An amazing weekend getaway in the Waasland

An amazing weekend getaway in the Waasland

48 hours of uninhibited fun

You may know the Waasland as the region that links the great Flemish cultural cities of Ghent and Antwerp, but the 'sweet Waas country' is so much more than that. There is so much to do and experience, that it's not hard to spend an unforgettable weekend there.

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Discover Sint-Niklaas

You can easily spend a whole weekend in the unofficial capital of the Waasland, Sint-Niklaas. Both the historic walk (4.7 km) and the art deco walk (5.3 km) lead you past the city's main attractions. Moreover, a street art map can take you along a route of just under 10 km that takes in over 40 stunning street art works. For example, did you know that Sint-Niklaas is home to the longest graffiti-adorned wall in the Belgium?

At 3.19 hectares, the Grote Markt in Sint-Niklaas is the city's event square and the largest market square in Belgium. In the SteM or Stedelijk Museum (City Museum), the history of Sint-Niklaas and the Waasland comes to life through three storylines in which humans play a central role. Another option is the Mercator Museum, which presents a chronological overview of cartography from antiquity to the present day. The world-famous cartographer Gerardus Mercator was, after all, a son of the Waasland.

As a lively, contemporary city, Sint-Niklaas has much to offer in other areas as well. You can spend hours shopping in the welcoming city centre, discover local delicacies and regional products to your heart's content in the many specialist shops, and the numerous excellent restaurants and sunny terraces invite you for hours of uninhibited fun. Finally, with its central location, Sint-Niklaas is easy to reach by car and public transport.


The Waasland Walking Network

The well-developed Waasland walking network also makes Sint-Niklaas the ideal starting point for exploring the local landscape. The pride of Klein-Sinaai is the Fondatie van Boudelo, a patchwork of damp grassland and coppice forests, characterised by perfect tranquillity. Climb the 8-metre-high watchtower and feast your eyes on one of the last true places of stillness in East Flanders. Brasserie Het Zomerhuis, the starting point of a 9.2-km walking route, is a wonderful place to invigorate the inner self.

The Heidebos (heath forest), as its name suggests, is a unique combination of heathland and forest. There are a number of mapped walks of between 4 and 10 km in this area of over 100 hectares. Galloway cattle guard the heathland from further forestation. Right at the border of the Netherlands, in turn, is the 500-hectare Stropersbos. Fun extras here include two large play areas and the bivouac area, where wild camping is allowed, among the freely grazing horses and sheep. The Klingspoor adventure site in the border village of De Klinge is also very much worth a visit: immerse yourself in the fascinating past of this unique part of the Waasland and discover a replica of a section of the 'Wire of Death' from WWI.


Long live folly!

A must-see for culture lovers in the northern part of the Waasland is the Verbeke Foundation in Kemzeke. This private site houses a simply magnificent collection of modern and contemporary art, which, moreover, is also scattered across 12 hectares of nature reserve. The overall picture is a truly unique, surreal ode to folly and creativity.

Is the fresh air making you hungry? In Stekene and its surroundings, the excellent restaurants are almost innumerable. A very special mention is deserved for UKIYO, which serves sophisticated fusion of French and Japanese cuisine. You can also spend a blissful night there in four luxurious guest rooms.

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Controlled flooding

To the east, the Waasland is bordered by the Scheldt. There is also a great deal of interest here for lovers of wild and unspoiled nature. The Polders of Kruibeke form a controlled flooding area of no less than 600 hectares: enough for a veritable Valhalla for walkers and cyclists.  The varied landscape of mudflats, salt marshes, and alder thickets is a paradise for meadow birds. Large mammals such as roe deer, beavers and otters also feel perfectly at home here. You can even go art-spotting, with works such as the CosmoGolem (a six-metre-high wooden giant by Koen Vanmechelen) and Arcade. There are four cycling routes through the area, including the Go with the Flow route (46.9 km, starting at tavern 't Veer in Tielrode). 

In the charming polder village of Basel, the Castle of Wissekerke is well worth a visit. The only problem is that this neo-Gothic moated castle with a historic iron suspension bridge is still closed until early 2023 due to renovation works. The thoroughly renovated Wissekerke Castle will be an absolutely superb experience, with Countess Sophie-Louise-Zoë de Feltz (1780-1853) as the virtual hostess. In the meantime, it is certainly worth exploring the beautiful castle park already. And from there, it's only a short walk to one of the many restaurants in the local area with a truly stunning view of the Scheldt. DeWaterbus takes you from Kruibeke to Steenplein in the heart of Antwerp in just 17 minutes. 

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Chilling in the water

Finally, the Waasland region also lends itself perfectly to water-based recreation. In Lokeren, you can rent an electric boat as well as kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddles at Meersland. The Peddelroute is a nice adventurous route of 30 km along the Durme, the Moervaart, the Zuidlede,and the Stekene Canal. With all those picturesque places to moor and have a drink along the way, you can easily turn this into a trip of several days. Make sure to take your time, because the water is the best way to get to know this region from a completely different angle. In Stekene, you can take eight people on a whisper-quiet solar-powered raft. Ideal for chilling out with a snack and a drink and taking in the expansive landscape as it slowly glides by at a speed of 3 km/h. Temse, on the other hand, is the base for river cruises on the Scheldt, or you can rent a luxurious motorised sloop at Sloep-Rent for 2 to 12 people.

Book your weekend in the Waasland now!

Inspired for a weekend away in the Waasland yet? You will definitely be welcomed with open arms!