Subscribe to
Our Bimonthly
E-Newsletter

Receive updates discounts plus French recipes!
Email us
 

Culture and Traditions of Belgium



You can choose the cultural or the painting tour:


Cultural tour to Belgium

Painting tour to Belgium
Watercolor journal workshop, Sandy Delehanty



Cultural Tour: Hidden Belgium


Let us introduce you to the amazing diversity of Jackie's (the founder of this company) native country.

We will escort you on day trips to help you discover not only the delicious specialties of chocolate, beer, waffles, French fries and mussels but also the Belgian traditions of lace making and cookie making. You will be treated to beautiful scenery and grand architecture.

 






From the lowlands of Flanders to the rolling hills of Ardennes, from the sandy beaches and windmills of the North to the deep, green forests of the South, you will enjoy the wonders of this small country.

Day 1: Arrival

-

We will pick you up at the Brussels airport and we will drive you to your home in Dinant, where you will be able to relax.

We will take a walk in this charming town, listed as one of the most beautiful towns in Belgium. After a welcome reception and orientation meeting, you will have your first Belgian dinner.


Day 2: Battle of the Bulge and Meeting with a Survivor


Morning: Battle of the Bulge Museum

T he Battle of the Bulge museum at the Bastogne Historical Center will allow you to relive moments of the battle and a day in the life of an American soldier.

The movie shot during the Battle of the Bulge will plunge you into the very heart of the offensive.

We will then visit the Mardasson monument, a token of gratitude from the Belgian population to the American Army and the Allies.



Afternoon: Meeting a Woman Survivor of WWII

After this emotional visit, we will spend some time with a woman, a survivor of the war, who will open her house to us. She will share with us moving stories about her life during the battle, over a cup of coffee and cakes.



 

Day 3: Cookie Workshop



Speculoos are very popular Belgian cookies. A pastry chef will teach you all the secrets of how to make delicious speculoos and then each of you will make speculoos under his supervision.

The workshop is located in a bread museum that we will visit while the speculoos are baking in the oven. This is a journey back in time: a mill from the 18th century, hundreds of speculoos and bread molds, ...

Day 4: Chocolate Tasting and Citadel of Dinant



Morning: Chocolate Tasting
On that day, we will leave our hotel and head off for the one near Bruges. On the way, we will stop by a local chocolate maker.

It was in Belgium that the first praline was made by filling an empty chocolate shell with a rich, intense center. Olfactory and tasty chocolates are on the program. The chocolate master will make pralines in front of us and we will then sample various chocolate delights.




Afternoon: Historical citadel of Dinant and boat ride on the Meuse river

Immerse yourself in history in the citadel perched high over the Meuse valley. The museum and its reconstructions take you back in time to see what life was like under the shadow of these walls: under Louis XIV and during WWI.

After your visit, the cable-car will take you to the center of Dinant. Alternatively, you may choose to walk down the incredible 408-step stairway carved into the rocks!

A boat ride on the Meuse river will give you wonderful views of the city. You'll be able to drive the boat yoruself. Very fun.



Evening:
We will settle down in our new home for the rest of the week, in the cute village of Damme, next to Brugges in the West of Belgium.

Day 5: Bruges, the Venice of the North



This splendid medieval city is one of Belgium's crown jewels and is largely considered one of the most beautiful towns in Europe. In no other European city do medieval times feel so present as they do here in this city close to the North Sea.

The historic downtown of Bruges has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. In 2002, Bruges was designated the "cultural capital of Europe."

We will take a guided walk in a car-free environment in the most perfectly preserved medieval town in Europe: from the quaint Beguinage quarters to the impressive Grand Place.


© Toerisme Bruges

© Toerisme Bruges


Lace is one of the specialties in Bruges. We will attend a lace making demonstration by Anya who learned how to make lace at the age of 6.

You will also have some free time to explore more of Bruges.

There is so much to do! Visit one of the various art museums displaying the famous Flemish paintings, the first 13th century hospital, the Church of Our Lady with the sculpture "Madonna and Child," the only one of Michelangelo's sculptures to have left Italy within his lifetime.
Take a guided tour of the last brewery in Bruges that, of course, includes a tasting of their beers. Or simply have a drink at the terrace café and watch people go by.

We will then take a boat ride on the peaceful canals with delightful views of medieval Flemish mansions.

Day 6: Mills and Dune Beaches by the North Sea



Morning: Bike or walk the canals to Holland

This morning is yours to do whatever you like. Damme, located 3 miles from our hotel, is one of the cutest villages in Belgium.

You can rent a bike at the hotel for a very easy and beautiful bike ride (or walk) along romantic canals with its barges, between quaint towns, outdoor cafés and wind mills. In less than 45 min, you will be in Holland.

 

Afternoon: Sand Dune Beaches by the North Sea Shoreline

All along the sandy beaches of Belgium, the boardwalk is alive with outdoor cafes, shops, cyclists, rollerbladers and strange vehicles known as cuistax (ask the locals what it means!). That will be the perfect time for ice cream, a Belgian waffle, a beer at the beach, a café or a chance to ride the cuistax or a bike on the boardwalk.




We will have dinner by the beach to see the sunset.

Day 7: The Royal City of Brussels



Morning: Guided Walk in the Heart of Brussels
The bilingual capital of Belgium is renowned for its architecture (medieval, Gothic, Art Nouveau and Art Deco). The royal palace, its pubs and its expensive boutiques are not to be missed.

The Grand Place, (an old market square surrounded by buildings from 16th - 18th centuries) with its Golden Gothic facades, is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful town squares in Europe.

Afternoon: Free Time for shopping or museums
Since this is your last day, you will probably have some shopping to do. You can find everything in Brussels, from cheap shops to luxurious boutiques. There are also plenty of museums to visit. Make sure to buy some chocolates at the famous Newhaus chocolate maker regarded as number one in Belgium or taste one of the 2000 belgian beers.


Day 8: Departure



After breakfast, we will drive you to Brussels airport.

For more pictures, visit our photogallery and for travel stories from our guests with pictures and info about Belgium, visit our blog.

Accommodations:


Two family-owned hotels: one in Wallonia and one in the Flanders
Both accommodations are very charming, quaint and luxurious at the same time.

In Wallonia, we will be staying in a 3 star charming hotel, very comfortably renovated and ideally located in the small village of Dinant, the heart of Begium. Itis well known for its wonderful restaurant. The hotel has a dining room, a big living room and a huge garden. All 12 bedrooms have a private bathroom with TV.




The hotel in Flanders is only 7 miles from Brugges. This charming hotel has a beautiful sun room where we will take our breakfasts and a big living room with a grand piano. It has 11 rooms, each with flat screen TV, mini-bar and full bathroom. You will be able to relax either in the open air swimming pool or in the hot tub.



Watch our video about the accommodations



Dates & Rates


Aug 28-Sep 4, 2014: $3,290 (+$550 for single room)

Aug 27-Sep 3, 2015-women-only tour: $3,290 (+$550 for single room)

Includes

  • Brussels airport pick-up and drop-off at a specific time
  • A welcome reception
  • All nights
  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners including drinks
  • Transportation in a comfortable van
  • A personal bilingual chauffeur/guide throughout the week (born and raised in Belgium)
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour

Excludes
  • Flights to and from Belgium
  • Lunches and 3 dinners (we will go with you for those meals)
  • Drinks
  • Optional activities (those not described in the itinerary)
  • Personal expenses and tipping




Toll free: 1-888-483-5713
Local: 1-510-483-5713
contact@frenchescapade.com