Discover Benelux, Issue 31, July 2016

Page 77

Discover Benelux | Tourism | Top activities in Luxembourg

Outdoor adventure and climbing enthusiasts can visit the tree top adventure park Parc Le’h Adventure. You get a squirrel’s eye view of the trees and find out what life is like for the birds flying above your head. There are rope bridges strung high above the ground, Tarzan swings and a Tyrolean traverse to be crossed using your arms. Check the website for opening times.

The Ardennes: a hiker’s dream The Ardennes region is located in the northern part of the Grand Duchy. It is renowned for its stunning landscapes, from picturesque highlands to deep valleys, encompassing nature reserves and preserved medieval remains. Countless hiking and cycling routes allow visitors to pass through lush forests and scenic villages. The Ardennes region is host to two large nature reserves: the Nature Park Our and the Nature Park of the Upper-Sûre. As well as protecting natural resources, these parks are renowned for their delicious local products. These include teas, oils, cereals and herbs, as well as beers from the microbreweries Ourdaller and Den Heischter. For those keen on active holidays and sports, the Ardennes is a key region to visit. You can hike along the rivers Sûre, Wark or Alzette, passing incredibly varied rock formations and carved landscapes. The Ardennes region offers multiple-marked hiking trails to wander along, such as those of the Naturwanderpark Delux and the Escapardenne. Laurie Buchet, tourism coordinator for the region, recommends visiting “because there is something for everyone. There are plenty of high-end hotels, but equally there are beautiful camping spots and hostels for backpackers”.

Step back into medieval times The castles of Vianden, Bourscheid and Esch-sur-Sûre are a testament to the country’s medieval past. Vianden castle is one of the largest, most beautiful residences of the European Romanesque

Photo: ©

and Gothic periods. In the second week of October, Vianden hosts a traditional nut market where regional producers sell local delicacies, including sausages, bread, and wines made from nuts.

Photo: © SI Vianden

The triangular-shaped Bourscheid Castle is another key landmark. This imposing medieval castle is surrounded by a circular wall with 11 watchtowers. It was built on a site with structures dating back to Roman times, and it grandly stands above the River Sûre. The nearby castle of Esch-sur-Sûre is believed to have been built around 927. Its deterioration began in the 16th century, and it was finally dismantled by Louis XV. Today its impressive Romanesque tower remains. For those who want to explore the region’s industrial heritage, Buchet recommends visiting the unique Slate Museum in Haut-Martelange. Visitors learn about the properties and qualities of this natural stone, and how to use it. It is also worth stopping by the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch for its military vehicles and weapons exhibit, photo archive, and reconstruction of the 1944-45 Battle of the Ardennes. Your stay in the Ardennes would not be complete without a visit to the photo exhibition The Family of Man at Clervaux Castle. The exhibition was curated by Edward Steichen, and in 2003 it was recognised by the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.

Photo: © Caroline Graas

Issue 31 | July 2016 | 77