The Ardennes: a Perfect Cure for Wanderlust

Few would argue that the Ardennes, in the south and east of Wallonia, is the most attractive part of Belgium.

In parts, the hills are a rugged, windswept wilderness. Elsewhere, there are thick forests and deep river valleys sprinkled with gorgeous towns and villages. Head a little further on to marvel at the high green peaks or the spectacular underground cave systems. It’s a place to get outdoors and be at one with nature.

The Ardennes are rewarding at any time of the year. In summer, the rivers sparkle and all is green: well-marked walking trails demand that you get your boots on. In winter, a layer of snow often covers the high ground: perfect for skiers and the more intrepid hikers.

The region is also notable for its cuisine: game, wild boar, cheese and the world-famous Ardennes smoked ham and pâté.

And almost everywhere you venture, you come across traces of the two World Wars. The Ardennes staged the Battle of the Frontiers in August 1914 and the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944/45 – the last conflict to be fought on Belgian territory.   

There are numerous memorials, cemeteries and museums dedicated to the combatants in the towns of Bastogne, La Roche, Sankt-Vith, Malmedy, Bure and Hotton.

The region is surprisingly easy to reach – approximately 120 miles from the Channel ports. With its pure air and natural beauty, the guarantee of a warm welcome and the option of a stress-relieving break or some thrilling sporting activities, the Ardennes have something for everyone.

Come to Wallonia – and make tracks to our remarkable hill country.