You’ve marvelled at Rubens’ Elevation of the Cross in Antwerp’s Cathedral of our Lady, boated the canals of Bruges, and have maybe even taken a trip to the Ardennes since moving to Belgium. But Belgium – and especially the region of Flemish-Brabant – has so much more to offer once you get off the beaten track. In fact, there is so much to see and do in the Green Belt surrounding Brussels and Leuven that you’d be forgiven for wanting to pitch a tent and never leave.
'“Comic book fans might recognise Horst Castle as the home of The Red Knight, or Beersel Castle from the Suske en Wiske album ‘De Schat van Beersel’.”'
With the launch of their brand-new multilingual website and series of English language brochures, new ABRA member Toerisme Vlaams-Brabant wants to help expats discover a different side of Belgium explains Fiene Lambrigts, Expat Expert. “Expats are an important audience for us. So many people settle into the region each year and want to get to know their new home country. We want to introduce them to some of the lesser-known natural and cultural gems of our region.”
Between a top selection of 24 inspiring walks, 36 cycling routes for all ages and the ready-made Perfect Sunday daytrips, you’ll be hard-pressed not to fill each weekend with a new and exciting outdoor activity. But it’s not just cyclists and hikers who are catered for. The region boasts 430km of rider and driver routes for equestrians that will take you through the most beautiful forests, magnificent views, castle domains, valleys and hills, stables and picnic areas.
Locals share their best kept secrets on the website, and you can even join guided tours for internationals. Whether you’re a foodie, a culture addict or a nature lover, there’s something for everyone as well as it being a great way to make new friends. Soak up interesting facts while tasting the best of Belgium’s beer, chocolates, or even wine. Yes, you read that right. Not only does Belgium produce wines, they win awards and come from, you guessed it; Flemish Brabant
As well as all the natural and culinary highlights, the region also has a strong cultural heritage, with no less than three individual locations being listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. From castles, abbeys, and medieval city halls to floating steel staircases and interactive experience centres, each outing is sure to transport you into an exciting new world.
You don’t have to venture far afield to enjoy the best of Belgian nature, heritage or culture. The Green Belt around Brussels and Leuven is easily accessible by road and public transport and Toerisme Vlaams-Brabant makes a point of prioritising accessibility by public transport for all of its destinations. Combining a few top attractions with a beautiful walk or bike trip through nature has never been easier with their inspiring tours and routes.
“It’s so easy to get stuck doing the same old things, even locals can be surprised to find out what’s right on their doorstep. Relocation agents do such an amazing job taking care of all the practical arrangements for a move, but a big part of settling into your new home country is getting to know your local area. Feeling at home is one of the vital stages that make or break any foreign assignment. It’s our mission to help everyone – recent arrival or lifelong local – feel welcome and make Belgium feel like home.”
“We’ve just published our newest walking brochure, which is free to download from our website. And our next series of guided tours for internationals starts from April, so we encourage anyone interested in doing ‘something different’ to visit us anytime at all. We’re here to make you feel at home in Belgium.”
Download your copy of the 2022 Walking Brochure from https://www.toerismevlaamsbrabant.be/en or contact Fiene Lambrigts if you’d like to receive multiple copies for your expat welcome packs.