Riding through water in Hasselt

Hasselt is the capital of Limburg (Belgium) and it is not known for being one of the hotspots in this country since it is a very small city. However, it only takes a bicycle and a little courage to get to know the interesting environment of the city! Do you like bike riding? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride your bike in the woods? Or maybe next to a lake? Here you have a new and unexpected experience in Hasselt.

Hasselt is located in the Flemish region. It is a small city that has only 69,222 inhabitants. One of the best things you can do here is going on bike tours around the city, which is very typical. Almost every student here owns or rents a bike, and this is exactly what I would like to show you today.

If you are planning on coming to Hasselt and are not still sure about what this city can offer you, here you have one of the many things that you can do and that will become one of the best experiences in your journey.

There are several tours that you may want to try out. Hasselt has a whole and operating bicycle network that allows bikers to have their own lane at all times and also be able to be orientated whenever they need. There are signs all over the place with detailed information about the different paths that bicycles can take. It is recommended to take a map where you can see all the junctions, but if you get lost you will have no struggle to re orient yourself!

Perfect for bike riders

And speaking about bicycles, they do indeed have special relevance in Hasselt. This is due to several reasons. First of all, Hasselt and most parts of Belgium have a narrow landscape which makes it perfect for bike riders. Also, and as I mentioned, bike riders have special bike lanes that are perfect to circulate along with motorcycles, and of course, have priority over pedestrians. And this is not all, but also bike riders are taking care of the planet since they are environmental friendly! Its all a win to win pack!

The first thing you will have to know is Hasselt has a windy and cold weather during this time of the year. The best thing is to wear a raincoat everywhere you go, but do not panic, because when it rains it doesnt last very long and there are still sunny days to enjoy!

Since this has been one of the best things I have done here, I would like to share my experience it with you.

Into the wild

If you are interested in this journey you may like to take a peak of the Japanese Garden of Hasselt, which was created with the support of the Japanese city of Itami and it is the largest in all Europe. You will be truly amazed with all the flowers, the cascade, the bridge and the calmness of this garden. It is not too big but its worth visiting. You can find a couple of Japanese ceremonial houses, which are sometimes open to the public on specific dates.

What started this tour by going to visit The Albert Canal, which was named for King Albert I of Belgium. The Albert Canal connects Antwerp with Liège, and also the Meuse River with the Scheldt River. It also connects with the Canal Dessel-Turnhout-Schoten. We had the change to see how one of the ships entered in the canal and a wide door opened to let it in. The structure was fascinating. The first thing that came to my mind is how amazing it is what humans are able to do. This was one of my favorite visits during the tour.

Class of 2016–2017 in the ALBERT CANAL)

When we finished this visit we went ‘into the wild’. It was a cold evening but we just could not stop pedaling our bikes. We entered in a whole new scenery by entering into the woods. It was truly magical to ride between the huge and tall trees. It is a nice stop to take some pictures with the horses and the cows on the green field.

horses and cows in the field

The next thing you will see if you continue this path is a large pond which is very special since it is cut in half artificially. It is absolutely recommended that you cross the pond with your bike and see the water above your head. You are able to ride while touching the water, but be careful, because one of the several swans living on the water can grab your hand with its beak! You will probably never see anything like it.

Animal wildlife

After you cross the pond you will be again immersed in the woods. There is still more to see. This area is full of lakes and has a unique landscape. There are numerous nature reserves with an amazing range of animals and plants. For example, the great bittern can be found in this zone.. The pond area is very interesting since you can be able to learn about the flora and fauna which is very rich and varied as I mentioned.. It is amusing to see the ducks and birds that live in this pond. Some of them can dive from one corner of the lake to the opposite within a blink!

There is also a cultural visit that you may want to check out. The Bokrijk Open Nature is both a park and museum complex near the city of Genk in the Province of Limburg, Belgium. It is known for its open-air museumwhich displays a large collection of historical buildings from across Flanders, presenting the history of rural life in Belgium.

If you are still doubting about this adventure do not hesitate and contact one of our ‘Nature In Hasselt’ Guides. you can easily rent a bike for a day or as long as you need.You will not be dissapointed and you will experience a whole new way of cycling in the nature! Dont forget your camera!