Up for a wonderful cycling tour? Well, it’s the time of the year again for exploring beautiful blossoms in Belgian fruit orchards. Jump on your bike or keep your hiking shoes ready for a pleasant tour in Limburg. I take you along a beautiful blossom route with start and ending point in Borgloon, home to the one and only Stroopfabriek.
Blossoms season in Limburg
Each year around the beginning of April, it starts: the blossom season in Limburg. Thousands of apple, peer, prunes, cherry … trees come in full blossom, some a bit earlier then others. A pallet of pastel colors with white and pink in the leading roles offering beautiful views, in particular on a sunny day.
So when to go best? Check the ‘Bloesemmeter’ upfront, an up-to-date status of which trees start to or are in full blossom. You can find them on the more general ‘Visit Limburg‘ website or on these of specific towns (Sint-Truiden). And then just start your route. But be aware, on a sunny weekend day, there are mostly heaps of people doing the same, so it may be very busy. We also noticed that on some parts of the route, cyclists and hikers use the same paths, so you have to go slower and be careful on your bike.
Cycle from Borgloon to Borgloon with a stop in Tongeren
There are several routes amidst the orchards, the one longer then the other and leaving at different cities. So a lot of choice to find something that suits you. We chose the hilly and pretty though ”Bloesemfietslus 6′ starting and ending in Borgloon with a stop in Tongeren. The route is 38 km. It’s hard to say how long it takes, It all depends on how fast you cycle of course and whether you use an electric bike or not. It took us about 3 hours to do the tour, but we stopped at several places for sightseeing and to eat something. In for another adventure? Then also read our blog ‘To Sint-Truiden and surroundings – a beautiful cycling route‘.
Highlights of the tour
- enjoy the beautiful orchards in full blossom. Stop in an orchard to admire the beauty and serenity. You come along some places where you can just stop and sit for a break between the blossoms.
- Admire ‘Reading between the lines‘ or het ‘doorkijkkerkje’ a very special church of two young Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh. Depending on the perspective of the viewer, the church is either perceived as a massive building, or dissolves – partly or completely – into the landscape. If you stand inside the church and look from the inside to the outside you experience an abstract play of lines that reshapes the surrounding landscape. In this way, the church makes the subjective experience of the landscape visible, and vice versa. You can only reach this church on foot or bike.
- enjoy de Boomtenten, camping tents in the form of teardrops combined with the Field furniture ‘pure nature’ furniture based upon fruit crates
- cycle along the typical fruit farms of the region and the main fruit auction BelOrta
- admire Hex castle
- cycle an old rail road
- stop in the beautiful town of Tongeren. We took a break at the beautiful ‘Grote Markt’ but if you have time, you can also pay a visit to the really good Gallo-Roman museum. We visited that a couple of years ago with the children and it was a real success.
- Pay a visit at De Stroopfabriek in Borgloon, where the route starts and ends. It’s housed in a former ‘Stroop’ factory, which closed in 1988 and is now is a carefully renovated monument which houses a ‘fruit expertise center’. Children can get to know everything about fruit and its processing. ‘Loonse stroop’ is a regional specialty from Borgloon. The syrup was originally cooked at home, from the locally grown apples, pears and other fruit. After a factory was founded in 1879, making stroop became an industrial activity, and by the beginning of the 20th century, Borgloon was the center of the syrup production until the closure of factory in 1988. The factory also provides information on cycling and walking routes and has a range of excellent regional products for sale.