Belgium is primarily known for its historical cities with beautiful architecture, but what most people forget is that Belgium also has beautiful natural areas to discover, caves included!
Visiting a cave is looking at sculptures that have taken nature thousands of years to form, often incredible to witness and hundreds of meters underground.
Most caves have been discovered by accident and after a thorough examination, been opened to the public.
A lot of you might already know the caves of Han, which are often widely advertised in Belgium. However, there are also lesser-known caves located in Belgium that are just as beautiful and attract fewer tourists.
In this blog post, I want to share with you all the options you have for visiting caves in Belgium. You never know that there might be a cave close to where you live or go on holiday!
NOTE: if you want to visit any of these caves, it’s important to make a reservation beforehand because places are limited!
What you need to know before your visit
Whichever caves you decide to visit, there are several things you should take into account. First of all, the temperature inside underground caves is always the same, around 10 degrees Celsius, so it’s important to dress accordingly.
Second, it can be quite slippery inside the caves, so firm shoes, preferably hiking shoes, are recommended. Third, make a reservation online beforehand because places during the tours are limited and can fill up quickly.
Last, be respectful of the sculptures that have taken thousands of years to form! They are very sensitive and when you touch them, the bacteria on your hands can contaminate and destroy them. So do NOT touch any of them.
Caves in Belgium to visit
Domaine Des Grottes de Han (Caves of Han)
The Caves of Han are probably the most well-known caves in Belgium. When you’re visiting the domain of Han you cannot only visit the caves, but also the wild park where you’ll get to see European wildlife! Think about bears, lynxes, marmots, and other lovely animals you don’t usually see at home.
There are two trails you can take to visit the caves with a duration of either 2 hours or 1h15. Besides the usual caves, there’s also a light show underground and a museum about the prehistoric past of the caves.
This is probably the most commercialized cave in Belgium attracting many visitors each year. However, the wild park connected to it, makes it a great experience, especially for children.
Grottes de Hotton (Caves of Hotton)
The Caves of Hotton are lesser-known than the Caves of Han and located in a very small village, Hotton. The entrance to the caves is located in the middle of nowhere, not too far from Durbuy and La Roche-en-Ardenne.
A guide will take you down the stairs into the caves and explain everything there is to see underground as well as how the caves were discovered. Such a tour takes about 1 hour and definitely don’t forget to tip the guide afterward!
There is conveniently free parking in front of the entrance so no need to pay extra for that, however, I’m not sure you could get here without a car.
Grotte La Merveilleuse (Cave La Merveilleuse)
Cave La Merveilleuse is located close to the city of Dinant and a very nice attraction if you’re visiting this wonderful city. These caves can be visited in combination with other activities in Dinant and combi tickets are available for certain attractions.
Visiting the caves takes about 50 minutes where you’ll get to see the beauty of these rock formations discovered in 1904. Moreover, Cave La Merveilleuse is probably one of the easiest caves to reach as the train station of Dinant is just a 15-minute walk away.
Grotte de Lorette-Rochefort (Cave of Lorette-Rochefort)
The Cave of Lorette-Rochefort is often referred to as the smaller sister of the Caves of Han. The cave is located not too far from the Caves of Han, and you can also get combi tickets for both the Cave of Lorette-Rochefort and the wild park of Han.
A guided tour will take you 60 meters underground so you can admire the rock sculptures and a multimedia show. Although it’s smaller than the Caves of Han, it still offers a great experience especially if you want a more quiet place to visit.
Grottes de Neptune (Neptune Caves)
The Caves of Neptune distinguish themselves from the others because you don’t just walk your way through the caves but you get to experience the beauty of these rocks from a little boat!
A 50-minute guided tour will take you on a boat and through a sound and light show ensuring a spectacular visit. What’s more, besides the caves, there is also a 1.5 km educational walk through the forests above the caves, a playground for children up to 12 years old, and several longer hikes in the region.
Grottes de Remouchamps (Caves of Remouchamps)
The Caves of Remouchamps have been visited since 1828 and even after that, new connected caves have been discovered. The largest cave is about 40 meters high and called ‘The Cathedral’.
A guided tour is available which takes about 1h15, mostly walking through the caves. Surprisingly, the return through the caves is made on the underground river by boat, which they claim to be the longest underground boat tour in the world!
They also have a shuttle bus that takes you from the nearest train station to the caves for an extra €5. Perfect if you don’t have a car at your disposal!
Grotte de Comblain (Cave of Comblain)
The Cave of Comblain has been discovered in 1900 when a dog accidentally fell into a hole in the ground. After the discovery of many more chambers, the cave became accessible to the public.
A guided tour here takes about 75 minutes and gives you a nice overview of all the discoveries that have been made here in the past century. There is also a little museum connected to it, as well as a cafeteria and free parking.
La Grotte Scladina (The Scladina Cave)
The Scladina cave is actually more an archeologic site than a tourist attraction. Ever since the discovery of the cave in 1971, archeologists (and those in training) have been studying the remains of the Neanderthals who used to live here thousands of years ago.
It’s possible to take a guided tour led by an archeologist who will explain to you everything about the history of the cave and all archeological discoveries made here. However, these tours are only available on Sundays or school holidays so make sure you plan beforehand!
The discoveries made in this cave are also displayed at the Espace Muséal d’Andenne which is just a 15-minute drive away from the cave.
Grottes de Goyet (Caves of Goyet)
The Caves of Goyet are, just like the Scladina Cave, an archeological site where many discoveries have been made in the past. For example, the skull of the oldest dog in the world has been found here, as well as the remains of a 12-year old child of several thousand years ago.
A guided tour takes about 1h45 and is led by an archeologist who will explain everything about the history of these precious caves during a 2 km walk. Plus, after your visit to the caves, there is plenty of choice for longer hikes in the region!
Which caves in Belgium should you visit?
As you’ve probably noticed by now, there are several types of caves for several types of visits. If you’d rather want a more entertaining visit that is child-friendly, I would probably choose to visit the Caves of Han, the Cave of Lorette-Rochefort or the Neptune Caves.
For a more archeological touch to your visit, I would rather go to the Scladina Cave or the Caves of Goyet.
The caves easiest to reach by public transport are probably Cave La Merveilleuse in Dinant which has a train station close by, the Caves of Remouchamps which offer a shuttle service from the train station, or the Caves of Han which are reachable by a combination of train and bus.
When it comes to visiting caves in Belgium, there is plenty of choice! Wherever you’ve planned your visit in Wallonia, caves are not too far away.
Don’t hesitate to share your own experience visiting one of these caves with everyone else in the comments so we all know what to expect!
To further plan your visit, you might also like: