Belgium – Ardennes

August, 2016

One weekend in the Ardennes. Although the area is very famous among locals and Dutchies, it’s still very quite and a good choice for a couple of relaxing days. I had  no idea where to go within the Ardennes, but after googling something I found out that Ambleve valley should be very picturesque. We found some nice airbnb in Stoumont, so this is where we went!

What to do around Stoumont

Spa thermen

In the Ardennes you find all villages which famous brand names, or the other way around (; Like Spa, Chaudfontaine and Bastogne.  The Spa Thermen are some baths with the ‘real’ spa water in it. You can swim indoors and outdoors and go to the sauna. Nothing special, but relaxing enough. You pay about €20 for 3 hours.

Hiking

Of course you can walk until you make it, in the Ardennes. Plenty of possibilities. I love the variety of the area: forest, valleys, grassland, impressive arch bridges, the Ambleve stream here and there and panoramic views. I walked from Stoumont to the Coo waterfalls. A very nice and diverse route, about 3 hr. The easiest is to get some walking maps from the area and look out for the coloured poles to find your way. The best bit, hardly any other pass-byers.

The Coo waterfalls

This is a bit of an attraction in the Ardennes, brings a different atmosphere as well. But a nice one. You can have here a overpriced lunch and snap some shots of the waterfalls. You can hire Kayaks, visit a little wildlife park by train and.. go to Plopsaland park (Plop is a Belgium gnome, very popular on child-tv). If you follow the route I did, you actually have to walk through the park to continue the track. The best view from the waterfall is actually also from the pebble beach in Plopsaland. It’s a funny rearrangement, because normally you pay €20 to enter the park, but the walking rood along the Ambleve is still public space, so they are not allowed to refuse hikers entrée! Tell the employees you’re following the track and they will let you trough.

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Other stuff to do, which I didn’t go: thermen Chaudfountaine, supposedly better than Spa, the city Luik/Liege, famous caves of Remouchamps, Safari Park Monde Sauvage and Castle ruins of Franchimont. There are also nice (flea) markets organised in the villages of the Ardennes. Ask around for details.

 

 

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