Flanders has no less than 1.056 km of navigable inland waterways: canals as well as tidal rivers.
Almost nowhere else in the world there is so much variation available in such a limited area as in Flanders. The bustling city life, the babbling peace of water, the nautical heritage, nature areas, the Medieval city centres and tourist attractions. The fine mesh that is the Flanders waterway network makes it possible to make enchanting looped cruises (see map below).
It is also possible to cruise the inland waterways with a sailing boat with a standing mast. One can easily get to Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and even past Antwerp as far as Baasrode, and back again.
Both the enhancement of natural and scenic value and improved infrastructure have ensured that the Flemish waterways in recent years have become an ideal habitat for water recreation in all its facets.
Despite the difficult economic climate of the past few years, the Flemish waterways authorities are experiencing sustained interest in the wide range of recreational opportunities offered by waterways.
Flemish waterways of interest: (for more information also see www.waterrecreatie.be)
The Scheldt Valley with affluents Rupel, Dender, Durme; the Leiestreek (Lys Region); the Kempisch Kanaal (Campine Canal); the Maas Valley; the Ghent-Bruges-Ostend Canal; the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal; the Westhoek (the Yser river and canals in the province of West-Flanders); the Brussels Sea Canal.
Flanders Network Members:
- 1) Province of Antwerp, Leisure Department and Tourism Province of Antwerp
The Leisure department develops the next 3 years in the centre of the “Flemish Heart” at the Recreational Domain De Schorre, a BLUE HUB alongside the river Rupel. This multimodal hub is a switching point between on land and water transport modes: cycling, walking, public and collective transport and boating, connecting on land and water transport networks.
The BLUE HUB Rupel will connect the green area of the historic Rupel region with the cities Antwerp, Mechelen, Louvain, Brussels and will promote sustainable and safe transport modes for leisure and commuting.
The development of experiential water tourism and the promotion of the historic nautical heritage alongside the Scheldt and the Rupel are 2 of the main goals of the policy of Toerisme Scheldeland (Tourist Board of the Scheldt Country) and its partners: Province of Antwerp (Leisure department and Tourism Province of Antwerp) and Toerisme Rupelstreek (Tourist Board of the Rupel Region).
Contact: Sabine Denissen, senior advisor Leisure Department, +32 (0)475 33 02 22 Sabine.firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2) City of Ghent
Ghent has a special bond with the waterside and even owes its very origin to the waterways.
On the very confluence of the river Lys into the Scheldt, the Romans and later also the Celts already built a settlement. In the early middle ages, the city that nowadays is called Ghent has originated. The word ‘Ganda’ means ‘confluence’ in the Celtic language.
Water and everything which is related to it might be the most important patrimony of the city. But it are not only the waterways in the city centre that boast a historic, tourist and economic significance for Ghent. Also the Port of Ghent bears an important contribution.
Contact : Rudy Van der Ween, promotor water tourism, Ghent Tourist Office, +32 (0)478 66 23 52 email@example.com; www.visitgent.be