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Autumn attractions in Knokke-Heist: Gourmet food, art for all ages, sporting action and Zwin farm tours
For the upcoming autumn season, Knokke-Heist boasts a packed agenda of events, especially during the half-term holiday. From culture, regional history and gastronomy to sport and outdoor adventure, you can enjoy a rich coastal escape. Take your pick from discovering the beautiful Zwin region, walking or cycling in the sea air, appreciating quality contemporary art, strolling around swanky boutiques, sipping a cocktail in a stylish bar or enjoying an intimate dinner in a cosy bistro or gourmet restaurant.
EXHIBITIONS & ART WEEKEND
Tom D Jones: True Wildlife Until 12 November
The only Belgian to be awarded the Hasselblad Master, a biennial prize bestowed on photographers using medium-format Hasselblad cameras, Tom D Jones presents more than 60 compelling images from Africa's national parks. His black-and-white images are the result of years tracking animals and offer a magical and extraordinary look at wildlife. “The absolute freedom of the animal is central to me. Not a single animal in my series is fed, lives in a private sanctuary, or undergoes any form of captivity,” says the photographer.
Great Art for Great Kids: 28 October to 5 November
This itinerant interactive exhibition is ideal for seven to 77-year-olds. It enables children to become familiar with some of the world’s great works of art in a surprising and accessible way. From pandas and piglets to polar bears and hippos, this is a zoo of a show in which the animals take on the roles of characters painted by famous artists from major movements in art history. The fun voyage of discovery visits portraits, Old and Flemish Masters, the impressionists and Van Gogh and his contemporaries as well as Michelangelo, Mondrian, Rothko and Haring.
Open Gallery Weekend: 28-29 October
Knokke-Heist is an arty destination brimming with contemporary art galleries. One of the best occasions to explore this feast of visual art is at the annual Open Gallery Weekend. The event aims to make art accessible for everyone, whether amateurs, new collectors or connoisseurs. It’s an ideal opportunity to meet gallery owners, although art lovers can enjoy an artistic experience all-year-round as the town harbours more than 90 art galleries. Pictured: Painting by Xavier Visa (Galerie Zuid).
Gault&Millau: A Taste of Knokke-Heist 2023-2024
The new edition of culinary bible Gault&Millau’s A Taste of Knokke-Heist is testament to the resort and region’s growing reputation as a gastronomic location. Published in Dutch, French and German, the 148-page guide features some 150 addresses. They include artisan delis and bakeries, premium butchers, beer cafes, wine shops, chocolatiers, coffee bars, tea rooms, ice cream parlours, beach bars and fishmongers as well as gourmet restaurants.
Check out the site Eating out in Knokke-Heist for more information on the foodie destination. As well as five Michelin star restaurants, the resort boasts numerous places serving artisan food and seasonal local produce. The Gault&Millau guide is available from Tourism Knokke-Heist and local bookshops for €19,95.
Goeste: 2-12 November
The fourth edition of the gastronomic experience week, Goeste, is the perfect occasion to (re)discover the tastiest options in multiple locations around Knokke-Heist.
SPORT & LOCAL CULTURE
Out and about in the Zwin region: Until 5 November
Explore Sluis, Damme, Sint-Laureins and Maldegem as well as Knokke-Heist in this series of guided tours (in Dutch). Rounding up a variety of experiences, some 31 hosts provide nature walks, bicycle rides and tours on all sorts of topics, whether local farm produce, history, poetry performance, culture, and more.
Bike enthusiasts can also pedal along the Vanished Zwin harbours cycling route (until 31 October). Meanwhile, the Zwin Nature Park, near the Dutch border, is an all-year-round attraction. Accessible by bike, foot or by car, the reserve is a paradise for many species of birds. Boasting fresh water and sea water areas, it’s an opportunity to learn about wildlife and plant life, with feeding and observation huts and activities for youngsters. It’s recommended to book tickets in advance.
Zoute Grand Prix: 5-8 October
Welcome to the world of Zoute Grand Prix, a unique car rally that’s a high-octane mix of upmarket lifestyle and art events. If automobiles take centre stage in a variety of rallies, the swish event also proposes art exhibitions, style competitions and sales. Admire a parade of cars, in all shapes and sizes, and enjoy some first-rate hospitality in surprising venues all around Knokke-Heist.
Photos: Speed Walking ©Tom D. Jones; Great Art for Great Kids; Xavier Visa, Zuid Gallery; Gastronomy ©Tourism Knokke-Heist; Leaping Hare by Barry Flanagan ©Tourism Knokke-Heist; ©Zoute Grand Prix