The Strava Route

A sporty route for enthusiastic cyclists, resulting in a piece of Strava art on your screen. It’s a great way to keep fit, and you get tons of kudos too!

Social media shows you the way in Knokke-Heist. No less than five walking and cycling routes based on well-known social media platforms will take you on a tour of the most interesting places to post on your favourite platform. Sun, sea and sand are no excuse to spend your time in Knokke-Heist just lying on your beach towel!

The new Strava route is for everyone who also loves a sporting challenge. On your bike, you will get to see so much more of the dunes and you can also follow the polder landscape a little further inland. Along the way, you will find plenty of pit stops where you can refuel and ease the pain. By the end of the tour, you will have covered 70 km and you can share your Strava art with the world!

You can find the map of the route below. 

The route can also be found on our Strava account or you can download the GPX file here to load it onto your bike GPS. 

SPLISH, SPLASH, SPLOSH

Decloedt Pit KM: 0

The Duinenwatermeer – also known locally as the ‘De Cloedt Pit’ – was created in 1955. This is where the dredging company De Cloedt excavated the sand needed to restore the beach after a major flood. Afterwards, it attracted more investors who built a beautiful residential site with a sports complex (Lakeside Paradise) here.

BREAD AND CIRCUSES

Burgemeester Graaf Leopold Lippenspark KM: 1,06

Fortunately, Burgemeester Graaf Leopold Lippenspark was renovated in time to honour the Mayor of Knokke-Heist before he died in February 2021. This sporting Mecca is in an area that is also of culinary interest. If you would like to schedule a longer pit stop, you will find the Michelin-starred restaurants Cuines 33 and Boo Raan around the corner.

CASTLE IN THE POLDERS

Oostkerke Castle, Spegelsweg 2, 8340 Damme KM: 11,32
(400 m detour)

On the way to Damme you will pass Oostkerke Castle: a true mediaeval relic from 1300, complete with canals and access bridge. It has been partly renovated, with a garden designed by architect Mien Ruys.

SUGAR HIGH

Brugwachtershuisje, Damse Vaart-Zuid 14A, 8340 Damme KM: 15,10
De Smisse, Kerkstraat 6, 8340 Damme (40 m detour)

If you get low blood sugar on the way, head straight to the Brugwachtershuis (bridge keeper's house)! This adorable white building on the Vaart is the smallest sweetshop in the country. And seeing as you’ve stopped anyway, De Smisse café – much loved by cyclists – isn’t far away. Here, they will proudly tell you about the filming of the Hollywood film ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ (about the life of painter Johannes Vermeer) that took place there in the early 2000s.

ANY WAY THE WIND BLOWS

Schellemolen, Noorweegse Kaai 4, 8340 Damme KM: 15,46

Keep looking out to the right as you cycle along and you will be surprised by the rotating sails of the Schelle mill, a windmill built in 1867 on the site of an even older mill. This listed building is still used to press oil from seeds today. Why not stop for a quick visit?

THE EXECUTIONER OF BRUGES

Kruispoort, Langestraat 191, 8000 Brugge KM: 21,01

Once you have arrived in Bruges, the Kruispoort gate will immediately catch your eye. Historically speaking, though the building was intended more as a deterrent. Those who were not wanted in the mediaeval city of Bruges were executed here.

LAKE OF LOVE

Minnewaterpark, Minnewater 1-15, 8000 Brugge KM: 23,02

Fancy putting your bike aside for a break? The Minnewaterpark looks like something out of a fairy tale with its winding paths, flowering plants and benches to sit on. That’s why tourists call the surrounding site ‘The Lake of Love’.

HOP, HOP, HOP

De Halve Maan, Walplein 26, 8000 Brugge KM: 23,11
(550 m detour)

For another pit stop, cross the Minnewaterpark to get to De Halve Maan. This house brewery has been a family business since 1856 and is also home to the famous beer known as the ‘Brugse Zot’. You will be served this malty, hoppy blonde beer at the end of the tour offered here. But you can also just buy it from the shop next door.

ROYAL RECEPTION

De Drie Koningen Inn, Kerkhofstraat 17, 8377 Houtave  KM: 35,45 
(600 m detour)

If you can already feel the acid building up in your leg muscles, De Drie Koningen Inn will probably be a welcome sight and well worth the slight detour. It served as the town hall in a previous incarnation, but this 17th-century farm now treats its guests like kings. And fans of quality Flemish television may recognise the building as the setting of the VTM drama series ‘De Kavijaks’.

IN YOUR SIGHTS

Spioenkop, Wenduine (De Haan) KM: 45,61

Feel free to put your bike to one side for a while, because this view over the polders is priceless. The picturesque white pavilion was given the name Spioenkop (Spy Hill), a reference to its function as an observation post during various battles in the dunes. It was given its characteristic red roof in 1955 and still towers above its flat surroundings, with a height of 31 metres.

MOORINGS AND MORE

Jachthaven Blankenberge, J.F. Kennedyplein 1, 8370 Blankenberge KM: 48,55 

In the heart of Blankenberge, the route now leads us through the marina. Where fishermen used to moor their fishing boats, you will now find some 250 moorings for everything from hobby boats to luxurious yachts. At the heart of it all you will find CABO restaurant, a pit stop tailored to the maritime connoisseur.

BY THE SEA

Pier van Blankenberge, Zeedijk 261, 8370 Blankenberge KM: 50,71

Every coastline has a pier and the one in Blankenberge really stands out: it’s a wonderful pit stop where you can spend a while above the water.

PICTURE PERFECT

Lissewege KM: 56,77

If you want to see a picture-postcard village, be sure not to miss Lissewege. You can recognise this authentic hamlet by the white-painted cottages and the winding Vaart river. The polders don’t get much more historic than this.

CAST OFF THE ROPES

ONA by ‘t Werftje, Tijdokstraat 19, 8380 Zeebrugge KM: 62,47
(300 m detour)

Feel your energy levels ebbing away? If so, a brief detour to Zeebrugge Marina will surely offer the perfect solution. ONA by ’t Werftje will provide an aperitif and a delicious ‘tide’ of tapas. In good weather, there will be a huge temptation to stick around. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! Watch out: if you ride towards Knokke-Heist, you will need to cross a bridge. If the bridge is up, simply take a detour to the other bridge so you won't have to wait.

FUN AT THE FARMHOUSE

Boerenhof, Koudekerkelaan 30, 8300 Knokke-Heist KM: 66,12
(800 m detour)

This pit stop takes the form of a centuries-old farm, the Boerenhof. This listed building from 1737 proudly states its year of construction on the façade and now houses a restaurant with children's farm and playground.

KITE SURFERS AHOY

Zeebrugge + kiters, Zeedijk at Heldenplein KM: 66,58

If you cycle parallel to the coast, you will see the port of Zeebrugge (one of the most important ports in Europe) appearing on the right. With a bit of luck and a good breeze on the water, you will also be able to see the kite surfers at work.

HIGH AND DRY

Socorristas de Biarritz X-X, Directeur-Generaal Willemspark 25 KM: 67,43

When you pass Directeur-Generaal Willemspark, you will suddenly see the lifeguard chair of Aurora Cañero appear from behind a wall of dune grass. De Socorristas de Biarritz, as the bronze sculpture was christened, keeps a watchful eye on the coastline here.

DRAW A MAP

Joseph Stübbenpark, Duinbergen KM: 67,89

The park in the dunes was designed by city planner Joseph Stübben. It dates back to the beginning of the last century and is well worth a slight detour. And if you climb the sea dyke a few metres further on, you can pick up a traditional ice cream at Sandy.

EXPO ‘58

Park 58 + watertoren, Arcadelaan KM: 69

The Duinbergen water tower keeps watch at the entrance to Park 58, part of the untouched middle dunes from the 1958 World Exhibition. Here, you will encounter a unique piece of limestone-rich nature. And for a nice view over the area, climb the stairs to the top of the tower. You will have to be in luck, though, because the water tower isn’t often open to the public.

STRAVA-TIPS

• Open your Strava app and search for @myknokkeheist. You will find a lot of routes on our profile. And be sure to tag us when you have completed a ride, so we can give you some well-deserved kudos. Happy cycling!

• And by the way, new routes are added on a regular basis, also in the context of the World Cycling Championships, some of which will take place in Knokke-Heist.

• Be sure to check out the TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram routes as well. 
 

There’s something for everyone!

1. Feel more like cycling through the profusion of flowers in the polders? The Bijenroute or Bee Route takes in eight different bee sites, through Heist to Ramskapelle. Follow the bees, breathe in the fresh green air and then settle in a nice spot for something tasty.

2. The sea air will make you sweat. If it isn’t because of the heat of the summer, it will be down to all the sporting activities you can experience in Knokke-Heist. From golf or water sports to tennis, or how about a game of padel? But even those who don’t find their way to the sports club will be tempted to get moving with a range of challenges. Whether you end up walking, swimming or cycling, all you have to do on the coast is choose the routes. A test run? Our Early Bird Run and Love Run are ready and waiting for you on Strava!

3. Do you like pushing boundaries? If so, the Zwin route will be right up your street. The Zwin Nature Reserve passes into Dutch territory, and on the vast plains you can also spot other strange birds from far-away places. This summer, you can also discover the route along the ‘Vanished Zwin harbours’: an innovative cycling route with VR goggles!

4. Can’t get enough of the sea? The Coastal Route is a strenuous tour that runs almost completely parallel to the beach. That means you don’t have to worry about losing your way, and the waves will stay within easy reach.

5. Curious about the art in Knokke-Heist? The ‘Beelden in de stad’ (Urban Sculptures) route will guide you past the countless works by national and international artists that brighten up the municipality. Browse through our Strava account and discover them all!