Best Gravel Rides in Belgium

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Introduction to Gravel Riding in Belgium

If you’re a cycling enthusiast looking for a new and exciting adventure, then gravel riding in Belgium is something you shouldn’t miss out on. Gravel riding has gained popularity in recent years as cyclists seek a unique and challenging experience that combines both road and off-road cycling. Belgium, with its diverse landscapes and rich cycling culture, offers some of the best gravel riding opportunities in the world. In this blog post, we will explore what gravel riding is, why Belgium is a great destination for gravel rides, and some of the best routes to explore.

What is gravel riding?

Gravel riding, also known as gravel grinding or adventure cycling, is a discipline that involves cycling on unpaved roads, forest paths, and gravel tracks. It offers a thrilling alternative to traditional road cycling, allowing riders to explore new routes and experience nature up close. Gravel bikes, equipped with wider tires, endurance-focused geometry, and disc brakes, are specifically designed for this type of riding. Gravel riding provides a unique blend of challenge, tranquility, and discovery, making it a favorite among cycling enthusiasts.

Why Belgium is a great destination for gravel rides

Belgium is renowned for its love of cycling and its impressive network of well-maintained roads and off-road paths. Here are a few reasons why Belgium is an excellent destination for gravel rides:

  1. Scenic Landscapes: Belgium boasts a diverse and picturesque landscape, ranging from rolling hills and dense forests to picturesque countryside and charming villages. Gravel rides allow you to explore off-the-beaten-path routes and experience the natural beauty that Belgium has to offer.
  2. Cycling Culture: Belgium has a long-standing cycling culture, with cycling deeply ingrained in its national identity. The country is home to numerous professional cycling races and passionate cycling communities. You’ll find plenty of camaraderie and support among fellow cyclists while exploring the gravel routes.
  3. Endless Routes: Belgium offers an abundance of gravel routes that cater to all levels of cyclists. From scenic coastal rides to challenging Ardennes trails, there’s something for everyone. You can choose from well-marked routes or venture off the beaten path to discover hidden gems.
  4. Gastronomy: Belgium is famous for its delicious food and drink, and what better way to refuel after a gravel ride than by indulging in some local specialties? Treat yourself to Belgian chocolates, waffles, and a refreshing beer to reward yourself for the effort.
  5. Rich Cycling History: Belgium has a rich cycling history, with iconic races like the Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne-Liège taking place on its roads. Riding the same paths as cycling legends adds a sense of nostalgia and prestige to your gravel riding experience.

With its breathtaking landscapes, cycling tradition, and endless gravel riding opportunities, Belgium is a dream destination for gravel riders. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist looking for a new challenge or a beginner wanting to explore the beauty of Belgium, gravel riding is an experience you won’t soon forget.

In the next section, we’ll delve into some of the best gravel rides in Belgium. So, get ready to discover exciting routes that will take you off the beaten path and into the heart of Belgian cycling culture.

Gravel Rides in Flanders

Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders)

If you’re looking for the ultimate gravel riding experience in Belgium, then the Ronde van Vlaanderen, also known as the Tour of Flanders, should be at the top of your list. This iconic race is not only a favorite among professional cyclists but also offers gravel enthusiasts the opportunity to ride the same cobbled and gravel paths as the pros.

The Tour of Flanders route takes you through the picturesque countryside of Flanders, with its rolling hills, charming villages, and iconic climbs. As you navigate the challenging terrain, you’ll be able to soak in the rich cycling history of Belgium and experience the same exhilaration that the race participants feel.

Koppenberg Circuit

For a shorter yet equally thrilling gravel ride, the Koppenberg Circuit is a must-try. This route takes you through the heart of the Flemish Ardennes, known for its challenging climbs and beautiful scenery. The highlight of this circuit is the infamous Koppenberg climb, a short but steep cobbled ascent that tests your grit and bike handling skills.

As you conquer the Koppenberg and other challenging sections of the route, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment. The Koppenberg Circuit is a favorite among gravel riders who enjoy a good challenge and want to experience the unique charm of the Flemish Ardennes.

Geraardsbergen Loop

Another fantastic gravel ride in Flanders is the Geraardsbergen Loop. This route combines smooth gravel paths and scenic country roads, taking you through picturesque landscapes and historic towns. The highlight of this ride is the iconic Muur van Geraardsbergen, a cobbled climb that has become legendary in the world of cycling.

As you conquer the Muur, you’ll feel a sense of achievement and a connection to the cycling history of Belgium. The Geraardsbergen Loop offers a perfect mix of challenging terrain, stunning views, and cultural experiences that make it a must-ride for gravel enthusiasts.


Belgium offers an abundance of gravel riding opportunities, and these are just a few examples of the best routes in Flanders. Whether you choose to tackle the iconic Tour of Flanders, challenge yourself on the Koppenberg Circuit, or explore the Geraardsbergen Loop, you’ll be in for an unforgettable gravel riding experience.

So, grab your gravel bike, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready to discover the beauty of Belgium’s landscapes, immerse yourself in its cycling culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Happy riding!

Gravel Rides in Wallonia

If you’re looking for exhilarating gravel rides in Belgium, Wallonia is the perfect destination for you. With its picturesque landscapes, challenging terrains, and rich cycling culture, Wallonia offers an abundance of opportunities to explore on your gravel bike. Here are two of the best gravel rides in Wallonia that you shouldn’t miss.

The Ardennes Gravel Loop

The Ardennes Gravel Loop is a must-try for gravel enthusiasts seeking an adventurous and scenic ride. This route takes you through the stunning Ardennes region, known for its rolling hills, dense forests, and charming villages. As you navigate the challenging gravel paths, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty at every turn.

The highlight of this ride is the challenging climbs that test your endurance and bike handling skills. From the iconic La Redoute to the picturesque Côte de Wanne, you’ll experience the thrill of conquering these famous climbs and be rewarded with awe-inspiring views from the mountain tops. The Ardennes Gravel Loop is an unforgettable journey that immerses you in the beauty of nature and the rich cycling history of the region.

The Eau d’Heure Gravel Challenge

For a unique and exciting gravel adventure, the Eau d’Heure Gravel Challenge is a ride you shouldn’t miss. This route takes you around the stunning Lac de l’Eau d’Heure, the largest artificial lake in Belgium. As you pedal along the gravel paths surrounding the lake, you’ll be treated to picturesque views of the water and the surrounding countryside.

The Eau d’Heure Gravel Challenge offers a variety of terrains, including gravel paths, forest trails, and quiet country roads. The route is well-marked and encompasses a mix of challenging climbs, fast descents, and flat stretches, providing a thrilling and diverse riding experience.

As you explore this beautiful region, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit charming villages and enjoy the local hospitality. The Eau d’Heure Gravel Challenge is a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and exciting gravel riding.

In conclusion, Wallonia in Belgium offers incredible gravel riding opportunities. Whether you choose the challenging Ardennes Gravel Loop or the scenic Eau d’Heure Gravel Challenge, you’ll be in for a memorable adventure. So, hop on your gravel bike, soak in the stunning landscapes, and immerse yourself in the cycling culture of Wallonia.

Tips for Gravel Riding in Belgium

Choosing the right bike and gear

When it comes to gravel riding in Belgium, having the right bike and gear is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Choose a Gravel-Specific Bike: Invest in a bike specifically designed for gravel riding. These bikes feature wider tires, stable geometry, and more clearance, which are essential for navigating the challenging terrains in Belgium.
  2. Opt for Tubeless Tires: Tubeless tires are highly recommended for gravel riding. They offer a lower risk of punctures and allow you to run lower tire pressures for improved comfort and grip on uneven surfaces.
  3. Pack Essential Gear: Make sure to carry essential gear such as a spare tube, mini pump, multi-tool, and puncture repair kit. It’s also a good idea to have a small first aid kit and extra food and water for longer rides.
  4. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Dress in layers and wear moisture-wicking clothing to stay comfortable during your ride. Don’t forget to wear a helmet and consider padded gloves and cycling glasses for added protection.

Navigating gravel routes and terrain

Belgium offers a variety of gravel routes and terrains that cater to different riding preferences. Here are some tips for navigating them effectively:

  1. Plan and Research: Before embarking on your gravel ride, plan your route, study the terrain, and familiarize yourself with any potential challenges or points of interest. Online platforms and GPS devices can guide you in finding popular gravel routes.
  2. Take It Slow: Gravel riding can be more demanding than road cycling due to the uneven surfaces. Take your time, especially on descents or technical sections. Maintain a steady and controlled pace to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
  3. Choose the Right Tire Pressure: Adjust your tire pressure based on the terrain and your weight. Lower pressure provides better traction on rough surfaces, while higher pressure increases efficiency on smoother sections.
  4. Use Appropriate Technique: Maintain a relaxed grip on the handlebars and pedal with a smooth and consistent cadence. Stand up on your pedals when encountering steep climbs or technical sections to maintain balance and control.
  5. Stay Alert: Keep an eye out for obstacles such as loose gravel, potholes, or uneven terrain. Be cautious when cornering and avoid sudden braking or sharp turns.
  6. Embrace the Adventure: Gravel riding in Belgium offers a unique and adventurous experience. Take time to appreciate the beautiful landscapes, immerse yourself in the local culture, and enjoy the sense of exploration that comes with gravel riding.

In conclusion, gravel riding in Belgium is an exciting and rewarding experience. By choosing the right bike and gear and mastering the navigation of gravel routes and terrains, you can have a fantastic time exploring the picturesque landscapes and rich cycling culture of the country. So, gear up, be prepared, and get ready for an unforgettable gravel adventure in

Safety and Etiquette

Sharing the trail with other cyclists and walkers

When embarking on your gravel rides in Belgium, it’s essential to remember that you won’t be the only one enjoying the trails. Here are some tips for sharing the trail with other cyclists and walkers:

  1. Be courteous: Always treat others with respect and follow basic trail etiquette. This includes yielding to pedestrians, announcing your presence when approaching from behind, and giving others enough space when passing.
  2. Communicate effectively: Use hand signals and verbal cues to communicate your intentions. Let other users know when you are passing, turning, or stopping to ensure everyone’s safety.
  3. Control your speed: Ride at a safe and controlled speed, especially when approaching intersections, blind corners, or crowded areas. Slow down and proceed with caution to avoid collisions.
  4. Maintain trail integrity: Stay on designated trails and avoid venturing off into sensitive or protected areas. Respect any signage or guidelines in place for the protection of wildlife or habitats.
  5. Be patient: Understand that not everyone may move at your pace. Be patient with slower riders or walkers and wait for opportune moments to pass safely.

Environmental considerations

Gravel riding allows you to immerse yourself in the beautiful natural landscapes of Belgium. To preserve and protect these environments, it’s crucial to consider the following:

  1. Leave No Trace: Follow the principles of “Leave No Trace” by minimizing your impact on the environment. Pack out any trash or waste, and do not disturb plants, animals, or natural features.
  2. Respect wildlife: Observe animals from a distance and do not disrupt their habitats. Keep noise levels to a minimum and avoid feeding or approaching wildlife.
  3. Stay on designated trails: Stick to established trails and avoid creating new paths. This helps prevent soil erosion and damage to delicate ecosystems.
  4. Be mindful of noise: Keep noise levels low, especially in quiet or residential areas. Respect the tranquility of the surroundings and be considerate of other trail users and residents.
  5. Support local conservation efforts: Consider learning about and supporting local organizations or initiatives dedicated to preserving and maintaining the natural landscapes you enjoy during your gravel rides.

By adhering to these safety practices and environmental considerations, you can ensure a positive and sustainable experience while exploring the best gravel rides that Belgium has to offer. So, get out there, embrace the adventure, and enjoy the beauty of nature while respecting its ecosystems and sharing the trails with others.


In conclusion, Belgium offers some of the best gravel rides for cycling enthusiasts. With its picturesque landscapes, well-maintained trails, and a strong cycling culture, it’s no wonder that gravel riding has become increasingly popular here. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider, Belgium has something to offer for everyone.

Summary of the Best Gravel Rides in Belgium

  1. The Ardennes: Known for its hilly terrain and beautiful forests, the Ardennes region is perfect for gravel riding. With its challenging climbs and scenic views, this area offers an unforgettable cycling experience.
  2. Brussels Region: The capital city is not only known for its historic landmarks but also for its gravel trails. Explore the outskirts of Brussels, where you can ride through charming countryside and picturesque villages.
  3. Flanders Fields: This region is synonymous with cycling culture and history. The gravel routes here take you through the iconic World War I battlefields, providing a unique mix of cycling and historical exploration.
  4. Hageland: Located in the Flemish Brabant province, Hageland offers a mix of challenging climbs and rolling landscapes. Ride through vineyards, orchards, and scenic countryside while enjoying the tranquility of the region.
  5. Kempen: Known for its flat terrain, Kempen is perfect for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed ride. Explore the vast heathland, forests, and picturesque lakes while enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

Resources for Planning Your Next Gravel Adventure

Planning your next gravel adventure in Belgium can be made easier with the help of these resources:

  1. Local Cycling Associations: Connect with local cycling associations such as Cycling Vlaanderen or the Royal Belgian Cycling Federation. They can provide information on the best routes, events, and even local cycling clubs.
  2. Online Route Databases: Websites like “Komoot” or “Ride with GPS” offer a wide range of gravel routes in Belgium. These platforms allow you to search and download routes based on distance, elevation, and difficulty levels.
  3. Guidebooks and Cycling Maps: Invest in guidebooks or cycling maps specific to Belgium. These resources provide detailed information on routes, attractions, and facilities along the way.
  4. Local Bike Shops and Rental Services: Reach out to local bike shops or rental services in the areas you plan to visit. They can provide valuable insights on the best gravel routes and may even offer guided tours or bike rentals.
  5. Online Cycling Communities: Join online cycling communities, forums, or social media groups focused on gravel riding in Belgium. Here, you can connect with experienced riders who can share tips, advice, and recommended routes.

By utilizing these resources, you can plan your next gravel adventure in Belgium with ease and make the most of your cycling experience.

In summary, Belgium is a treasure trove for gravel riding enthusiasts. The diverse landscapes, cycling infrastructure, and rich culture make it an ideal destination for cyclists of all levels. So, grab your bike, explore the best gravel rides Belgium has to offer, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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