Château de Walzin belongs to Belgium’s most jaw-dropping castles. Located high on a cliff, it speaks to anyone’s imagination and could easily feature in any fairytale. No wonder that Walzin Castle is often mentioned in a list of the most beautiful castles in Belgium!
Adding up to the experience is that Walzin Castle is often an adventure to reach and the castle is private, meaning that it is not open for the public to visit. This leaves us with nothing but a wonderful, mysterious castle surrounded by forests and protected by the cliffs alongside the river Lesse.
Château de Walzin is located in Dinant, in the province of Namur. The castle was built in the 11th century and is currently owned by Count & Countess Alexis de Limburg-Stirum. It was renovated in the 19th century and since then has been the subject of many paintings and drawings. Also part of the castle property is the old water mill on the banks of the river Lesse below the castle. Unfortunately, this mill needs urgent renovations and is closed to the public (but easy to admire) as well.
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How to reach Château de Walzin
That’s the main question, right? There are 2 ways to reach Walzin Castle: by car or on foot. By car, you can drive your way to the banks of the river Lesse in Rue du Barrage, although there’s not a lot of space to park your car. From here, you can follow a path that leads you over a bridge crossing the river Lesse. You then come out at the meadow in front of the castle.
The second option is to follow the hiking trail that passes by Walzin Castle. Recommended is the 2 castles route that takes you past the Castle of Vêves and the Castle of Walzin. This hiking route is 15 km long and starts at the station of Gendron-Celles. Hence, it can be reached by public transport!
Best time to visit Walzin Castle
Walzin Castle is beautiful to visit in any season. But some seasons might be better for different activities.
In spring & summer you can see nature thrive, the perfect moment to enjoy a hike or have a picnic stop at the castle! In fall, you can watch the leaves change colors which makes Château de Walzin the perfect destination for fall foliage.
In winter, you might be able to witness a magical white carpet covering the region. However, if you love greenery, winter might not be the perfect time to visit. Also, because it can get quite slippery, this season is also not ideal for the more adventurous viewpoints.
The best viewpoints of Walzin Castle
In front of Walzin Castle, there’s a large meadow which is the view you’ll most likely encounter when searching for pictures online. You’ll find this viewpoint when walking down the hiking trail for a few minutes and it’s also indicated on Google Maps, easy right?
Be aware that the meadow might be closed off. The first time I visited Walzin Castle it was open and the grass was perfect for a picnic stop with a tremendous view. The second time I visited, the meadow was closed off and you had to admire the castle from behind the wire (which still gives you an incredible view!)
If you want to get to the meadow, or the most famous viewpoint of Walzin Castle, you have to cross a bridge. (Unless you’re like me and don’t know that the bridge exists so you try to cross through the water. I do not recommend!) From the bridge, you’ll see the castle from afar and from the side, a nice perspective as well!
Alongside the river
If you go off the trail and come closer to the water and the dam, you can have the closest view of the castle possible and say hi to all the kayakers passing by! With the trees and falling leaves in autumn, this is the perfect viewpoint for fall foliage pictures!
On the river
Of course, if you want to be really adventurous, you can rent a kayak in the region and view Walzin Castle while floating on the river Lesse. By all means a very unique experience!
From the rocks
The last, but probably most impressive viewpoint is those from the rocks next to the castle. So instead of being on the other side of the river, you stay on the same side and venture into the woods around it until you encounter the rocks. You get here by entering the forest before driving down to the river and before encountering the castle on Rue de Walzin.
When doing so I discovered an old viewpoint at the ruins of another tower (or castle?) completely taken over by nature. Why this is closed/hidden to the public, I don’t know but it is definitely a stunning viewpoint!
However, BE CAREFUL. There’s no one there to help you when you fall off the cliffs. Sadly, this happened in Belgium before and no, it’s nothing you can survive.
Things to do at Walzin Castle
When visiting Walzin Castle, you can enjoy one of the following activities:
- Enjoy a picnic in front of the castle: the meadow is the ideal spot for this. If it’s open of course…
- Hike in the region, passing by the castle but also other amazing places in the region such as Furfooz and the Castle of Vêves!
- Go kayaking on the river Lesse. An adventurous way to pass by the castle! Rent your kayaks at Dinant Evasion.
- Go horse riding. At the nearby horse riding school Cercle Equestre Belle Vue, you can go on a western horse riding tour or take horse riding classes. These tours also pass by Walzin Castle and even go through the river Lesse!
- Rent a mountain bike. At Moss’ bikes nearby the castle you can rent mountain bikes to explore the region.
What else to visit around Château de Walzin?
Of course, there’s so much more to do in the region! Start by also visiting the charming city Dinant or check out one of the many castles surrounding Dinant. Here are some suggestions for you:
- Visit the city of Dinant. Check out the Citadel, admire its beautiful church and drive through Roche Bayard. More in this blog post!
- Visit Château de Vêves, a castle that can actually be visited on the inside as well. Not only does it have the looks of a fairytale castle, you also get to see how the family (that is still owning the castle) used to live hundreds of years ago.
- Drive to Celles, and admire the beauty of this little village, one of the prettiest villages of Wallonia! Definitely visit the tombs of the church as well!
- Hike in Parc de Furfooz. The nature reserve of Furfooz has one of the prettiest hiking routes in the country combined with a bit of historical heritage. During a 5-km hike, you’ll encounter stunning viewpoints, Roman baths, and prehistoric caves.
- Visit the gardens of the castle of Freyr. Freyr is a castle laying at the banks of the river Maas and is well-known for its wonderful castle gardens. During a tour, you can discover both these gardens and the inside of the castle. Don’t forget to also get the view from above at the observation point on the other side of the river (indicated on Google Maps).
- Visit the ruins of Crèvecoeur. Not only do you get a wonderful view of the surroundings, you also get to see the ruins of what used to be an impressive castle with a romantic (but tragic) history.
Where to stay around Walzin Castle?
You can find plenty of accommodations in the region, but here’s a place I personally recommend because I stayed there for a weekend during my time in Dinant.
Honey House is a beautiful tiny home for 2 people with everything you need. It’s located in a small & calm village at a 15-minute drive from Dinant and has the most beautiful view from the bedroom! Although it’s technically a rental home, the old lady that rents it out makes sure there’s fresh apple juice, eggs from her chickens and other necessities for a delicious breakfast. I highly recommend staying here!
I hope my tips helped you plan your trip to Walzin Castle! Don’t hesitate to pop in my dm’s on Instagram to ask me any other questions you might have ;).