I have become a convert for cheap weekend breaks to Belgium! We went over it by bike, it is very easy to access and the distance is short even by foot. No wonder that the area is considered home to some of the best hiking trails in Belgium. Some 7km north of Robertville, on the road to Eupen, the Centre Nature Botrange (t080 44 03 00, wwww.botrange.be) provides a focus for explorations of the national park.A bus runs to the centre from Eupen, but otherwise youâll need your own car to get there. Several factories can be visited, but we opted for the Salaisons G. Blaise (G. Blaise Saltings) in Florenville founded in 1910. And foodies (the common point of all Belgian regions)! Don’t forget to stop by at one of the 2 restaurants (À l’Ange Gardien and L’Hostellerie d’Orval) near the abbey to taste some typical Belgian meals prepared with Orval cheese and beer. The income from the beers should cover the production fees, expenses of the monks, and maintain the buildings and ground of the abbey. Just a perfect way to spend your weekend in Belgium. Later on in 1132, the abbey was incorporated into the Cistercian Order. You can’t leave the Ardennes region in southern Belgium without having visited at least one of its legendary Trappist abbeys. Finally, the legends and history linked to the region’s witchcraft have sparked our curiosity… Magical stay guaranteed! It is one of my favorite places to visit for Belgium short breaks. Injustement méconnu des motard français, le massif des Ardennes constitue le terrain de jeu favori de nos voisins belges. Ardennes hotels: low rates, no booking fees, no cancellation fees. However, most the local pubs and restaurants also serve Chimay. The beer must be produced within the walls of a Trappist abbey, either by monks or under their supervision. Chocolate Tasting in Ardennes, Belgium, 8. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. From there, you can take the cable car (10 € per person) to explore the city. But the Ardennes region cannot only be explored by foot but also by bike, by horse or following the routes of former stagecoaches. As a sustainable travel enthusiast from Luxembourg, I am the happiest while hiking, cycling, or sailing. This trail can also be done if you are based in Brussels since it is one of the best hiking trails near Brussels. Circuits en voiture, à moto ou à vélo dans les Ardennes, balades routières dans les Ardennes - ADT des Ardennes However, the restaurants next to the abbey created a unique menu card incorporating Orval cheese and beer in their pasta, meat dishes, or even their desserts! Visit Durbuy, the smallest town in the world, Hotel de la Poste – Relais de Napoleon III ****, most popular hikes in the Ardennes, Wallonia, Bouillon is perfect for a foodie day trip, Where to Eat Traditional Food in Brussels, How to bring the Outdoors Home with Amazing Nature Art Prints, 15 Best Airbnbs in Door County, Wisconsin, 20 Wonderful Winter Getaways in Wisconsin, You’ll snap tons of photos and I love to take my, Sunscreen is key! We left from the North of France to explore, a few hundred miles in a neighbouring country, the Belgian Ardennes region. However, the view on the village and the surroundings is beautiful from the castle. In a second stage, hops are once again added. However, it is rather difficult to access with a motorhome. If you’re not sure where to start, you can find some great Belgian Ardennes vacation packages. Visit Ardennes Sausage Factory and Tasting, 11. But don’t worry, it still has some great things to do. Also discover another epic road trip in Europe by car with Scotland. If you hope to stay in Bouillon when you visit Ardennes, Belgium, I recommend the Hotel de la Poste – Relais de Napoleon III ****, one of the prettiest hotels in Bouillon. In that sense, Ardennes and the southern Gaume region, in southern Wallonia, is for outdoor and nature enthusiasts. After visiting the castle, you shouldn’t leave Bouillon immediately! This is an essential spot in the Ardennes, Belgium for history buffs. Absolutely no Ardennes, Belgium weekend break is complete without a beer tasting in Chimay. The combination of the finest cocoa and top ingredients from all over the world results in such alluring creations like melting praliné with rosemary, chocolate with violet flowers, black chocolate with black tea from China, and with a hint of pear and hazelnut. The large forests gave birth to a long tradition of wild game meals and the rivers teem with fish like trout, carp, and perch. Just make sure to check into a nearby Belgian Ardennes hotel so there’s no need to drive home afterwards. For this peaceful and short nature road trip, we didn’t cover long distances. Schedules and opening times depend on the time of the year you want to visit. Edouard prepares his creative chocolate creations with only the best and finest ingredients. In fact, the Ardennes sausage was only created by the producers of Ardennes ham to enhance its by-products. The city is perfect for a weekend getaway along the Meuse, you can visit the church, the cave la merveilleuse or simply wander around the city. We camped at the castle foot at the motorhome area next to the soccer field. More information available on www.bouilloninitiative.be. A canoe ride makes any weekend trips to Belgium even more relaxing. Other Trappist abbeys in southern Belgium that are open to the public (and brew delicious artisan, Trappist beer) are Abbey of Our Lady of Scourmont in Chimay, and Abbey of Our Lady of Saint-Rémy in Rochefort. Indeed, the business is managed by women for 60 years! Although it is technically a city, I also include Durbuy on this list as it is the size of a village! Ardenne All Access est le complice de l'organisation de votre prochain circuit en terre de légendes et de bien vivre! There’s a before and after having tasted the ice-creams of Edouard. These 2 stages produce the very characteristic Orval aroma. Visiting Trappist abbeys is just the perfect road trip for your weekend in Belgium. Tailor-made workshops are available upon request. During the summer months, thematic trails are organized for kids (and supposed grown-ups like me) where a fairy will guide you through the enchanted woods and you’ll need to meet certain challenges to work for the fairies. All of their products can be found in the restaurants or grocery shops in the Ardennes region. Herbeumont is a very small village also surrounded by the Semois and overlooked by some castle ruins. Supporting the Cistercian regulations, the monastery boasts a cheese factory, bakery and confectionery. A chocolate tasting is definitely a must-do on your weekend break to Belgium. The Ninglinspo is a mountain river situated in the Liège provence. Indeed, the castle of Bouillon was first mentioned in 988, and still today, it impacts its size and good condition. As the Ardennes region is mostly covered by large, dense forests with the Semois and Ourthe rivers creating almost fairy-tale-like landscapes, the area is particularly coveted among outdoor and nature lovers. Câétait une première pour moi, Seb avait eu lâoccasion de la visiter un an auparavant à lâoccasion du salon des blogueurs voyage. There is also the nearby Topiary Park, a must for anyone who loves beautiful gardens and unique green spaces. This activity made us think about our diet and lifestyle and offers a very good introduction to maybe start adding nettles in our soup or flowers on our plate! From there, wander through the picturesque city center and check out some of the best things to do in Liege. 3 posts in the discussion. Orval beer was first brewed in 1931 by a brewmaster originally from Bavaria. Orval beer and cheese can be enjoyed in the surrounding shops and restaurants of Orval abbey. It is an artificial lake created by the Plate Taille dam and its impressive observation tower. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Who isn’t, right? The next day, we started the day with a meeting with Barbara from Saveurs de la forêt who taught us about the edible wild plants found in the forest. The other star of Ardennes’ meat production is the Ardennes Ham which is obtained from the pig’s hind leg by immersion into saltwater, dry salting or rubbing with salt, maturing in cold storage and finally being smoked using different wood types. It doesn’t matter the region or the town, you’ll always find a shop selling the most creative chocolate creations. We were a little disappointed because there was a lot of work in progress and not everything was open (especially due to the virus). A real business lady to look up to! Ardennes Road Trip â Battle of the Bulge We spent 11 days on an Ardennes road trip to experience the battlefields and museums of World War 1 and 2 as well as some of the castles in this area. Of course, you cannot visit Belgium without tasting (at least) one of its world-famous Trappist beers. We recommend to park at the citadel (but it is not possible to sleep there). The special characters in the Orval beer production are the 2 stages in the brewery process. ✔ Book tours in Belgium with GetYourGuide➳ Find the best hotel deals in Belgium with TripAdvisor❖ Rent a car with the best discounts at DiscoverCars☘ Get the best discounted outdoor clothes (outlet) at REI.com✎ Never leave without travel insurance. I particularly liked the creative variations of the traditional sausage by adding Orval beer, shallots, or even honey. On the camping side, we stayed in the parking lot at the edge of the dam which offers a nice view of the lake and the dam. Make sure to stop from time to time in one of its countless restaurants and enjoy the food from its local producers. Bloggin' in English & EspaÃ±ol since 2015. I would love to hear about the things you loved (or loved less) in the comment form. His creations are real and surprising in taste. The access to the castle is free but you have to deserved it because it is located at the top of a big climb. ViaMichelin routes take into account the impact of road traffic on your journey time. It’s one of the best hiking places in Belgium. The brewery was under construction but we still left with our brewed on site beer pack. Of course, if hiking isn’t your thing, then you can also cycle or canoe Ardennes. Finally, we drove to Saint-Hubert to spend the night at the Fourneau Saint Michel area at the edge of a small stream. Let me take you on a weekend break, right across the Luxembourgish border. Then, right next to it, you’ll find yourself in the Quartier de Bretagne (Brittany Neighbourhood) where soldiers from Brittany used to live. Pour notre premier road-trip après 14 mois de tour du monde, nous avons voyagé près de chez nous ! But read on for inspiration! We really enjoyed this stop between history and nature! The houses have a very particular style and it is the perfect place to relax. If you need a short break, Belgium will impress you, and the Ardennes is ideal for weekend breaks. It is a pretty setting at the edge of the Meuse with the citadel dominating the city. Not only are all of them absolutely stunning attractions and spiritual retreats, but they also produce delicious food and the world-wide coveted Trappist beers. I always take with me my, Be environmentally friendly and get one of these awesome, Travel insurance is essential! She also manages Le Florentin Hotel and a few shops in the region. The place is very peaceful although close to a fast road. It also stretches well into Germany and France. For example, you can go for walks or bike rides around the lake, practice water sports or tree climbing. Pour un week-end (samedi et dimanche), nous avons fait exprès de choisir le Département des Ardennes car il est proche de la frontière belge. When it slowly melts in your mouth, you’ll get an idea what heaven must taste like. I’d might start thinking to do a retreat at Orval abbey…. It is also the place where the Lesse joins the Meuse, a very nice canoe / kayak trip for the most adventurous. After being minced and spiced, the meat is stuffed into the natural gut. They were in charge of the protection of the town in the 17th century. The view on the lake is very pleasant and you can observe horses and ponies resting next to you in their pastures. The Chimay Brewery has been owned and operated by the monks as the Scourmont Abbey since 1862. And yes, the monks can drink, so they know their product is worth the hype! There’s the old town, right below the castle which has vast streets, open plazas, and bright colored houses. The day after, we drove to discover Bouillon village in the Ardennes. Only 12 beers in the world can bear the label “Trappist”: the beers of Achel, Chimay, La Trappe, Orval, Mont des Cats, Rochefort, Westvleteren, Westmalle, Mont des Cats Stift Engelszell, Zundert (NL), Spencer (USA) and Tre Fontane (IT). A great Ardennes weekend option is a day (or overnight) trip to Liege. The route takes in four unique towns that canât be missed while in the Ardennes. When it comes to marketing, the advertising language of the beers should be marked by honesty and modesty and with respect to the religious setting of the beer production. There are a few Trappist abbeys in the Belgian Luxembourg province, but we opted to visit the imposing Orval abbey in the Gaume region, south of the Ardennes. It’s simply a paradise for people that enjoy traveling slow and sustainable. In case you’re unfamiliar, this was the last major German offensive on the Western Front during WWII. Home » Belgium » Things to do in the Ardennes. Guests can even eat together with the monks and the meals are often prepared with Orval beer and the delicious Orval cheese. After your ride, you might want to enjoy a refreshing bath while you wait for Kayak Semois’ pick-up service. As we visited Orval abbey, we couldn’t leave without a Trappist beer and cheese tasting at the À l’Ange Gardien which served us 3 kinds of Orval beers and 3 different Orval kinds of cheese. You might wonder how the Belgian Luxembourg province ended up having the same name as the bordering Grand Duchy of Luxembourg? The place is popular and we recommend to avoid it if you are looking for a secluded place surrounded by nature. Belgium seems to have something to satisfy any traveler’s needs. Only a part of Orval abbey can be visited as several patios and buildings are restricted to the monks and accommodated guests at the guesthouse. Instead we opted for the playful trail “Sentier des Fees” (“The Trail of the Fairies”) between Virton and Etalle (at the parking of Croix Rouge crossing, see map below) in the Gaume region below the Ardennes. Torgny, the most beautiful village in Ardennes, Belgium, 3. But first, let’s talk about chocolate! When you enter Torgny in the Gaume region, also known as the southernmost village of Belgium, you might feel like in Southern France for a second. Let's hit the road together! It’s hard to imagine a weekend trip to Belgium without visiting the Bastogne War Museum. The place is located at the edge of the Semois and the edge of the forest and is very quiet and pleasant. We visited the castle which we found a little disappointing because of the lack of explanations (which may be due to the COVID restrictions). ⚘ Avoid tourist traps and get the “Belgium Like a Local” itinerary. It is an incredibly picturesque area and well looked after and it was a pleasure to drive around and see some of the sites weâd heard so much about and also discover some unexpected delights.
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