Introduction

Charming Damme village is little more than a single street and a main square upon which the fine Gothic stadhuis is fronted by a statue of local 13th-century Flemish poet Jacob Van Maerlant. The village is linked directly to Bruges by a perfectly straight canal, with a cycleway on one side and a road on the other. In parts, the canal is almost completely covered by a verdant canopy.

Half the fun is getting here. The most popular way is to rent a bike in Bruges and cycle the flat 5km canal-side route. In midsummer you'll be jostling for space on the path, but in April or October, you might find yourself blissfully alone.