Day 1: Brussels and surroundings
Arrival in Brussels
Welcome by our guide upon arrival and start of the Garden tour Transfer to Laeken where we start with a visit to the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken (only possible on a limited number of days in May) in the Royal castle of Laeken. Individual visit (no guided tours possible) We combine this with a city tour of Brussels covering all Brussels’ places of interest outside the historical center: the Atomium, the Royal Palace of Laeken, the Japanese tower and the Chinese pavilion, the Cinquantenaire Park, the EU-quarter, the Palace of Justice, the Warandepark, the Wetstraat/ Rue de la Loi, the cathedral of the Saints Michael and Gudule, … .
Lunch en route (3 course menu, drinks not included)
Transfer to Meise Visit of the botanical gardens of Meise with local guide Transfer to a hotel in Brussels / Antwerp / Ghent / Bruges or to a hotel on the countryside (according availability)
Dinner and night in Brussels
Day 2 : Ghent and the Floralies
Transfer Brussels – Ghent
Visit to Ghent and the Floralies exposition (29/04-08/05/2022)
10-day flower festival that takes place in Ghent every 4 years
Lunch at own arrangements
cruise during 75 minutes (place of departure: Bijloke site) during which we discover Ghent from a different angle. We will sail on 4 different rivers and canals: the Leie, the Lieve, the Schelde and the Ketelvaart passing by at the most important sightseeing places in the historical center such as the Castle of the Counts, the old Fish market and the historical Meat Hall, the Ancient Port of Ghent, but we will also discover places outside the ‘classical’ tourist itineraries such as the Chinese Teahouses, the Pharmacodynamics Institute, the Bijloke, the Courts of Law, the Opera, the Handelsbeurs, the Vooruit, the St Peter’s Abbey, the tunnels under the ‘Laurentplein’, the Castle of Gerald the Devil, the Episcopal Palace, etc… End of the cruise in the historical center (Korenlei) from where we continue the discovery of Ghent on foot. At the end of the day we take a taxi boat which will bring us back to the Bijloke site
Transfer back to the hotel
Night and dinner at the hotel in Brussels
Day 3 : Bruges and surroundings
Transfer Brussels – Bruges
3 hour discovery on foot of Bruges, including the highlights of Bruges also called “Venice of the North”
Itinerary example – Place of departure: Square ‘t Zand
First eye catcher is the Concert Hall which you can’t miss since it is one of the few modern architecture buildings in Bruges. 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 Market Place with the imposing 83 m belfry and halles, we continue to the Jan Van Eyck-square, once the center of Hanseatic Bruges. This area was the economical 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 center in the old days. We pass the city theater, 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 and board small boats to cruise the “Reien” (duration: 30 minutes), the small canals that give Bruges the epithet ‘Venice of the North’.
Then we enter Our Lady church. Among all its art treasures the ‘Madonna with child’ is not to be missed since it is Michelangelo’s only sculpture north of the Alps. A stop at St John’s Hospital (now Memling in Sint-Jan – Hospital Museum) enables us to see one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe.
We end our walk at the Minnewater
Lunch is served in a typical Bruges restaurant with a Burgundian interior and specialized in fine regional cuisine 3 course menu, drinks not included.
Transfer to Jabbeke Visit with local guide of Lauretum in Jabbeke or Lens Rose Gardens in Oudenburg. Transfer back to your hotel in Brussels
Night and dinner at the hotel
Day 4 : Surroundings of Ghent
Lochristi is the hub in Flanders for commercial floriculture and enjoys world fame thanks to the begonias and azaleas.
We start our day with a visit of the Floristry Museum at the restyled site and landscape garden of the former presbytery of Zaffelare , a heritage monument on its own. The interactive museum and the impressive garden bear witness of the historical and present-day importance of the area. Transfer to a begonia or azalea nursery. Lochristi owns about 165 small family run garden businesses , wholesale growers and nurseries on an industrial scale. Lochristi is internationally renowned for its azaleas and begonias. They are grown in all possible varieties and colors and exported to many countries.
Lunch in a local restaurant: 3 course menu.
Visit of the 25 acres English landscape park of Beervelde , originally from 1873. The park hosts the famous “Tuindagen van Beervelde”. The chateau itself was rebuilt in 1948 as a mansion. Murals and modern wall paintings of a.o. Roger Raveel are to be seen in the cellars.
Transfer to Brussels Airport
Program subject to modifications
minimum 15 persons