Tarnished by an undeserved reputation, Belgium boasts far more to see and do than many of its larger, more illustrious neighbours; the food and drink here is justly well-known and there are festivals and cultural events throughout the year to keep you distracted and entertained.
Some of Europe's finest medieval cities are here. Brussels is renowned for its interesting history, fine beer, superior chocolates, Tintin and politicians; atmospheric Antwerp is an eclectic mix of modern and medieval; dreamlike Bruges is pretty and noted for its impressive art collections, whilst Ghent was an ancient powerhouse and today has a wealth of history to uncover.
Outside the cities, the Ardennes is home to tranquil villages set amidst deep river valleys and high forests.
In the town of Ypres, the sombre Menin Gate monument marks the thousands of deaths here during World War I; the actual battlegrounds are frequently poppy-filled.