Departure dates *22nd March & 12th April 2021 - 5 days duration Return Executive Coach Travel departing from selected regional locations + short channel crossings 4 nights half board at the 3* Walram Hotel in Valkenburg Included excursion package as detailed in the itinerary Price from *£ 499pp Twin / Double share Single supplement £ 49pp for 4 nights – limited availability (10 rooms max per date) Optional travel Insurance £50pp - No upper age limit conditions apply – Includes COVID cover Sample Itinerary
Day 1: Travelling across the channel, we journey through France to Belgium and the famous but small Flemish market town of Ypres. Ypres was similar to many other towns in Belgium until 1914 (the outbreak of WW1), when it was the scene of some of the worst fighting of the war and was described as being, all the horrors of the Somme and the hell of Verdun. Today, the ‘In Flanders Fields Museum’ located in the renovated Cloth Hall tells a moving story of this period of history (extra cost). Visit the famous Menin Gate bearing the names of 54,389 officers and men who fell in the Ypres Salient before 16th August 1917 and who have no known grave. Continuing on to Limburg and the hotel, dinner is included tonight.
Day 2: Breakfast included. This morning is free to enjoy Valkenburg and maybe visit the ancient sight of the castle ruins which exist as a result of conquests and sieges or maybe even visitthe famous caves. Alternatively, relax and explore this pretty Dutch town with its many shops and cafes where a pleasant pastime is to watch the world go by. This afternoon's included visit is to the Wijnkasteel Genoels-Elderen the only wine castle in Belgium located along the old Roman Roads. Originally built in the 13th-century it has had serveral renovations over subsequent centuries with the current construction having been built in 1859 for the Earl of Borchgrave. The French garden has an 18th-century tree alley in the form of a cathedral inspired by those of Versailles. Your visit begins with an included 90-minute guided tour taking in the old chariot house, the distillery and the antique and modern wine cellars. Your visit here concludes with an included tasting of 2 of their wines after which you will be served coffee/tea accompanied by local Limburg cake. Returning to the hotel dinner is included.
Day 3: Breakfast included. Today is dedicated to the stunning Keukenhof Gardens where you can admire the exuberantly coloured flowers and delightful coloured landscaped gardens. This spectacular open-air flower exhibition serves as a permanent showcase for the bulb and flower industry, offering a wide range of attractions guaranteed to excite and delight - a treat for gardeners and non-gardeners alike! But Keukenhof offers more than just flowers and throughout the park you'll find exhibitions by Dutch artists, a variety of restaurants and sunny terraces, just perfect for relaxing. You will be returned to Valkenburg where your evening meal is included.
Day 4: Breakfast included. Today begins in nearby Maastricht one of the oldest cities in Holland where you will have the morning free to explore at your leisure. Take a stroll through the town taking in its history or just enjoy some retail therapy in the quirky shops this compact town is renowned for. Lunch can be purchased before visiting the picturesque village of Thorn known for its old white houses and monumental buildings. Take time to visit the Abdijkerk Thorn (monastery church) the oldest part having been built in the 10th-century whilst the interior is from the 18th-century. A visit to the town’s museum may also be of interest or take an audio guided walk which takes in the Canons’ residences and the Begijnhof (Beguinage). Entrances + guide extra cost. Dinner included.
Day 5: Checking out of the hotel after breakfast we retrace our steps, making a stop in Tournai a UNESCO and World Heritage site, whose history dates back to Roman Times and which was once the centre of the cloth industry, based on wool imported from England. Nowadays, Tournai is the tourist and cultural capital of its region and is overshadowed by its monuments such as the Cité des Cinq Clochers (the town of the five towers) and the Romanesque and gothic Basilica and Belfry which dominate the city centre. Continuing onto Calais and the return channel crossing, you will be returned to your original departure point(s) during the course of the evening.
Simply Groups reserve the right to make minor changes to the itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control. Pick-up points determined by where the majority of bookings originate from, with every effort to accommodate preferences.