Highlights of Flanders and Belgian beers – Unique Small Group
- Uncover the Flanders region on this small group holiday to Belgium
- See the capital's top sights on a walking tour of Brussels, including the iconic Manneken Pis.
- Learn more about the art of making Belgian chocolate & sample Belgian beers at various breweries.
- Visit the captivating cities of Ghent & Antwerp on guided excursions.
- Enjoy a tour of Bruges & explore its historic city centre.
Book Your Trip From £1778pp
Book Your Trip From £1279pp
Your Guided Small Group Holiday to Belgium
Let's explore Flanders, a region of Belgium which has a rich cultural heritage, fascinating medieval cities and culinary delights. Our small group tour of Belgium will begin in the country's vibrant capital of Brussels, where we'll stroll through the Grand-Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, see the Manneken Pis statue, a true icon of the city and create our very own Belgian chocolates! From our base in Brussels we'll enjoy a day trip to Antwerp and see its main attractions like the Brabo Fountain. In Ghent enjoy walking the scenic streets of Graslei and Korenle along the banks of the River Lys and see the 'Castle of the Counts.' Then we travel to Bruges, a picturesque medieval city with well-preserved architecture, winding canals, and cobblestone streets. Our final highlight of this Belgium trip will be sampling the famous Westvleteren beer from the Sint Sixtus Abbey and learning about beer making at St. Bernardus Brewery and Rodenbach Brewery. This holiday is perfect for those seeking to experience authentic Belgian culture and to visit the top landmarks in Belgium.
Activity Level: Busy
Travel to Belgium
Arrive in Brussels
Let’s travel to Brussels to start our journey across Belgian’s treasures. At the airport let’s meet our friendly local representative, before travelling onwards to our hotel in Brussels centre.
Walking tour of Brussels
Let’s start the day with a guided walking tour of the city centre covering then highlights of Brussels situated in the historical centre such as the Grand’Place with the City Hall and guild houses, the Saint Hubertus galleries, The Mint Square with opera building, the fish market, La Bourse (the former Stock exchange), the statue of Manneken Pis, ...
Let’s experience more with a 2-hours Chocolate workshop (master class) during which we will learn all the secrets of Belgian chocolate and create our own chocolates. Belgian chocolate is renowned worldwide for its exceptional quality, rich flavour, and luxurious texture. It has a long history of chocolate-making expertise that dates back to the 17th century, and Belgium is considered one of the premier destinations for chocolate lovers.
Walking tour of Antwerp
Today, we will discover more with a guided walking tour of the historical centre of Antwerp: the Maret Square with the Brao statue/fountain, then the guild houses dating back to the 16th and 17th century and the City Hall, Our Lady cathedral, the Square Groenplaats, the Vlaeykensgang (a historic area with charming alleys and cozy passages), followed by a walk along the famous shopping street The Meir passing by at the Rubens House museum, which is the former home and atelier where the famous painter Pieter Paul Rubens lived for 25 years (exterior visit only).
Visit of the brewery De Koninck
This afternoon, we will visit our first Belgian brewery, De Koninck, an immersive and enriching experience, allowing us to delve into the rich history, intricate brewing processes, and the delightful flavours of one of Antwerp's iconic beer producers. Upon arrival, we will be greeted with the distinct aroma of hops and malt as they embark on a guided tour through the brewery. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour takes us through the various stages of the brewing process, from raw ingredients to the finished product. We will witness the brewing equipment, learn about the traditional and modern techniques used in beer production, and gain insights into the brewery's heritage. We might have the opportunity to touch, smell, and even taste the ingredients. The highlight of the visit includes guided tasting sessions, where we sample a selection of De Koninck's finest brews. This allows us to appreciate the diverse flavours, aromas, and characteristics of the brewery's signature beers, gaining an understanding of the beer's complexity and quality.
Walking tour of Ghent
After checking out from our hotel in Brussels, and on our way toward Bruges, we will explore more with a stop in Ghent. We walk along the famous Gras and Korenlei, Saint Nicolas church, belfry, and Saint Bavo cathedral (exterior only). Further we pass by at the city hall with its mixture of styles from flamboyant Gothic to sober Renaissance. Next, we visit the Square Vrijdagmarkt with its statue of Jacob Van Artevelde. A little further, we encounter Dulle Griet (“Evil woman”), a 15th century cast iron cannon, weighing more than twelve tons. Once we have crossed the Lys, we enter the inner courtyard of the House of Alijn. This former alms-house is now the Museum of Folklore. The exquisite complex is part of the Paterhol. The only neighbourhood in Ghent where the original medieval street plan is still intact. Through winding alleys and cobbled streets with numerous restaurants we reach the Castle of the Counts (outside). This imposing fortress used to be the residence of the count of Flanders. Later on, it was used as a courthouse, a jail and even a textile factory….
Free time in Ghent
You’ll have free time at leisure, to enjoy more the atmosphere of Ghent. It has been nominated in the past by National Geographic Traveller as the third most authentic city worldwide and it is also a very nice city for shopping. Then, we will continue our transfer to Bruges.
Walking tour of Bruges
This morning let’s see more with a walking guided tour the historical centre of Bruges (2 hours). We take the main shopping street in the direction of the Market Square. Halfway, we pay a visit to the St. Saviour Cathedral. After visiting the Marketplace with the imposing 83 m belfry and halles, we continue to the Jan Van Eyck-square, once the centre of Hanseatic Bruges. This area was the economic and financial hub of Flanders between the 13th and the 15th century. A lot of impressive houses are a statement to the leading role of Bruges as a commercial centre in the old days. We pass the city theatre, the Saaihalle (1399), Huis ter Beurze (the first stock exchange), the Toll House, etc. A little bit further we arrive by the Burg, one of the most charming squares in town. We now see the gorgeous Gothic City Hall, the basilica of the Holy Blood and the Liberty of Bruges, once the city’s courthouse, today the Municipal Archives. We cross the Fish market, Tanners Square and the very picturesque Dijver. Our last stop is the Princely beguinage and the Minnewater (Lake of Love).
Free time in Bruges
This afternoon is yours, so you can take most of the city, not only for shopping, but also for its gastronomy with chips (known as French fries … there’s a strong debate between France and Belgium about who is the original creator) and the waffles. And if you feel like going on a treasure hunt, try to find the famous Wall of Beers.
Westvleteren & Roeselare
Visit of the brewery Struis Brouwers
We start the day with a stop at the Sint Sixtus Abbey where the famous Westvleteren beer is brewed (the monastery and brewery are unfortunately not open to visitors). We make a stop in the pub across the street (cafe De Vrede) where they serve Westvleteren (at own expense). It is a rare, rich, and malty beer, one of the 6 monastery beers authorized to use the name "Authentic Trappist Product". Then we continue our journey to Vleteren with a visit of the brewery Struis Brouwers. Stepping into the Struis Brouwers, we are greeted by an array of aromas and flavors that tickle the senses. De Struise Brouwers is celebrated for its innovative approach to brewing, experimenting with unique ingredients and unconventional techniques to create beers that captivate the palate. The friendly brewers are often on hand to share anecdotes and answer questions, providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their craft. The visit ends with tastings.
Visit of the brewery Rodenbach
Let’s find out more about the world of traditional Flemish beer-making this afternoon, with a visit to the brewery Rodenbach where the so-called red beer is brewed. Our local guide will begin the tour with an introduction to the brewery's storied past, detailing its origins, and the legacy of producing exceptional sour, oak-aged ales. We will continue with an exploration of the different stages of beer production, showcasing the unique oak foeders (giant wooden barrels) where the beers are aged and fermented. We will end the visit with a tasting experience that allows us to appreciate the complex and tangy flavours, often characterized by a perfect balance of sweet and sour notes.
Now that we became experts of the Belgian beers, time has come to go home as we travel with guide assistance to Brussels airport.
Know before you go
Will I be met at the airport?
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Do I need a Visa?
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
What if there is an emergency?
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.