France Meets Belgium: Paris to Bruges & v.v. by Bike & Barge

Guided 15 Days / 14 Nights

Travel a quaint rural landscape by bike and barge through northern France and Flanders. Discover small art-deco towns and exceptional historic towns like Oudennaarde and Ghent where renowned tapestries tell their history. Famous painters painters such as Van Eyck nad Van Gogh found their inspiration in towns like Auvers, Permeke and Bruges. Peddle past the remains of important abbeys at Royaumont, St Aramnd, view magnificent palaces of Chantilly, Compiegne and Bierancourt, and admire the castles in Pierrefonds and Peronne.


  • Paris and its monuments
  • Chateaux & gardens at Compiegne, Chantilly & Bierancourt
  • Clariere de l’Armistice where French and German signed the treaty to end WWl
  • Lively university town of Ghent
  • Bruges’ medieval town square, canals and waterways
  • Small group of 20 – 24 guests
  • Belgian beer!


Ghent canal
Enjoy a Belgian beer paired with 'pommes frites' after your ride

Your Journey

Day 1 Paris

Board your barge at 2 pm and cruise through the heart of Paris with wonderful views of the city’s landmarks.

Day 2 Paris – Auvers-sur-Oise (42 – 48 km)

Cycle and area much loved by impressionist painters and where Van Gogh is buried.

Day 3 Auvers-sur-Oise – Beaumont sur Oise, Royaumont, Chantilly, Creil -  Pont-Ste-Maxence (43 km)

Follow the Oise River past the abbey of Royaumont to the famous castle of Chantilly, horse racing circuit and royal stables.

Day 4  Pont-St-Maxence – Compiegne (44 – 54 km)

From Pont –St-Maxemce cycle to Compiegne whose enormous woods were the favourite of French kings. The gardens of the Chateau de Compiègne are worth a visit.

Day 5 Compiegne – La Clairiere, Tracy, Ourschamps, Noyon - Pont L'Eveque (42 – 51 km)

First up today is  l’Armistice de la Clairière -the forest clearing and the carriage where the First World War armistice was signed. Continue on through Tracy and  the forested trails of Ourchsamp and Noyon.  Cycle back to the canal at Pont L'Eveque where the barge awaits.

Day 6 Pont L'Eveque - Haudival by barge, Haudival to Peronne (47 – 56 km)

Cruise along the Canal du Nord which was built to replace the older canal of St. Quentin,  Cruise to Haudival and commence cycling through gently rolling, open countryside to the town of Ham, then along the River Somme to Peronne. 

Day 7 Day in Peronne

Rest day.  Your barge will be moored just outside the charming town of Peronne, which is yours to explore, with its intimate square and church as well as a castle and the fascinating Grande Guerre museum.

Day 8 Peronne - Ytres -  by barge  Ytres - Moeuvres  (40 – 52 km)

Continue cycling along the River Somme and then  through open and rolling landscape to Ruyaulcourt.  At the end of WW1 this area was the frontline of the battle around the Somme.  Cruise through the long (4.3km) tunnel dividing the watershed between the Somme and the Scheldt rivers.  Mooring is in Moeuvres.

Day 9 Moeuvres – Cambrai -Arleux - Pont Malin (47 – 50 km)

Today we visit Cambria, once a Roman provincial capital and an important destination for pilgrims. This lively provincial town has splendid historic monuments of the city fortress.  Continue to the marshlands of Chantraine and rural Arleux from where your barge will take you to the lock of Pont Malin.

Day 10 Pont Malin – Doornik ( 47 - 51 km)

The barge follows the Canal du Grand Gabarit for a few hours.  Start from Denain on a long and lovely day of cycling through former mining towns with beautifully preserved heritage from around 1900. Cross into Belgium then through the ‘white land’ to the charming little fortress town of Antoing. Limestone has been mined here since the Roman times. Today’s destination is Doornik (in French: Tournai), one of the oldest cities of Belgium, that was destroyed by a German air-raid and has since been rebuilt especially the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Day 11 Doornik (Tournai) – Oudenaarde (45 km)

You are now in the Flemish region. The destination today is Oudenaarde, in former days a French/German border town which was subject to much conflict. It is also known as the town of the tapestry weavers.

Day 12 Oudenaarde –Ghent (45 km)

Ride to the lively university town of Ghent and a major centre for cloth traders in the 13 and 14 centuries. This former wealth is evident in the many patrician residences, Lakenhal (former trading centre) and St Baafs Cathedral.

Day 13 Ghent – Bruges (34 – 44 km)

Cycle the pleasant countryside of western Flanders all the way to Bruges. Wander its old centre, which dates from the Middle Ages, and is almost completely intact.

Day 14 Bruges

Day free to explore Bruges. Take a cruise on the beautiful canals.

Day 15

Tour ends in Bruges at 9 am.


Easy biking through gently rolling country on cycle paths and quiet country roads. Distances per day are up to 50 kms with slopes of no more than 100m elevation. Longer and shorter rides are offered each day.

France Meets Belgium

France Meets Belgium

France Meets BelgiumA horse and carriage ride is a fine way to see Old Bruges

Stop at a typical French patisserie for a special treat

Soak up the atmosphere in the Grand Place at Oudenaarde


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  • 306 Lake Road, Takapuna
    Auckland 0622, New Zealand
  • P: (0064) 09 486 7473
    F: (0064) 09 484 0091

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Cycling Europe Offers Cycling Holidays in Europe and around the world.

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