Cycling from Bruges to Brussels

8 days
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Self-Guided Cycling
Group size:

This linear trip takes in some of the most important cities in Belgium - Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels

Starting in the historic centre of Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000 with a plethora of landmarks, museums and historical sights, the city has a fairytale atmosphere with its cobbled streets and squares, canals on which you can take boat trips past the traditional houses as well as its medieval architecture. Bruges is also world-famous for its lace production.

On your journey southeast, from the 'Venice of Northern Flanders', follow the artwork of the Flemish Masters - Van Eyck, Bruegel and Rubens with exhibitions and events during 2021 along the route. You get a chance to visit the iconic cities of Ghent and Antwerp before arriving in Brussels. The Old Town of Ghent is like an open-air museum - it is also a UNESCO Creative City of Music with the music scene here absolutely thriving. Visit forts and castles that made up the fortification line of Antwerp, a city famous for its beer traditions as well as its antiques, home decor curios and diamonds.

Arriving in Belgium's capital city of Brussels, you would be excused if you were to add a few extra nights on to do a city break here after the cycling ends to discover the variety of monuments, historic sites and architecture as well as shopping arcades, parks, gardens, art galleries and museums. Discover why Brussels is famous for its food, comic strips as well as the world-famous Manneken Pis statue, the Atomium and the amazing Grande Place.


  • Visit the iconic cities of Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels
  • Follow the artwork of the Flemish Masters - Van Eyck, Bruegel and Rubens with exhibitions and events during 2021 along the route
  • Prepare your tastebuds for world-famous Belgian waffles (gaufres), mussels (moules), triple-fried frites, chocolates and a huge array of beers
  • Based on our popular 7 night, Cycling from Brussels to Bruges

Key information

  • 7 nights in good quality hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 6 days hotel to hotel cycling
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and map
  • Countries visited: Belgium

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Optional electric bikes
  • Half board upgrade (5 nights only)
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3944
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Cycling

Cycle paths and tarmac roads

Day by day breakdown
Day 2 54.0km/34.0miles
Day 3 57.0km/36.0miles
Day 4 46.0km/27.0miles
Day 5 57.0km/36.0miles
Day 6 39.0km/24.5miles
Day 7 65.0km/41.0miles

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here


Expand all
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Bruges

    Arrive early and head for the enchanting cobbled streets and squares, canals, medieval-looking buildings and its charming ambiance.
    Stay at the Hotel Velotel.

  • Day 2

    Bruges to Maldegem

    Follow the Ghent-Bruges Canal out of town today - it dates back to the 14th century and is one of the oldest in Belgium. Together with its towpath verges, it forms a green corridor that has proved valuable for biodiversity. Cycle through quiet villages such as Moerbrugge, Maria-Aalter and Knesselare and enjoy the flat Flemish countryside on the way to delightful Maldegem. In the evening, put your feet up or stroll round Maldegem.
    Stay at the Amaryllis Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Maldegem to Ghent

    Today you cross the rural Meetjesland region, a cycling paradise with woods, meadowland and vast cropfields. Enjoy the play of light as you ride your bike through the woods of Het Leen and Drongengoed then it's easy-pedalling through the flat landscape to Eeklo, a small town known for its many sculptures. Continue on to Ghent, the Old Town of which is like an open-air museum. The city is also a UNESCO Creative City of Music - the music scene here is absolutely thriving with festivals, music institutions, the carillon, concerts and students of music having a singsong on the quays… music is everywhere. After dark, the ambiance is magical, thanks to the town’s ingenious street lighting.
    Stay at the Europahotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Ghent to Dendermonde

    For most of the day, the River Scheldt will be your guide - follow it upstream past a string of Flemish villages and towns. The 13th century castle in the village of Laarne is a real eyecatcher and a great place for a break. End the day in Dendermonde and be sure to discover the Town Hall & Belfry and visit the Church of Our Lady that boasts a baptismal font from the 11th century.
    Stay at the Abalona B&B

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Dendermonde to Antwerp

    Make your way back to the River Scheldt and cycle along the top of the river dike towards Antwerp. De Zilverreiger, a regional museum focused on preserving knowledge about trades and crafts that once flourished locally such as basket weaving, river fishery, cooperage (barrel making), flax processing and clog making provides a delightful interlude this morning. After crossing the Scheldt by ferry, you reach Kruibeke, home to Wissekerk Castle, which was a so-called water castle and part of the defense line of Antwerp along the river in the 10th century. Finish the day in Antwerp, a city with a long beer tradition and countless cafes.
    Stay at the Hampton Antwerp

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Antwerp to Mechelen

    It’s only a short trip today so you have time to discover the beautiful Old Town of Antwerp or go shopping for antiques and curios, home deco, vintage fashion finds or even diamonds before setting off towards Mechelen. If you are into military heritage, visit Fort no. 4 of the original eight Brialmont Forts (1860-1864) that made up the defensive line of Antwerp. Continue along quiet country lanes and alongside the River Nete to Duffel (yes, this is actually the town where “duffel” originated from). In the 15th century, duffel was produced here and exported all over Europe. In the town of Sint-Kathelijne-Waver, at the Ursuline Institute, the convent/school complex, is a successful blend of art nouveau, neo-Gothic, neo-Empire and art deco. Best of all: the winter garden! Finish your day in Mechelen, home of the 13th century St Rumbold’s Cathedral and its tower with 360-degree views of the city.
    Stay at the Mercure Hotel Vé

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Mechelen to Brussels

    Cycle along tree-lined country lanes, past a series of ponds, along a river, around a wood and through meadows and cropfields towards Brussels. Along the way, pass Tervuren, known for the Royal Africa Museum. In Brussels itself, you'll find a cosmopolitan mix of cultures, as can be seen in the streets, the restaurant menus and the people. Make a bee-line for the Grande Place and go for a walk. Not only does Brussels have the Manneken Pis, it also has the most delicious waffles, chocolates and pints of craft beer. This is a city where culture vultures, shopaholics, gourmets & gourmands have the best time!
    Stay at the NH Brussels Grand Place Arenberg

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Brussels

    After breakfast, you depart from Brussels.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info




There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included.

There are plenty of treats to be tried during your trip from Brussels to Bruges with local specialities including moules & frites, luxury praline chocolates, gaufres (sugar waffles) and beer.

Is this trip for you?

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Average daily distance: 53km (33 miles).
No. of days cycling: 6
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet cycling routes and tarmac roads. The terrain is mainly flat which means the distances achieved each day can be longer. 

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. Your bikes will be delivered to the start hotel, all set up relevant to your height and ready to go. Our local agent will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes into larger towns and cities.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Self-guided cycling holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you. We have suggested that 12yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. The daily distances are all published in the trip notes along with a description of each day's cycling so you have a good idea of what to expect. However, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts. The principle idea is that these holidays can be as flexible as you like, with logistical support but no group or leader to dictate the daily activities. Please consider the weather when choosing to book, temperatures can be high in the middle of summer.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3944
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.



Hotels and Guesthouses

Your accommodation during this trip is in a high quality B&B to three and four star hotels. The hotels are a mix of traditional and contemporary buildings and all offer excellent facilities and ensuite bathrooms. Should the named accommodation on the itinerary details not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used.  

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3944
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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