Tailwind Destinations

All Good Things~Belgium

From those who've already been there...
  • "Charlotte and I absolutely loved the Belgium trip and can't stop thinking about it two weeks after getting back. You managed to pack so much awesomeness into 8 days, yet we didn't feel rushed and often had time to explore ourselves. Each brewery was a real gem, many of which I wouldn't have thought of if I planned it myself. The history tours were excellent and really rounded out the trip. Leaving the last day to explore in Brugge was perfect. Everything about the trip (hotels, tours, breweries, restaurants, chocolates) exceeded our expectations. We are looking forward to the next trip planned by Tailwind Destinations."Eric and Charlotte (August, 2019)
  • "I cannot thank you enough for planning the trip of a lifetime!! I had so much fun and each and every one in the group was truly amazing!!! I had a blast and cannot thank you enough!! Hope to see you guys again soon!! "Christine (Sept, 2019)
  • "I don’t have the capacity to express how much fun I had on this trip. I’m rather fond of our Tailwind Destinations Family, I’d travel anywhere, anytime with you." Bob (August, 2019)
  • "Life is like a suitcase of beers in tube socks. You never know what you’re gonna get…but you know that it will be delicious. Thanks for the trip of a lifetime, introducing us to new beers, new places and new friends" Erika and Aaron (August, 2019)
  • "We had a wonderful time this past week! Could not have asked for better beer, chocolate, tours, weather, bus drivers or a group of folks. We’ve enjoyed every minute of the trip with all of you! Thanks for putting together a world class trip!". Kelsey and Kale (August, 2019)
  • "Tony and I loved this trip! Thanks to Rick and Carolyn and all y’all for making these precious memories with us."Kathy and Tony (August, 2019)
  • "I salute Rick and Carolyn for the marvelous execution of this adventure…"John (August, 2019)
  • “Not to get all mushy, but can’t help constantly thinking about how thankful I am for taking a trip of this scope and, and with all of you!”Sue (August, 2019)
  • "Thank you for the most amazing experience ever. We loved every second of it- from the beer tours to the history, to the great company. Every day was a truly wonderful day. Thank you!!!"Tanya and Trish (August, 2019)
  • "It is a fair wind that blew men to the ale"Washington Irving

All Good Things Belgium

Day 1- (Saturday- The Weary Travelers Find The Monastery) ~ Arrive at Brussels International Airport where your guide will meet you just outside of the arrivals area. Although you’ve just arrived, our coach will be waiting to transfer us out of Belgium and into Holland to visit De Koningshoeven Brewery (La Trappe), the only Trappist Brewery in the world to offer regularly scheduled tours. After the tour and tasting ends, we’ll enjoy our first lunch together as a group in the midst of the monastery’s beautiful gardens. From there, we’ll transfer to our hotel to check in and freshen up. At a time to be determined, we’ll meet with a professional guide for an afternoon walking tour of Brussels with a stop along the way at Delirium Cafe. Dinner will be at Nuetnigenough, a charming brasserie with an art nouveau facade & interior touches, offering Belgian beers & cuisine. The balance of the evening will be free time for you to explore, or rest after the long Trans-Atlantic journey.

Day 2 (Sunday- Culture and Saxophones) ~ Today we’ll start the day by tasting our way through the world’s chocolate capital on a small group tasting tour in Brussels. We’ll visit 6 of the cities most renowned and elegant confectionaries to sample gourmet Belgian Pralines (Truffles) and learn fun facts of the history of chocolate making from a professional guide.
Next we’ll make our way to the enchanting town of Dinant, internationally known as the birthplace of the saxophone where we’ll make a quick visit to the small Brasserie Caracole. This brewery is as it was 100 years ago and is the only remaining brewery in Europe to heat their mash water with wood fires. Time permitting, you can self-explore this gem of a Belgian town, or tour the Leffe Brewery prior to enjoying our dinner at Le Couvent de Bethleem located at the Leffe Brewery where we’ll be staying. The balance of the day will be at your leisure. We recommend visiting the Leffe Brewing Museum and then walk to find a quiet place to dine. (B)

Day 3 (Monday-Gnomes, Heroes and Sacrifice) ~ Today will be a full day so we’ll need to start immediately after breakfast to make our way further into southern Belgium as our tour takes us to Bastogne and into the Ardennes. This entire area is steeped in folklore, history and WWII events with US tank monuments scattered throughout the region. Upon leaving Dinant, we’ll proceed directly to Bastogne where, upon arrival, our group will be met by a local travel specialist to take us on a partial day tour of the Bastogne area. The Siege of Bastogne was an engagement in December 1944 between American and German forces which greatly influenced the outcome of WWII.
Following the Bastogne tour, we’ll make our way along meandering roads to Les 3 Fourquets, brewers of Lupulus and Ardennes Triple beer. This small brewery with outdoor fermenters will offer a quick tour following by a sampling of their craft. A light lunch will be served after the brewery tour. Next, we’ll meet the gnomes and spend time touring the world famous Achouffe, sampling the beers and exploring the brewery store and local area. We’ll have you back in Dinant this evening to enjoy dinner as a group at our hotel. The balance of the night is yours to relax or explore. (B,L,D)

Day 4 (Tuesday-Hops and the Holy Grail)~ Today will have us leaving beautiful Dinant for the hop-fields of Poperinge. It’s a several hour drive across the Belgian countryside so we’ll be ready for lunch when we arrive. Our first stop will be at In De Vrede. This cafe is owned by the Sint Sixtus Abbey, brewers of the worlds famous, and possibly the most sought after beer, Westvleteren 12. It’s a simple cafe, with a simple menu of local ham’s, breads and cheeses. The highlight of the visit is being the opportunity to enjoy the coveted St Sixtus beers by the glass. A quick visit to nearby De Struise Brewers will also be on the agenda.
Our next visit will be the brewery of St Bernardus, the place where the famed Westvleteren 12 was brewed until 1972. Many people compare the two beers and deem them identical. You can decide for yourself. In the afternoon, spend a couple of hours on your own exploring the quaint town of Poperinge where we can enjoy Dinner on our own. (B, L)

Day 5 (Wednesday- Flanders Poppies) ~ This morning will be at leisure and we can offer ideas for things to do.
Lunch will be on your own and afterwards, we’ll gather for a “Flanders Fields” tour that will take us to several significant WWI battlegrounds and memorials, including: Essex Farm (Advanced Dressing Station which inspired John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields”), Pilckem Ridge (Gas Attack 1915), Langemarck German Cemetery, Vancouver Corner The Brooding Soldier Memorial, New Zealand War Memorial Gravenstafel, Tyne Cot Cemetery (The Third Battle of Ypres aka Passchendaele) and final stop on the tour Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Museum with trenches, returning back to Ieper via Hellfire Corner.
Dinner will be served tonight at a fine local restaurant nearby that will be announced later. (B, D)

Day 6 (Thursday- The Two Towers) ~This morning, after a wonderful breakfast of local breads, hams and produce at St Bernardus, we’ll leave Watou and make our way north for a stop in the town of Kortrijk, where we’ll be joined by a guide for a walking tour of this medieval town. From there, we’ll journey to The Gulden Spoor and Fenix Breweries for a visit with the owner/brewer who was once the youngest professional brewer in all of Belgium. Lunch will be served in their affiliate restaurant.
Just a short drive away, Rodenbach will be next on our itinerary. The brewery is known for its production of barrel-aged sour beers in the Flemish red style. This is a very unique and one of a kind brewery, registered as a national landmark and is well worth the visit.
Untouched by any of the great wars, Bruges awaits us for the next visit. This living medieval city is called the Venice of Belgium with it’s labyrinth of canals meandering through the town. The balance of the evening will be yours to explore this enchanting city. (B)

Day 7 (Friday- Nooks and Crannies) ~ The morning in Bruges will be yours to explore the town. You can take a cruise through the canals, visit the Church’s, museums, chocolatiers, an interactive brewery museum or visit the Bruges Madonna, the only Michelangelo statue to leave Italy while the artist was still alive. Weather permitting, you can take a boat ride to explore Bruges from the canal used for travel and trade for many centuries.
We’ll plan to meet in the early afternoon for a tour of De Halve Mann Brewery, home of the famous Straffe Henrik barand of beers followed by a private, group lunch also at the brewery of consisting of cheeses, sausage, pate and breads as well as a soup of your choice. Later in the day, our driver will take us to the 5
th annual North Sea beer festival. (B,L)

Day 8 (Saturday- In Bruges) ~
The final day in Belgium will be at your leisure. There are many things to do in Bruges, and all within walking distance from our hotel. Your guide will be more than happy to offer suggestions of where to go, what to do, and how to get there. We’ll plan to meet in the evening for a farewell toast as we celebrate the week together, friends made and happy memories (B,S))

Day 9 (Sunday- All good things…) ~ As all good things come to an end, we say farewell to Belgium as we travel to the airport to catch our flight home. The bus will pick those of you leaving today at the hotel. (B)