Discover the picturesque medieval town of Damme and the neo-gothic castle of Loppem, both located in the green belt around Bruges. A wonderful tour on the outskirts of Bruges filled with nature, history, architecture – and chocolate!
The tour starts in Oostende with a scenic drive through typical Flemish countryside with polders and wetlands to the quaint little village of Damme. This typical Flemish village has kept its historic character by preserving impressive houses from the town’s heyday. Damme is also known as a book town, with numerous bookshops and regular book fairs. You have some free time to stroll around or sit at a café and enjoy one of the many varieties of Belgian beer.
Next, we drive through the outskirts of the historic city of Bruges. You see windmills and the impressive medieval walls surrounding the town, before getting the opportunity to buy famous Belgian chocolate at one of the largest chocolate shops in the Bruges area.
The tour then takes you south of Bruges to visit the impressive Castle of Loppem, considered a masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture. It is known for the preservation of its original architecture and interior decoration. In 1856, English architect Edward Welby Pugin (whose father, August Welby Pugin, helped build the Westminster Houses of Parliament) collaborated with Belgian architect Jean Bethune to ensure Flemish character in the design and construction. Loppem Castle later came to play a prominent role in the political history of Belgium at the end of World War I.
After visiting this beautiful castle, the coach drives you back to the ship.