5 days from £325 per person*
*based on sharing on a twin/double basis and a minimum of 40 paying passengers
Join us on a 5-day tour that incorporates Mechelen, Antwerp, Ghent and the World Heritage City of Bruges. We discover the magnificent wealth of fine art and architecture in the region, including masterpieces by Rubens and Van Dyck, and the impressive Church of St John. Local guides will explain the historical importance of Antwerp, Ghent and Mechelen and point out the highlights of each city as well as giving free time. On our return journey to the UK we stop in the beautiful city of Bruges.
We depart by coach for our journey, via the Eurotunnel, to Mechelen; our base for the next 4 nights.
After breakfast we take a guided tour of Mechelen including entry to the Old Town Hall, the Beguinage, Ursuline Winter Gardens and the 15th century Church of St John. The Old Town Hall was supposed to be the seat of the High Court of the United Netherlands in the 1500s, but the palace was not finished due to a lack of funding and took until the early 20th century to complete. St John’s Church is one of the most famous medieval churches due to its 1619 Rubens painting of a triptych depicting the adoration of the Magi. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore. St Romboutskathedraal features a Van Dyck crucifixion and many fine artworks below its stained glass windows. For a relaxing afternoon why not take one of the boat cruises along the waterways of Mechelen.
After breakfast we visit Antwerp where we will enjoy a walking tour of the city including entry to the Rubens Museum and Museum Mayer van den Bergh. Rubenshuis shows his studio where most of his works were created, the art room exhibiting his personal collection from the 17th century and several masterpieces including his self-portrait. The Museum Mayer van den Bergh was the first museum in the world to be built around a single collection, with a special focus on Bruegel. Masterpieces on show include the Mad Meg by Bruegel and Our Lady of the Milk by van der Weyden. We will have the afternoon at leisure to explore the city at our own pace . During the 16th century, Antwerp was the richest city in the Europe, thanks to its world trade of pepper, sugar and textiles and to its highly efficient stock exchange. The houses of the wealthy merchants have been preserved and the 16th century guild houses can be seen at the Grote Markt. The Cathedral of our Lady is home to several triptychs by Rubens. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Plantin-Moretus Museum honours the printers Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus. It houses an exceptional collection of typographical material, an extensive library and claims the two oldest surviving printing presses in the world. We return to Mechelen late afternoon.
This morning we visit Ghent for a guided walking tour including entry to the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and the “must see” Mystic Lamb. The Cathedral holds an impressive collection of religious art dating from the 8th to the 20th century. The most important of which is the 1432 Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by the Van Eyck brothers, depicting the glorification of man’s salvation and sanctification by the sacrifice of Christ. We enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore. Important museums in Ghent include the Museum of Fine Arts with paintings by Bosch and Rubens, and the City Museum for Contemporary Art with works by Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol. We return to Mechelen late afternoon.
After breakfast we check out of our hotel and visit the World Heritage City of Bruges. Bruges is decorated with charming historic houses, numerous chocolate shops and waterways. We have free time to explore at our leisure. The Groeninge Museum houses a collection of artworks spanning six centuries. The Basilica of the Holy Blzod is a beautiful gothic church on the Burg Square, and displays a vial of blood that is said to belong to Jesus. We continue our journey back to the UK.
Novotel Mechelen Centrum
The 4* Novotel Mechelen Centrum is located in the heart of Mechelen and only a short walk to the Market Square. The hotel’s restaurant serves local specialities and international cuisine and hotel facilities include a bar / lounge and hammam. The spacious modern bedrooms are equipped with air conditioning, tea & coffee facilities, a safe, TV, minibar and en-suite bathroom.
• Executive touring coach throughout
• Return Eurotunnel crossings
• 4 nights bed & breakfast accommodation
• Welcome drink on arrival at the hotel
• Excursions as per itinerary
What’s not included
• Single supplement
• Travel insurance
Any of our tours can be tailored to suit your particular groups requirements.
For further details please contact one of the team on 01225 764205 or email@example.com