Belgium

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Belgian Itinerary — Breweries and History

This itinerary is an example that you can use to plan and design your own trip. It is not a specific down-to-the-minute step-by-step schedule, but rather contains ideas and suggestions to help you in your planning.
If anyone would like to submit their input for this itinerary, please click on the Contact Me link and send me a message with your ideas. I will credit the submitted ideas with the name or id of whoever submits them.

The information I provide here is current as of the time I am writing this. I have no responsibility for information provided by any of the web sites that are linked to here.

route map

Overview

Click on the map on the right for a larger map showing all of the cities and towns on this itinerary.
This itinerary has a theme of visiting Belgian breweries. However, it will not include all of them, since Belgium has about 130 breweries. Also, Belgium has a lot more to offer than just beer, so we will try to get a taste of that as well. If you are not all that interested in the breweries, you can use this same itinerary, spend more time in the main cities and either skip many of the side trips or arrange different ones.
Here are a few links that will help with information about Belgium:

There are many tour companies that offer tours of Belgium. One option that looks interesting is Podge's Belgian Beer Tours that offers many tours that include: visits to taps and breweries, enjoying rare beers in atmospheric cafés, and stops to stock up your cellar at the better beer warehouses, all whilst staying in great value hotels.

This is a link to a google map with the five cities where lodging would be required.

Trains vs Car

If you were just going to visit the main cities and towns in this itinerary — Brussels, Antwerp, Brugge, Rochefort and Liege — then you could probably do the whole trip without renting a car and just getting from place to place on the train. However, with all of the side trips included here, I think you really would need to rent a car to get everywhere.

I would recommend arranging a GPS with your car rental, if you do not already have one with European maps. This proved indispensible on a previous trip to Italy, and should make getting around a lot easier.

There is one thing to keep in mind when you look at some of the maps with the day's routes. It may look like a lot of driving but the cities are quite close to each other.
For example, on day six, the itinerary calls for a drive from Brussels to Antwerp. It has you drive a little to the north-east of the city first to stop at the Westmalle Abbey. While this may look like a lot of driving on the map, it is only about 45 miles from Brussels to Malle where the abbey is located. The longest drive is on day 11 when you drive from Brugge to Rochefort. But this is less than 140 miles and should take about 2 hours.

Breakfast

Most hotels will have some sort of breakfast included in the price. At some hotels you can reduce the rate if you do not want to partake of their breakfast. Each day in this itinerary, you can either have breakfast at the hotel or get something somewhere else on your own.

There are waffle shops and stands all around. The Brussels Waffles are what you know as Belgian Waffles. The Liege Waffles are smaller and sweeter snacks that are good if you want to eat something while you walk around.

Lunch & Dinner

I make some suggestions for times and places for lunch and dinner for some of the locations. However, along the way, whenever it feels like a good time to eat, go ahead and find someplace to grab a bite. You will probably come across lots of interesting looking places as you go. Additionally, you can use the web sites above or some of the links in the itinerary to help you choose restaurants.

If you find a place with communal dining, and they are easy to find, they will generally be less expensive.

Tax and service are included in the price of the meals.

The pace of your trip

I have attempted to make this itinerary such that you will not have to get up at 6:00 AM and stay on the go until midnight every day. You can go at it at a more leisurely pace on most days and still see the things I have outlined here. However, you can adjust this if you want to see more in the same amount of time.

The Breweries

You will see the terms brewery, brouwerij and brasserie used in various places. They all seem to refer to the same thing, a brewery. If I ever have the money to be able to make this trip, I hope to find out if there is a difference between a brouwerij and a brasserie.

Since this itinerary is centered around the beers of Belgium, I am including a few links here that will give more information about what there is to offer:

If you want to tour the breweries mentioned in this itinerary, you should contact them before leaving home. This is the best way to be sure of their hours of operation. Also, some of these breweries do not have tours, and many of them that do have tours require reservations be set up in advance.

Many of the breweries, even the ones that don't have tours, will have a pub or tasting room or something like that where you can taste their beers. In most cases you will have to pay for them, although some of the ones that have tours also have free tastings at the end. Also, you can get most of these beers at many places in Belgium. The web sites for most of these places will have information about these options along with information about how to arrange tours if they offer them. In some cases this information is a little hard to find — some of the web sites are more useful than others.


View Belgian Breweries in a larger map

The Trappist Breweries

There are seven Trappist breweries in the world, 6 in Belgium and one in the Netherlands: Brouwerij de Koningshoeven using the 'La Trappe' brand. In the USA and Canada, 'La Trappe' is marketed under the name 'Koningshoeven Trappist Ale'.
Address: Eindhovenseweg 3, 5056 RP Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands
Telephone: 013 5436124

The six in Belgium are:

In this map, the Trappist breweries are shown in yellow. Click on the link below the map to see a larger version.

I started working on this itinerary with the idea of being able to visit the six Belgian Trappist breweries. However, since these are mainly within abbeys, most of them are not open to the public. This itinerary takes you to the towns where these breweries are located and you can usually at least get a look at the grounds, and the churches. But to get a taste of the beer you need to go to a nearby pub. In most cases, you can get the beers in lots of places around Belgium.
What will probably be more fun and interesting are the many other breweries, brasseries, etc., where you can easily get tours and taste the product. You may still need to arrange for a tour ahead of time, but at least you can see the whole operation, taste the beers and maybe even get someting to eat.
On day 16 for example, there are two breweries on the schedule. First is Hoegaarden, which is not a Trappist brewery and is not even in an abbey, but they still do not have tours of the brewery. They do have a visitors center and brasserie where you can drown your sorrows about not getting a tour. The next stop, the Den Horen brewery, which makes Stella Artois and Leffe (and probably others,) does have guided tours. However, local legend says that the best Stellas are served at a nearby pub — see the itinerary for day 16.


Day One, Friday evening, Fly to Brussels

Flight to Belgium

Day one consists of getting to the airport, boarding a flight to Brussels, and flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

Brussels is the location of the headquarters of the European Union and of NATO, and is sometimes referred to as the "Capital of Europe."

Day Two, Saturday, Arrive in Brussels

Arrival in Brussels

On the morning of day two, the plane arrives at the Brussels Airport (Zaventem). Make your way through the passport check, get your luggage and make your way through the customs area.

Money

You will then want to get to the car rental desks, but along the way keep a lookout for the ATM machines. Get some money, whatever you feel you will need for the first few days in Brussels, but be sure to put it in a safe place once you get it out of the machine. There are ATMs everywhere, so you can get more money later when you need it.

Getting to the hotel

You can use the Brussels Airport website to get information about getting from the airport to your hotel. It has the address of the airport with information about how to access the ring road, as well as information about how to locate the car rental desks.

The hotels

Here are a few web sites with hotel and restaurant information for Brussels that you can check in addition to the ones listed above:

One option is the Hotel Amigo which was a prison in the 16th century, but opened as a hotel in 1957. It is just a short walk from the Grand-Place.

Don't take a nap

Once you get to the hotel and get checked in, go ahead and "freshen up", but don't take a nap. Sure, you will be tired from the long flight and the difference in time zones, but you need to get your body adjusted to the local time. Get out of the hotel into the daylight. Even if it is overcast or raining, your brain will subconciously see that it is daytime, and begin to adjust its internal clock.
Try to go to bed at your normal time. For example, if you usually go to bed at 10:00 PM, try to wait until 10:00 PM local time before going to bed.

Day two, afternoon

OK, time to take a walk and get some lunch while you're at it.
There are a lot of options here, and the web sites as well as the concierge or front desk at your hotel can help you decide where you want to go.

You could have a tasting at Délices Et Caprices, the Belgian Beer Tasing Shop, at Rue Des Bouchers 68, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Be careful with your language while you are in Brussels: Brussels announces new law to fine offensive language

Lunch

Along with lunch, you can make this your introduction to the local beers of Belgium. For one suggestion, head down an alley and find A La Bécasse at Rue de Tabora 11. They serve Lambic variations from ceramic pitchers. Be sure to get the plate of local sharp cheeses for a perfect accompaniment.

If you are looking for lunch or a snack any time while in Brussels, you can also try the Delirium Cafe. It is associated with the Delirium Brewery in Melle, Belgium. They have a collection of more than 2000 beers from around the world plus cheese, chips and sausages.
Impasse de la Fidélité 4, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)2 514 44 34

Or walk all the way through the St Hubert arcade to A La Mort Subite ("Sudden Death"), at Warmoesberg 7. Built in about 1880 and restored in 1926, this cafe gives its name to a nationally marketed range of Lambic variations. They also have sandwiches and omelets.

And don't forget the frites (fries).
Brussels, Belgium: in search of the perfect frite An article from the Telegraph, a British newspaper.

Brasserie Cantillon

Brouwerij Cantillon
Gheudestraat 56, 1070 Anderlecht, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)2 521 49 28
Well, you are in a family brewery where LAMBIC, GUEUZE, FARO and KRIEK are made and where nothing has changed since 1900 when it was founded. The Van Roy-Cantillon family welcomes you and invites you to discover a fabulous world. Beers, tools and brewing process are still the same as in the beginning.
Red copper containers, barrels, some of them more than 100 years old, and walls of bottles constitute the scenery for your visit.
Maybe you'll be lucky to see the brewing or the bottling, maybe you 'll see how barrels are cleaned or how fruit beers are made in summer. Maybe you'll be lucky to see the brewing or the bottling, maybe you 'll see how barrels are cleaned or how fruit beers are made in summer.
Anyway, you'll be able to taste a real traditional Gueuze-Lambic and if you would like to know more about the Kriek or the Framboise, just ask the brewer. He can talk about his beers for hours.

Halles Saint-Géry

Halles Saint-Géry
Sint-Goriksplein 23
Telephone: +32 (0)2 502 44 24
A cafe with a hint of medieval spirit, nice environment for having a drink and a chat without having to shout over the music. —woluwe

Brussels Attractions

Here are some things to see in Brussels — there are plenty more. This will give you some options for any free time you may have in Brussels.
This is a link to a google map that shows the locations of these attractions.

Grand-Place
Grand-Place

In front of the Brussels Town Hall is the Grand-Place, a medieval market square. On top of the 15th century gothic tower is a statue of the patron saint of Brussels, St. Michael fighting the dragon. You can go up in the tower to get a great view of the marketplace. There is usually a flower market in the mornings, and a bird market on Sundays, so this is a good place to return to tomorrow. The Guild halls and Trade halls surround the square.
La Grand-Place, Brussels, is a UNESCO World Heritage site (since 1998.)
La Grand-Place in Brussels is a remarkably homogeneous body of public and private buildings, dating mainly from the late 17th century. The architecture provides a vivid illustration of the level of social and cultural life of the period in this important political and commercial centre.

The Covered Arcade - Galleries St. Hubert

Here you can find shops, cafes, a theatre and movies.

de Bier Tempel

de Bier Temple
Grasmarkt 56b, 1000 Brussel
Telephone: +32 (0)2 502 19 06
This is a beer store near the Galleries St. Hubert. It is not a pub or cafe or brasserie. There is one in Bruges also, so be sure to look for it.
The selection is outstanding, with an attempt made to make the beer you are looking for somewhat easy to find, i.e, lambics and geuzes are all together near the back and trappists are right by the abbey ales. Behind the cash register is an immense display of glassware that includes just about any glass you could want, including the Westvleteren chalice. They even have the novelty glasses like the huge Orval chalice.

Chocolates

I have heard that there are around 2,000 chocolate shops in Belgium. You just can't go to Belgium without visiting some of them.

Le Chocolatier Manon

Le Chocolatier Manon
Rue Tilmont, 64, 1090 Brussels
Telephone: +32.2.425.26.32

Godiva

Godiva store
Grand-Place 22

Planète Chocolat

Planète Chocolat
Rue du Lombard 24 (Grand-Place)

Pierre Marcolini Chocolatier

Pierre Marcolini Chocolatier
Rue des Minimes, 1, Place du Grand Sablon
Telephone: +32 (0)2 514 12 06

Mary Chocolatier Confiseur

Mary Chocolatier
73 Rue Royale
Telephone: +32 (0)2 217 45 00
More than 70 different kinds of chocolates.

Lace, Biscuits, Gifts

Shop for lace at Rubbrecht at Grand-Place 23.
Shop for biscuits (cookies) and gifts at Biscuiterie Dandoy at Rue au Beurre 31.
Or just walk around and you will find many others.

Jubelpark/Parc du Cinquantenaire

Jubelpark
Jubelpark/Parc du Cinquantenaire Information from travelchannel.com
For the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence in 1880, King Leopold II commissioned the creation of this park and its grandiose triumphal arch. Today, you can visit some of its museums, Autoworld and the Jubelpark Museum, or you can rest on the plush lawn and admire the solemn manor houses. The Great Mosque and the Temple of Human Passions (Victor Horta's first monument) can also be found here. Every year on July 21, the date of the National Holiday, there is an evening fireworks display. Jubelpark is an ideal spot for everyone.

Musees Royaux d'art et d'Histoire (The Art and History Museum)

Jubelpark 10
Musees Royaux d'art et d'Histoire This web site supports only Nederlands or Francais, no English
Information about The Art and History Museum From trabel.com — Travel Info on Belgium
This museum, with its collection of art objects from around the world, gives you an overview of the history of civilization. Founded in 1835 in one of the last remaining medieval city gates of Brussels, the Hallepoort/Porte de Hal, it is now located in the Cinquantenaire Park.

Autoworld Museums

Both located at Jubelpark 11

Babouin Autoworld
A selection from thousands of scale models, books and catalogs concerning cars, motorbikes and trucks.

Autoworld Brussels
If you are interseted in cars, go and see one of the world's top collection of classic and vintage cars, and the history of automaking.
Guided tours only available upon reservation.
In order to get all the benefits and advantages of your visit, we advise you to call upon the assistance of a qualified guide who'll be able to answer all your questions.

Cathédrale Saint-Michel et Sainte-Gudule (Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudule)

Parvis Ste-Gudule
Cathédrale Saint-Michel et Sainte-Gudule (Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudule)
At the Treurenberg hill on the edge between lower and upper town
This is a 13th century gothic church with two towers.

A chapel dedicated to St Michael was probably built here as early as the 9th century. In the 11th century it was replaced by a Romanesque church which in 1047 became a "collegiale church".
The relics of St Gudula were transferred there and it thus became "the collegiale church of St Michael and St Gudula".
In February 1962, it was given cathedral status, and since then it has been the seat of the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, together with St Rombouts cathedral in Malines.

The building of the present church in Gothic "Brabançon" style began with the choir in 1226.
Work of art: stained glass window (16th century), confessionals (16th century), pulpit (17th century), carillon (1975).
A thorough restauration of the cathedral was carried out between 1983 and November 1999. Remains of a Romanesque church were discovered, as weIl as a Romanesque crypt under the choir.

Manneken pis

You cannot go to Brussels and not see what is probably its most famous feature, the Manneken pis. This small bronze statue of a chubby urinating boy is located at the corner of Rue de l'etuve and Rue du chêne (Stoofstraat.) People from around the world send clothes for him, so don't be surprised if he is dressed up in some odd outfit.

Sablon Square - antiques area

This prestigious part of Brussels is a fine place to go if you are interested in antiques and art galleries.
The Sablon Square ("De Zavel or "Le Sablon) Information from trabel.com — Travel Info on Belgium
The Sablon is one of the most prestigious and attractive areas in Brussels. In recent years it has become the center of the antiques shops and art galleries. The Sablon is visited by lovers of antiques and art because the entire area boasts hundreds of antiques shops and art galleries.
Especially popular is the weekly antiques market which is held on Saturdays from 9 a.m till 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. A lot of people also visit the daily flea market (from 6 a.m. till 1 p.m.) which is situated at the Vossenplein/Place du Jeu de Balle in the adjacent Marolles area.
Not only famous for its antiques, the Sablon also offers a range of good restaurants and pleasant cafés.

Wittamer Pâtissier, Glacier & Traiteur

A visit to Wittamer the most exclusive pastry maker in Brussels, is also a must.
12 Place du Grand Sablon
Telephone: +32 (0)2 512 37 42

There is also Le Wittamer Café
Place du Grand Sablon 6
Telephone: +32 2 512 37 42

Dinner

For dinner, head to the Rue des Bouchers (Butcher's Street) where you can find many fine restaurants to choose from.
Or stay near the Grand-Place and you will find some place to your liking.

Day Three, Sunday, Brussels — Melle, Affligem, Vlezenbeek

Today, drive to the west of Brussels and visit some breweries.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the routes to get there and back.

Melle Brussels to Melle: 30 miles

First drive to the town of Melle to visit the Huyghe Brewery, which brews Delirium Tremors, among other things.

Huyghe L. Brouwerij nv

Delirium Brewery, Melle
museum: Geraardsbergsesteenweg, 14B, B-9090 Melle, Belgium
Telephone: +32(0)9/252.15.01
While in Brussels, be sure to check out their Delirium Cafe
Impasse de la Fidélité 4, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)2 514 44 34

Affligem Melle to Affligem: 20 miles

Next drive to Affligem to visit the Affligem Brewery.

Affligem Brouwerij bds

Affligem Brouwerij bds
Ringlaan 18, 1745 Opwijk, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)52 35 99 11
The abbey buildings are not open to the public. You can, however, visit the Cultural Centre (where you will also find their cheese, fruit wine and beer), the archaeological museum (featuring the excavations that were undertaken in the abbey's garden), the farm for young people, the religious centre and the abbey church.

Bière de l'Abbaye d'Affligem (Affligem Abdij)
Abdijstraat 6, 1790 Affligem, Belgium

Cultureel Centrum Abdij Affligem Affligem Abbey Cultural Center
Brusselbaan 2, 1790 Affligem, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)53 66 70 25

Lunch

Affligem may be a good place to get some lunch.

Vlezenbeek Affligem to Vlezenbeek: 16 miles

Finally drive to Vlezenbeek to visit the Lindemans Brewery.

Brouwerij Lindemans

Brouwerij Lindemans
Lenniksebaan 1479, 1602 Vlezenbeek
Telephone: +32 (0)2 569 03 90

Dinner

You can find a place for dinner in Vlezenbeek or wait until you get back to Brussels.

Return to Brussels Vlezenbeek to Brussels: 9 miles

Whenever you are ready, return back to Brussels. If you haven't had dinner yet, there are many options in Brussels.

Day Four, Monday, Brussels — Waterloo, Lembeek, Beersel

Spend the day traveling in a small loop south of Brussels, seeing some historic sites and sampling the Belgian Lambic beers.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the routes to get there and back.

Waterloo Brussels to Waterloo: 20 miles

The actual battlefield lies in the nearby village of Mont-Saint-Jean, about 5 kilometers south of the city.

Some places to visit at Waterloo
Lion Hill
The Visitor's Center and Panorama (Centre Visiteur Lion de Waterloo)

Location: Route du lion 252, 1420 Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
Telephone: 02 385 19 12
Open: From April through September from 9.30 am till 18.30 pm, from October to March from 10.30 am till 17 pm.

Wellington Museum

Wellington Museum, the inn that Wellington used as his headquarters a few days before the battle.

Caillou Museum

The Caillou Museum, the farmhouse where Napoleon spent the night before the battle.
Chausée de Bruxelles 66, 1472 Vieux-Genappe, Belgium

Lion Hill

The Lion Hill, the main memorial monument of the Battle of Waterloo, where the Prince of Orange (of the Netherlands) was wounded. This is a great place to get an overview of the entire battlefield.

Hougoumont Farm

Hougoumont Farm, a memorial to the British Brigade of Guards who defended it from the French.

Haie Sainte Farm

The Haie Sainte Farm, another farm turned into a fortress by the British and her allies.

Lembeek Waterloo to Lembeek: 15 miles

From Waterloo, drive to the town of Lembeek to view the Lambic brewery Brouwerij Boon. As mentioned above, call before you leave home to check on days and hours of operation, etc.

Brouwerij Boon

Brouwerij Boon
Fonteinstraat 65, 1502 Lembeek, Belgium
Telephone +32 2 356 66 44

Lunch

I would find a place in Waterloo or Lembeek for lunch before continuing on to Beersel.

Beersel Lembeek to Beersel: 7 miles

Then take a drive to the small town of Beersel. You can visit the castle of Beersel and get some dinner at Drie Fonteinen (3 fountains.)

Castle of Beersel

The Castle of Beersel
The castle of Beersel is one of the few well kept examples of a Middle Age fortified castle. It still looks the same as it did at the end of the 15th century. The castle was built between 1300 and 1310, by Godfried van Hellebeke with the help of Jan II, duke of Brabant, to protect Brussels. It was under siege and plundered by the Brusselaars and was partly rebuilt in 1489. The peaked roofs are from that restoration. The date 1617 which can be seen on one of the towers dates from another restoration. The castle with its moats, high and thick walls and towers was a stronghold and almost impossible to conquer, also because of the marsh that surrounded the castle on the east, south and west side. That's why the attackers always choose to attack the castle from the North where the castle was built against a higher part of land.
The castle was only really conquered and destroyed one time by the Brusselaars who rebelled against Emperor "Maximiliaan". When peace returned to the area the Brusselaars themselves paid for the restorations.

Dinner

I would take all day making this loop, finishing off with dinner in Beersel before returning to Brussels.

Lambic Cafés

Beersel has several renowned Lambic cafés. The most famous is Drie Fonteinen (3 fountains) which brews its own Lambic and serves dishes prepared with beer. It is located at Herman Teirlinckplein 3, 1650 Beersel, Belgium. At weekends, reservations are recommended. Telephone: 02 331 06 52

Return to Brussels Beersel to Brussels: 8 miles

Whenever you are ready, return back to Brussels.

Day Five, Tuesday, Brussels — Mechelen & Breedonk

Take your time with breakfast today, and then spend the rest of the day traveling in a small loop north of Brussels sampling more Belgian beers.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the routes to get there and back.

Mechelen Brussels to Mechelen: 21 miles

Drive to the town of Mechelen and visit the Het Anker Brewery.

Brewery Het Anker

Brewery Het Anker
Brewery Het Anker, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium

Lunch

Lunch today could be either in Mechelen or Breedonk, depending on how long you spend at each place.

Breedonk Mechelen to Breedonk: 8 miles

Drive to the town of Breedonk and visit the Duvel Moortgat Brewery.

Duvel Moortgat brewery

Duvel Moortgat brewery
Pastoor Somerslaan 28, 2870 Breendonk, Belgium
03 860 94 00
Visitors' centre Duvel Depot, Breendonkdorp 66, 2870 Puurs

Dinner

Dinner could be in Breedonk, or if you didn't spend a lot of time at Mechelen or Breedonk, you could wait and find a place for dinner in Brussels.

Optional Stop

If you have the time, you could stop in Meise on the way back to Brussels instead of stopping there tomorrow on the way to Antwerp. In Meise (see below) you can explore the Bouchout Castle and National Botanic Garden.

Return to Brussels Breedonk to Brussels: 15 miles

Whenever you are ready, return back to Brussels.

Day Six, Wednesday, Brussels to Antwerp

Today, it's time to check out of the hotel and drive to Antwerp, stopping at a couple of places along the way.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the route to Antwerp.

Meise Brussels to Meise: 7 miles

Drive to the town of Meise and visit an old castle and botanic garden.

Meise Attractions
Bouchout Castle

Kasteel Boechout, also known as Bouchout Castle
The first castle at this site was built in the 12th century. The oldest part of the remaining castle is the square tower which dates back to the 14th century.
Around 1600 the castle was rebuilt completely by its owner; Christoffel d'Assonleville. He gave the entire domain of castle, moats and gardens, an Italian Renaissance look. At the end of the 16th century the castle was bought by the Roose family.
In 1830 Countess Elisabeth Roose married Count Amedé de Beauffort. He rebuilt the castle into an art museum and redesigned the gardens. This gave the castle its present appearance.

National Botanic Garden

National Botanic Garden, at Bouchout Castle
Boechout Castle is situated in the National Botanic Garden. To enter this garden you have to pay a small fee. The castle itself is now used for conferences and such. You can freely visit two rooms on the ground floor which are used for small art exhibitions. It's a nice castle in pleasant surroundings. Too bad you can't climb to the top of the towers.

Malle Meise to Malle: 36 miles

Now drive to Malle to visit the Trappist brewery there. This will take you a little north-east of Antwerp, but not far.

Abdij der Trappisten van Westmalle

Westmalle - Trappist brewery
Antwerpsesteenweg 496, B-2390 Westmalle - Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 312 92 22
One of the reasons for going to Antwerp is to stop at this brewery just outside of the city. Being a Trappist brewery means, of course, that it is associated with an abbey, in this case, Westmalle Abbey.

Westmalle Abbey, called Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van het Heilig Hart, belongs to the Cistercian Order, which was founded in the eleventh century. This order is commonly referred to as 'the Trappists', after the Normandy abbey of La Trappe. Reform of the Cistercian Order spread from there in the seventeenth century. Westmalle Abbey, founded in 1794, belongs to the 'Cistercians of Strict Observance', but is generally known as the 'Trappist Abbey of Westmalle.'

There are three sections on their web site: Life of Prayer, Life in a Community and Life of Work. This is from the Life of Work section:

The motto attributed to Saint Benedict, 'Ora et labora' (prayer and work,) is not just a casual encouragement for the Trappists. Work is an important component of their monastic order. Thus there is service towards the community and service towards fellow human beings, in particular by receiving guests and through charitable services.
According to Saint Benedict, monks also have to be responsible for their own livelihood. And according to an old monks' tradition, what they have left over is intended for people in need. In order to be able to do that, for a long time the Trappists have pursued traditional crafts and industrial activities. In Westmalle Abbey there is a farm, a cheese making area and — undoubtedly the most well known — a brewery. In brief, the life of the monks is also a life of work.
The monks deliberately keep production small, with special care for man and the environment. And because profit is not their motive, they spend the surplus from it on charity work and on people in need.

So you can drink their beer and feel good knowing you are helping others.

The Trappist brewery of Westmalle is located within the walls of the abbey in its entirety, and for this reason, it is not accessible to visitors.

And at the Café Trappisten, opposite the abbey, you can watch a film about the monastery, the brewery, the farm and the cheese-making facility. If you wish to view this film, we kindly request you to make a reservation in advance, either by telephone on +32 3 312 05 02 or by e-mail: info@trappistwestmalle.be Antwerpsesteenweg 487, 2390 Westmalle

Lunch

Of course, you can try their beers and have something to eat while you are here. I would suggest having lunch here before going on to Antwerp.

To Antwerp Malle to Antwerp: 16 miles

Now it's time to head to the city of Antwerp. Be sure to stop at the De Koninck Brewery on the way into town.

De Koninck Brewery

Brouwerij De Koninck
Brouwerij De Koninck NV, Mechelsesteenweg 291, 2018 Antwerpen
Telephone: (+32) (0)3/218.40.48
Ask anyone from Antwerp to describe the city in a few words and you can guarantee the answer: 'the Schelde, the Zoo, the Cathedral of Our Lady, and a Bolleke of De Koninck.' Few Antwerp companies have such an intimate connection with the city, or so rich a tradition as the Brouwerij De Koninck. Visit the web site to find out how to arrange a tour.

Antwerp

From the De Koninck Brewery, drive on to your hotel. Once you get checked in and settled, start exploring the city.

Antwerp Attractions

Here are just a few of the attractions to see in Antwerp. This will give you some options for whenever you have free time in Antwerp.
This is a link to a google map that shows the locations of these attractions.

Grote Markt

The Grand Market Square stands at the heart of the city and is one of the most splendid public places in Antwerp. The surrounding area is dominated by a series of fantastic Renaissance houses which create an old world atmosphere in the market place like no other part of the town. There are many other fine buildings in the area as well as being several beautiful statues near the centre. This is a perfect place to get your bearings on arrival.

Stadhuis (Town Hall)

Located in the Grote Markt.
Certainly one of the most recognised buildings in the city and the centrepiece of the market square at the heart of Antwerp, the town hall is a fine piece of architecture. Thought to be one of, if not the oldest remaining municipal Renaissance buildings in the Low Countries, the fantastic structure was put together by Cornelius Floris de Vriendt in 1564. A masterpiece of design, it is well visited all year around.

Groenplaats

The largest square in the city and the natural centre of the community, for generations this has formed the cultural and social hub of Antwerp. Flanked by brilliant cafes, bars and restaurants, it is the perfect place to start your vacation in the city, lapping up the atmosphere and getting to know some of the most attractive buildings in the area. There are many attractions within walking distance of this area.

Bird Market

Theaterplein, Antwerp 2000 - Belgium
Held every Sunday morning, this market is without a doubt one of the top attractions in the centre of Antwerp. Although known as the 'Bird Market' the truth is that there are a wide range of animals on sale, from cats and dogs, to rodents and reptiles. It is an interesting street market to take a look around and meet some of the local people in a traditional and exhilarating open air atmosphere.

Cathedral of Our Lady

De Kathedraal the Cathedral of Our Lady
The towering Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal) in Antwerp is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the largest church in Benelux. Antwerp Cathedral also shelters four magnificent Rubens altarpieces.
Begun in 1352 and completed by around 1520, the Cathedral of Our Lady stands on the site of a 10th-century chapel dedicated to the Virgin and a subsequent Romanesque church.
Located at Handschoenmarkt (off the Grote Markt)

Church of Carolus Borromeus

Sint-Carolus Borromeuskerk
Hendrik Conscienceplein 6, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Church of Carolous Borromeus is a typical Jesuit style structure that was built in the early 17th Century. The beautiful structure is one of the most ornately decorated churches inside because of the part that Rubens the great artist played in it. You can spend hours enjoying both the internal and external craftsmanship that has made this a popular site for generations with tourists.

Brouwershuis

Adriaan Brouwersstraat, Antwerp 2000 - Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)3 227 4953
Literally translating as 'The Brewer's Building' this interesting piece of architecture is rather strangely named as it was never really a brewery. Built in 1554 by Gilbert van Schoonbeke, one of the most famous architects of that time, the outstanding piece of architecture was effectively a water supply depot. It contains today the smallest museum in the city which is a mixed history collection related to the city and the work that went on in this area.

Capitole Casino

Breydelstraat, Antwerp 2000 - Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)3 103 4532
This is a fine casino based at the heart of the city in an entertainments district which is awash with fun things to do in the evening. An elegant and stylish place to spend an evening, the club offers all of the usual gambling games that you might require in such an establishment. There is a first class restaurant and bar in the building, meaning you can relax and watch the world go by when you fancy a break from gaming.

The House and Museum of Peter Paul Rubens

Rubenshuis The House and Museum of Peter Paul Rubens
Wapper 9-11, 2000 Antwerpen
Telephone: +32 3 201 15 55
In a side-street of the Meir avenue stands the former house of Peter Paul Rubens, the greatest and most famous of all the Antwerp painters. Rubens bought an existing 16th century house here, after he had returned from his stay in Italy (1600-1608). He lived in the house from 1616 onwards and died here in 1640.
It now houses the 'Rubens House - Museum.' Nowadays visitors to the house should be aware that they don't visit a house as it was left behind by its most famous inhabitant, but rather a reconstruction of what it must have looked like in the first half of the 17th century. The collection of paintings by Rubens himself and by some of his contemporaries alone already make it worth to pay the entrance fee. During a visit one can stroll through the reconstructed garden, visit the work shop of Rubens and his private quarters.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts

Royal Museum of Fine Arts
Leopold de Waelplaats 2, B2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)3 238 78 09
When strolling around the Antwerp Southside the visitor's attention is inevitably steered to the magnificent building accommodating the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Royal Museum of Fine Arts). Though the stairs towards the entrance are impressive, the threshold is actually low since it only takes a modest fee to enter this museum with its world-class art collection.

Plantyn Moretus Museum

Museum Plantin-Moretus/Prentenkabinet
Vrijdagmarkt 22-23, 2000 Antwerpen
Telephone: +32 3 221 14 50
Printing house from the 16th century, it was once the residence of a noble family in the city. The printing room was in use from 1580 until the 1870s.

Steen Castle

Museum Plantin-Moretus/Prentenkabinet
Steenplein, Antwerp 2000 - Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)3 232 0850
The Steen castle was built around 1200 -1225 as a fortification of the city of Antwerp. In these times Europe was a very dangerous place and the heavy fortifications were necessary to make the occupants feel comfortable. During the reign of Charles V, around 1520, the fortress was entirely rebuilt and that is most of what people who visit will see today. The castle towers over the centre of Antwerp.

Meir

Meir the main shopping street in Antwerp

Pubs

Antwerp is full of great pubs. In just one short thoroughfare, Reyndersstraat, you find a chapel and chamber music at De Groote Witte Arend, jazz and blues at De Herk; Belgian gins at De Vagant and a Belgian Beer Shop.

Cofiserie Roodthooft

Cofiserie Roodthooft
Lange Leemstraat 374-376, 2018 Antwerpen
Telephone: +32 3 239 36 55
High quality Belgian toffees and sweets.

Tips for chocolate in Antwerp

Chocolate: Every tourist knows that he should take some Belgian chocolate back home. It is the best! Godiva and Neuhaus are the best known but a less expensive praline of Leonidas also tastes very good! Tip: go for window-shopping to Hans Burie Chocolaterie and Pierre Marcolini. Especially around X-mas and Easter they make very special things in chocolate. —myriam_c

Dinner

You should be able to find a nice place for dinner in Antwerp. Here are some tips and suggestions.

Tips for dining in Antwerp:

You will find cafes and taverns everywhere. You can sit outside in the main square with the cathedral behind you — or you can mosey down a side street and find a neighborhood spot. —shrimp56

De Muze

Melkmarkt 15, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)3 226 01 26
Another very old pub in Antwerp. It used to be a rock & role café but later on it was turned into a jazz café. They play live music over the weekend and it was very loud as we were sitting next to the band. —Imbi

The Heart of Antwerp

In the touristic heart of Antwerpen there are many restaurants. The Grote Markt (Big Market-square), the Handschoenmarkt (Glove-market) and the Groenplaats (Green square) and surrounding area's especially restaurants that are attracting tourists are to be found. Now — no bad words about these restaurants, as they serve often good and traditional Belgian food.
Belgians do not have the rushing lifestyle that many other Europeans are being guided by. The clock can be put away and appointments are there to be flexibily cooped with (either be way too early, just get too late or suddenly switch them to another date and time). The terraces are often full, especially when the weather permits it and a happy cheerful chatting hangs constantly in the air. Taste this great way of life on one of the many terraces of Antwerpen and don't watch the clock because of a next appointment... then you immediately have broken the enchantment.
—Pavlik_NL

Grand Cafe Horta

Grand Cafe Horta
Hopland 2, B-2000 Antwerpen
Telephone: +32/(0) 3-232.28.15

Pelgrom (De Grootte Ganz)

Pelgrom Taverne, Restaurant
Pelgrimsstraat 15
Telephone: +32 (0)3 234 08 09
If you can go by the web site, this looks like a very interesting place to eat.

One of Antwerp's most historic drinking and eating places is located in a small old cobblestone street in the old part of town, approximately 100m from the Cathedral of Our Lady.

The Pelgrom is set up in authentic 15th century cellars where the waiters and waitresses are dressed in the garments of Breugel's time. In these unique Antwerp settings you will enjoy a drink or a meal in an intimate atmosphere.
The cellars also lodge the medieval restaurant "De Grootte Ganz" where you wil taste traditional medieval dishes eaten with a spoon and your hands!

Apart from the wonderful cellars the Pelgrom also has a private museum (Poorterswoning) that is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 12.00h to 18.30h or by appointment. In this 16th century Burgher's house time was put about 400 years back. It is brimming with life, and the excellent explanations will lead you back to the Golden Age.

The Corsendonk Stadscafé in Antwerp

Suikerrui 1, 2000 Antwerpen
Telephone: +32 (0)3 289 69 02
On the corner of the Suikerrui in the Hansahuis with the magnificent Jef Lambeaux statues.

Day Seven, Thursday, Antwerp — Achel, Berkel-Enschot Netherlands, Oud-Turnhout

Today you must make a decision whether to cross the border into the Netherlands to visit the only Trappist brewery outside of Belgium.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the routes to get there and back.

Hamont-Achel

Hamont-Achel Antwerp to Hamont-Achel: 60 miles

First, drive to the town of Achel in the community of Hamont and visit the St. Benedict Abbey. Achel - Trappist brewery
This Trappist abbey is partly in Holland and partly in Belgium. The brewery is in Belgium, in the hamlet of Achel, in the community of Hamont. It is across the border from the Dutch city of Eindhoven.
They have just recently revived their brewing of ale by installing a new brewhouse in 1998. The abbey had lost their kettles during WWI. Achel is the world's only Trappist brewpub, and has a terrace where you can drink their beers. Some of their beers are only available here.

This newest Trappist brewery resembles a brewpub. It has a cafeteria line where you get your food and beer and tables both inside and on the outdoor patio. Father Thomas of Westmalle started the brewery, the current brewer is Brother Jules. When Achel first became available the general buzz was that it was clearly the inferior Trappist ale. But it did not take long for that to change, favor for this one has been steadily increasing. Now-a-days there is no shortage of praise for Achel. It took even God more than one day to get it all right!

Lunch

This may be a good place to get some lunch, depending on the time.

Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands Hamont-Achel to Berkel-Enschot: 36 miles

To get to the La Trappe brewery, you must cross the border into the Netherlands.

Brouwerij de Koningshoeven

La Trappe, Beer Brewery de Koningshoeven
Eindhovenseweg 3, 5056 RP Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands
Telephone: 013 5436124

Oud-Turnhout Berkel-Enschot to Oud-Turnhout: 25 miles

You will have to cross back across the border into Belgium on your way to Oud-Turnhout.

Brouwerij Corsendonk

Brouwerij Corsendonk
Slachthuisstraat 27, B-2300 Turnhout
Telephone: +32 (0)14 45 33 11

Corsendonk Hof

In Corsendonk, 200m from the Priorij Corsendonk.
Corsendonk 5, 2360 Oud-Turnhout
Telephone: +32 (0) 14 46 28 00

The cellar bar of the actual priory

Corsendonk 5, 2360 Oud-Turnhout
Telephone: +32 (0) 14 46 28 00

The Corsendonk Stadscafé in Turnhout

On the Grote Markt on the corner of the Markt and the Gasthuisstraat.
There is one in Antwerp also.

Return to Antwerp Oud-Turnhout to Antwerp: 30 miles

From Oud-Turnhout, drive back to Antwerp.

Dinner

Dinner today can either be in Turnhout or wait until you get back to Antwerp. I would try one of the places listed above.

Day Eight, Friday, Antwerp to Brugge

Drive to Brugge (Bruges) and stop at the Van Steenberge Brewery on the way.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the route to get to Brugge.

Ertvelde Antwerp to Ertvelde: 32 miles

This stop takes you to the Van Steenberge Brewery which you will visit today.

Van Steenberge Brouwerij nv

Brouwerij Van Steenberge
Lindenlaan 25, 9940 Ertvelde, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)9 344 50 71

Lunch

Depending on the time, you can have some lunch here before moving on.

Brugge

To Brugge Ertvelde to Brugge: 26 miles

Brugge (Bruges) is considered by many to be the most romantic town in Belgium with its medieval bridges over romantic canals.
Brugge — Official Website van de stad World Heritage City
Top Ten Attractions of Bruges

Brugge Attractions

Here are just a few of the attractions to see in Brugge. This will give you some options for whenever you have free time in Brugge.
This is a link to a google map that shows the locations of these attractions.

The Town Hall (Stadhuis) and the Burg Square

The Town Hall and the Burg Square information from www.trabel.com
Bruges is a city with two town squares. The largest one is the Grote Markt, the commercial heart of medieval Bruges. The second square is called the 'Burg'. Here was, and still is, the heart of the administrative Bruges.
One of the most beautiful buildings of Bruges can be seen here — the gothic town hall from 1376. It was one of the first monumental town halls in the Low Countries.

Chapel of the Holy Blood

Chapel of the Holy Blood information from www.trabel.com
The chapel of the Holy Blood is actually a double chapel which can be visited on the 'Burg' square in Bruges. It was first constructed in the 12th century and promoted to the rank of Basilica in 1923. One can enter the church on the first floor where the Holy Blood is kept via the 'Steeghere' which is a beautifully decorated facade behind which a staircase leads to the first floor.
Outside the chapel is the Holy Blood museum, which contains the shrine for the Holy Blood and other treasures belonging to the chapel.
Chapel of the Holy Blood church web site

Memling Museum in the 12th century Hospital of St. John

Memling in Sint-Jan
The St. John's Hospital (now Memling in Sint-Jan - Hospital Museum) is one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe. The museum gives a moving impression of what life was like in a medieval hospital ward. Numerous pieces of furniture, silverwork, pewter, paintings, statues, etc. evoke images of the care of bodies and souls that took place right here, throughout the centuries. The hospital chapel is a virtual monument to the artistic genius of Hans Memling. This 15th-century artist created many of his greatest works for the St John's Hospital, including his famous St. Ursula Shrine. In the attic, visitors can admire one of the oldest monumental roof truss systems in the world, while the old apothecary chamber and the herb garden are also well worth a visit. Memling Museum
The Memling Museum in Bruges Belgium features a number of wonderful paintings by Flemish painter Hans Memling.

Groeninghe Museum

Groeninge Museum
The permanent collection shows a rich and fascinating array of artworks from the southern Netherlands (Belgium) over a period of six centuries. Highlights include the world-famous collection of works by the Flemish Primitives, paintings by various Renaissance and Baroque masters, several interesting pieces from the Neo-classical and Realistic periods of the 18th and 19th centuries, milestones from the Symbolist and Modernist movements, masterpieces by the Flemish Expressionists and a varied selection of Post-1945 modern art.

Our Lady's Church

Church of Our Lady
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerkhof Zuid, Bruges, Belgium
Telephone: 050/34-53-14
This church houses the only work by Michelangelo to leave Italy in his lifetime and is today one of the few that can be seen outside Italy. It is a statue of the Madonna and child originally commisioned by the cathedral in Siena. However, it was sold to Jan and Alexander Moscroen, two travelling merchants from Brugge, after Michelangelo was unable to receive payment for it. It was donated to the church in 1506.
The soaring 119m (396-ft.) spire of the Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) in Bruges can be seen from miles around. It took two centuries (13th-15th) to build the church.

Restaurant Gruuthuse Hof

Restaurant Gruuthuse Hof
Mariastraat 36, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Telephone: 050 33 06 14
A very small, cosy restaurant with excellent food and even better service.

Bierbrasserie Cambrinus

Bierbrasserie Cambrinus
Philipstockstraat 19, 8000 Brugge
Telephone: +32 (0)50 33 23 28
The menu looks good — this could be a good place for either lunch or dinner. And it is close to de Bier Tempel.

de Bier Tempel

de Bier Temple
Phillip Stockstraat 7
Telephone: +32 (0)5 034 37 30
This is a beer store, not a pub or cafe or brasserie. There is one in Brussels also, so be sure to look for it.
What a place. It was a beer lover's heaven. Man, I wish I could somehow teleport myself back there at will. The lady behind the counter was so kind and knowledgeable and they stocked the best beers on the planet. Will definitely shop there again as soon as possible. This is the shop where I purchased my beloved Westy 12. Although I still haven't opened it up. I am looking forward to the day when I do. But I purchased many other great Belgian brews from the Tempel. What a great shop. Lots of fun shirts and beer glasses as well. If you haven't been, you should go. Plus, bruges is such a great little town with such friendly people. —sterstar1

Dinner

There should not be a problem finding a good place for dinner in Brugge.

Day Nine, Saturday, Brugge— Veurne, Watou, Vleteren

Today you will visit two breweries, including one of the Trappist breweries, but make a side trip to Veurne on the way.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the routes to get there and back.

Veurne Brugge to Veurne: 32 miles

Your first stop is the city of Veurne.

Veurne Attractions

Information from PlanetWare and A Belgium Attraction

Grote Markt (Market Square)

The impressive center of the town is the Grote Markt, one of the finest market squares in Belgium. It is lined by several historic buildings in the characteristic west Flanders yellow brick. Interaction of the elements of architectural decoration of Flemish Renaissance and the sober Spanish influence becomes clear and it is for this that Veurne is often called the "Spanish town".

Stadhuis (town hall)

Grote Markt 29, B-8630 Veurne
The Stadhuis (town hall) in the northwest corner of the square built by Liéviun Lucas between 1596 and 1612 is, with its twin gabled facade and elegant loggia of bluish stone, an excellent example of the style of the Flemish Renaissance. Above the roof rises the narrow stepped tower erected in 1599. The rooms of the town hall have largely kept their form and furnishings of the 17th and 18th C.

Hoge Wacht

On the south side of the market place facing the Appelmarkt is the Hoge Wacht, an arcaded building acquired by the town in 1636 for the guard.

Landhuis

In the right-hand corner of the square adjoining the town hall is the former Landhuis, built 1613-1616 and now the palace of justice (viewing in conjunction with the town hall tour). It is dominated by its mighty Gothic belfry which, however, bears a Baroque spire. The tower, not finished until 1628, was set on fire by bombardment in 1940. Separated only by a narrow road, the Landhuis is adjoined by five very fine stepped gabled houses dating from the beginning of the 17th C.
The tower is a UNESCO site.

Vleeshuis (meat hall)

The Vleeshuis (meat hall) on the opposite side of the market place from the Vleeshuis dates from 1615 and is a fine example of Late Renaissance architecture.

Spaans Paviljoen

The northeast side of the Grote Markt is taken up by the so-called Spaans Paviljoen. This was built between 1448 and 1452, extended in 1530 and until 1586 served as the town hall. In 1697 it was used to accommodate Spanish officers.

Sint-Niklaaskerk (Church of Saint Nicolas)

On the Appelmarkt rises the Gothic Sint-Niklaaskerk, the great tower of which dating from the 12-13th C. remained unfinished. It houses a carillon which includes the bell called "Bomtje" of 1379, one of the oldest Flemish bells. It is not known who was responsible for the triptych on the high altar; opinions vary between Jan van Aemstel and Bernard van Orley.

Saint Nicholas Church is the culmination of several previous places of worship, the first of which is thought to have been built on this site in the 11th Century. This fine looking piece of religious architecture mainly dates from the 15th Century and towers above the locality, dwarfing the secular buildings that surround with majestic charm.

This church houses a staute of Saint Nicolas.

Veurne Abbey

Abjistraat, Veurne 8630 - Belgium
The Abbey Building was the main residence of Abbot of Saint Nicholas for many years and is a great example of a Rococo structure and interesting use of brickworks. There are a great deal of interesting design features around the building, including a coat of arms that is dated 1767 above the porch and a few references to the French Revolution inside.

Sint-Walburgakerk (Saint Wallburga Church)

Noordstraat, Veurne 8630 - Belgium
Along the road beside the Landhuis we come to Sint-Walburgakerk which was begun in 1250 on a magnificent scale but only the 27m/89ft-high sandstone choir (14th C.) with its ambulatory and chapels, the lower part of the tower and one arm of the crossing were completed in the Middle Ages.
Also from this period date the remains of a pillar which can be seen in the park outside the church. The castle of the counts of Flanders is believed to have stood on this spot.
The transepts and other parts of the church were not added until 1901-1904. In the choir which is supported by huge round pillars is some beautiful seating of 1596.

South Chapel

Ieperstraat, Veurne 8630 - Belgium
The South Chapel is a beautiful little piece of understated religious architecture on the Ieperstraat in the heart of the city. The chapel was constructed in 1656 and was lost and regained to the city through a series of various sieges that were going on at that time. The beautiful building is representative of the simple style that was popular at this time and contains some good looking treasures.

Monastery of the Black Nuns

Zwarte Zusterklooster, Veurne 8630 - Belgium
The Zwarte Zusterklooster (literally "Black Sister Monastery) is the 16th Century Monastery of the Black Nuns. The street is so old and untouched, you can hardly believe that it is real. It is like something from a theme park. The monastery is an ancient and beautiful piece of religious architecture.

Internationaal Bakkerijmuseum (International Bakery Museum)

To the south, away from the Veurne town center, an 18th C. farmhouse houses the International Bakery Museum. It is divided into several sections: "Art in the Bakery", "Bread from all the world", an old bakery and a shop in which visitors can buy local delicacies such as "Kletskoppen" (biscuits), "Haantjes" (little chickens made from sand cake pastry), almond bread.

Lunch

Find a nice little place to eat lunch before continuing on.

Watou Veurne to Watou: 20 miles

From Veurne, drive next to Watou and the Brouwerij van Eecke.

Van Eecke Brewery

Brouwerij Van Eecke nv
Douvieweg 2, 8978 Watou, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)57 38 80 30

Sint-Sixtus Watou to Sint-Sixtus: 5 miles

Next you will visit the The Abbey of Sint-Sixtus of Westvleteren.

The Abbey of Sint-Sixtus of Westvleteren

The Abbey of Sint-Sixtus of Westvleteren
The Brewery with information on how to go about reserving beer.
Donkerstraat 12, B -8640 Westvleteren
Telephone: +32 (0)70/21.00.45
The abbey and the brewery cannot be visited. Those who are interested can go to the 'claustrum', an exhibition room in which the monks show the life in the abbey. It is situated in the meeting center 'De Vrede', just in front of the abbey.
The Westvleteren "Trappist" is sold exclusively at the abbey store, and only after having made a reservation by telephone (+32 (0)70/21.00.45).
The claustrum is located in the right wing of the meetingplace, In de Vrede.

In de Vrede

Sint-Sixtus Trappist Monastery's Brewery Tap, In de Vrede
Donkerstraat 13, Westvleteren, Belgium.
Telephone: 057 40 03 77
In the Shadow of the Sint-Sixtus Abbey
Our Trappist is not filtered nor pasteurized. Its process of natural fermentation and maturation allows the beer to preserve its flavor and its aroma. It is brewed with the utmost care and only natural ingredients are used. Westvleteren counts three different Trappists beers. Each beer has its own characteristics.
You can buy the trappist, the abbeypâté, the cheese, gingerbread and several products of the region in our store. The opening hours are the same as these of the pub.

Dinner

You can find a place to eat in Watou or Sint-Sixtus or wait until you get back to Brugge.

Return to Brugge Sint-Sixtus to Brugge: 45 miles

Once you have had your dinner, drive back to Brugge. Or if you decided not to spend the entire day on this drive, have some dinner in Brugge once you get back.

Day Ten, Sunday, Brugge — Bavikhove, Ingelmunster, Roeselare

Today you will drive to three breweries south of Brugge.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the routes to get there and back.

Bavikhove Brugge to Bavikhove: 30 miles

Here you will visit the Brouwerij Bavik.

Bavik Brewery

Brouwerij Bavik
Rijksweg 33, 8531 Bavikhove, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)56 65 04 50

Lunch

Depending on how long you take at each place, lunch could either be in Bavik or Ingelmunster.

Ingelmunster Bavikhove to Ingelmunster: 5 miles

On to Ingelmunster and the Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck.

Castle Brewery

Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck
Oostrozebekestraat 41, 8770 Ingelmunster, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)51 33 51 60
De Kasteelkelder (Cestle Cellar)
Stationstraat 3 - 8770 Ingelmunster

Roeselare Ingelmunster to Roeselare: 7 miles

Now it's on to Roeselare and the Rodenbach Brewery.

Rodenbach Brewery

Brouwerij Rodenbach
Spanjestraat 133-141, 8800 Roeselare
Telephone: +32 (0)51 27 28 10
Brouwerij Rodenbach is the representative brewery of sour red-brown beers of mixed fermentation, that are so characteristic for the south of Flanders. During the two-year rest in oak casks Rodenbach matures like wine. The oldest of the 300 oak casks are 150 years old.

Visit Palm Breweries web site to make arrangements to visit the brewery with a gourmet meal, lunch or dinner, horse ride, etc.
Restaurant in producing area: In Roeselare, Den Haselt (53 Diksmuidse Steenweg, telephone 051-225240) is an haute cuisine restaurant, using the Rodenbach range as an accompaniment and an ingredient.
There are red, acidic beers aged for up to two years in fixed, ceiling-high, wooden vessels. The most spectacular brewery in this style, with nearly 300 of these tuns, is Rodenbach, in Roeselare, West Flanders. A "must see" for the beer-lover; no other brewery in the world has anything like so much oak.

Dinner

Roeselare could be a good place for dinner, or wait until you get back to Brugge.

Return to Brugge Roeselare to Brugge: 25 miles

Drive back to the beautiful city of Brugge.

Day Eleven, Monday, Brugge to Rochefort

Today you will drive to the town of Rochefort, from which you will take several day trips, but stop in Prunode and Han-sur-Lesse on the way. This will be the longest drive you will have to make, but it is only about 138 miles and should only take about 2 hours or so. The drive will take you back around Brussels. I'm sure there will be places you can stop along the way if you so desire.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the route to get to Rochefort.

Purnode Brugge to Purnode: 120 miles

Brasserie du Bocq

Brasserie du Bocq
Rue de la Brasserie, 4, B-5530 Purnode
Telephone: +32 (0)82 61 07 90
Whenever I can manage to actually make this trip, I plan on stopping in Purnode at the Brasserie du Bocq. (The Bocq is a small river in the province of Namur.)

Brasserie du Bocq, set up in 1858 by Martin Belot, still a 100% family concern, remains one of the last traditional Belgian breweries. Located in the heart of the Condroz, wonderful tourist region, this dynamic company still uses the traditional manufacturing process of top-fermentation beers with secondary fermentation in the bottle.

Come and discover, at the gates of the Ardennes, in a marvellous small touristic village in the valley of the Bocq, the tradition of a brewery founded in 1858 by the Belot family. Guided tours are organized by professional guides and followed by a taste of the products of Brasserie du Bocq.

Lunch

Depending on what time it is, this may be a good place to get some lunch.

Han sur Lesse Purnode to Han-sur-Lesse: 26 miles

Before arriving at Rochefort, make a stop at the town of Han-sur-Lesse.

Han-sur-Lesse Attractions

Information from A Belgium Attraction

Caves

Rue Joseph Lamotte, Han Sur Lesse 5580 - Belgium
The caves are one of the most famous attractions in this small community. You will be treated to some of the most fascinating experiences as you go underground on a four kilometre trip on a hundred year old tram. The vast caverns that lie beneath the community are an amazing sight, dripping with icy water, remember to wrap up warm however hot it is on ground level.

Museum of the Subterranean World

Rue Joseph Lamotte, Han Sur Lesse 5580 - Belgium
The Museum of the Subterranean World carries a massive collection of artefacts that have been brought together from across the world. Enjoy taking a walk through history into a time which we know little about, and see the way that things have changed in the world over many thousands of years of development.

Speleogame

Rue Joseph Lamotte, Han Sur Lesse 5580 - Belgium
The Speleogame is a fun interactive environment that will be enjoyed by all the family. Essentially you are asked to take part in a large scale video game on a cinema sized screen. Battling through the caves of the area, you will be challenged in both wit and agility to get to the end of the path and win the competition.

Wildlife Reserve

Rue Joseph Lamotte, Han Sur Lesse 5580 - Belgium
The wildlife reserve offers families the chance to come face to face with a range of creatures that have been collected from across the world. A popular favourite, the reserve has a great deal of big cats and animals from across Africa and the Indian subcontinent. This is a great chance to get really close to the animals and learn more about how the they live.

Abbaye de Notre Dame Han-sur-Lesse to Abbaye de Notre Dame: 10 miles

Drive to the Abbaye de Notre Dame before stopping in Rochefort. If it is too late to stop today, the abbey is close enough to Rochefort that you should be able to get to it another time. You will be staying in Rochefort for 4 nights so you should be able to fit it in somewhere. This is one of the Trappist breweries, so at least stop by to take some photos.

Abbaye de Notre Dame de St. Remy

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy
Rue de l'Abbaye 8, 5580 ROCHEFORT
Telephone: +32 (0)84 22 01 40
The Abbey is the home of a community of Trappist monks (Cistercians of the Strict Observance). Only the church can be visited by tourists. The brewery and the abbey are not accessible to the public.
The abbey is not open to visitors, and gaining entrance is extremely difficult. Unlike the other Trappist, there is no café associated with the abbey, but there is a local café serving the beer as well as a beer store selling all three beers.

Rochefort Abbaye de Notre Dame to Rochefort: 5 miles

So it is on to Rochefort, where you will stay for several days, investigating the abbey here and making day trips to various places around.

Rochefort Attractions

Information from the offical site of the Office de Promotion du Tourisme de Wallonie et de Bruxelles

Monuments and tourist features:

Notre Dame abbey and church of Saint-Rémy, site of the Lorette chapel, Gallo-Roman site of Malagne (Jemelle), Rail and Stone Centre (Jemelle), cave of Lorette-Rochefort and tectonic laboratory, ruins of the Comtal Chateau of Rochefort and archeological museum, feudal castle of Lavaux-Sainte-Anne and museums, Caves of Han (caves, wild animal reserve, "Spéléogare", museum of the underground world, the farm of Dry Hamptay). Villers-sur-Lesse chateau, Eprave mill, Wavreille anticline, National Park "Lesse et Lhomme". Ostriches of the "Autrucherie du Doneu", House of the Rural Life.

Folklore and events:

"Rendez-vous des Roches" (2d WE of August), "Carrefour B.D." (Ascension Thursday), great secondhand market of Mont-Gauthier (last WE of June), WE deer belling, "Festival International du Rire". Big flea market (2d Sunday of July). Halloween.

Sports and tourist facilities:

Tourist train, outdoor swimming pool, tennis, miniature golf, bowls, canoeing, walks, bivouac, bicycle rides, mountain biking, horse riding, delta wing, riding school, potholing and climbing, velodrome, Ravel track. "Circuit des Gélinottes", "Route des Paysages Insolites" (tourist routes).

Dinner

You should be able to find a place to eat dinner serving beer from the abbey.

Day Twelve, Tuesday, Rochefort — Villers-devant-Orval, Bouillon

Today's drive will take you to the north of Rochefort. There are only two stops, so you can take your time today. It would be nice to relax over breakfast this morning and then head out on the road.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the routes to get there and back.

Villers-devant-Orval Rochefort to Villers-devant-Orval: 53 miles

First stop is at the Orval Abbey.

Orval Abbey

Abbaye Orval — one of the Trappist breweries. Abbey Notre-Dame d'Orval
B-6823 Villers-devant-Orval
Telephone: [32] 61.31.12.61
The conditions for visiting the brewery are the following ones: to be "more than" tourists, having something to do with the beer distribution or coming from a brewery; on weekdays; on appointment; without any entry fees.

It sounds like it may be a problem touring this one. It looks like you can tour the grounds and the ruins, but not necessarily the brewery. It is however open two days a year for tours — in 2010, that will be Friday and Saturday, 17-18 September.

However, there are many places in Belgium (and other countries) that serve their beer. One place in Villers-devant-Orval is:

Nouvelle Hostellerie d'Orval

Orval 14, 6823 Villers-devant-Orval
Telephone: +32 (0)61 31 43 65

Bouillon Villers-devant-Orval to Bouillon: 24 miles

Now move on to the town of Bouillon and the abbey located there. And, oh yeah, there is also the Bouillon Brewery.

Abbey of Clairefontaine

Cistercian Abbey of Clairefontaine A.S.B.L.
Abbaye de Cordemois, Cordemois 1, 6830 Bouillon
Telephone: +32 (0) 61 22 90 80
The abbey is situated in a real splendid and peaceful environment along the river Semois. The abbey can be visited all year from 8 AM - 8 PM. Closed in January. The abbey church is open to the public. Groups and individuals can stay in the abbey after a written request. The abbey has a shop, a library, and workshops for silk paintings and ceramics, as well as a biscuits bakery.

Bouillon Brewery

Brasserie de Bouillon
Avenue de la Girafe, Bouillon 6832 - Belgium
For the people of Belgium, brewing and beer is one of the most important parts of their heritage and culture. Just as the French love wine, the Belgians will sit for hours discussing the best beer and what is the best way to make it. Come and look around this interesting local brewery and sample some of the great products they have been producing for generations.

Bouillon Attractions

Information from A Belgium Attraction
See also Info-Bouillon

Castle of Bouillon

Rue de Petit, Bouillon 6830 - Belgium
The castle is the most impressive attraction in the town, standing at the very heart of the community in a raised position that overlooks the town. The original part of the castle dates back to the 8th Century and since that time there has always been a place of fortification in the middle of Bouillon. At night the castle is well lit and looks amazing against the night sky.

Ancient Ramparts

Quai des Ramparts, Bouillon 6830 - Belgium
The ramparts have been a feature of this town for well over a thousand years. The first examples of walls would have been put in place around the 8th Century when the castle was constructed, and they would have remained an important lie of defence for the town for many hundreds of years. Visitors can still follow the line of the walls and achieve a lovely aspect of the town.

City Promenade

Rue de Petit, Bouillon 6830 - Belgium
The City Promenade is probably the most beautiful street in the town. Partially on a small bridge that would have acted as a defensive entrance to the town at one stage, the promenade is wonderfully decorated, a real exhibition of the best of the region. There are plants and beautiful pieces of architecture along the promenade, and in the high summer season processions and festivals centre around the area.

Notre Dame de Lourdes Chapel

Rue de Palis, Rochehaut 8360 - Belgium
The Chapel of Notre Dame of Lourdes is an ancient ecclesiastical building that sits on the edge of the town. It has been there for a great many years, and has been almost unchanged in that time. Originally associated with a monastery that is no longer, the chapel is richly decorated in a traditional rustic fashion and houses a few little treasures of the local ecclesiastical world.

Forest of Rochehaut

Rochehaut 6830 - Belgium
The forest expands in every direction around this small community, and is a large and wild piece of pastoral beauty. There are many tracks that lead from the centre of the town out through the wilderness, and as a tourist you will enjoy every moment of discovery along the way. Creep quietly and you might be treated to the sight of a rare bird or animal.

Lunch/Dinner

Have your lunch and dinner wherever and whenever you feel is right.

Return to Rochefort Bouillon to Rochefort: 28 miles

Now it's time to drive back to Rochefort. Find a place for dinner if you haven't already. Otherwise, just find a place to have another beer.

Day Thirteen, Wednesday, Rochefort — Namur, Maredsous, Dinant

Today's drive will take you to the north-west of Rochefort to the town of Namur which has lots of interesting attractions, then to a couple of abbeys and the Brasserie of the Snail.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the routes to get there and back.

Namur Rochefort to Namur: 35 miles

Your first stop today is the town of Namur with several attractions of interest. Be sure to check out Brewer's Street.

Namur Attractions

Information from A Belgium Attraction

Churches

There are several churches of interest here, such as Saint Aubain Cathedral, Saint Jacques' Church, Saint Joseph's Church, Saint Loup Church, Saint Materne Church and Saint Nicolas' Church.

Place d'Armes

The Place d'Armes is one of the most well loved and central squares of the community. One of the things that will immediately catch your eye when you enter the square is the fantastic group of statues that make up the centrepiece of the setting. Surrounded by beautiful cafes and bars and flanked by some of the nicest facades in the city, this is a great place to rest and relax.

Belfry

The belfry is one of the most recognisable features of the Namur skyline and is certainly the best loved monument by the people of the city. Built in 1385, the large tower was originally used as lookout point for the city in times of war. A fantastic piece of architecture in its own right, the tower has been protected and is well looked after by the local authority.

Place du Theatre

Place du Theatre is one of the most well loved public squares in the city and is close to the Place des Armes. Surrounded by marvellous pieces of 19th Century architecture and facades, the square is filled with cafes and bars that allow you to get your bearings and really enjoy your stay at the heart of the city, experiencing traditional Belgian hospitality.

Town Hall

Rue de Fer, Namur 5000 - Belgium
The Town Hall is a one of the best examples of municipal architecture in the city. The grand white building is a centrepiece in the community and has been a seat of power for the local government for many centuries. The delicate and intricate design on the facades is well worth a closer look. At times the hall hosts limited exhibitions and open days.

Namur Citadel

Route Merveilleuse, Namur 5000 - Belgium
This fortified estate is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture remaining from its period anywhere in the region. There are a helpful team of guides on site who will lead you through the property and slowly reveal to you the fascinating history of the site. There are delights such as 16th Century military tunnels to be discovered along the way.

Citadel Watchtower

Route Merveilleuse, Namur 5000 - Belgium
If you are a fan of photography or simply love to see great panoramas, then Namur is a city which offers you several great viewing points from which to see these. This platform offers a view of much of the city, the churches, the secular buildings and the River Meuse as it snakes through the community. It is well worth the short climb to take in this panorama.

Meuse Quai Watchtower

Quai de Meuse, Namur 5000 - Belgium
No matter what reason you are staying in the city, or for how long, it is well worth taking advantage of a clear day and climbing up to see the view that is offered from this, one of several purpose built panorama viewing platforms in the city. You can see the amazing man made structures of the community as well as the many miles of rolling green land that surround.

Materne Platform

Ramp Vert, Namur 5000 - Belgium
This is one of several purpose built viewing points that have been installed, to allow visitors and local people the chance to see the great panoramas of the area. Namur is built in a relatively hilly area and therefore it is a great place to get a view of the entire city and the breathtaking historic buildings that lie within as well as the surrounding countryside.

Parfumerie-Atelier Guy Delforge

Route Merveilleuse, Namur 5000 - Belgium
This perfume producer has been in business for many hundreds of years. It is a fascinating experience to visit this production site and museum and learn a little bit more about how the processes work and how some of the finest scents are made. Sample some of their products and ask questions of the helpful guides who are always on site to oblige.

Namur Casino

Avenue Baron de Moreau, Namur 5000 - Belgium
Situated on the banks of the river, the casino is one of the most well loved attractions in the heart of the city. It has for many years been providing a place of excitement for the adults who live in the town and the many who visit in the summer months. The casino is fully equipped with a range of great games that include roulette, blackjack, craps and poker.

Halle Al'Chair (Meat Hall)

Avenue Notre Dame, Namur 5000 - Belgium
The Halle Al'Chair is situated directly on the banks of the old River Meuse and is one of the most interesting examples of a commercial building that still stands from this period of history in the city. Built between 1588 and 1590, the Meat Hall was made of brick and blue stones and is a fantastic piece of well preserved history for all to enjoy.

Flower Market

Place du marché aux Fleurs, Namur 5000 - Belgium
The flower market has been a grand tradition in the city for many hundreds of years. This area of the world is famous for having some of the most beautiful flowers growing on the continent. When they are all in one place at this small market, it is a real joy for the senses to browse through the market and pick some to take home with you.

Marché aux légumes (Vegetable Market)

The old vegetable market is one of the most beautiful squares in the modern city. In the summertime the area is literally filled with people sitting at the many tables that are set out by the local cafes, bars and restaurants. Surrounded by lovely historic buildings, this is a first class place to enjoy one self and soak up a little of the traditional atmosphere of the city.

Brewer's Street

Rue des Brasseurs, Namur 5000 - Belgium
At one time there was a flourishing brewing industry in the city, taking the water supply from the River Sambre that runs across the front of this street. Almost all of the major brewers were based on this street, and although none of them still function in their original capacity, the road is a fascinating example of some traditional industrial architecture.

Chocolate Rooms

Rue de l'Ange, Namur 5000 - Belgium
Have you ever wondered how chocolate is produced? Well this is the perfect opportunity for you to find out as you attend a master class at this café in the heart of the city. As well as selling a range of excellent treats, the store has classes in making chocolate and regular displays for the public, celebrating the passion of the Belgian people.

Moutarderie Bister

Rue de Francquen, Namur 5000 - Belgium
For three generations this family owned mustard producer has been one of the most famous companies and products to come out of this community. It has opened its doors to the public to see the history of the company and the products and to see how the processes have changed into the modern age. This is a thoroughly fascinating experience for young and old alike.

Ports de Namur

Plage d'Amée Avenue des Peupliers, Namur 5000 - Belgium
The pleasure port is one of the best loved areas of the city, situated on the edge of the community and surrounded by both pastoral and man made scenes. It is possible to sit and relax in the recently well-developed area and have something to eat or maybe a drink in one of the first class cafes and restaurants. There are also boat trips that take place from the docks.

Lunch

If you are still in Namur at lunch time, you should be able to find a good place for lunch at the Place d'Armes, the Place du Theatre, near the Marché aux légumes or at the Ports de Namur. Or maybe wait until you get to Maredsous and eat at the Maredsous Cafe (see below.)

Maredsous Namur to Maredsous: 16 miles

Stop in Maredsous to visit the Maredsous Abbey.

Maredsous Abbey

Abbaye de Maredsous.
Rue de Maredsous 11, 5537 Denée, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)82 69 82 84
As is the case with most abbeys in Belgium, they produce some beer and cheeses. Unlike most of the abbeys listed here, this one allows visitors to enter the abbey.

Tourisme Maredsous has this information:
Heirs to a millennial tradition, the monks of Maredsous Abbey will welcome you in the St Joseph Visitors Centre, where a cafeteria, a souvenir shop and a playground await the entire family for a pleasant and tasty spell to discover the Abbey's gourmet products: Maredsous beers and cheeses. In addition to beer, cheese and sausage, they also have meals so if you haven't had lunch yet, then this is an option.

Maredsous Cafe

Café de Maredsous.
Rue de Maredsous 5, 5537 Denée, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)82 69 91 64

Abbaye Notre Dame de Leffe Maredsous to the Abbey: 12 miles

On the way to Dinant, you can stop at the Abbaye Notre Dame de Leffe. They no longer brew the Leffe beer here, it has been taken over by the AB-InBev brewery in Leuven which is in the itinerary on day 16. This is the same brewery that brews Stella Artois. If it is a good time, you could stop at the Auberge de Bouvignes Restaurant on the way and get something to eat, or just a beer for now.

Our Lady of Leffe Abbey

Abbaye de Leffe
Place de l'Abbaye 1, 5500 Dinant, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)82 22 23 77
In principle, you may visit the abbey from June 1st through August 31st: on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m.; duration: maximum 1 hour; free entrance.

Leffe Museum

Leffe Museum
You'll find the Leffe museum opposite the Leffe Abbey. (tastings included)

Auberge de Bouvignes Restaurant

Auberge de Bouvignes Restaurant
Rue Fétis, 112, B-5500 Dinant (Belgium)
Telephone : + 32 (0) 82 61 16 00

Dinant The Abbey to Dinant: 6 miles

The main reason for stopping in Dinant is to visit the Brasserie La Caracole (Brewery of the Snail.) So even if you don't have enough time left to check out the other attractions in Dinant, at least stop at the brasserie.

Brasserie La Caracole

Brasserie La Caracole
Côte-Marie-Thérèse 86, 5500 Falmignoul, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)82 74 40 80
Located in the nearby village of Falmignoul, it is the last brewery still brewing its beer in copper tanks heated up by wooden fire.

Dinant Attractions

If you have some time left today, here are some attractions in Dinant.
Information from A Belgium Attraction

Cable Car

Rue Petit, Dinant 5500 - Belgium
This small cable car offers an easy way of ascending the tall mountain on the edge of the town centre where the citadel stands. On the way up and down, the cable car offers some lovely views of the community and the surrounding areas as well as the river below. The cable car runs throughout the summer months and is a fun experience for all the family.

Citadel

Chemin de la Citadelle, Dinant 5500 - Belgium
The current citadel in Dinant was built in 1820 by the Dutch as a fortress and lookout post, overlooking the main body of the community. The vast structure is well worth the climb to see in all its glory. It replaced the ruins of the former fortifications which had been built in 1051 under the orders of the Prince Bishop of Liege to defend the river.

Panorama Platform

Citadel, Dinant 5500 - Belgium
The panorama platform at the centre of the citadel offers visitors the chance a lofted position from which they can admire a large area of the country. From looking down into the town and the beautiful river that runs through it, to admiring the rolling hills and greenery that goes off for miles in every direction, however you choose to access this area it is worth the trouble.

Notre Dame Church

Boulevard Leon Sasserath, Dinant 5500 - Belgium
Notre Dame Church is one of the most important pieces of architecture in this community, towering above most of the smaller secular structures that surround it. Built in 1227, the church is a truly fantastic piece of Romanesque architecture, majestic and grand, unlike most more simple churches in this area of Belgium. Reflecting in the river, the church is quite the sight to behold.

Dinant Casino

Rue Grande, Dinant 5500 - Belgium
Dinant Casino is one of the best places to go out for an evening in the community, offering a luxurious and exciting venue in the centre of the town. All of the standard games are available to be played, and the casino is open for most of the evening into the small hours for those who really feel like they're on a winning streak. There is a nice bar and seating available in house for non players and those taking a break.

Le Merveilleuse

Avenue de la Deportation, Dinant 5500 - Belgium
Le Merveilleuse translates literally from French into 'The Wonderful' and that seems an accurate description of these top quality caves close to the railway station in Dinant. Featuring internal waterfalls and stalagmites, the caves offer a slightly scary yet fascinating environment to explore, and a cool place to go when you want to get out of the hot summer sun.

Dinner

You should be able to find a place to eat dinner when you are ready to do so, maybe at the Brasserie La Caracole or the Auberge de Bouvignes restaurant, or you can wait until you get back to Rochefort.

Return to Rochefort Dinant to Rochefort: 22 miles

And now it's time to drive back to Rochefort and get some dinner if you haven't done that already.

Day Fourteen, Thursday, Rochefort — Chimay, Mariembourg

Today's drive will take you to the south-west of Rochefort. Another day where you can take it easy and not have to head out too early. Stop at the brewer of my favorite (so far) Belgian beer, Chimay, and then stop at the Brasserie Des Fagnes in Mariembourg on the way back.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the routes to get there and back.

Chimay

Chimay Rochefort to Chimay: 60 miles

Chimay - Trappist Brewery
Route Charlemagne, 8, 6464 Baileux (Chimay) Belgium
Telephone: + 32 (0) 60.21.03.11
The abbey of Scourmont is not accessible to the public. Only the gardens, the cemetery and the church can be visited every day from 08.00 h to 20.00 h.

Auberge de Poteaupré

Associated with the Abbey is the Auberge de Poteaupré:
An old school situated not far from the abbey in the heart of the beautiful countryside of Chimay, this building was converted about forty years ago on the initiative of the abbey so as to be able to accommodate visitors.
Managed today by businesses in Chimay, it has undergone considerable renovation work so as to adapt to the present day climate.
The result of this rejuvenation treatment? An inn which offers a range of services: a restaurant-brasserie, a hotel, a gourmet restaurant and a range of possibilities for groups to stay.

Chimay Cheese

The monks from the abbey oversee the production of the cheese dairy even though it is outside the abbey walls. The semi-hard cheeses, some of which are rinsed with beer, are made as they were 150 years ago, although made with a more consistent quality of milk. Beer extract is added to the milk and the taste of the beer shines through.

The Lake of Virelles

Created 500 years ago to provide water for the forges in this historically industrial, metal working region, the lake is now a nature reserve. While you can see egrets, blue herons, mountain ducks, bitterns and the rare black stork, this is the only place in Wallonia where the Savi's warbler breeds.

Lompret

One of the prettiest villages in Wallonia, Lompret is nearby. Here might be a perfect place to get some lunch.

Mareimbourg Chimay to Mariembourg: 15 miles

Brasserie Des Fagnes, Mariembourg
Route de Nismes, 26, B-5660 Mariembourg (Couvin) Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)60 31 15 70
Located here are a brewery from 18th century, a modern brewery in activity and a big chamber where you can taste the beers made there. They also have a lot of regional products.

Visits are free although groups can choose "the 'guided tour -- degustation' formula". If you choose the free visit, "you are free to go where you decide..." There are interactive screens to give you information.

Lunch/Dinner

Have your lunch and dinner wherever and whenever you feel is right. Maybe lunch in Chimay and dinner in Mariembourg.

Return to Rochefort Mariembourg to Rochefort: 45 miles

Then drive back to Rochefort and have a final beer for today.

Day Fifteen, Friday, Rochefort to Liege

Today we drive to the town of Liege. The plan is to visit two breweries before arriving in Liege.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the route to get to Liege.

Houffalize Rochefort to Houffalize: 32 miles

Start out by driving to Houffalize to visit the brewery of La Choufe.

La Chouffe

La Chouffe
Rue du Village 32, 6666 Achouffe
Telephone: +32 (0)61 28 81 47
North of Bastogne, near the small town of Houffalize, the Ardennes hamlet of Achouffe has a well-known speciality brewery. Its emblem is La Chouffe, a bearded gnome wearing a red hood. The brewery La Chouffe has a tavern and dining room serving dishes prepared with its beers and a shop selling its products. The principal beer, made with soft (piney?) spring water and coriander, has great complexity and delicacy, and can be laid down to mature.

The visit to our two sites, Achouffe and Fontenaille, can only be booked in advance. Let us guide you through the discovery of each step of the evolution of our heavenly brews, from the raw materials to the finished product.

Aubel Houffalize to Aubel: 52 miles

In Aubel you can visit the Val Dieu Abbey.

Val Dieu Abbey

Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val Dieu - Cistercian brewery
Val-Dieu 227, 4880 AubelBelgique
Telephone: +32 (0)87 69 28 28 (visites Abbaye/Brasserie)

To Liege Aubel to Liege: 16 miles

Drive to Liege which will be the base for tonight.

Liege Attractions
Churches

St. Bartholomews Church, St. Matrin Basilica, St. Jacques Church, Cathedral of Saint Paul

Theatres

Al Boutrole, Arlequin Theatre, La Mezza Luna, Le Forum, Le Trianon, Le Wache Qui Rit, Spectacles Theatre, Theatre de la Place, Theatre de l'Etuve, Theatre du Quai, Wallonie Royal Opera

Museums

Ansembourg Museum, Curtius Museum, Glass Museum, Museum of Arms, Museum of Prehistory, Religious Art Museum, Tchantches Museum, Wallon Art Museum, Wallon Life Museum

Parks

Bruyeres Park, Fayenbois Park, Naimette Hovement Park, Parc Pont du Vue, Parc de la Boverie

Place du Marche

On the northern side of this beautiful square, one of the largest and best loved in the city; you will find a wealth of cafes and bars that are popular with both local people and visitors. They are the perfect place to experience Liege at its most relaxed, a wonderful environment, filled with easygoing people. The square is flanked by amazing pieces of architecture, and still occasionally hosts a market.

Town Hall of Liege

Place du Marche, Liege 4000 - Belgium
The Town Hall is one of the most recognisable and beautiful buildings in the heart of the community. Built in the 18th Century, it was made to represent the strength and cultural importance of Liege, and the architectural styles are reflective of this. Standing on a large square, it is well worth a close look at the detailed gilding and styling of the building.

Place Saint Lambert

Place Saint Lambert is the very centre of the city of Liege, and was once the place where the huge cathedral stood. Unfortunately the cathedral was burned to the ground in 1794. This has not meant that the square has taken on any less significance, and is an important place of meeting still today. Both local people and visitors sit in the bars and cafés, admiring the fantastic surrounding architecture.

Palace of Justice

Place Saint Lambert, Liege 4000 - Belgium
The Palace of Justice is an instantly recognisable piece of architecture at the heart of the city. On the site of the destroyed cathedral of the city, the fantastic building has been beautifully crafted, a symbol of the power of the judicial arm of the government in the country, fair and just in all that it does. The attention to detail on the building requires a close look to be fully appreciated.

Saint Lambert Galleries

Rue Maillart, Liege 4000 - Belgium
One of the largest shopping centres in the region, this good looking complex is situated at the very heart of the city and allows visitors and local people the chance to shop with the convenience of a one stop shop. The idea is not to lose the charm of personal one to one and boutique style shops, but simply to add the parking, the roof and the refreshments. The result is a hit with all.

Chateau de Jehay

Jehay-Bodegnee, Liege 4000 - Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)8 531 1716
One of the best looking castles in this area of Belgium, and quite an unusual site to be seen so close to the centre of a major city, this building is thought to date from the early 16th Century. An iconic symbol of Liege, for centuries it has stood as a lasting reminder of the importance and political prowess of the city, an impenetrable fortress.

Montagne de Buerren

There are four hundred and six steps that make up this beautiful flight of stairs that run from the centre of the city up the large hill in the middle of Liege. One will not help but be amazed by the fantastic panorama that you will receive when you get to the top, overlooking almost all of the city, a marvellous panorama of ancient, modern, man made and pastoral.

Day Sixteen, Saturday, Liege to Brussels

Today you will stop at two breweries that make two of the more well-known Belgian beers on your way back to Brussels.
This google map shows the locations of the places to visit and the route to get to Brussels.

Hoegaarden Liege to Hoegaarden: 36 miles

First you will drive to the town of Hoegaarden to visit the Hoegaarden brewery.

Hoegaarden Brewery

Hoegaarden Brewery
Stoopkenstraat 46, 3320 Hoegaarden, Belgium
Visitor's Center: Stoopkenstraat 4A, 3320 Hoegaarden, Belgium
Tel. +32 16 76 74 33
In the heart of Hoegaarden's brewing centre is the historic De Kluis brewery, home to the Hoegaarden Visitors Centre. As visitors are not allowed in to the working Hoegaarden brewery itself, the Visitors Centre enables you to find out more about your favourite wheat beer with our fully interactive, virtual brewery tour. Guests will receive a special gift and can enjoy a refreshing, traditionally tapped glass of Hoegaarden in our famous "Het Kouterhof" brasserie.

Also in Hoegaarden
De Tuinen van Hoegaarden

De Tuinen van Hoegaarden
Unique themed garden with 22 model gardens including a rose garden, water garden and the oriental garden.
Houtmarkt 1, 3320 Hoegaarden.
Telephone: +32 16 76 78 43

Lunch

Find a place for lunch in Hoegaarden before continuing on to Leuven.

Leuven Hoegaarden to Leuven: 20 miles

Next stop in the beautiful university town of Leuven.

Stella Artois

Stella Artois
Vaartstraat 94 - 96, 3000 Leuven
Tel. (3216) 24 71 11 - Fax (3216) 24 74 07
Leuven's oldest brewery, Den Horen (The Horn), dates back to 1366, but it wasn't until 1717 that master brewer Sebastian Artois gave his name to one of Belgium's best-known export products — Stella Artois. Guided tours in the Interbrew brewery might give you a glimpse of how water, malt, hops, yeast and non-malted grains blend into perfect draught and bottled beer. But as local legend has it, the best Stellas are served at Jeeskesboom (Diestsestraat 147), which is rumoured to have direct piping from the brewery. Your presence may raise an eyebrow or two with the - mainly elderly - customers, but the magic words "a Stella please" will surely put a friendly smile on everyone's face and, as some of Interbrew's commercials would have it, will "stop the time".

Leuven Attractions
The Great Market Square

Leuven is a small Walhalla for enthusiasts of the 15th-century Brabantine Late Gothic style. The Great Market Square features three glorious examples of this flamboyant architecture. First of all, there's the stunning Town Hall, also known as the "Leuven Pantheon". With more than 236 biblical statues in its niches, it's a true feast for the eye. Opposite the Town Hall, you'll find Saint Peter's Church, with two world-famous masterpieces in its treasury: "The Last Supper" and "Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus", both by Flemish Primitive painter Dirk Bouts. And finally there's the Round Table, located at the east side of the square. Originally conceived as a municipal building that was rented by the medieval guilds, it was beautifully reconstructed in the 20th century.

The Old Market Square

"The longest bar in Europe", it is generally called by locals. Lining up more than 60 pubs, which serve a great many of the 360 kinds of beer produced in Belgium, the Old Market Square offers plenty of choice to find a spot that fits your mood. "Stella", the pride of Leuven, is probably the most uttered word on this square. Bars are packed on Thursday nights, students' regular night out.

Restaurants

If you only have time for one topnotch restaurant, let it be the Boardroom (J.Vandenbemptlaan 6), where a bunch of young enthusiastic cooks prepare delicious meals for the 21st century. The modern boardroom is part of a larger complex with a hotel of the same name and a smaller eatery next to it, the Voltaire. In the Muntstraat you'll find one restaurant next to the other. Two highlights: seafood at the intimate Oesterbar (Muntstraat 23) and Asian food at Eat Planet (Muntstraat 32). A more conventional cuisine can be found at the stylish Spaans Dak (Maurits Noëstraat 2) or at the Couvert Couvert (Sint-Jansbergsesteenweg 171).

Cafe Leffe

Cafe Leffe
Bondgenotenlaan 20/A, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)16 29 12 74

Dinner

Find a place for dinner in Leuven or wait and have your final Belgian meal in Brussels.

On to Brussels Leuven to Brussels: 18 miles

Now return to Brussels and get ready to fly home tomorrow.

Day Seventeen, Sunday, Return home

Today we leave Belgium behind.

Fly home

Refer to the resources at the beginning of this itinerary for information about getting back to the car rental return area at the airport. If you got a GPS with your rental car, it should have an option for getting you back to the car rental return area.


A few more links

Miscellaneous

Beer, Food and Bruges

A taste of Bruges: culinary highlights from beertourism.com
An Ode to a Romantic Assault on the Senses

Breweries

Domus Brewery, Leuven

Domus
Tiensestraat 8, 3000 Leuven
Telephone: +32 (0)16 20 14 49

Brewery LEFEBVRE Ltd., Quenast

Brewery LEFEBVRE Ltd.
Chemin du Croly, 54, B-1430 Quenast
Telephone: +32 (0)67-67 07 66
For reasons of safety and hygiene, there is no visit to the Brasserie Lefebvre. You can buy our products at the brewery from Tuesday to Friday, 14h-17h30. However, the tourism desk propose you to visit the museum of beer. History of the brewery, products, old material are there exposed in a amazing way. Not far from the museum, you can enjoy our products at the Moulin d'Arenberg.

AB-InBev Breweries

AB-InBev
Many Belgian beers are brewed at Anheuser Busch InBev breweries. Among them are Hoegaarden in Hoegaarden and Stella Artois & Leffe in Leuven.

Brouwerij Roman

Brouwerij Roman
ADRIAEN BROUWER DARK GOLD

Brouwerij Kerkom

Brouwerij Kerkom
we brew it here
we drink it here
we sell what's left

Brouwerij Strubbe

Brouwerij Strubbe
Lots of different beers

Brasserie Ellezelloise

Brasserie Ellezelloise
Ellezelloise produces five regular beers, a blond and an amber ale, and a hardy Belgian stout. All of them are made in small batches and are lagered for ten days in German oak casks. They are strong, full-bodied, and very satisfying.

Other Optional Cities to Visit

Ghent

Ghent, Belgium: a cultural city guide
Lindsey McWhinnie, of The Telegraph, a British newspaper, offers an essential cultural guide to the historic Flanders port, where beer and bicycles reign.







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