The Christmas Markets of Liège & Valkenburg 2013
The Christmas Markets of Belgium and the Netherlands by train
Enjoy Christmas shopping with a difference and embark on an escorted holiday to delectable Belgium and the charming town of Valkenburg in the Netherlands. This seasonal short break takes you to some of the most delightful festive markets in Belgium, including Liege Christmas Markets. You will also visit the quaint hilltop town of Valkenburg, with its sparkling myriad of stalls flowing through the underground tunnels and caves beneath the town. The walls of the cave markets are intricately decorated with carved murals and offer a unique environment for you to peruse the twinkling stalls.
Day 1 - London to LiègeWe depart St Pancras International on a Eurostar service for Brussels, where we change for our onward train to Liège. We walk to the 3* Hotel Husa de la Couronne, located beside the railway station and check in for our three night stay. You may have some free time to explore this lovely town at leisure. Perhaps take a stroll through the Old Town centre, before continuing on to the New Town, home to most of the city's bars and enticing restaurants.
Day 2 - Liège
Today why not soak up the festive atmosphere and start your Christmas shopping? The beautiful town square and neighbouring Place du Marché stage a magical Christmas Village, which is a joy to explore. The market is the oldest in Belgium and holds plenty of Christmas tradition and good cheer. More than 180 colourfully painted and brightly illuminated chalets and stalls offer all sorts of great gift ideas, including jewellery, handicrafts and toys, as well as a wide range of Christmas decorations and gastronomic goodies. If you have a fondness for Belgian chocolate, you've come to the right place - there are stalls laden with chocolate in a multitude of flavours. Savour a glass of vin chaud, or the delicious Belgian liqueur made from juniper berries - Peket, and enjoy the seasonal entertainment. The Christmas Village is a great place to experience the delights of this glowing city at Christmas time.
Day 3 - Valkenburg
Today we travel by coach across the Dutch border to Valkenburg. This enchanting little hill town is built around a romantic ruined castle and is famous for its unique and atmospheric Christmas Markets which are held in the ancient labyrinth of tunnels and caves which run underneath Valkenburg. The beautifully lit passageways give a magical feel and hold many wonderful ideas for seasonal gifts. You will receive a pass which includes direct entrance to both cave markets - the 'Town Cave' and the 'Velvet Cave', with its impressive mural carvings, inscriptions, and exceptional sculptures, reflecting the ancient and almost forgotten legends and memories of the city of Valkenburg. Every year the caves are decorated to reflect a theme and as you wander through the grotto there are plenty of opportunities for shopping at the many stalls selling seasonal fare and Christmas gifts. Alternatively, you may like to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the markets over a glass of mulled wine. We return to Liège by coach.
Day 4 - Liège to London
We check out of our hotel this morning and board our train to Brussels. In the Belgian capital, we join a Eurostar service to St Pancras International in London.
These meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday.
Festivities at Valkenburg and Liege Christmas Markets
Begin your yuletide trip in Liege and amble through the Old Town, admiring the architectural fusion of Art Deco buildings and magnificent museums. The Christmas Village presents the oldest market in Belgium and offers over 180 stalls, abundant with seasonal indulgences. Belgium is enticing with its delectable chocolate and the market stalls do not disappoint as they overflow with mouth-watering chocolate treats. When you journey across the Dutch border into the intriguing town of Valkenburg be prepared for a unique Christmas market experience. The markets here take place underground in subtly lit passages, flickering with festive lights. Immerse yourself in the joys of the festive season with this relaxing short break to Valkenburg and Liege Christmas markets.