Beer, Blooms and Bon-Bons – September 2019

Scheduled Departure Dates – Sept 12-19, 2019

Day 1 – Thursday Sept 12, 2019 – Departure

Our journey begins as we board our international flight bound for Brussels, Belgium

Day 2 – Friday Sept 13, 2019 – Brussels

Our flight brings us to Brussels early in the morning.  We start our tour right from the airport with visits to Belgium Chocolate Village, the Castle of Groot-Bijgaarden with their gardens, and Timmermans Brewery, the worlds oldest lambic brewery in business since 1702.  Also not to be missed is the National Basilica.  We check into our hotel where you have time to rest and refresh before dinner at the hotel. D

Day 3 – Saturday Sept 14, 2019 – Brussels

This morning we take a tour of historic Waterloo.  Next we head to Leuven for a visit to the Krudtuin Botanic Garden, the oldest botanical garden of Belgium dating from 1738.  Then we visit the infamous Stella Artois Brewery.  Our dinner tonight will be in one of the oldest restaurants in Leuven and feature some Belgium favorites – mussels, fries, stews and seafood. B/D

How about some Belgian fries (world’s greatest) while waiting for your tour

Day 4 – Sunday Sept 15, 2019 – Brussels

Today we stretch our legs and get to see Brussels through a walking tour of the central part of the city.  We’ll start with the morning flower markets in Grand Place, and talk about some of the buildings that surround the square.  We will visit the Basilica of Brussels.  There will be visits to “Butter Street” where we can choose to visit Godiva, Neuhaus, Galler or Leonidas chocolatiers.  We’ll visit the Brussels Brewers House & Museum before a brewer’s lunch in one of the many restaurants.  After lunch we’ll stroll through the city sights with Cantillon Brewery (specializing in lambic beers) as our destination for a tasting and tour.  Dinner will be on your own so you may choose one of the many ethnic restaurants, a quick bistro dinner and walk, or one of Brussel’s many fine dining establishments.  B/L

Grand Place, Brussels Belgium

Day 5 – Monday Sept 16, 2019 – Bruges

From Brussels, we’ll travel to Flanders Field, made famous by the WWI poem of the same name.  At Flanders we’ll visit the American Cemetery.  We’ll also see the monks hard at work at the Trappist Westvleteren Abbey and Brewery.  (Westvleteren 12 is considered to be one of the best beers in the world).  At Trappist breweries, the beer is only sold to financially support the monastery and philanthropic causes.  The brewery is a business but does not exist for pure profit motive as they do not advertise and only brew enough to afford to run the monastery.  We’ll continue to pass through the area dotted with small villages centered on centuries-old squares, and big industrial areas before arriving in peaceful Brugges to check into our hotel,  Dinner will be on your own.  B

Canal Tour in Brugge, Belgium

Day 6 – Tuesday Sept 17, 2019 – Bruges

Brugges is an outstanding medieval canal town on the Belgian coast.  It got its start in the textile industry and you can still see women working on the handmade lace and needlework that’s made the region famous.  We’ll start the day with a walking historic tour, including stops to the Church of the Holy Blood, the markets and the downtown buildings.  During the tour we’ll learn about the history of the Beguinage, the home for lay religious women that dominates the downtown area.  We’ll stop into the Beer Temple and see how many of the varieties shown on the Great Belgium Beer Wall that we’ve yet to sample.  We’ll also get a chance to sample the chocolates of the 3rd generation to run Chocolates de Clerek, and also the forward thinking Chocolate Line.  We will have dinner in one of the city’s many historic buildings.  B/D

Day 7 – Wednesday Sept 18, 2019 – Bruges

Your day is free to explore – take a boat ride on the canal, see the windmills, admire Flemish art on display in the churches and museums, watch ladies making lace or just continue to sample the brews and Bon-Bon’s of the city.  [Paul’s recommendation –  visit De Halve Maan brewery to taste Bruge Zot and Straffe Hendrik (Strong Henry) available in both a Tripel and Quadrupel.  Be sure to bring home a bottle of vintage barrel aged quad to be the envy of all your beer drinking friends]  This evening, we’ll tour the coastal area from Zeebrugge to Knokke-Heist by bus, before heading for a local restaurant for fresh-caught sea food right along the waterfront. B/D

It’s beer, really needs no explanation beyond that

Day 8 – Thursday Sept 19, 2019 – Return home

Unfortunately we have to say goodbye to Belgium as we head to the airport for our international flight home to the US. B

Group Size – minimum of 30 participants

Tour price $2492 per person, land only double occupancy.  Deposit of $500 per person due at time of reservation, with remainder due 100 days prior to travel

Single supplement: additional $705

Tour Includes:

  • Private deluxe touring coach and driver
  • Accommodations (double occupancy) in moderate first-class hotels
  • Meals as listed (B/L/D)
  • Admission to all activities unless listed as optional
  • All tastings
  • Services of professional tour manager – we will not be on this tour, but rest assured you’ll be in very good hands.
  • Local step-on guides for city tours and major attractions
  • Luggage handling – 1 piece per person
  • All taxes and tips including driver and guides

Tour does not inlude:

  • Round trip airfare
  • Meals other than those indicated
  • Beverages except with breakfast
  • Items of personal nature such as passport fees (Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond return date)
  • Optional insurance

Please contact us with any questions or to obtain a tour reservation form.