A fascinating, mysterious painting full of atmospheric images that will transport you straight to the Middle Ages. Or rather, in its most charming version!
The stately Brussels with its aristocratic prestige, Lille with its cultural displacement, the beautiful Bruges (we will get enough of it with three nights there!), the historic Ghent with its picturesque alleys, but also Ostend and the cult Antwerp, they form the backdrop to the most beautiful Flemish mural your eyes have ever seen!
The journey at a glance
… we discover the mysteries of medieval Bruges …
Accommodation in selected 4*s hotels as follows or similar
Bruges : Aragon / Le Bois in the heart of the city
Brussels : Renaissance Brussels / NH Louisse
Three nights in the puppet medieval city of Bruges where its center is adorned with characteristic buildings of medieval and renaissance architecture
Visit to Ghent with the castle of the knights to get to know the city which was during the Middle Ages a great commercial port of Europe
Full day excursion to picturesque Ostend and Antwerp with its important port
Visit the beautiful Lille in Northern France which is strategically located as it neighbors Belgium and is a short distance from Luxembourg, England, Holland and Germany
Afternoon stroll through the historic center of Brussels, the seat of the European Union.
Experienced leader escort
5 things that make Bruges the most irresistible – medieval – destination!
1. Gothic atmosphere: The walk around the canal
Like the arteries of a human heart, the canal spreads through the entire historic city, while the spiers and tall chimneys of the Gothic buildings disappear among the heavy, blue clouds. Everywhere one looks one sees a landscape of unparalleled atmosphere and charm in which the liquid element has its due.
2. Love is in the air: The Bridge of Lovers and the Lake of Love
Urban legend says that if lovers cross the bridge, their love will last forever.
The Lake of Love, an oasis of calm in the middle of it, is an ideal place for afternoon walks and exciting, “unfiltered” photos.
3. The gadgets of pain: The museum of torture
In one of Europe’s oldest prisons, the museum contains a collection of instruments of torture dating back to medieval times. From a sociological point of view, the museum studies the archetypes and the role of torture in society through a series of “gadgets” that caused pain, dated separately in each era.
4. Chocolat, mon amour: The excellent Dumon chocolatier!
If in Belgium chocolate occupies a dominant position, one of the most famous chocolate factories in Bruges is another reason to get a sweet taste of the city. In the emblematic medieval building that houses the small, picturesque shop of the otherwise colossal company, you will taste the taste of happiness, the palette of which will fascinate even the most demanding palates.
5. Holiday ill: The hospital of Agios Ioannis
It may have been “don’t get lucky” in the old days, but the truth is that the choices did not run from the shoes of the sick. Strategically located next to the Church of Our Lady, the building is an architectural remnant dating back to medieval times. Countless pilgrims and travelers sought healing here by knocking at its door. The operation of the building as a hospital continued until 1977 when it was relocated to new buildings created in the city. Today, part of this hospital building complex houses the Hans Memling museum, as a tribute to the painter himself whose works are housed there.
The program in detail
Day 1: Athens or Thessaloniki – Brussels
“But what is this little boy doing in the fountain?”: Urban walk in one of the most emblematic European squares!
Meeting at the airport and direct flight to the capital of Belgium. After settling in at our hotel, the trip to the European city begins with the bureaucratic dynamics! The Grand Place with its emblematic points awaits you to explore it through our organized walking tour, while in the evening you can get a wider taste of the city, this time in one of its numerous restaurants (we will be happy to tell us our suggestions!) that have put it firmly on the map of the European culinary scene.
Day 2 : Brussels (Lille) – Bruges
From a city under siege, a center of arts and culture
After breakfast we say goodbye to Brussels for atmospheric Bruges. As long as our road trip lasts, it is an opportunity to admire the French city of Lille. As an old part of the county of Flanders, Lille became known as the most besieged city. And while the Industrial Revolution turned it into a powerhouse centered on the mechanical and textile industries, today, we will tour its most important attractions. The Opera (L’OpéradeLille), the National Orchestra (L’Orchestre National de Lille), the Ballets (Ballets du Nord), and the Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille) cement its reputation as a dynamic cultural center .
In the afternoon, we arrive in Bruges. In the heart of the medieval city, the central hotel where we will stay for three nights is a key point for our excursions.
Day 3 : Bruges
“For whom the bells toll”: sculptures and music in the city bell tower!
The city of Bruges seems to have sprung out of a heavy leather-bound book with medieval engravings. Today, it is the first stop of our tour. The fact that its historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site cannot be a coincidence.
A series of medieval and renaissance attractions such as the Church of Our Lady with its 122.3 m brick spire, and the sculpture of the Virgin Child attributed to Michelangelo (his only work of art found outside of Italy as he was alive) give off an atmosphere that makes the city unique. But the biggest highlight here is none other than the 13th century Bell Tower. It houses a mechanism consisting of 48 bells, operated by the special operator who gives regular concerts. Also, the park with the Lake of Love, the oldest in Europe Hospital of St. Ioannis, the much-photographed Bridge of Saint Boniface, the Palace of the Lords, the College of Europe, the first Stock Exchange in the world, are points of decipherment of the historic center.
We keep the afternoon free for more walks in the beautiful city.
Day 4: Bruges (Ostend – Antwerp)
From the royal resorts to the “diamond district” and the catwalks!
Full day excursion to two picturesque Belgian cities, Ostend and Antwerp.
Our first stop, Ostend. The largest city on the Belgian coast, known for its role in fishing (but also for being the first transit port for England in 1846) might have remained in obscurity if the Belgian kings Leopold I and Leopold II had not they insisted on spending their vacations by building entire mansions to accommodate them. The example of the “influencers” was followed by the rest of the aristocratic court of Belgium and thus, a city developed that would become known as “The Queen of Belgian seaside resorts”.
Five major refineries on the quays of the port of Antwerp mark the industrial profile of Antwerp, the 3rd largest port in Europe and one of the largest in the world which is the next stop in our day.
The city with the “diamond district” became a major artistic center during the 17th century based on its famous school of painting with outstanding representatives Rubens and Van Dyck. Today, it owes its cult profile to its Royal Academy of Fine Arts, which is one of the most important academies of studies in the fashion market with dominant names in its stable such as that of pioneering designer Martin Margiela. In the city center you will also find Antwerp’s famous biscuits, Antwerpse Handjes. The pastry with a mixture of almond and milk chocolate are her trademark! Return to Bruges.
Day 5 : Bruges (Ghent) – Athens or Thessaloniki
Middle Ages and Renaissance in an industrial city full of art and culture.
If one foot of Ghent is immersed in the industries that surround it, the other is immersed in a reservoir of art and culture. So, in the cathedral of St. Boniface