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45 trails to discover!

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Le Tombeau du Géant © WBT - David Samyn

Discover Wallonia by bike

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Come and discover Wallonia by bike. Whether you prefer gentle cycle tours or more sensational thrills, whether you are a dedicated mountain biker, an electric bike enthusiast or a long-distance tourer, a fan of professional cycling or of local family-fun events, or are simply looking for the places that make cyclists especially welcome under the “Bienvenue vélo” sign, “Discover Wallonia by bike!” reveals the special attributes of our destination.

© WBT - B. D’ALIMONTE

Le Tombeau du Géant © WBT - David Samyn

Wallonia lends itself brilliantly to cycling tourism and has an unquestionable potential to become better known and appreciated for it.

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I warmly invite you to discover what our region has to offer through this brochure, a real showcase for “Wallonia by bike”. It shines a light on the numerous possibilities for discovery, for all. Saddle up for astonishing discoveries everywhere in Wallonia!

René COLLIN, Minister for Tourism, Wallonia

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Regional and international Regional and international long-dist

6

LEUV

FLANDERS

KORTRIJK

BRUSSELS

MOUSCRON

RONSE

COMINESWARNETON

HALLE

LILLE

8

TOURNAI

7

WAVRE

WATERLOO

ENGHIEN

2

ATH NIVELLES

SOIGNIES

1

4

5

VILLERSLA-VILLE

GEMBLOUX

4

10

PERUWELZ

9

FRANCE

NA

LA LOUVIÈRE

MONS

39

CHARLEROI

VALENCIENNES

12 THUIN

BAVAY

11

MAUBEUGE BEAUMONT

LONG-DISTANCE ITINERARIES: W0

Vennbahn

W1

EV 3

W2

EV 5 La Meuse à Vélo

W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 1

45

PHILIPPEVILLE

13 LACS DE L’EAU D’HEURE

44 COUVIN

CHIMAY

14

HIRSON

Some segments are still being developed. For other sections of the RAVeL routes and greenways, see: http://ravel.wallonie.be (French only)

FRANCE

RE

Tourist Office trails (pp.16–105) N

www.cyclinginwallonia.com

0

10

20 Km

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ational long-distance cycling routes in Wallonia g-distance cycling routes in Wallonia NETHERLANDS

LEUVEN

FLANDERS

AACHEN

GERMANY JODOIGNE

WAVRE

O

WAREMME

3

2

15

16 LIÈGE

HANNUT

HERVE

GEMBLOUX

17

21

BURDINNE

5

RSLE

EUPEN

VERVIERS

MONSCHAU

CHAUDFONTAINE

18

20

40 NAMUR

SPA

23

19

39

22

ESNEUX

AMAY

HUY

REMOUCHAMPS

MALMEDY

24

25 BULLINGEN

26 42

11 41

DURBUY

28 VIELSALM

CINEY

27

MARCHEEN-FAMENNE

DINANT

SANKT-VITH

29

PHILIPPEVILLE

30 LA ROCHE-EN-ARDENNE

43 ROCHEFORT 32

EAU D’HEURE GIVET

BEAURAING

44

31

SAINT-HUBERT

COUVIN GEDINNE

33

VRESSESUR-SEMOIS

36

35

BOUILLON

WILTZ

GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG

NEUFCHÂTEAU

45

TROISVIERGES

BASTOGNE

REDU

34

LIBRAMONTCHEVIGNY

NCE

m

KÖLN

MAASTRICHT

MARTELANGE

38 SEDAN

FLORENVILLE

ARLON

REIMS

LUXEMBOURG

37 VIRTON

Source: SPW, DGO1-76, Direction des Déplacements doux et Partenariats communaux – 01/12/2015

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Contents Cycling tourism Cycle sports Services specially adapted for cyclists 45 cycle routes for discovering Wallonia

p. 2

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In Sart country

p. 58

p. 10

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The valley of the Ninglinspo

p. 60

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Ondenval, in the Hautes Fagnes wilderness

p. 62

p. 12

p. 15

Lake Bütgenbach and beyond

p. 64

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Taking the high road around Durbuy

p. 66

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Following the RAVeL along the Rivers Ourthe and Aisne

p. 68

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A mountain bike circuit at Vielsalm

p. 70

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La Famenne

p. 72

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A mountain bike challenge around the “Pearl of the Ardennes”

p. 74

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The Genappe mountain bike circuit

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The mountain bike circuit at Ottignies Louvain-la-Neuve

p. 18

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The “Transperwézienne”

p. 20

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From Nivelles to Seneffe

p. 22

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The mountain bike circuit of Houffalize p. 76

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Le Circuit des Trois Provinces

p. 24

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King Albert’s Forest

p. 78

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The Comines-Warneton 14–18 Remembrance circuit

p. 26

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The RAVeL of remembrance

p. 80

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In and around Tournai

p. 28

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A “PICVerts” route in the Pays de Haute-Lesse

p. 82

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From Ath, city of the giants, to the Château de Beloeil

p. 30

“Cyruse”, in the valleys of the Rulles and Semois

p. 84

From the Grand-Hornu to adventures in science

p. 32

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The old Canal du Centre and its hydraulic boat lifts

p. 16

25

35

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A mountain bike circuit for all the family p. 86

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The Rabais valley, an escape into nature in the Gaume

p. 88

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The cuesta route

p. 90

p. 34

In the footsteps of the Sainte-Rolende procession

p. 36

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A mountain bike circuit at Floreffe

p. 92

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Le circuit de la Thudinie

p. 38

40

13

A tour of the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure

p. 40

Châteaux and farms in the Pays de Namur

p. 94

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Chimay, home of princes

p. 42

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Into the valley of the Molignée

p. 96

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The “Cherry Tree Route” in orchard country

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South of Ciney

p. 98

p. 44

43

16

Urban discoveries in Liège

p. 46

Discovering Lessive, Eprave and Villers-sur-Lesse

p. 100

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The “Apple Tree Route” in orchard country

From a steam railway to a village of museums

p. 102

Along the River Semois

p. 104

11

44

p. 48

18

Along the ridges of the River Burdinale p. 50

19

Marchin, at the heart of the Condroz

p. 52

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The Hesbaye challenge

p. 54

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A circuit on the hills of Chaudfontaine

p. 56

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Ideas for holidays in Wallonia Big cycling events!

p. 106 p. 108

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© C. CARDON

Cycling tourism

Whether you’re contemplating a short family outing of just a few kilometres or a major expedition lasting several days, Wallonia has the answer. Here you will find international and regional long-distance cycling routes, former railway lines and towpaths redeveloped as RAVeL greenways

and cycling networks linked by “points-noeuds” intersections, as well as themed routes. Cycling tourism in Wallonia is an adventure into beautiful countryside, with forests, rivers and châteaux, pretty villages and charming towns – and lots more in-between!

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International and regional long-distance cycling routes Cycling across the whole of Wallonia, without limitations Thinking of making a journey by bike over several days, in stages, over distances of tens – even hundreds – of kilometres? Our long-distance itineraries allow you to travel right across our region, following the signposts through an ever-changing landscape.

These itineraries are integrated with the network of bike routes called “Véloroutes” and the “Voies vertes européenes” (European greenways), which, under the joint name of “EuroVeloroutes”, are promoted by the European Cyclists’ Federation. Four international itineraries cross Wallonia, following the RAVeL routes and local low-traffic roads: EuroVelo Nos. 3 and 5; La Meuse à Vélo, and the Vennbahn. · EUROVELO NO. 3 (EV3) – follows the old pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, and is also known as “La Véloroute des Pèlerins” (Pilgrims’ Cycle Route). 255 km: Aachen (Germany) – Herve – Liège – Namur – Charleroi – Thuin – Mauberge (France) · EUROVELO NO. 5 (EV5) – also known as “La Via Romea Francigena” (“the road to Rome that comes from France”), follows the old pilgrimage route to Rome that was also taken by Sigeric the Serious, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the 10th century to receive his vestments from the Pope. 314 km in Wallonia. Roubaix (France) – Renaix (Ronse) – Lessines – La Hulpe – Wavre – Gembloux – Namur – Dinant – Ciney – Marcheen-Famenne – La Roche-en-Ardenne – Bastogne – Martelange · LA MEUSE À VÉLO – This was the first signposted long-distance cycle route in Wallonia, following the path of the River Meuse, one of Europe’s most beautiful river valleys. Whether starting from the French border near Givet or from the Dutch border near Maastricht, you will pass through magnificent natural scenery and

© F.X. ALLARD HCT

The international long-distance routes

numerous charmingly rural villages as you make your way across Wallonia. 160 km. Maastricht (Netherlands) – Liège – Huy – Namur – Dinant – Givet (France) · LA VENNBAHN – One of the longest cycle paths in Europe on a converted former railway line, the Vennbahn crosses three different countries: Germany, Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The name means “Fen Railway”, after the Hohes Venn (Hautes Fagnes in French) region that it passes through. It’s a journey though fascinating countryside, rich in history and natural wonders. The Vennbahn is also the departure point for 16 bike trails of varying lengths (30–50 km) and degrees of difficulty. 125 km. Aachen (Germany) – Monschau (Germany) – Sankt-Vith (or Saint-Vith) – Troisvierges (Luxembourg) www.vennbahn.eu

For further information: http://ravel.wallonie.be (French only) www.eurovelo.com 3

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The regional long-distance routes

· ITINÉRAIRE W0 – “La Véloroute des Capitales” (The cycle route of the Capitals). This route links Brussels to Namur, the capital of Wallonia, and also visits Wavre, the capital of the province of Walloon Brabant, and Marcheen-Famenne, the unofficial capital of the Famenne region. 240 km. Brussels – Wavre – Namur – Dinant – Ciney – Marche-en-Famenne – La Roche-enArdenne – Bastogne. This itinerary shares the same route as EuroVelo 5 for the length of its course. · ITINÉRAIRE W1 – “Entre Dendre et Hauts-Pays” (Between the River Dender and the Hauts-Pays (the “high country” of the province of Hainaut, with its nature park)). 71 km. Geraardsbergen (Grammont) – Beloeil – Honnelles via Ath and the Nimy-BlatonPéronnes Canal between Bernissart and Harchies – the Pommeroeul-Condé Canal between Harchies and Hensies – Elouges (Dour). · ITINÉRAIRE W2 – “La Véloroute de la Bière” (The beer cycle route). Currently 179 km; will be extended to 314 km. Braine-l’Alleud/Waterloo – Wavre – Jodoigne – Hannut – Liège – Herve – Trois-Bornes (“Three Borders” area, near Plombières). Future westward extension: Leers-Nord (Estaimpuis) – Renaix (Ronse) – Lessines – Enghien – Braine-l’Alleud. · ITINÉRAIRE W3 – “La Véloroute des Carnavals” (The carnival cycle route), visiting places known for their springtime carnivals, and following the Canal du Centre in the middle section between Seneffe and La Louvière 113 km. Tubize – La Louvière – Thuin – Beaumont – Chimay. · ITINÉRAIRE W4 – “Canaux, fleuves et rivières” (Canals and rivers big and small). 190 km. Leers-Nord (Estaimpuis) – Tournai – Péruwelz – Mons – La Louvière – Charleroi – Anhée.

© WBT - B. D’ALIMONTE

These mainly follow the greenway sections of the RAVeL routes. Eight itineraries (itinéraires) are already fully usable along the entirety of their course, and Wallonia is working to extend the number to ten in the near future. These regional long-distance routes form a structured network that permits cyclists to move safely around most of Wallonia. http://ravel.wallonie.be (French only)

· ITINÉRAIRE W5 – “D’une vallée à l’autre” (From one valley to the next). Currently 111 km, will be 264 km when completed. Hoegaarden – Namur – Dinant – Givet (France). In the future, also Gedinne – Vresse-sur-Semois – Bouillon – Florenville – Martelange. · ITINÉRAIRE W6 – “Au fil de l’eau” (Going with the stream). Currently 170 km, will be extended to 208 km. Chaudfontaine – Huy – Namur – Charleroi – Thuin – Erquelinnes. Future eastward extension: Chaudfontaine – Verviers – Eupen. · ITINÉRAIRE W7 – “Sur la route des Ardennes” (On the Ardennes road). 207 km. Lanaye – Liège – Durbuy – La-Rocheen-Ardenne – Libramont – Bouillon. · FUTURE ITINÉRAIRE W8 – “Entre Fagnes et Famenne” (Between the Fagnes (Fens) and the Famenne region). 235 km. Momignies – Chimay – Mariembourg – Dinant – Ciney – Durbuy – Vielsalm – Malmedy or Sankt-Vith/Saint-Vith* – Losheimergraben (Büllingen/Bullange). · ITINÉRAIRE W9 – “La Véloroute grandeur nature” (The full-on nature cycle route). Currently 157 km; will be 212 km. Raeren – Monschau (Germany) – Sankt-Vith (Saint-Vith) – Gouvy – Bastogne – Martelange. Future extension southwards to Arlon – Virton. For further information: http://ravel.wallonie.be (French only) * The sections between Chimay and Mariembourg and between Durbuy, Vielsalm and Malmedy have not yet been completed.

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© WBT - D. ERROYAUX

“Chemins du Rail” is an organisation founded in 1966 to encourage the preservation of disused railway lines, and their conversion to greenways.

RAVeL: Life in the Slow Lane

Its mission includes the promotion of public awareness about this project and the RAVeL network, as well as railway heritage, and the production of documentation, organising walks and journeys on and around former railway lines, all in close collaboration with local, regional and federal authorities, in order to make the most of all routes reserved for “slow traffic”. Chemins du Rail has also devised a series of discovery routes, available online. www.cheminsdurail.be (French only; go to “Fiches balades”).

© WBT - B. D’ALIMONTE

© MT OURTHE ET AISNE - C. MOTTET

RAVeL is short for “Réseau Autonome de Voies lentes”: literally, Autonomous Network of Slow Ways. It consists of 1300 km of former railway lines and towpaths that have now been converted into pathways reserved for cyclists, walkers, horse-riders, rollerskaters and people of reduced mobility. Protected from road traffic, this network guarantees conditions that are relatively safe, flat and comfortable in which to discover Wallonia – its cities and towns, its countryside and its preserved natural spaces. Maps of the various sections of the RAVeL system, published for each of the provinces of Wallonia, are available for free from: http://ravel.wallonie.be (French only; go to “Parcourir le RAVeL”, the “Les sections”).

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The “points-noeuds” networks © WBT - B. D’ALIMONTE

Already well known in the Netherlands and Flanders, this is a burgeoning phenomenon in Wallonia: networks (réseaux) of cycle paths linked by intersections, here called “pointsnoeuds” (literally, “knot-points”). They help cyclists to create an itinerary to suit themselves, according to their capabilities. A simple system of numbers and signposts situated at each intersection makes the paths easy to follow. It also allows people to alter their itinerary midway, as the fancy takes them. 6

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The “réseau points-noeuds” in Wallonie Picarde Two nature parks (parcs naturels) and 1600km of points-noeuds itineraries await you and your bicycle in Wallonie Picarde, in the Province of Hainaut in western Wallonia. The cycle path network in Wallonie Picarde is the biggest in Wallonia. Two maps cover the complete network: one for the region of Ath–Silly–Enghien and the Parc naturel du Pays des Collines, another for the region of Tournai–Mouscron and the Parc naturel des Plaines de l’Escaut. www.wapinature.be

The “réseau points-noeuds” in the Pays de Famenne “Famenne à vélo” (Famenne by bike) is a network of 350km of cycle paths with signposted pointnoeuds in central Wallonia, comprising sections of the RAVeL routes, country roads and lanes, and surfaced paths through woodland. It covers six municipalities in the Pays de Famenne region (Durbuy, Hotton, Marche-en-Famenne, Nassogne, Rochefort and Somme-Leuze), and straddles two provinces (Namur and the Belgian province of Luxembourg). “Famenne à vélo” also has four themed circuits: “La Dorsale Famennoise” (the Famenne ridge), from Houet to Bomal; “Les Crêtes” (the hill-crests), for sports-cyclists; “Les Mégalithes”, a historic circuit; and “La Vallée de la Lesse”, in the valley of the River Lesse, with attractions for all the family. www.famenne-a-velo.be

The “réseau points-noeuds” in the Cantons de l’Est The “Vélo Tour Hautes-Fagnes Eifel” has 850km of cycle paths crossing landscape of exceptional beauty in eastern Wallonia, suitable for sportscyclists and quiet amblers alike. There are 17 different themed itineraries: the River Our circuit (Le Circuit de l’Our); the Lake and Forest circuit (“Lac et Forêt”); the Manderfeld circuit; the Pays de St-Vith circuit; the Mills of the River Our (Le Circuit des Moulins de l’Our); the Fagnes (fens) circuit; the River Warche circuit (Le Circuit de la Warche); the Energy Circuit (Le Circuit de l’Energie – hydro, solar and wind power); woodlands and hedgerows (Paysage Bocager); the Tour of the Lac de la Gileppe; the marshland route (La Route des Marais); the Vennbahn circuit; the descent from Eupen towards the Fagnes (La Descente

d’Eupen vers les Fagnes); Tour of the Lac d’Eupen; the Eupen circuit (Le Circuit du pays d’Eupen); following the River Gueule (Le Circuit “Au Fil de la Gueule”), and the Drinking Water circuit (Le Circuit de l’Eau Potable). www.eastbelgium.com (French, Dutch and German only)

The “réseau points-noeuds” in the Pays de Chimay and Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse The “1000 bornes à vélo” (1000 kilometres by bike) network in southwest Wallonia, so far signposted for 350km, has been specially built for hybrid or all-purpose bikes (vélos tout chemin, VTC). It uses secure cycle paths and quiet roads, such as RAVeL routes and peaceful lanes through countryside and woodlands. It’s a good way to discover this green, wellpreserved and authentic part of Wallonia – a perfect setting for outdoor leisure activities. It will eventually cover more than 650km in this region, embracing the municipalities of Beaumont, Chimay, Froidchapelle, Momignies, Sivry-Rance, Cerfontaine, Philippeville, Gerpinnes and Walcourt. www.1000bornesavelo.be (French only)

The “réseau points-noeuds” in the Basse-Meuse region The cycle network called “Montagne Saint-Pierre entre Geer et Meuse” occupies the lower (Basse) stretches of the River Meuse in the province of Liège, in eastern Wallonia. The Montagne Saint-Pierre is a hill between the Rivers Geer and Meuse, between Liège and Maastricht, on the border between Wallonia, Flanders and the Netherlands. The network, covering 80km, takes you back and forth over the borders to Maastricht, Riemst, Eijsden, Bassenge, Oupeye and Visé. www.montagnesaintpierre.org (French only)

The provinces are making these a key priority… The province of Walloon Brabant will also get its own network during 2017. The region called Hesbaye Brabançonne is the first to benefit from four circuits of around 20km each. www.destinationbw.be The other provinces hope to complete their existing networks.

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Stay connected by using the dedicated websites and apps!

Sometimes tied to themes, sometimes to specific regions of Wallonia, a large number of websites and apps have been developed to provide you with digital and interactive itineraries. They serve as excellent complementary tools to the 45 routes proposed in this brochure. Once you have chosen a destination, get further information from these indispensable tools, which will make your journey both stimulating and interactive, and allow your fellow cyclists to profit from your good planning! 8

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Let’s take a look at some examples… Cirkwi 410 km of route ideas! www.cirkwi.com/en (mainly in French) or the Android app available from Google Play are indispensable. The latter allows you to download your itineraries (maps, texts, photos…) so you can access them without an internet connection.

Randobel Randobel is unique because it has the ambitious aim of cataloguing all the cycle routes – signposted and unsignposted – of Belgium and to provide numerous GPS tracks. The philosophy of the site is based on the exchange of information with users. It is in constant touch with the tourist authorities, in order to improve the quality and signposting of the routes. The goal is to produce the most complete, accurate and relevant website, by virtue of being created by participants on the ground. www.randobel.be (French only), a user-friendly website that really matches the expectations of outdoor-activity enthusiasts!

Chemins du Rail Chemins du Rail (literally “Rail Paths”) promotes the use of greenways and encourages the creation of more. On their website you can find all the railway lines in Wallonia that have been turned into greenways. www.cheminsdurail.be

Rando Vélo Rando-Vélo creates trans-European routes, in parallel with the long-distance routes. The routes have blue and yellow signposts. They organise accompanied excursions which draw attention to the history, culture, natural beauty and characteristic riches of each locality. www.randovelo.org

Route you www.routeyou.com allows you to research leisure itineraries that are available on the internet. These itineraries include paths for walkers, cycle routes and tourist routes. If you find an interesting route that you want to take with you, you can print it or download it to your GPS device. RouteYou also allows you to plan your own itineraries and to share them with friends or with other users of RouteYou.

Sity Trail

Wikiloc

SityTrail is the ideal mobile reference companion for all your outdoor excursions and activities. Take advantage of the topographical IGN (Institut Géographique National) maps on www.sitytrail.com and download the SityTrail Belgium app, a GPS guide for all your outdoor activities in Wallonia.

Wikiloc lists itineraries for a multitude of activities anywhere in the world.

Sity Tour

YOU CAN ALSO FIND OTHER ROUTES AT

The routes can be downloaded for free thanks to the SityTour app. Once downloaded, the “Randoguides” (excursion guides) are accessible without an internet connection. The points of interest are triggered automatically and a sound signal warns you if you stray from the route. For example, “La Route du Vin au Pays de Namur” links no fewer than 12 vineyards. www.sitytour.com

For example, look for mountain-bike or cycling itineraries in Belgium, then sort them by length or difficulty. It’s a huge platform for sharing experiences. www.wikiloc.com/trails/outdoor/ belgium/wallonia

www.cyclinginwallonia.com For instance, combine cycling with heritage and local food products – all strong points of Wallonia.

Pro Vélo The Pro Vélo organisation offers, among other things, guided cycle tours of towns known for their art, such as Mons, Liège and Namur. The itineraries vary from 15 to 45 km or so in length and are accompanied by a guide. www.provelo.org 9

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Cycle sports © BIKE PARK FERME LIBERT

· HOUFFALIZE, BELGIUM’S CAPITAL OF MOUNTAIN BIKING Having played host many times to the World Cup, and now the focal point of the Roc d’Ardenne Festival and the Chouffe Marathon, Houffalize has become Belgium’s VTT capital. Located in the hilly Ardennes in the province of Luxembourg, it owes its success to its numerous VTT circuits – some signposted, some not – of which it is justifiably proud. www.coeurdelardenne.be – www.houffalize.be

Calling all thrill-seekers, superfit racing cyclists and dedicated mountain bikers: cycling in Wallonia offers the ideal opportunity to get away from it all and meet new challenges, while mixing intense physical activity with leisure. Wallonia was made for mountain bikers – the “vététistes”, as they are called, from VTT, vélos tout terrain (all terrain bikes). There are numerous signposted VTT circuits, with multiple climbs and descents, and along the dramatically contoured paths that lead through our magnificent forests and countryside. In addition, there are places entirely devoted to cycle sports, such as the mountain bike parks and velodromes.

· DISCOVERING THE ARDENNES BY MOUNTAIN BIKE Numerous operators specialising is adventure and activity holidays offer mountain bike options. These could be outings for all the family or a group of friends, on dirt tracks or on gentler surfaced paths; or they could be heart-stopping escapades on the most challenging VTT circuits. You can do tailor-made mountain-bike excursions, or choose from a selection of organised daytrips or complete holiday packages. www.belgium-tourism.be http://aventure.tourismewallonie.be (French only) · IDEAS FOR BIG EXCURSIONS See: www.gta.be (French only) or www.europaventure.be Conceived as circuits (like “La Route des Fôrets”) or one-way treks (like “La Transardennaise”), these journeys can be accomplished with the help of a roadbook or as a travel package, with or without baggage transfer. You can find more cycling tourism routes at www.cyclinginwallonia.com

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Mountain bike parks · LE BIKE PARK DE LA FERME LIBERT, AT MALMEDY This mountain bike park is located in the heart of the Hautes-Fagnes (“High Fens”), in the province of Liège in eastern Wallonia, and a few minutes from the centre of the town of Malmedy. Here a ski-slope has been transformed and totally adapted to become what is now considered to be one of the best bike parks in the region. It has several downhill runs, with forest and jump trails, a Four-Cross and an enduro trail, VTT trial zones, and – new this year – the “Zone Dirt”. www.bikepark-fermelibert.com (French only) · LE BIKE PARK DES LACS DE L’EAU D’HEURE This new bike park has been created at the very heart of this magnificent set of lakes, Les Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure, which are well-known for all the leisure activities and cycle routes that they have to offer. This new facility, created at a place called “La Ferme de Badon”, offers permanent VTT trails, a trial zone, Dual Slalom/ Four Cross or Free Ride trails, a Pump Track… all waiting to be tested in this exceptional setting. www.lacsdeleaudheure.be (French and Dutch only)

© FTPN - C. GENARD

· MTB-PARK – VOLMERSBERG, AT SANKT-VITH This mountain bike (MTB) park near Sankt-Vith (or Saint-Vith), in the province of Liège in eastern Wallonia, has free access and allows all-comers to test their technical skills. The signposted course snakes through the woodlands of the hilly Volmersberg for nearly 5 km, ranking at 3 degrees of difficulty. That said, it lends itself best to experienced mountain bikers, and is not suited to children of less than 8 years of age. It is also recommended that all participants are accompanied on the course. There is a carpark at the Centre Culturel Triangel, which is connected to the bike park by a RAVeL route, along which a small VTT test course has been laid out. Tourist office: Syndicat d’initiative de Saint-Vith Tel. +32(0)80 28 01 30

Velodromes Specially built for training and track cycling competitions, these facilities are much soughtafter by top-class cyclists and young aficionados of the sport in search of places to train. Three velodromes in Wallonia are accessible to the

public: at Ans (province of Liège), Rochefort (province of Namur) and at Gilly (province of Hainaut). www.cyclinginwallonia.com 11

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Services specially adapted for cyclists

The “Bienvenue vélo” label Pamper your bicycle!

© C. CARDON

Stay a few days in Wallonia in one of the places bearing the “Bienvenue vélo” (“Bikes Welcome”) label: it guarantees a warm welcome for bike enthusiasts of all kinds. Gîtes (holiday homes for rent), bed-and-breakfasts, hotels, youth hostels, campsites, tourist attractions, museums, tourist organisations and restaurants offer visitors a secure place to store bicycles, tools to carry out repairs and cleaning equipment, plus maps and advice about touring routes. They are located no more than 5km from a section of a RAVeL route or a cycle network and are easily identifiable by the logo. More than 500 enterprises have the label and the network is expanding all the time. The full list can be found at www.cyclinginwallonia.com 12

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In the Cantons de l’Est, in eastern Wallonia, enterprises operating under the “Bed+Bike” label are specially geared to meet the specific requirements of tourists travelling by bike, and offer the same range of services and equipment as the “Bienvenue vélo” scheme. As the name implies, the “Bed+Bike” label is used only for accommodation. You can spot the participants by the sign with the logo on it at the entrance. www.eastbelgium.com (German, French and Dutch only. In the French version look for Hébergements “bed+bike” under the Hébergements & Gastronomie tab)

The “Access-i” label for persons with reduced mobility

© WBT - J.P. REMY

Access-i is a label that allows people to identify at a glance, by means of coloured pictograms, the level of accessibility of a building, tourist site, leisure activity or event, according to each PRM category. Access-i focuses on attending to the specific needs of tourists in their travels by bike and in their use of services such as accommodation, and visits to museums and tourist attractions. www.access-i.be (French only)

© EASTBELGIUM.COM - D. KETZ

The “Bed+Bike” label in the Cantons de l’Est

Bike hire and bike repairs A number of private enterprises have developed special services for cycling tourists. A couple of particularly interesting ones, which have emerged from the voluntary sector, deserve to be singled out: · “POINTS VÉLO”, BY PRO VELO The Belgian cycling association Pro Velo provides numerous services for cyclists. Their “Points Vélo” at the railway stations of Liège, Mons, Namur, Ottignies and Gembloux offer bike hire, mechanical assistance and/or a bike shop. Note that these services are only available on weekdays, from Monday to Friday. www.provelo.org · BICYCLE SERVICING AND REPAIR WORKSHOPS IN “L’HEUREUX CYCLAGE” NETWORK Here you can buy fully restored second-hand bikes, get your own bike mended, or rent a bike for any length of time. Some workshops will even teach you how to mend and maintain your bike yourself. www.lheureuxcyclage.be (French only)

For places to hire all-terrain bikes, mountain bikes and electric bikes, as well as sources of equipment and bicycle repair workshops, go to www.cyclinginwallonia.com 13

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Security and courtesy… it’s in everyone’s interest

© C. CARDON

So, you’re off on your bike on a quest to discover Wallonia! Have you thought of everything? Travelling safely is not just a question of luck! Whether you are travelling on your own, in a group, in towns or on dedicated cycling tracks, here are some words of advice to help you ride happily and safely.

1. BICYCLE CHECK-UP A properly equipped, well-maintained bike – that’s essential! Bell, front brakes, rear brakes, reflectors… Give your bike a full check-up before you set off: tyres, brakes, gears… 2. VISIBILITY AND THINKING AHEAD

If you are thinking of riding at night or in poor light, don’t forget to fit a white or yellow light on the front of your bike, and a red light at the back: they are obligatory. Think of wearing light- or bright-coloured clothes and helmet, and enhance your visibility by adding reflecting accessories, especially to your arms and legs. And don’t forget to indicate when you are changing direction!

Good to know – If your group contains more than 15 cyclists, specific rules of the road apply. More than 150 cyclists, and the group has to be split up.

4. RIDING ON RAVeL ROUTES AND OTHER TRACKS RESERVED FOR CYLISTS On tracks reserved for cyclists, users often have a false sense of security, which may make them less vigilant. So it is important to observe a few rules: · Be friendly and courteous towards others. As a cyclist, be thoughtful: keep well to the right, and pay attention to other users so as not to obstruct them needlessly. · Don’t ride too fast. For your information: there is a speed restriction of 30 km/h.

3. ON THE ROAD · If a dedicated cycle path (piste cyclable) is available You are obliged to use it, if practical. Do be careful because a piste cyclable is usually not reserved exclusively for cyclists (some traffic may have access). When travelling in a group, you are permitted to ride in twos, except if another bike wants to pass, or if it is a two-way path.

· Be particularly vigilant if you encounter children: they can sometimes behave unpredictably.

· If a dedicated cycle path (piste cyclable) is not available You must ride on the right-hand side of the road. You are allowed to ride over parking places or on road shoulders to your right, but here you must give way to any vehicle already there, and to road users when you move back onto the road. If overtaking a motor vehicle, be sure that the driver has seen you. When in a group you must ride in single file when the road is narrow or if a vehicle comes up from behind.

HAPPY CYCLING!

· The access and exit points to these tracks are often road junctions. Note that you must give way, and make sure you are fully visible! · It is wise to find out about the dates of the hunting seasons to avoid any nasty surprises!

RAV

Wallonia has its own road safety agency, the Agence Wallonne pour la Sécurité Routière (AWSR). Its website (in French only) has a section dedicated to bicycle safety (see under “Vélo”). www.tousconcernes.be

90

4 95 12

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© WBT - SPRL CERNIX-P. PAUQUAY

Wallonia is a paradise for cyclists. The tourist offices of the region have taken up the challenge to present their most beautiful routes, so you can discover Wallonia in all its richness and diversity. Each of these 45 selected itineraries has been specifically designed to reveal the greatest attractions, charms and special qualities of the area that it passes through.

45 cycle routes for discovering Wallonia

Maps of the routes – Key and Pictograms

Domaine des Grottes de Han

Domaine des Grottes de Han RAVeL1 Difficulty: RAVeL3/5 1 Medium 90

a

27 km

2h

b

c

Melreux (Hotton)

·27·

d

e

a The routes are scored 1 to 5 according to their difficulty, based on their total distance and the climbs. All are possible for children, but the difficulty score is an indication of the advisable minimum age. b Length of the route 4 in kilometres. c Approximate time to allow to complete the route. d Departure point (Start). e Route number. (For the general location of the routes, see the map on the inside front cover.)

90

4

95

310 m

Mountain bike

95

VTT

V TC

VTT

Domaine des Grottes de Han 12

V TC

Hybrid or all-purpose bike

Start of the circuit

12

RAVeL 1 Signage system for VTT routes. These signs consist of a triangle and two round

Grottes de Han discs.des They can be yellow, red, green or blue. 90 Domaine

250 m

Elevation profile

190 m 180 m

180 m PetitHan

Melreux

Biron

Oppagne

Melreux

Village cited under the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie” scheme (“Prettiest Villages in Carte Balade Melreux Wallonia”). Nord

DURBUY

Nord

N 833

8

N 86

Petit-Han.

. Grandhan

Musée des Mégalithes

Domaine des Grottes de Han 10

!

Wéris .

!

9

L’Ourthe

Côte !

Tourist attraction, located on the cycle route Signage system for VTC routes. RAVeL 1 RAVeL1 itself, or nearby (no more than about 5km from These signs consist of a triangle and one round 4 it). If the attraction is further than 5 km from the disc, in contrast to the VTT signs. 90 90 route, or off the map, the approximate distance is given in the “To discover” listings. 95 Signage system for the “points-noeuds”. 4 4 On the routes, each intersection (“pointnoeud”) has been given a number and has a 95 Good to know! sign showing that number, plus the numbers Every route shows where bike facilities (shelters, 95 12 of the next intersections and arrows pointing parking, charging points) or bike hire will be 12 in the direction to follow (see p.6). These signs available in 2017. Check it out! Domaine des Grottes de H 12 can be blue or green. The information point indicated is the closest to the RAVeL Signage system for the RAVeL network The route described. You can find all the tourist offices routes on the RAVeL network (see p.5) follow mentioned at www.belgium-tourism.be disused railway lines and former towpaths. The 90 main long-distance routes are numbered 1 to 5; See the map of long-distance cycling routes at the other shorter sections are numbered according front of this brochure. 4 ! to the railway lines that they follow. 11

Monteuville .

Oppagne . 67

69

. Biron

12

N 833

68

N 86

14

N 898

Fronville .

L’Ourthe

. Soy

Ny .

16

Monville .

!

!

95 12

!!

. Melreux

RAVeL

73

Brasserie Fantôme

P

Départ

N 807

17

HOTTON

RIVEO

Warning sign: crossing a major road, dangerous descent or other potential hazard.

RAVeL

!

70

Grottes de Hotton

Happy cycling!

The maps in this brochure can help you to find your way when following the routes; they give you the basic information that you need. But they are no substitute for the Institut Géographique National (IGN) maps or other maps available from the local tourist offices in the region – don’t hesitate to contact them! (See pp.112–13)

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109

Bai 3

© M. CLINCKEMAILLE

Ca

To discover…

The Genappe mountain bike circuit “Le Circuit VTT de Genappe”, for hardened mountain bikers, also offers an opportunity to discover a lovely, open landscape in the province of Walloon Brabant, fringed by large woodlands and crossed by the River Dyle – and surprisingly close to Brussels. From the start, at Baisy-Thy, nature takes over as we cross the mixed woodland of the Bois de la Tassenière. Three 100-year-old beech trees and an oak dominate the path. Further along we come to the pretty chapel of Try-au-Chêne. The route now tackles some typical Brabançon countryside near Bousval – wonderfully varied. We descend to reach the village, washed by the River Dyle. We then climb to the entrance to the Bois de Thy. These paths are well established and involve descents and climbs, punctuated with little valleys. Further on, a steep slope leads to the ponds of Glabais. Across a ford, and there’s the village: Brussels may be close, but here is deep countryside, authentic and full of charm. A final climb leads us back to Hattain, to conclude this demanding circuit.

· Dernier Quartier Général de Napoléon (4.5 km) The Ferme du Caillou (now a museum), Napoleon’s last headquarters on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, 1815. Chaussée de Bruxelles, 66 1472 Vieux-Genappe www.dernier-qg-napoleon.be (French only) · Champ de Bataille de Waterloo (8 km) The Battlefield of Waterloo, Lion Mound monument, new Mémorial 1815 and Ferme d’Hougoumont. Route du Lion, 1815 - 1420 Braine-l’Alleud www.waterloo1815.be · Musée Wellington (12 km) Wellington’s headquarters for the Battle of Waterloo (now a museum). Chaussée de Bruxelles, 147 - 1410 Waterloo www.museewellington.be

Good to know! For history buffs, a tour of the Battlefield of Waterloo is a must, by bike or on foot. Various options, 8–14 km.

R

B

D g T

SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Rue de Bruxelles, 38 - 1470 Genappe Tél. +32(0)67 77 23 43 www.waterloo-tourisme.com

R

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79 m

109 m

129 m

Difficulty: Baisy-Thy 3/5 Medium

Baisy-Thy Baisy-Thy (Genappe)

3h

27Bousval km

·1·

Carte balade Genappe N

WATERLOO BRAINE-L’ALLEUD Musée Wellington Memorial 1815

© M. CLINCKEMAILLE

Dernier Quartier Général de Napoléon N 271 Ferme de Mont-saint-Jean

La Motte Sclage .

. Glabais . Château du Ruart

N 25

Bousval . GENAPPE

Thy . La Dyle Tangissart . N5 P

Baisy-Thy

. Hattain

CHARLEROI

79 m

109 m

Practical information

VTT

ROAD TYPE: woodland paths and country lanes. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT). DIFFICULTY: a circuit of 27 km alternating between gently undulating hills and more demanding sections. Take care when crossing the routes nationales (N roads).

129 m

Baisy-Thy

Bousval

Baisy-Thy

Carte balade Genappe

START: from Place d’Hattain, in Baisy-Thy, Nord take RueWATERLOO Saint-Roch. BRAINE-L’ALLEUD Musée Wellington

PARKING: bydePlace d’Hattain, in Baisy-Thy. Champ de Bataille Waterloo Dernier Quartier Général de Napoléon N 271

La Motte SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTTSclage circuit signs . (blue. Glabais triangles and round discs). . Château du Ruart

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/- 15.

N 25

Province Bousval . du Brabant wallon GENAPPE

17

Thy . La Dyle Tangissart .

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60

2 Eta

The mountain bike circuit at Ottignies Louvain-la-Neuve The “Parcours VTT à Ottignies – Louvain-laNeuve” mixes fields and open countryside with a slice of unique Belgian culture.… After the ponds at Buston, popular with fi shing enthusiasts, the first kilometres present no great difficulties. On the plain, a little after Rofessart, the lanes and small roads wind between the vast fields of this agricultural landscape. The horizon presents a subtle palette of colours – greens, yellows and browns – as far as the eye can see. The characteristic countryside of Ottignies reveals itself, as at Pinchart, former hunting grounds of the local lords, or at Fond du Ry, one of the many picturesque places that punctuate this route. Further on, approaching Céroux, the Romanesque tower of Moriensart rises up out of open country. We head for the centre of the village, a grassy triangle bordered by 56 limetrees which frequently serves as the departure point for hot air balloon rallies. After Mousty and Franquenies, we enter the Domaine Provincial du Bois des Rêves (the “Wood of Dreams” public park), the green lungs of the region; we go through this to reach the modern and innovative university town of Louvain-la-Neuve. We cycle beside the lake between the Quartiers of l’Hocaille and des Bruyères, then head towards the Bois de Lauzelle, another celebrated green space covering 180 hectares. A little descent, and we’re back in the bucolic little valley of Buston.

© N. BOREL - Architecte C. DE PORTZAMPARC

Ca

To discover… · Musée Hergé A museum dedicated to the creator of Tintin and his work. Rue du Labrador, 26 - 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve www.museeherge.com · Domaine Provincial du Bois des Rêves Public park with walks, swimming and paddling pools, equipped playgrounds, BBQ pitches etc. Allée du Bois des Rêves, 1 - 1340 Ottignies www.boisdesreves.be · Aventure Parc (7.8 km) 19 challenging courses: ropewalks through the trees, Tarzan swings, ziplines, bungee jumping etc Rue Sainte-Anne, 152 - 1300 Wavre www.aventureparc.be

Good to know! At Genval, the Musée de l’Eau et de la Fontaine (Museum of Water and Fountains) invites you discover – or to rediscover – the wonders of water, the source of life.

R

B

D t

OFFICE DU TOURISME Avenue des Combattants, 35 1340 Louvain-la-Neuve Tel. +32(0)10 47 47 47 www.mtab.be

R

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111 m 60 m

60 m

Difficulty: 2/5deMedium Etangs Buston

27 km Neuve Louvain-la

Ottignies –

·2·

EtangsLouvainde Buston

2 h 45

la-Neuve

Carte balade Ottignies Louvain-la Neuve WAVRE

© N. BOREL - Architecte C. DE PORTZAMPARC

N

Aventure Parc

E -411

N 275

Golf Club de Louvain-la-Neuve P

!

!

!

E -411 N 25

. Buston Limelette .

La Dyle

Ottignies .

OTTIGNIES LOUVAIN-LA-NEUVE

N 238

N 237

e

Musée Hergé

N 250

N 275

. Céroux-Mousty

! Domaine Provincial du Bois des Rêves

!

. Wisterzée

111 m 60 m

60 m

Practical information

VTT

ROAD TYPE: country lanes and minor roads. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT). DIFFICULTY: 27 km. Take great care when crossing the routes nationales (N roads). RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/- 15.

Etangs de Buston

Louvain-la Neuve

Etangs de Buston

Carte balade Ottignies Louvain-la Neuve

START: from the ponds at Buston, follow the Rue Nord WAVRE Parc du Moulin à Eau to reach the Rue duAventure Charnois.

E -411

PARKING: at the ponds at Buston, Rue du Moulin à Eau. N 275follow the signs for the long VTT SIGNPOSTING: Golf Club circuit (red triangles and Départround discs). de Louvain-la-Neuve P

!

!

!

E -411 N 25

. Buston Limelette . OTTIGNIES

Province du Brabant 19 LOUVAIN-LA-NEUVE N 238 wallon La Dyle

Ottignies .

N 237 N 250

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. Céroux-Mousty

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15

P

2

Ca

E -4

© P. PAUQUAY

The “Transperwézienne” Perwez, which gives its name to this circuit, lies at heart of the fertile agricultural area called the Hesbaye Brabançonne, a wonderful landscape for cycling. We leave from the disused railway station at Perwez, heading east (note the direction of north on the map), taking the RAVeL greenway along the old railway Line 147 that used to link Tamines to Tirlemont. The track offers fine views over the Hesbaye countryside, which includes the beautiful farm, the Ferme d’Alvaux. A little further on, we reach the Ferme de Seumay, which in the 12 th century was occupied by monks from the famous Abbey of Heylissem at Hélécine (20km to the northeast). Scattered among the fields along the way are some more splendid buildings, such as the Ferme de la Petite Cense, built of brick and the local Gobertange limestone (which was used to build the Cathedral and Hôtel de Ville in Brussels). Quiet roads take us through the villages of Thorembais-lesBéguines and Wastines. Near the church, with its 12 th -century Romanesque tower, the route enters an area of woodland called the Bosquet de Malèves. The Musée du Souvenir 1940– 1945 lies on our route ahead; created by a family with a passion for WW2 memorabilia, it commemorates what was a painful period of history for this region. Shortly after the Moulin d’Odenge (watermill) comes Orbais and the 18 th -century Ferme Vranckx, a listed building. We have the pleasure of rejoining the RAVeL L147 to end this agreeable rural jaunt.

To discover… · “Les fermes en carré” Large, historic farmhouses set around a courtyard, symbols of the Hesbaye countryside. · Musée du Souvenir 40-45 Local museum devoted to the Second World War. Rue d’Orbais, 2 - 1360 Malèves-Ste-Marie www.museedusouvenir.be (French only) · Tumulus d’Hottomont (4 km) One of the biggest tumuli (burial mounds) in Wallonia, dating from the Gallo-Roman era, on the Chaussée romaine Bavay–Tongres (Roman road; see p.8).

Good to know! Two RAVeL routes cross the Hesbaye Brabançonne region, following disused railway lines: L142 and L147. Panels along their paths provide tourist information about the region.

B MAISON DU TOURISME DE LA HESBAYE BRABANÇONNE Grand-Place, 1 - 1370 Jodoigne Tél. +32 (0)10 22 91 15 www.hesbayebrabanconne.be (French only)

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D 1

R


152 m

148 m

130 m

Wastines 24 km

Perwez Difficulty: 2/5 Medium

152 m

Orbais

Perwez

·3·

Perwez

2h

Carte balade Perwez N

E -411

. Orbais

11

!

N 29

RAVeL L147

. Odenge

. Malèves-Ste-Marie

N 243

Musée du Souvenir 4O-45

E -411

© P. PAUQUAY

L’Orbais . Sainte-Marie N 29

RAVeL L147

N 243

Wastines . Ruisseau de Thorembais

P

PERWEZ

RAVeL L147

! . Thorembais-lesBéguines N91

N 243

Tumulus d’Hottomont

La Grande Gette

152 m

Practical information

y

V TC

148 m

130 m

Wastines

Perwez

152 m

Orbais

Perwez

Carte balade Perwez

ROAD TYPE: asphalt RAVeL route, minor country roads and a paved path (2km).

START: from the disused railway station at Perwez, Avenue Jacobs 1, 1360 Perwez.

BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC).

. Orbais station at Perwez. PARKING: at the disused railway

DIFFICULTY: almost flat throughout, varying between 125m and 165m in altitude.

. Odenge SIGNPOSTING: route marked by signs! with an N 29 orange disc and arrow.

Nord

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/- 10.

E -411

11

RAVeL L147

. Malèves-Ste-Marie

N 243

Musée du Souvenir 4O-45

E -411

L’Orbais

Province du Brabant wallon N 29

RAVeL L147

N 243

Départ

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10

Ni1

© Y.-H. FELTZ

Ca

To discover…

From Nivelles to Seneffe This RAVeL route is ideally located, starting about 100m from the Grand’Place of Nivelles, which is overlooked by the magnificent Collegiate Church of St Gertrude. We quickly leave the urban atmosphere of Nivelles behind us as we head out on the RAVeL greenway into a very different landscape of fi elds and woods – with countryside all around, this Brabant town has strong green credentials. After 7 km we reach Arquennes. Leaving the village, we follow the old Charleroi–Brussels canal, which retains a distinct charm. Built at the start of the 19 th century, this was a key navigable thoroughfare when both these two cities were undergoing rapid industrial development and population growth. It was a titanic task, involving the construction of 50 locks between the two cities. Today the towpath – formerly used by horses towing barges – has become the tranquil RAVeL route that we can follow to reach Seneffe. The return route rejoins the path of the former 141 railway line as its makes its way through the surrounding woodland.

· Collégiale Ste-Gertrude, Nivelles An exceptional 11th-century church, one of the great treasures of Wallonia. Grand’Place - 1400 Nivelles www.tourisme-nivelles.be · Domaine du Château de Seneffe Beautiful 18th-century château and parkland, with a museum of silverware inside. Rue Lucien Plasman, 7-9 - 7180 Seneffe www.chateaudeseneffe.be (French and Dutch only) · Plan incliné de Ronquières Spectacular engineering feat of the 1960s, to haul barges up an inclined plane on the new Charleroi–Brussels canal. Route Baccara, 1w - 7090 Ronquières http://voiesdeau.hainaut.be

Good to know! Bikes can be hired from the Maison du Tourisme du Parc des Canaux et Châteaux. www.parcdescanauxetchateaux.be

B

D T S

R OFFICE DU TOURISME Rue de Saintes, 48 - 1400 Nivelles Tél. +32(0)67 84 08 64 www.tourisme-roman-pais.be

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106 m

135 m

97 m

Difficulty: Nivelles 1/5 Easy

Arquennes20 km

106 m

2Seneffe h

·4·

Nivelles Nivelles

Carte Nivelles . Ronquières N

NIVELLES

P

Collégiale Ste-Gertrude

Plan Incliné de Ronquières

RAVeL

© Y.-H. FELTZ

RAVeL L141

E -19

R24

Arquennes .

! Ancien Canal Charleroi- Bruxelles

RAVeL L141 N 27

Nouveau Canal Charleroi- Bruxelles

RAVeL

E -19

. Seneffe Domaine du Château de Seneffe E -19

106 m

Practical information

V TC

ROAD TYPE: Asphalt or metalled RAVeL. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: 20 km there and back. No difficulties. Take care when crossing the N27 road between Seneffe and Arquennes. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/- 10.

Nivelles

135 m

97 m

Arquennes

106 m

Seneffe

Nivelles

Carte Nivelles . Ronquières

START: follow the RAVeL (Line 141), which runs Nord beside the station car park.

NIVELLES

PARKING: besidePlanthe Gare de Nivelles (railway Incliné de Ronquières station), Rue de Namur 185 (Quartier Saint-Roch). RAVeL 2

Collégiale Ste-Gertrude

SIGNPOSTING: From the village, follow RAVeL theL141RAVeL E -19 along the old Charleroi-Bruxelles canal all the way to Seneffe. The “pré-RAVeL 141”, which takes you back Arquennes . to Arquennes, starts at the Centre de l’Eau ! at Seneffe (Rue Croix Rouge). RAVeL L141

Nouveau CanalProvince Charleroi- Bruxelles

N 27

P

Départ

R24

Ancien Canal Charleroi- Bruxelles

RAVeL 2 du Brabant wallon E -19

23

. Seneffe

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155

Mel

2

Car

VIL

Here is a nice rural ride, full of country air. The gentle undulations of the terrain and the little farm roads are an open invitation to cyclists to explore this region, rich in history and close to where the province of Brabant Wallon meets with the provinces of Hainaut and Namur. This family-friendly circuit, on country roads with little traffi c, presents an opportunity to brush with various witnesses to the past. Most of it passes through arable land: this part of Brabant consists of cleared land and vast fi elds dotted with woods – one of the breadbaskets of Belgium. We follow a route that, here and there, is surfaced with cobbles, where the wheels of hay carts once rolled, drawn by the famous Brabant draught horses. Shortly after Gentinnes we come upon a series of superb farms, the Ferme de Géronvillers, then the Fermes de Gentissart and du Colombier, which bear witness to the richly fertile soil here. From the ridge, the church of Mellery stands out against the yellow and ochre background of crops. The village is only a few kilometres from the Abbaye de Villers-la-Ville, a huge, ruined Cistercian abbey destroyed in 1794 in the wake of the French Revolution – an optional but very rewarding excursion that can be made after completing the circuit (see the blue route on the map).

© P. PAUQUAY

Le Circuit des Trois Provinces

To discover… · Abbaye de Villers The ruins of a 12th-century abbey, one the most extensive and impressive examples of medieval monastic heritage. It includes a garden inspired by medieval models. Rue de l’Abbaye, 55 - 1495 Villers-la-Ville www.villers.be · Abbaye de Villers beers Brewed within the precincts of the Cistercian abbey. www.villers.be

Good to know! “Rando Around Villers-la-Ville” is a genial app that you can download for free. Facilities for cyclists, the IGN map and roadbook are available at the Abbey and at the Syndicat d’Initiative.

SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Rue de l’Abbaye, 53 - 1495 Villers-la-Ville Tél. +32 (0)71 87 98 98 www.paysdevillers-tourisme.be

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s

165 m

155 m Mellery Difficulty: 2/5 Medium

165 m

18Géronvillers km

155 m

Mellery Mellery (Villersla-Ville)

1 h 45Géronvillers

Carte balade Villers-la-Ville

·5·

N

Abbaye de Villers-la-Ville

VILLERS-LA-VILLE

Variante

Mellery .

. Gentinnes

P

N 273

Ferme du Colombier N 275

© P. PAUQUAY

Ferme de Gentissart .

Ferme de Géronvillers N 275

. Bruyères . Dreumont

. Tilly

N 273

165 m

155 m

Practical information

VTT

ROAD TYPE: Farmland access roads and lanes passable by motor vehicles. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT). DIFFICULTY: A circuit of 18 km, without any major challenges. Be careful of the cobbles, however, which can be slippery. There is not much traffic on the farm access roads. From Mellery it’s 3 km further to visit the Abbaye de Villers-la-Ville (the optional route marked in blue on the map).

Mellery

165 m

Géronvillers

155 m Géronvillers

Mellery

Carte balade Villers-la-Ville Nord RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/- 12.

Abbaye de Villers-la-Ville

START: from the centre of the village of Mellery, Variante VILLERS-LA-VILLE head towards the cemetery. Mellery .

. Gentinnes

P Départ PARKING: parking spaces beside the church Ferme du Colombier at Mellery.

N 273

N 275

SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT “les trois Provinces” circuit signs (red triangles and round discs). Ferme de Gentissart .

Ferme de Géronvillers N 275

Province du Brabant wallon

25 . Bruyères

. Dreumont

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Co

3

© OT COMINES-WARNETON

Ca

The Comines-Warneton 14–18 Remembrance circuit A deeply moving tour of a region profoundly affected by the First World War. At the end of October 1914, the opposing armies became locked onto a front line that stretched for 750 km between the North Sea and the Swiss border. The municipality of Comines-Warneton found itself at the heart of this confrontation and has carefully preserved its exceptional wartime heritage. This journey takes us to this history’s most important sites: the area’s main museums, cemeteries and commemorative monuments punctuate the trip. The landscape is surprisingly serene and bucolic. On the small road leading to Ploegsteert (“Plugstreet” to the British troops), we pass the spot where the so-called “Christmas Truce” took place, when German and British troops came out of their trenches to play football on Christmas Eve 1914. The site is marked with a recently erected monument and footballs left in remembrance. Further on, the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing comes into view, a temple-like circular structure overlooking cemeteries filled with British and Commonwealth graves. On its walls are inscribed the names of 11,447 British and South African soldiers who have no known grave. This is a tour that will leave no one unmoved..

To discover…

Au

· Plugstreet 14-18 experience A new First World War interpretation centre. Rue de Messines, 156 - 7782 Ploegsteert www.plugstreet1418.com · Monument Britannique de Ploegsteert The Plugstreet Memorial to the Missing, an elegant monument maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Rue de Messines, 18 - 7782 Ploegsteert http://www.cwgc.org · Auberge de Ploegsteert Opposite the Memorial, a traditional style “Bistrot de Terroir”, serving typical local and Belgian dishes. Rue de Messines, 159 - 7782 Ploegsteert www.bistrotdeterroir.be (see under Hainaut)

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Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at Office du Tourisme

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OFFICE DU TOURISME Chemin du Moulin Soette, 21 - 7780 Comines Tél. +32(0)56 55 56 00 www.picardiebelge.be

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20 m

19 m

Ploegsteert

Comines

19 m

Comines Difficulty: 3/5 Medium

Carte Balade Comines

·6·

Comines

3 h 30

38 km

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5

COMINES-WARNETON

© OT COMINES-WARNETON

. Mesen

N 58 N 314

6

RAVeL L 69A

N 336

Comines 9

27

N 365

Warneton

Plugstreet 14-18 experience Mémorial britannique de Ploegsteert

2

7

4

15

28

Auberge de Ploegsteert

La Lys

23

. Ploegsteert

RAVeL Lys

N 515

13 24 3

29

N 365

RAVeL Lys N 58

Le Bizet .

)

La Lys 25

20 m

19 m

Ploegsteert

Comines

19 m

Practical information

V TC

ROAD TYPE: RAVeL, towpath, roads with little traffic. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: a tour of 38 km. Given that it’s flat most of the way, it’s the length of this circuit that constitutes its greatest challenge. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

Comines

Carte Balade Comines START: Comines-Warneton tourist office (Chemin du Départ Nord Moulin Soete 21, 7780 Comines-Warneton), at the COMINES-WARNETON point-noeud 5 intersection. Follow the direction given for point-noeud 6, towards the town centre. . Mesen N 58

N 314 RAVeL L 69A PARKING: there are parking spaces at the tourist offi ce. N 336

Plugstreet 14-18 experience 2

15

Bistrot de Terroir

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. Ploegsteert

7 28

La Lys Province de Hainaut

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Ploegsteert.indd 1

4

Comines 9

5, 6, 27, 4, 15, SIGNPOSTING: follow points-noeuds 27 N 365 Warneton 2, 23, 3, 25, 29, 24, 13, 4, 27, 28, 7, 9, 6 and 5. Mémorial britannique de Ploegsteert

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P 5

27

RAVeL 1

N 515

13 24

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Tou

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© C. CARDON

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3

To discover…

In and around Tournai A circuit that reveals the remarkable heritage of Tournai, the “city of the five bell towers”, and its surrounding countryside. It’s a journey full of surprises! As we leave the city centre, we can admire Notre-Dame cathedral. Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, it is a gem of mediaeval architecture, and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles and its five Romanesque towers soaring to 83m make this a key point of reference in Western religious architecture. Heading south (note the direction of north on the map), we climb towards the surrounding countryside and a wind farm that induces a completely different kind of vertigo! The route continues among the largest plant nurseries in Belgium: those of Lesdain are signalled by the thousands of ornamental and fruit trees. For several kilometres we can admire the tranquil landscape which unfurls before our eyes: the pretty little church at Bruyelle, or the ceaseless ballet of the barges on the River Scheldt (here called the Escaut). To return to Tournai, we take the RAVeL 1 to the lime kilns of Cherq. Tournai presents a fascinating spectacle, with is bell towers pricking the horizon and its 13th-century Pont des Trous. Back on the Grand-Place, we can enjoy a local beer on one of the many terraces.

· Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Tournai An outstanding cathedral, with deep historic origins, one of the great UNESCOlisted architectural treasures of Wallonia. Place de l’Evêché - 7500 Tournai www.visittournai.be · Beffroi, Tournai Civic bell tower, the oldest in Belgium, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vieux Marché aux Poteries, 14 7500 Tournai www.visittournai.be · Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tournai Works of art from the 15th century on, in a building designed by Art Nouveau pioneer Victor Horta. Enclos Saint-Martin, 3 - 7500 Tournai www.visittournai.be

Good to know! Look out for the holiday packages – combining cycle tours, leisure and tourism, plus accommodation – offered under the “Bienvenue vélo” label. Don’t miss Pairi Daiza, voted “Best Zoo in Belgium and the Netherlands”. www.visitwapi.be (French and Dutch only)

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OFFICE DU TOURISME Place Paul-Emile Janson, 1 - 7500 Tournai Tél. + 32 (0)69 22 20 45 www.visitwapi.be

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Tournai

Bruyelle

Lesdain

Tournai

Carte Balade Tournai Difficulty: Medium

·7·

Tournai

3h

34 km

N

3/5

© C. CARDON

. Vaulx-lez-Tournai

8

ANTOING L’Escaut 11

9

RAVeL . Chercq TOURNAI

N 502

. Chercq

96

58

. JollainMerlin

82

51

57

73

Wez-Velvain

. Saint-Maur P

L’Escaut

. Bruyelle

24

N 507

RAVeL Hollain .

25

75

72

Lesdain .

84

52 77

Cathédrale Notre-Dame Beffroi Musée des Beaux-Arts

68

90 83

Ere .

81

. Guignies

N7

V TC

ROAD TYPE: RAVeL and small country roads surfaced with asphalt. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: a long outing of 34 km. The first part is more physically challenging, with a climb to SaintMaur. The return on RAVeL 1 is easier. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15. START: from the tourist office of Tournai, Place Paul-Émile Janson.

44 m

Tournai

Lesdain

25 m

17 m

Bruyelle

Tournai

Carte Balade Tournai PARKING: at the tourist office of Tournai (point-noeud 48), or at the free parking on the Plaine des Manoeuvres, 7500 Tournai (point-noeud 85). SIGNPOSTING: follow the points noeuds: (not indicated on the map because in the city centre: 48, 3, 36, 47, 46) 52, 75, 77, 68, 72, 82, 73, 84, 81, 83, 90, 57, 58, 96, 73,. Vaulx-lez-Tournai 24, 25, 9, ANTOING 11, 8, 51 (and back into the L’Escaut city centre, so not marked on the map: 49, 1, 45, 27, RAVeL 1 9 3 and 48). 11 N 502 96 Nord

Practical information

25 m

8

. Chercq

RAVeL 1 . Chercq TOURNAI

N 507

51

Hollain .

25

24

58

. Bruyelle

L’Escaut

. JollainMerlin

82

73

Province de Hainaut Wez-Velvain 29

57

. Saint-Maur

P

Départ

75

72

Lesdain .

84

52 77

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Cathédrale Notre-Dame Beffroi

Ere .

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. Guignies


35

3 At

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This magnificent circuit links two highlights of Wallonia’s heritage: Ath, famed for its Parade of the Giants, and the beautiful Château de Beloeil, one of the finest in the country. Situated on the confluence of two rivers, the Western Dender (or Dendre) and the Eastern Dender, the town of Ath is a wonderful place to wander in and enjoy. It is known above all for its place in folklore, for this is the “Cité des Géants”. Its annual Ducasse festival in August, featuring a parade of giant figures, has been celebrated for more than five centuries and has a UNESCO World Heritage listing. What a great place to begin a lovely outing that combines culture and country roads! From the Maison des Géants we come swiftly to the RAVeL 4 following the Blaton–Ath Canal, and can take pleasure in the calm of the green countryside as we ride along beside the water. The banks of the canal lead us all the way to Beloeil and its splendid château. This is where we leave the RAVeL and take country roads to the village of Aubechies, a deserving member of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonia” scheme, with 19 th-century buildings typical of the province of Hainaut, and its Romanesque church. Aubechies is also famous for its historical open-air museum, the Archéosite. We return to Ath on small country roads, passing on the way one of the oldest working windmills in the region, the Moulin de la Marquise at Moulbaix.

© C. CARDON

From Ath, city of the giants, to the Château de Beloeil To discover… · Maison des Géants, Ath A museum dedicated to the giants that are carried in Ath’s annual Ducasse parade. Rue de Pintamont, 18 - 7800 Ath www.maisondesgeants.be (French only) · Château de Beloeil Grand, French-style, furnished château of the 17th and 18th century, with moat and park. Rue du Château, 11 - 7970 Beloeil www.chateaudebeloeil.com · Archéosite® et Musée d’Aubechies-Beloeil Walk back into prehistory and Gallo-Roman times among the most extensive collection of archaeological reconstructions in Belgium. Rue de l’Abbaye, 1y - 7972 Aubechies www.archeosite.be

Good to know!

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Bike facilities/bike hire are available at Office du Tourisme of Ath and Beloeil.

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OFFICE DU TOURISME Rue de Pintamont, 18 - 7800 Ath Tél. +32(0)68 26 51 70 www.visitwapi.be (French and Dutch only)

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60 m

58 m

35 m

Difficulty: 3/5 Medium Beloeil Ath

35 m

·8·

Ath Ath

34 kmAubechies 3 h 15

Carte Balade Ath N

61

54

85

53

P 84

74

ATH Maison des Géants

86

Ligne 60

Irchonwelz

Villers-Notre-Dame

N7

58

N 56

N 527

62 56

Moulbaix

© C. CARDON

32

RAVeL

57

Blicquy

73

35

37

. Aubechies

N 527

Ladeuze . RAVeL

Archéosite® et Musée d’Aubechies-Beloeil

41

76

Tongre-Notre-Dame .

34

42

Huissignies .

40

Ellignies-Sainte-Anne

89 28

81

29

Beloeil

27

l

79

Musée de la Vie rurale

44

Château de Beloeil

.

82

Practical information

V TC

ROAD TYPE: asphalted RAVeL and country roads. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: 34 km. A long outing which follows a RAVeL route for the first kilometres, with no difficulty. Gentle climb from Aubechies to Villers-Notre-Dame. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

60 m

58 m

35 m Ath

35 m

Aubechies

Beloeil

Ath

Carte Balade Ath Nord

54

61

85

Départ

P 74 53 START: from point-noeud 85, on the Grand-Place 84 86 Ligne of Ath. 60

ATH Maison des Géants

Irchonwelz

Villers-Notre-Dame PARKING:Nat 58 la Station, 7 Ath railway station, Rue de by point-noeud 84. 62

N 527

56 SIGNPOSTING: follow the points-noeuds: 85, 74, Moulbaix 32 86, 61, 73, 76, 79, 81, 82, 57 89, 29, 28, 27, 44, 40, 41, 42, 37, 35, 34, 32, 56, 57, 62, 58, 53, 54, 60, 61, 86, Blicquy 84, 74 and 85.

N 56

RAVeL 4

73

35

. Aubechies

42 44

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N 527

Archéosite® et Musée d’Aubechies-Beloeil

41

40

76

Tongre-Notre-Dame .

34 37

Province de Hainaut

31

Ladeuze . RAVeL 4 Musée de la Vie rurale

79

Huissignies .

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110 m

1 Le Gra

© P. PAUQUAY

Cart

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To discover…

From the Grand-Hornu to adventures in science Here is a route that everyone can enjoy, linking an art centre to Le Pass, a “Park of Scientific Adventures”. The starting point is exceptional. The Grand-Hornu is a coal mine with a difference. A classic piece of early 19 th -century industrial architecture conceived in grand, idealistic neo-classical style, it is now preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the abandoned buildings have been transformed into a vibrant contemporary arts centre. A short ride over the cobbled streets of this old mining town, and there is the RAVeL. A little further along this greenway, we come upon sculptures – continuing the Grand-Hornu theme. We are crossing an old industrial zone: the slag heaps and pit-head winding gear speaking of this region’s mining past. But these days the landscape is decidedly green. Further on we cross another RAVeL, and then another: this mining area, called the Borinage, was once criss-crossed with railway lines transporting the coal. Today these lines have been converted into greenways for the pleasure of cyclists and other “slow” travellers. Finally we come to Le Pass, “Parc d’Aventures Scientifiques”, a former colliery turned into a science theme park for children and families – a place where the past truly meets the future. To return to the Grand-Hornu, take the same route as you came on.

· Le Grand-Hornu Important industrial heritage site, recognised by UNESCO, now home to the Musée des Arts Contemporains (MAC’s). Rue Ste-Louise, 82 - 7301 Hornu www.grand-hornu.eu · Le Pass – Parc d’aventures scientifiques Fun ways for kids to discover science. Rue de Mons, 3 - 7080 Frameries www.pass.be · Mons (6.5 km) European Capital of Culture 2015, a lovely little mediaeval city, with interesting museums, churches and walks. www.visitmons.be

Good to know! Dicover Mons and its region through various themed itineraries (the historic city centre, Van Gogh, UNESCO heritage, First World War etc); download the free mobile apps from VisitMons. Roadbook available (in FR-NLENG-D). Bike facilities and bike hire (classic and electric bikes) are available at Office du Tourisme in Mons.

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MAISON DU TOURISME DE LA REGION DE MONS/VISITMONS Grand-Place, 27 - 7000 MONS Tél. +32 (0)65 33 55 80 www.visitmons.be

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110 m

110 m

Difficulty: 1/5 Easy Le Grand-Hornu

Le Grand-Hornu Le Pass (Boussu)

1 h 00

14 km

·9·

Carte le Grand-Hornu - Le Pass N

Mons N 51

© P. PAUQUAY

QUAREGNON

Le Grand-Hornu P N 51

Musée des Arts Contemporains

. Hornu

RAVeL L 98c N 550

N 550

RAVeL L 98 COLFONTAINE

Le Pass

. La Bouverie

N 545

FRAMERIES

. Pâturages

110 m

110 m

Practical information

V TC

ROAD TYPE: surfaced RAVeL route all the way. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: 14 km there and back, presenting no real difficulties. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 8.

Le Grand-Hornu

Le Pass

Carte le Grand-Hornu - Le Pass Nord START: from the Grand-Hornu, head along the cobbled Rue Henri Degorge (to the right, when N 51 facing the arts centre). Continue round the arts centre QUAREGNON site on the Rue desLeArts. Turn first right onto the Allée Grand-Hornu Musée des Arts on Contemporains Verte. The Départ RAVeLP begins the right, after 100m.

Mons

N 51

. Hornu PARKING: in front of the Grand-Hornu arts centre. RAVeL L 98c

SIGNPOSTING: follow the signs for RAVeL L98c. N 550

N 550

RAVeL L 98 COLFONTAINE

Province de. LaHainaut N 545 Bouverie . Pâturages

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Le Pass

FRAMERIES

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110

Can1

The old Canal du Centre and its hydraulic boat lifts This circuit tours classic sections of the Canal du Centre, old and new – vital arteries of Wallonia’s industrial heartlands made possible by spectacular feats of engineering. So we begin at La Louvière, capital of the Centre region famed in the past for its coalmining and heavy industries. But set aside any Black Country stereotypes: our RAVeL route will take us on a beautiful journey through time. From the place called Cantine des Italiens, we glide along beside the old “Canal du Centre historique” to encounter four steel monsters: these late 19th-century “ascenseurs hydrauliques” (hydraulic boat lifts) are the only ones in the world that still function. All along the RAVel 1, swing bridges and metal bridges bear witness to unique skills and heritage. What an agreeable and fascinating bike ride – in the countryside, yet with an industrial city close by. From the “Canal historique” we move on to the new Canal du Centre, completed in 2002 to accommodate much larger barges. The first sign of this is the towering boatlift called the Ascenseur Funiculaire de Strepy-Thieu, unique in the world; lifts take visitors up to the colossal machine room and panoramic views. The path beside the new Canal du Centre takes us back to our starting point.

© WBT - B. D’ALIMONTE

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To discover… · “Ascenseurs hydrauliques” of the Canal du Centre historique Hydraulic boatlifts built 1888–1917; a UNESCO World Heritage Site. http://voiesdeau.hainaut.be · Ascenseur funiculaire de Strépy-Thieu Huge boatlift (150m) completed in 2002. http://voiesdeau.hainaut.be · Ecomusée du Bois-du-Luc Preserved historic coal-mining village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rue St-Patrice, 2b - 7110 Houdeng-Aimeries www.ecomuseeboisduluc.be (French and Dutch only)

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Maison du Tourisme.

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MAISON DU TOURISME DU PARC DES CANAUX ET CHATEAUX Place Mansart, 21/22 - 7100 La Louvière Tél. +32 (0)64 26 15 00 www.parcdescanauxetchateaux.be

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110 m

110 m

100 m

90 m

Difficulty: 1/5 desEasy Cantine Italiens Ascenseur 2

80 m

·10·

La Louvière

1Ascenseur h 45 4

20 km Ascenseur 3

Cantine des Italiens

Carte La Louvière N

RAVeL bis Canal du Centre Houdeng-Goegnies . RAVeL

© WBT - B. D’ALIMONTE

. Houdeng-Aimeries N 535

RAVeL bis

Cantine des Italiens

Canal du Centre

P

Canal du Centre Historique

RAVeL

LA LOUVIÈRE

Canal du Centre Historique

Ascenseur funiculaire

. Strépy-Thieu RAVeL

. Strépy-Bracquegnies Ecomusée du Bois-du-Luc

O

110 m

Practical information

V TC

110 m

100 m

Cantine des Italiens Ascenseur 2

90 m

80 m

Ascenseur 3

Ascenseur 4

Cantine des Italiens

Carte La Louvière

ROAD TYPE: surfaced RAVeL route all the way.

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 8. Nord

BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC).

START: from the Cantine des Italiens, onRAVeLthe 1 bis Canal du Centre historique. Canal du Centre

DIFFICULTY: The almost complete absence of hills makes this circuit perfect for families. Do bring the children: they’ll love the boat lifts – unique in the world!

Houdeng-Goegnies .

PARKING: beside the Cantine des Italiens.

RAVeL 1

. Houdeng-Aimeries

SIGNPOSTING: follow the directional signposts ofItaliens Cantine des N 535 RAVeL 1 bis P Départ the RAVeL and W4 itinerary. Canal du Centre RAVeL 1 Canal du Centre Historique

Ascenseur funiculaire

. Strépy-Thieu RAVeL 1

Canal du Centre Historique

LA LOUVIÈRE 35

Province de Hainaut

. Strépy-Bracquegnies Ecomusée du Bois-du-Luc

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180 m

2 Ger

Car © WBT- A. KOUPRIANOFF

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To discover…

In the footsteps of the Sainte-Rolende procession This country jaunt goes in search of a great folklore tradition peculiar to this region, Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse (between the Rivers Sambre and Meuse): their annual Marches or processions, recognised by UNESCO as treasures of World Heritage. Leaving Gerpinnes, we follow in the footsteps of the armed and uniformed Marcheurs who escort St Rolende and St Oger in the procession each Whit (or Pentecost) Monday. The Marche Sainte-Rolende is a grand spectacle involving some 3300 participants. Nearby is the Château d’Acoz, with links to the early mediaeval Carolingian domain of Gerpinnes. This gentle circuit leads us through open countryside and typical rural villages. A little after the cemetery, the road gives way to a track beside the fields. We pass through Aherée, then Hanzinne, surrounded by arable land. Shortly afterwards, we come to the Chapelle Saint-Oger, situated on a small hillock crowned by five limetrees. The itinerary continues through the Hanzinne wood, then returns to Gerpinnes and the museum of the processions, the Musée des Marches Folkloriques de l’Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse.

· Musée des Marches Folkloriques de l’Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse A collection relating to the processions, the Marches de l’Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse. Rue de la Régence, 6 - 6280 Gerpinnes www.museedesmarches.be (French only) · Bistrot de Terroir: Brasserie de l’Hôtel de Ville, Gerpinnes A “Bistrot de Terroir” (see p.12), where you can also sample local beers. Place des Combattants, 6 - 6280 Gerpinnes www.bistrotdeterroir.be · Maison de la Poterie (7.3 km) “Pottery House”, all about the art of pottery, with temporary exhibitions. Avenue Général Jacques, 4 - 6200 Bouffioulx www.chatelet-anime.jimdo.com (French only)

Good to know! Bike hire/facilities are available at the Royal Syndicat d’Initiative.

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ROYAL SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Rue Schmidt, 1 - 6280 Gerpinnes Tél. +32(0)71 50 14 85 www.paysdecharleroi.be

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260 m 220 m

180 m Difficulty: 2/5 Medium Gerpinnes

Aherée

180 m

Gerpinnes

1 h 10 Hanzinne

16 km

Gerpinnes

·11·

Carte Balade Gerpinnes N

Grange aux Potiers Poterie Dubois

CHARLEROI

© WBT- A. KOUPRIANOFF

Joncret .

N5

CHÂTELET Bouffioulx

Maison de la Poterie

GERPINNES

07

P

Musée des Marches Folkloriques de l’Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse N 574

N 574

06 70 28

N 978

N 975 29

. Aherée 08

. Hanzinne 09

N 978

N 975

. Hanzinelle

260 m 220 m

180 m

Practical information

V TC

ROAD TYPE: Lanes and roads with little traffic. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: a 16-km ride presenting little difficulty. There is a gentle climb up to Aherée. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 12.

Gerpinnes

180 m

Hanzinne

Aherée

Gerpinnes

Carte Balade Gerpinnes Nord

Grange aux Potiers -

CHARLEROI

CHÂTELET

Poterie Dubois START: from the PlaceJoncret des .Combattants atBouffioulx Gerpinnes, Maison de la Poterie at point-noeud 06.

PARKING: Place des Combattants at Gerpinnes, Bistrot de Terroir Musée des Marches Folkloriques signposted 06. de l’Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse 07 N5

GERPINNES

P

Départ

N 574 SIGNPOSTING: follow the points-noeuds: 06, 07, 70, N 574 06 08, 09, 29, 28 and 06. 70 28

N 978

Province de Hainaut

37

N 975 29

. Aherée 08

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126 m

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To discover…

Le circuit de la Thudinie This circuit explores a beautiful area called Thudinie, around Thuin, to the southeast of Charleroi. It follows towpaths along the River Sambre, awash with flowers throughout the summer, and then heads across wooded countryside. A bucolic stretch of the River Sambre leads us on a loop that eventually brings us back to Thuin, one of Belgium’s prettiest towns. The imposing Collegiate Church (Collégiale) of Saint Ursmer at Lobbes looms over us as we start off on the RAVeL 3 to discover a part of the Sambre used and worked by the bateliers (bargemen). Following the canalisation of the river in 1829, boatyards proliferated around here, producing the barges (péniches) that now ply the river. Those built at Thuin show two fleurs-de-lys pointing to each other across the bow. At Fontaine-Valmont, we leave the Sambre to enter the Thudinie countryside, signalled by distant views of the splendid Château de Fosteau. A little after Leers-et-Fosteau we come to Ragnies, a member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie” scheme, and home of the splendid Distillerie de Biercée. Approaching Thuin, we can appreciate the town’s remarkable setting. Built on a rocky spur fringed by its famous “Jardins Suspendus” (“hanging gardens”), it is dominated by its Beffroi (civic belfry), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We continue our descent to rejoin the Sambre, where barges line quays – splendid, nostalgiaprovoking witnesses to the passage of time.

· Beffroi de Thuin The town belfry, dating to 1639. Fine views from the top. Place du Chapitre - 6530 Thuin www.thuin.be (French only; see under “Découvrir”) · Distillerie de Biercée, Ragnies Mediaeval fortified farmhouse where Eau de Villée (a lemon-based liqueur) is made. Ferme de la Cour - Rue de la Roquette, 36 6532 Ragnies (Thuin) www.distilleriedebiercee.com · Abbaye d’Aulne (7.9 km) Impressive ruins of a 12th-century Cistercian abbey, revealing the history and lives of the monks. Rue Vandervelde, 279 - 6534 Gozée (Thuin) www.thuin.be (French only; see under “Découvrir”)

Good to know! At Thuin, visit the wonderful tram museum (the Centre de Découverte du Chemin de Fer Vicinal), then take your bike on a historic tram to Lobbes – it’s a bike-friendly “Bienvenue vélo” museum. You can return on two wheels via the RAVeL. Bike facilities/ bike hire are available at the Abbaye d’Aulne.

MAISON DU TOURISME (SITE ABBAYE D’AULNE) Rue de l’Abbaye d’Aulne, 7b - 6142 Leernes Tél. +32(0)71 59 69 19 www.visitthudinie.be

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175 m

130 m

126 m Lobbes

3/5

126 m

Fontaine-Valmont Difficulty: Medium

Thuin

Ragnies

Lobbes

Lobbes (Thuin)

2 h 15

22 km

Carte Balade Thuin

126 m

BINCHE

N 559

Abbaye d’Aulne

Lobbes .

N

N 59

.

CHARLEROI

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RAVeL THUIN

Beffroi de Thuin

La Sambre N 559

La Sambre Biercée .

. Fontaine-Valmont

n

. Ragnies

)

Leers-et-Fosteau . Distillerie de Biercée

Château de Fosteau

Practical information

130 m

126 m

V TC

Lobbes

Fontaine-Valmont

175 m 126 m Ragnies

126 m

Thuin

Lobbes

Carte Balade Thuin

ROAD TYPE: RAVeL and small country roads surfaced with asphalt.

START: from the railway station (gare) at Lobbes, take the RAVeL 3 along the River Sambre.N 559 BINCHE

BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC).

Lobbes. PARKING: at the railway station. (gare) atDépart

DIFFICULTY: a lovely outing of 22 km, following the RAVeL 3 to begin with. It then loops around the countryside of Thuin before returning to the River Sambre. No great difficulties.

SIGNPOSTING: follow the signs (red arrow and RAVeL 3 round disc). THUIN Important note: The signage is currently beingBeffroi de Thuin installed: get the latest information from the Maison du Tourisme beforeLa Sambre setting off.

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

Abbaye d’Aulne

Lobbes .

Nord

N 59

P

CHARLEROI

N 559

La Sambre

Province de Hainaut Biercée .

39

. Fontaine-Valmont

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3

To discover… · The Bike Park de l’Eau d’Heure Centre covered all cycling disciplines and is the departure point for numerous cycle routes. · Aquacentre A swimming-pool complex with indoor and outdoor pools. Next door: a wellness centre and spa called “A l’heure du bien-être”. www.parcaquacentre.be (French only) www.lheuredubienetre.be (French only) · Le Natura Parc An adventure park with 9 courses through the trees: rope walks, jumps, zipwires over the lakes. www.naturaparc.be (French and Dutch only)

A tour of the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure The Eau d’Heure lakes were created in the 1970s by damming the River Eau d’Heure and they have since become famous as a centre for watersports and leisure activities. And fortunately one of Belgium’s prettiest RAVeL routes runs along their shores. Start at Cerfontaine, a village whose destiny has always been closely linked to the river that runs through it. The Eau d’Heure used to drive the machinery of sawmills and clog-makers. Today it feeds into the Lac de Falemprise. The Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure – the largest artifical lake complex in Belgium – were originally built to provide a source of drinking water and to supply the Charleroi–Brussels Canal. They are now prized above all as a tourist destination. From our very first turn of the pedals we head along their shores, firstly the Lac de Falemprise, where it is possible to stop and swim (in the authorised zone). This is a delightful route, sticking close to the shores of the Lac de l’Eau d’Heure and the Lac de la Plate Taille. Thanks to a newly created network of points-noeuds, it is very easy to find your way around: easy riding! 40

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· Le Crocodile Rouge Trips around the lakes in an amphibious bus, or the Croco Express road train; plus Aquagolf, Laser Game etc. www.lecrocodilerouge.be (French and Dutch only)

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Centre d’Accueil de la Plate Taille and at the Bike Park. An alternative is stick exclusively to the RAVeL de la Plate Taille (15 km) or the RAVeL de l’Eau d’Heure (20 km).

MAISON DU TOURISME DES VALLEES DES EAUX VIVES Route de la Plate Taille, 99 6440 Boussu-lez-Walcourt Tél. +32 (0)71 23 95 97 www.valleesdeseauxvives.be

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LES LACS DE L’EAU D’HEURE Centre d’accueil de la Plate Taille Tél. +32 (0)71 50 92 92 www.lacsdeleaudheure.be (French and Dutch only)

Carte. Eau Dhe

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3/5

Difficulty: Medium

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Spin Cablepark

N 589

Landal Village E Eau d’Heure

91 Centre d’accueil de la i h Plate Taille Crocodile Rouge 90

·13·

86

87

Bike Park

Aquacentre Centre Wellness

Cerfontaine / Froidchapelle

3h

32 km

Lac du Ry Jaune

Lac de l’Eau d’Heu re

© WBT - D. SAMYN

Carte Balade Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure

88

h

Relais de Falemprise

. Golden Lakes Natura Parc Village

. Soumoy

93 92

Lac de Falemprise

Lac de la Plate Taille

96 98 29

N 589a

CERFONTAINE P

97

31

V TC

ROAD TYPE: RAVeL and roads with little traffic. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: a 32-km ride. It’s greatest challenge is the distance. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

205 m

Cerfontaine

Lac de la Plate Taille

Lac de l’Eau d’Heure

START: from the Cerfontaine tourist office, cross the Place de l’Église and the Place du Monument to reach the point-noeud at the roundabout. Spin Cablepark Lac de

Nord

Féronval PARKING: near the Place du Monument. 87 86

SIGNPOSTING: follow the points-noeuds: 29, 98, 93, 92, 88, 86, 87, 91, 90, 96, 97, 31 and 29 (Signposting between these last two points-noeuds is Lac scheduled du 88 Ry Jaune for 2017). Bike Park Aquacentre Centre Wellness

Landal Village E Eau d’Heure

91 Centre d’accueil de la i h Plate Taille Crocodile Rouge 90

Relais de Falemprise Province de Hainaut 41

. Golden Lakes Natura Parc Village Lac de la Plate Taille

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Cerfontaine

Carte Balade Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure

N 589

Carte. Eau Dheure new .indd 1

216 m

Lac de l’Eau d’Heu re

Practical information

250 m

216 m

96

93 92

h

. Soumoy

Lac de Falemprise

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270

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To discover…

Chimay, home of princes Chimay is the name of a famous Trappist beer, of course, brewed under the watchful eye of monks of an abbey 10km to the south. The pretty little town of Chimay, on the other hand, is famous for its mediaeval Château des Princes de Chimay. Our journey takes us away from the historical centre, with its château and collegiate church (collégiale), and into the countryside to the west. We follow the RAVeL L156 to Villers-laTour, along an old railway line built in 1856 between Hermeton-sur-Meuse and Anor, in France, at the insistence of the Prince of Chimay. It ran as a private railway until 1948. We leave this greenway at Villers-la-Tour and climb to a plateau where we find Salles, a typical village of the region: long farms and magnificent wooden barn doors. At the highest point stands the Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Arbrisseau (or del Pilar). According to legend, an officer in the Spanish army, at the time of the Battle of Rocroi in 1643, during the Thirty Years’ War, made a vow to build it in honour of Our Lady of the Pillar (patroness of Spain) if he survived the war. A country road takes us back to Chimay.

· Château de Chimay An interactive visit, with a 3D show, tracing its 1000-year history. Rue du Château, 14 - 6460 Chimay www.chateaudechimay.be · Chimay Experience, Bourlers (2.5 km) An inn and the “Chimay Experience” (in the “Espace Chimay”), where you can discover the beers and cheese produced by the Trappist monks. Rue de Poteaupré, 5 - 6464 Bourlers www.chimay.com · Aquascope – Etang de Virelles Nature reserve and learning centre with walks and trails around a large pond. Rue du Lac, 42 - 6461 Virelles www.aquascope.be

Good to know! The points-noeuds network called “1000 bornes à vélo”, in the Pays de Chimay and Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse, has 350 km of signposted itineraries. www.1000bornesavelo.be (French only) Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Syndicat d’Initiative and at the Espace Chimay.

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280 m

270 m

ChimayDifficulty: 2/5 Medium

270m

Villers-la-Tour 13 km

Chimay

·14·

Chimay

1 h 30

Carte Balade Chimay N

© WBT - B. D’ALIMONTE

Aquascope – Etang de Virelles La Grange aux Papillons

Virelles N 53

Salles

N 593

76

CHIMAY Château de Chimay N 99

Saint-Remy

P N 99

78 77

N 99

81

RAVeL L156

54 53

Villers-la-Tour Poteaupré Espace Chimay

RAVeL L156

280 m

270 m

Practical information

V TC

ROAD TYPE: RAVeL, stone tracks and roads with little traffic. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: a circuit of 13 km. First you follow the RAVeL route, before taking country roads, sometimes muddy. There’s a climb shortly after the village of Villers-la-Tour.

Chimay

270m

Chimay

Villers-la-Tour

Carte Balade Chimay START: from the former railway station of Chimay, Nord go straight ahead and cross Place Léopold. Cross the N99 road, opposite which is the point-noeud 78. PARKING: Place Léopold (except market day on Friday mornings), or Place de la Gare.

Aquascope – Etang de Virelles La Grange aux Papillons

Virelles

N 53

SIGNPOSTING: follow the points-noeuds: 78, 77, 81, Salles 54, 53, 76, 77 and 78.N 593 76

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 8.

CHIMAY Départ Château de Chimay N 99

Saint-Remy

P 78

Province de Hainaut77 N 99

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RAVeL L156

N 99

43

81

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55 m

3

Vis

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The “Cherry Tree Route” in orchard country “La Balade des Cerisiers au Pays des Vergers” is the name of this jaunt (balade): cerisiers are cherry trees and vergers are orchards – for these are key features of this cross-border region between Liège and Maastricht, which has given rise to the name Le Pays des Vergers.

To discover…

Virtually flat, and on roads almost devoid of cars, this a perfect route for families. Its gentle rhythms are set from the start: what joy it is to have the freedom of the road to follow the course of the River Meuse. Without breaking sweat we reach Lanaye, where, in summer, a ferry crosses the Meuse – surprisingly fast-flowing here – to Eijsden in the Netherlands (note the direction of north on the map). Leaving the RAVeL, we climb the only hill on the route: it is worth the effort, for this is the Montagne Saint-Pierre, noted for its orchids and bat caves. Descending, we reach the Via Jecore, a greenway where all motor vehicles are prohibited. It takes us to the entrance of Fort Eben-Emael, redoutable guardian of the valley. Approaching Kanne, the change in the scenery is brutal and surprising. From the little valley of the River Geer we come upon the Tranchée de Caster, a canal cutting slashed through the Montagne Saint-Pierre. The canal squeezes through between the cliffs; we follow it to Hermalle-sous-Argenteau, where we rejoin the Meuse.

· Fort d’Eben-Emael One of Europe’s most powerful forts, built in the 1930s to defend the Belgian border. www.fort-eben-emael.be

· Blegny-Mine (7.3 km) Go underground in one of the four major collieries in Wallonia listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rue Lambert Marlet, 23 - 4670 Blegny www.blegnymine.be

· Montagne Saint-Pierre An exceptional nature reserve, cited for its great diversity in flora and fauna, and notably its orchids and bats. Maison de la Montagne Saint-Pierre: Place du Roi Albert - 4600 Lanaye www.montagnesaintpierre.org (French and Dutch only)

Good to know! The ferry “Cramignon” can take cyclists across the River Meuse between the village of Lanaye (Belgium) and Eijsden (Netherlands).

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MAISON DU TOURISME (ANTENNE) Rue des Béguines, 7 - 4600 Visé Tél. : +32 (0)4 374 85 55 www.basse-meuse.be

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3/5

Visé

68 m

Difficulty: MediumLanaye

55 m

31 km Eben-Emael

·15·

Visé

2 h 30

Visé

N

Carte Balade Lanaye

Dalhem . N 627 Blegny-Mine

© ADL OUPPEYE

Blegny N 608

VISÉ Lanaye La Meuse Kanne

Eben-Emael Fort d’Eben-Emael

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RAVeL Lixhe

Le Canal Albert

Hermalle-sousArgenteau Halembaye

55 m

55 m

Practical information V TC ROAD TYPE: RAVeL, small roads and tracks.

N 618

N 602

La réserve naturelle de La Montagne Saint-Pierre N 619 N 619

Nord

BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: most of this trip is on tracks closed to cars, except the descent to the Via Jecore, at Eben-Emael. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

Visé

68 m Lanaye

55 m

Eben-Emael

Visé

Carte Balade Lanaye

START: from L’Ile Robinson (Robinson Island) at Visé, join the RAVeL route immediately, direction Lixhe. Very soon, turn left to follow round the dock/inlet, then rejoin the RAVeL at the roundabout. Nord

f

55 m

55 m

PARKING: there are spaces on L’Ile Robinson, Rue Basse-Hermalle in Visé.

Dalhem .

N 627 Blegny-Mine

Blegny

SIGNPOSTING: follow the green arrows with N 608 VISÉ pictogram (cherry on a white background). Départ

Lanaye La Meuse Kanne

Eben-Emael Fort d’Eben-Emael

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RAVeL 1 Le Canal Albert La réserve naturelle de La Montagne Saint-Pierre N 619 N 619

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Province de Liège Lixhe N 602

45

N 618

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Urban discoveries in Liège The RAVeL 1 passes through the city of Liège. By bike – that’s the best way to discover this “Cité Ardente” (fervent, or hot-blooded city), with its fascinating history and plentiful things to see. Liège was the capital of an independent principality, ruled by prince-bishops, for eight centuries (until 1795), and in the 19 th and early 20 th centuries it was a major centre for Belgium’s heavy industries. It has preserved much of its architectural heritage, and added more in recent decades. Its character and charm have been moulded by the broad River Meuse, which slices through the centre. We can follow its course by bike. The RAVeL takes us to many of the city’s key sights. From Coronmeuse, we take the RAVeL across the Pont Atlas (bridge) to follow the Quai Godefroid Kurth, then the Quai Sainte-Barbe, from which we can see the Grand Curtius museum across the river. Further on, La Passerelle (cycle and pedestrian bridge) provides a link by bike to the city centre, via the Rue de la Régence. Further on, the Passerelle Belle-Liégeoise (cycle and pedestrian bridge) links the wonderful Parc de la Boverie to the Guillemins quartier and the magnificent TGV station designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava. Shortly after passing La Boverie (the new fine arts museum), we come to La Dérivation, a canal dug in the 19th century to canalise the Rivers Ourthe and Meuse. The Pont de Fétinne is the start of the RAVeL de l’Ourthe, which leads off towards Tilff and Esneux. But we’ll head back to the centre of the “Cité Ardente” to enjoy some of its famous conviviality!

To discover… · La Boverie New museum of fine arts, inaugurated in May 2016. Parc de la Boverie - 4020 Liège www.laboverie.com · Le Grand Curtius In a splendid building dating to about 1600, a fine collection of arms, glass, and decorative arts. Féronstrée, 136 - 4000 Liège www.lesmuseesdeliege.be (French only) · Aquarium-Muséum de Liège A celebrated university aquarium, with 2,500 fish in tanks and 20,000 stuffed and preserved land animals. Quai Edouard Van Beneden, 22 - 4020 Liège www.aquarium-museum.be · Le Musée des Transports en commun de Wallonie This museum of public transport, housed in a former tram shed, has a collection of about 40 vehicles (carriages, trams, trolleybuses), recalling the history of mobility from the 18th century to the present. Rue Richard Heintz, 9 - 4020 Liège www.museetransports.be

Good to know! Liège–Bastogne–Liège is one of the most celebrated bicycle races. Known as “La Doyenne” (“The Old Lady”). Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Maison du Tourisme.

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MAISON DU TOURISME DU PAYS DE LIEGE Féronstrée, 92 (soon to be at the Halle aux Viandes, Quai de la Goffe) - 4000 Liège Tél. +32 (0)4 221 92 21 www.visitezliege.be

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66 m

64 m

62 m Difficulty: Coronmeuse 1/5 Easy

·16·

Liège Pont de Fétinne

La Passerelle 2h

16 km

Carte Balade Liège N

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Saint-Léonard . © OT LIÈGE

La Meuse RAVeL

Le Grand Curtius

. Droixhe

Centre . . Outremeuse . La passerelle Saucy

LIÈGE

Aquarium-Muséum

La Dérivation RAVeL

La passerelle La Belle Liégeoise .

. Parc de la Boverie La Boverie Musée des Transports en commun

Gare TGV - Liège-Guillemins

. Pont de Fétinne

. Pont de Fragnée Ougrée .

L’Ourthe

. Cointe

e

La Meuse

Angleur .

V TC ROAD TYPE: RAVeL all the way. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: 16 km altogether, there and back (from Coronmeuse to the Pont de Fétinne) on a completely flat route. To reach the city centre you can use the Passerelle (cyclists and pedestrians only).

66 m

64 m

62 m

Practical information

Coronmeuse

La Passerelle

Pont de Fétinne

Carte Balade Liège

START: from Coronmeuse, follow RAVeL 1 along the Nord Quai de Wallonie. Saint-Léonard .

Départ P

La Meuse

PARKING: at Coronmeuse, beside the buildings of Le Grand Curtius RAVeL 1 the Foire Internationale de Liège. Centre .

. Droixhe

. Outremeuse SIGNPOSTING: follow the RAVeL 1 Est signs in the LIÈGE . La Passerelle direction of Huy to the Pont de Fétinne.LaAquarium-Muséum Dérivation

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 8.

RAVeL 1 . Parc de la Boverie Gare TGV - Liège-Guillemins

Boverie ProvinceLade Liège

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. Pont de Fétinne . Pont de Fragnée Ougrée .

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. Cointe

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To discover…

The “Apple Tree Route” in orchard country Le Pays des Vergers (“orchard country”) extends to the area around Herve, famous also for its strong cheeses. This “Balade des Pommiers” takes us along country roads that are particularly wonderful in spring, when the pommiers (apple trees) are in blossom. From the RAVeL L38, this itinerary heads into the undulating hills and valleys of the region, where we find hamlets threaded with pretty little streams. Shortly after La Fosselette, on the descent, we can pick out the bell tower of the Abbaye du Val-Dieu, built in 1216 by Cistercian monks. It’s a good place to take a break, or enjoy a good meal: the “CasseCroûte de Val-Dieu” is a “Bistrot de Terroir” (see p.12). After the abbey, the route (part of which is a dedicated cycle path) takes us to Aubel, famous for its Sirop de Liège, a wonderful spread made of concentrated pears, apples, plums and apricots – a classic Belgian speciality. On the RAVeL L38 the cycling eases up. Clermont-sur-Berwinne, rich in architectural heritage, is a member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie” scheme. The greenway now follows the ridge. Back at the Maison du Tourisme du Pays de Herve we can taste local produce at the “Espace des Saveurs”.

· Brasserie et Abbaye du Val-Dieu You can visit the abbey, its park, and its brewery (brasserie). Val-Dieu, 227 - 4880 Aubel www.abbaye-du-val-dieu.be · Clermont-sur-Berwinne One of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie”. www.beauxvillages.be · Domaine de Wégimont (6.5 km) Park and château with leisure facilities (outdoor pool, canoeing, crazy golf, playground, BBQ area etc.) Chaussée de Wégimont, 76 4630 Soumagne www.provincedeliege.be/wegimont

Do

Good to know! Discover the bicycle routes of the Pays de Herve via the CIRKWI app: 410 km of circuits! Bike facilities, an outdoor repair station, bike hire (trekking bikes and electrically assisted bikes) are available at the Maison du Tourisme.

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B MAISON DU TOURISME DU PAYS DE HERVE Place de la gare, 1 - 4650 Herve Tél. +32 (0)87 69 31 70 www.paysdeherve.be

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.

375 m

375 m

520 m 295 m

Herve

3/5

Difficulty: Julémont Medium

Aubel 2 h 45

32 km

Herve

Herve

·17·

Carte Balade des pommiers N

Saint-Jean-Sart

N 649

AUBEL

Mauhin .

N 642

© MT HERVE

Brasserie et Abbaye du Val-Dieu

RAVeL L38 La Berwinne

. Julémont

N 650

La Fosselette

N 627

Au Chaumont . Froidthier N 648

. Charneux

RAVeL L38

N 627

Bouxhmont .

. Clermont-surBerwinne

N 648

Thimister - Clermont .

Domaine de Wégimont

BATTICE

RAVeL L38

Bellefontaine . P

N3

RAVeL L38

N3

HERVE

Wégimont

E -40

375 m

375 m

520 m 295 m

Practical information V TC

Herve

Julémont

Aubel

Herve

ROAD TYPE: cinder-surfaced RAVeL.

Carte Balade START: fromdes thepommiers tourist office of Herve, follow the

BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC).

RAVeL route. Nord

DIFFICULTY: a very pleasant circuit of 32 km. Slight incline to reach Aubel after the Abbaye du Val-Dieu. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 16.

N 649

PARKING: tourist office: MaisonAUBEL du Tourisme du Saint-Jean-Sart PaysMauhin de Herve, Place de la Gare, 1 - 4650 Herve. . N 642 Brasserie et Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Bistrot de Terroir RAVeL L38 with SIGNPOSTING: follow the green arrows pictogram (apple on a white background).

La Berwinne

. Julémont N 627

N 650

La Fosselette

Au Chaumont . Froidthier

Province de Liège N 648

. Charneux

49

RAVeL L38

N 627

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N 648

Thimister - Clermont .

. Clermont-sur-

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To discover… · L’Hirondelle Recreation park. Playground, swimming pools, fishing, restaurant, BBQ area. Rue de la Burdinale, 76A - 4210 Oteppe www.lhirondelle.be

Along the ridges of the River Burdinale The River Burdinale has carved out a wonderfully hilly and verdant landscape. This circuit unearths the richness and diversity of this essentially agricultural region. The route covers both sides of the Burdinale valley. We are in the Hesbaye here, one of the great grain-growing areas of Belgium. The itinerary begins at Burdinne, beside the Grosse Ferme. From the first kilometres on, easy sections alternate with more technical challenges, within a landscape of fields, orchards and woodland. Villages pop up along the way, one after the other. At Fumal we cross the old local railway line which, in times gone by, took passengers to Landen, Huy and Ciney. Approaching Vissoul, there is a succession of climbs and descents. In the Parc Naturel des Vallées de la Burdinale et de la Mehaigne, little forest paths, farmland access roads and dirt tracks immerse us in nature – at once wild and protected.

· Parc Naturel des Vallées de la Burdinale et de la Mehaigne A nature park preserved under the EU’s Natura 2000 scheme. Exceptional for its flora and fauna. Maison du Parc Naturel: Rue de la Burdinale, 6 - 4210 Burdinne www.burdinale-mehaigne.be (French only) · Château Féodal de Moha Evocative ruins of a feudal castle, which had its heyday in the 11th to 14th centuries. Rue du Madot, 98 - 4520 Moha (Wanze) www.tourisme-burdinale-mehaigne.be (French only)

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Maison du Tourisme.

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MAISON DU TOURISME (SITE FERME DE LA GROSSE TOUR) Rue de la Burdinale, 6 - 4210 Burdinne Tél. +32 (0)85 25 16 96 www.pays-de-huy.be

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580 m

470 m

500 m

BurdinneDifficulty: 4/5 Hard

Oteppe 37 km

580 m

470 m

Huccorgne Vissoul 3 h 30

Burdinne

·18·

Burdinne

Carte Balade Burdinne © WBT - D. ERROYAUX

N

La Mehaigne Parc Naturel des Vallées de la Burdinale et de la Mehaigne

RAVeL L 127

Vissoul Fumal .

BURDINNE

P

N 652

La Burdinale

Marneffe .

L’Hirondelle

. Lamontzée

N 652

Oteppe .

Château Féodal de Moha

Huccorgne

580 m

500 m

Moha

470 m

580 m

470 m

Practical information VTT ROAD TYPE: farmland access roads, country roads, paths. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) only. Carte. BURDINNE .indd 1 a circuit of 37 km, and hard: for DIFFICULTY:

experienced mountain bikers only. One short climb follows another to reach a succession of hilltops lining the valley.

Burdinne

Oteppe

Huccorgne

Vissoul

Burdinne

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 16. Carte Balade Burdinne

START: from the tourist office: Maison du Tourisme Nord Burdinale et Mehaigne, Burdinne. PARKING: at the tourist office. SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT signs for circuit 3 Parc Naturel des Vallées de la (yellow triangles and round discs). Burdinale et de la Mehaigne

La Mehaigne RAVeL L 127

Vissoul

Départ BURDINNE

P

Fumal N 652

Marneffe La Burdinale Province L’Hirondelle

Lamontzée

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51

N 652

Oteppe

Château Féodal de Moha

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To discover…

Marchin, at the heart of the Condroz The Condroz is a famously pretty agricultural region to the south of the River Meuse. This circuit is a lovely introduction to the landscape, characterised by a succession of ridges and depressions (known locally as “tiges et chavées” ), mixing woodland with open countryside. Time passes slowly in the village of Vyle-etTharoul. This itinerary will go to the heart of the Condroz, on a superb route that takes us first to Molu, with its rustic setting radiating harmony and tranquillity. Throughout the circuit there are beautiful examples of rural heritage: old farmhouses and hamlets lit up by their yellow stone, as witnessed at Molu and Jamagne. Further along, we come to a small valley formed by a stream, the Goesnes. We are well and truly in the Condroz here: after a ridge comes the descent on the other side… before climbing the hill opposite planted with maize. After the Bois de Goesnes and the Château de Fléron, the route skirts the extensive village of Marchin. Rising from the centre, the twisted spire of its church is a famous and curious landmark. After Marchin the circuit passes through some superb villages lying comfortably curled into their bucolic little valleys.

· Château de Modave (2 km) A fine 17th-century château, with sumptuous interiors, plus gardens and an extensive park. Rue du Parc, 4 - 4577 Modave www.modave-castle.be · Fort et mémorial de Huy (5.8 km) A 19th-century fort with a grim Second World War story to tell, the subject of its museum. Panoramic views. Chaussée Napoléon - 4500 Huy www.pays-de-huy.be · Parc de récréation Mont Mosan (6.1 km) A green space close to the historic centre of Huy, with rides, performing animals, a mini-zoo, mini-golf, and a playground. Plaine de la Sarte - 4500 Huy www.montmosan.be (French and Dutch only)

Good to know! At Huy, the Chemin des Chapelles is a notorious cycle climb, rising steeply from the Meuse basin, with some parts at 25%. Also known as the “Mur de Huy” (Wall of Huy), it features in classic races. Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Office du Tourisme in Huy.

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SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Vallée du Hoyoux, 6b - 4577 Modave Tél. +32(0)85 41 29 69 www.pays-de-huy.be

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270 m

190 m

Difficulty:

3/5 Medium Vyle-et-Tharoul

190 m

Vyle-etTharoul Vyle-et-Tharoul (Marchin)

2 h 10 Belle Maison

25 km

·19·

Carte Balade Marchin N

HUY Fort et mémorial de Huy Parc de récréation Mont Mosan N 641

© WBT - J.P. REMY

Belle Maison

RAVeL L126

N 698

Bois de Goesnes N 641

MARCHIN Fond du Fourneau

RAVeL L126

nes

oes

eG au d

sse

Rui Jamagne

Molu

Château de Modave

Vyle-et-Tharoul

N 641

Modave

P

Goesnes

N 636

)

270 m

190 m

190 m

Practical information VTT ROAD TYPE: forest and country lanes, and small roads. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) recommended. DIFFICULTY: a circuit of 25 km, comprising climbs and descents over the typically hilly Condroz landscape. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

Vyle-et-Tharoul

Belle Maison

Vyle-et-Tharoul

Carte Balade Marchin

START: from the Relais Touristique de Vyle-et-Tharoul Nord HUY (Rue du Parc). Fort et mémorial de Huy Belle Maison Parc de récréation Mont Mosan

N 641 PARKING: at the Relais Touristique de Vyle-et-Tharoul.

SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT circuit signs (blue N 698 RAVeL L126 triangles and round discs). Bois de Goesnes N 641

MARCHIN Fond du Province Fourneau

de Liège

53 RAVeL L126

s

sne

u

sea

Ruis

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93

Ma

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The Hesbaye challenge “La Hesbignonne” is the name of this circuit, adopting the adjective of the richly productive agricultural area called the Hesbaye. In amongst the woodlands you’ll find wonderful examples of Walloon heritage, inviting you to stop and explore before grappling with the next stage. We start at the museum called “Les Maîtres du Feu” (Masters of Fire), which presents the geological gifts of this region, and how they have been exploited over time by industry. The route climbs from the start. While the landscape undulates gently, fluctuating between 100m and 200m, this itinerary will take its toll. At the edge of a wood we find the former Abbaye de la Paix-Dieu. Founded in about 1240, the abbey was totally rebuilt in the 17 th and 18 th centuries. Now the landscape becomes more open; fields take over from the little valleys. This region is dotted with numerous fermes-châteaux: half farmhouse, half castle, they have a square ground plan, around a courtyard, for defensive purposes. Emerging from woodland, we come upon the Château de Jehay. Dating from the 16th century, and surrounded by a moat, its unique architecture makes this one of Europe’s most remarkable châteaux. We now hurtle off towards another gem: the Abbaye de Flône. It heralds the historic centre of Amay, and its prestigious Collegiate Church (Collégiale), dating from the 11 th century.

To discover… · Les Maîtres du Feu and Musée du Cycle In a former quarry, “The Masters of Fire” presents local industrial history, with a bicycle museum and nature reserve. Rue de Bende, 5 - 4540 Ampsin www.lesmaitresdufeu-siteofficiel.be (French and Dutch only) · Château de Jehay One of Wallonia’s prettiest châteaux. Interior closed for restoration, but you can visit the outbuildings and gardens. Rue du Parc, 1 - 4540 Amay www.chateaujehay.be (French only) · Musée communal d’Archéologie et d’Art religieux, Amay Museum of Archaeology and religious art, in the cloister of the Collegiate Church (Collégiale) of Amay. Place Sainte Ode, 2C - 4540 Amay www.amayarcheomusee.be (French only)

Good to know! The bicycle museum (Musée Vivant du Cycle) at “Les Maîtres du Feu” museum (see above) has a collection of more than 280 bikes, dating from 1830 to the present. Unmissable! www.musee-du-cycle.org (French only)

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MAISON DU TOURISME (SITE PAIX DIEU) Abbaye de la Paix-Dieu, rue Paix-Dieu, 1B - 4540 Jehay (Amay) Tél. +32 (0)85 21 21 71 www.pays-de-huy.be

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)

180 m

93 m

93 m

Château de Jehay 29 km

Maîtres du Feu Diffi culty: 4/5 Hard

Maîtres du Feu

·20·

Amay

2 h 45

Carte Balade Amay N

© WBT - D. SAMYN

E -42

6

Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse

Fize-Fontaine . N 614 N 684

. Stockay

Château de Jehay

Villers-le-Bouillet

. Jehay-Bodegnée N 614

La Meuse

N 617

. Abbaye de Flône

Musée communal d’Archéologie et d’Art religieux Musée du Cycle Les Maîtres du Feu

P

HUY

AMAY

N 684

. Ampsin La Meuse

180 m

93 m

93 m

Practical information VTT

Maîtres du Feu

Château de Jehay

Maîtres du Feu

ROAD TYPE: small country roads and paths.

Carte Balade Amay START: from the “Les Maîtres du Feu” museum,

BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT).

Rue Nordde Bende, 5 - 4540 Ampsin (Amay). Follow the road up the hill. E -42

DIFFICULTY: an agreeable ride of 29 km, but with substantial changes in altitude totalling some 450m. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

PARKING: at the “Les Maîtres du Feu” museum. 6

Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse

Fize-Fontaine follow . SIGNPOSTING: the VTT circuit signs N 614 (red triangles and round discs). N 684

Villers-le-Bouillet

. Stockay

Château de Jehay

. Jehay-Bodegnée

Province de Liège

N 614

N 617

55 La Meuse

. Abbaye de Flône

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A circuit on the hills of Chaudfontaine Chaudfontaine means “hot fountain”: this is the site of the only natural hot springs in Belgium. The circuit tours the surrounding hills, offering fine views over a landscape of hedged farmland and pasture, on the fringes of the Pays de Herve. After leaving the River Vesdre at Vaux-sousChèvremont, we take the RAVeL, which follows the path of the disused railway Line 38. During the 19th century this carried coal from Fléron to Germany, and metals from Plombières to the industries in the Meuse basin. Today one can glide along this route in complete peace: nature has reclaimed its rights. When we leave the greenway after the Terril de Basse-Ransy (terril is the French for slag heap), the hedged farmland of the Pays de Herve comes into view, and we enter it after passing the pretty Chapelle Sainte-Anne. Built in 1889, it commemorates the deaths of five soldiers from Brittany, killed near here in 1794, during the occupation of Belgium by the French Revolutionary Army. The route skirts Romsée. Near Chaumont the view takes in the whole valley of the River Vesdre. Passing from hamlet to hamlet, we negotiate the hills of Chaudfontaine, passing Haras de la Rochette. There’s a fine descent to the river, which then serves as our guiding thread to lead us back to Vaux-sousChèvremont, via the Parc de Hauster, home to some remarkable trees.

To discover… · Source O Rama, Chaudfontaine Fun, interactive attractions to reveal the mysteries of water, and its implications. Avenue des Thermes, 78b 4050 Chaudfontaine www.sourceorama.com (French only) · Piscine Thermale de Chaudfontaine Unique in Belgium, a swimming-pool filled with thermal water, with a roof that opens. Avenue des thermes, 147 4050 Chaudfontaine www.chaudfontaine.be (French only) · Galler Chocolatier, Vaux-sous-Chèvremont The shop of the famous Galler chocolatemaker, based here. Rue de la Station, 39 4051 Vaux-sous-Chèvremont www.galler.com

Good to know! A bike repair workshop in Chaudfontaine called Eco-Calidifourchon made cycling history in 2013 when it built the world’s tallest rideable bike: 6.3m high, it was ridden for 110m in Liège. MAISON DU TOURISME OURTHE-VESDRE-AMBLÈVE (ANTENNE) Avenue des Thermes, 78b - 4050 Chaudfontaine Tel. +32 (0)4 361 56 30 www.ovatourisme.be (french, Dutch and German only)

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255 m

243 m

78 m

Difficulty: 3/5 Hard Chaudfontaine

78 m

Vaux-sous-

Chèvremont Chaudfontaine

1 h 45 Beyne-Heusay

18 km Romsée

(Chaudfontaine)

·21·

Carte Balade Chaudfontaine N

RAVeL L38 RAVeL L38

Beyne-Heusay

N3

© RSI CHAUDFONTAINE

RAVeL L38 RAVeL L38 Chênée

N 621

Romsée Vaux-sous-Chèvremont

Galler Chocolatier

N 621

39 E -25

Chaumont . P

Embourg

Haras de la Rochette .

N 61

Haute Folie . Fort Parc de Hauster

CHAUDFONTAINE

Piscine thermale

Source O Rama

La Vesdre

t

255 m

243 m

78 m

78 m

Practical information VTT ROAD TYPE: RAVeL, small roads and paths. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT). DIFFICULTY: a circuit of 18 km. The hills begin gently with the RAVeL, and end with a small road passable by motor vehicles. Sustained descent to the River Vesdre. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15, if experienced.

Chaudfontaine

Romsée

Beyne-Heusay

Chaudfontaine

Carte Balade Chaudfontaine

START: from the sports complex (complexe sportif) Nord RAVeL L38 at Vaux-sous-Chèvremont, cross the bridge over the RAVeLleft L38 to join the RAVeL, River Vesdre. Turn immediately Beyne-Heusay N3 at the roundabout. RAVeL L38 PARKING: spaces RAVeL L38 at the complexe sportif, Rue de la Vesdre, 14Chênée - 4051 Vaux-sous-Chèvremont.N 621 Romsée SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT signs (green triangles Vaux-sous-Chèvremont Galler Chocolatier and round discs). N 621 39 E -25

Chaumont . P

Province de Liège

Départ Embourg

Haras de la Rochette .

N 61

. Fort Parc de Hauster

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Sa

3

© P. PAUQUAY

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In Sart country Sart is a word that relates to a history of forest clearing (essartage). It pops up here in placenames such as Sart-lez-Spa, among the strikingly beautiful valleys east of the town of Spa, carved by streams pouring off the Hautes Fagnes (High Fens) to the east. We start in the pretty square at the centre Sart-lez-Spa, with its perron, a column on a stepped plinth that served as a symbol of civic liberty when the village was ruled by the Principality of Liège. From the ridge, we hurtle down into the valley of the River Hogne. At the bottom, the river crossing at Royompré creates what must be one of the region’s most beautiful settings. We ford the river. The circuit now heads upstream, in the main. Here and there the hillside path has a steep drop-off; you might almost be in the Alps. To reach Solwaster we have to climb the hill on which the village is perched. Crossing the village we can see how the houses – built of blocks of sandstone and limestone, or half-timbered – are long-slung, with narrow windows and thick walls, bearing witness to the brutal weather that can grip this high plateau. From Maison Fagne the circuit follows the hills called the Hauteurs de Spa, passing close to the airfield at Malchamps via the Bois de Hartai. It’s an agreeable run, leading to Stockay at the bottom, where we cross the Wayai, a stream that flows into Spa further below. One last ford before we are back in Sart-lez-Spa.

To discover… · Les Thermes de Spa (6.5 km) Swimming pools at 33°C, saunas, mud baths and beauty therapies – at the mother of all spas. Colline d’Annette et Lubin - 4900 Spa www.thermesdespa.com · Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (7.5 km) Motor racing circuit, venue for the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix. Route du Circuit 55 - 4970 Francorchamps www.spa-francorchamps.be · Pouhon Pierre le Grand (6.5 km) Famous mineral-water spring in Spa. Rue du Marché 1a - 4900 Spa www.spatourisme.be

Good to know! Using the SityTour app, you can download for free the details of signposted cycle routes in the “Pays des Sources”. Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Office du Tourisme.

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375 m 295 m Sart

3/5

Difficulty:Hoëgne Medium

Sart Sart-lez-Spa (Jalhay)

Solwaster

2 h 10

23 km

·22·

Carte Balade Sart Royompré

N

N 629 8

© P. PAUQUAY

Parfondbois

La Hogne

. Solwaster La Sawe

E -42

Sart-lez-Spa N 640

La Hogne

P

Maison Fagne

9

Stockay

Le Wayai

Spa

Sart-Station

Thermes de Spa

N 640

Pouhon Pierre le Grand

PRé-RAVeL L44a

E -42 Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Francorchamps PRé-RAVeL L44a . Hockai

Abbaye de Stavelot

Stavelot

520 m 375 m

375 m

Practical information

295 m

VTT

Sart

Hoëgne

Solwaster

Sart

ROAD TYPE: easy lanes and paths.

Carte Balade START: fromSart the central square of Sart-lez-Spa, head

BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) recommended.

forNord Rue des Trois Fontaines and descend along Royompré beside the autoroute.

DIFFICULTY: a circuit of 23 km, very pleasant on the wide paths in the beautiful valley of the River Hogne. Nevertheless, it’s a hard climb up to Solwaster. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

N 629

PARKING: the central square Parfondboisof Sart-lez-Spa, beside La Hogne 8 (column). the “perron” . Solwaster La Sawe

-42 SIGNPOSTING: Efollow the VTT signs for circuit No.12 Sart-lez-Spa (red triangles and round discs). La Hogne P N 640

Maison Fagne

Départ

Stockay

9

Le Wayai

Province de Liège

Spa

Sart-Station

Thermes de Spa

N 640

Pouhon Pierre le Grand

RAVeL L44a

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RAVeL L44a

E -42 Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

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5

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N6

© GREOA

To discover…

The valley of the Ninglinspo One of Belgium’s most picturesque streams fl ows through Sedoz: the Ninglinspo, the only stream in Wallonia to be classifi ed as “exceptional natural heritage”. This circuit reveals why this little corner of paradise deserves such accolades. Right from the start of this beautiful circuit, the ride along the Ninglinspo is enchanting. But, shortly after a ford, the path rises steeply. The summit can’t come soon enough! At the top we are close to the hamlet of Vert-Buisson, which, in the Middle Ages, was a welcome stopping point for wayfarers on an ancient road called La Vecquée (from évêque, bishop), which formed the link between the ecclesiastical Principalities of Liège and Stavelot. A long path through woodland ends at a hamlet called, aptly, Ville-au-Bois. Leaving this, we follow a fast-flowing stream, the Chefna, as it chases its wild path between the rocks. The descent goes on and on – and what a pleasure it is! This is unquestionably one of the finest tracks in Belgium. After this shakedown we come to the Fonds de Quareux, mighty blocks of quartzite lying scattered in the bed of the River Amblève – a fitting end to this magnificent if very demanding journey.

· Les Grottes de Remouchamps (6 km) Caves: 1¼ hours of natural wonders, first on foot, then by boat on a subterranean river. Rue de Louveigné, 3 - 4920 Remouchamps www.mondesauvage.be/grottes (French, Dutch and German only) · Le Monde Sauvage Safari Parc (9 km) African-style safari, by a little train or by car; 225 species of animal from all around the world. Fange de Deigné, 3 - 4920 Aywaille www.mondesauvage.be (French and Dutch only)

Good to know! “La Côte de La Redoute” is a famous hillclimb, rising 161m in 1.7 km, that features in the celebrated classic cycling race LiègeBastogne-Liège. It is located in SougnéRemouchamps (Aywaille). As part of the renovation of the Maison du Tourisme Ourthe-Vesdre-Amblève at Remouchamps, a space of more that 400 square metres will be dedicated to cycle racing, presenting rare collectors’ items – a treat for all cycling fans. Scheduled to open in 2018. A brand new hotel at the foot of the famous Côte de La Redoute opened in 2017, with 53 rooms, a restaurant, a conference room and a wellness centre. Equipped to accommodate both professional and amateur cyclists, it also has a sports clinic and a cycle shop.

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B MAISON DU TOURISME DU PAYS D’OURTHE-AMBLEVE Route de Louveigné, 3 - 4920 Remouchamps Tel. +32 (0)4 384 35 44 www.ovatourisme.be (French, Dutch and German only)

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Difficulty: Hard

Ville-au-Bois

Sedoz

1 h 45

Sedoz Remouchamps

12,8 km

·23·

Carte vallon du Ninglinspo N

P

. Sedoz

La Porallée

L’Am b

lève

Nonceveux

spo

lin

Aywaille Remouchamps

Le

g Nin

Vert-Buisson .

Côt e!

Le vallon du Ninglinspo

N 633

Grottes de Remouchamps Monde Sauvage

lève

Les Fonds de Quareux

! te

en

sc De

N 633

La C h

efna

Mine d’or Ville-au-Bois

467m 180 m

180 m

BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT). DIFFICULTY: A very demanding circuit, suited only to experienced mountain bikers. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15, if experienced.

START: at Sedoz, beside the Auberge du Ninglinspo, at the starting-point panel. PARKING: theNinglinspo departure point of the circuit, at Carte vallonatdu

Sedoz, on the N633 (Remouchamps - Trois-Ponts), Nord P . Sedoz Nonceveux beside the Auberge duDépart Ninglinspo. SIGNPOSTING: blue VTT signs for circuit LaNo.38. Porallée Le vallon du Ninglinspo

Vert-Buisson .

!

N 633

N Le

spo

lin

ing

Aywaille Remouchamps

Province de Liège

Grottes de Remouchamps

lève

Monde Sauvage

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Sedoz

Côt e

ROAD TYPE: difficult, stony tracks and paths.

Ville-au-Bois

Sedoz

blève

VTT

L’Am

Practical information

L’Am b

s

5/5

L’Am b

n

Sedoz

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4 On

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Ondenval, in the Hautes Fagnes wilderness The Hautes Fagnes (“High Fens”) are a wild, windswept upland in the far east of Wallonia. Known for its boggy moors populated by richly diverse and fascinating wildlife, it also has its gentler sides, as this circuit will show. It’s a place of pilgrimage for mountain bikers and nature lovers alike From the village of Ondenval, we follow the country road that heads quickly into the wood of Thirimont. The route weaves in and out among the conifers before swooping down into the valley of the River Amblève. At this point the river is wild and flows through an uninhabited area. Shortly after crossing it on a wooden bridge, we climb steeply to reach the Wolfsbusch wood. Beneath the changing canopies of spruce or broad-leaved trees, the forest presents a whole range of habitats: it’s like passing through an immense natural garden. Our wheels cut a path between roots, moss and rocks. We have to tackle some fairly technical stretches before arriving on the Montenau plain, from where we can see the Vennbahn (see p.3) slicing through the landscape. In 1880 Montenau witnessed a veritable gold rush. Gold panning continued until after the First World War, but in the end only a few nuggets were found. The route traces a course along a line of hillcrests as it heads back to Ondenval. We follow the path of the Amblève again before entering the Rohrbusch, another of the woods that encircle the village with nature.

Bel

Lig

To discover… · Baugnez 44 Historical Center (2 km) Rohrbusch Museum of the Battle of the Bulge, which raged here in the winter of 1944. Route de Luxembourg, 10 - 4960 Malmedy www.baugnez44.be · Brasserie de Bellevaux (7.6 km) Micro-brewery, with guided tours and tastings, plus other local produce. Bellevaux, 5 - 4960 Malmedy www.brasseriedebellevaux.be (French only)

E -4

· Malmundarium (6.5 km) Former monastery, now a cultural centre with craft workshops, cathedral treasures, local history, exhibitions. Place du Châtelet, 9 - 4960 Malmedy www.malmundarium.be (French, German and Dutch)

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Syndicat d’Initiative de Malmedy, Place du Châtelet 9.

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B MAISON DU TOURISME DES CANTONS DE L’EST Place Albert Ier, 29a - 4960 Malmedy Tél. +32 (0)80 33 02 50 www.eastbelgium.com (French, German and Dutch only)

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500 m 580 m

580 m 470 m

Difficulty: 4/5 Hard Ondenval

33 km Wolfsbusch

Ondenval

3 h 00 Montenau

Ondenval (Waimes)

·24·

Carte Balade Ondenval MALMEDY

© VENNBAHN.EU - D. KETZ

N

Malmundarium Baugnez 44

. Thirimont P

Ondenval . RAVeL L48

N 62 Brasserie de Bellevaux

Bellevaux

L’Amblève

N 676

Ligneuville

RAVeL L48

y

Montenau

Wolfsbusch

L’Amblève

E -42

Deidenberg

) N 62 E -42

RAVeL L48

13

500 m 580 m

580 m 470 m

Practical information VTT

Ondenval

Wolfsbusch

Montenau

Ondenval

Carte Balade Ondenval

ROAD TYPE: forest paths and tracks.

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) only.

Malmundarium START: from the church at Ondenval. . Thirimont Baugnez 44

DIFFICULTY: a circuit of 33 km, with a stiff climb towards the Wolfsbusch summit, and some seriously technical paths.

PARKING: in the Place de l’Église (by theP church). Départ

MALMEDY

Nord

Ondenval .

N 62

SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT signs for circuit 3 (blue Brasserie de Bellevaux triangles and round discs). Bellevaux L’Amblève

N 676

Ligneuville

Province de Liège

Wolfsbusch

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To discover…

Lake Bütgenbach and beyond Close to the border with Germany, Bütgenbach is part of the German-speaking community of Belgium, in a region called Ostbelgien (East Belgium) or the Cantons de l’Est – which is also French-speaking. So, in more senses than one, there’s a bit of everything on this splendid if challenging circuit! Right from the start we head into open country, and can enjoy clear views over a vast landscape. We are riding on a RAVeL along the shores of the beautiful Lac de Bütgenbach, an artificial lake whose waters suggest a swim after this expedition. Further on, the greenway provides us with glimpses of wild nature; a little after Honsfeld we find the River Warche in its infancy, flowing in a damp and muddy area. At Büllingen we start heading towards the Vennbahn across the loveliest of landscapes, where villages exude the impression of peaceful rural life. Shortly after Schoppen, we come to Ondenval, where we pick up the Vennbahn (see p.3), a former strategic railway of the German armies which now has become one of Europe’s finest greenways. We head along it, passing a kaleidoscope of the region’s varied countryside. At Waimes we take the fork that leads to Weywertz and from there we head back to Bütgenbach and its lake.

· Lac de Bütgenbach - Centre de Worriken Lakeside holiday and water sports centre. Worriken, 9 - 4750 Bütgenbach www.worriken.be (French, German and Dutch only)

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· Château de Reinhardstein (6 km) Meticulously reconstructed 14th-century fortress. Guided tours of the furnished interior. Chemin du Cheneux, 50 - 4950 Ovifat www.reinhardstein.net · Parc naturel Hautes Fagnes – Eifel Maison du Parc – Botrange (7 km) Visitor centre for the High Fens nature park, with exhibitions, electric bike hire and guided walks. Route de Botrange, 131 - 4950 Waimes www.botrange.be (French, German and Dutch only

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Ond

Good to know! Discover another kind of biking: on rails, with a four-person railbike (draisine). Fun for all the family! www.railbike.be (French, German and Dutch only)

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D m MAISON DU TOURISME DES CANTONS DE L’EST Place Albert Ier, 29a - 4960 Malmedy Tél . +32 (0)80 33 02 50 www.eastbelgium.com (French, German and Dutch only)

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500 m

470 m

Schoppen

Waimes

Difficulty: Hard

4/5

Bütgenbach

Bütgenbach

3 h 30

37 km

·25·

Carte Balade Bütgenbach N

© VENNBAHN.EU - D. KETZ

Botrange Ovifat

Parc naturel Hautes Fagnes – Eifel Maison du Parc – Botrange Château de Reinhardstein

90

Weywertz .

94

BÜTGENBACH

Lac de Bütgenbach Centre de Worriken

Lac de Bütgenbach

P

RAVeL L45a

N 632

N 632

N 632

WAIMES

122

RAVeL L48

Büllingen .

95

. Faymonville

97

N 658 120

RAVeL L48 N 676

Ondenval .

. Schoppen 121

128

119

111

Hünningen .

N 658

. Möderscheid

580 m

580 m

500 m

470 m

Schoppen

Waimes

Practical information V TC

Bütgenbach

Bütgenbach

ROAD TYPE: RAVeL and minor roads.

PARKING: spaces beside the church of Bütgenbach.

BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC).

SIGNPOSTING: at Honsfeld, at the second disused Carte Balade Bütgenbach

DIFFICULTY: a circuit of 37 km. Its length is its main difficulty. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15. START: from the church of Bütgenbach, follow the Velotour signs in the direction of point-noeud 94, where the RAVeL route begins.

level crossing, leave the RAVeL, taking the direction Nord Parc naturel Hautes Fagnes – Eifel of points-noeuds 97,du111, 119, 120, 121, 128. Follow the Maison Parc – Botrange Botrange Château de Reinhardstein Ovifat Vennbahn to Weywertz. After the Vennbahn information panel at the Servais garage, leave the Vennbahn and turn hard right in the direction of points-noeuds 90, 95 and 94. 90

Weywertz .

94

BÜTGENBACH N 632

N 632

Carte. BUTGENBACH 110 X 130 .indd 1 WBTPRD0019-BrochureVelo-UK_2017.indd 65

Départ

RAVeL L45a

Province de Liège N 632

WAIMES

122

Lac de Bütgenbach Centre de Worriken

Lac de Bütgenbach

P

Büllingen .

95

. Faymonville

65

N 658

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To discover…

Taking the high road around Durbuy This magnificent circuit jumps from summit to summit as it follows some of the prettiest roads in the borderlands between the Condroz and Famenne regions. The landscape of the Famenne region is made up largely of flaky schist and limestone, which has given rise to the idea that the name derives from “famine”. Its mixture of farmland, woods and rolling hills certainly has a distinctive, tough beauty to it. At Durbuy, however, we are on the borders of the Condroz region (see p.52) and that’s where we head first. From the start, the route climbs steeply, reaching the summit after Palenge – and what a view to greet us! To the left we can see the blue line of the Ardennes, while to the right Chardeneux – a member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie” scheme – nestles in a dip that is so typical of the Condroz landscape. It’s worth taking the optional detour to see it: surrounded by fields and crops, the village lights up the Condroz landscape with its flowers and restored façades. Back on the circuit, at Somme-Leuze we find a kind of ideal image of a rural landscape. We are entering the Famenne here. The points-noeuds direct us through a wood as we approach Grandhan, and a lovely greenway takes us back into Durbuy.

· Parc des Topiaires, Durbuy A large topiary park, with 250 sculpted plants. Rue Haie Himbe, 1 - 6940 Durbuy www.topiaires.durbuy.be (French and Dutch only) · Le Labyrinthe A vast “maize maze” made of living sweetcorn (July-September), with shows. Rue Basse Commène 6940 Barvaux-sur-Ourthe www.lelabyrinthe.be · Durbuy Adventure Family adventure park, with accommodation. Rue de Rome, 1 - 6940 Rome (Durbuy) www.durbuyadventure.be

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Royal Syndicat d’Initiative.

R PAYS DE FAMENNE Asbl Tél. +32 (0)84 22 25 83 www.paysdefamenne.be/famenne-a-velo (French and Dutch only)

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ROYAL SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Place aux Foires, 25 - 6940 Durbuy Tél. +32(0)86 21 24 28 www.ourthe-et-aisne.be

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Somme-Leuze

Crêtes

Durbuy

Carte Balade Difficulty: Crêtes 4/5 Hard

Grandhan

Durbuy

·26·

Durbuy

2 h 15

26 km

. Chardeneux

N

. Bonsin N 638

52

53

Variante

© WBT - B. D’ALIMONTE

. Palenge 54

50

Septon .

Le Parc des Topiaires

7

DURBUY N 983a

!

P

Petite-Somme .

!

SOMME-LEUZE

N 63

N 983

.

N 983

ux Barva

Petit-Han.

L’Ourthe

La Petite Merveille

8

Labyrinthe

90

Grandhan .

91

N 953

RAVeL

N 833 10

92

9

!

L’Ourthe

.

325 m 202 m 149 m

Practical information

V TC

Durbuy

149 m

150 m

Somme-Leuze

Crêtes

Grandhan

Durbuy

ROAD TYPE: tracks and minor roads.

Carte Balade Crêtes START: from the centre of Durbuy, by the bridge

BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC).

over the River Ourthe. Follow the road in the direction of Palenge.

DIFFICULTY: a demanding circuit, with some hard climbs. The roads and tracks are, however, very pleasant to bike along. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15, if experienced.

. Chardeneux

Nord

PARKING: free at the Pré . BonsinGeoris, Rue du Comte. 52

N 638 Variante SIGNPOSTING: follow the points-noeuds: 50, 52, 53, 54, 92, 91, 90, 10, 9, 8 and 7. . Palenge 53

54

50

Septon .

Le Parc des Topiaires DURBUY

N 983a

! Petite-Somme .

N 63

!

Province de Luxembourg

SOMME-LEUZE

N 983

L’Ourthe 90 91

Départ

67

N 983

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P

Grandhan .

Petit-Han.

x

u Barva

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Following the RAVeL along the Rivers Ourthe and Aisne How beautiful River Ourthe is, as it wends it way across the plain around Melreux. Take advantage of the “Arrêt Vert” scheme (see Start, p.69) to get here by train! From the station at Melreux we head straight into a limestone-dominated region called the Calestienne. Lying between the Condroz and the Ardennes, it’s usually considered to be a part of the Famenne (see p.66). To the west are gently undulating meadows, while to the east the hills are covered with forest, two themes that will be reinforced by this circuit. Shortly after Monville we start to follow the River Ourthe as it makes its way through the fields. After Fronville, having skirted the campsite, the route rises to reach Petit-Han, where we start the long approach to Biron. The climb continues, hoisting us up to Oppagne, gateway to Wéris and its remarkable megaliths, and a member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie” scheme. A long descent and voilà! , we are in Hotton, and back in the lovely valley in which we started.

To discover… · Les Grottes de Hotton Famous caves, two stars in the Michelin Guide. Chemin du Spéléo-Club, 1 - 6990 Hotton www.grottesdehotton.be · Riveo An interpretation centre about rivers. Rue Haute, 4 - 6990 Hotton www.riveo.be · Musée des Mégalithes Site of prehistoric megaliths, with museum. Place Arsène Soreil, 7 - 6940 Wéris www.weris-info.be

Good to know!

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Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Royal Syndicat d’Initiative.

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ROYAL SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Rue Haute,4 - 6990 Hotton Tél. +32(0)84 46 61 22 www.ourthe-et-aisne.be

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Difficulty: Medium

Nord 3/5

Carte Balade Melreux DURBUY

N

Melreux (Hotton)

2h

27 km

N 833

8

N 86

Petit-Han. . Grandhan 10

·27·

Musée des Mégalithes

Wéris .

!

!

9

L’Ourthe

© C. MOTTET - MT OURTHE ET AISNE

Côte ! 11

Monteuville .

Oppagne . 67

69 68

. Biron

12

N 833

N 86

14

N 898

Fronville .

L’Ourthe . Soy

16

Monville .

Ny .

RAVeL L620

Brasserie Fantôme

73

P

. Melreux N 807

. 17

HOTTON

RAVeL L620

! RIVEO

70

Grottes de Hotton

310 m 250 m

Practical information

190 m

V TC

180 m

180 m PetitHan

Melreux

ROAD TYPE: roads with light traffic only and the RAVeL. Short stretch of path at the Camping de Fronville. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: a circuit of varying difficulty, with some climbs, notably the one leading up to Oppagne from Biron. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15, if experienced.

Biron

Oppagne

Melreux

START: from the railway station at Melreux follow the direction indicated by point-noeud 16, by the roundabout. We recommend coming by train, with your bike, to Melreux – an “Arrêt Vert” (Green Stop), see www.arretvert.be (French only). Line 43 (Liège– Nord Marloie) has been adapted to transport bikes.

Carte Balade Melreux

PARKING: beside the railway station. DURBUY

Nord

8

N 833

N 86

SIGNPOSTING: follow the points-noeuds: 16, 14, 12, 11, Petit-Han. 10, 9, 8 (warning: no reminder signs between . Grandhan points-noeuds 8 and 69), 69, 68, 67, 73, 70, 17 and 16.Musée des Mégalithes 10

Wéris .

!

!

9

L’Ourthe Côte ! 11

Monteuville .

Oppagne . 67 Province de Luxembourg 69 69 . Biron

12

N 833

68

N 86

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A mountain bike circuit at Vielsalm A circuit for all the family, with only a small amount of climbing, which tours the countryside and forests around Vielsalm. We leave the tourist office heading in the direction of Salmchâteau to reach the Fosse Roulette pass, one of the region’s most remarkable sights. This spectacular defile owes its name to the old quarries (fosses d’extraction) in the hillside where slate was mined. In this corner of the Ardennes, quarries extracted a high-quality sharpening stone called coticule, a schist related to slate. It was, and is, considered the best sort of stone for sharpening oldfashioned straight razors. An entire way of life developed around this beige stone; the Musée du Coticule at Salmchâteau tells the story of this industry, which thrived until the 1950s (there is still one producer, at Lierneux, near Vielsalm). Near the ruins of the castle of the Counts of Salm, the route climbs a hill towards the hamlet of La Comté. We continue to climb through countryside and forest to reach Grand Sart, which in winter and in snow looks as though it might be somewhere in the foothills of the Alps… A descent now brings us back to Vielsalm. The last part of the route looks down onto the Lac de Doyards at Vielsalm, a popular spot for boating and fi shing and holidays.

To discover… · Discovery trail of the Maison du Pays de Salm Mystery tour into the geology, history and legends of the local Salm area. Avenue de la Salm, 50 - 6690 Vielsalm www.vielsalm-gouvy.be · Aquafun at the Village de vacances (Sunparks is becoming Center Parcs) A subtropical aquatic paradise. Rue de la Grotte, 12 - 6690 Vielsalm www.nagerasunparks.be/ardenne (French, German and Dutch only)

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available near t he Maison du Tourisme.

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MAISON DU TOURISME HAUTE ARDENNE Avenue de la Salm, 50 - 6690 Vielsalm Tél. +32 (0) 80 21 50 52 www.haute-ardenne.be

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520 m 450 m 380 m

380 m

Difficulty:

2/5 Vielsalm Medium

Vielsalm

1 h 15 Grand Sart

16 km La Comté

Vielsalm

·28·

Carte Balade Vielsalm N

Goronne

N 822

Aquafun du Sunparks

N 822

Rencheux

VIELSALM

© MT VIELSALM ET GOUVY

Maison du Pays de Salm P

Grand Sart Le Golnai

N 68

La Comté .

N 89

. Salmchâteau Musée du Coticule

520 m 450 m 380 m

380 m

Practical information

VTT

ROAD TYPE: tracks and paths presenting little difficulty. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) recommended. DIFFICULTY: an agreeable circuit, without any tricky bits. A climb totalling 120m in elevation leads up to Grand Sart, at 520m above sea level

Vielsalm

La Comté

Grand Sart

Vielsalm

Carte Balade START: at theVielsalm tourist office, Avenue de la Salm, 50 Nord 6690 Vielsalm. PARKING: at the tourist office. Goronne

Aquafun du Sunparks

N 822 SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT signs forRencheux circuit VIELSALM No.1 N 822 (red triangles and round discs).

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 12.

Maison du Pays de Salm P

Départ Grand Sart Le Golnai

Province de LuxembourgN 68 71 La Comté .

N 89

. Salmchâteau Musée du Coticule

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La Famenne Marche-en-Famenne (often referred to simply as “Marche”) is the unofficial capital of the Famenne region. This circuit takes you on a voyage of discovery in the surrounding countryside and onto the Plateau du Gerny, a vast agricultural plain, to show you what makes the Famenne so special. Departing from the tourist office in Marche-enFamenne, we can profi t from some neat urban planning, to the benefi t of cyclists. In addition to the network of points-noeuds spread across the town, Marche-en-Famenne has created some magnificent cycle paths, notably the one that is integrated with the Boulevard du Nord. Leaving the town we head for Waillet, at the heart of the scoop of land called the “dépression famennoise”. Numerous remarkable buildings can be seen along the way, notably at Aye: the Ferme du Château, Ferme Tavys, Le Manoir (manorhouse)… The Famenne has a rich architectural heritage. Further south, the Plateau du Gerny offers views out east to the hills of the Ardennes and, to the west, those of the Condroz (see p.52). Towards the end of the circuit, the l’Église Saint-Etienne (Church of St Stephen) at Waha calls for a stop. This remarkable Romanesque building, dating from 1050, is listed as an exceptional piece of Wallonia’s architectural heritage (Patrimoine Exceptionnel de Wallonie). Inside are wonderfully colourful stained glass windows by the celebrated Belgian artist and illustrator Jean-Michel Folon (1934–2005).

To discover… · Musée de la Famenne In an 18th-century house, a collection of artefacts from the 18th century to the present. Rue du Commerce, 17 6900 Marche-en-Famenne http://musee.marche.be · Eglise romane St-Etienne Romanesque church with stained glass by Jean-Michel Folon. Rue du Maquis - 6900 Waha · Guided tour of the town of Marche and its urban renewal One of several interesting suggestions. www.tourisme-marche-nassogne.be

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Maison du Tourisme.

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R MAISON DU TOURISME FAMENNE-ARDENNE OURTHE & LESSE Place de l’Etang, 15 - 6900 Marche-en-Famenne Tél. +32 (0)84 34 53 27 www.tourisme-marche-nassogne.be

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190 m

190 m

Plateau du Gerny 1 h 15 18 km

Marche-en-Famenne Difficulty: 1/5 Easy

Marche-en-Famenne

Marcheen-Famenne

Carte Marche-en-Famenne

·29·

Waillet .

N

109

N 63 110

! RAVeL

© MT CONDROZ-FAMENNE

N 873 103

N4

P 27

104

Musée de la Famenne

24

MARCHE-EN-FAMENNE 25

Aye .

30

107

RAVeL

. Rue Bondeau Eglise St-Etienne

Plateau du Gerny

!

!

N4

31 32

Waha .

N 836

Marloie . N 86 280 m

Practical information

190 m

V TC

ROAD TYPE: roads with little traffic and RAVeL. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: a circuit through the countryside around Marche-en-Famenne, presenting little difficulty. Take care when crossing the N86 to reach Waha. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 8. START: from the Maison du Tourisme in Marche-enFamenne (point-noeud 27), follow the direction of point-noeud 104.

190 m

Plateau du Gerny

Marche-en-Famenne

Marche-en-Famenne

Carte Marche-en-Famenne PARKING: at the Maison du Tourisme, Place de l’Etang 15 - 6900 Waillet .Marche-en-Famenne. Nord 109 SIGNPOSTING: follow the points-noeuds: 104, 103, 110, 109, 107, 32, 31. Leave this network and N 63 head straight ahead to the N86. Cross 110 this and follow it ! to the left for 100 m. At the traffic light, turn right, RAVeL N 873 towards Waha (bicycle path). To the left of 103the N4 Départ P church, head towards Marche-en-Famenne by 27 104 taking the Rue du Bondeau. Go to point-noeud 24 Musée de la30 Famenne MARCHE-EN-FAMENNE by heading along the Rue Saint-Esprit ( just after 25 Aye . passing over the N4). 30 107

RAVeL Plateau du Gerny

!

! 31

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N 836

Marloie .

. Rue Bondeau

Eglise St-Etienne Province de Luxembourg

73 N4

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222

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© FTLB - P. WILLEMS

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To discover… · Ruines du Château féodal Ruins of the feudal castle, on a site also occupied in the Stone Age and Roman times. Rue du Vieux Château, 4 6980 La Roche-en-Ardenne www.chateaudelaroche.be

A mountain bike challenge around the “Pearl of the Ardennes” This beautiful itinerary around La Roche-enArdenne plays leap-frog with its surrounding hills. It’s almost like a mountain circuit – and is best tackled by experienced mountain bikers. The start provides a good warm-up, along the road that follows the River Ourthe to the foot of the hill to Cielle – and an opportunity to explore this steep-sided valley. A right-hand turn, and the difficulties ahead are heralded by the view of the road that twists its way up to Cielle. A little before the village, we turn off into the forest to begin a fairly fast and technical stretch leading to a ford. And now we are at the foot of a long climb, through the Grand Bois de La Roche-en-Ardenne, which will stop only at the top, at the summit of the famous Col de la Haussire. The return journey is a very rapid descent following a stony – and fairly bone-shaking – track; prudence pays. After more than three kilometres of breathtaking descent, there is La Roche-en-Ardenne again, nestled in the valley of the River Ourthe. Here, in the Parc en Rompré, we can admire the magnificent stone sculptures set out alongside the river.

· Parc à Gibier Forest wildlife and game animals (gibier) discovered in a walking trail through a park, plus mini-farm. Chemin du Parc à Gibier, 1 6980 La Roche-en-Ardenne www.parcagibierlaroche.be

L’O

· Musée de la Bataille des Ardennes Museum of the Battle of the Bulge, focusing particularly on the British role. Rue Chamont, 5 6980 La Roche-en-Ardenne www.batarden.be

Good to know! The Col de la Haussire (Haussire pass) is notorious as the longest and hardest climb in Belgium. Don’t miss the monument to the great Belgian road cyclist Claudy Criquielion, whose name is attached to the famous annual cyclosportive Vélomédiane event held on the last Saturday of August. Facilities for cyclists are available at the Maison du Tourisme.

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D t o MAISON DU TOURISME Place du Marché 15 - 6980 La Roche-en-Ardenne Tél. +32 (0)84 36 77 36 www.coeurdelardenne.be

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222 m

222 m

Col de la Haussire

La Roche-en-Ardenne

4/5

Difficulty: Hard

La Roche-en-Ardenne

La Rocheen-Ardenne

2h

15 km

Carte Balade La Roche-en-Ardenne

·30·

Dochamps .

© FTLB - P. WILLEMS

N

Samrée . Marcouray

N 89

Col de la Haussire .

. Jupille N 89 Parc à Gibier

Cielle .

! L’Ourthe N 833 Musée de la bataille des Ardennes

LA ROCHE-EN-ARDENNE P

Ruines du Château Féodal Grès de La Roche 505 m

222 m

222 m

Practical information

VTT

ROAD TYPE: minor roads, stony tracks and dirt tracks. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) only! DIFFICULTY: 15 km. This tough circuit climbs up to the Col de la Haussire, calling for altitude gains of some 463m! RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15, if experienced.

La Roche-en-Ardenne

Col de la Haussire

La Roche-en-Ardenne

START: at Quai de l’Ourthe in La Roche-en-Ardenne, cross the bridge over the River Ourthe, heading to Hotton. Coming off the bridge, turn right into Rue de la Gare. PARKING: Quai de l’Ourthe, in La Roche-en-Ardenne. SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT signs for circuit No.2 (blue triangles and round discs).

Province de Luxembourg

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© P. PAUQUAY

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The mountain bike circuit of Houffalize Starting from Houffalize, and following the meandering River Ourthe, this circuit entails technical paths and rapid descents as it passes through the Ardennes forest. Shortly after leaving Houffalize we hit the first climb: the scene is set for the miles of pure mountain biking ahead. At the top a superb descent towards the River Ourthe Orientale (Eastern Ourthe) is laid out before you. Once down, we follow the N860 road on a cantilevered path, tricky to negotiate on account of its narrowness. Suddenly this starts a rapid climb. The path of this demanding circuit now takes on seemingly endless hills and depressions. At the Rensiwez bridge, the itinerary heads up the stream on the opposite bank. We slip silently through a shady forest before leaving it on a very beautiful track. Here the steep path skirts blocks of rock. Behind, the landscape is stunning. After Achouffe, the trail eases off somewhat. A nice last descent brings us back to Houffalize, tucked into its meander of the River Ourthe. Suckers for punishment might like to follow that up with a tour of the very testing Black Track used in the mountain bike World Cup – a 4-km circuit that made Houffalize’s reputation.

To discover… · Houtopia An indoor and outdoor recreation centre for children and families, with a new adventure trail. Place de l’Eglise, 17 - 6660 Houffalize www.houtopia.be (French and Dutch only) · Brasserie d’Achouffe Guided tours of this celebrated brewery, with tastings. Achouffe, 32 - 6666 Wibrin www.achouffe.be · Barrage et Lac de Nisramont (3.5 km) Dam and lake on the River Ourthe, impressive for the beauty of its setting. 6983 Nisramont www.luxembourg-belge.be

Good to know! Bike facilities are available at the Royal Syndicat d’Initiative.

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ROYAL SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Place de janvier 45, 2 - 6660 Houffalize Tél. +32(0)61 28 81 16 www.coeurdelardenne.be

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325 m

325 m

Achouffe

Houffalize Difficulty: 5/5 Very hard

Houffalize

·31·

Houffalize

2 h 30

22 km

Carte balade Houffalize N

E-25

Mont .

Brasserie d’Achouffe

N 30

Achouffe.

© P. PAUQUAY

51

Taverneux .

Côte ! E-25

!

!

N 860

L’Ourthe

Houtopia Descente !

HOUFFALIZE

P

N 860

Côte !

RAVeL L 613 L’Ourthe

N 30 E-25

. Bonnerue

N 826

Barrage et Lac de Nisramont

Vers Engreux

410 m

400 m

325 m

Practical information

VTT

ROAD TYPE: difficult paths and tracks. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) only! DIFFICULTY: a physically challenging ride, with 560m of altitude changes over 22 km! A circuit suited only to fit, experienced mountain bikers!

325 m

Achouffe

Houffalize

Houffalize

Carte balade Houffalize START: Place Janvier 45 - 6660 Houffalize. Nord PARKING: two free carparks nearby: Place de l’Église and Route de La Roche.

E-25

SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT signs for circuit No.6 Mont . (green triangles and round discs). N 30 Brasserie d’Achouffe Achouffe.

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15, if very experienced!

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Taverneux .

Côte ! E-25 Province de Luxembourg

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! N 860

L’Ourthe

Houtopia Descente !

Côte !

N 860

Départ

P

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425

Sain

© P. PAUQUAY

Car3

To discover…

King Albert’s Forest

· Domaine Provincial du Fourneau Saint-Michel Visitor centre focusing on the industrial and rural past of the Ardennes. Fourneau St-Michel 4 - 6870 Saint-Hubert www.fourneausaintmichel.be (French only)

This magnificent mountain bike circuit provides an opportunity to discover one of Belgium’s most beautiful forests. The Forêt du Roi Albert is named after King Albert I, Belgium’s “soldier-king”, who reigned from 1909 to 1934 and loved the Ardennes.

· Parc à Gibier In a forest setting, the wildlife and game animals (gibier) of the Ardennes revealed, with a “Bistrot de Terroir” (see p.12) on site. Rue Saint-Michel, 130 - 6870 Saint-Hubert www.parcagibiers.be (French only)

Saint-Hubert, our starting place, is famous as the European capital of hunting, and celebrated also for its glorious natural setting. The immense forest is an inexhaustible source of walks and trails, among the most beautiful in the country. This circuit will allow us to enter the very soul of the forest – with a chance that, on turning a corner, we’ll come upon a deer. Shortly after the Parc à Gibier, the track climbs to reach the monument to King Albert, which commemorates his visits to these forests. A bend, and then a magnificent descent takes us into the little valley formed by the River Masblette. As we ride towards the fenland called the Fagne du Rôlis, what a joy it is to hear nothing but the noise of our tyres gliding over the stony surface: road traffic seems a distant thought… Around us are the large trunks of the beech trees that rise high above us. Here the forest puts on its greatest show. The final kilometres of the itinerary lead us bit by bit towards the start before plunging us back into the town of Saint-Hubert, dominated by its Basilica.

· Basilique de Saint-Hubert Splendid gothic and baroque church. Place de l’Abbaye, 1 - 6870 Saint-Hubert http://basilique-sainthubert.be (French only)

Good to know! The Grande Forêt de Saint-Hubert covers an area of over 1000 square km, of which more than half is forest. Its network of some 1500 km of trails (for walkers, mountain bikes or horse-riding), under the formula “Promenades à la carte”, can be found online and downloaded from the website. www.lagrandeforetdesainthubert.be Facilities for cyclists are available at the Maison du Tourisme.

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MAISON DU TOURISME DE LA FORÊT DE SAINT-HUBERT Place du Marché, 15 - 6870 Saint-Hubert Tél. +32 (0)61 61 30 10 www.saint-hubert-tourisme.be

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425 m

425 m

Fagne de la Dôneuse

Saint-Hubert

Difficulty: Carte Saint-Hubert 14 km 3/5 Balade Medium N

Saint-Hubert

1 h 30

·32·

Domaine Provincial du Fourneau Saint-Michel

© P. PAUQUAY

La Masblette . Fagne du Rôlis

N 849

Forêt du Roi Albert . Fagne de la Dôneuse N 89

Aérodrome Parc à Gibier N 849 N 803 P

)

s

Saint-Hubert

SAINT-HUBERT

Basilique

563 m

425 m

425 m

Practical information

VTT

Fagne de la Dôneuse

Saint-Hubert

Saint-Hubert

ROAD TYPE: forest roads and tracks.

Carte Balade Saint-Hubert Take the N849 (direction Fourneau-St-Michel) for

BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT).

about 2km before forking right at the Ferme Nord Domaine Provincial du Fourneau Saint-Michel de Chermont.

DIFFICULTY: 14 km. A forest circuit with a long ascent beside a stream called La Dôneuse. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 12. START: from the Basilique de Saint-Hubert (church), head down the main street towards the roundabout.

PARKING: there’s a big carpark at the roundabout where the N803 and N808 meet, in the lower town. La Masblette

SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT signs for circuit No.2 (green triangles and round discs).. Fagne du Rôlis N 849 Forêt du Roi Albert . Fagne de la Dôneuse N 89 Province de Luxembourg

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Aérodrome Parc à Gibier

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505 m

2

Bast

© V. DELMÉE

Car

The RAVeL of remembrance A trip along a wonderful RAVeL route into the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, via the Mardasson Memorial and the exceptional Bastogne War Museum. This RAVeL route opens the door to a secret corner of the Pays de Bastogne. After leaving the town centre, we’ll be riding in absolute peace. On this greenway the hills are minimal (barely more than 2.5%): the incline was calculated to permit trains to tackle the change in altitude between Bastogne and Wiltz. Following the track once taken by small local trains, we go from station to station to station, passing the hills through tunnels, following the secret valley of the River Wiltz and crossing the river on marvels of civil engineering. We encounter landscapes the like of which we never could have imagined. While on the outward route we head towards the Grand Duchy on a gently descending slope, on the return by contrast we are faced with a long and slow climb. At the end of our journey, the RAVeL brings us back to the Mardasson Memorial and the Bastogne War Museum, which honour the sacrifice of American soldiers and recall the suffering of the civilian population during the Battle of the Ardennes (or Battle of the Bulge) at the end of December 1944. The museum also constitutes a powerful advocate for peace.

To discover… · Bastogne War Museum and Mémorial du Mardasson Commemorating events that took place here during the Battle of Bulge, 1944–5. Colline du Mardasson, 5 - 6600 Bastogne www.bastognewarmuseum.be · Bastogne Ardennes 44 Museum Relive the Battle of the Bulge by crossing the front line in reconstructed scenarios in the heart of the forest. Bras 635/637 - 6600 Bastogne www.bastogneardennes44.com · Bastogne Barracks A Second Word War interpretation centre presented by the Royal Army Museum. Route de la Roche, 40 - 6600 Bastogne www.klm-mra.be - +32 (0)61 24 21 24

Good to know! A must! The Liège-Bastogne-Liège roundabout (rond-point), featuring the names of all the winners of this celebrated cycle race, “La Doyenne des Classiques”, since its creation. Facilities for cyclists are available at the Maison du Tourisme and at the Bastogne War Museum.

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MAISON DU TOURISME DU PAYS DE BASTOGNE Place McAuliffe, 60 - 6600 Bastogne Tél. +32 (0)61 26 76 11 www.paysdebastogne.be

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320 m

480 m

505 m

Difficulty: Easy Mardasson Bastogne

2/5

Bastogne

3 h 15

36 km

Wiltz

·33·

Carte Bastogne N

RAVeL L 163

© V. DELMÉE

. Luzery

N4

53 Bastogne Barracks

N 874

. Bizôry

Mémorial du Mardasson

. Mageret

Bastogne War Museum

BASTOGNE

. Benonchamps

54 P N 84

RAVeL L 164

. Wardin

. Marvie 55

WILTZ (GDL)

E -25 N4

Practical information

.

V TC

ROAD TYPE: a RAVeL route all the way. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: 36 km altogether, there and back. It’s a descending route for the outward journey. Reserve your strength for the return trip! RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 12.

505 m

480 m

Bastogne

Mardasson

320 m

Wiltz

Carte Bastogne

START: the railway station, on the RAVeL, Nord direction Wiltz, RAVeL L 163

PARKING: at the .disused station atN 874Bastogne, Luzery . Bizôry Place de la53Gare, near the Athénée Royal (school). Mémorial du Mardasson . Mageret Bastogne Barracks

Bastogne War Museum

N4 BASTOGNE . Benonchamps SIGNPOSTING: from the station, follow the signs 54 P for RAVeL L164, direction Wiltz. Départ RAVeL L 164 . Wardin N 84

. Marvie

Bastogne Ardennes 44 Museum

55

WILTZ (GDL)

Province de Luxembourg

E -25

81

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200

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A pic vert is a woodpecker. PICVerts is short “Plans d’Itinéraires Communaux verts”, a public greenway scheme. The play on words will seem totally apt on this pleasant and easy RAVeL route through forest beside the River Lesse, in the heart of the Ardennes. From the very first turn of our wheels we can hear the murmur of the surging river mixed with birdsong. On the RAVeL, to follow the wild, wandering River Lesse is exhilarating. From its source on the Plateau de Paliseul it crosses no inhabited place: pollution seems a distant problem in this corner of the Ardennes… Our path along its course is a joy to behold. This former tramway linked Wellin to Graide until 1958. It has now been rehabilitated as a greenway for the pleasure of walkers and cyclists. A little after the road that leads to Daverdisse, we head into the heart of the forest, now following the Almache, a tributary of the Lesse. It leads us to a wooden bridge. At the edge of the forest, the hamlet of Gembes comes into view, a place of wonderful calm and serenity, which the surrounding forest seems to have protected from the passage of time.

© P. PAUQUAY

The “PICVerts” route along the River Lesse To discover… · Euro Space Center (8 km) Everything about space and space travel. Devant les Hêtres, 1 - 6890 Transinne www.eurospacecenter.be · Redu, Village du Livre Some 15 bookshops appeal to both booklovers and the curious alike. www.redu-villagedulivre.be (French and Dutch only)

Good to know! PICVerts is a local network of public routes (greenways, lanes, tracks and paths) reserved for non-motorised users – a perfect complement to the RAVeL system! Bike hire is available at the Syndicat d’Initiative.

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SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Allée des Marronniers, 1A - 6929 Daverdisse Tél. +32(0)84 31 59 92 www.bouillon-tourisme.be

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320 m

260 m 200 m Neupont Difficulty: 1/5 Easy

26 km

Moulin de Daverdisse 2h

Gembes

·34·

Daverdisse

Carte Daverdisse N

Neupont . P

P

Ancienne gare de Redu N 857 N 855

La Lesse RAVeL L 518

N 835

! © P. PAUQUAY

DAVERDISSE

Transinne

L’Almache Pré-RAVeL L 518

Séchery. La Lesse

Gembes .

Euro Space Center

Redu . Village du Livre

L’Almache Musée du Sabot

Porcheresse

320 m

260 m

Practical information

200 m

V TC

ROAD TYPE: asphalt or metalled RAVeL, with a stony surface. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC).

Moulin de Daverdisse

Neupont

Gembes

Carte Daverdisse START: from Neupont, Rue Les Glaumonts, finishing Nord Neupont at the Pont des Rives at Porcheresse. Or. theDépart reverse if you are doing this route the other way. P

DIFFICULTY: a dedicated cycle route, without any great difficulties (26 km altogether, there and back).

PARKING: Ry des Glands and various parking places P along the Route Pierre Napoléon AncienneBonaparte. gare de Redu

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 8.

SIGNPOSTING: follow the blue signs of the PICVerts network. N 855

N 857

La Lesse RAVeL L 518

N 835

!

Province de Luxembourg

83

DAVERDISSE

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L’Almache RAVeL L 518

Transinne Séchery. La Lesse

Euro Space Center

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“Cyruse”, in the valleys of the Rulles and Semois From “Cyclotourisme en vallées de Rulles et Semois” we get “Cyruse”, a local network of cycle routes. This one follows the points-noeuds to discover the beautiful area that lies between the woodlands of the Forêt d’Anlier and the distinctive landscape the Gaume region. From the station at Marbehan the road quickly becomes mischievous, with a series of twists and turns and hills – but these are easily dealt with. Via Mortinsart and Nantimont, the Cyruse route takes us to Habay-la-Vieille, a pretty village close to Habay-la-Neuve. In passing the ponds, we are brushing with an old industry… This had its heyday in the 17th and 18 th centuries thanks to iron-ore mining and the forges of Habay-la-Neuve: the forge de la Trapperie, du Pont d’Oye, du Châtelet and de Bologne. The forest provided abundant fuel for the forges in the form of charcoal, and the River Rulles supplied water power. This activity went into decline during the first half of the 19 th century with the evolution of other techniques: steam engines replaced water power and coke supplanted charcoal. Athus, Seraing and Longwy (in France) took over as centres of iron and steel production… On the return journey, a little before Nantimont, on the Plateau de Mageroy, you can see the remains of the Gallo-Roman Villa de Mageroy, a large farm occupied from the 1 st to 4th century AD. We now arrive at Villers-sur-Semois, washed by the River Semois in its infancy. On the plain another river weaves its sinuous course, the Rulles. We join that a little after Ansart, before returning to Marbehan.

To discover… · Parc Naturel Haute-Sûre Forêt d’Anlier The huge nature park that covers the surrounding area. www.parcnaturel.be · Bistrot de Terroir: L’Enfant Gâté A “Bistrot de Terroir” restaurant (see p.12) offering a chance to taste of local beer and produce. Rue de Luxembourg, 13 6720 Habay-la-Neuve www.bistrotdeterroir.be · Jean le Chocolatier Artisan chocolate-maker, offering visits and tastings. Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, 15 6720 Habay-La-Neuve www.jeanlechocolatier.be (French only)

Good to know! Facilities for cyclists are available at the Syndicats d’initiative at Marbehan and Habay-la-Neuve.

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SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Place de la Gare, 2 - 6724 Marbehan Tél. +32(0)478 65 77 38 www.soleildegaume.be www.foret-anlier-tourisme.be

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380 m

370 m

370 m

336 m

Habay-la-Neuve 43 km

MarbehanDifficulty: 3/5 Medium

Marbehan Marbehan

Tintigny 4h

(Tintigny)

·35·

Carte Balade Marbehan N

Parc Naturel Haute-Sûre Forêt d’Anlier

Jean le Chocolatier L’Enfant gâté

© MC MARCHAL - MT FORET ANLIER

HABAY-LA-NEUVE 3

E -411 P

Marbehan .

4

. Habay-la-Vieille

La Rulles

N 897 N 891

5

N 897

Villa Mageroy .

. Rulles

. Orsinfaing

N 87

Nantimont . . Mortinsart

La Rulles

29 E -411

1

. Villers-sur-Semois

6

. Ansart La Semois 2

. TINTIGNY .Han N 83

ETALLE

.Poncel

380 m

370 m

Practical information

V TC

370 m

336 m

Habay-la-Neuve

Marbehan

Tintigny

Marbehan

ROAD TYPE: small country roads.

Carte Balade Marbehan START: from the railway station at Marbehan, follow

BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC).

theNord direction of point-noeud 3 at the bottom Parc Naturel Haute-Sûre of the Forêt d’Anlier Jean le Chocolatier road past the carpark in Place de la Gare.

DIFFICULTY: a pleasant ride of 43 km, with some small climbs, none too demanding. The Habay-laNeuve section uses the same route there and back. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

Bistrot de Terroir

PARKING: at the railway station at Marbehan. 3

E -411

5

Départ SIGNPOSTING: follow the points-noeuds: 3, 1, 6, 5, 6, P 4 . 1, 2, 4Marbehan and 3. . Habay-la-Vieille La Rulles N 897

N 891

. Orsinfaing

La Rulles

N 897

Villa Mageroy .

. Rulles

Nantimont . Province de Luxembourg . Mortinsart

. Villers-sur-Semois . Ansart

N 87

8529 E -411

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To discover…

A mountain bike circuit for all the family This short circuit is a journey through time, beginning and ending beneath the largest medieval castle in Belgium. The town of Bouillon, in the very south of Belgium, is dominated by its mighty fortress, which dates back to the 10th century. The early part of our circuit passes through this historic town, with pretty views back to the castle. This magnificent little road leads us along the banks of the River Semois where, further along, the Abbaye de Cordemois is located (you can visit the abbey’s little shop). We continue along the river to reach a barbecue shelter and then an old mill, the Moulin de l’Epine. Here we take a stony track: this is the only tricky stretch of this route. We have to haul ourselves up to the Plateau de Curfoz via a broad-leaved forest. At its far edge, meadows herald the outskirts of the village of Curfoz, where we take the route back down towards Bouillon. At the foot, we can admire the setting of this historic town. Built on a long and narrow spur of rock, the fortress seems to hold everything in balance. Now we should take the opportunity to visit the castle, and drink in the magnificent views from its ramparts.

· Château Fort de Bouillon Bouillon’s splendid castle, the oldest and most interesting vestige of feudal history in Belgium. Esplanade Godefroy, 1 - 6830 Bouillon www.bouillon-initiative.be · Archéoscope Godefroid de Bouillon A multi-media presentation about Godfrey of Bouillon (1060–1100), a leader of the First Crusade. Parc à Gibier Quai des Saulx, 14 - 6830 Bouillon www.archeoscopebouillon.be · Parc animalier de Bouillon A wildlife park and zoo, with 70 species of animals. Chemin de Chanteraine - 6830 Bouillon www.parcanimalierdebouillon.be

Good to know! Discover this region by attending the mountain bike rally called the “Grand Raid Godefroy”, in September, or by following the signposted circuits called by that name. www.grandraidgodefroy.be (French only)

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MAISON DU TOURISME DU PAYS DE BOUILLON EN ARDENNE Quai des Saulx, 12 - 6830 Bouillon Tél. 32 (0)61 46 52 11 www.bouillon-tourisme.be

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215 m

215 m

Curfoz

Bouillon

1h

Bouillon

Bouillon

3/5

Difficulty: Medium

10 km

Carte Balade Bouillon

·36·

© WBT - SPRL CERNIX - P. PAUQUAY

N

Botassart . N 89

. Noirefontaine

N 865

Curfoz . Tombeau du Géant N 828 N 89

Moulin de l’Épine . La Semois . Abbaye de Cordemois P

Château Fort de Bouillon Archéoscope Godefroid de Bouillon Parc animalier de Bouillon

BOUILLON

La Semois N 89

365 m

215 m

215 m

Practical information

VTT

Curfoz

Bouillon

Bouillon

ROAD TYPE: minor roads, stony tracks and dirt tracks.

Carte Balade Bouillon START: from the Pont de Liège (bridge), follow the

BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) recommended.

banks Nord of the Semois to the Pont de Cordemoy (a.k.a. “Pont de la Poulie”, pulley bridge).

DIFFICULTY: a pleasant circuit of 10 km, but with one steep climb. A good run for occasional mountain bikers. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 12.

PARKING: along the River Semois. Botassart .

SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT signs (yellow N 89 . Noirefontaine triangles and round discs). N 865

Curfoz . Tombeau du Géant

Province de Luxembourg

87

N 828 N 89

Moulin de l’Épine .

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Val

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© A. REUTER - MT GAUME

Car

To discover… · Musée Gaumais Museum about the cultural identity of the Gaume region, in a 17th-century former monastery. Rue d’Arlon, 38-40 - 6760 Virton www.museesgaumais.be (French only)

The Rabais valley, an escape into nature in the Gaume

· Parc archéologique et Musée lapidaire de Montauban-Buzenol Archaeological park and museum, in a site surrounded by ramparts. 6743 Montauban-Buzenol (Etalle) www.museesgaumais.be (French only)

Take a mountain bike into one of the most beautiful forests in Wallonia: the forest of Virton.

· Musée Baillet-Latour et des Guerres en Gaume (5.9 km) Museum of local history presenting the brutal Battle of the Frontiers of August 1914, and the history of the distinguished Baillet-Latour family. Rue Baillet-Latour, 24 - 6761 Latour www.musees-latour.be (French, Dutch and German only)

The sun’s reflection on the lake and the little chalets dotted about in the shade of the woods give the Vallée de Rabais a holiday feel. From the start this circuit plunges us into woodland. For its entire 15-km length, we are enveloped by its damp, leafy, fairytale mood. At first we are in a managed section of high forest, where tree species of various ages co-exist. On these winding paths we can admire the shapes thrown by the beech trees and the resulting plays of light. This type of forest is also very resistant to wind, and thinning prevents the accumulation of too much snow on the branches. Leaving the high forest, the route twists and turns to reach Croix Rouge and its holed rock called the “Trou des Fées” (Fairy Caves), part of a limestone formation of strange shapes. From the crossroads we descend into the Vallée de Rabais, where the 1.5-km “Sentier des Songes” (Path of Dreams) begins, an unusual artistic trail which you can follow by bike.

Good to know! Here’s a tempting challenge for beer-loving cyclists: the 78-km “La Boucle de l’Orval” (The Orval Loop) crosses the Gaume region, with a visit to the Abbaye d’Orval to sample its famous Trappist beer. www.soleildegaume.be

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D a

MAISON DU TOURISME DE GAUME Rue des Grasses-Oies, 2b - 6760 Virton Tél. +32 (0)63 57 89 04 www.soleildegaume.be

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245 m

245 m

Diffi culty: Vallée de Rabais 3/5 Medium

15,5 km

Croix Rouge 2h

Vallée deVirton Rabais

·37·

Carte Balade Rabais © A. REUTER - MT GAUME

N

Château Renaud . Trou des Fées .

Musée lapidaire de Montauban .

. Croix Rouge

!

RAVeL L 155

N 87

Chapelle Notre-Dame du Bonlieu .

!

Ruisseau de Rabais N 87 N 879

RAVeL L 155 Le Sentier des Songes

Vallée de Rabais P Belmont .

N 82

Ethe .

N 82

VIRTON Musée Gaumais

Vers Latour

Musée Baillet-Latour et des Guerres en Gaume 380 m

245 m

245 m

Practical information

VTT

ROAD TYPE: paths, forest roads and asphalt roads. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT). DIFFICULTY: a trail full of climbs, some quite difficult among the undergrowth. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 12.

Croix Rouge

Vallée de Rabais

Vallée de Rabais

Carte Balade Rabais

START: from the Vallée de Rabais sports centre, Nord Musée lapidaire de Montauban Belmont. Château Renaud .

.

. Croix Rouge

! PARKING: at the Vallée de Rabais sports centre, Belmont. RAVeL L 155 N 87

SIGNPOSTING: two circles next to a blue triangle. Chapelle Notre-Dame !

du Bonlieu .

Ruisseau de Rabais N 87

Province Nde 879 Luxembourg

89

RAVeL L 155 Le Sentier des Songes

Vallée de Rabais P Belmont .

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Départ

N 82

Ethe .

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302

Att

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© FTLB - P. WILLEMS

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To discover…

The Cuesta Route The Gaume region, also known as the Belgian Lorraine, is noted for its sloping plateaux called “cuestas”. This beautiful “Route de la Cuesta” will tell you what that’s all about. In the valley of the River Attert, we are following a course between the Forêt d’Anlier and the famous cuestas of Belgian Lorraine. From the village of Attert, on the right, we can see the meanders of the river as it threads through the valley. They lead us to Grendel, another characteristic village, with its water meadows to the east that have become a nature reserve. The circuit leap-frogs the contours: the hills and valleys extend west and east, alternating soft rock with hard. This “Route de la Cuesta” also shows us the gamut of local heritage: wash houses, drinking troughs, fountains, roadside shrines – all play their part in the distinctive identity of the region. We come to Tontelange, at the eastern edge of Lorraine, with typical linked houses lining the road. We now skirt the Côte Rouge quarry to reach Metzert, at the foot of the cuesta. In the fi nal kilometres we pass through Nobressart, a member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie” scheme.

· Nobressart One of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie”. www.beauxvillages.be (French only) · Musée Archéologique d’Arlon (6 km) A window on daily life in Gallo-Roman times. Rue des Martyrs, 13 - 6700 Arlon www.ial.be · Musée Gaspar (6 km) In a 19th-century house, a museum about the art and history of the Arlon area. Rue des Martyrs, 16 - 6700 Arlon www.ial.be

Good to know! The Musée du Cycle at Weyler (3 km south of Arlon) is a private collection of some 200 historic bicycles, plus cycle memorabilia. Open all year, but access only by reservation. www.museeducycle-weyler.be (French only). Bike facilities/bike hire are available at Arlon (Office du Tourisme and Maison du Tourisme)

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B MAISON DU TOURISME DU PAYS D’ARLON Rue des Faubourgs, 2 - 6700 Arlon Tél. +32 (0)63 21 94 54 www.arlon-tourisme.be

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340 m

302 m

Attert

3/5

Difficulty: Medium

302 m

Nobressart 2h

Metzert 22 km

Attert

·38·

Attert

Carte Balade Attert N

. Grendel N 87

© FTLB - P. WILLEMS

. Post

P

L’Attert ATTERT

Nobressart

.

. Tontelange

Metzert Lischert

.

. Thiaumont

N4 Musée Gaspar Musée Archéologique d’Arlon

. Lottert

ARLON

423 m

.

340 m

302 m

Practical information

V TC

ROAD TYPE: small country roads. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: a pleasant circuit of 22 km, crossing a cuesta hill.

Metzert

Attert

302 m

Nobressart

Attert

Carte Balade Attert START: from the church at Attert, follow the Route de Rédange, direction Grendel. Nord

PARKING: at the church at Attert. SIGNPOSTING: follow the special signs (see map).

. Grendel

N 87

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

. Post

P

Départ

L’Attert

ATTERT

Nobressart

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Metzert

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Flo

© J.-B. VAN ACHTER

Ca3

A mountain bike circuit at Floreffe Floreffe: a small village by the River Sambre with its amazing abbey… This circuit reveals the natural setting that surrounds it, with its surprising range of landscapes. Following the Sambre to begin with, this itinerary leads us along the river and through the course of its history. On and near its banks we can see how the industrial era has made its mark on the landscape. The trail passes former inlets and docks where barges were once loaded with glass from the glassfactory of Floreffe, or with limestone or lime. This region of the Province of Namur is nonetheless rural, with hedged farmland and vast fi elds of crops. We now enter this cheerful countryside, via one of the most agreeable of roads. At the top of the valley is a landscape of typical farms that have defied time. A little after Soye, the route enters a wood, then it leaves the forested slopes to rejoin the Sambre, a river that is closely bound to the universe of boats and inland waterways – a heritage that dates back more than ten centuries. On our return, the Abbaye de Floreffe, perched on its hill, emerges from the wheat fields. This architectural gem mixes styles (Romanesque, Baroque…) and is impressive in its grandeur. It is a haven of peace, existing beyond the busy agitation of the modern world.

To discover… · Abbaye de Floreffe Founded in 1121. Abbey church, museum, craft shop. Rue du Séminaire, 7 - 5150 Floreffe www.abbaye-de-floreffe.be · Moulin-brasserie de l’Abbaye de Floreffe The abbey’s mill-brewery, offering sales and tastings of the abbey’s beer, cheese and bread. Rue du Séminaire, 7 - 5150 Floreffe www.abbaye-de-floreffe.be · Jardins du Lac de Bambois (8.5 km) Lakeside gardens on an extensive site recognised by the EU’s Natura 2000 scheme. Rue du Grand Etang - 5070 Fosses-la-Ville www.lacdebambois.be (French only)

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Office du Tourisme.

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OFFICE DU TOURISME Rue Romedenne, 9-11 - 5150 Floreffe Tél. +32(0)81 44 71 19 www.sambre-orneau.be

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80 m

75 m

Floreffe Difficulty: 3/5 Hard

Jodion

Ch. du Pavillon

75 m

Franière

Floreffe

·39·

Floreffe

3 h 00

Carte Balade Floreffe28 km N

Château du Pavillon N 958

© J.-B. VAN ACHTER

Jodion Bois de Soye

bre

Rissart am

Soye

La S

RAVeL Sambre

RAVeL Sambre

N 90

FLOREFFE

Franière

P Abbaye de Floreffe

N 90

Trémouroux

Malonne

N 928

Buzet

Bambois

.

Jardins du Lac de Bambois 200 m

150 m 80 m

75 m

VTT

ROAD TYPE: tracks, paths and country roads. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) recommended. DIFFICULTY: 28 km. A little after following the course of the River Sambre, a climb leads up to Château du Pavillon, on the “Hauteurs de Floriffoux” (Floriffoux heights). The route gets more tricky again towards the end, with two steep climbs.

Floreffe

Jodion

Ch. du Pavillon

Franière

START: from the Centre Sportif de Floreffe, follow the Nord River Sambre to reach the bridge to cross it. PARKING: at the Centre Sportif de Floreffe.

Château du Pavillon

SIGNPOSTING: follow the circuit signs (orange N 958 triangles and round discs). Jodion Bois de Soye Rissart

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

La S

am

Soye RAVeL 1 Franière

P

RAVeL 1 FLOREFFE

Province de Namur Abbaye de Floreffe

N 90

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Floreffe

Carte Balade Floreffe

bre

Practical information

75 m

Trémouroux

N 90

93

Départ Malonne

N 928

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© P. PAUQUAY

Car

Up

U

To discover…

Châteaux and farms in the Pays de Namur This circuit passes through the heart of the Hesbaye Namuroise – the part of the rich agricultural region called the Hesbaye that lies in the Province of Namur. The landscape is dotted with typical farms of the Hesbaye and châteaux with distinguished histories. The Hesbaye is often associated with vast fi elds of crops reaching the horizon, but this is not always the case, as we’ll see on this beautiful circuit, which lies just a short distance from the city of Namur. (Note the direction of north on the map.) From the start, this itinerary offers some surprising discoveries, such as the vineyards along the way. These produce red and white wine under the appellation “Côtes de Sambre et Meuse”. Further on we come upon some interesting fermes-châteaux – part farm, part castle or château – such as that of Villers-lez-Heest, a classic ensemble of the 18 th century, fronted by a cour d’honneur (entrance courtyard) and surrounded by a French-style park. As we continue through the villages of the commune of La Bruyère, we might be surprised by the variety of the landscape: from the hilltops, fi elds of sugar beet and wheat stretch as far as the eye can see. A little after a road through the fi elds we come to the last of the fermeschâteaux that this circuit has revealed to us.

· Domaine viticole du Chenoy Vineyard of 12 hectares, producing wine of the appellation “Pays des Jardins de Wallonie”. Rue du Chenoy, 1 - 5080 Emines (La Bruyère) www.domaine-du-chenoy.com (French only) · Domaine viticole du Ry d’Argent Vineyard of 5 hectares, producing wine of the appellations “Côtes de Sambre et Meuse” and “Pays des Jardins de Wallonie”. Rue de la Distillerie, 51 5081 Bovesse (La Bruyère) www.domainedurydargent.com · Bistrot de Terroir – Le Bistrot Café with three local beers to taste: Bertinchamps, Floreffe and Abbaye de Gembloux. Place Communale, 7 5080 Rhisnes (La Bruyère) www.bistrotdeterroir.be

Good to know! You can follow the “La Route du Vin au Pays de Namur” by bike, to discover the wines of the region: 12 vineyards over a distance of 159 km (see also p.9). www.sitytour.com (French only; search for “paysdenamur” under the Sityguides tab)

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D t N MAISON DU TOURISME Place de la Station - 5000 Namur Tél. +32 (0)81 24 64 49 www.paysdenamur.be

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180 m

172 m

146 m

146 m

Rhisnes Difficulty: Clos du Chenoy Villers-lez-Heest 3 h 00 31 km 2/5 Medium

Rhisnes Rhisnes (La Bruyère)

Carte Balade Rhisnes

© P. PAUQUAY

N

E -411

·40·

Warisoulx

Upigny Upignac

Villers-lez-Heest

N912

. Emines

E -42 N912

)

Domaine viticole du Ry d’Argent Domaine viticole du Chenoy

.

. Rhisnes

N912

Le Bistrot

NAMUR Saint-Denis .

Practical information

V TC

ROAD TYPE: country roads. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: 31 km – a circuit which travels through the rural countryside of the Hesbaye Namuroise. No particular difficulties to worry about. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15. START: Take the Rue des Déportés (between the

Bovesse .

180 m

146 m

172 m

Rhisnes

Clos du Chenoy

146 m

Villers-lez-Heest

Rhisnes

CarteOffi Balade Rhisnes Post ce and the pharmacy). At the Place des Combattants take the Rue Saint-Denis (on your left). At the crossroads (picnic area)E -411turnWarisoulx left towards the vineyards (Rue du Chenoy), where the circuit begins. Nord

r

P

Meux .

PARKING: on the Place Communale. SIGNPOSTING: follow the circuit signs (red triangles Upigny Upignac N912 Villers-lez-Heest and round discs). . Emines Domaine viticole du Chenoy

E -42 N912

Province de Namur

95

Domaine viticole du Ry d’Argent

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Bou 2

Car

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© FT PROVINCE DE NAMUR

. Ma

Abb

To discover…

Into the valley of the Molignée Here’s one of the most beautiful RAVeL routes of the region. It also entails a veritable kaleidoscope of history, passing the ruins of fortresses to reach two famous abbeys. Here at Bouvignes, our starting point, the Middle Ages can be seen and felt. You can even hear horseshoes clip-clopping over the cobbles of the narrow streets that lead down to the Porte Chevalier (Knight’s Gate), while the Forteresse de Crèvecoeur casts its shadow over the centre. On the opposite bank of the River Meuse, near Houx, we can see the 15th-century ruins of the castle of Poilvache, one of a handful of castles considered to be a “Fortress of the State” (i.e. built by the state, rather than a local seigneur). A little after Anhée, we can swap our bikes for one of the draisines (railbikes), which run along the disused railway line in the Valley of the Molignée. Further on, back on the road, the ruins of Montaigle provide a magnificent picture of a medieval castle. Our outward journey ends at the Gare de Maredsous, a disused station, now a delightful “Bistrot de Terroir” (see p.12), where one can savour delicious regional dishes. The return journey is easy, as the RAVeL now is on a downward incline.

· Abbaye de Maredsous et Centre d’Accueil St-Joseph Active 19th-century Benedictine monastery, famous for its beer and cheese. Rue de Maredsous, 11 - 5537 Denée www.tourisme.maredsous.be · Maison du Patrimoine Médiéval Mosan Museum and visitor centre focusing on the heritage of the River Meuse. Place du Baillage, 16 - 5500 Bouvignes www.mpmm.be · Falaën A member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie” scheme. www.beauxvillages.be (French only)

Good to know! “Draisines-Railbike de la Molignée” provide railbikes to explore the Valley of the Molignée on a disused railway, between Warnant and Maredsous (trips of 6–14 km, there and back). www.draisine.be Bikes of all kinds for hire: Rentbike, Route de la Molignée 71, Anhée

R c t

www.rentbike.be

B

D r t t s (

SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE Avenue Cadoux, 8 - 5500 Dinant Tél. +32 (0)82 22 28 70 www.dinant-tourisme.com

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150 m

155 m

165 m

160 m

Difficulty: Bouvignes Anhée 2/5 Easy

Bouvignes Maredret (Dinant)

4 h 30 Gare de Falaën

45 km

·41·

Carte balade Bouvignes N

RAVeL L150A ANHÉE

© FT PROVINCE DE NAMUR

. Maredret

Haut-le-Wastia

RAVeL L150A

!

Abbaye de Maredsous Variante

Abbaye de Maredret

Draisines de la Molignée

RAVeL Les Ruines de Montaigle

N 96

Falaën Sommière . Château de Bouvignes .

Le Flavion

Bouvignes .

P

Musée du Patrimoine Médiéval Mosan

Le Flavion

Practical information

155 m

V TC

ROAD TYPE: asphalted RAVeL route, a dedicated cycle path. Along the River Molignée (after Anhée) the surface is excellent. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: 45 km in total, there and back (22 km to reach Maredsous from Bouvignes). No big difficulties to worry about. The optional extension leads to the two abbeys – the road begins just after the old railway station of Maredsous, now a “Bistrot de Terroir” (restaurant). It involves a climb, though.

Bouvignes

150 m

165 m

160 m Anhée

Gare de Falaën

Maredret

Carte balade Bouvignes

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15. Nord

RAVeL L150A

START: cross the N96 at Bouvignes and pass under ANHÉE the railways, where you will find the RAVeL 2. . Maredret RAVeL L150A

Haut-le-Wastia

Maredsous PARKING:Abbaye in dethe Place du Baillage at Bouvignes, Variante by the Maison du PatrimoineDraisines Médiéval Abbaye de Maredret de la Molignée Mosan.

!

RAVeL 2

SIGNPOSTING: follow the RAVeL signs. Along the Les Ruines de Montaigle River Meuse, a little after the pont-barrage (bridge over a dam), take the RAVeL L150A along the Falaën River Molignée.

N 96

Sommière .

Le Flavion

Château de Bouvignes .

Départ Bouvignes .

Province de Namur

P

Musée du Patrimoine Médiéval Mosan

97

Le Flavion

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© OFFICE DU TOURISME DE CINEY

Ca2

Ach

B

To discover…

South of Ciney Here is a nice, energising circuit offering the chance to discover an area of the Condroz region to the south of Ciney called the Sud Cinacien. From the start at Ciney, we’re off on a voyage of discovery in the countryside of the Condroz (see p.52). Typical farmhouses, built of local stone, and other aspects of local heritage punctuate the circuit: roadside shrines to the Virgin Mary, crosses at junctions, chapels and – a high point of this trip in more senses than one – the ancient limetree, the Tilleul de Ronvaux (between Namorimont and Corbion). We cross the Sud Cinacien by passing “de tiges en tiges” (from ridge to ridge), a distinctive feature of the Condroz landscape, heading first towards the stream called the Lincia where we find the Ferme d’Auwez – this region has secret corners that only mountain bikers can reach… Near the Domaine Provincial de Chevetogne, the wooded paths intensify and lead to some nice discoveries, notably the woods called the Bois des Six Frères, the Bois des Cresses and the Fond de Pique, consisting of fine beech trees and oaks. After this, at Namorimont and then at Corbion, we can see how the yellow stone used in villages around these parts is a key feature of their enchantment.

· Domaine Provincial de Chevetogne Country park with playgrounds, gardens, swimming pools, mini-farm, restaurants etc. 5590 Chevetogne www.domainedechevetogne.be (French and Dutch only) · Bister – Moutarderie (6.2 km) Mustard maker: workshop and small museum. Rue du Parc Industriel, 10 - 5590 Achêne www.bister.com · Bistrot de Terroir: Au P’tit Bedon A “Bistrot de Terroir” restaurant with a “Bienvenue Vélo” badge (see p.12). Place Monseu, 18 - 5590 Ciney www.bistrotdeterroir.be

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at the Office du Tourisme and Maison du Tourisme at Ciney. Hire of electric bikes (and network) at the Offices du Tourisme, Ohey, Hamois, Somme-Leuze. MAISON DU TOURISME CONDROZ-FAMENNE OFFICE DU TOURISME DE CINEY Rue de l’Eglise, 4 - 5377 Heure (scheduled to move in July 2016 to Place Monseu, 23 - 5590 Ciney) Tél. +32 (0)86 40 19 22 www.valleesdessaveurs.be (French and Dutch only)

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R

B

D m

R


250 m

Ciney

2/5

Chevetogne

Lincia Difficulty: Medium

Carte Balade Ciney

Ciney

·42·

Ciney

2 h 15

27 km

N

CINEY

P

© OFFICE DU TOURISME DE CINEY

N 957

Fays Lincia .

Achêne

N 949

Leignon

Bister - Moutarderie

N 938

N 938

Chapois

N 925

Corbion N 949

Ychippe

.

Namorimont Domaine Provincial de Chevetogne 286 m 270 m

Practical information

VTT

ROAD TYPE: small country roads and stony tracks. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) recommended. DIFFICULTY: 27 km. Some climbs, and sometimes mud on the tracks, depending on the season. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 15.

270m

250 m

Ciney

Chevetogne

Lincia

Ciney

Carte Balade Ciney START: from the tourist office in Ciney, Place Monseu. Nordcircuit begins in Rue Saint Éloi, which runs The Départ P CINEY perpendicular to Place Bistrot de Terroir Monseu.

PARKING: at Place Monseu (parkingN 957charge), or free 100 m away (Parking Walter Soeur) SIGNPOSTING: follow the circuit signs (green Fays Lincia . triangles and round discs). Achêne

N 949

Leignon

Bister - Moutarderie

N 938

Province de Namur

99

N 938

Chapois

N 925

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14

Vil 1

Ca

© VILLE DE ROCHEFORT

N

Vill

To discover…

Discovering Lessive, Eprave and Villers-surLesse There is no better way to discover the valley of the River Lesse than by bike! This circuit provides the opportunity to travel along one of the most beautiful RAVeL routes in the country. The greenway of the RAVeL L150B leads out into the gentle undulations of the hills formed by the River Lesse. The countryside and rich natural habitat along this former railway track makes this a great day out – especially for the kids! After the RAVeL section, the circuit goes to Eprave, a pretty village on the Lesse. Take the opportunity to explore the little streets, to find the lovely watermill, and to visit the brewery, the Brasserie de la Lesse (www.brasseriedelalesse.be (French only)), a co-operative project launched by a group of friends. After Lessive – another superb village – the itinerary follows the Lesse, flowing lazily through the meadows. From a distance we can see the fairytale towers of the Royal Château of Ciergnon, the residence and summer retreat of the Belgian royal family, providing a truly romantic vista with which to end this excursion.

· Domaine des Grottes de Han Exceptional cave system, 3 stars in the Michelin Guide, plus a Wildlife Park. Rue Joseph Lamotte, 2 - 5580 Han-sur-Lesse www.grotte-de-han.be · Château de Lavaux-Ste-Anne (6.6 km) One of the finest visitable châteaux in Belgium. Rue du Château, 8 - 5580 Lavaux-Ste-Anne www.chateau-lavaux.com · Grotte de Lorette – Rochefort (5.7 km) Descend 60m underground in caves for a spectacular son-et-lumière show. Drève de Lorette - 5580 Rochefort Tél. +32(0)84 21 20 80 www.grotte-de-han.be

Ch

.

Good to know! Visit Malagne at Rochefort – a Gallo-Roman archaeological park and open-air living history museum with a “Bienvenue vélo” label. www.malagne.be Bike facilities/bike hire are available at Rochefort and Han-sur-Lesse.

R

B

D f t

MAISON DU TOURISME FAMENNE-ARDENNE OURTHE & LESSE Rue de Behogne, 5 - 5580 Rochefort Tél. +32(0)84 34 51 72 www.valdelesse.be

R

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152 m

145 m

142 m

Difficulty: Villers-sur-Lesse 1/5 Easy

142 m

Villers-

·43·

sur-Lesse Villers-sur-Lesse

1 h 15 Lessive

11 km Eprave

(Rochefort)

Carte Eprave N

. Ciergnon

© VILLE DE ROCHEFORT

RAVeL L 150B

N 911

P

!

39

ROCHEFORT .

38

RAVeL L 150B

Villers-sur-Lesse .

RAVeL L 150B

La Lesse N 94

Grotte de Lorette Malagne Archéopark

170

N 918

La Lomme N 86

. Eprave Brasserie de la Lesse

Lessive . 171

e

N 94

. Han-sur-Lesse

e

Domaine des Grottes de Han

E-411 N 86

Château de Lavaux-Ste-Anne

. Lavaux-Sainte-Anne

152 m

145 m

142 m

Practical information

V TC

ROAD TYPE: RAVeL and roads with light traffic only. BICYCLE TYPE: hybrid or all-purpose bikes (VTC). DIFFICULTY: a circuit without difficulties which follows the RAVeL route, then a pretty road beside the River Lesse. RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 8.

Eprave

Villers-sur-Lesse

142 m

Lessive

Villers-sur-Lesse

Carte Eprave

START: on the N918 road, below Ciergnon, there is . Ciergnon point for the RAVeL, with panels aNord departure N 911 showing itineraries. RAVeL L 150B

P 39 the N918. PARKING: beside

!

Départ

SIGNPOSTING: follow the points-noeuds: 39, 38, 38 RAVeL L 150B 170, 171 and 39. Villers-sur-Lesse .

RAVeL L 150B

La Lesse N 94

N 918

ROCHEFORT .

Grotte de Lorette

170

La Lomme

. Eprave Province de Namur 101 Brasserie de la Lesse

N 86

Lessive . 171

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170

Fa

2

© B. CARBONNEAUX

Ca

Bras

Che

Ma CO

To discover…

Between a steam railway and a village of museums The scenery in the region of the Vallées des Eaux Vives, in the far south of the Province of Namur, is among the most beautiful in Wallonia. The name could be translated as the valleys of flowing water, or even white water and rapids, and certainly water is never far away. This circuit crosses a dip in the fens (fagnes) punctuated with magnificent villages, and the first of these is Fagnolle, a member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie” scheme. On the road leading to Matagne-la-Grande, because the chalky soil absorbs the sun’s warmth so effectively, the lawns are covered with flowers, unique in Belgium. After a turn the road rises to reach the Réserve naturelle des Hurées, a protected nature zone. Here, we are on the top of a hill called a “tienne” locally. The route follows the line of the ridge, with clear views. To the south is the valley of the River Virouin: an old railway line here is still used by steam trains at weekends during the tourist season. A little before Ossogne, an optional road winds its way to Treignes, a departure point for these trains. We head on to Matagne-la-Petite, a peaceful little village, and then the RAVeL 2 L156 takes us back towards our starting point. As we approach Fagnolle, the ruins of its castle rise from the plain.

· Treignes, Village des Musées Treignes has a collection of museums covering all kinds of interests, including one devoted to steam trains: the Musée du Chemin de Fer à Vapeur. 5670 Treignes www.treignes.info (French and Dutch only) · Chemin de Fer à Vapeur des 3 Vallées (3.5 km) Travel from Mariembourg to Treignes on an authentic steam train. Chaussée de Givet, 49 5660 Mariembourg www.cfv3v.eu · Brasserie des Fagnes (3.5 km) 50 beers brewed on the spot, including Super des Fagnes. Visit the brewery, taste the product, eat local “produits du terroir” at the restaurant. Route de Nismes, 26 - 5660 Mariembourg www.fagnes.com

Good to know! Bike facilities are available at Treignes: make use of them to discover the family-oriented Ecole d’Autrefois (old-time school), at the Espace Arthur Masson. www.espacemasson.be (French and Dutch only).

R a

B

D o t M j

OFFICE DU TOURISME Rue Vieille Eglise, 5 5670 Nismes Tel. +32(0)60 31 16 35 www.visitpaysdeslacs.be

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e

170 m

170m

160 m

Fagnolle Difficulty: 2/5 Medium

Fagnolle

Matagne-la-Petite

Fagnolle (Philippeville)

2h

23 km

Carte Balade Fagnolle

·44·

N

© B. CARBONNEAUX

RAVeL L156

Romerée

RAVeL L156 Brasserie des Fagnes

Variante 1

Chemin de Fer à Vapeur des 3 Vallées

Mariembourg COUVIN

RAVeL L156 Matagne-la-Grande .

. Matagne-la-Petite Ossogne

Réserve naturelle des Hurées

P P

. Fagnolle

Variante 2

Treignes . Treignes, Village des Musées N 99

. Dourbes Réserve naturelle de Dourbes Le Viroin

Vierves-sur-Viroin

Le Viroin

Olloy-sur-Viroin

N 99

170 m

Practical information

VTT

ROAD TYPE: earth tracks, farmland access roads and RAVeL. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT) recommended. DIFFICULTY: a magnificent ride, following the ridges of hills called “tiennes”. Optional route 1 (shortening the circuit to 15 km) gives access to the RAVeL from Matagne-la-Grande (see map). Optional route 2, from just before Ossogne, leads to Treignes.

170m

160 m

Fagnolle

Matagne-la-Petite

Fagnolle

Carte Balade Fagnolle

RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 12. Nord

START: from the village of Fagnolle, follow the road RAVeL 2 L156 Romerée that climbs towards Dourbes. At the bend, continue straight ahead. RAVeL 2 L156 PARKING: in the village of Fagnolle, or beside Brasserie des Fagnes Variante 1 RAVeL 2 L156 CheminRAVeL. de Fer à Vapeur des 3 Vallées the . Matagne-la-Petite Matagne-la-Grande . Mariembourg

COUVIN SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT circuit signs (blue Réserve naturelle P des Hurées triangles and round discs). P

. Fagnolle

Ossogne

Variante 2

Départ . Dourbes

Treignes . Province de Namur Treignes, 103 Village des Musées N 99

Réserve naturelle de Dourbes Le Viroin

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180

Vre

2

© MT DE L’ARDENNE NAMUROISE

Ca

Along the River Semois What a great pleasure it is to ride along the River Semois… This is one of Belgium’s most famous scenic routes – and with good reason! Vresse-sur-Semois, nestled beside the river and with its forest backdrop, has been the inspiration of countless painters… The scene is set for this lovely route along the banks of the River Semois. The village, on the southern cusp of the Province of Namur, has a reassuringly human scale, as does its famous little stone bridge, the Pont Saint-Lambert. The first few kilometres provide a great introduction to the River Semois. Along this stretch of the river, all tarmacked roads are a fair distance away: no pollution, no traffic noise – the Semois has been left alone to pursue its own wild path. The route leads us to Alle, and we return along the opposite bank, every bit as charming. Along the way, in summer, a wooden trestle footbridge – the Pont de Claies – is slung across the Semois. This is a legacy of the tobacco planters, who used it as a shortcut to reach their richly fertile fields all along the river. A little effort is needed to get up to Laforêt. A member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie” scheme, it provides a wonderful setting to enjoy as you take some refreshment at the brasserie L’Épicerie du Serpolet.

To discover… · Récréalle, centre récréatif Activity centre on the Semois, with canoeing/ kayaking, bathing, mountain bikes, segway, climbing, quads, mini-golf, bowling etc. Rue Léon Henrard, 16 - 5550 Alle-sur-Semois www.recrealle.com · Ardois’Alle Underground visit to a former slate mine. Rue de Reposseau, 12 5550 Alle-sur-Semois www.ardoisalle.be (French only) · Laforêt A member of the “Plus Beaux villages de Wallonie” scheme. www.beauxvillages.be (French only)

Good to know! Bike facilities/bike hire are available at Cap Semois, Rue Albert Raty 80, Vresse. www.kayak-capsemois.be (French and Dutch only)

MAISON DU TOURISME DU PAYS DE BOUILLON EN ARDENNE Rue Albert Raty, 83 - 5550 Vresse-sur-Semois Tél. +32(0)61 29 28 27 www.bouillon-tourisme.be

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R a

B

D g v V f


320 m 190 m

180 m Vresse-sur-Semois Difficulty: 2/5 Easy

Mouzaive

200 m 180 m Alle 20 km

Laforêt 2 h 45

Vresse-sur-Semois Vresse-sur-

Semois

·45·

Carte Vresse-sur-Semois N

N 914

La Semois N 914

VRESSE-SUR-SEMOIS

© MT DE L’ARDENNE NAMUROISE

P

. Membre

N 945

Variante

Pré-RAVeL . Chairière

. Laforêt

Mouzaive . RAVeL La Semois Pré-RAVeL

s

N 819

Récréalle Ardois’Alle

. Alle 320 m

Practical information

180 m

VTT

ROAD TYPE: Pré-RAVeL, leading to the RAVeL route, and track passable by motor vehicles. BICYCLE TYPE: mountain bikes (VTT). DIFFICULTY: 20 km without any great challenges, good for a family outing. Small climb to reach the village of Laforêt. Shortcut option to return to Vresse-sur-Semois by heading down the main road from the centre of Laforêt.

Vresse-sur-Semois

190 m

Mouzaive

200 m 180 m Alle

Laforêt

Vresse-sur-Semois

Carte Vresse-sur-Semois RECOMMENDED AGE FOR CHILDREN: +/– 12. Nord

N 914 for the River START: from Vresse-sur-Semois, head La Semois Semois and cross the little Saint-Lambert bridge. VRESSE-SUR-SEMOIS N 914 along the Semois. Continue P

Départ PARKING: on the outskirts of Vresse-sur-Semois, Membre at .the tourist office, Rue Albert Raty. Variante

N 945

SIGNPOSTING: follow the VTT signs (yellow triangles and round discs). Pré-RAVeL . Chairière

. Laforêt

Province de Namur Mouzaive . 105 RAVeL La Semois Pré-RAVeL

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© ARDENNES - ETAPE

Make the most of the occasion – spend a weekend in Wallonia!

Les Logis de Belgique like to think of you as a partner in offering you the opportunity to recharge your batteries in their havens of peace, where calm, comfort and proximity to nature and local cuisine provide the ideal formula to give you all you need to achieve your aims and to depart refreshed.

Logis hoteliers and restaurateurs have developed the “Relaxologis” concept, an approach that encompasses the complete leisure hospitality experience, with moments of discovery and relaxation, and truly happy occasions to share with family or friends. www.logishotels.com • www.logis.be

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Accueil Champêtre en Wallonie (literally “Country Welcome in Wallonia”) is an association of 450 families who will warmly welcome you to 800 places to stay, eat, shop and more, on farms and in the countryside. Are you are looking for accommodation (unusual gîtes, B&Bs), country leisure activities, farm produce or perhaps a “restaurant à la ferme” (farm restaurant)? You can trust our network to help you discover the best and most delicious of these that Wallonia has to offer! www.accueilchampetre.be (French and Dutch only) In the heart of the Ardennes you can find a large and varied range of holiday homes, all managed with the greatest care. Everyone has their own style and needs: the luxury and comfort of a hypermodern villa with a swimming pool is what some people dream of; others want the authentic charm of a house by a forest… See and reserve at: www.ardennes-etape.co.uk www.ardenneresidences.com (French and Dutch only) www.belvilla.be (French and Dutch only) www.ardennes-online.com (French and Dutch only) Holiday villages in Wallonia www.vilvac.be (French only)

© ARDENNES - ETAPE

Les Gîtes et Chambres d’hôtes de Wallonie represents more than 1200 gîtes (selfcatering accommodation) and B&Bs that meet the high quality that our label demands. Whether you are looking for a charming gîte in the Ardennes, a chalet in the woods, an authentic château, a gîte with a swimming pool or a romantic B&B, we can provide you with accommodation to match your dreams! Reserve your accommodation on line at www.belholidays.com Youth hostels offer cyclists and backpackers comfortable accommodation at affordable prices. Whether located in towns noted for their art and cultural attractions (Mons, Tournai, Namur, Liège) or in the Ardennes (Champlon, Malmedy, Bouillon), all our hostels in Wallonia offer the cycle-friendly facilities associated with the “Bienvenue Vélo” label. www.lesaubergesdejeunesse.be

The “Gîtes d’Accueil”and “Gîtes de Groupe” of the Centre Belge du Tourisme des Jeunes ASBL offer services and themed holidays specially adapted for young people and families. www.gitesdetape.be (French and Dutch only) La Fédération des Campings de Wallonie (Federation of Campsites in Wallonia) has been running for 11 years now, offering discounts for various kinds of accommodation (campsites, gîtes, B&Bs) and for more than 200 tourist sites, attractions, adventure parks, local products, shops etc. www.campingbelgique.be (French only) All accommodation offering special services for cyclists can be found at www.cyclinginwallonia.com

Combine online reservation for your stay and your activities There are various dedicated platforms in Wallonia… For example, in the Province of Liège, www.oufti.be offers packages of accommodation + activities/events. For the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure, see www.lepaysdeslacs.be Among the platforms selling products, there are a great number of internet sites offering complete packages, for example for the Cantons de l’Est, see www.eastbelgium.com/fr/manger-dormir/ hebergements/offres-forfaitaires (French, Dutch and German only). Dive in! 107

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© COEURDELARDENNE.BE

Big cycling events! Just as numerous Belgian racing cyclists have become world-famous, so too do numerous top-ranking, internationally recognised cycle races take place in Belgium each year – and more especially in Wallonia. This includes “La Doyenne” of the classics, Liège-BastogneLiège, as well as La Flèche Wallonne and the Grand Prix de Wallonie. Wallonia also regularly hosts big competitions such as the Championnat de Belgique sur Route (Belgian National Road Race Championship) at the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure, and popular mountain bike festivals, such as the Roc d’Ardenne at Houffalize. And let’s not forget Le Beau Vélo

de RAVeL (see p.109), the wonderful summer event which brings together thousands of amateur cyclists every Saturday between the end of June and the end of September. Other organised events that mix cycling excursions with visits to tourist sights, sampling local food and drink and other themes take place all over Wallonia throughout the year. Find all the cycling events in the Agenda (calendar of events) listed on www.cyclinginwallonia.com

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A o G


LHuy © WBT - David Samyn

A taste of the Good Life www.atasteofthegoodlife.co.uk

Published by Wallonie-Bruxelles Tourisme (WBT) asbl and the Commissariat Général au Tourisme (CGT) Editor-in-chief: M. Vankeerberghen, Administrateur Délégué de WBT, Av. Comte de Smet de Nayer, 14 - 5000 Namur Coordination : S.Boutefeu, S.Delcourt, S.Villance. Cover photos : © WBT- David Samyn © WBT- Denis Erroyaux • Concept and pre-production : Lielens • Printed APRIL 2017 • The information in this brochure has been assembled with all due care and in any case is published as guidelines only. This brochure implies no contractual obligation and the publisher cannot be held liable. All dates are correct at the time of printing and may be subject to change. Disclaimer of liability for advice about the itineraries: we decline all responsibility with regard to the information given about the routes and circuits, the signposting, and the state of repair of the roads and tracks. Neither Wallonie-Bruxelles Tourisme asbl nor the Commissariat Général au Tourisme can be held liable for any errors, involuntary omissions or future amendments. 109

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Durbuy © WBT - Bruno D’Alimonte

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www.whybelgium.co.uk www.belgium-tourism.be

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Profile for Wallonia Belgium Tourism

Discover Wallonia by bike  

45 trails to discover!

Discover Wallonia by bike  

45 trails to discover!