The best mountain bike routes in Flanders

Person cycling bike with sunrise in background

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The best mountain bike routes in Flanders

Have you ever tried mountain biking in the Flemish Ardennes? This low mountain range has everything for a challenging but enjoyable ride, with forests, rough terrain and steep hills making it a favourite with mountains bikers all over Europe. There are over 100 different routes to choose from with difficult climbs and rocky descents with something for all skill levels. Mountain biking is popular here and Leopold Hotel Oudenaarde offers perfect accommodation for bikers no matter where you’re travelling from. Here are some of our favourite mountain bike trails in Oudenaarde and Flanders.

Flandrien Circuit

Did you know that this very special route in Flanders was selected as the route for the 100th UCI Road World Championships in 2021? At just 65mk long, it may not seem extremely challenging to a professional cyclist, but you’ll be challenged with steep climbs and steeper downhills. Challenge yourself with slopes like the Moskesstraat in Terlanen, the Smeysberg in Huldenberg, The Bekestraat in Eizer and the S-bend in Overijse. It’s a tough circuit and you’ll be delighted to stop at one of the cycling cafes along the way.

Ronde Van Vlaanderen – Blue Loop

The blue loop is the shortest of three mapped routes from the Centrum Ronde Van Vlaanderen but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s easy. Prepare yourself for a tough day of cycling around the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg and Koppenberg. If you have the legs, carry on to the Taaienberg, Kruisberg and Hotondberg before returning to Leopold Hotel Oudenaarde to unwind and recover. You can enjoy the beautiful Flemish countryside with its flowing fields, forested hills, and cobbled roads. It’s a rewarding route and we promise it will make you appreciate flat roads so much more in the future!

Ronde Van Vlaanderen – Yellow Loop

The yellow route is a great middle of the road route for experienced cyclists looking for a challenge. The main challenge of the 102km trail are the cobblestone roads which are mostly uphill. You’ll be challenged by roads such as Huispontweg, Doorn, the famous Paddestraat and Kerkgate. The cobbles are not the only challenge. You’ll need legs of steel to get across hills like Wolvenberg and Nokereberg. Start this route at the Center Tour of Flanders, where all three routes begin and end. The yellow loop takes you to places in the Flemish Ardennes where you would otherwise never come. It’s worth the trip for that alone.

Ronde Van Vlaanderen – Red Loop

For a longer and more scenic route, try the red loop in Oudenaarde. This route is 116km and will bring you through the beautiful Flemish Ardennes all the way to Geraardsbergen. It’s not a walk in the park, however. The route is largely made up of cobblestone trails and you’ll face steep climbs like Foreest, the Berendries, the Bosberg and the Eikenberg. It has an impressive 1600 metres of climbing and takes an experienced cyclist with a high level of fitness. Leopold Hotel Oudenaarde is an ideal base to prepare or recover from this epic cycle.

Eddy Merckx Route

Any lover of Belgian cycling will have heard of the legendary Eddy Merckx, the ‘Cannibal’. On September 17th, 1977, Eddy won the last of his 525 races in Ruien (Kluisbergen) and afterward, this route was unofficially named after him. The circuit is a tour of Flanders which includes climbs up the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg, Kluisberg and Hotondberg and exciting downhill rides like the Rampe. You’ll enjoy the gorgeous countryside, the Kluisbos forest and its recreation centre and the rural tranquillity in Zulzeke. At just 56km, it’s often used as a sightseeing route or a warmup for professionals before they start the serious work of the Flemish Ardennes.

Leopold Hotel Oudenaarde offers solos, couples, and groups a perfect base to stay when exploring the Flemish Ardennes and Oudenaarde on two wheels. Our comfortable, spacious bedrooms are ideal to prepare yourself for a long day of cycling or to recover after a tough ride. Enjoy a delicious, freshly prepared meal in our restaurant or enjoy a well-deserved night cap in the bar. Book your stay in Leopold Hotel Oudenaarde by contacting our friendly team or via our website

Sarah Corcorcan

Sarah Corcorcan

With a keen interest in travelling and writing, our blog writer Sarah explores as often as possible, finding new and exciting places to write about. From popular tourist spots to hidden gems, Sarah aims to find the best of beautiful places so you can get the best out of your visit. Having visited Belgium numerous times, she has a special affection for its heritage, coastline and friendly locals.

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