Fruity landscapes with spirit

Doorkijkkerkje - reading between the lines
Few places taste as sweet as Haspengouw, the fruit region par excellence. On this tour we will cruise through the rolling landscape full of orchards, open-space art, heritage and fruity assets.

Fruity landscapes with spirit



Begijnhofkerk Sint-Truiden

Start: Sint-Truiden

The start and finish of our adventure today is in Sint-Truiden, the capital of Haspengouw. It's full of heritage, but we'll keep that for the end of our journey. First: let’s bike! We pedal away from the city centre and immediately hit the first highlight: ’t Speelhof, one of the many castle grounds in the region. The rose garden is very worthwhile, although we are not stopping there for now. Just ten minutes later we pass a first orchard. It turns out to be an appetizer for the cycling treat that is to follow. Before we know it, we are in the middle of a mighty landscape full of fruit trees. For miles, we wander through the greenery, on our way to some cultural highlights. 

Doorkijkkerkje - reading between the lines

A special church

One of the places where we find these is Borgloon, although we have to make two small detours for this. The first time just before reaching the centre. We divert towards the Stroopfabriek. We already got to know the beauty of the Haspengouw landscape. In this fruit experience centre, we also learn about the fruit we have picked. After this stopover we cycle through the centre of Borgloon. Immediately after that, we take a turn for the second time. This little detour brings us to one of the cultural highlights in this region: Reading Between the Lines. This is a special project by the architectural collective Gijs Van Vaerenbergh. From a distance we see an ordinary church. As we get closer, we discover its true nature. This church is composed of horizontal plates, which makes it possible to see straight through it. A touching view to explore, with the lush landscapes of Haspengouw as a backdrop.

Stroopfabriek Borgloon

A nice wine

After our introduction to this special church, we return to the planned route. We end up on a narrow road that winds along fields and village centres. It is about ten kilometres long, enough to enjoy the rolling landscape without a care. In the end, we arrive at the next tasty stop: Kitsberg wine domain. Haspengouw is the perfect fruit region in our country. And with that fruit you can take different turns. This is where the grapes are used to make top quality wines. And that is just one of the many vineyards in the region.

Zwevende kapel Helsheaven

Another special church

After a nice glass of wine, we cycle towards the next cultural gem. Earlier we were in a see-through church, now near a floating chapel: Helsheaven. It is made up of the trunks of dozens of felled cherry trees. It floats above Haspengouw, at the highest point of the village of Helshoven. Both the artwork and the view bring a smile to our faces. With a great deal of culture on the luggage carrier, we happily continue our journey towards the end of our cycling adventure. It brings us back to our starting place: beautiful Sint-Truiden. There's a mountain of heritage waiting for us.  

Abdijtoren Sint-Truiden © Jan Crab_8899602973_o

Heritage as a finishing touch

On the Grote Markt we park our bicycle for good. We stop at the Church of Our Lady, a place that holds almost 1,000 years of history. In the treasure room we marvel at shrines, relics and antique religious robes. Afterwards we also pay a visit to the centuries-old abbey. The thousand-year-old abbey tower, recently restored, is a historic beacon for the city. The Academy Room in this complex is also a pleasant surprise. This place, with its heavenly acoustics, is one of the most beautiful halls in the country.  

An invigorating bike ride, beautiful landscapes, deliciously scented fruit and a generous amount of heritage and culture. What else does a person need? Perhaps a drink to look back on that well-filled day? The terraces in the heart of Sint-Truiden have exactly what we are looking for.   




  • Parking:
    Veemarkt (Sint-Jansstraat 5, 3800 Sint-Truiden)
    Parking Stroopfabriek Borgloon
  • Public transport:
    Station Sint-Truiden
  • Bicycles for hire:
    De Stroopfabriek Borgloon, Fietspunt Station Sint-Truiden en via Fietsparadijs Limburg
    E-bikes via Ecoroute.
  • Nodes:
    135 > 189 > 147 > 172 > 180 > 171 > 149 > 148 > 153 > 152 > 154 > 155 > 156 > 157 > 536 > 158 > 160 > 164 > 163 > 161 > 169 > 168 > 134 > 135.