On this half-day trip from Bruges, Ghent or Zeebrugge port, we explore the hinterland of Bruges with its many charming and picturesque villages and towns and its impressive natural landscapes. Just like Bruges, every single one of these places has had a long and eventful history and is filled with historic heritage sites of different time periods, some dating back to the early Middle Ages.
Some of the stops on the tour are established destinations for locals but are still largely unexplored by foreign visitors. Other stops are hidden gems even for locals. The highlights of this road trip are the picturesque historic towns of Damme and Lissewege. Impressive medieval heritage amidst magnificent natural landscapes, need we say more? Besides these two longer stops, there are several shorter stops, including a medieval barn and a lost church tower. It wouldn’t be a tour in Flanders, if there isn’t a gastronomic aspect. We will try some of the local delicacies (from drinks to sweet and savoury) in charming, unique places.
Your hotel in Bruges (or a meeting point close-by), Zeebrugge cruise terminal or Ghent
4.5 hours (approx.)
The starting time of the tour is flexible and depends on your availability.
On this half-day trip from Bruges, you’ll visit:
Lissewege is called ‘the white village’ because practically all historic houses in the center are painted white. It’s one of the most picturesque places you’ll ever see. You don’t have to take our word for it. This polder village has repeatedly been named the most beautiful village of Flanders. We’ll walk around the cobblestoned streets with its strangely large brick church tower and small canal running through the center of town. A bit outside Lissewege, we’ll also stop at the remains of the former Cistercian abbey of Ter doest. Its original medieval barn is simply amazing and a true hidden gem!
Damme is not just a charming small town with historic buildings, it has played a central role in Flemish medieval history and it is the perfect place to witness how towns used to be built and especially how they were reinforced and defended. Very few small towns have so many monuments as Damme: the gothic town hall, the mill, the 13th century hospital, the partially restored town walls, old farms,… It is often said that Damme is a smaller, more concentrated version of Bruges or Ghent, but then without the tourist crowds.
Besides these two highlights, we’ll also make several shorter stops at less known places, true hidden gems.
This wouldn’t be a tour in Belgium, if we didn’t stop for a drink and/or sweet/savoury local delicacy. Depending on your preference, we’ll pick one of the many local places with a great view.
Do you want to make this a full-day road trip? This tour can be combined with other stops, such as those of our other trips from Bruges, for instance the World War tour with both well preserved WWI and WWII sites.