The Beautiful Belgian Ardennes
In contrast to the famous towns, cities and industrial areas of northern Belgium, the Belgian Ardennes offer stunning countryside. Picturesque towns and villages are scattered across the landscape. Once here, you’ll understand why this region is considered one of Europe’s hidden gems. Its vast forests and unspoilt areas are rich in fauna and flora. Furthermore, the area boasts magnificent rivers, dramatic cave systems and deep valleys. Castles punctuate this verdant landscape.
During this tour, visit the quaint little town of Durbuy. Perfectly embodying a chocolate box village, sweet little stone cottages nestle in a luscious valley. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy some of Europe’s best gardens. The Jardins d’Annevoie features 20 ornamental lakes with fountains and water jets.
Dates throughout 2020
Enjoy your first sight of the wonderful Ardennes landscape as you travel to your hotel in La Roche-en-Ardenne or Dinant. If time allows, begin exploring the area.
Durbuy and La Roche-en-Ardenne
This morning we visit the picturesque and popular ‘chocolate box’ town of Durbuy, where the shops and cafés are set in narrow, flowered and cobbled streets lined by old stone houses. Perhaps visit the lovely Durbuy Topiary Gardens. In the afternoon there’s free time in La Roche. Situated on the banks of the River Ourthe, the town’s quaint streets and little shops are overlooked by the ruins of a pretty medieval castle. Perhaps visit the fascinating Museum of the Battle of Ardennes, which tells the story of the town’s role during WWII.
Dinant and the Jardins d’Annevoie
This morning we visit Dinant, a pretty town that has become famous for both the imposing citadel perched high above the River Ourthe, and also for being the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. The quirky (and free) ‘La Maison de Monsieur Sax’ is worth a quick visit, as is the cathedral with its onion-shaped dome. We then enjoy a 45-minute river cruise along the River Meuse, watching the stunning scenery including the Bayard rock, the Love island, the Bridge St John and the River Lesse.
In the afternoon we visit the Jardins d’Annevoie. These truly magnificent 17th Century water gardens are full of ornamental lakes, fountains, water jets and cascades, all fed by gravity and without the use of any artificial power. Each May, the gardens hosts a Venetian Carnival Festival, a truly remarkable spectacle featuring people parading in full Venetian Carnival costumes. The gardens are regarded as some of the best, not only in Belgium, but also in the whole of Europe.
If time allows, take in some final sights and buy your souvenirs before departing from Ardennes.
If you are interested in extending your visit, there are a number of attractions in the Ardennes worth visiting. Exciting attractions include the Ardennes battlefields, Belgian breweries and the Caves of Han where you can explore the underground caves with its amazing creations carved by the River Lisse.
For those who enjoy castles, the Freÿr Chateau is located on the banks of the River Meuse and the grounds evoke a feeling of Versailles with gardens the style of Le Nôtre. The superb Chateau de Lavaux combines Middle age and Renaissance architecture. The only Ardenne castle in open countryside, it hosts three museums.
Floréal Hotel, La Roche-en-Ardenne
Located in a characteristic building amidst its own beautiful grounds, this holiday resort has its own heated outdoor pool, mini-golf course, tennis court and bowling lane. The Floréal La Roche-en-Ardenne offers a wonderful base on the banks of the River Ourthe and just 900 yards away from the historical town centre.
Castel de Pont-á-Lesse
Located in the heart of the Ardennes, this renovated manor house is only three miles from the town centre of Dinant. The hotel rooms have satellite TV and black-out curtains for a comfortable sleep. Free bottled water and Wi-Fi are available in each room. The hotel has a bar, a restaurant and a terrace. The heated indoor swimming pool is a nice place to relax and swim a few laps.
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|4 days by Land and Sea
(Floréal Hotel, La Roche-en-Ardenne)
|Half Twin||Single Supplement|
|2020 dates||Price on request||Price on request|
Prices are also available on request for travel by air.