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Located just 10 kilometres from Ypres, Messines and Heuvelland are in the heart of the Flanders Fields country. The landscape of both is visibly marked by the First World War. The dividing line between the German and allied troops went straight through the region. The bloodiest feats of arms were the battle of Wijtschate-Messines Ridge in Wijtschate (June 1917) and the battle for the Kemmelberg in April 1918. The bunkers, mine craters, military cemeteries and war monuments, are enduring scars.

Messines and Heuvelland are linked to each other not only geographically, but also culturally and historically, so much so, that the most southern corner of the “Westhoek,” which they occupy, is often perceived as one entity.

VVV Heuvelland and Peace Village Messines have cooperated to develop initiatives in order to promote the area. These initiatives focus on their common geographical, cultural and historical connections and combine these to create an appealing and varied range of tourist, recreational and educational activities.