Floriade 2022 Holland, Belgium & france
Day 1 Overnight flight
Day 2 Zaanse Schans – Beemster Polder – Amsterdam
Arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Meet your driver and tour escort and depart to the recreated Dutch village dating back to 1850 , the Zaanse Schans. Wander about the unique village, full of wooden houses, windmills, and workshops, and step back in time. Visit one of the mills that are still in operation, the bakery museum, see the cheese factory, tin foundry and view a range of traditional Dutch crafts such as cheese and clog making. Enjoy a typical Dutch Pancake lunch together. Time permitting, you will travel through the unique polder landscape (UNESCO World Heritage listed) of the Beemster Polder to Amsterdam. On route you will make a short stop in Edam, the city of cheese. Edam cheese has been a famous Dutch export product since the Golden Age. Check in at the hotel and have some time to relax before dinner.
Welcome dinner and overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 3 Amsterdam
This morning enjoy a guided walking tour of Amsterdam to discover the capital of the Netherlands. Amsterdam was founded in the Middle Ages and has many historical buildings. You will see the most important sights such as the Dam Square with the impressive Royal Palace and New Church, the canals with the arched bridges, and Waterloo Square. Afterwards visit the Rijksmuseum, with an expert guide. This museum features famous paintings such as Rembrandt’s `Night watch’ and `Jewish bride’. Paintings by Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael are on exhibit as well. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure to explore this vibrant city on your own.
Overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 4 Amsterdam – Floriade Expo – Amsterdam
After breakfast you will depart to Almere to visit the Floriade, World Horticultural Expo, which has become the largest public event in the Netherlands. The theme of the Floriade Expo 2022 is ‘Growing Green Cities’. During the Expo, different countries, cities and companies will offer inspiring ideas about the Green City of the Future. As a visitor, you can participate and contribute to four relevant sub-themes: green, food, energy and health. Return to Amsterdam, remainder of the day free for independent activities. Overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 5 Amsterdam – Aalsmeer Flower Auction – Keukenhof or Palace ‘het Loo’ – Amsterdam
In the early morning you will travel to Aalsmeer. Here you will see the trading in action at the world’s largest flower market, the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. In a building approximately the size of a 100 soccer fields, many different kind of flowers are traded. Afterwards you will visit the Keukenhof. This world renowned display garden is a 70-acre estate where 6 million bulbs are planted annually by local growers. The Keukenhof is the world’s largest exhibition of blooming tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. * For tours that are held outside the Keukenhof opening dates, a visit to the former Royal Palace ‘het Loo’ in Apeldoorn is included instead. Palace ‘het Loo’ has been a summer residence for the Dutch Royals until 1975 and now is a National Museum. The carefully restored rooms, French gardens, large collection of Royal carriages and surrounding forest are a delight to wander around. Return to Amsterdam.
Overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 6 Amsterdam – Delft – Bruges
Before travelling to Belgium, you will first stop in Delft. The city with its historic city center is famous for its characteristic Delft’s Blue Porcelain. Enjoy some free time in the city centre. In the afternoon you will visit Royal Delft’s factory, ‘the Porceleyne Fles’ where you will discover the complete history and production process of Delft’s Blue Porcelain. You will experience the painters’ passion during a painting demonstration and will walk through the factory where craftsmen are still producing. Afterwards, you will cross the border, into Belgium and drive to Antwerp, the country’s up-coming city. Known for its historic city centre, the Town Hall, the Cathedral of our Lady with the famous Rubens triptych, the Schelde quay and the Palace at the Meir. Travel onwards to Bruges, also called the ‘Venice of the North’, your destination for the next two nights.
Overnight in Bruges.
Day 7 Bruges
This morning enjoy a guided walking tour of Bruges. You will see the Holy Blood Cathedral, the Belfort, the Lake of Love, the Church of Our Lady with Michelangelo’s Marble Madonna, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Beguinage and the historic centre with its canals, lace workshops, ancient buildings. The tour ends at the ‘De Halve Maan Brewery’ where you will have lunch, followed by a guide tour. The tour introduces you to the making of the typical ‘Brugse Zot’ beer. Conclude your visit with a beer tasting.
Overnight in Bruges.
Day 8 Bruges – Ghent – Brussels
After breakfast you will depart for Ghent, a charming town with stunning architecture and lively squares. A local expert guide will show you Ghent, see important buildings from the Middle Ages, such as the UNESCO World Heritage listed Belfry Hall, the oldest part of the city, the ‘Korenlei ‘ and the ‘Graslei’ which is considered the most beautiful street in the city, due to the historic buildings and their facades’ reflection in the River Lys. You will continue to the St. Baafs Cathedral and see the famous Ghent Alter Piece by the Van Eyck brothers. After some free time you will depart for Meise, located just north of Brussels. Here you will visit the Botanical Gardens, one of the largest in the world, with 18.000 species of plants. On the gardens’ grounds, Bouchout Castle is located. A guide will show you the gardens, the Orangery and the Plant Palace. From Meise it is only a short drive to Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the administrative center of the European Union. Overnight in Brussels.
Day 9 Brussels – Paris
Today starts with a guided city tour by coach. See the main sights of Brussels such as the Royal Palace, the Palace of Justice, which is larger than St. Peter’s in Rome. This impressive structure rules the Brussels skyline and can be seen from almost any vantage point in the city. The tour will continue on foot in the old town to see the Market Square, with beautiful houses and of course you don’t want to miss ‘Manneken Pis’. This unique Brussels icon has been amusing visitors on the corner of Rue de L’Etuve & Stroofstraat since 1619. Over time it has become a tradition for visiting heads of state to donate miniature versions of their national costume for the little naked boy. Manneken Pis even has its own wardrobe section on display at the Brussels Museum which includes over 760 outfits – even an authentic Elvis jumpsuit. In the early afternoon you will depart for Paris, the City of Lights.
Overnight in Paris.
Day 10 Paris
After breakfast, enjoy a guided city tour to see the highlights of the city by coach and on foot. You will see the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Opéra Garnier, l’Arc de Triomphe, Avenue des Champs-Élysées,Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower. Enjoy a guided walk through the characteristic neighbourhood Montmartre. A district full of authentic charm, famous for the Sacré-Cœur. This Basilica, consecrated in 1919, is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. A short walk from the Sacré-Cœur is Place du Tertre and the district of Abbesses with its steep, winding roads. The afternoon is at leisure. The possibilities to explore Paris are endless; as an art lover you might want to visit Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie des Tuileries with works by Van Gogh, Monet, and Cezanne. You might want to climb the Eiffel Tower for a spectacular city view from the top. Shoppers can indulge themselves at the famed department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Overnight in Paris.
Day 11 Paris
In the morning you will travel to Château de Versailles. Visit the famous 17th century palace and its beautiful gardens. Visitors passing through the rich interior and vast gardens will understand why it was the glory of the Sun King’s reign. Louis XIV built the largest Palace in Europe beginning with his father’s modest hunting lodge. You will see the Grand Apartment, the Hall of Mirrors and King’s and Queen’s suites. Afterwards, travel back to Paris for a visit to the most famous museum of the world; Musée du Louvre. Your local expert guide will guide you through the different wings of the museum. Besides the most famous artworks in the world, like the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and the Grecian Venus de Milo you will also see masterworks by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Veronese.
Farewell dinner and overnight in Paris.
Day 12 Departure
After breakfast you will depart for Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight back home.