Spotlight on Belgium
Feniks Charter not only does bike tours in France, but also in Belgium. Not yet very well known, but nevertheless very interesting because of its focus on history, nature and enjoying the burgundian lifestyle in Belgium.
You bike from medieval Bruges to Ghent where you can admire "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" of the brothers Van Eijk in the St. Bavo's Cathedral. Then to Antwerp, where you will have a stopover of one day. You can visit the house of Peter Paul Rubens, five monumental churches, the MAS (Museum at the river Scheldt) which shows many historical, cultural and archeological aspects of Antwerp. Excursion to the Coogels-Osy-Lei, a late 19th century neighborhood with houses in Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Jugendstil showing the wealth of Belgium at that time. It was the second biggest economy of the world at that time!
Following the meandering rivers Scheldt and Dijle to the historical town Mechelen with its 15th century cathedral and St. Rumbold's Tower you will arrive in Brussels. Nowadays the informal capital of Europe, and the centre of Habsburg power in the 16th century. Some things don't really change.
This one week tour combines many different aspects of south-west Belgium: three countries, medieval and mondern history with the Great War of 1914-'18 and the culture of beer brewing. Starting in Bruges you will go to Nieuwpoort, and then to Diksmuide. This town is well known for the "Trenches of Death" and the Yser-tower. Then to Ypres, the very center of the ugly trench war. The memory of this war is kept alive in Ypres by the impressive "Last Post" ceremony, carried out every day at 8 PM.
The "South-west Corner" is also the region where the hop is farmed and the best Belgian beers are brewed. You will visit the St. Sixtus brewery, where the Trappist monks make the Westvleteren trappist beer. Of course you will enjoy a glass of this beer, by many considered to be the best in the world!