The five Flemish Provinces and VISITFLANDERS are launching two new iconic cycle routes: the Art Cities Route and the Green Belt Route. These, together with the earlier opened Coastal Route, Front Route 14-18, Scheldt Route, Meuse Route and Kempen Route, mean that seven of the intended nine iconic cycle routes are now open. The new iconic cycle routes are all strongly themed routes that place Flanders firmly on the map as the leading international destination for cycling holidays. They are replacing the traditional national cycle routes in Flanders.
The Art Cities Route is 332 km long and connects the art cities of Brussels, Leuven, Mechelen, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges to the coast at Ostend. The Art Cities Route follows the same route than the EuroVelo 5 in Brussels.
Gunther Coppens, member of the Provincial Executive of Flemish Brabant, responsible for tourism: “By following the Art Cities Route, recreational cyclists can discover the rich Flemish history through heritage, art and culture in 5 Art Cities.”
Jan De Haes, member of the Provincial Executive and chair of Tourism Antwerp adds: “With the Art Cities Route, we are actually offering ‘a city trip by bike’. You combine the Art Cities of your choice and you are free to spend several days exploring them, thanks to the extensive range of accommodation and hospitality venues.”
Leentje Grillaert, member of the Provincial Executive and chair of Tourism East Flanders: “And the unique combination of enjoying both nature and culture is possible thanks to the cycle paths through areas of nature and the typical Flemish landscape between the art cities.”
Sabien Lahaye-Battheu, member of the Provincial Executive of West Flanders and chair of Westtoer: “Towpaths along canals and rivers and old railway tracks ensure carefree, safe and attractive cycling. All this also makes the Art Cities Route suitable for beginner cyclists and families.”
The Green Belt Route is 126 km long and lets you cycle through the green belt around the capital.
Gunther Coppens, member of the Provincial Executive of Flemish Brabant, responsible for tourism:
“Imagine, a cycling holiday along the green belt around the capital! Up and down the hills through the country of Bruegel, hops, grapes and chicory. And on the way passing imposing castles, undulating pastures and impressive panoramas. Has all that cycling tired you out? Then enjoy the last rays of sun on a terrace, with a well-deserved lambic, Gueuze or cherry beer.”
Flanders as cycling holiday destination
Peter De Wilde CEO of VISITFLANDERS: “Together with the five Flemish provincial tourist organisations, we have developed 9 thematic iconic cycle routes in order to promote Flanders at home and abroad as a cycling holiday destination. We are now in consultation with cyclists, tourism services, the hospitality sector, travel organisations and providers of cycling services to raise the cycling holiday in Flanders product to an even higher level.”
The iconic cycle routes link together the finest areas of Flemish landscape via attractive cycle paths and around strong themes, making it possible to experience the best Flanders has to offer by bike. The Hilly Route and the Flanders Route will also be introduced before the summer of 2021.
The iconic cycle routes are accessible for everyone and are intended especially for the enjoyment and sampling of the region. All the iconic cycle routes have uniform signposting in both directions. VISITFLANDERS was responsible for financing the new signage. The provincial tourist organisations place and maintain the signs on location.
More info: www.flandersbybike.be