This touristic region constitutes the southern part of Belgium – say from Namur and south – and is dotted with ancient forests, green meadows, imposing castles, and old cities stepped in history.
The Belgian Ardenens share a natural border with France, Germany, and Luxembourg. Thanks to their unspoilt natural scenery and rich cultural traditions, the Belgian Ardennes have become a prime tourist destination for nature lovers, foodies, and those seeking to disconnect from the hectic pace of urban life.
This Belgian region has a mild continental climate, which is characterised by rather warm summers and abundant precipitation at other times of the year. In fact, the amount of rainfall is one of the most important factors to bear in mind when it comes to choosing the right time for a holliday in the Belgian Ardennes, as abundant precipitation can interfere with outdoor activities. November, December, and January are the wettest months, and have an average of 19 days of rain every month.
Due to the region's elevation (which ranges between 1,148 and 2,276 feet), maximum temperatures are often lower than in other parts of Belgium. The hottest months are July and August, but even at this time of the year the thermometers in low-lying areas rarely rise above 23°C. The best months to visit the region are June, July, and September, as the mild temperatures are ideal for the practice of outdoor activities, which are one of the main reasons why people visit this area.
Main sights and attractions in the Belgian Ardennes
For several centuries, the Belgian Ardennes have been mostly known as an agricultural region, and the area has remained rich in resources like minerals (phosphates, iron, coal, and zinc) and timber (mostly oak and fir). The Ardennes are packed with rural landscapes where time seems to have stood still. Visitors will have countless opportunities to observe how traditional farming and cattle-raising practices are still current in this region. For this very same reason, the Belgian Ardennes are the ideal destination for nature lovers, as the scenic beauty of the region is unmatched and constitutes a paradise for keen outdoors enthusiasts.
A holiday in the Belgian Ardennes during the summer months is ideal for the practice of activities and sports like river fishing, cycling, golfing, spelunking, horse riding, kayaking, canoeing, and mountain climbing. During the winter, the snow-capped mountains provide the ideal backdrop for the practice of snow sports, like cross-country skiing, snow scooter racing, or tobogganing.
At other times of the year, the cities and towns of the Ardenne region offer plentiful opportunities to get immersed in the local culture and to discover the area's rich heritage. Some of the most popular urban attractions include the beautiful fortified city of Namur, and the lively and popular city of Liege.
The culinary heritage in the Ardennes is heavily influenced by traditional French, German, and Belgian gastronomy. Hearty stews featuring wild game meat and seasonal produce are typical in this region, and so are charcuterie items (cold meat appetizers), such as jambon d'Ardennes (smoked ham). Pork liver pâté is also a common starter.
Other regional specialties include the following: sirop de Liege (a fruit-based jelly spread eaten as a dessert), Liege waffles, couque de Dinat (a honey and wheat flour biscuit), croustillons (deep fried and sweetened dough), tripe sausage, roast rabbit, venison casserole, sliced turbot fillet, vegetable stew, and waterzooi (fish soup).
Size: 11.951 square kilometers
Population: approximately 1.850.000
Provinces: Namur, Liege, Luxembourg
Landscape: Farmlands, green pastures, rolling hills, meandering valleys, rugged mountain scenery, and dense oak forests