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Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent walking Holiday||
|Dates for 2020||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included||
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Ardennes, Belgium - Trappist Beer Trail
This independent walking holiday is the first part of the Belgium Trappist Beer Trail, through the Ardennes in southern Wallonia. This section of the long distance walk starts at the famous Trappist abbey of Chimay and meanders through picturesque undulating countryside with numerous pretty villages.
Our self-guided walking holiday is a great way to discover Belgium's pretty countryside as well as some classic Belgium beers, starting with Chimay, one of a select number of trappist beers. Monastery brewhouses, from different religious orders, have existed across Europe since the Middle Ages. There are 6 recognised Trappist beers in Belgium, brewed by monks (or under their supervision) and adhering to the label which seeks to protect the name from being used by commercial companies.
The Ardennes in southern Belgium has rolling hills and ridges cut through by rivers such as the Meuse. The valley sides can be steep in places especially along the main rivers. Extensive forests cover these steep slopes as well as other areas where the terrain is rugged. Away from the ridges and hills, arable and dairy farming surround the pretty historic villages and chateaux. Among the settlements which you'll discover are Chimay with its 14th century chateau, the stone-built houses of Virelles, clustered around its church, as well as Vierves and Hierges and their chateaux.
At the end of your walking tour you'll be transferred to Dinant in the Meuse Valley, the original home of Leffe beer. The town's main landmark is the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame de Dinant, which was rebuilt in Gothic style in the 13th century. Above the church rises the vertical flank of the rocher surmounted by the fortified Citadel of Dinant that was first built in the 11th century.
This self-guided or independent walking holiday in southern Belgium is moderate in grade and made up of 5 walks moving between guest houses. The walks average about 16km with limited ascents and descents although some paths can be rough and stoney in places with the odd steeper section.
Day 1: Arrival
Transfer from Couvin train station to your guest house in Ardennes region of Belgium.
Day 2: Scourmant Abbey - Chimay
The first day of your independent walking holiday starts with a small transfer to Scourmant Abbey where the Trappist Beer Chimay is brewed,along with making their own cheese. The beautiful gardens of the abbey can be visited, as well as the church. For beer lovers there is a shop and visitor's centre nearby. Today is a relatively short walk to the pretty town of Chimay. You can also visit the 14th century chateau of Chimay which sits on a rocky promontory. 10km
Day 3: Chimay - Dailly
From Chimay you soon reach the pretty village of Virelles, its dwellings tightly packed around its church which dominates the view. You are soon out in the open countryside again, passing the lake and nature reserve of Virelles. Information panels help you to find out more about the local wildlife. You cross and follow pretty secluded valleys including that of Eau Blanche, where in one of its meanders you'll discover the pretty village of Lompret. Its typical light-grey limestone houses create a pretty and homogenous ensemble. Surrounding the valleys you'll enjoy a patchwork landscape of hedgerows and green fields. A number of ridges offer good views. From Dailly transfer back to Chimay to your accommodation. 18km
Day 4: Dailly - Nismes
Today's route goes over a number of hills and ridges which cross the area. Good views and lots of interest including the caves at Grottes de Neptune. Your day finishes at Nismes, a local tourist centre, surrounded by limestone hills. There is plenty to see and do there, including the various hills and geological sites, the chateau Licot and Les Jardins d'O de Nismes. 15km
Day 5: Nismes - Treignes
For useful advice about independent walking and preparing for your self guided holiday please take a look at the articles in our top-tips section.
Once you have booked on this independent walking or trekking holiday, further information about the walking, the region and what to bring, will be sent to you. We do have a web page dedicated to what clothes and equipment you should bring. In addition, our travel shop has direct access to all the top walking and travel retailers. Please contact us if you need any further information.
Accommodation & Meals
On our independent walking holiday in southern Belgium, you will stay in a number of charming bed & breakfasts, guest houses and small hotels. All rooms have private bathrooms. Examples of the guest houses used on the holiday are shown below. They are small, very comfortable guest houses where you'll receive a warm welcome. 4 evening meals included in holiday price.
|Le Grand Reve||Guest House||Lovely large house, beautifully restored with lots of character in the town of Chimay. 6 rooms with a restaurant in the same building||3 stars|
|La Calestienne||B&B||Guest house in a 100 year old masters house. Warm welcome and pretty gerden to relax.|
Transfers included from Couvin train station
Flights or TGV train to Brussels. Flights to Brussels from all major airports. Eurostar from London. Local trains services from Brussels to Couvin, with 1 or 2 changes. Journey time 2 hours from Brussels. Transfer from Couvin to first guest house included in holiday.
End of holiday transfer included to Dinant. Local trains from Dinant to Brussels via Namur, journey time 2 hours.
Note: Please check concerning the availability of a walking holiday before booking any travel plans. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you. We would be happy to book travel arrangements to Belgium on your behalf.
Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&O Ferries & DFDS seaways. Crossings are also provided by train with Eurotunnel. There is also the crossing from Hull to Zeebrugge.
From Calais to the Chimay takes about 3 hours (excluding breaks).
We can provide further advice about parking for the week at the time of booking.