip after breakfast, before 10:00 a.m.
Due to the navigation plan, the route may be reversed or modified.