Via Romea Francigena
The route of the EuroVelo 5 - Via Romea Francigena in Belgium, will introduce you to the rich natural, architectural, cultural and brewing heritage of the country.
Roubaix (F) Ronse1
After leaving Lille, nicknamed the "Capital of Flanders" in France, you will follow the bucolic greenway along the Roubaix canal before entering the Belgian territory. With little canal locks, drawbridges and the sound of water along the way, the route will meander through Wallonia and Flanders, following the Espierre canal and then the Escaut river.
Next to Avelgem, you will then cross the river in direction of the Natural Park called "Parc Naturel du Pays des Collines et des Ardennes flamandes". It is located in a hilly region, but, the RAVeL, the name of the Wallonian greenways, is lying on the former railway lines 83 and 87 (and therefore flat). It will bring you succesivelly to Renaix/Ronse and Lessines, two cities proud of their heritage of the flemish Rennaissance.
Then, the route follows the Dendre river to the historic center of Grammont/Geraardsbergen, important center of the famous Tour of Flanders cycling race. There you will join the famous Knooppunten system of Flanders and cycle route LF6-Vlaanderen Fietsroute which will lead you to the south of Brussels. From there, the EuroVelo 5 will take you through the picturesque villages of the Pajottenland, renowned for its local beers, which have a fruity taste. After a tastign on the Grote Markt in Halle, you will take the direction of the Senne valley, with its special atmosphere, which will accompany you to the capital of Europe. In Brussels, you will pass in front of all the well-known monuments, from the Grand Place to the European Parliament.
You will leave the city in the south, cycling through the majestic forest of Soignes. On the little Brabant roads and their typical villas, you will arrive in Wavre and the Hesbaye, real grain loft of the Wallonian region. The RAVeL line 142 will then take you to Namur, the capital of Wallonia, on a slightly descending road. Its historic center and its lifestyle seduce more and more visitors every year.
The itinerary contiunes along the RAVeL of the Haute Meuse, with a gorgeous landscape, like the famous cliffs and the gardens of the Freyr castle or citadelle of Dinant. Afterwards, little country roads of the plateau of Condroz, which villages built out of limestone you will cycle through. After having passed Ciney, stronghold of the cattle farming, you will arrive in Marche, heart of the Pays de Famenne. Then, you will exit the city on the RAVeL in direction of Hotton to the valley of Ourthe and its wild meanders.
Starting in La-Roche-en-Ardenne, you will discover a multitude of landscapes, magnificient and surprising at the same time. Along the magic valleys of the Ry de Bronze, the western Ourthe and the Laval, beautiful villages of the Ardennes and panoramic views will brighten your journey, which leads over routes with very little traffic. Then, the route slightly rises to Bastogne, Belgian city well-known in the US, since a handful of G.I.s resisted here to the German offensive in the winter of 1944.
Then, the itinerary passes on calm roads to reach the greenway of the former vicinal line 618, through idyllic sceneries of the valleys of the Strange and the Sûre to the end of your journey in Martelange. You can then decide to continue your trip in direction of Redange and the city of Luxembourg on the cycle route network of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
More about EuroVelo 5
The itinerary will lead you through calm roads, canal locks, drawbridges, natural parks, the picturesque villages of the Pajottenland, the forests of Soignes, various villages build out of limestone, all the well known monuments of Brussels and many more beautiful places in Belgium. It will enable you to discover all the sides, Belgium has to offer on a bike.