Amazing multi-day cycling routes through the Waasland

Amazing multi-day cycling routes through the Waasland

Unique natural landscape and bustling cities

The Waasland, the north-eastern part of the Belgian province of East Flanders, with its extensive network of flat and rural roads, is the perfect destination for a multi-day cycling trip. Let the meandering Scheldt transport you between Antwerp and Ghent, explore world-famous cities of art, or briefly cross the Dutch border for a fine experience in the province of Zeeland. If you'd rather plot your course all by yourself, the handy cycling orientation points really make this a piece of cake! 

The nine iconic cycling routes seamlessly thread together the highlights of a cycling holiday in Flanders: from natural beauty and impressive heritage to unique culture and delicious gastronomy. All long-distance cycling routes are signposted in both directions, so you choose where you want to start, where you stay the night and where you want to end your multi-day cycling trip. Two iconic cycling routes run partly through the Waasland region: the Art Cities Route and the Scheldt Route.

1. The Art Cities Route

The Art Cities Route consists of 332 km between the world-renowned art cities of Brussels, Leuven, Mechelen, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges, all the way to the coast in Ostend. If you cycle the 90km-long route from Antwerp to Ghent (or vice versa), you'll cover quite a bit of the Waasland. You will cycle along the Rivierpark Scheldevallei, an unspoiled nature reserve and a true paradise for cyclists and walkers. On this route, the Scheldt reveals more of its secrets the further you go. You will pass medieval castles, ancient forts and historic shipyards. Along the way, you will even be able to take a few free ferry trips to continue your journey on the other bank of the Scheldt.

Thanks to the numerous cosy cafes and restaurants, you can take a break to recharge whenever you need to. Picnicking at one of the many beautiful spots is, of course, always a good idea as well. When you've had enough cycling for the day, a nice place to stay the night is easy to find with all the bike-friendly hotels and B&Bs in the area. Make sure to take plenty of time to explore and enjoy your starting and finishing points: both Antwerp and Ghent are popular destinations for city-breakers from all over the world. They are two bustling cities full of museums, art treasures and historical monuments, so you can easily spend a few unforgettable days there.

View the Art Cities Route 

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2. The Scheldt Route

The Art Cities Route connects Antwerp and Ghent, and mostly follows the Scheldt Route. It covers 181 km in total along the entire length of the Scheldt river that runs through Flanders. Downstream from Spiere-Helkijn in West Flanders, the idyllic towpath along the Scheldt leads you through four tourist regions in East Flanders: the Flemish Ardennes, the Lys region, Scheldeland and the Waasland are all unique, but above all share a timeless and boundless charm. If you depart from Ghent, you can easily take your bicycle and luggage on the train in Antwerp back to Ghent.

View the Scheldt Route 


3. The Antwerp-Ghent circular route

Or, of course, you can decide to cycle back along a different route, via the Antwerp-Ghent circular route, for example. At 77.8km, it is slightly shorter than the route along the Scheldt or the Art Cities Route, allowing you more time to see the sights along the way or to stop at one of the many nature reserves!

If you leave from Antwerp, Steenplein is the place to go. You can easily cross the Scheldt with DeWaterbus. From Kruibeke, continue your route using the convenient cycling orientation point signs. The Scheldt will be on your left the whole time, though you can always take a diversion to a pretty village or town across the water using one of the twelve free pedestrian and cyclist ferries. In any case, you'll find many friendly taverns along the way, where you will be welcomed with open arms with a hearty meal or refreshing local beer. The route is also dotted with charging points for e-bikes and beautiful views of the authentic Scheldt landscape are guaranteed wherever you are: a patchwork of damp meadows, reeds, open water and woodlands.

View the Antwerp-Ghent circular route 

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4. The Scheldt-Zeeland Route

If you really want to get to know the eastern part of the Waasland well, then the Scheldt-Zeeland cycling route will certainly charm you. This brisk 127.5-kilometre ride, which is easy to follow thanks to the many sign posts along the way, lends itself well to a multi-day bike ride. You can decide for yourself in how many days you want to cycle the route. Staying overnight in style is no problem at all, because the Waasland really is full with wonderful places to stay.

For example, you can start near the Scheldt in Bazel. Through the Polders of Kruibeke, the largest flood plain in Flanders, you then cycle to Sint-Niklaas, the unofficial capital of the Waasland region. North of the Kreken van Saleghem, you cross the Dutch border and reach the 16th-century fortified town of Hulst.

Then onto Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe (one of the largest tidal areas in Europe) and the virtually deserted Scheldt village of Doel! A wide cycle path, right through the Waasland port area, will take you past the world's largest lock and Fort Liefkenshoek. There, in the interactive experience centre, you'll learn all about man's age-old struggle against the water. Afterwards, you can take your bike on the DeWaterbus for a short trip on the Scheldt. You'll cruise back to your starting point in Bazel through the centre of Beveren.

And on this bike tour of several days, you'll come across plenty of inviting cafes and restaurants, where you can take a break and enjoy the unique landscape with a drink and a snack.

View the Scheldt-Zeeland route 

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5. Create your own route along cycling orientation points

Would you rather have complete flexibility to determine your own route yourself? Thanks to the cycling route planner, this is perfectly possible. After all, no matter where you stay in the Waasland, you will always find a bike orientation point nearby. From there, you can easily map out a route along a number of highlights of your choice and with the desired distance. Come and enjoy the Waasland!

Create your own cycling route using the cycling route planner

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