Sail Dover-Dunkirk and Ypres is 50 mins / 35 miles from Dunkirk
Sail Dover-Calais and Ypres is 1 hr 10 mins / 60 miles from Calais
Sail Newcastle-Amsterdam and Ypres is 3 hr / 195 miles from IJmuiden
Ypres, the city of peace.
Once a flourishing centre for trade and famous for its cloth making, Ypres is now most recognised for its role in World War I. Almost entirely destroyed in the Great War, it has been rebuilt into a charming city of discovery and respect.
The Market Square.
One of the most beautiful market squares in Belgium, The Market Square of Ypres, that was entirely destroyed and has since been rebuilt, has to be seen to be believed. There are many terraces to sit and enjoy a drink or gaze at the historical buildings across the rest of the city. And if you visit on a weekend market stalls fill the entire area.
Get festive in Flanders with a Christmas Market trip.
The Ypres Christmas Market is enough to put scrooge in the mood for Christmas. With an ice rink, fairground attractions, Christmas carol concerts, Father Christmas visits and various entertaining performances its an unforgettable experience for all the family.
There are approximately 36 Swiss-style chalets selling gifts the market begins from 1st December to 2nd January. Plus with the Christmas illuminations around the Ypres shopping streets the whole city will have an enchanting and festive atmosphere that is not to be missed.
War memorials and museums.
Being such a big part of its history, a lot of Ypres’ interest is centred around the Great War. You’ll find cemeteries, memorials, bunkers and war museums dedicated to it. One of the most famous memorials is the Menin Gate where tens of thousands of soldiers would have passed by as they marched out to battle. Every evening at 8pm since 1928 the last post has sounded and traffic has been stopped as a mark of respect.
Cat parade festival.
One of the city’s most fascinating and colourful festivals is the Cat Festival where people take to the streets dressed as cats and witches to commemorate a 13th century occasion where cats where thrown of Cloth Hall in an attempt to cast out demons.
Fine food and local specialities to try.
Everyone has heard of and tried Belgian chocolates but there are many less famous Ypres local specialties that are worth trying too.
Ypres Beschuit is a slice of sweet bread with a pinch of cinnamon that is covered on both sides with brown sugar. The sweet bread is then briefly baked in the oven.
Kattenklauw or The cat's claw is a Danish pastry made with puff pastry and shaped like a claw. This claw is filled with crème patissière, sugar candy, small pieces of apple and raisins.
Ypres Tapjesvlees is a rump of veal or pork which has bacon inserted into the meat - these pieces of bacon are called ‘tapjes'. The meat is then slowly pot roasted on a bed of fine vegetables.
For more details of what Ypres has to offer visit: http://www.toerisme-ieper.be/en/