Cycling is an obsession in Flanders, the flat, northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. Make like a local on an early-morning bike ride that starts and ends at the Westmalle brewery, where the Trappist monks have been living, praying and brewing their eponymous beer in contemplative silence for centuries. Quench your thirst on the terrace of the Café Trappisten once you’ve complete the scenic 44km circuit.
From the Art Nouveau splendour of Brussels to Flanders’ medieval cities and the rolling hills of Wallonia, there are so many things to do in Belgium, a small but perfectly formed country that is crying out to be explored. It’s ideal for active travellers, with great hiking trails, water sports and (outside Brussels, at least) excellent cycle infrastructure. The French influence is evident in Belgium’s food, with more Michelin stars per head than just about anywhere in Europe and a flourishing vegan scene in cities like Ghent. The beer needs no introduction, the chocolate is divine—and it honestly doesn’t rain as much as people would have you believe. Spend a little time here and you’ll find a country that rewards the curious traveller.
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