The Sonian Forest on the outskirts of Brussels was added to Unesco’s World Heritage List in 2017.
This summer, the tourist office of Flemish Brabant (the province around Brussels) launched a brand-new project: guided tours for internationals.
You’re in no danger of running out of options when it comes to the range of guided tours. For example, you could visit a Hageland vineyard, one of Belgium’s lesser known treasures. It’s the perfect region for viniculture and the tour tells you about the how and why.
Or you could consent to be swept along by a passionate Geuze expert through an authentic Geuze brewery, just a stone’s throw away from Brussels (the only valley in the world with the right bacteria for producing this unique beer).
There’s also an enchanting nature walk through the Sonian Forest, a culinary expedition of Leuven and a trip back in time through Tervuren Park that includes fascinating anecdotes about the prevailing culture.
There’s no better way to venture into and revel in the undiscovered ‘country’ just outside of Brussels – naturally in the good company of fellow internationals.
PS: Something this great sounds expensive right? It doesn’t have to be! Tours range from 2 to 20 euros, depending on whether you want to include a tasting (or ten!).
Check the site regularly for the most up-to-date information (new dates, new themes, etc.)
So, what’s in it for you?
Tourism Flemish Brabant is firmly committed to making the international community in Belgium feel at home. Current estimates reveal that there are an impressive 250,000 expats and internationals living in Brussels and the outskirts of Brussels!
“Based on the conversations we’ve had with expats and internationals, we’ve discovered that this group is very much interested in venturing out and exploring their new environment,” says Monique Swinnen, Tourism Representative of Flemish Brabant.
“What’s more, we aren’t allowed to treat or consider expats as foreign tourists. Expats live here for a longer period of time, so they have a lot more interest in the hidden gems, in the genuine authentic local experience.”
That’s why the guided walks focus less on our major tourist attractions, but rather on the true local colour of our region. “For example, we encourage expats to try out a locally brewed beer at an authentic brown café. Or we take them along to one of our regional vineyards in the Hageland.”
“To tell the truth, you don’t have to make all that much effort to come across these types of hidden gems,” concludes Mrs Swinnen. “Our ‘locals’ are incredibly proud of their own region and love sharing their favourite spots with new visitors (and the hilarious anecdotes they share are free).”
Anything else I should know?
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