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Belgium

Beringen, more than a historical mine site

8 March 2018

Beringen is the 3rd largest city of the Belgian province of Limburg, but it was still relatively unknown to us. We notice that young people are traveling further but we may not forget our own country. We have taken this into account immediately! It was time to explore a little piece of Belgium. We chose to discover Limburg and more precisely the municipality of Beringen.

 

Beringen, from coal mine to tourist and recreational hotspot

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The be-MINE site of Beringen

Be-MINE is a tourist hotspot of 100 000m2, which offers all kinds of fun and adventurous activities. There is a swimming pool, an impressive diving center (TODI), the Avonturenberg with cool mountain bike trails, the Alpamayo climbing centre and so much more. As you read, they have something for everyone!

 

TODI Diving centre, next level indoor dive experience

TODI is the first indoor snorkeling and diving center in Europe. We did already some ‘fun dives’ in tropical destinations such as Thailand and Indonesia, so our expectations were quite high. The supervisors of TODI are all certified experienced divers, who have already dived a hundred times.

How do they work?

First you get an interesting explanation about the basics of scuba diving, together with some background information about the basin itself. There are more than 33 different species and 4,400 tropical fish from Africa, Asia and South America in the basin. This results in an enormous color splendor, where you would even forget that you are still in Belgium. After some theory, it’s time for action! All the material is provided so you can get started right away. Our instructor gave everyone a good feeling, so our confidence increased every minute. First you practice some techniques in the exercise basin and afterwards it’s time for the real work in the big basin. This enormous basin of 6,500,000 liters with its various colorful fish is the perfect environment to learn how to dive or snorkel. The TODI experience is quite similar to the real experience in the sea. TODI has created a beautiful and safe environment with colorful fish.

Practical info

Tip: Brasserie Todi has very tasty dishes, our favorites are the scampi in garlic sauce and rib spares!

Practical information: You can choose to snorkel, dive or just to take a guided tour. Click here for more practical information.

TODI duikcentrum

One of the TODI instructors

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Lopifit, best of both worlds

The word itself already reveals what a Lopifit is. It is an electrically motorized combination of a treadmill, a scooter and a bicycle. I have to admit, at first sight the bike itself looks a bit weird. In the beginning it takes some time to get used to the Lopifit, but after some time you prefer to keep on doing it! A lopifit reaches the speed of a bike (15-25 km/hour). So you see a lot of the environment in a relatively short periode of time!

Lopifit, Paalse plas

Enjoy the view at the Paalse Plas with our Lopifit

We found the Lopifit a very fun and amusing way to discover Beringen. You can rent a Lopifit to explore the city center or to enjoy nature (as we did). The route around the famous ‘Paalse Plas’ is definitely something nice to do. For more fun cycling routes in and around Beringen, go and visit Tourism Beringen. They will be happy to help you. (address: Koolmijnlaan 203, Beringen (entrance be-MINE).

Practical info

Note:  There is a possibility that your trip with the Lopifit will take some extra time, because you are often approached by walkers. The lopifit impresses passersby and often they want to test this fun thing!

Practical information: Tourism Beringen has 5 Lopifits, which you can rent for 2 – 3 hour €10. Of course you can also rent a normal-, electric bicycle or tandem. Click here for more practical information.

The Avonturenberg, perfect for adrenaline seekers

Located on the large be-MINE complex, you’ll find this enormous hill ‘Adventurenberg’. This 100-meter high terril is accessible for everyone and is free. You can climb, clamber, discover or just enjoy the beautiful view.

There are several ways to get to the top, including mountain biking. You can choose between a green and a red route, where the green route is less difficult. Now we have to admit, these 2 routes are more for experienced bikers. It is a difficult route which contains various technical obstacles such as rocks and jumps. This gives a real adrenaline rush, but as ‘dummies’ we didn’t dare to do this.

The ‘Avonturen berg’ does not always have to be so extreme or challenging. There are several hiking trails that will take you to the top of the hill. Here you can enjoy a 360 ° panorama over the entire city and surroundings. The perfect spot to relax!

Children and young people, but of course also adults, can enjoy themselves in the ropes course with crawl tunnels, stairs and climbing constructions

Practical information: The terril is accessible from sunrise until sunset (for free). Click here for more practical information.

avonturenberg Beringen

De Avonturenberg with TODI diving center

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Alpamayo, climbing in a former power station

No, we did not climb the 5947-meter high mountain in Peru. Although, this would have been an amazing achievement ! We are still in Beringen, where the largest climbing center in Limburg and surroundings is located. You can both climb or boulder in the former power station of the mine. Such a unique location, right?

Alpamayo

The boulder spot, Alpamayo

Alpamayo

The boulder spot, Alpamayo

We had already done some climbing before, but bouldering was a completely new concept for us. They told us you should always start climbing, so that you can warm up before the heavy technical work of bouldering. To start easy, we chose an orange route number 3. It took some time to get used to the climbing, but with some explanations and tips from the staff everything worked out well. Alpamayo is accessible for both non-experienced as experienced climbers, and even children can do come climbing too!

Practical info

Tip:it is a very nice location to organize a children’s party. First, the children can enjoy themselves on special walls that are provided for training and recreation. Afterwards you can drink and / or eat something in the cafe with a view of the climbers!

Practical information:  Click here for more practical information.

 Planning a weekend to Beringen? Make sure to check out our blogpost about Villa Nostra. The cutest B&B in Beringen!

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