Historic walls & magical forests – short getaways in the Belgian Ardennes

Hiking Collection by Belgien Wallonie

Hiking through romantic river valleys, magical forests, and past mystical rock formations, you can let your imagination run wild. The Ardennes in the south of Belgium has a lot to discover: Climb up to viewpoints and ruined castles where history comes alive, explore the stone-cladded streets of quaint towns, and immerse yourself in wonderful nature.

In this Collection, we present 15 circular hikes through endless prairie landscapes and moorlands, over rolling High Fens, and along country lanes steeped in history. You follow rivers such as the Ninglinspo and visit monoliths known for their legends. You ride along the shimmering turquoise water of the Semois River as it meanders through romantic valleys. In the west of the Ardennes, you hike through fairytale forests, spot rattling steam engines, and explore limestone labyrinths.

The Tours in this Collection will also quench your thirst for culture and history. The varied trails lead to well-preserved castles and majestic palaces. In the world-famous book village of Redu, you can browse to your heart’s content in more than 20 antique bookshops. The nature and scenery for which this region is known are also included.

These Tours are a great taster of the region to whet your appetite for the Transardennaise, GR56, or the Way of St. James, long-distance hiking trails through the region. You could also consider the long-distance trail to the three Trappist abbeys in Chimay, Rochefort, and Orval. Either way, we look forward to taking you into the unique world of the Belgian Ardennes. We know from experience that nobody leaves disappointed.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Intermediate
    03:12
    5.97 mi
    1.9 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Villers-la-Ville is a pretty little town in Wallonia in Belgium, best known for its impressive abbey ruins. Magical forests, lush meadows and idyllic wetlands stretch all around - a hike that is good for the soul awaits you.You start right at the gates of the abbey - it was once one of the largest in the Christian world. Take your time here and breathe in the history of the region. Strolling through the old abbey area, you soon reach a magical forest.Mighty beeches line the path and together with the sun create a beautiful play of light. The landscape here is as diverse as hardly anywhere else: from daffodils to cornflowers that grow on ponds and along the way.Finally, the path leads you to the two idyllic villages of La Roche and Tangissart, then via a somewhat steeper descent down into the valley. Along a stream that beavers have taken in and finally across lush meadows, you come back to your starting point.

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    Intermediate
    03:25
    7.82 mi
    2.3 mph
    575 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On this hike you will explore the plant sea of the High Vens via picturesque wooden walkways and overlook the unique prairie landscape from the highest point in Belgium.Your tour starts at the "Signal de Botrange", a 24 meter tower with a fantastic view over the Venn. From there you follow wide wooden walkways into the vastness of the seemingly endless high fens - a moor area with diverse vegetation.A part of the east Belgian long-distance hiking trail GR 56 takes you to the Walloon Venn, which is reminiscent of Scottish peat landscapes. Narrow paths take you back through light pine forests to the starting point of this beautiful hike.

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  • Intermediate
    03:51
    7.10 mi
    1.8 mph
    750 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On this hike you follow the ever-winding river course of the Hoëgne, which develops from a small trickle to a wildly romantic rushing river.You start on the beautiful Promenade de la Hoëgne and have already arrived in the middle of nature. The Hoëgne meanders through rock-lined banks and keeps flowing through the rock like a waterfall. At the small waterfalls "Cascade Marie-Henriette" the river gathers in rock pools with crystal clear water. Stone figures built by hikers make this place a particularly beautiful photo spot.Then you walk along numerous wooden walkways on the "Chemin sur les ponts de Hoëgne" through one of the most beautiful sections of the valley. Waterfalls splash around you and small ponds keep accumulating. At Ponte Centenaire you cross the fairytale bridge of the century and leave the Hoëgne.The path now leads you deep into forest areas that accompany you until the end of your round trip. Finally, you can stop off at the cozy restaurant Le Chalet du Pont de Belleheid.

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    Intermediate
    04:51
    9.64 mi
    2.0 mph
    375 ft
    375 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Battle of Waterloo, which should be the last one that Napoleon led, we all know from our history books. It is brought back to life on this hike from Braine-l’Alleud to Genappe and from Plancenoit to Mont-Saint-Jean.While you can already see the famous Lion's Hill at the beginning of the tour, you will first turn your back on it. In the footsteps of Napoleon, you march across vast fields, through species-rich undergrowth and past so many historic buildings and statues.Shortly before the end of the tour, a particularly interesting object opens up before you: Goumont Manor (or Hougoumont) was the center of the cruel battle that took place here at Waterloo in 1815. And the walled farm is followed by other sights related to it: climb the 226 steps up to the Löwenhügel and enjoy the all-round view of the otherwise quite flat but nevertheless beautiful landscape. If you like, you can also stop by the Waterloo Museum and learn more about the history of the place. Only a few meters further you are already at the starting point of the tour.

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    Difficult
    04:32
    9.70 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Near the ancient-looking village of Nonceveux, the Amel River has washed deep into the rock and drawn a narrow valley. Rushing torrents like the Ninglinspo and Chefna are waiting to be discovered by you.The magic of the wild Ninglinspo catches you on your first steps. The path winds again and again to follow the rushing torrent. Small waterfalls and numerous wooden bridges make the fairytale atmosphere perfect. The narrow path now rises slowly and takes you to mystical pools.After you have passed the remote village of Villeau-Bois, you now take a long descent along the Chefna stream through thick forests. A cozy picnic hut with a fireplace, benches and tables invites you to take a long break. On your way through the town of Quarreux you can marvel at the studio house of the artist Guy de Philippart de Foy. The hobbits from “Lord of the Rings” could also be at home here.Shortly before your starting point, you follow a rustic forest path and the banks of the Amel with their magnificent quartz rocks that line the shore.

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    Intermediate
    04:27
    10.3 mi
    2.3 mph
    625 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Not only if you are interested in history, you will like this tour through the wonderful landscape of Bastogne. Terrible history was written around nephew, Bizory and the other villages in the region around the winter of 1944, which you can explore along these paths. By the way, you enjoy the unique charm of the city of universal fraternity and its surroundings.Just in front of the Mardasson Memorial, which commemorates the fallen American soldiers, you start your hike and dive into the beautiful landscape. In the so-called peace forest, you can breathe wonderful air while letting the forces of the 4,000 mighty trees work for you. They were all planted to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Ardennes. A part of the way that leads you through birch, mountain ash, oak and beech and has quite an emotional effect.You will finally come back to your starting point at the monument in Bastogne via beautiful paths through the bocage landscape and along the edge of the forest of Bois Jacques, where American soldiers once held their positions at icy -28 degrees.

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    Intermediate
    04:50
    8.75 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On this wonderful hike, which leads you deep into the valley of the Warche, you can enjoy unique views of torrents, steep rocks and - as a special highlight - a medieval castle.Your tour starts in the tranquil Xhoffraix. Large, perfectly cut hedges protect the small town from the harsh weather conditions, while torrents plunge dramatically from the plateau. As soon as you leave Xhoffraix behind you, the whole beauty of the Warche valley opens up in front of you. A steep path sweeping uphill takes you into a narrow gorge and at the foot of Reinhardstein Castle. For a perfect panoramic view of the medieval castle from the 14th century and the narrow valley, you hike a few more meters up to a narrow ridge.At Camping du Moulin you can stop off at the cozy café "Au Moulin", which has no fewer than 44 Belgian beers. A final rooted climb takes you back along the Coreu stream to where your day hike started.

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    Intermediate
    04:28
    9.49 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,375 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The devil's bed and a gate into the earth lie in the middle of the Belgian Ardennes. The legendary hike takes you into mystical forests and tranquil villages.Your tour starts in Wéris - one of the most beautiful villages in Wallonia. Wide dirt roads take you to the legendary stone "Lit du Diable", the bed of the devil. The shape of the ancient monolith is reminiscent of a lounger and there are quite a few legends surrounding it. The devil is said to have rested here before disappearing into the interior of the earth via the higher-lying monolith "Pierre Haina". During your hike through the natural Ardennes, it is difficult to imagine that the devil was up to mischief in such a beautiful landscape.A demanding path leads you to the remote village of Mormont with its outstanding stone church. You can reach the literal climax of the tour on your way back when a few hairpin bends take you through numerous forests and ridges back to the starting point in Wéris.

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    Difficult
    05:07
    9.68 mi
    1.9 mph
    800 ft
    850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Mysterious nature and loneliness in one of the wildest areas of Belgium await you on this hike along the idyllic reservoir of Nisramont.You start your adventurous hike at the Barrage de Nisramont - a dam that has been damaging the Ourthe River for over 60 years. A rocky path takes you to the top and gives you the most beautiful views of the meandering river with its densely forested banks. Here, in the heart of the Ardennes, the eastern and western Ourthe flow to the lake "Le Lac de Nisramont". Now it goes steeply upwards and you climb from rock to rock from the banks of the eastern to the western Ourthe.Narrow switchbacks take you to Point Kwai at an altitude of 275 meters. You cross a tributary of the Ourthe via a rustic wooden bridge. The riverside path along the reservoir brings you very close to the picturesque river before you end your hike at the dam.

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    Intermediate
    04:26
    8.43 mi
    1.9 mph
    650 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Lesse ripples softly through fairytale forests, while you follow its course on a large part of this tour through the natural Ardennes.You start your hike in the world-famous Book Village Redu. If one were to line up all the shelves of the village's over 20 antiquarian bookshops, the result would be a distance of six kilometers. Your hike today is a little longer. If you have left Redu behind, you first stroll towards the pretty town of Lesse via country lanes. This is where the 78-kilometer "Entre Lesse et Lomme" long-distance hiking trail begins or ends, which you follow for the next few kilometers along the romantic Lesse.According to legend, dwarfs - Walloon Nutons - have found a home here and toil for the welfare of the inhabitants of Wallonia. In thanks for the hard work, the inhabitants of the region put food in front of the numerous rocks. If you walk through the beautiful forests along the Lesse, you should look out for the little creatures. With a little luck and imagination you can spot one of them.

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    Difficult
    05:33
    12.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Endless appearing fairytale forests and lush greenery characterize this tour through the valley of the Masblette - an ode to the wilderness.In the north of Saint-Hubert, your tour begins in the adventurous landscape of the Ardennes. After just a few kilometers you will find the La Transardennaise long-distance hiking trail - a varied route that takes you over 160 kilometers from La-Roche-en-Ardenne to Bouillon and shows you the most beautiful side of the Ardennes. On the long descent to the valley of the Masblette you will always be accompanied by the magical sound of a small stream that falls from the rocks.At the Boulaie du Rouge Poncé nature reserve, a viewing platform is ready for you to watch the goings-on of the forest animals at a small biotope. Until you return to your starting point, the forest captivates you with its mystical magic and only lets you return to civilization at the very end.

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    Intermediate
    03:16
    8.53 mi
    2.6 mph
    1,350 ft
    1,275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Ardennes are characterized by their magical rivers that wind through the landscape. With the Semois you get to know another of these rivers, which has created a picturesque backdrop around Bouillon.Your tour starts at Bellevue de Botassart with a real highlight. The panoramic view is a great preview of the truly fabulous landscape that you will experience over the next few kilometers. Below you is the “Tomb of the Giant”, le Tombeau du Géant, which is surrounded by the Semois. The path now leads you to the foot of this natural elevation and very close to the banks of the Semois. In sunny weather, you can see long threads of algae that run through the semois shine in all conceivable shades of blue and green.You wind up like a spindle to a ridge that towers over the city of Bouillon. To enjoy the view of the Semois loop around Bouillon even better, you can climb the lookout tower up here. An almost alpine path takes you back down to the Semois.Shortly before returning to your starting point, you turn again into the forest and follow the creek of the Grand Ruisseau and pass the small town of Botassart.

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    Difficult
    03:20
    6.99 mi
    2.1 mph
    800 ft
    1,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Pure nature awaits you on this tour along the turns of the Semois and through rugged, moss-covered rocks. An ideal place for wildlife encounters far from civilization.The romantic place Rochehaut is the starting point of your tour. No sooner have you left the typical stone-decorated houses behind you than you go down to the banks of the Semois. The wonderfully clear water splashes idyllically next to you while you follow its course of the river for long stretches. After a short climb you will find yourself in the tranquil village of Poupehan. Opposite the stone church there is a tiny restaurant that invites you to stop.Freshly strengthened, you dive into the forest again - this time a few meters above the Semois. With a little luck, you will discover traces of deer, wild cats or foxes that are native to the area. Before you finish your tour, walk a few steps along the Rochehaut road. At the end of the wonderful hike, you have a fantastic view of the Semois loop around the village of Frahan embedded in the forest.

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    Intermediate
    04:15
    11.9 mi
    2.8 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Wallonia is famous for its majestic castles and ancient villages. On this tour you hike through the valley of the Lesse and some of the most beautiful places that can only be surpassed by a truly fairytale castle.The starting point of your hike is one of the most beautiful villages in Wallonia: Celles. You walk along wide dirt roads through wonderfully remote villages, some of which only consist of a few stone houses. At the Gendron-Celles train station, dive into the forest and follow the course of the Lesse, which has swept deep into the slate and limestone slabs of the Ardennes.You will soon be able to admire a unique rock formation: the “Aiguilles de Chaleux”. After you have crossed the rushing Lesse, you go uphill and with a beautiful view of the valley to the fairytale castle Vêves. The castle is open to visitors and can be visited. It is now only a short distance from Vêves to the starting point of the hike.

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    Difficult
    05:12
    9.72 mi
    1.9 mph
    900 ft
    900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    At Nismes, in the western part of the Ardennes, a special landscape is waiting to be discovered by you - a limestone plateau that enchants with Mediterranean flair and impressively shaped gorges. With a little luck, you can even see a rattling steam train.It starts in the medieval-looking Nismes in southern Belgium. After a country road with little traffic led you out of the village, you have already arrived in the middle of the Dourbes National Park. The landscape here is reminiscent of Mediterranean heathland. The route now leads you into the valley of the Viroin. The water of the river is crystal clear.For a wonderful view of the Dourdes castle ruins enthroned high above the valley, briefly switch to the other side. From the river it goes up to the La Roche aux Faucons viewpoint. If you are here at the right time, you can see the steam locomotive driving picturesquely through the valley.Shortly before Nismes you find yourself in the rock labyrinth Fondry des Chiens. After you have explored the exciting formations, caves and narrow gorges here, you will return to the starting point.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    15
  • Distance
    136 mi
  • Duration
    64:46 h
  • Elevation
    13,650 ft

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