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Coastal bicycle ride Zwin Nature Park & Damme

Explore the mix of long windswept beaches, flat green meadows and reed-lined streams and canals along Belgium’s coast on this bicycle tour. A series of paved bike paths connect resort towns and small villages, giving you a leisurely way of seeing the area without the traffic concerns.

The route and duration are dependent on your preferences, but you can expect to see highlights like a marshy nature reserve that played a role in World War II, an affluent resort along the North Sea that mixes tree-shrouded parks with beaches, and the 15th-century step-gabled houses and mills in the city of Damme.

The extensive network of pathways and the peaceful scenery make biking popular in Belgium, but a guided bike tour of the Belgian coastline is unique to Audley. Your local guide provides expertise on the route and the history of the places you visit, while the ride itself is tailored to your level of confidence on a bicycle.

The bicycle ride can begin either in Bruges or Ghent, and transportation, along with the bicycles, will be provided as needed. The ride can last anywhere between four and seven hours, depending on your interests and how far you'd like to cycle. Lunch isn’t provided, but there will be plenty of opportunities of to stop and grab a bite to eat along the way.

The exact route will vary, depending on your interests, but Zwin Natural Park is a local highlight. This marshy area borders the Netherlands and was intentionally flooded during World War II to stop the German advance toward Dunkirk. Today, you’ll find considerable birdlife along with a variety of salt-resistant flora, such as sea lavender.

You and your guide will then continue to Knokke-Heist, an affluent seaside resort along the North Sea on the Dutch-Belgian border with a long sandy beach. Here you can stop for a quick refreshment before cycling through the tree-shrouded paths in Directeur-Generaal Willemspark.

From there, you’ll bike along the Damme Canal, where the paved paths are lined by rows of trees and grassy canal banks. This path will lead you to the city of Damme, where you can explore the red-brick buildings, 15th-century step-gabled houses and wide cobblestone streets.

The ride is weather dependent, but the tour is generally available from March or April through October.

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