Known for its glowing hills, stunning valleys, and countless outdoor activities, the Ardennes is a great destination for a weekend away! Whether you’re exploring the Belgian, French, or Luxembourgish Ardennes, you’ll be astonished by its wonderful sights.
I recently spent a weekend in the Ardennes on the border of Belgium and Luxembourg, at Nutchel Cabins. Imagine cozy cabins in the woods where you warm up in front of the stove, make your tea with a kettle, and wake up to the sound of singing birds. No, I’m not exaggerating, this is exactly how my stay went. I’m going to tell you all about it in this blog post so you can have a perfect weekend in the Ardennes as well!
This blog post is sponsored by Nutchel Cabins. However, it contains my honest opinions and experiences as I genuinely loved staying here! Psst, use the code EMMASROADMAP to get 10% off.
Staying at Nutchel Cabins
If you want to have the full Ardennes experience, there’s no better place to stay than Nutchel Cabins, at least from my experience! When crossing the bridge to enter the domain, I was greeted by campfires and fairy lights guiding me to its Cosy Cabin, the reception. Although it looked more like a chalet you’ll find in the French Alps or in Scandinavia.
After check-in, I got handed the key to my very own cabin for the weekend, a Canopy Cabin with a huge window overlooking the forest and an outdoor patio on top where I later had my breakfasts in the sun surrounded by the lovely morning sounds of the birds.
I remember getting instantly excited about this stay. In this serene setting, you simply have to disconnect and relax. No wifi and no artificial noises, only a wooden stove and gas fire. Back-to-basic but then with a little bit of luxury, because yes, I still had my hot shower.
This leads to the first challenge, getting the fire on to warm up the cabin. Luckily, you get all the amenities you need, plus instructions, to make this a success even if you have never started a fire before. And if you need more blocks, you can just get them outside your cabin.
With your fire going, it’s time to fully relax. If that means no cooking, that’s no problem. You can easily order a raclette or bbq basket at the reception, as well as a delicious breakfast basket. It will be ready at the right time for you to pick up at the Cosy Cabin.
My absolute favorite moment of the stay? Waking up in the forest with the sound of the nearby river and chirping birds in the background. No need to do anything besides just being and enjoying breakfast. I had a lot of difficulties relaxing the weeks before, but somehow Nutchel made relaxing effortless.
And that’s also their goal because they will only let you book at least 2 nights or more. So you have the full back-to-nature experience!
What to do on a weekend in the Ardennes?
Of course, I didn’t stay in my cabin all weekend! Luckily, the weather allowed some outdoor activities. On the recommendation of Nutchel, I went hiking in Parc de la Haute Sûre, a natural area around Lac de la Haute-Sûre in the country Luxembourg. But this isn’t the only place you can visit. Below I’ll go over the best places to see on your weekend in the Ardennes.
Hike to the viewpoint of Burfelt
If you’re visiting the Ardennes and you’re willing to cross the border with Luxembourg, your first stop should be the viewpoint of Burfelt. Here you can admire Lac de la Haute-Sûre from above and be amazed by its wonderful surroundings.
Park your car at the parking a few hundred meters from the viewpoint and follow the boards to get to the Belvédère of Burfelt. From here you can opt to go there directly (only 300 meters) but the better option is to choose one of the longer hikes that pass by the viewpoint.
My recommendation? The Naturlehrpfad, a 6.8 km hike that passes by the lake, some of its stunning viewpoints, and the rich forests around it. Alternatively, you can start a hike at the parking of Insenborn and make a smaller tour from there.
Another highlight when you’re in Luxembourg is visiting the cute town of Esch-sur-Sûre. Just driving into the town already felt like I was entering a fairytale! The village is built around a 1000 years old castle that is now in ruins, but which you can visit for free. Tucked away in the bend of the river Sûre, it’s one of the most romantic spots in the region.
Park your car where the hiking routes are starting, and follow one of the short (or longer) routes that take you up the hills around the village for some breathtaking sights. Also don’t forget to enter the castle ruins as well as the separate tower. Your calves might not be happy with that decision but your eyes will!
Visit Bouillon and its castle
Another lovely town, but then located in Belgium, is the historic city of Bouillon. You probably know Bouillon from its impressive fortress, but that is just one of the reasons why you should visit this town. With the Bouillon city pass you can visit much more, such as Museum Ducal and the archeoscope Godefroid de Bouillon.
A visit is also the perfect occasion to bring your hiking boots with you. Because when walking in the forests around the village, you encounter some stunning viewpoints where you get to see the village with its fortress from above.
Hike the Promenade des Echelles (Laddertjeswandeling)
When you talk to a Belgian about the Promenade des Echelles, chances are high that they know what you mean. This 7 km hiking route starting in Rochehaut, is one of the most popular routes in the country. And for good reason because this hike is “not for the faint of heart” as a little board along the route indicates.
During the hike, you descend down to the river Semois on paths that can often be tricky. Good hiking boots are therefore a must-have! On several places, you’ll encounter ladders that will take you up or down a certain path. An occasional climb where you have to hold chains in order not to fall is also included.
After your hike, go for a local delicacy in one of the bistros in the village of Rochehaut. Here, you can park your car at the church without any problems.
Admire the view of Tombeau du Géant
The view of Botassart is another classic, and probably one of the most stunning views in Belgium. Contrary to other views, you don’t even have to put on walking shoes to get here. A parking lot has conveniently been placed next to the view. Does that make the view less romantic? Yes, but it’s still worth seeing.
Of course, you don’t just have to come for the view, hiking all the way down to the river and making a big tour through the surrounding forests is a dream come true. Especially in autumn, when the forest enchants you with its warm color palette.
Tip: follow the 4 km hiking route (number 5) starting at the viewpoint, or choose the longer one (13 km – route 5 + GR16 + route 7 + route 41) to make your way to Bouillon.
Look off the cliffs of Le Hérou
No shortage of stunning viewpoints in the Ardennes. Another gem in the region is the rock called Le Hérou, located in the natural park Les Deux Ourthes, where two parts of the river Ourthe come together in one.
Park your car at the old restaurant and hotel the Belvédère de Nadrin and follow one of the hiking routes that take you down to the waterside. BUT be careful! Hiking here is not recommended when it’s slippery as you’ll literally hike and climb the steep rocks. A lot of adventure guaranteed!
Visit the Provence of Belgium in Torgny
Did you know that Belgium has its own Provence? This is what the uttermost tip of Belgium sometimes is called. The little village of Torgny with its limestone houses and flower fields is THE place in Belgium that gives you that heavenly feeling. And of course, Belgians are proud to have their own little Provence!
Did you know that Torgny is only one of the villages named the Prettiest Villages in Wallonia? Yes, you can find plenty of these little gems here. For more info, check out de website of Visit Wallonia.
Visit the brewery of Achouffe
One of the funniest and most delicious beers made in Belgium is La Chouffe. I’m pretty sure you must have already seen the bottles with the red-hatted gnome on them. Not far from Nutchel, in the province of Luxembourg in Belgium, this beer is brewed. And you can see how!
Several times a day, the brewery organizes guided tours where you’ll learn all about the process of making this beer. Afterwards, you can of course join a delicious tasting of 5 different beers. The tour is offered in 3 different languages (ENG, FR & NL). Cheers!
On the tip of Luxembourg province, close to the border with France, you’ll find the most stunning abbey (in my humble opinion) of Belgium: Orval Abbey! Here, a community of monks practices their day-to-day religion in one of the most impressive and well-maintained abbeys I’ve ever seen.
An entrance ticket of 7 euros gives you access to its ancient ruins while learning more about the life of a monk. If you want the full experience, it’s also possible to book a stay in the abbey and live on the rhythm of the monks.
Or you can attend one of the public masses while you’re in the neighborhood. If all of this is nothing for you, you can also start one of the many hiking trails around the abbey. On the hills, you get a stunning view from above!
As you can see, there are plenty of wonderful things to do in the Ardennes! After a long hike, it was amazing to come back to my Nutchel cabin, light up the fire, and enjoy a good book in front of the stove. I just had to grab my dinner basket, choose a drink from their small shop with local products and spend the evening disconnecting from the online world while reconnecting with the rhythm of nature.
If you also feel like going back to basics and connecting with nature at Nutchel, you can get 10% off your cabin stay until the end of 2023 with my code EMMASROADMAP. I hope you’ll enjoy this stay as much as I did!
Where is the Ardennes?
The Ardennes is a forested region located in southeast Belgium, northern Luxembourg, and the adjacent part of France. It is known for its beautiful valleys, rivers, and forests.
How to get to the Ardennes and to Nutchel?
The best way to travel to the Ardennes and explore the region is by car. As public transport connections are not great, a car gives you the necessary flexibility. Nutchel has private parking to park your car safely.
Tip: get your fuel in Luxembourg (the country), Gas prices are considerably lower than in Belgium!
Can I take my dog?
Yes! Several types of cabins are adapted to dogs. The reception even has a jar full of candy ready for your loyal companion. Plus, Luxembourg is one of the most dog-friendly destinations in Europe when it comes to hiking. The perfect place to enjoy some off-time together!
I hope that by now you’re as excited as I was to spend a weekend in the Ardennes! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me a dm on Instagram!