Blue Horizon Travel & Yacht Charters is currently planning a summer trip to Belgium in 2016. The intriguing 12-day journey will take travelers through the lowlands of Flanders to the hills of the Ardennes in Wallonia. The Exploring Belgium trip offers something for everyone to love – art, architecture, food and drinks, cafes, markets, attractions and shopping, and is scheduled for July 1 through July 13 next year.
The tour begins in Brussels with a visit to the historical center, including one of the top sights in all of Europe: the Grand Place. The evening brings time for checking out restaurants down “the restaurant streets.” A leisure day in Brussels is planned for day two, giving guests free time to stroll through the popular markets and visit some of Brussels’ wonderful museums.
A four-night stay in Bruges comes next, filled with guided tours and free time to explore. A walking tour on day three will take guests to the Church of Our Lady to view Michelangelo’s “Madonna and Child” statue and the Basilica of Holy Blood, which is said to house a relic of Jesus Christ. Free time to explore Bruges on day four could bring the chance to climb the Belfry for some spectacular views or touring the city on a horse-drawn carriage.
On day five, the tour makes stops in Oostende, De Haan, Knokke and Lissewege along the Belgian coast, ending with a stroll through the historical center of Damme. On July 6, the tour moves out to Ghent, listed by National Geographic Traveler as the third most authentic city worldwide. Here, you will experience a chocolate workshop and a walking city tour. You will also visit Filliers Distillery in Deinze to learn about and sample jenever (gin).
Antwerp is the destination for July 7, starting with a visit to the Red Star Line Museum. A tour of the city on foot and by bus will cover the main highlights, including a visit to Rubens House and the Central Train Station. The evening finishes with a pub tour by horse-drawn carriage and dinner in Antwerp.
The weekend portion of the trip starts July 8 and includes a tour of Mechelen, with visits to the Saint Rumbold’s Cathedral, the Benguinage and Market Square. A visit and lunch at Brewery Het Anker – one of the oldest operating breweries in Belgium – ends the tour in Mechelen. Guests then travel to Leuven, home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, and through to Tongeren, the oldest town in Belgium for dinner and an overnight stay. Saturday starts with a walk through historic Tongeren, including a visit to the Gallo Roman Museum. A trip to Leykaul will have you aboard a four-passenger “railbike,” giving guests a chance to experience the natural scenery along a section of the former Vennbahn before returning to Tongeren for the evening.
On July 10, the tour moves to Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium, with a stop in the town of Spa en route to Durbuy, known as the smallest town on earth – and one of the prettiest.
A trip to the Fortress of Godfrey of Bouillon highlights July 11, followed up by a visit to Bastogne and the Bastogne War Museum and Mardasson Memorial, honoring American soldiers from World War II. Guests then return to explore Durbuy for the remainder of the dayas well as Tuesday morning before taking a visit to Waterloo – the land where Napoleon met his defeat – later in the day. The trip will end with a farewell dinner at the Restaurant la Sucreriei before you return for your final night near the Brussels airport.