Bruges is well known far and wide for its historic and cultural heritage. The entire historic city centre is therefore on the UNESCO World Heritage List. If Bruges was an most important trading metropolis during the Middle Ages, it has managed to retain the wealth in its heritage over the centuries.
But in addition to romantic cityscapes full of tiny bridges and atmospheric lantern-lit squares, the capital of West Flanders also has a vibrant commercial and cultural life, supplemented by its many good restaurants. Bruges the dead? That was a long time ago.
17 min 08 min
Damme (B): Boekendorp
Damme lies between Bruges and the Dutch border. Time seems to have stood still in this picturesque town. Here life flows at the rhythm of the leisurely Damse Canal. The many restaurants in the area make Damme an idyllic place where the legendary spirit of Till Eulenspiegel is never far away. The many bookshops and the fortnightly book market make this village an ideal place for those who like to find without searching. The municipality has many places of interest, including the typical white stepped gables around the old market square. An important port town centuries ago, Damme is today enveloped in a serene beauty that no-one can resist.
22 min 09 min
Knokke-Heist: The coast for enjoyment
Knokke-Heist may be on the Dutch border, but the municipality is anything but remote. The village centre of Het Zoute (Le Zoute) is a magnet for people who want to see and be seen. With the unspoilt nature of the Het Zwin nature reserve and the North Sea itself as its main attractions, Knokke also follows a rich calendar of activities in all seasons, with gastronomy, culture and nightlife its central features.
1 h 15 min 25 min
Ostend: City by the sea
Together with Nieuwpoort, Ostend is the only city on the Belgian coast. The old fishing village of years gone by grew to become the “king of seaside resorts”. The City by the Sea has seen artists such as James Ensor, Léon Spilliaert, Marvin Gaye and Arno flow in and out on the tide. The marina and the long dike are of course the main attractions. But there are also many museums, places of interest and events in this city, making it resistant to the Belgian weather all year round.
1 h 36 min 30 min
Sluis: Also open on Sundays
The old fortress town of Sluis in the Dutch province of Zeeland has a lasting appeal to Belgians. The appearance of the historic city centre with its typical belfry is also somewhere between Flemish and Dutch. The main difference is that the shops here are open 7 days a week, so many people take the opportunity to combine a shopping Sunday in the pleasant town with its gastronomic delights. Sluis has a short name but a long and rich history. However, its Burgundian character lives on to this day.
55 min 28 min
The Ryckevelde nature reserve adjoins Ten Torre Castle. It is an enormous green “lung” just east of Bruges, with no less than 173 hectares of freely accessible forest and nature. The heathland of Schobbejakshoogte is now protected as a nature reserve. Walkers are allowed, provided they stay on the paths. Dogs are not, however, because of the presence of woodland sheep.
Another treasure in these forests is the beautiful, educational wildlife garden where visitors can in a small area discover the typical landscape features and biotopes of the region’s poor sandy soils. The trail is also suitable for wheelchair users. Thanks to the tactile guide path and Braille boards, the blind and visually impaired can also enjoy the wildlife garden to the full.
Spanning no less than 90 square kilometres, this area of countryside is the most wooded in all of West Flanders. It covers the municipalities of Oostkamp, Beernem, Ruiselede, Wingene and Aalter. In addition to a visitor centre and a herb garden, it is also home to kilometres of walking and cycling trails. The Bulskampveld hiking network alone is good for more than 150 kilometres of walking enjoyment. The recreational possibilities are endless. For example, there is the adventure trail of “Expeditie Bulskampveld” which can be tackled with or without children. There are also family search treks, do and discover exhibitions, and much more.
Once upon a time, the estuary of the Zwin connected Bruges and the North Sea. After it silted up, large ships could no longer reach the port of Bruges. Today, the Zwin Nature Park is a renowned nature reserve and has been protected since 1939. It owes its uniqueness to regular flooding. It creates a tidal landscape, where many sea and water birds are at home. In 2019, the Zwin was extended by a further 110 hectares. Since that same year, the Zwin has been crossed by a cycle path from Knokke to Cadzand – the Dutch section of the Zwin.
Tijl en Nele bike rental (Damme)
Damme Tourism bike rental
Vijverhof Tennis Club – Antwerpse Heirweg, 8340 Sijsele
TC Smash – Wagenweg 12, 8730 Oedelem
Aqua Viva – Woestinestraat 8, 8340 Sijsele
Bodylicious – Sparrenstraat 71, 8310 Assebroek
Anemos Beachclub Duinbergen – Zeedijk 300Z, 8301 Knokke-Heist
RBSC Beachclub Duinberbergen – Zeedijk 430, 8301 Knokke-Heist