Antwerp is also where you'll find the painter Peter Paul Rubens' fascinating home and studio, Unesco world heritage sites and an avant garde design scene. Couples flock to Bruges for its historic atmosphere, excellent restaurants and superb beers. Come for a long weekend and you'll return again, and again.
The best surprise? That Belgium is a sweet buy as well, with great travel value.
Chocolate lovers find their heart's desire in Belgium, where hand-crafted chocolates are made by masters such as Pierre Marcolini, who blends chocolates that you can taste like a fine wine. Antwerp is the home of or shock-master Dominique Persoone, who crafts chocolates that surprise. In Brussels, Patrick Roger's artful sculptures grow to surprising sizes and shapes, such as a stunning prehistoric creature. Gorgeous and amazing, but his jewel-like truffles are far easier to bring home.
There's history, culture and sustainability too. The luxe Goldeneye was once the home of Ian Fleming and he penned a number of his sexy James Bond thrillers here. If you're lucky enough to take over the Fleming Villa, you can even sit at his desk. There's a recording studio too, and Sting retreated here to write, "Every Breath You Take." Think cottages perched over beach or lagoon, with sexy outdoor showers and beds with a view.