Belgium Tours for Seniors.

Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across the Western Europe and beyond. We explore Belgium’s quaint and serene beauty, its storied national heritage, World Heritage Sites, and beautifully designed cities, with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of Belgium, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people. Incredible food, drink and scenery await in decadent Belgium. Chocolate, waffles, and beer are among the top indulgences that Belgians have mastered. Add to these delectable delights the rich art, architecture, and comic books that Belgians are famous for. Brussels, the capital city, boasts of beautifully ornate buildings, from the medieval Guild Houses on the the Grote Markt (Grand Place), through the 19th century Royal Palace, to the modern headquarters of the European Union. In the Middle Ages, the port city of Ghent was one of the most prosperous cities in Europe – and still has the architecture to confirm it. Stay in Bruges and take in the fairy-tale old town, with its canals, medieval houses, and eerie Basilica of the Holy Blood. And in Ypres, pay respect to those who gave their lives in World War I at the Menin Gate. For a travel experience you won’t forget, join Odyssey Traveller as we take in the history, culture, and decadent cuisine of Belgium.

Belgium Tours

Hand crafted tours for mature world travellers

3 Total
art tours for mature travellers

21 days

Sep

Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany Art Tour | Western Europe Art Tour

Visiting Belgium, France

Most of us have already experienced the grandeur of classic galleries such as the Louvre and the National Gallery. Travel with like-minded people in a small group tour and be surprised by the lesser-known but equally wonderful smaller art galleries across Northwest Europe.

From A$14,450 AUD

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Western Europe Treasures and gardens small group tour Kinderdijk

26 days

Apr

Western Europe Chateaux and Gardens | Small Group Tour for Seniors

Visiting Belgium, France

This small group escorted educational tour combines visits to France, Belgium, Luxemborg, the Netherlands, and Germany. During the 26 days, we will discover a selection of the finest gardens and chateaux in Europe. Our destinations also include several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, for example the royal palaces built by the Prince-Bishop of Cologne in Brühl, Germany.

From A$13,250 AUD

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Giverny, France

13 days

Apr

Western Europe Gardens and Treasures Short Tour

Visiting Belgium, France

Odyssey Traveller small group tour explores Paris, Honfleur and Abbeville in France, Bruges in Belgium and then Luxemborg. Travelling with like minded people to discover some of the finest gardens of Europe, like Claude Monet's garden in Giverny. We also take in a memorial service in Villers-Bretonneux, which saw the greatest sacrifice of Australian and New Zealand troops during World War I.

From A$6,650 AUD

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Touring Belgium

The need to know

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Belgium has an excellent train network, with train services running across the length of the country. Given the extent of the rail network, the bus services in Belgium generally cover shorter distances, with buses often used to connect train stations with other rail lines.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour Guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography environment and weather

Belgium covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres, and has three main geographical regions: the coastal plain in the north west, the central plateau, and the Ardennes uplands in the south-east. The terrain of Belgium is largely flat in the centre of the country, with the terrain gradually rising into the hills and forests of the Ardennes region. Three major rivers flow through Belgium and into the North Sea: the Scheldt, the Meuse, and the Yser.

Belgium has a temperate maritime climate, with mild summers and cool winters. Depending on when you intend to travel, check the weather reports and dress accordingly.

World Heritage sites

There are 13 properties in Belgium listed on the World Heritage List. You can view the listed properties here: (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/be). Belgium’s listed properties include:

Belfries of Belgium, distinctive buildings which have been recognised as being an important symbols of civic independence in regional Flanders
Stoclet House, a landmark building constructed in the Art Nouveau style
Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai, an outstanding example of medieval Gothic architecture.

Festivals and events

The unique history and culture of Belgium is captured through its many colourful festivals and events. One of the more eye-catching events in the year is the Procession of the Holy Blood. First held in Bruges in 1150 AD, the religious festival centres around the relic of the Holy Blood paraded through the streets of Bruges alongside 1,500 costumed townspeople. Past events of national importance are commemorated through large events, none more spectacularly so than the annual Battle of Waterloo re-enactment. Every June, the Battle of Waterloo is re-enacted by hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of participants clothed in elaborate costumes and equipped with Napoleonic-era props. A few festivals in Belgium take a turn toward the peculiar, particularly the Kattenstoet festival in Ypres. Originally stemming from gruesome medieval tales of townsfolk throwing cats from towers, today the city holds a parade in honour of its feline friends, the culimination of which is toy cats being thrown from the city hall tower.

Reading list

Belgium: A History, by Bernard A. Cook
Beautiful Belgium, by Alison Cornford-Matheson
Belgium: Long United, Long Divided, by Samuel Humes and Wilfried Martens
The Great War in Belgium and the Netherlands: Beyond Flanders Fields, by Felicity Rash and Christophe Declercq

Eating and Drinking

The riverways, lakes and coastal waters of Belgium have long been a source of sustenance for Belgians, with moules-frites (mussels) and grey shrimp popular staples of Belgian cuisine. Soups and stews feature prominently in Belgian cooking, with dishes such as waterzooi (fish stew) and carbonadeflamandeor stooflees (steak and ale stew) remaining an integral part of Belgian cuisine. The humble potato has made its mark on Belgian cooking over the years, most famously in the form of frites (fries), though also as its usage as a key ingredient in stoemp (mashed potatoes and vegetables). Of course, no discussion about Belgian food would be complete without mentioning its world-famous waffles and chocolate, both of which hold a special place in the hearts of Belgians. Indeed, the Belgians are so enamoured with making and consuming chocolate that there are over 2,000 chocolatiers operating in Belgium.

Beer has been brewed in Belgium for nearly one thousand years, and as such beer is of national importance in Belgium, with over 200 active breweries in operation in Belgium. If you’re a beer enthusiast, be sure to sample a local variety while in Belgium.

Health and safety

As of writing, smartraveller.gov.au advises travellers to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling around Belgium due to the possible risk of terrorist attack. Also be advised that bag-snatches and pickpocketing do sometimes occur in Belgian cities, so keep your personal valuables close and pay close attention to your personal security.

Electrical supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. The electricity supply in Belgium runs at 230V and 50Hz. Belgium uses Type C and Type E electric plugs, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.

Tour Reviews

The geographical wonders offered by Iceland and Greenland left me in awe. The grandeur and spectacle of the countryside is breathtaking. Our leader (Rob) was excellent: well-researched, friendly, organized and good-humoured.

Participant 2017

Iceland cultural and wilderness small group tour

Overall the trip was great and met my expectation.

Errol H. June 2017

Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour

We felt safe in Turkey and found the people friendly and helpful. Prices were excellent and the food almost universally magnificent. There is so much to see in the natural and built environment and the wonderful archaeological sites. It is sad to see the ordinary people and businesses suffering from the lack of tourists. Mary B. Sep '17

Participant 2017

Ancient Turkey escorted small group history tour

Wife Brenda and I just completed Odyssey tour in UK entitled “Canals and Railways” led by Mal Bock. Absolutely superb, and Mal’s leadership faultless. Extremely good value considering only seven guests, superb local guides and drivers, a most comfortable coach with seating for 24. . Hotels chosen were excellent, most with real character, not places one would have chosen without local knowledge and recommendation, . My wife and I have visited the UK many times- I was born there, but we saw so many places which were new to us. Thank you Odyssey!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ian Sanderson

Canals and Railways in the Industrial Revolution Tour | Tours for Seniors in Britain

I was impressed by the number of places we visited. It was a very full itinerary which I like. We saw things of interest every day. I see no fault with the tour.

Participant 2017

Anglo French Tour | Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour

We found all the guides in each place excellent, some more than others, but always knowledgeable and obviously in love with their chosen careers. David our coach driver was excellent also, coping with some difficult situations with a cool head and providing us with a running commentary on a country he knows so well - especially Norfolk his home county!

Sally and Angus H. June 2017

Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour

Our guide Filiz was wonderful, very well informed, historical insights very helpful, her care for our well being exceptional. Could not have wished for a better tour leader.

Participant 2017

Ancient Turkey escorted small group history tour

The country was apparently calm and safe. People were friendly and helpful. Such a pity there has been such a down turn in tourism. Ros & Tony S. Sep '17

Participant 2017

Ancient Turkey escorted small group history tour

FAQs

What time zone is Belgium in?

Belgium has a single time zone, Central European Standard Time (UTC+1). Daylight savings in Belgium commence on the last Sunday of March, and conclude on the last Sunday of October.

Is tipping customary?

If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping is not common in Belgium, with service charges often included in bills.

What is the internet access like in Belgium?

Wifi is widely available in Belgium, and should be freely accessible in most hotels, cafes and restaurants.

Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in Belgium?

Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Belgium. Many providers will allow you to pay a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.

Articles about Belgium published by Odyssey Traveller:

Europe’s Ten Best Art Galleries – including Belgium’s Musee de Beaux Arts.

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Belgium:

Lonely Planet: Ghent – Belgium’s best kept secret.

The Telegraph: Thirty reasons to keep visiting Belgium.

Visit Belgium

Responsible travel tips for Belgium

  • Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  • Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums and galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of euros in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.

About Odyssey Traveller

We specialise in educational small group tours for seniors, typically groups between six to 12 people from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Britain. Our maximum number of people on a tour is 18 mature aged travellers.We have some 150 tours and offer 300 scheduled departures on offer each year. Odyssey has been offering this style of adventure and educational programs since 1983.

Odyssey Traveller is committed to charitable activities that support the environment and cultural development of Australian and New Zealand communities.

Odyssey Traveller scholarship for Australia & New Zealand University students.

We are also pleased to announce that since 2012, Odyssey has been awarding $10,000 Equity & Merit Cash Scholarships each year. We award scholarships on the basis of academic performance and demonstrated financial need. We award at least one scholarship per year. We’re supported through our educational travel programs, and your participation helps Odyssey achieve its goals. Students can apply for the scholarship by clicking on this link to find out more details.

Join our loyalty program when you join an international small group tour.

Every International small group tour taken typically contributes to your membership level in our Loyalty Program for regular travellers. Membership of the alumni starts when you choose to take your first international small group tour with Odyssey Traveller, discounts in tour pricing for direct bookings accrue from your third tour with Odyssey Traveller. To see the discounts and benefits of being a Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond alumni member with us, please see this page.

For more information on Odyssey Traveller and our educational small group tours, visit and explore our website., remember to visit these pages in particular

Alternatively, please call or send an email.

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