The 3 B’s of Belgium – Blankenberge, Battlefields and Bruges
A short journey from the Channel ports, you’ll find the charming Belgian seaside town of Blankenberge. This proves an ideal base from which to explore the picturesque coast, as well as Ostend and Bruges. The tour is based at the Alfa Inn, in the heart of the town and a favourite of Greatdays’ groups. With newly renovated rooms and excellent hospitality, you are sure to enjoy your stay.
Blankenberge has many Art Nouveau buildings, seafood restaurants and boasts Belgium’s only pier. During your stay, you will explore the beautiful Belgian coast, including the remains of the German Atlantikwall from WW1.
Additionally, a visit to Ypres allows further exploration of WW1 military history. The evocative ‘In Flanders Fields’ Museum is a particularly insightful museum, looking into personal accounts of the locals during the battles in Flanders. With your Battlefields guide, visit some of the area’s best-known memorial sites and war cemeteries which lie in the fields around Ypres. If time permits, perhaps stay for the emotional ‘Last Post’ ceremony each evening at the Menin Gate.
Furthermore, this tour features the chance to explore Bruges. This charming medieval town is simply beautiful and a firm favourite destination with Greatdays’ groups. It’s easy to spend a day admiring the dramatic architecture while a guided tour will bring the cobbled streets to life. Take to the canals to cruise under bridges and past the quaint houses.
Dates Throughout 2022
Suggested itinerary by coach
Travel to Belgium
Travel to your hotel in Blankenberge, your base for the next two to four nights.
Belgian Coast, Ostend and Blankenberge
If you are travelling on the overnight ferry, this morning travel along the coast to cosmopolitan Ostend, with 9km of wide sandy beach and a spacious promenade. Perhaps call in at the former home of impressionist painter James Ensor. Now a museum, the ground floor is presented as a 19th-century souvenir shop. Along the coast, there are more than 60 World War 1 bunkers, observation posts and artillery positions: the remains of the German ‘Atlantikwall’.
In the afternoon, we return to Blankenberge with free time to explore the town and see the many Art Nouveau buildings. Take a stroll along the promenade that runs alongside the vast sandy beach, and explore the marina and Belgium’s only pier.
Ypres and WWI Flanders Battlefields
We travel to Ypres to visit ‘In Flanders Fields’. Located in the imposing Cloth Hall, this interactive museum looks at the story of WWI through the eyes of those who were involved.
In the afternoon, we take a guided tour of the ‘14-18 Route’ with visits to sites and memorials including Tyne Cot and Langemark cemeteries. Then enjoy dinner in Ypres and then watch the emotional ‘Last Post’ ceremony at the Menin Gate.
Today we spend the day in Bruges, the ‘Venice of the North’. Perhaps you’d like a guided tour to discover the medieval city, which boasts many canals and waterways, a maze of winding cobbled streets, some remarkable architecture, and more than a few specialist chocolatiers. Cruise leisurely along the waterways on a canal cruise, and perhaps visit the ‘Historium’ in the main square, a popular virtual reality experience that reveals the history of this fascinating place. If you are travelling on the overnight ferry, head towards the port at Zeebrugge to return to the UK on your overnight crossing, arriving on day 5.
Return to the UK
Travel to Dover if you are on the short sea crossing to return to the UK.
Alfa Inn, Blankenberge***
The family-run Alfa Inn is 5 minutes walk from Blankenberge’s beach. This hotel, situated in an old monastery, offers modern guest rooms, with cable TV and a work desk. Each morning a continental buffet style breakfast is served, and you will also enjoy soft piano music in the bright breakfast room one morning during your stay. The hotel also features a wellness area and a tranquil garden terrace. Rooms have been refurbished in 2018 and 2019.
Coach parking is located a 5-minute walk from the Alfa Inn, next to Blankenberge train station for a fee. Coach drop-off is possible outside the hotel.
Looking for an alternative tour to Belgium? Then here’s some inspiration:
|5 days by Land and Sea||Crossing||Half Twin||Single Supplement|
|Dates throughout 2022||Hull – Zeebrugge (Overnight)||From £189.00 per person||From £39.00 per person|
Prices are available on request for travel by air. Dinner is optional and is a 3 course set menu. No drinks are included.