West Flanders is Belgium's most prized province, home to the magical, magnificent medieval city of Bruges, the jewel in the the country's crown. The region's western border runs for 65km along the North Sea, a popular stretch of white sandy beaches and dunes, campgrounds, marinas and seasonal tourist resorts known as the Belgian Coast. Ostend is the area's year-round hub, while Zeebrugge, Belgium's busiest port, is an important shipping and trade gateway into Europe.
Visitors from around the world – particularly the Commonwealth – flock to the Ypres Salient region in the province's southwest, where an estimated 500,000 soldiers and civilians died in WWI battles in Flanders Fields. Visiting its excellent museums and sombre cemeteries is a moving experience.