In Belgium: Discovering Wallonia

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In Belgium: We wander through Wallonia from forest to valley.

Do you dream of exhilarating strolls, precious moments of rejuvenation and relaxation, discoveries, adventures? Or just letting go? Wallonia has everything to seduce you. Enjoy thousands of kilometres to travel at your own pace, on foot, by bike, on horseback… on country roads, through fields, natural parks or in the forests of the Ardennes.

Need a break? Stop, take a deep breath and admire the breathtaking landscapes and views. Let yourself be lulled by the lapping of the water of the lakes, ponds and rivers, or explore the bowels of the earth in incredible caves. Do you want an activity that will delight the whole family? Make your way to one of the animal and recreational parks or, for the more curious, deepen your knowledge thanks to Ardennes’ museums.

Farms also open their doors to allow you to rediscover the pleasure of contact with animals and agriculture, and many local producers invite you to taste the sweet and savoury flavours of the region.

Are you attracted by action and adventure? Wallonia offers sports activities to practice in the great outdoors, in any season, in the Ardennes’ adventure parks and trails in the middle of the forest, in the Hautes Fagnes or in the first recognized geopark in Belgium. Heritage lovers are not forgotten and can enjoy magnificent walks in exceptional gardens.

To prolong your immersion, let yourself be tempted by a stay in local accommodation. Wallonia Is a nature destination. There are more than 200 attractions to experience.

Take a turn around the Ardennes, and you will be enthralled by the region’s remarkable, exceptional parks and gardens. To begin, visit the castle of Freÿr-sur-Meuse and its gardens in Hastière. The superb classical gardens of the castle are classified as exceptional parks and gardens heritage in Wallonia. They were inspired by the work of the gardener Le Nôtre, who notably worked in Versailles for Louis XIV. And the gardens’ speciality? The 300-year-old orange trees – why not lose yourself in a maze of hedges, or daydream at the foot of the charming Trianon? The beauty of the garden offers a magnificent contrast to that of the wooded slopes.

Then, there is the Solvay regional estate in La Hulpe. The gardens of the castle have remarkable trees, French gardens, woods, rhododendron and azalea beds and beautiful water locales – there are more than 450 species of wild plants to be discovered. The fauna is very diverse: the park is a refuge for many birds and some small mammals, and there are three walks of around 5 km available all year round at no cost to explore the area. Guided tours are organized to discover all the stories and secrets of Domaine Solvay, and may be combined with a free visit to the Musée Folon.

All lovers of historical romance can take their time over the castle of Ecaussinnes-Lalaing. This romantic one-hectare space, which dates back to the 18th century, overlooks the Seneffe valley. There are apple trees, local pear trees, cherry trees, a vegetable patch and pretty flowers in season. Some statues of Roman deities are housed in niches or on pedestals. Visit on request.

But it really is all about nature in Wallonia, and Belgium now has a UNESCO global geopark, the Famenne-Ardenne Geopark. This UNESCO site covers more than 900 km2 in the municipalities of Beauraing, Durbuy, Hotton, Marche-en-Famenne, Nassogne, Rochefort, Tellin and Wellin. The geopark is fascinating both from tourist and scientific perspectives, and it is distinguished by treasures such as caves, soils that are rich in biodiversity, unique rocks and local initiatives promoting the natural heritage. The Famenne-Ardenne also has many tourist assets, such as caves, quarries, parks, museums, arboretums, picturesque villages, castles and abbeys.

The mountain forests of Wallonia are ideal for many discoveries and healing/relaxation pursuits. Forêts d’Ardenne offers 100% forest experiences for four of these upland forests, and the aim of the Ardennes Forests project is to promote stays that are closer to nature, personalized and presented by enthusiasts, all locals sharing their know-how and love for this beautiful region.

Or are you simply a lover of fauna and flora, curious about everything related to nature or sensitive to the environment? Wallonia will not disappoint. Take a stroll along the many educational trails that mark this beautiful region. Wetlands, fagnes (natural regions in southern Belgium and northern France), forests. You will learn on the move. A must!