10 days 9 nights Amsterdam – Luxembourg - Brussels
Ten days touring filled with wonderful art, beautiful Gardens and historic sites in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium.
Arrival at airport and transfer to hotel.
A local guide acquaints you with all the charm of Amsterdam this morning, from its canals to its gabled 18th-century homes. The tour also includes a visit to a working Dutch diamond-cutting factory. Later in the morning, on a narrated canal cruise, you’ll pass along some of the city’s many waterways and view the houseboats that still serve as residences for many local citizens. On selected springtime departures, an optional excursion to Keukenhof Gardens - With its millions of flowers growing on 70 acres of gardens, Keukenhof has been a showplace for the Dutch floral industry throughout the past 50 years. In the evening, optional travel along the canals of Amsterdam on a low-slung house boat, enjoying the view of row houses lit up for the night. Your tour will take you through the centre of town as you enjoy a wonderful Dutch feast by lantern light.
If the art of the Dutch masters interests you, plan to visit the recently renovated van Gogh Museum or the Stedelijk Museum (a collection of modern art). Instead, you might consider an optional excursion to two more Dutch cities, The Hague (European seat of the United Nations) and Delft, along with a visit to a flower market. Your first stop on this excursion is a visit to a flower market for a close-up look at one of Holland’s best-known national exports: its brilliantly hued tulips.
Amsterdam – Luxembourg (360km/5h).
Crossing south to the province of Limburg, notice how the landscape quickly changes from flat to hilly to mountainous. Stop in the Limburger capital of Maastricht for Tour Director-led sightseeing of this superb city. Then cross into the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, as the country is officially titled. This tiny principality is smaller than the smallest state in the United States. Check in to your hotel and overnight.
An expert local guide leads today’s sightseeing tour of Luxembourg City, the country’s capital. Travel through the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. View the poignant World War II Monument of National Unity, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the 17th-century Citadel of the Holy Spirit and the elegant Grand Ducal Palace, once a royal residence and now the setting for formal state functions. Travel along Luxembourg's scenic "Little Switzerland" route to Chateau de Beaufort. While visiting this awe inspiring, 12th-century castle you will have the opportunity to taste the local drink, crème de cassis, in the Renaissance castle's annex
Luxembourg – Brussels (227km/4h). As you head north, travel through the forested Ardennes. The Battle of the Bulge unfolded amid the rolling hills and dense forests of this region. After crossing the border into Belgium, stop in Bastogne for a visit to the Bastogne Historical Centre paying tribute to the American soldiers who defended Belgium in World War II. Arrive later in Brussels, where you will have overnight.
Join a professional local guide for a tour of Brussels, unofficial capital of Europe and headquarters for the European Union. In the city’s historic center, see the Manneken Pis and the elegant Baroque houses that line the Grand Place. You’ll also view the European Union buildings, the 18th-century Place Royale and the Palais de Justice. In your free time this afternoon, you may choose to browse the galleries of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, featuring works by Monet and Gauguin. Or for a true taste of Brussels, stroll down rue des Bouchers (Butchers’ Street), a narrow alley full of seafood eateries competing for attention.
Be sure to sample some of Belgium’s renowned pastries or chocolates and take in the colourful local bustle of the Fish Market. Popular museums in the city include the unique Comic Strip Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. Journey into the region of Flanders on this half-day excursion. You’ll visit the picturesque town of Bruges, a Middle Ages-influenced town characterized by a market square that has remained largely unchanged in the past several centuries. See the landmark s of Bruges with a guided walking tour.
Transfer to airport.