Four Days of the Yser
The “Four Days of the Yser” is an international walk organised by the Belgian Defence, in partnership with the municipality of Koksijde and the cities of Diksmuide, Poperinge and Ieper. This annual “military exercise” in the Westhoek is open to civilians and the military from Belgium and abroad.
Strengthen the relationship between the Belgian Defence and the society by gathering the military and civilians together during a shared sporting activity.
Make walkers discover the historical and tourism value of the Westhoek.
The Artillery Battalion is in charge of organising the Four Days of the Yser.
In carrying out this mission, this battalion – some of whose barracks are located on the Belgian coast – is assisted by the Material and Production Competence Centre in Ieper, the 14th Medical Battalion, the military police and the military commando of the Province of West Flanders.
Each year, the Executive Committee of the Four Days of the Yser proposes to the walkers a four-day walk during the first full week following 15th August (Assumption Day is an official holiday in Belgium).
For each day, the secretariat defines a route of 8 km, 16 km, 24 km and 32 km according to a fixed programme (it is always possible to deviate from this):
For historical reasons, the municipality of Koksijde and the cities of Nieuwpoort, Diksmuide, Poperinge and Ieper always participate in the event.
They are represented in the Organizing Committee and are crossed every year during the Four Days of the Yser.
Their logos were also integrated into the logo of the Four Days of the Yser.
It goes without saying that the contacts and the cooperation with the other cities and municipalities crossed during the Four Days this year are also excellent.
Participants in the Four Days of the Yser who have opted for a formula with transport are carried in buses from the stop of their choice to the starting point of each walking day.
In the evening, walkers are carried back by bus to their stop.
Please note: only participants with a valid transport ticket are allowed on the buses!
NO TICKET = NO TRANSPORT!
Pre-registration is therefore necessary!
Walkers who register on the walking day can only obtain a transport ticket and a walker’s map in the starting zone. These people have to go with their own transport to the city or municipality of the starting point.
You can check the departure times on our website.
You will also find the schedule on information boards and in information brochures at the start/arrival.
When preparing the Belgian Defence walk as well as during the walk itself, the organisation of the Four Days of the Yser pays a particular attention to the safety of the walkers.
The routes are analysed, studied and discussed in detail with the officers of the local police forces of the participating towns and municipalities, as well as with the members of the Echo detachment of the Military Police Group, based in the “Kamp van Lombardsijde” in Nieuwpoort.
The organization always maps out routes that are worth the detour.
In addition, there will be entertainment at various locations along the route.
Some events take place every day, while others take place on a special walking day.
For the “Walk and Watch” competition, you can obtain a free entry form at the information stand you will find at the start and answer questions about the landscape and tourist attractions along the route.
The competition prizes include stays in the Westhoek, vouchers and many other prizes.
All participants in the Four Days of the Yser are covered by insurance. An insurance policy was taken out through Wandelsport Vlaanderen with Arena NV for foreign civilians and military men and women.
As Belgian military personnel are on mission, they are automatically insured.
Which accidents does the insurance cover?
“Accident” means a physical injury or material damage occurring DURING the Four Days of the Yser AND as a consequence of participating in these Four Days.
What to do in the event of an accident?
For urgent cases, call 112 or
Contact as soon as possible (= on the same day):
Have this person complete a declaration form.
If necessary, have a witness statement added.
The secretariat of the Four Days of the Yser will send the file to Wandelsport Vlaanderen, who will deal with it.
Since 1st January 2020, the new Flemish legislation requires all event organisers to collect at least 90% of the plastic bottles distributed. This figure will later rise to 95%.
Given that the Yser walk is spread over four days, this is a challenge from an organisational point of view, which we intend to take up in order to help reduce plastic waste. We therefore offer a reusable bottle to each registered walker at each edition. You can collect this bottle in the start area upon presentation of a token. Pre-registered walkers receive the token at home by post, or can obtain it at the secretariat in the start area. Those who register on a walking day receive the token at the registration desk. Thanks to the water companies (I.W.V.A., De Watergroep and FARYS), additional water distribution points were installed along the route so that the participants can regularly fill their water bottles.
As a result, we no longer distribute lemonade bottles and fruit juice cartons along the course, but with the support of sponsors and the organisation, we still try to provide a few extras. We can already announce that we will be distributing the famous Vondelmolen gingerbread and delicious Jules Destrooper biscuits.
On the first day of the walk, it is also a tradition that all participants have the opportunity to taste shrimp soup, offered by the Order of the Shrimp Fishermen on Horseback.