Why is Flanders so Special by Bike?

06/04/2021

Why is Flanders so Special by Bike?

At Freewheel Holidays we’re proud to say we’re home to some of the very best cycling holidays money can buy, in some of the most stunning locations in Europe. 

But few locations come close to the sights, sounds, and emotions that one may experience while cycling through Flanders.

The iconic Belgian region is obviously famed for its involvement in the combat of the First World War, with ‘Flanders Fields’ becoming a household historical term, as well as a popular location to visit for history buffs. But there’s so much more to Flanders than meets the eye, especially if you’re planning on traveling Flanders by bike…

Cobblestone cycling

Naturally, for those with an interest in cycling, the landscapes of Flanders are what will be attracting you to the region.

But one thing you will notice straight away is the abundance of cobbled walkways and paths that intertwine these glorious, roaming fields. Cobblestones have become synonymous with cycling in Flanders with good reason! The region’s heavy rainfall forced locals to construct a way to deal with constant flooding and mudslides, leading to the many cobbled paths you’ll find in Flanders today.

In other words, if you love a good cobblestone climb, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Flanders!

Classic cities and villages

As a region, Flanders is packed to the brim with exciting and interesting places to visit. This includes some of the more famous cities, like Brussels, but places like Ghent are always underappreciated.

Ghent traces its beginnings back to the middle ages, with much of the classic influence of centuries gone by still on display to be admired today.

Much of the Medieval era is still very much present through Ghents wondrously gothic architecture and cathedrals, including the unmissable St Bavo’s Cathedra which stands at an imposing 89 metres tall and can be seen from miles around.

Then, of course, there’s the stunning canal-laden city of Bruges. Often referred to as a “fairytale town”, the city is widely recognised as one of the most beautiful cities in the country and even the continent.

Historical significance

As we’ve already touched upon, It’s difficult to talk about the region of Flanders without mentioning the historical significance it has held over the past two centuries and beyond.

As everyone knows, Flanders Fields is the name given to the World War One battlefields that were the scenes of some of the most important conflicts of The Great War. 

The place which saw the birth of “Trench Warfare,” and the countless moments of violence that came along with it, has risen from the ashes of 1918 to become one of the most picturesque locations in the country - perfect for exploring by bike!

So for those of you with a real taste for history, as well as a thirst for a cycling adventure, there isn’t much the amazing region of Flanders won’t be able to offer you.

The Tour of Flanders

It would be difficult to talk about cycling in Flanders without mentioning the most well-known cycling event in the region - the Tour of Flanders!

Recognised the cycling world over for its fun yet challenging cobbled climbs, this year’s tour took place in the Flemish Ardennes, a stunning part of Belgium. Beginning in Antwerp and covering over 250 km of cycling distance, in the end, Kasper Asgreen of Denmark would emerge victorious in the men’s race, finishing in a time of 6 hours, 2 minutes and 12 seconds! For the women, Annmeik van Vleuten of the Netherlands had her hand raised, with an official finishing time of just over four hours.

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At Freewheel Holidays, we’re home to numerous stellar cycling holidays to the region of Flanders for your cycling pleasure!

Take a look at some of our Flanders cycling holidays here. Or give us a call on 0161 703 8161 and we’d be happy to talk things through with you, to get you set for your next cycling holiday adventure!