Paling cycling route

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Paling cycling route

40,4 km
2u 5m
100% Verhard


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Extended route description

For this route, it is best to set some time aside. No fewer than four times along the route, you'll use a ferry to cross the water. In exchange for waiting, we'll lead you through some of the most beautiful areas of nature that dot the banks of the Scheldt and Durme, in a region where eel has traditionally been a culinary hit.

Starting point



Temse is known for construction: ships and bridges, specifically. Between 1829 and 1994, the internationally renowned Boel shipyard was located here, where large ocean-going vessels rolled off the slipway. The famous Temse bridge over the Scheldt River connects the provinces of East Flanders and Antwerp. It is one of the longest bridges in Belgium. The original bridge, which was destroyed in WWII, was designed by Gustave Eiffel. Hunger and thirst are preferably quenched on Wilford Quay at one of the many restaurants overlooking the water.

Node 3

The Bornem Lock

sas Bornem.jpg

The drainage sluice in the Old Scheldt, a tributary cut off from the river in the 13th century, dates from 1592 and is the oldest hydraulic structure in Flanders. The former lock house 't Sas, where rumours say smuggling was common, now serves as a restaurant and prides itself on local cuisine with a seasonal menu.

Node 3-4

Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde Castle

Kasteel Marnix Aldegonde Bornem 1.jpg

The castle Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde, also called the castle of Bornem, is located on the Old Scheldt and has undergone several transformations over the centuries. It was named after the noble family Marnix of Sainte-Aldegonde. Philip, the most important scion and presumed composer of the national anthem, never lived there himself, but a permanent exhibition on his life is running today at the castle. The remarkable building is rich in various art treasures. The castle is open for visits on 15 August, the last two Sundays of August and the first two Sundays of September.

Node 4

Old Town Hall

In the shadow of Weert's St Anna's Church, chef Axel and his team serve up some classic dishes for both big and small appetites. For the descriptions on the menu alone, the Old Town Hall is definitely worth a stop. The house speciality is grilled steak, but you are also welcome for a beer or a pancake in the stylish interior or on the spacious terrace.

Node 4

De Zilverreiger


Regional and weaving museum De Zilverreiger is a good base for getting to know Klein-Brabant up close. In the former school building, you will be introduced to the weaving industry, which was highly influential in the region for centuries. You can practice some old folk games there, attend a basket-weaving workshop or put a fresh Slijkneus to your lips – an organic beer brewed especially for De Zilverreiger. There is also bicycle rental and a charging station for electric bikes.

Node 4

De Groenendijk

Groenendijk Weert Bornem.jpg

'We're not kidding you, we sell delicious eels,' a sign on the façade says in block letter, and you know right away what the restaurant De Groenendijk specialises in. However, you can also head there for regional dishes and a range of suggestions, always including a number of vegetarian and vegan options. In summer weather, the garden chairs are taken out and you eat outside on the terrace in front of the establishment.

Node 06-91


Veer Driegoten.jpg

With five ferries across the Scheldt and Durme, Hamme is the municipality with the most ferries in Flanders. The ferry over the Scheldt River between Weert and Hamme has been running since 1308. During World War I, it was suspended by the Germans to counter smuggling activities between the two banks. Today, the ferry mainly transfers hungry people to one of the three restaurants on the edge of the Driegoten area of nature. At Het Scheldeoord, De Nieuwe Kreek and Taverne Driegoten alike, eel is the order of the day. It's up to you.

Node 69


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Kopie van Website_SL_liggende foto - Luchtfoto.jpg

The Lippenbroek in Hamme used to be a small polder along the Scheldt. Since 2006, it has been serving as a test area for the Sigma Plan. The principle of a controlled flood plain with tidal action was applied here for the first time, in order to monitor the combination of water safety and the development of tidal nature from close by. This world first attracted a lot of visitors from both home and abroad. The measurement data is collated annually into a report and provides a lot of information for other Sigma projects.

Node 50-76

Moerzeke-Mariekerke ferry

Veer Moerzeke Mariekerke Sint-Amands.jpg

The ferry between Mariekerke and Het Zwijn is mentioned as early as 1287, while the connection to Sint-Amands dates from 1868. Until 1995, the ferryman still rowed across here. Today, the ferry service is motorised. During the tourist season, there are two ferries: one to Sint-Amands and one to Mariekerke. The rest of the year, one ferry alternates between the two villages, hence the name triangle ferry.

Node 76-67

Mariekerke & Sint-Amands

Kaai Sint-Amands.jpg

The inhabitants of Hamme gratefully used the ferry service to buy fish in Mariekerke and Sint-Amands. After all, eels were eagerly fished there. Today, only Mariekerke bears the title of a fishing village. It is an important centre for the Flemish eel trade and the setting for the annual Fish and Folklore Festival in late June. In nearby Sint-Amands, along the Scheldt River, you pass by the mausoleum of writer Emile Verhaeren (1855-1916). Next to his birthplace is a museum dedicated to the man. In Sint-Amands, of course, you can taste some eel and fish dishes, from homely (De Veerman) to refined (Den Amandus and Café d'O). Café Emile V, on the other hand, in Sint-Amands targets thirsty passers-by with 180 types of beers.

Node 51-69

King Albert dyke

The King Albert dyke, amid the polders, was built after the 1928 flood and inaugurated by King Albert I in 1932. The dyke has six passages or channels, which it was possible to seal with oak beams. At node 51, you just cycle through them. At the end of the dyke stands the chapel of Saint Rita, built in 1946 as a thanksgiving to protect the neighbourhood from flooding. Bistro Jachthuis around the corner offers a full menu, as well as a pancake or a summer ice cream sundae. 

Node 69-77

De Bunt


The surroundings of Hamme are rich in nature and water. Both can be found in abundance at De Bunt, an area of nature at the confluence of Durme and Scheldt and a remnant of former peat mining. As part of the Sigma Plan, De Bunt is being redesigned as a floodplain. A few times a year, it will salvage water during storm tides. From the newly constructed ring dyke, you can see how nature is evolving. In the wooded area, joggers and hikers can get a breath of fresh air, while children will have fun in the play forest. There is no shortage of food and drink either, with De Pomp, Wuitensnest and Den Otter within a stone's throw of each other.

End point