6 reasons to visit Flanders in summertime
We've got some great news to share with you. Flanders will welcome you again this summer. Little by little, but with (proverbial) open arms. Dive headfirst into the legacy of our Flemish Masters, cycle through our undulating landscape or wind down with one of our 1,500 unique beers.
A versatile coastline
The Flemish coast is one of the most underrated places in Europe. Beautiful sandy beaches stretch from east to west. And you'll find plenty of artistic assets along those heavenly shores. Artful Ostend, for instance, is the home of James Ensor, a pioneer of the modern arts. Discover his enormous legacy at Ensor House, the place where he lived and worked for over 30 years. Or immerse yourself Ostend's other artistic treasures with the brand new Tiktok walking route along some of its finest art spots, each linked to a unique Tiktok challenge.
Watch the summery spring classics
There is no better place in the world to explore by bike than Flanders' stunning natural landscape. In the province of Limburg, for instance, you can go Cycling Through the Trees. This stunning circular cycle path in a forest takes you up to the tops of the trees. Then not even 30 kilometres away, you'll find another unique setting: Cycling Through Water. This brand-new path leads you straight through a pond, all the way from one bank to the other. In the middle, the water is at eye level on both sides You'll feel, see and smell the water.
The more experienced cyclists among us can use this summer to explore Flanders' steep hills and (in)famous cobblestones. Traditionally, the spring classics are a highlight of the pro race cycling season. Because of the coronavirus, some of those unique and heroic races will be held this fall, just this once. So shave those legs, start your training schedule and be ready!
Meet the Flemish Masters
Flanders' many magnificent museums have reopened their doors. Of course, they still boast masterpieces and a vast treasure of age-old heritage. Be welcome and discover the life and work of our Flemish Masters. Study Jan van Eyck's masterpiece The Mystic Lamb down to the smallest detail. Discover the oeuvre of his colleagues Peter Paul Rubens, Pieter Bruegel and their many successors. Not quite convinced yet? Then the virtual VIP museum tours, Stay At Home Museum, will get you excited about discovering these gems in person.
A city palace in Mechelen
Flanders is the perfect place for culture vultures to get their fix. From famous art galleries to quirky museums, there's a wealth of heritage to visit and enjoy, including the beautiful city palace of Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen. In this magnificent palace, you can learn all about the Burgundian Netherlands, a thriving era that looks into the lives of figures such as Charles the Bold, Margaret of Austria, Thomas More and Emperor Charles V.
A virtual festival summer
The usual summer in Flanders, is a summer full of festivals. Unfortunately, those effervescent festival grounds remain closed this year. But you can still enjoy that unique atmosphere from the comfort of your armchair. (Stage)dive into the archives of the iconic Graspop Metal Meeting, brimful of loud guitars. Or join party people all over the globe at Tomorrowlands virtual festival Around the World.
Sacred books, secret libraries
If you are looking for a dose of refreshment and tranquillity, Sacred Books - Secret Libraries in Bruges is the place to be. The English monastery exposes its unique domed church and the relic of philosopher Thomas More. The Convent of the Discalced Carmelites, in turn, boasts a beautiful intact monastic library and an impressive refectory. A guide tells the tale of the religious who still live in those monasteries today. This is a tale of spirituality, their connection with the city and especially the books, the thread running through this unique visit.
Flanders has a lot of assets to enjoy, but we must respect the right circumstances. We'd like to avoid too large crowds and respect the necessary safety measures. The brand new YouFlanders-app is the perfect companion to do say. It contains a barometer that tells you how busy it is at touristic hot spots and in the catering industry. The app also simply indicates which COVID-19 measures apply at which location. The Dutch version of the app is already up and running, the English version will be launched in early July.
With the YouFlanders app by your side, you don't have to worry about a thing when discovering Flanders' countless summery highlights. Have fun!
Story created on 20 June 2020