The Belgian Ardennes
The Ardennes is a region of extensive forests, rough terrain, rolling hills, and ridges formed by the Geophysical features of the Ardennes mountain range and the Moselle and Meuse River basins. Geologically, the range is a western extension of the Eifel and both were raised during the Givetian stage, as were several other named ranges of the same greater range.
Primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into Germany and France (lending its name to the Ardennes department and the Champagne-Ardenne , and geologically into the Eifel—the eastern extension of the Ardennes Forest into Bitburg-Prüm, Germany, most of the Ardenne proper is the southeastern corner of Wallonia, the southern and more rural part of the Kingdom of Belgium (away from the coastal plain but encompassing over half the kingdoms' total area). The southern part of the Ardennes is the northern section of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and on the southeast the Eifel region continuation into the Rhineland-Palatinate (German state).
In Wallonia (the Dutch Walloon Region), the word 'Ardenne' in the singular is commonly used for the Belgian part of the region and in the plural for the French one. In France, the word 'Ardennes' in the plural, together with the definite article, is commonly used to refer to the French department of that name.
The trees and rivers of the Ardenne provided the underlying charcoal industry assets that enabled the great industrial period of Wallonia in the 18th, 19th centuries, when it was arguably the second great industrial region of the world, after England. The greater region maintained an industrial eminence into the 20th century after coal replaced charcoal in metalurgy.
Allied generals in World war 2 felt the region was impenetrable to massed vehicular traffic and especially armour, so the area was effectively "all but undefended" during the war, leading to the German Army twice using the region as an invasion route into Northern France and Southern Belgium via Luxembourg in the Battle of France and the later Battle of the Bulge.
An old Belgian favourite, but a new tour exploring the Belgian Ardennes. See the best that this region has to offer including the Jardins d'Annevoie and a river cruise, based in the beautiful small town of La Roche-en-Ardennes situated on both banks of the River Ourthe and overlooked by a pretty medieval castle.
Suggested itinerary for Coach Tour Holidays and Group Travel
Depart the UK.
Travel to either Dover (ferry) or Folkestone (Eurotunnel) for the crossing to Calais and continue to the Floreal Hotel in La Roche-en-Ardennes for 3 nights.
Durbuy and La Roche.
Start the day by making the short drive to picturesque Durbuy with its delightful cobbled streets with shops selling all kinds of local produce. Any fans of topiary can visit the excellent Topiary Park located in the village. In the afternoon return to La Roche for some free time in this lovely town located on the banks of the River Ourthe. Visit the Battle of Ardennes War Museum, the castle overlooking the town or stroll through the streets with its many local delicacies and souvenir shops.
Dinant and Annevoie.
A drive through the stunning Ardennes countryside to Dinant, perched on the side of the River Meuse and home to an imposing Citadel which overlooks the town. Visit the cathedral with its famous onion shaped dome before enjoying a 45 minute round trip cruise to Anseremme admiring the stunning scenery as you meander along the river. In the afternoon visit Jardins d'Annevoie to look round the magnificent 17th Century water gardens. Over 20 ornamental lakes and ponds fed by some 50 water jets, fountains and cascades go to make up these unique gardens. (90 miles).
Return to the UK.
Travel to Calais for the return ferry or Eurotunnel crossing to the UK.