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Heading for the Hills in Southern Belgium

Contents Welcome to Wallonia


Welcome to Tournai & Mons – Castles & Industrial Heritage – Mons & The Great War – Tanks in Town


Welcome to Namur & Dinant – Castles, Caves & Citadels – Venetian Mask Festival – Hitler’s Bunker, Rommel & Spitfire Museum


Welcome to Liège & Spa – Cars, Castles & Chocolates – Liege Battlefields & Forts – Liege Christmas Village

10 - 11

Welcome to Bastogne & La Roche – Bastogne & ‘Battle of the Bulge’ – La Roche-en-Ardennes

12 - 13

Welcome to Waterloo & Beyond 14 – Battle of Waterloo Welcome to Wallonia in style 15 – Weird & Wonderful Weekends 16 - 17 – Ardennes Chateaux & Gardens 18 – Motor Racing & Spa Breaks 19

Produced with the co-operation of the Belgian Tourist Office – Wallonia. T: 020 7531 0390 · · All rights reserved. No part of this guide may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any other means, electronic, mechanical, photographic, recording or otherwise without the prior written consent of the publisher. Commissioning editor & picture editor: Philippe Marée Graphic Design & Print Production: GreenApple Graphics: 01795 423277 This brochure is printed on an FSC certified gloss finish paper. Although every effort is made to ensure that the editorial content is true and accurate at time of going to press the Belgian Tourist Office – Wallonia cannot be held responsible for any claims made within this publication. Front cover image: Circuit des Ardennes © P.Willems FTLB · Back cover: © Spa Circuit

© Château Jemeppe



Looking for a motoring holiday with a difference? Welcome to Wallonia. Belgium isn’t all billiard-table flat. Drive south-east and shift the gearbox up and down for an enervating tour of the gloriously wooded Ardennes. Looking for a motoring holiday with a difference, that’s easy to access in a place which is full of people who speak pretty good English and yet is very much abroad? Welcome, then, to the delightful Ardennes hills of Wallonia, in the South of Belgium. No region of comparable size offers so much variety – of scenery, of culture and of activities – and all of it within a few hours’ easy drive of the Channel ports. You can pack a staggering amount of memories into a weekend here but there’ll be plenty still on offer to make you wish you’d made it a week-long visit instead. This is the land of Tintin, of Inspector Maigret and of Hercule Poirot. And, yes, it’s easy to name 10 famous Belgians – indeed, starting with Eddy Merckx, René Magritte, Adolphe Sax and Jean-Claude Van Damme, I got to nearly 40 before I stopped counting.

Rochehaut - Frahan ©WBT Serge Matterne


Wallonia hosts a wealth of colourful religious celebrations and exciting sporting events at all times of the year. This is hill-country at its most glorious, with vast plateaux dissected by steep-flanked river valleys that are liberally dotted with prosperous little towns and hamlets set next to huge forests where you can really lose yourself in getting close to nature. The roads are generally well surfaced and beautifully engineered as they straddle lofty ridges and plummet down into deep valleys. It’s the kind of motoring experience that makes you want to keep on driving all day. There are castles aplenty dotted around this much-fought-over cockpit of Europe. Worth visiting among these are Château de Freyr, centred on breathtaking Versaillesinspired gardens; the romantically moated Annevoie, with its superb water gardens, and Jehay, with its remarkable archaeological collection and a park adorned with spectacular sculptures. It was here that the Emperor Napoleon raised many of his most formidable regiments while Waterloo saw his ambition crash to an end in 1815.

It was through these same pine-clad hills that Hitler’s formidable Panzer divisions broke the American lines in the massive 1944 winter counterattack which has gone into history as The Battle of The Bulge and whose memorials, war graves and battle sites can provide an evocative theme for a motoring tour with a difference. The strategic crossroads town of Bastogne – site of an epic siege and the place where the embattled US commander, General McAuliffe, rejected a German call for his bedraggled 101st Airborne forces to surrender with the memorable one-word riposte “Nuts!” – has thought-inspiring memorials and museums while in La Roche en Ardenne there’s a neat little museum dedicated to the often overlooked British contribution in thwarting Hitler’s final desperate fling. If you’re fighting your own personal battle of the bulge you can ditch the flab on some exhilarating walks and mountain bike trails, rafting the tumbling white-waters of the River Lesse, sailing the Eau d’Heure manmade lakes in their spectacularly forested setting or, in winter, exploring some of Europe’s finest cross-country ski trails. You don’t have to do it all on your own – the locals proudly claim to offer a bigger selection of professionally organised outdoor activities than any other area of equivalent size anywhere on the Continent. Reasonably priced accommodation is abundant in an area where hospitality is a way of life. Reliable branded chain






Antwerp Bruges










Villers-la-Ville Tournai Mons

hotels, quirky family-run establishments, cosy farmhouse B&Bs, luxurious country manor houses and glorious châteaux are there in abundance to extend a welcome – and there’s the self-catering option too.



There follows a few suggestions and itineraries. Have a safe trip.

Durbuy Dinant La Roche-en-Ardenne


Bastogne Saint-Hubert

For true motoring buffs there’s the wonderful SpaFrancorchamps track museum at Stavelot Abbey as well as the Mahymobile museum near Tournai. This is a private collection of veteran, vintage and classic cars, movie stars’ cars, trucks, buses, miniatures, pedal cars, bicycles, steam machines, carriages and more, with more than 300 vehicles on display. Each has a fascinating story or a special place in motoring history, thanks to the passion of Ghislain Mahy. When it’s all over, there are lots of evocative souvenirs to take home – from those wondrous beers, each brand having its own distinctive glass, to farmhouse cheeses, the famed Ardennes ham, waters from Spa (the original spa town), Belgian chocolates, exquisite lace, woodcarvings, pottery and artefacts unearthed in the profusion of bric-a-brac and antiques shops.





© P.Willems FTLB

Beware the sign:

Philippe Marée Belgian Tourist Office - Wallonia You are on a ride with priority but you will be passing and intersection.

You are approaching an intersection but you do NOT have priority.

Beginning of a stretch of road where you have priority.

End of a stretch of road where you have priority.


Tournai & Mons

Battlefields, Castles & World Heritage Close to the French border is the vibrant and historic city of Tournai, renowned for its art and history. It has the distinction of being the only city in Belgium which was once English (Henry VIII) and is one of the oldest cities in the country, established by the Romans on the road from Cologne to France. In the Middle Ages, the city was a major tapestry-weaving centre. Its architecture influenced most of the other cities along the Escaut river, due mainly to the trade in the ‘blue-grey’ limestone used for building, quarried nearby. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Tournai is one of the most spectacular churches in Belgium. Take a stroll on the bank of the river along the impressive ‘Pont des Trous’, one of the most prestigious remnants of medieval military architecture in Belgium.

For most British readers and lovers of history, Mons is ‘the first and last’ of the First World War on the Western Front. The location of the first engagement by the British Expeditionary Force in August 1914, and the place where the last Allied victims of the terrible conflict fell in November 1918, within minutes of the Armistice being declared. The town has, however, borne witness to many more battles, and is also proud of its origins, dating back to the Romans. It’s also a place of ancient festivals and celebrations, including the world-famous ‘Lumeçon’ pitting Saint George against the Dragon and ‘The Car d’Or’ a religious procession of a two-tonne carriage pushed by locals through the town to reach the Collegiate St Waudru.

© Visit Tournai


Castles & Industrial Heritage There are more castles per square mile in Belgium than anywhere else in the world. Based in Tournai, this suggested itinerary features two charming castles with beautiful formal gardens, including the impressive Château de Beloeil, known as the ‘Versailles of Belgium’. Explore some of the region’s industrial heritage, with a visit to the remarkable Historic Canal du Centre, the amazing Strépy-Thieu Funicular Lift and the unique world of automobiles at Mahymobiles; a paradise for petrol-heads. What attractions does this region offer? z Château Beloeil z Historic Canal du Centre Boat Lifts z Château & Gardens of Seneffe

Boat Lift Strepy-Thieu © WBT Ricardo de la Riva

z Plugstreet 14-18 Experience Museum z Military Cemeteries and the Memorial to the Missing in Plugstreet z The Biercée Distillery z Mahymobiles - a unique world of automobiles z Notre-Dame à la Rose Hospital z The Eau d’Heure Lakes z Pairi Daiza - known as a ‘zoo of the future’ z Mons Memorial Museum z CWGC Military Cemetery Saint Symphorien z The unique Steam Brewery (Pipaix) Château Beloeil © WBT JL Flemal

Mons and The Great War Go on a World War I battlefields tour in and around Mons, the town where the first shots of the Great War were fired by British soldiers in August 1914 and, four years later, where hostilities ended with the final shots fired by British and Commonwealth troops before the signing of the armistice. Along with entry to Mons Memorial Museum and Plugstreet 14-18 Experience, visit the peaceful Saint Symphorien Cemetery and the Memorial to the Missing. Request a copy of the dedicated brochure on Mons Battlefield “The First & The Last.”

Mons Memorial Museum © François Brix

Tanks in Town – Mons (WW2) Held annually during the summer (1 & 2 September 2018), the Royal Mons Club Moto Auto organises a major gathering of WWII tanks and other historical military vehicles. This is the only commemoration of its kind in the world, remembering the liberation of the town of Mons, with a parade of WWII vehicles. It is a true ‘living’ museum with vintage tanks. For a small charge, you can visit the camp during the weekend (outside town - parking on site) and enjoy the militaria flea market. On Sunday afternoon, all the vehicles drive towards the centre and the town square becomes a WW2 open air museum free of charge. Several hotels in town have a private car park which makes it ideal for the weekend. Tanks in Town © A. HdF


Namur & Dinant

Gateway to the Scenic Ardennes Strategically situated where the Sambre and Meuse rivers meet, Namur is known as the ‘Main Gateway’ to one of the most scenic areas in the Ardennes and well worth a visit in its own right. The town’s pride and joy is the massive citadel, constructed mostly in the 19th century and once one of the mightiest fortresses in Europe. Today Namur offers a range of other attractions for visitors to enjoy. From Namur follow the River Meuse

to Dinant, a pleasant and very popular riverside town. If you ever wondered where Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone was born, then this is the place to visit. Dinant is marked by its citadel set on top of a tall cliff overlooking the river. From here, routes lead east into the heart of the Ardennes to towns like Han-sur-Lesse, surrounded by undulating hills riddled with caves, and to pretty Rochefort and St-Hubert, with its splendid Italianate basilica. Dinant © WBT JP Remy


Castles, Caves & Citadels With beautiful castles to discover, formal gardens to get lost in and historic citadels to explore, you will see some of the best scenery the western Ardennes has to offer, whether it’s above or below ground. One of the many highlights is Annevoie Water Gardens, featuring over twenty ornamental ponds and lakes, fed by approximately fifty water jets. Visit the impressive, historic citadels of Dinant and Namur, both offering wonderful views over their towns and river valleys. Starting with a 4 km journey on a 100 year old tram, enjoy a guided visit through the amazing underground world of the Caves of Han. Based in Namur or Dinant, you can pick and choose your daily visits. Here are a few suggestions What attractions does this region offer? z River valleys, deep wooded canyons & cave systems carved out over centuries z Namur Citadel, guided tour of the underground passages z Visit to Guy Delforge Perfumery Workshop z Choose one of the cruises on the Meuse river z Visit to Château Lavaux Sainte-Anne z Check the beautiful Annevoie Water Gardens z R  ide on the historic tram to the Caves of Han for a guided visit

Three Valleys Steam Railway Treignes © Bernard Carbonneaux

z Enjoy a return trip on the Three Valleys Steam Railway z Visit to Château Freÿr & Gardens z Guided visit of the fairy tale Château de Vêves z Visit to the Citadel of Dinant with return cable car ride z Stop at Du Bocq brewery to stock up some local beers z Visit to Hitler’s Bunker (May /June 1940) z Spitfire Museum z May 1940 Remembrance Museum (Haut-le-Wastia) z Cave ‘La Merveilleuse’ in Dinant

Château Lavaux Saint Anne © Aérialmédia

Venetian Mask Festival Held annually in spring (19-21 May 2018), this stunning weekend event takes place in the sumptuous grounds of Annevoie Water Gardens. A highlight is the colourful parade of magnificent Venetian costumes, which emerges from the 17th century castle and meanders through the gardens. Based in Dinant, you can then explore the Ardennes. Annevoie © Hallet Jacques


Liège & Spa Home of Belgian Motor Racing The Province of Liège draws its appeal predominantly from its architectural heritage, which includes the Prince-Bishops’ Palace in Liège, impressive châteaux and abbeys. Nature is another precious asset in this region, of which there is plenty, such as the scenic lakes of La Gileppe, Eupen, Robertville and Bütgenbach, with their impressive flood barriers. For a glimpse into local industrial development, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Blegny-Mine is the only coal mine in Europe open to tours, which are conducted by former miners.

© Spa Circuit


Although entirely inland, Spa is known as a water city because of its natural water sources and hot springs, which are believed to have healing properties and have been drawing visitors to the town since the 16th century. Spas in general get their name from this town rather than the other way around, this being one of Europe’s oldest spa towns. Another major attraction is, of course, the nearby Spa Francorchamps circuit, the home of the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix and many other races.

Cars, Castles & Chocolates As you explore the heartland of Belgian motor racing, discover the region’s rich architectural heritage, such as the Crystal Manufactory and Belgium’s latest fine arts museum in Liège (La Boverie). This region offers another choice of impressive castles; enjoy a taste of Belgian chocolates in Verviers or Eupen; explore the charming Stavelot Abbey with its Francorchamps track museum, or take a guided tour of the famous Spa-Francorchamps Circuit.

Defroidmont © P.Willems FTLB

z Boat trip on the River Meuse & guided tour of Liège z Visit to Château de Val Saint Lambert & Crystal Factory z Visit to Darcis Chocolate or Jacques Chocolate factory z Visit and/or stay at the Château de Modave z A  must: visit the Spa-Francorchamps Racetrack Museum & have lunch in the Stavelot Abbey z Thermal baths & wellness in Spa z G  uided visit of Spa-Francorchamps Circuit – possibility of being driven on the track by professional z G  uided tour of the Château de Reinhardstein or Jehay Castle z N  ature & outdoors activities in the National Park of the High Fens

Stavelot Abbey © WBT Ricardo de la Riva

Liège Battlefields & Forts This tour covers historic battlefields and forts of both World Wars, starting with the Battle of Liège and the story of heroic Belgian soldiers defending against the German invasion in 1914. We visit Loncin Fort which, after 11 days of robust resistance, was destroyed by a huge 42cm shell from the ‘Big Bertha’ cannon. After the Great War, four new generation underground forts were carved out in the 1930s, such as Fort Eben-Ebael, hailed as the most formidable defensive fortress in the world, where the Battle of the Albert Canal took place in May 1940. z Combined visits to the Forts of Loncin & Lantin (WW1) z Guided visit to Fort Eben-Ebael (WW2) z A  udio-guided visit to Baugnez 44 Historical Centre for the Battle of the Ardennes z S  top at La Gleize Museum (WW2) and photograph the impressive Royal Tiger Tank z Guided visit of Spa-Francorchamps Circuit Fort Loncin © WBT - S. Vijvermans

z R  equest the dedicated brochure on remembrance/ battlefields in the Liège area from us

Liège Christmas Village Between the last weekend in November and New Year’s Eve, enjoy a festive visit to one of the largest and longest Christmas markets in Belgium. Proclaimed the Latin Capital of Christmas festivities, there is a subtle difference in atmosphere to the Christmas markets in neighbouring Germany. Numerous wooden chalets offer a variety of Christmas items for sale, including ornaments, local handicrafts, gastronomic delights and regional souvenirs. z La Boverie: new Fine Arts Museum z A  rcheoforum (Vestiges of the oldest occupations of the city) z G  rand Curtius Museum and its collection of Weaponry, Glass, Archeology, Decorative Art, Religious & Mosan Art

Liege Christmas Village © WBT JP Remy


Bastogne & La Roche

Belgian Ardennes & Battle of the Bulge Bastogne is one of those quiet little Ardennes towns that would have gone pretty much unnoticed if history hadn’t intervened so dramatically in the cold and snowy winter of 1944, when it was besieged by the German Army during the Battle of the Bulge. Today the town is peaceful again, but now has many monuments, museums, battlefield memorials and cemeteries dedicated to World War II, all surrounded by the pleasant rolling countryside of the high Ardennes plateau.

The picturesque town of La Rocheen-Ardenne, renowned for its smoked ham and game, is situated alongside the River Ourthe beneath wooded hills. With charming spires and medieval castle ruins, it’s no wonder this lovely town is one of the most visited in the Belgian Ardennes.

La Roche Š Dominik Ketz


Bastogne & Battle of the Bulge During World Wars I and II, this area close to the Luxembourg border was the final resting place for thousands of soldiers who died in both conflicts. The town of Bastogne was the scene of bitter fighting during the last two weeks of December 1944, being a strategic battleground of the last major German offensive on the Western Front, known as the Battle of the Bulge. Discover fascinating tours to wartime museums and memorials, but also enjoy visits to a few of the peacetime attractions, including Durbuy, the ‘smallest town on earth’. z V  isit the Bastogne 101st Airborne Museum with its ‘special reconstructed cellar of 1944’

© Bastogne War Museum

z C  heck the various tanks in the region : (Sherman Tank at Place McAuliffe in Bastogne, Achilles Tank Destroyer in La Roche, Panzer in Manhay and the Tiger Tank in Houffalize) z Bastogne ‘Battle of the Bulge’ War Museum z V  isit the Bastogne Barracks, Museum & Vehicle Restoration Centre (guided tours provided by soldiers to be booked in advance) z B  attle of the Ardennes Museum in La Roche which has a floor dedicated to the British Army z V  isit to Durbuy, the smallest town on earth & home of the largest Topiary Park in the world

Bataille Des Ardennes Museum - La Roche © WBT J.P.Remy

z Guided tour of Achouffe Brewery in Wibrin z A  sk us for a copy of the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ brochure

Durbuy Topiary © WBT JP Remy

The Belgian Ardennes

Bouillon Castle © WBT David Samyn

The Ardennes is a timeless and magical region of deep river valleys meandering through thick forested hills, commanding cliff-top fortresses guarding resplendent towns, with a wealth of cultural heritage and wildlife, the world’s most exciting underground river and cave tours and richly-flavoured’ Trappist beers. Luxembourg province remains a treasure trove of historic and natural attractions in a land of open rural countryside intersected by wooded valleys, pretty villages, old towns and several fine feudal castles. z P  icturesque villages that nestle in the valleys, where traditions & folklore still live on, where the region’s arts & crafts can be enjoyed z Guided visit of Bouillon Castle & falconry show z Visit to the Defroidmont Chocolate Factory & Museum z Visit Orval Abbey (Trappist Beer) z Learn all about Space at the Eurospace Center

Orval Trappist © WBT David Samyn

z Return ride aboard the historic Aisne Valley Tramway 13

Waterloo & Beyond

Waterloo © WBT D.Vasilov

When Napoleon met his Waterloo Waterloo is located a stone’s throw south of the capital. Here, the way was paved for a new Europe on 18 June 1815 and the sense of heritage, which filled Victor Hugo with wonder, still lives on. History comes to life with a fascinating, detailed portrayal of the famous battle where Napoleon ‘met his Waterloo’. There is much to see and do in and around the Waterloo battlefield, which can take longer to explore than the nine savage hours of the battle itself. The tourist sites were extensively upgraded for the bicentennial commemorations in 2015.

Hergé Museum © Nicolas Borel. Atelier de Portzamparc


What attractions does this region offer? z L  a Route Napoleon: French troops enter Belgium towards Brussels (free map available) z V  isit Waterloo: highlights include Hougoumont Farm, Lion’s Mount, Wellington Museum, Napoleon’s Final Headquarters, Panorama & the Waterloo Memorial z H  ergé Museum, featuring works by the cartoonist, including Tintin z Visit the Cistercian Abbey of Villers z The Battle of Ligny Museum

Waterloo1815 © Olivier Cappeliez

Welcome to Wallonia in style Southern Belgium is a haven for those looking to experience a refined and luxurious holiday. Indulge in the quality and individuality of the region’s excellent food and its attractions. With exceptional experiences in fairy-tale castle hotels, manor houses and refined heritage properties in the heart of delightful towns or in picturesque countryside settings, these suggestions are complemented with a few ideas of local visits. As a discerning car or motorcycle owner, why not book some fine accommodation and enjoy a relaxing touring holiday. This list is non exhaustive but just a teaser. Get in touch with us for more.

Manoir De Lébioles © Jo Jeanmart

Les Tilleuls © WBT-AlexKouprianof

© Château de la Poste

© La Malle Poste


Weird & Wonderful Weekends in Wallonia Despite being one of the smallest nations in Europe, Belgium punches well above its weight. As mentioned before, great events have happened there. It was where Napoleon met his Waterloo. It formed part of the Western Front in two World Wars. It has given us Jacky Ickx, Eden Hazard, Jacques Brel, Justine Henin and the saxophone. Namur is one of several appealing towns on the fringes of the Ardennes that make an ideal base for a weekend break. Every May, Namur stages a three-day arts festival when the place goes agreeably bonkers. By day the streets are filled with stilt-walkers, jugglers and acrobats; as darkness falls the town throbs with rock and jazz. Nothing better captures the quirky, spirited nature of the people. Namur en Mai spectacular is from 11-13 May 2018. A stand-out hotel is the Chateau de Namur on top of the citadel. Outside town, Le Castel is a gourmand’s delight. Its restaurant includes one seven-course feast at €70 per head.

Deeper into the Ardennes, La Malle Poste in Rochefort is full of character, exquisite furnishings, swimming pool and sauna and private car park. A few miles along the river Meuse, the extraordinary water gardens of Annevoie host a three-day Carnival, in which scores of people don gaudy, intricate Venetian masks and costumes to meander around the lovely lawns, streams and lakes. Nobody is exactly sure why Venice comes to Wallonia every spring (19-21 May 2018), but to witness this bizarre, beautiful parade in the sumptuous grounds of a 17th century castle is an unforgettable experience.

© Château de Namur

© La Malle Poste

Dinant © WBT JP Remy


Dream Hotel © Gil De Angelis

© Castel de Pont-à-Lesse

Annevoie © S. Render

In nearby Dinant, the Hostellerie Gilain has six exquisite rooms and a gourmet restaurant. Rowan Atkinson stayed here when he was racing his Ford Falcon at the Chimay racetrack which specialises in motor racing nostalgia. Classic Bikes every summer and the European Bug-in (end of June 2019) which attracts Volkswagen enthusiasts from far and wide to show off their eccentrically restored Beetles or any other venerable vehicle with the iconic VW badge. Castel de Pont-à-Lesse located outside Dinant is another good option with 91 rooms and a safe parking area for the car and their owners. To the west, the university town of Mons – a former European Capital of Culture – stages an extraordinary

Chimay European Bug In © Stefan Bau

event every summer that mixes religious history with make-believe, featuring another spectacular parade - and another excuse for everyone to party. The weekend’s events are known as ‘Doudou’. The big day is Trinity Sunday (27 May 2018) when a casket containing the relics of the town’s patron saint is borne on a gilded horse-drawn carriage through the streets. Then, in the main square, a re-enactment takes place of St George’s tussle with the dragon, with the principals in mediaeval costume on horseback. This being Wallonia, there’s a quirky twist at the end. Instead of slaying the dragon with his lance, St George finishes him off – with a pistol! And this being Wallonia, it all ends with food, drink and music. A most unusual place to stay in Mons

is the Dream Hotel near the town centre. This former 19th century nun’s refuge and chapel was smartly modernised recently but retains many ecclesiastical touches such as giant neo-Gothic windows and stained glass. The hotel offers sumptuous modern accommodation, à la carte restaurant, bistro and bar. The excellent Mezzo Restaurant serves à la carte food, while snacks and small dishes can be taken at the Mea Culpa bistro and lounge bar. The shopping street is within walking distance and there is a free private parking with a valet service upon availability.


Ardennes Châteaux & Gardens The rolling landscape of verdant valleys, hills and forests of the Ardennes provides an exceptional backdrop to an array of exceptional castles and beautiful gardens, whilst driving along the highly scenic and enjoyable country roads. Explore the heart of the Ardennes, staying in your choice of delightful hotels from a country castle to a historic town setting. Contact us for more ‘fantastic’ properties. Château Jemeppe**** Hargimont

Hotel Quartier Latin**** Marche En Famenne

Château D’Hassonville**** Marche en Famenne

Exceptional chateau-hotel with its own moat, courtyard and delightful grounds with gardens and streams, where you can enjoy walking, jogging and horse riding activities. Leisure facilities include an indoor swimming pool, sauna and spa. It has a brasserie, fine restaurants, lounges, a centuriesold vaulted cellar with exquisite wines, elegant libraries with open fireplaces, salons, billiard room and even its own chapel. All the spacious, finely furnished, individually designed bedrooms have modern amenities Secure car parking.

Converted from an 18th century Jesuit church building, the hotel provides a rich mix of history and contemporary design to offer a luxury hotel in the centre of this historic town. There is a gourmet restaurant, lounge and terrace at the hotel, along with a splendid thermal spa with soaking pool, sauna, Hammam, spa treatments, relaxation rooms and tea room Secure car parking.

This is an impressive hotel situated in a private park. The hotel rooms are decorated in different styles, but are equally comfortable. All rooms and suites have a private bathroom with bathtub. The hotel is well known for its high quality cuisine. Chef Sébastien Thys and his team enjoy surprising guests with their fine cuisine. The meals can be complemented with excellent wines from the cellar. The castle has different salons where guests can relax and sit by the open fireplace.

© Chateau Jemeppe

Visits: z A  nnevoie Water Gardens with afternoon tea and cakes at the Brasserie Bocow z C  ostumed guided visit of the fairy tale Château de Vêves z M  ini cruise from Dinant to the Château de Freyr z R  ide on the steam train in Mariembourg with lunch at the Super des Fagnes brewery z V  isit the chateau de Chimay and taste the local produces (Trappist beer, Cheese & Pralines de Chimay)

Bouillon © Christel Francois


© Quartier Latin

© Château Hassonville

Motor Racing & Spa Break The Ardennes hosts what many agree to be one of the best of all motor racing circuits and to drive on the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit is simply the ultimate experience for car and motorcycle racing enthusiasts, especially those who can’t get enough of the Formula 1 adrenaline fix. The nearby town of Spa has been a haven of water therapy since Roman and Celtic times. Since then, the name of this town has been used worldwide for the special treatment and relaxation techniques using water. To enjoy your own spa treatment, visit the town’s famous Thermes de Spa. The surrounding region also offers exceptional driving itineraries with some excellent attractions, whether tasting delicious Liège waffles or Belgian Whisky. If you fancy a relaxing round of golf, the famous Royal Golf Club des Fagnes is in the vicinity. Manoir De Lébioles Hotel & Spa**** Creppe

Hotel De La Source**** Spa-Francorchamps

This grand country house dates from 1905 and is set in the peaceful Ardennes forest, just 10 minutes from the centre of Spa. There is a gastronomic restaurant with views over the spacious grounds, a bar serving cocktails and extensive spa facilities. Wellness facilities include a sauna, steam bath, relaxation areas, gym and a spa offering various treatments. Secure car parking.

This design hotel overlooks the famous Spa-Francorchamps Circuit and features a fine restaurant, bar, gym and sauna. The circuit is less than a 5-minute walk and the key sights including the track museum at the Stavelot Abbey are less than 15 minutes away by car. The hotel offers free private parking.

Visits: z S  pa-Francorchamps Circuit Experience: welcome & briefing with the racing pilots, visit to the race control, 2 laps around the track with a professional driver & 2 laps with your own car following the safety car (total duration of the experience is 2.5 hours & subject to availability) z 3  hours entry to relax in Thermes de Spa in the town of Spa z Visit the Owl Whisky Distillery z V  isit to Stavelot Abbey including a visit to the Spa-Francorchamps Racetrack Museum

Manoir De Lebioles © Eliophot-Aix-en-Provence

© Hotel De La Source

Spa Circuit © Bernard Lorquet


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Heading for the Hills in Southerm Belgium  
Heading for the Hills in Southerm Belgium  

Welcome to Wallonia. Belgium isn’t all billiard-table flat. Drive south-east and shift the gearbox up and down for an enervating tour of the...