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France, Belgium & The NetherlandsCountry Roads
Welcome to Brussels.
Airport transfers depart Brussels airport for your centrally-located hotel at 09:00, 11:00 and 14:30. After checking in, the afternoon is yours to relax. At 17:00, join your Travel Director for a visit to the cheeky Manneken Pis statue and leisurely stroll around the Grand Place, voted the most beautiful square in Europe. Your delightful first evening also includes a Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant in the heart of the Old Town with an opportunity to mingle with your fellow travellers.
The Battlefield of Waterloo.
Leaving the city limits behind, visit the Battlefield of Waterloo to learn about Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815. Immerse yourself in the action at the Panorama, where a huge 360-degree mural depicts a key moment in the raging battle. If you're feeling energetic, you can climb the 230 steps to the top of the Lion's Mound for panoramic views over the battlefield and countryside. Return to Brussels, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure. Perhaps venture further afield and visit Antwerp, Belgium’s biggest port? Maybe try the local food and drink, Belgian Stoemp and a Kwak, for dinner?
Ghent and on to Bruges.
In the morning, admire the contrast of the Chinese and Japanese Pavilions and the impressive, metallic spheres of the Atomium. Your journey then crossed the pasture lands of Belgian Flanders to your next stop in Ghent, the City of Flowers and rival to Bruges for its rich treasury of medieval heritage. With a Local Expert, visit St. Bavo’s Cathedral with its Van Eyck masterpiece and see the Castle of the Counts. Continue to picture-perfect Bruges for a fabulous Dine-Around Evening, amid the old-world atmosphere of the town centre.
Meet your Local Expert from Bruges for a stroll along cobbled streets, lined with high-gabled houses from the 16th century. Visit the Market Square dominated by the 80-metre belfry of the Market Hall. Explore Burg Square with its ornate Gothic town hall and glorious frescoes on the walls of the Holy Blood Chapel. With your free afternoon, maybe shop for handmade lace and praline chocolates? In the evening, perhaps an visit the town of Ypres, where buglers sound the Last Post each evening in a moving tribute to those who fell during World War I.
Travel into the French-speaking Walloon region where picturesque country roads lead you to the late 19th century Scourmont Abbey. The surrounding plateau on which it is built, was once considered wild and barren land, but the Trappist monks have toiled for over 100 years to create a successful farm, brewery and cheese plant. Visit the Chimay Experience to learn about the production secrets of the monks' Chimay Trappist beers and cheeses, representing a thousand years of tradition. Your visit concludes with a sample of freshly brewed beer and a taste of their golden-crusted cheese. Continue on to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to arrive at your 18th century chateau home for two nights. In the evening, you will be served a fresh and delicious Farm-to-Table Dinner accompanied with wine at the restaurant L'Écurie du Parc. See the 12th century Clervaux Castle illuminated on your stroll after dinner.
Luxembourg City and Countryside.
Your travels continue to Luxembourg City for sightseeing with your Local Expert. Admire the view over the Petrusse Ravine from the Pont Adolphe and stroll through the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see the cathedral and the Palace of the Grand Duke. Visit the grave of U.S. General George S. Patton, laid to rest alongside the men who fought and died in his great Third Army. With the afternoon free for you to explore at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the ancient Roman city of Trier, home town of Karl Marx, to explore with a Local Expert?
Explore Bastogne then on to Rotterdam.
Head for Bastogne to visit the Mardasson Monument, a star-shaped memorial dedicated to the U.S. troops who died during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge. You may choose to climb to the top for a perspective of what it might have been like during the winter of 1944. Visit the Bastogne War Museum, a fascinating modern and interactive memorial centre highlighting the causes, events and consequences of WWII. Travel through the centre of Belgium as your journey continues to Rotterdam, the world's largest port rebuilt after wartime devastation. During your orientation with your Travel Director, marvel at the radical modern design of the city that has become its distinguishing feature and see the impressive market hall and the Erasmus Bridge.
Delft, the Hague and on to Amsterdam.
Visit one of the manufacturers of original Delft blue pottery before moving on to the Hague, the elegant governmental centre of the Netherlands. See the Binnenhof courtyards where the Parliament is situated and the impressive Peace Palace. Pass through picturesque villages and windmills of the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam for three fabulous nights.
Today you explore Amsterdam, a living museum of the 17th century, yet still a vibrant metropolis and port. The best way to see this remarkable city is from the water as you cruise through the canal district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the elegant merchant houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, their facades are a reflection of when trade flourished during Amsterdam's Golden Age. Relax as you pass stunning gables, beautiful churches and the iconic Magere Brug, better known as the Skinny Bridge. Disembark your cruise to wander the city with your Travel Director. See the floating flower market, Dam Square and the Royal Palace. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
A True Dutch Delight.
If you choose, you could start the morning by visiting the world's largest flower auction at Aalsmeer? Later, in Amsterdam, visit the newly refurbished Rijksmuseum with a Local Expert, Amsterdam's famed treasure trove of Dutch art, housing Rembrandt's ‘Night Watch.' Journey to the village of Monnikendam and learn the secrets of the Cheese Maker's craft, from milk to the finished product. Then witness a traditional Shoemaker turn a block of wood into clogs. In the evening, join your newfound friends and Travel Director at a beautiful restaurant to enjoy your Celebration Dinner.
Transfers to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport arrive at 08:00 and 10:00.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
What could be more magical than a horse and carriage ride by the colourful canals and squares of the ‘Venice of the North’? See the Lake of Love with its gliding swans, the ornate bridges, the steep gabled houses reflected in the canals, the bells of the carillon chiming – all of which conjure up a fascinating dream-like atmosphere. Photo stops included, of course.
Adult Price: EUR 38.00
Experience Bruges from a different perspective as you take to the water. A delightful cruise through the peaceful canals explores places you normally can't get to on foot and discover some of the interesting background of the historic houses. An unforgettable experience.
Adult Price: EUR 28.00
Join this half-day experience to Antwerp, the second largest city and biggest port of Belgium. You will discover the city with your Local Expert and visit the Gothic cathedral of Belgium to see artworks by Peter Paul Rubens. You can also enjoy a traditional beer or waffle in the beautiful square right by the cathedral.
Adult Price: EUR 40.00
Travel with your local expert to the historic town of Ypres, a ‘city of peace’ famous for its involvement in World War I. Afterwards, you’ll visit two famous cemeteries and attend the famous Last Post Ceremony, which commemorates the fallen of the British Army and her allies on the surrounding Flanders Fields. You’ll also have the chance to visit Ypres' famous market square and take in the atmosphere of this unique location.
Adult Price: EUR 45.00
Drive into Germany to visit the ancient Roman city of Trier, home town of Karl Marx. Sightseeing with a local expert will reveal the superb Porta Nigra and the Imperial Baths, the largest outside Rome You'll also walk through the old town to see the fine Liebfrauenkirche, as well as Marx's house. After free time in the centre, we'll proceed to the nearby hills for great views over the Moselle River and the surrounding wine region.
Adult Price: EUR 35.00
Join us to discover the spectacular straight line of 19 working windmills at the Kinderdijk. Part of a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site and situated below sea-level, they were built around 1740 to pump water out of the reclaimed 'polder' lands. You’ll also admire the classic Dutch landscape between the Rhine river branches of the delta, during a relaxing boat ride.
Adult Price: EUR 32.00
A fascinating opportunity to experience the bustle of Europe’s largest port, so crucial to the Dutch economy. We'll admire the city’s impressive skyline and take in all the activity of the harbour, shipyards, docks and the ultra-modern technology of the container port. The cruise ends with a view of the steamship SS Rotterdam, the flagship liner of the Holland America Line. Later, we’re off to a favourite local restaurant for a delicious three-course dinner with unlimited drinks.
Adult Price: EUR 68.00
Experience the excitement at the very epicentre of the international flower trade! Each day, over 19 million flowers are sold at 'Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer', the world's largest flower auction. Witness all the action from a specially-designed viewing gallery as traders bid against the clock for a mind-blowing assortment of blooms. A unique experience you'll remember forever! This optional does not operate on Saturdays and Sundays.
Adult Price: EUR 24.00
Dine in a beautiful historic restaurant which offers a wide selection of delicious food and drink. Amsterdam is famous for its liberal principles and attitudes, so after dinner, take a guided walk through one of the city's tourist hot spots - the vibrant 'Sailors Quarter', crammed with around 300 "red-light windows".
Adult Price: EUR 63.00
Take a break from the hectic pace of city life and unwind as you visit the ‘scenic Dutch countryside’. Enjoy a boat trip on the IJsselmeer lake (1100 kms) and visit the village of Volendam and the island village of Marken. You’ll be able to enjoy the tranquillity of the countryside surroundings and immerse yourself in the old way of life. There will be free time to stroll around the villages, shop for traditional Dutch souvenirs (and to have a nice lunch - not included).
Adult Price: EUR 42.00
Brussels (Contemporary) - BELGIUM
Centrally located and just a short walk from Grand Place, the NH Collection Brussels Centre offers panoramic views of the city from its rooftop terrace. Its original, art deco façade and 1920s staircase bring a sense of sophistication, while the spacious, modern rooms provide comfort after a day sightseeing.
Bruges (Contemporary) - BELGIUM
The brand-new Radisson Blu Hotel, Bruges features modern external architecture and comfortable welcoming design internally. Rooms are elegantly designed and their plush furnishing will bring a homely sense, perfect for your two night stay. The hotel is perfectly located in the Historic Centre of Brugge district, just a 5 minute walk from the city centre.
CLERVAUX (Castle) - LUXEMBOURG
The Château d'Urspelt is a magnificent 18th century residence, classified as a national monument and fully renovated to feature both modern convenience and style, together with traditional charm.
Rotterdam (Contemporary) - Netherlands
Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Centre is situated in an ideal location in the city centre, at the foot of the Erasmus Bridge, next to the River Maas.
Amsterdam (Contemporary) - HOLLAND
Set in the Amsterdam's Museum Quarter, the city's cultural heart, the NH Hotel Amsterdam Centre is a short 10 minute walk from the Rijksmuseum. Its trendy interiors featuring geometric patterns bring a chic atmosphere, while the simple, yet modern-designed rooms offer a comfortable and homely feel. During your free time why not book a treatment at the hotel's spa, or take a wander through Vondelpark, just a few minutes away.