Who wouldn't want to visit a country that has over 2,000 chocolate shops and makes arguably the best beer in the world? Little Belgium is saddled between such grand cities as Amsterdam in Holland and Paris in France. If you're thinking a day just isn't enough in the country approximately the size of the state of Maryland, where monks make Chimay ale, and where the blend of French, Flemish and Dutch cultures makes for some haute cuisine and great tourist excursions, take advantage of some of these deals to Belgium.
Gate-1 Travel (tel. 800/682-3333; www.gate1travel.com) has several trips centered on Brussels. Headquarters to NATO, many art and culture museums, and one of Europe's architectural gems with gigantic neo-classical and medieval structures, Brussels has a reputation as one of Europe's more stately capital cities. A five-day Brussels Super Saver with accommodations near the Grand Palace starts at $489 for travel good from November 30 to December 15, 2005 or during Christmas from December 25 to December 28, 2005. The trip includes round-trip airfare out of New York, three-nights accommodations in Brussels, and daily breakfast. (Departures from other U.S. gateways are available.) You can opt for a tour of the city hitting such sights Grand Palace, St. Michael's Cathedral, the Royal Residence, the Palace of Justice, and the European Union complex or take a day of leisure. A day tour of Brugge is also optional. But if you decide to take the tour, you'll be whisked to the Flanders Province of Belgium (the Dutch half of the country) known for its breathtaking countryside, gorgeous canals and impressive cityscapes. Price of the trip starts at $599 if you decide to travel from January 28 to March 26, 2006. Airport taxes, security fees and airport transfers are not included in the price of the package.
Fortunately for travelers, Go-Today (tel. 800/227-3235; www.go-today.com) extended their booking deadlines for most European trips till September 22, 2005. A six-night trip that splits time between Brussels and Brugge and includes round-trip airfare, hotel, and rail tickets from Brussels to Brugge, daily breakfast and hotel service charges and taxes starts at approximately $539 for double occupancy stays and increases based on the quality of the hotel you select. Travel is good from November 1 to December 15, 2005 and January 6 to March 24, 2006. Airfare is out of New York City, but for an additional $70 you can leave from Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Washington D.C. Other Go-Today trips to Belgium include an eight-night fly and drive package starting at $439 and some land-only Belgium specials where a three-night biking special with accommodations costs approximately $349.
Round-trip flights from New York to Brussels costs approximately $431 on 1800FlyEurope (tel. 800/359-3876; www.1800flyeurope.com). Flights into nearby Amsterdam, however, arguably the least expensive city to fly into Europe from the United States, start at only $262 from Boston, $250 from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and $313 from Detroit. These fares are good from November 1 to December 10, 2005 and January 10 to March 10, 2006. If you want to fly into London and ferry it across to Holland, round-trip to London from New York only costs $189 for the above dates. Departure fees and security fees are not included.
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