People take part in the filming of a clip at a beach in Oostende

People take part in the filming of a clip at a beach in Oostende (Sebastien Pirlet, Reuters)

If you feel up to the challenge, classes are on offer in the summer months for 20 euros ($26.01) an hour.

6:30 p.m. - Time for a Belgian beer in a cafe along the beach promenade. Naturally, there is a local Flemish brew to be had: Gouden Pier Kloeffe, an 8.1 percent pale ale named after a local fisherman, also reputed for his brewing nous.

8 p.m. - Dinner spots include French-style Le Flore on Duinkerkelaan, with set menus from 25 euros.

Hotel Maxim in Toeristenlaan, near the beach, has been praised for its restaurant and also its accommodation, if you're looking for somewhere to stay.

Day 2

10 a.m - Take the tram to De Haan (Le Coq in French; the cockerel/rooster in English), the one part of the Belgian coastline that has retained low-rise Belle Epoque architecture.

Its tram station, also the tourism office, is suitably picturesque.

De Haan's most famous resident was Albert Einstein, who lived there for six months in 1933.

Some of the residents still tell stories, passed down by their parents, of how he strolled along the sea front, drank coffee in the Grand Hotel Belle Vue and agonised over his decision to abandon Nazi Germany.

12:30 p.m. - Lunch. Grand Hotel Belle Vue's restaurant is one option. Less grand, but hearty good value is The Strand Hotel on the sea front.

2 p.m. - Back on the tram, this time to Knokke (pronounced K-nokke). It's not quite the Cote d'Azur, but a glut of designer shops make it Belgium's most fashionable resort. To add to the glamour, it has an art deco casino, famed for a Rene Magritte mural The Enchanted Domain.

Away from the slightly surreal experience of gambling away your wages or spending them on designer outfits, a cheaper pastime is hiring one of a vast array of bicycles, ranging from tandems to mountain bikes, available near the station and from hire shops near the sea front.

4 p.m. - If you carry on pedalling towards the Dutch border, you leave behind the wall of high-rise development to reach the dunes and marshland of Zwin nature reserve.

5 p.m. - Make your way gradually back to the urban zone via Surfers Paradise. As the name suggests, it's a surfers' club and surfing is on offer. But it's also a laid-back bar open to the public that serves cold beers and fresh sandwiches on the edge of an unspoiled stretch of soft sand.

7 p.m. - While away a couple of hours as energetically or lazily as you please before heading back along the cycle path to the beach-side restaurants for a seafood supper or even a trip to the casino and Magritte's Enchanted Domain.

($1 = 0.7689 euros)

(Editing by Paul Casciato)