Educational Tour for Summer Vacation

World War I history may not be on the top of your kids’ lists for fun vacation themes, but an excuse to visit European destinations filled with history and cultural significance should be reason enough to hop on a cycling tour with Freewheel Holiday Tours.

What’s a better excuse for summer family vacation than a destination that includes history, educational elements, incredible views and activities for all ages?

Freewheel Holiday excursions offer all riders freedom to explore at their own pace, while showcasing the region’s incredible sites and attractions.

While known as The Great War, WWI history is often forgotten in comparison to WWII and more recent battles. The new summer tour by Freewheel Holidays is basically a cycle down memory lane and showcases all that exists now and what was, 1914–1918.

The new tour is available for booking, from Western-Flanders to Bruges, the Coast and Flanders Fields, and extends eight days. Cycle through western Flanders and explore the territory known as the Bruges–Panne–Ypres triangle.

The focal point of the whole tour, once known as the Western Front, shines a light on the lesser-known history of WWI battlegrounds, memorials and more — with a mix of natural beauty, incredible landscape and authentic culture experiences.

The kids will love the preserved and whimsical setting of Bruges. Pedal around picturesque lakes, cobblestone streets and medieval villages. Almost completely destroyed during WWI, Bruges was restored to a complete replica of its 13th-century self. Known for hand-woven fabrics and textiles, the region remains a quaint town loaded with history.

Bikes outside Bruges, Belgium © Peter Fuchs | Dreamstime.com

Bikes outside Bruges, Belgium © Peter Fuchs | Dreamstime.com

Neighboring town Ypres may impress even the greatest culture-junkies in your group, with Lakenhalle, also known as Cloth Hall, remaining from the 1300s. Another town along the way, Veurne boasts a town square and local market, considered one of the finest in Belgium. Ride along uncrowded streets, easy paths and through nature reserves complete with wetlands, wildflower fields and lush meadows.

Now, if you’re thinking this sounds like a lot of riding, it’s about 29–30 miles a day. While that might seem like a lot to novice riders, don’t worry, there are plenty of breaks and rides are at a scenic leisurely pace.

Read more about the other stops on the tour and all it entails before booking. Freewheel excursions include not only the experience as a whole, but also hotel stays, breakfast, rental bikes, luggage transfers, tax and expert-level guidance. Tours begin in the summer of 2019 and begin at $898 per rider.

The tour, beginning to end, is actually designed to be a leisure experience for tourists. Freewheel designs the tours to have guests sign up, arrive and follow the leader. While it’s technically eight days of on and off rides, it’s a fun experience — and never boring.

Participants learn about local history from an inside perspective. The ability to take in the full scope of the damage and recovery of some of these locales is a really unique experience. While a historic endeavor and educational for sure, riders still enjoy the natural beauty of the rugged coastline, deep woods, quaint villages, flower-filled fields and picturesque wildlife along the way.

While there are ample museums to visit and books to read, there is something special about hopping on a bike and exploring the destinations firsthand.