Urban skylines and green panoramas: Flanders in pictures (part 2)

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Walking shoes, a smartphone and a generous dose of astonishment. That is all you need to discover Flanders’ loveliest views. In the second part of our tour, we travel from Brussels to the Flemish coast, passing six new highlights for your Instagram page.
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Brussels

Brussels, the beating heart of Europe. A dazzling place in which to immerse yourself, and just as good to admire from a distance. That is possible, for example, in Forest Park. This park was constructed in 1882 so that visitors could enjoy the city panorama. As for Cinquantenaire Park, its spacious greenery is home to a collection of museums and cultural gems such as the Pavilion of Human Passions, designed by Art Nouveau pioneer Victor Horta. All good things come in threes, as the saying goes. So we’re also mentioning the Kunstberg, the Mount of the Arts. It offers you a stunning view of sparkling Brussels, with the Kunstberg gardens in the foreground.

Hallerbos in bloom © LeBackpacker

The Forests of Brabant, near Brussels

Paradise on earth is to be found in the Hallerbos, some 20 kilometres from Brussels. Every April, countless wild bluebells bloom, providing a fairy-tale purple carpet of flowers. But even aside from that, this area is a feast for the eyes. This forest is part of National Park Forests of Brabant. There you find the oldest and perhaps most beautiful forests in Flanders. In the Sonian Forest, the Meerdaalwoud and the green Dyle valley, you can spend hours capturing marvellous nature shots. You will be accompanied in your work there by a beautiful soundtrack of rustling leaves and singing birds.

Koppenberg view sunset

The Koppenberg, the Flemish Ardennes

For the third highlight on this tour, we head away from Brussels towards the Flemish Ardennes. There we find the Koppenberg. That name might cause amateur and professional cyclists alike to quake and tremble, but it also makes photographers’ eyes light up. From this iconic hill, you can take stunning images. The Koppenberg provides a breathtaking view over the Flemish Ardennes and it is where, every year, the Ronde van Vlaanderen is decided. You see rolling fields, vast meadows, a picturesque forest and charming Flemish villages. And with a bit of luck, another cycling tourist will pass by on the road, panting and puffing. His or her blood, sweat and tears are sure to deliver intense pictures.

St Michael's Bridge (c) Stad Gent-Dienst Toerisme Photo by Bas Bogaerts

St. Michael's Bridge, Ghent

Flanders’ pristine nature delivers stunning images, but so does the vibrant city life. St. Michael’s Bridge in Ghent is incontrovertible proof of that. This bridge over the Lys is considered to be one of the city’s most romantic spots. There, you are completely surrounded by the charming beauty of Ghent. Especially at dusk, when the centuries-old buildings are atmospherically lit up, the view is stunning. Would you like to get a bird’s eye view of the whole area? Then climb the 254 steps of the Belfry. At the top, you have a glorious panoramic view over this historic city that stretches far and wide.

Het Zwin © Westtoer APB - Jan D'hondt

Zwin Nature Park in Knokke-Heist

From Ghent, we head towards the Flemish coast. Here, by the North Sea, you find the international airport of migratory birds: Zwin Nature Park. A must-visit, of course, for any amateur or professional photographer and/or ornithologist. In addition to the aforementioned birds, the seasoned nature lover can spot tree frogs, dune rabbits and other creatures. The stork breeding station also lends itself well to nature photography. And even without the animals, the Zwin is worth a visit: the rolling dunes, mud flats and salt marshes, the coastline and the focal point where the horizon and the North Sea merge together. Would you like to add another activity to that? Zwin Nature Park is located in Landscape Park Flemish Ardennes, where micro-adventures guarantee maxi happiness.

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The Flemish coast

After our photogenic walk through the Zwin, we remain by the Flemish coast. Indeed, it is a paradise in itself. There are 67 kilometres of fine sand, sea, dunes and plenty of beautiful views. Think, for example, of the sun setting gently into the North Sea. Or the view from the Belgium Pier in Blankenberge, which stretches 350 metres into the sea. In Oostduinkerke, the shrimp fishers wade through the surf on their sturdy draught horses, which makes for great photo opportunities. Or would you prefer to take a more artistic approach? Then go for a walk in the Beaufort Sculpture Park. That is the name of the permanent collection left behind by the Beaufort Art Triennial. Dozens of contemporary artworks, neatly spread out along the coastline. An extraordinary fusion of art and nature.

And so part 2 of our picture-perfect expedition through Flanders has also come to an end. We discovered Brussels from afar and nature from close up. We saw a romantic spot in Ghent, a cycling icon and the many gems on the Flemish coast. Plenty of material to get your social media fired up. Something to remember and relish, with a broad smile on your face. Because that’s how photographs should be.

Urban skylines and green panoramas: Flanders in pictures (part 1)

Walking shoes, a smartphone and a generous dose of amazement. That is all you need to discover Flanders' loveliest views. From the most beautiful panoramas of lush greenery to the stunning skylines in our art cities.
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