In for some cycling between vineyards to reach the ‘stairway of heaven’ or the Vlooybergtoren and make a stop at an authentic Belgian castle? Hop up your bike and come along.
I’m in for some cycling through vineyards. Or at least in the neighborhood of them. An impression of the ‘Wijnlandschappenroute‘ starting at the Castle of Horst and good for 46,7 kilometers.
I followed the following ‘knooppunten’: 65 – 98 – 99 – 29 – 42 – 82 – 64 – 63 – 44 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 46 – 45 – 75 – 73 – 27 – 28 – 74 – 97 – 98 – 65.
- Enjoy the serenity of the various vineyards along the way. Some vineyards even date back as long as 12th century A.D. The Hageland was the very first Belgian region to gain recognition as wine-growing country.
- Stop at the Hageland wine vistor’s center, located in a located in a beautifully restored, 19th-century, Neo-Gothic building. In this center, you can not only get acquainted with the region around the Wijngaardberg, you can also participate in a wine tasting session and buy some of the local wines.
- Stop at the ‘floating Vlooybergtoren in Tielt-Winge, the ‘stairway to heaven‘ or the ‘stairway to nowhere’, the lookout point with sublime views on the surroundings and located on one of Hageland’s highest points (80 meter above sea level – coordinates 50° 55′ 36.14″ N 4° 54′ 59.32″ E.). It’s 20 meter long and 11 meter high. It was built in 2015 to resist weather, arson, and the laws of physics. It has the same rusty color as local ironstone, a deliberate reference that does not indicate that the metal is in danger of falling apart. Or, despite all appearances, falling over.
- Visit the Castle of Horst, an authentic Belgian castle. This moated castle lies nestled in the green Wingebeek valley, between the Hageland hills. The Lords of Horst lived here as long ago as the 13th century and the characteristic square dates back to the 15th century. Horst Castle is a famous stop for hiking an cycling routes, I already visited several times (see for example also my other blog on cycling to Sint-Truiden). Horst Castle is the home of the world famous Red Night (‘De Rode Ridder’), a Belgian Flemish comic book series set in medieval Europe starring Johan, the Red Knight himself, easily recognizable by his red tunic.