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Belgium - Villages, Fens and Abbeys

Belgium's fairy tale region of castles, abbeys, historic cities mixes seamlessly with green ways, rivers, verdant pastures and protected reserves.

  • Belgium

  • 7 nights
  • Half Board
  • May

    Jun

    Oct

  • Guided Adagio Holidays

Tour codes: 50500

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Guided Adagio Holidays

This holiday includes an active sightseeing programme with unchallenging walks, either city tours or strolls on relatively easy terrain in the surrounding countryside. If in a mountainous area, the walks will be amongst the hills rather than up and down them. Local guides, winery visits, traditional villages and time to pause and watch the locals going about their lives are likely to feature.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Walk in Belgium's High Fens
  • Train journey to Maastricht with a boat trip on the River Maas
  • Discover Soiron and Olne, considered the prettiest villages in southern Belgium
  • Walk part of the Camino de Santiago that crosses Belgium
  • Explore Liege with our local guide
  • Beer tasting and visit at an Abbey
  • Cheese tasting in Herve

Belgium is a country of two parts. The northern, Flemish speaking  region of Flanders, famed for its medieval cities of Bruges, Antwerp and Gent; and the southern region of Wallonia with the thermal town of Spa, also known for Formula 1, WWI battle sites and one of nature's unspoiled areas of the Ardennes Forest. 

We head south to Wallonia, easily reached by train from Brussels. From the historic city of Liege, after exploring with our local guide, we sample some of the best parts of the Herve region, following Greenways (disused railway tracks) between picturesque villages, walking on a stretch of Belgium's Camino de Santiago, as pilgrims have done for centuries, and exploring the High Fens, a protected reserve with abundant wildlife, in the Belgian Ardennes. There will be time to taste the cheese from the region and sample beer at an abbey where monks still do the brewing today.

Further afield, we'll take the train to the southern Dutch university city of Maastricht, where our guide takes us through its historical past and where we enjoy a boat trip on the river Mass.

  • Return train tickets from London St Pancras to Liege, via Brussels
  • En-suite accommodation
  • Half Board meals with breakfasts and dinners taken at our hotel
  • All transport to participate in the arranged activities
  • All tips to local suppliers. hotels and coach drivers
  • Guided visits of Liege and Maastricht
  • Boat trip from Maastricht
  • Personal Expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary Tips
  • Optional Excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice. All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local providers are included in the cost of your holiday. 

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Bienvenue

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

We travel by train from London St Pancras to Brussels by Eurostar, where we change to a local train to continue to Liege. The train station is a short drive by private coach from our hotel. After check in, we may have chance to get to know our surroundings before dinner at the hotel.

Day 2

Explore Liege

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

After breakfast, we meet our local guide who will help us discover the city of Liege. Sitting along side the river Meuse in French speaking Belgium, its many landmarks date from the medieval times and the Opera de Wallonie has staged operas since 1820. This afternoon, after some free time for lunch, you may wish to enjoy a riverside stroll with the group leader, visit one of the many museums or enjoy a seat in a cafe for a coffee or Liege waffle.  Dinner will be at our hotel this evening. 

Day 3

Herve and Clermont sur Berwinne

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    Minimalm

We take our private coach from Liege to the pretty village of Clermont sur Berwinne (approx. 30 minute drive). Considered one of the region's prettiest villages, we start our walk (mainly flat on well surfaced route) along a now abandoned railway line, part of the Belgian Camino de Santiago. The walk brings us to the town of Herve, famed for its cheese, and we have the time to explore and visit a local cheese maker, with tasty samples. We travel back to the hotel by coach and dinner is at the hotel this evening.

Day 4

Visit Maastricht

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We take the train today (approx. 35 minute journey)  to the southern Dutch university city of Maastricht where our local guide helps us explore the town. The old town is home to cobbled streets and the Romanesque Bascilica of St Servatius. After lunch, we'll enjoy a boat trip on the river Mass, and perhaps you may want to walk the city ramparts or visit an ancient 7th century watermill, which still grinds flour today. We travel back to Liege by train and dinner is at our hotel this evening.

Day 5

The High Fens, Ardennes and beer tasting

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    5.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    70m

We travel approximately one hour south of Liege today for a walk in the High Fens, Belgium's largest nationally protected reserve. It's a unique upland plateau surrounded by woodlands and one of the most ancient and unspoiled landscapes in the Belgian Ardennes. En route, we make a stop in the thermal town of Spa, Europe's original health resort. Our circular walk (approx. 5.5 miles, gentle descent and ascent of 70 meters) starts at Signal de Botrange, Belgium's highest point at 698 meters. 

On our return journey, we stop to visit the Abbey of Val-Dieu, founded by Cistercian monks in the 13th century and still produces beer today, which we have the opportunity to sample. We journey back to Liege for dinner at our hotel.

Day 6

Olne and Soiron

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    165m

A 30 minute drive brings us to the villages of Olne and Soiron, two of southern Belgium's pretty villages. From Soiron we enjoy a circular walk with some gentle ascents and descents on the way to Olne, which we have time to visit before we return to Soiron via a different route. We return to Liege with time for some last minute shopping before dinner at the hotel.

Day 7

Au Revoir

Meals

Breakfast

We leave after breakfast and take our transport to the train station where we take the train to Brussels and change to the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras.

Departure dates for your selected tour

1st May 2023 - 8th May 2023 (7 Nights)

1st Jun 2023 - 8th Jun 2023 (7 Nights)

8th Oct 2023 - 15th Oct 2023 (7 Nights)

29th Oct 2023 - 5th Nov 2023 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return rail from London St Pancras to Liege via Brussels
  • Coach transfer by road c.20 minutes

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is a summary of the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Mercure Liege City Centre

The Mercure Liege City Centre is located in the heart of the town, close to the river La Meuse.  While housed in an historic building, where you'll find a vaulted ceiling in the bar and restaurant, the en-suite rooms offer all modern conveniences such as wifi, tea and coffee facilities, safe, TV, climate control and hairdryer. 

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind. 

There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants. 

Walks & Excursions

We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.

Local Costs

Holiday Budgeting

Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Tipping

We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers.  If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.

Your Group

Group Size

We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.

Your Leader

An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights.  They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people.  They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.

Leaders Evening Briefing

Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.

Local Guides

Visiting historical sites, churches or museums are much more rewarding with a local guide. They give an insight to the local culture, language and traditions and can bring a destination alive. Many of our Adagio holidays include a knowledgeable English speaking guide on at least one of the days. Please refer to your daily itinerary to see where a guide is included.

Travel Plans

Getting to your Holiday

We travel by Eurostar from St Pancras to Brussels Midi station and change trains to continue to Liege. Our hotel is 3 miles from Liege train station, and we have a coach to make the short transfer.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements

If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Tickets

When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. 

Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passport Information

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements. 

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Meals

This holiday is on a half board basis, with breakfast and dinner included at the hotel. The Mercure Liege City Centre offers an American buffet breakfast and a three course buffet dinner.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.

General Kit List

We recommend you bring the following items with you:

  • Walking boots or shoes with a good sole and waterproof uppers. 
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers. It does rain sometimes!
  • A sunhat, fleece hat and gloves… to cover all weather eventualities.
  • Sun cream. 
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Swimwear in case there is time for swimming if the hotel has a pool
  • A water bottle.  (see Water-to-Go below)
  • A picnic knife, fork and spoon, as required.
  • A simple basic first aid kit.
  • A daypack to hold all the above.
  • Trekking poles (if you usually walk with poles)

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Travel Document Checklist

To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday currency
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Maps & Guidebooks

You may want to do a little reading in preparation for your trip. 

Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg (Travel Guide) by Mark Elliott and Catherine Le Nevez

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Belgium and Luxembourg


The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: [email protected]

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Staying Healthy on Holiday

Further Health Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Adagio that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.

Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

Looking for travel insurance cover?

If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.

SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Our Ethos

Responsible Travel

We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. 

In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. 

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