October 18 – 22, 2019, October 18 – 25, 2019
Dates
Running
Event
Luxury 4 or 5 Star Hotel
Accomodations
Private Guided Tours
Tours
Belgium
Location
5 Days, 8 Days
Duration

The Great Bruges Marathon / Half Marathon + the Best of Belgium

Hurry! 8 6 Spots Available!

Bruges, Belgium is the quintessential medieval town.  Bruges is one of our favorite European towns!  It’s brimming with quiet cobblestone lanes, romantic canals, grand market squares and soaring towers, this Unesco World Heritage site has another photo opportunity around every corner.

We enjoy sitting at a cafe drinking a world-class local beer and munching on “Belgian Fries!”  We burn off those calories running along the canals and past the windmills, or by climbing the 366 steps up the bell tower to take in the grand views.

The Great Bruges Marathon and Half Marathon wind through the Belgian countryside where plenty of locals are there to cheer you on.  The Marathon continues all the way to the coast and both races end in the historic Market Square where there are great options for photos.  The post-race party is in the Burg where there is plenty of Brugse Zot beer and food to celebrate your accomplishment!

The day after the race, we will head out on a tour of some of the greatest breweries in the world!  Belgium is a beer paradise and our local tour guide will show us the best — we will be visiting a Trappist Abbey which produces the beer that is widely regarded as the #1 beer in the world!  What better way to celebrate your half-marathon or marathon finish?

For those adding on the optional tour extension, we will travel to Antwerp, the second largest city in Belgium after Brussels.  Antwerp has the perfect balance of a modern European city with a historic city center and quaint neighborhoods.  In addition to beer, Belgium is home to some of the best chocolate in the world! In our private chocolate tour, we will nibble our way through Antwerp’s chocolate boutiques learn the history of chocolate in Belgium.

Finally, we will all have time to slow down and enjoy all that Bruges & Antwerp have to offer!

View the full itinerary here!

 

What’s Included:

An intimate group of 8 – 16 active travelers Private guided tour in Antwerp (8-Day Tour)
Airport transfers Private chocolate experience* (8-Day Tour)
 Meet & Greet Happy Hour upon arrival 3 Dinners (5-Day Tour)
 Private guided tour in Bruges 5 Dinners (8-Day Tour)
Private Belgian Beer tour * Great Bruges Marathon / Half-Marathon entrance fee
Lunch on the day of the brewery tour  All gratuities
Private transfer to Antwerp (8-Day Tour) Breakfast each day

What’s Not Included:

Air transportation from the U.S. 1 Dinners on your own (5-Day Tour)
Sightseeing on your own 2 Dinners on your own (8-Day Tour)
  All lunches (except where noted)

(* – Subject to change.  More details coming soon.)

1

October 18: Arrival

  • Arrive in Brussels
  • Private transfer to Bruges
  • Our tour officially begins at 5 pm with a meet and greet “happy hour” to get to know your tour operators and fellow guests.  We will be providing you with some information about your tour.
  • “Welcome to Bruges” Dinner
2

October 19

  • Optional morning run/walk
  • Private guided 2-hour tour of Bruges
    • We will encounter a variety of city sights such as the Market Square (Belfry and historical facades), the “Burg” (city castle) square (City Hall, Holy Blood Basilica, Old Recorder’s Office), the “Reien” (picturesque canals and waterways), the Fish Market and the College of Europe.
    • We will wander along famous museums (such as the “Groeninge”, “Gruuthuse” and “Brangwyn” museums), the Church of Our Lady (with the statue of a Madonna with Child by Michelangelo), the old Saint John’s Hospital with the Memling Museum, almshouses, the Beguinage and the charming waters of the “Minnewater” (Lake of Love)
  • The afternoon is free for you to explore Bruges, or relax before your big race!
  • Packet pickup
  • Dinner on your own (We will provide you with a list of our favorite dinner spots in Bruges.)
3

October 20: Race Day!

  • Great Bruges Marathon & Half Marathon
    • Start Great Bruges Marathon: 9 a.m.
    • Great Bruges Marathon Walk (42 km): 9.05 a.m.
    • Start Great Bruges Half Marathon: 11 a.m.
    • Great Bruges Half Marathon Walk: 11.15 a.m.
    • Official closing time finish (hikers): 19 p.m.
    • Official closing time of the event: 19.30 p.m.
    • (Above times are subject to change)
  • The rest of the afternoon on your own to relax with a World-Class Belgian beer or an in-hotel Spa treatment, or visit the local sights

Check out everything to do in Bruges!

  • Complimentary farewell dinner
  • Post-race celebratory dinner!
4

October 21

  • Optional morning run/walk – or, just sleep in and eat pastries!  (Our hotel has an amazing breakfast – pastries, heartier breakfast foods like eggs, sausage & Belgian cheeses, plus chocolate, bubbly & more!)
  • Belgian beer tour *
    • Visit world-class Belgian breweries and taste some of the top-rated beers in the world! (Including Westvleteren – voted “Best Beer in the World” numerous times!)
    • More details coming soon!
    • Lunch included
  • Complimentary farewell dinner
    • We will be dining at a quaint restaurant specializing in local Belgian cuisine — Mussels, fresh fish, Flemish stew and more!
5

October 22 - Departure

  • Optional morning run/walk
  • Transfer to Brussels Airport / Train station for the next leg of your journey
5

October 22 - (8-Day Tour Option)

  • Optional morning run/walk
  • For those extending their tour, we will transfer to Antwerp – Belgium’s 2nd largest city.  It’s a great combination of an historic city-center and a bustling modern city.
  • Antwerp city tour
    • You will start in the Burg and learn about the statue that shows the story about how Antwerp received it’s name.  You will visit an old fort on the edge of the river that shows how important the port has been to Antwerp through the centuries.  Finally, you will wander through the old neighborhoods (and, maybe even stop at a neighborhood pub for a local beer!)
  • “Welcome to Antwerp” dinner
6

October 23 - (8-Day Tour Option)

  • Optional morning run/walk
  • Private Chocolate Experience*
  • Your afternoon is free to explore Antwerp
  • Dinner on your own  (We will provide you with a list of our favorite dinner spots in Antwerp.)
7

October 24 - (8-Day Tour Option)

  • Optional morning run/walk
  • Free day to explore Antwerp!

Check out everything to do in Antwerp!

  • Complimentary farewell dinner
    • We will be dining at our favorite restaurant in Belgium! A chef-owned restaurant with friendly servers and a “locals” vibe.   Their house-made specialties use local, fresh ingredients and are sure to delight your palate!
8

October 25 - Departure - (8-Day Tour Option)

  • Optional morning run/walk
  • Transfer to Brussels Airport / Train station for the next leg of your journey

(* – Subject to change.  More details coming soon.)

Great Bruges Marathon & Half Marathon Run/Walk

Retaining the mysteries of the Middle Ages and unashamedly exuberant, Bruges has been an international metropolis for centuries. Participating in the Great Bruges Marathon is your opportunity to be part of this inspirational journey.

Start & finish are located in the heart of the historical city center. First, the race course will take participants for a sightseeing tour through the old town. The second portion of the race will lead all the way to the beautiful Belgian Coast and back to ultimately finish on the famous ‘Grote Markt’.

During the event, participants will be able to enjoy the best features Bruges has to offer and tons of animations along the course.  Besides an official full marathon, there will also be a timed half marathon race. Great feature: both distances will also be open to walkers.

 

Sunday October 20, 2019

  • Registrations in the ‘Hallenzalen’ (Markt – Brugge): 7 a.m. – 10.30 a.m.
  • Start Athora Great Bruges Marathon: 9 a.m.
  • Start Athora Great Bruges Half Marathon: 10.00 a.m.
  • Athora Great Bruges Half Marathon Walk: 10.15 a.m.
  • Athora Great Bruges Family Walk (8km): 10.30 a.m.
  • Official closing time finish (hikers): 4.30 p.m.
  • Official closing time of the event: 5.30 p.m.

Bruges is a quaint city, but there is so much to do and see!

Here’s an idea of some of the things that Bruges has to offer:

  • Climb the Belfry tower for some amazing views!
  • Visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood
  • See Michelangelo’s “Madonna and Child” sculpture
  • Canal boat tour
  • Shop!
  • Stock up on the world-class chocolate!
  • Relax and roam the picturesque cobbled streets
  • Tour the World War I Flanders Fields
  • Visit one of the local breweries for even more beer tasting!
  • Cycle through the Belgian countryside
  • Day trip to Ghent
  • We can help you organize a private tour to match your interests!

Antwerp is the 2nd largest city in Belgium, but the center still retains the medieval history.

Here’s an idea of some of the things that you can see & do in Antwerp:

  • Grand Place (Grote Markt)
  • Red Star Line Museum – your ancestors may have come through the Red Star Line on their way to emigrate to the U.S.
  • Cathedral of Our Lady
  • Plantin-Moretus Museum
  • Havenroute (Port Tour)
  • MAS – Museum aan de Stroom (Art museum, or just go to the top for a panoramic view of the city and port)
  • Rubens’ House (Rubenshuis)
  • Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten)
  • Chocolate Shops
  • Shopping
  • Breweries & Pubs
  • Cycle through the Belgian countryside
  • Day trip to Ghent
  • We can help you organize a private tour to match your interests!

What you need to know about this tour:

  • Book your flight into and out of Brussels, Belgium. (Airport Code: BRU)
  • If you wish to begin or end your tour in a different city, please contact us!
  • Your flight will depart the USA on Thursday, October 17, 2019! (It will arrive in Brussels, Belgium on Friday, October 18, 2019.)
  • You should plan your flight to arrive in Brussels approximately around noon, local time in Belgium.  That will allow you clear customs, meet your private driver for the drive to Bruges, and give you ample time before our happy hour meet-and-greet at 5pm.  (If your flight will arrive later, please contact us.)
  • Driving time from the Brussels airport to our Bruges hotel is 1¼ hours – 2½ hours (Brussels traffic can be very busy!)
  • Your return flight to the USA should depart Brussels, Belgium (Airport Code: BRU) on Friday, October 25, 2019 (for the 8-day tour) or Tuesday, October 22, 2019 (for the 5-day tour).  If you wish to extend your stay, or if you are continuing your journey to other parts of Europe, please contact us.
  • The drive from Antwerp to the Brussels Airport is approximately 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  • We will provide you with lunch and dinner restaurant recommendations for any meals on your own.  We have personally visited these establishments and can personally vouch for them!  Unlike some hotel concierge desks, these are our unbiased and uncompensated recommendations.
  • If you do not feel comfortable on your own with language differences (even though our recommended restaurants all speak English) or going out on your own in a foreign place, you are more then welcome to join us for meals.  We are your hosts – we won’t ever leave you to fend for yourself!
  • We have many suggestions for things to do on your free days.  We will chat about your preferences and give you ideas of activities you will enjoy.
  • The Great Bruges Marathon Cut-Off Time is 5 hours.
  • The Great Bruges Half Marathon Cut-Off Time is 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • There is also a Half Marathon Walk which uses sidewalks and recreational paths next to the road.  So, no cut-off times are necessary and everyone is welcome to participate.
Great Bruges Marathon
Canals of Bruges, Belgium
Bruges Belgium Market Square
Bruges Canal and Tower
Great Bruges Marathon
Bruges tour 2017
Antwerp Belgium
Antwerp Old Town Square