May 2, 2017

ardenne hero There’s plenty to see and do when you drive through the beautiful Ardennes in Belgium.

 

I love a city break. They’re ideal for immersing yourself in culture, sampling delicious food and indulging in a spot of shopping. But sometimes, I can crave something a little different to the hustle and bustle of the city. I feel the need to be around green forests, to climb mountains and rediscover nature. When I feel like this, I head to the Ardennes.

The Ardennes start in France and continue through three provinces of Belgium; Namur, Luxemburg and Liege. As the region stretches for miles, there are plenty of different parts to explore.

There is so much to see and do, it’s completely natural to feel a little intimidated when you see the scale of the area. Fortunately, I’ve created this handy guide so you can experience this beautiful landscape without missing out on any of the must-see sites!

1.Namur

2 hour, 40 minute drive from Calais

ardenne1 Namur is home to the famous Citadelle de Namur, a must-see for any visitor!

 

Namur is the most famous area of the Ardennes, known for its beauty and 19th century Citadel. It’s got a huge range of protected sites to see, with the most famous being the Citadel of Namur. This huge fortress takes up an entire hill top, providing you with fantastic views when you head up there to explore. Most of the area is accessible via footpaths, and is a must-do for anyone visiting.

2.Dinant

3 hour drive from Calais 

ardenne2 Dinant is a beautiful town encased in looming mountains. Don’t miss out on the chance to journey down the rivers.

 

Originally named by the Romans after Diana, the goddess of the hunt, this town has many stories to tell. It was very wealthy in the middle ages because of the booming metalworks industry - this led to various battles between wealthy counts to gain control of the town. Its experience with war didn’t end there; a lot of damage was done during the two world wars. Fortunately, the town’s star attraction, the Citadel of Dinant, has survived, and it’s well worth a visit!

When you go to Dinant, make sure to also take a trip down the rivers Meuse and Lesse - you can choose from a gentle journey in a cruise boat, or opt for a canoe or kayak if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.

3.Grottes de Han

3 hour drive from Calais 

ardenne3 Venture down into the caves of Grottes de Han. Just don’t forget a torch… Arseni Mourzenko

 

Now, this is a must-do. Grottes de Han is one of the most beautiful caves you can visit. You can take a guided tour, discovering the natural phenomenon that created this underground world. Your tour will begin with a century-old tram, which takes you to the entrance of the labyrinth of caves. Head inside to experience the enchanting Hall of the Dome and the Hall of the Draperies, and other unique features.

ardenne4 There is plenty of wildlife to see when you walk through the park at Grottes de Han. Credit: Arseni Mourzenko

 

That’s not all! Surrounding the caves are 250 hectares of stunning wildlife park, home to bears, lynx, wolves, red deer, bison and more! You can either walk through the park, or take a ride on the Safari train. Whichever you choose, you’re not only guaranteed views of the natural environment, but also a glimpse of these beautiful animals.

4.La Roche-en-Ardenne

3 hour, 20 minute drive from Calais

ardenne5 La Roche-en-Ardenne is only small, but is certainly a tourist hot-spot. This is the place to experience the great outdoors!

 

Even though this is only a small town, it’s one of the most popular destinations in the Ardennes. Any person with a fervour for the outdoors will certainly love it here. Hiking, mountain biking and kayaking are all popular ways to explore your surroundings. After that workout, stop for a lunch of the area’s famous smoked hams before taking a trip to see the Allied tanks from the Second World War. They are displayed to commemorate the town’s liberation after being destroyed during the war.

Amongst the beautiful areas to visit, one of the great things about the Ardennes is that even when driving from place to place, you’ll never be short of breath-taking views. There’s never a moment when I’m not open-mouthed in awe of the surrounding scenery.

I’m sure that when you take to the road, you’ll feel the same as you pass through this natural wonderland.

Experience the natural beauty of Europe with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. It only takes 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais. It’s time to explore and see another side to the world!

You may also like

Blog homepage