De 4 Vaargetijden - Bike and barge in Belgium!

Bike and barge in Belgium!

 
fietsen en varen in Namur
Bike and barge in Namur

Cycling vacation in Belgium, the boat takes care of your luggage transport!

Maybe all day sailing sounds rather passive and even rather boring? Still, a boating vacation can be as lazy or active as you wish! The bikes are waiting for you on board. Use them to explore the next berth every day. Or you can bike to the next stop and let the ship take care of your luggage, with cabin and all!

Which barge cruises are suitable to combine with bicycling?

All our tours are easy to combine with biking!

We offer many different routes. Each region has its advantages and challenges for bikers…

  • The Flanders fields region is mainly flat. Because of the flat landscape and the proximity to the Belgian coast, the wind can be a serious challenge. There are lots of terraces and villages along the way to take a break.
Biking in Belgium route Flanders Fields
Bicyclists leave at Diksmuide, route Flanders fields
  • The cultural tour has an extra day in Ghent and Bruges. If you’re not a city person, then there are beautiful loop-shaped tours to choose from. The landscape is mainly flat. The wind plays a smaller role here. Ideal choice for families with children!
Biking and cruising Bruges
Bikers leave from Bruges
  • The lock tour goes in the direction of Wallonia and the hills of Hainaut. A little more challenge for the physical. Unless you follow the towpaths. Then there is only a difference in height to overcome at the locks. A varied landscape with forests and farmland. Finding a nice terrace along the way can be a challenge!
Bicyclists at Blaton
Bikers leave for Beloeil, locks tour
  • The tours from Maasmechelen are all very bike friendly. This is where the cycle nodes network was invented. It is a real biking paradise! The landscape can be a bit hilly, without being really challenging. Villages with terraces dot the landscape of forests and farmlands. The wind is not a spoilsport here.
Some cyclists ride on a path through the water of a lake
Biking through the water in Limburg

The Limburgers welcome you! You can literally cycle through the water or through the tops of the trees. Also in case of any damage, help is at hand: a bicycle repair station in Neerpelt!

Bicycle repair tools and pump together in a blue box
Bicycle repair station Neerpelt
  • The TD journey across Belgium between Oudenaarde and Maasmechelen is the only tour that is not fully covered by the cycling nodes network. So some experience with maps is needed here as well. Along the way you will come across a wide variety of landscapes. Both forest and agriculture as well as industry. You will pass through villages, but also the Walloon cultural cities of Namur, Huy and Liège are on the programme. In short, this is a journey for people who like to see everything and are not afraid of a challenge! Of course you can always choose to just travel the most challenging parts on board.
Bikers depart from Tournai
Bikers depart from Tournai, route TD

Cycling tour through Belgium, your luggage sails in your room after you!

On the 1st evening : board and be welcome.

We’ll show you your cabin for the tour. Feel free to unpack everything and make yourself comfortable. This cabin will follow you the whole journey. You only have to unpack once. There are no umbrellas or toothbrushes left behind in your previous hotel… Just as you left your cabin behind, you will find it at the next berth!

Ship's bike with 21 speeds
Ship’s bike with 21 speeds

The ship’s bikes are in place for you. The panniers, bike maps and if necessary a helmet are just a part of it. Maurits already gives you a bike to adjust everything to your size. So you can take a test ride in the area! The ship’s bikes are comfortable city bikes. With their 21 gears and suspension fork, they are not averse to a steep gradient.

Cycling holiday with electric bikes?

Do you prefer to bring your own bike? That’s possible too! Would you also like to mention it on the booking form? Then we will make sure there is room for your bike on the sun deck. Do you bring an electric bike? Then don’t forget the charging cable. We will make sure the batteries are charged for your next stretch.

We don’t have electric bikes as standard on board. Would you rather not carry your own bike but still prefer the convenience of an electric bike? Both in Oudenaarde and in Maasmechelen we know reliable shops where you can rent an electric bike for your trip.

Your own racing bike on board
Or bring your own (racing) bike on board

Cycling along the nodes is child’s play!

The node network is a brilliant invention! The map shows all the beautiful cycle routes. An unpaved path, a car-free road or a country road… they all got a different colour in the map. All intersections of these roads got a number. Signs along the way provide good signposting from one junction to the next. With this system it is very difficult to get lost!

What distance do you plan to bike?

The maps with the bicycle nodes are on board and we will be happy to lend them to you. If you indicate how far you want to cycle, we can advise you a nice route. You write the junctions numbers sequentially on a waterproof label to hang on your steering-wheel. The map can then remain in your pannier as a back-up. Would you like to cycle a bit further on the way or find the shortest way to the next berth? You can easily do so by adjusting the nodes using the map!

The ship sails about 50 km per day until the next berth. With a speed of 12 km/hour we are about 5 hours underway. Via the towpaths the cycling distance is of course also about 50km. Often you can cut a few bends and take a short route.

So everything is ready to leave tomorrow! First a good night’s sleep and your vacation has begun…

Ready to go?

Departure by bike Oudenaarde
Departure by bike Oudenaarde

After a hearty breakfast, you can prepare your own packed lunch for the road. We provide sandwiches, coffee cakes and bread. There is a choice of cheese, cold meat, salads and vegetables as toppings. A piece of fruit and a drink or a thermos with coffee/tea is also included. Everything fits in the reusable sandwich box. So we also think about the environment!

Skipper Maurits indicates what time the ship will be at the new berth. It remains an estimate, of course. Along the way we pass locks and bridges that can sometimes cause delays.

On the map we indicate the probable berth. It is always possible that we will have to adjust the planning. In these digital times it is therefore recommended to be reachable by phone!

Are you a fast cyclist? Then you will probably be at the end point sooner than the ship. That’s why you will also get a map of the harbour town and an overview of the sights!

Have you taken an extensive break to have lunch or visit something interesting along the way? Then the ship will be waiting for you upon arrival. Great to take a refreshing shower before exploring the city!

Do you really have to bike every day?

Relaxing on the sun deck
Relaxing on the sun deck

No, you decide every day whether you want to cycle or cruise to the end point. So if the weather is a bit off, or the muscles are too stiff, or it’s an interesting route to stay on board? Then we put your bike on the sun deck and you can enjoy the boat ride. It is not necessary to make a packed lunch after breakfast. You can enjoy the lunch buffet while the ship sails on.

On some stretches it is also possible to join us on board and only get on your bike after lunch for the last stretch to the next berth. This way the cycling distance is significantly shorter.

When can you book such a bike tour in combination with boating?

In the cruise schedule you will find the tours that you can book by cabin this year. We will be happy to tell you if there is still a cabin available!

Or do you have a group of max. 8 persons and would you like to charter the entire ship for your group? Then we will be happy to help you compose the best route for your group travel and the possible dates.

Feel free to ask for more information. We would like your bike-boating vacation to be a great experience!

Bemanning de 4 Vaargetijden
Welcome!