Discover nature in Flanders

Maasland RivierPark Maasvallei

It starts with 67 kilometres of sandy beaches along the North Sea coast with its Zwin nature reserve, a paradise for migratory bird. And continues across the broad Kalmthout Heath right by Antwerp. Along Hoge Kempen National Park in Limburg. Through the natural desert landscape of the Lommel Sahara. To the primeval Sonian Forest’s UNESCO-recognised protected areas just outside Brussels. And there’s even more in between.

Natural areas form a green and blue patchwork of polders, clay pits, dunes, brook valleys, rivers, meadows and forests when seen from the air, accentuated by historic castles which are surrounded by equally stunning parks and gardens. Pull on your hiking boots or set off on a voyage of discovery by canoe or SUP.  

Flanders rejoices in an abundance of natural beauty. Our landscapes were partially formed by their inhabitants and stand as enduring witnesses to what’s gone before. Examples include the Westhoek with its lingering traces of the Great War, the Pajottenland’s rolling hills, so masterfully illustrated by Bruegel, avant-garde art installations in the Meuse Valley and the Kempen area, marked by its industrial mining past. Experience their unique stories and listen as locals happily share anecdotes with you.  

Our gorgeous natural landscapes go hand in hand with a centuries-old love for and tradition of art and heritage. They have inspired countless local and international artists and serve as an ideal setting for artistic experiences. Take, for example, “Verbeke Foundation” in Kemzeke, a quirkily bizarre open-air museum for contemporary art, Haspengouw’s famous see-through church “Reading between the Lines” or the permanent Beaufort Sculpture Park along the Flemish coast. What’s more, around every corner you’ll find another cosy pub in which to savour our liquid gold, our delicious Belgian beer. Slake your thirst with a local brew and let residents introduce you to local culinary delights. Good food and drink; they are part of Flanders too. We are eager to share them with our guests.

We are also happy to have you enjoy our natural treasures along with us. We protect them, too, precisely because they are so valuable and unique. They are precious to our visitors, our local craftsmen and our local residents. #Respectfornature is key.

Kasteel van Poeke

Nature regions in the spotlight

Discover uniquely special stories hidden away in the loveliest of green spaces. Discover our Flemish nature regions.

Experience nature

National Park Hoge Kempen - (c) Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland vzw
Nature
12,000 hectares nature. From extensive pine forests to purple flowering heathland, from sandy dunes and large lakes to high peaks that give you a stunning view.

Discover nature in Flanders how you would like to

Flanders has made it easy to set out on a hike or go cycling from node to node. There is a whole network of nodes to help you plan your own hiking or cycling trip. You can also choose between various pre-defined routes. That way you’ll have nothing to worry about and can enjoy the beautiful landscape to the fullest. More experienced hikers and cyclists love to explore the long-distance or “GR” routes. All over Europe, such routes can be identified by their famous white and red and white or yellow stripes. Follow GR128 to cross Flanders from west to east or GR129 to travel from north to south. Flanders’ network contains nearly 5,000 kilometres of such GR routes, with seamless connections to paths in Wallonia and neighbouring countries.