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  1. #1
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Touring through Belgium

    I Live in Frankfurt, and I will be riding from Germany, to Aachen, through Belgium, to Oostende to get a ferry to Dover, England. The Albert canal towpath looks like some good riding, direct and flat.

    Where can I get some bike maps of routes in Belgium on the internet? Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    Hi, I have been riding around the whole area for a couple of years, and I can tell you in Belgium you dont need any maps of cycling routes, they are posted everywhere. Once you find a blue sign with a number and a picture of a bike follow it till you get to a path crossing (junction) there you will find other connecting paths on a posted map.
    From Aachen follow the N 278 to Maastricht, +/- 30kms nice road with cycle path, there you can get on the Albert canal. Do not go to Liege, Belgium from Aachen you will not like it, real bad roads and serious hills.
    If you realy want to buy one, every tourist office has them, Achen, and Vaals, The Netherlands are your best bets, get the cheap ones (just as good) you dont need much detail especialy if your taking the Albert canal.
    Also the Albert canal is not the best place to cycle only a few sections are nice, too many factories and power stations on it, its good only if youre in a hurry. if youre lucky enough to get a tail wind youll get to the coast in a day with time to spare.
    Good luck and safe ride.

  3. #3
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    Hi Becnal,

    I think the best way to go from Germany to Oostende, is taking the "Vlaanderens Fietsroute". This is a very well signed route covering the whole of Flanders (750km in total). You can take the northern part (going through Gent and Brugge). In the following link you see the northern part of the route marked as LF5 http://www.groteroutepaden.be/grlf/lf/overzicht1.htm. You can eventually take a short-cut via the LF50 (coming from Liege), going to Diest and then take the LF5 in Lier.

    The "Vlaanderens Fietsroute" is marked with signs like this http://www.manymaps.com/index.html?t...6.html&lang=nl (see page below); and goes always via small and quiet roads

  4. #4
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Thank you both so much. That is exactly the kind of information I was looking for! I am very grateful.

    I have 8 days to get from Frankfurt to Southampton. I can hop on a train whenever I want, and I am going to be free camping. I have a hammock, as well as a military goretex, bivvy sac - winter sleeping bag combination. Basically, I can sleep where ever I stop, and start again when I wake up.

    With your advice, I'm sure the trip will be great. Thanks again!

    Lance

  5. #5
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    good luck with your trip!

    You will surely love the bike LF-routes in Flanders, they are really worth the effort!

    But be aware that they are not the shortest routes... Starting from the Maastricht-area to the city of Oostende, is around 300 km (I did the trip myself). On the other hand the route is very flat, mostly following canals and rivers.

  6. #6
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quickfit
    But be aware that they are not the shortest routes... Starting from the Maastricht-area to the city of Oostende, is around 300 km (I did the trip myself). On the other hand the route is very flat, mostly following canals and rivers.
    That sounds perfect. I've got time, and don't have any priblems just hopping on a train if I want. Thanks so much!

    I also ordered tha Flanders Cycle Route Guidebook online at http://www.manymaps.com/index.html?lang=en-gb

  7. #7
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    well done, the guidebook is always handy in case of...

    some last info: if you consider taking the train, you can have a quick (only a handful stops) and very regular (about every hour) connection to Oostende via the following cities:
    - Genk
    - Brussels
    - Gent
    - Brugge

    bikes are allowed on the train; a special wagon is normally foreseen for them (but always ask beforehand at the train-station to be sure).

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