Another great bike route is the road from Bruges to the picturesque little town of Damme, 5 kilometres North of Bruges. The first part is the same as the route described in my previous post: the circular route around Bruges.
Get to the canal at the Gentpoort (one of the old city gates of the ramparts around the city). Take the walking-biking path to the left, and follow the route parallel to the water.
You first cross a little iron bridge, the Conzettbridge (that can be lifted if pleasure boats need to pass), and enjoy the view over the little harbour on your left. The bridge is designed by the Swiss architect Jurg Conzett. It is a very picturesque place, and you can see many of the towers of Bruges from here.
Continuing the road goes a little uphill and then back down till you reach the next two bridges by the next old city gate, the Kruispoort.
Enjoy the bridges going up when boats need to pass (locals lose a lot of time waiting in front of these bridges!). Continue further North and here you pass four windmills, the second windmill can normally be visited but is now closed because of corona. (The four windmills are: Bonne Chiere, Sint-Janshuismolen, De nieuwe papegaai and Koeleweimolen). Climb the hills of the windmills and enjoy the view over the city from up here. In front of the first windmill you see an area where people still practice archery.
Continue the bike road parallel with the canal and you will pass a third and fourth windmill on your left hand side. On your right you see some old barges that have been renovated into modern living spaces on the water.
Continuing you arrive at the next two bridges at the Dampoort ( where the old gate has disappeared). Here you can choose to take the bike route to Damme. There are two bridges close to one another. Coming from the windmills you should cross the main ring road at the second bridge and continue straight (into Noorweegse Kaai).
Just after the first bridge over the canal to Damme, you can take a bike road on the left side the water (Damse Vaart) away from the car road that makes a turn to the left. This is a car free road all the way to Damme. The road is lined with large trees. On the canal you can take a boat to Damme. (Lamme Goedzak) (the pier to get on the boat is located at the beginning of the bike path)
Just before you reach Damme you pass the windmill (Schellemolen) which can be visited. After the windmill you cross the first bridge to your right and drive straight onto the main square of Damme. Damme is a small village containing of mainly one main road, bordered by bars and restaurants.
If you travel with children do not forget to visit the smallest candy shop in Belgium, here in Damme. The shop is located in the old civil guard house, turn left after crossing the bridge, it is just a few metres further. (only open in summer until October)
If you turn right you can buy bread or pastries for an impromptu picnic moment. Het “Dam’s Broodhuisje” also has a terrace to enjoy a coffee with your pastry.
In Damme you should not forget to look up, because every spring storks nest here. Their nests can be found in the centre of town. (ask the shopowner of the candy shop where the nests are or visit the tourist office on the main square)
If you want to stop for a drink or a meal, the “Damse Poort” (on the right hand side of the main road through Damme) is an excellent choice for both a drink, an ice-cream or a meal. They have a large garden terrace. They also serve a typical beer from Damme: Damse Pater, a sweet dark beer.
After a refreshing moment continue further down the main road. At the end of the village you can visit the church, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, the oldest parts date back to 1225, the church used to be a lot bigger but has been partly torn down, to save money in 1725. You can climb up the tower and have a view of the surroundings and of the 7 pointed star shaped old ramparts of the town.
If you continue in the same direction away from the centre, and cross the small bridge, you can take a small forest road on your right (on the right side of a small creek).
You can bike here but beware of pedestrians using the same path. When you reach the small wooden bridge on your left, cross it and continue till you reach the asphalted road. You cross a small area of protected nature here. Turn right onto the asphalted road and continue on this road winding between rural fields.
Just after you pass a horse riding school on your left, and before the road takes a sharp turn to the left, cross the stone bridge on your right and continue on the bike path next to the water in the direction of Bruges (turn left coming from the bridge)
You will see you are now driving on the other side of the canal, and you will reach the main ring road around Bruges and the two bridges (Dampoort) at the end. Cross the main ring road and return to the starting point by turning left in the direction of the windmills, following the bike path on the old ramparts of he city.
Bicycle rental points
Gentpoortstraat 23, 8000 Brugge
phone: +32 50 34 41 96
Snuffel Backpacker Hostel – fietsverhuur
Ezelstraat 42, 8000 Brugge
phone +32 50 33 31 33
Hendrik Brugmansstraat (Stationsplein) 3, 8000 Brugge
phone +32 50 39 68 26
’t Zand 8000 Brugge
phone +32 479 97 12 80
More biking routes: “Hidden Gems in Bruges – Discover Bruges by bike 1“