This is an easy and original way to discover new places, on foot or by bike! With one of the longest shorelines in Belgium (39 km of waterways without a lock), this site is perfect for a stroll.
Conquering the boat lifts
Starting from the Port de Plaisance (Marina), take the RAVeL 1 Centre. You will follow the Grand Large to discover the four hydraulic boat lifts of the historic Canal du Centre (protected by UNESCO). These are the only boat lifts in the world to still exist in their original working condition, these fabulous vestiges are a testament to the industrial landscape of the end of the 19th century.
You will also be amazed at the giant funicular boat lift of Strépy-Thieu. It’s a unique opportunity to board a boat! Change your clothes for a boatman’s costume and negotiate a drop of 73.15 metres! Finally, don’t miss the inclined plane of Ronquières. Thanks to the panoramic lifts and the glazed walkways, you will be able to see the breathtaking views of the region and watch the canal traffic. With bit of luck, if the weather is good, you can admire the Lion of Waterloo as well as the Brussels Atomium.
The RAVeL, a route full of surprises
This is the path to take if you wish to walk in a green setting, far from the noise of the town and its cars. These old railway lines or towpaths are now reserved for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. Generally flat, they allow for easier circulation and are suitable for a number of activities. Bring your family, take the bikes, scooters, skateboards and pushchairs! Along the way, take a look at the murals and replicas stencilled on the ground. Take a break at the “lombric”, a playful resting space, occupied by concrete silhouettes that foretell a future career. Say hello to the yellow horses, sculptures that pay tribute to these animals that accompanied miners in the collieries of olden days.
At Quaregnon, you will be reminded of the south of France when you see the local pétanque players. Going towards La Malogne, the ancient chalk quarries evoke the past. Finally, perhaps you have already heard of the Beau Vélo de RAVeL? Every summer, from the end of June until mid-September, bike trails of around 40 km are proposed to cyclists every Saturday. This is the opportunity to share a friendly moment all together, especially as there is a free concert at the arrival to re-boost your energy! Don’t miss the radio hosts from Vivacité at each stage!
You can rent bikes through the Port Authority of the Grand Large. Here are the prices: 2 hrs = €5, 4 hrs = €8, 24 hrs = €10