The perfect family road trip in Wallonia
Have you dreamt about it? Imagine Belgium did it! We have prepared your itinerary for a family road trip this summer. From Hainaut to Liège, via Brabant-Wallon and the province of Luxembourg, direction Wallonia for a 100% Belgian holiday. Let’s go!
Start off the road trip in Hainaut
Trip to Pairi Daiza Park
Begin your family road trip on Walloon soil, we will take you on a trip to the five continents! You don’t believe us? The Pairi Daiza zoo is your first stop in Hainaut for unforgettable encounters with its 7,000 animals. Pairi Daiza has been voted the best zoo in Europe, something to amaze our little ones right from the start of the road trip!
Le Doudou de Mons
This year, no Doudou in Mons because of covid-19? That doesn’t matter! The Doudou Museum transports you to the festive atmosphere of the Ducasse de Mons. An amusing stop in your road trip where people of all ages will be able to compete with Saint-Georges and measure themselves against the legendary Dragon! Good to know: the museum is adapted for the visually-impaired people so that you don’t miss anything of the Mons folklore, recognized as an intangible heritage by UNESCO. No less !
City trip in Charleroi
Continue your journey, next stop Charleroi! Who would have thought that Charleroi was the city with the most Art Nouveau buildings in the whole of Wallonia? Enjoy a nice walk along the family trail and its hunt for the treasures hidden on the city’s facades (booklet available in French). And as it is in Charleroi that many comic book characters were born, don’t be surprised if you come across the Marsupilami at a roundabout.
Relaxation at the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure
After a full day of culture and discovery in town, head for the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure! Situated between Hainaut and the province of Namur, this is the place to be for families looking for outdoor activities: swimming, kayaking, paddle, windsurfing, cycling, walking in the countryside, or simply relaxing in the sun, choose your favorite pastime!
Brabant-Wallon, a small province of great wealth
Take a leap in history at Waterloo
Hit the road again, heading towards Waterloo to relive one of the key moments in European history. In 1815, Belgium found itself, once again, at the crossroads of battles. This one marked the defeat of Napoleon. Two hundred years later, the Waterloo Memorial offers a superb reconstruction based on artillery and costumes worthy of the period. Enjoy the 3D film made by de pinxi that will plunge you “into the heart of the Battle“. Belgium may be a small country, but it is a country full of history! Did you know that de pinxi is a partner of Imagine Belgium? Together we will take you on a virtual reality flight over Belgium. Stay up to date and find more info on Flybox, our virtual reality experience very soon…
An abbey in Villers-la-Ville
Among the many abbeys in Belgium, the abbey of Villers-la-Ville in BrabantWallon is a must see. Equipped with their notebooks, the younger children have to solve a riddle, while teenagers will carry out an investigation in the abbey. And for parents who dream of a little peace and quiet, the meditative path is highly recommended! Not to be missed under any circumstances: the open-air concerts programmed in the abbey to entertain you day and night.
Guaranteed escape in the province of Namur
A Citadel in Namur…
We will then take you to the province of Namur to visit the citadel that is the pride and joy of Namur’s population. It has travelled through the ages and inspired Napoleon to call it the “termite mound of Europe” for its immense network of underground passages. The citadel of Namur is an unmissable sight during your visit to the province. Don’t miss also the bronze turtle made by the Belgian artist Jan Fabre. The turtle overlooks the city from the Citadel and represents everyone’s journey in search of a better world. Poetic, isn’t it?
… Another one in Dinant
The little sister of the citadel of Namur is in Dinant! She is proudly resting on her rock to offer a breathtaking view of the Meuse valley. Another emblematic monument for its strategic location at the time of the First World War, it is a new step to add to your roadtrip in Wallonia.
The Fairytale Castle at Vêves
Did you know that Belgium holds the record for the highest number of castles per square kilometer? Dive into a fairy tale at the Castle of Vêves in Celles! Considered to be one of the most beautiful medieval castles in the country, we can only recommend that you visit it this summer. Bonus tip: the castle offers children the opportunity to dress up for the visit. At Imagine Belgium we also want to put on a princess costume!
Exploring the Furfooz Park
In the proximities of Dinant, enjoy a 4km walk accessible to all at the Furfooz Park. Nothing better to recharge your batteries and discover the archaeological heritage of the Lesse Valley. We love the small refreshment bar located along the river to relax after a few kilometres of walking. If you’re motivated, take the opportunity to paddle down the 12 km of the Lesse in a kayak. It’s one of our favourite activities!
20,000 leagues underground in the Han Caves
Prepare to travel to the center of the Earth in the Han Cave to discover the stalactites, stalagmites and other draperies that adorn its walls. The highlight of the visit? An incredible underground sound and light show for a moment of magic. The cave has also been elected the favorite tourist heritage of the Walloons. An activity tested and 100% approved by Marie, our favorite Walloon at Imagine Belgium!
Pedal to the Draisines de la Molignée
To conclude your visit to the magnificent province of Namur, we invite you to go for a funtastic ride. Climb aboard a “draisine“, a kind of rail bike, to ride along the old Molignée railway line. You will pass by the Maredsous abbey and through Falaën and Sosoye, two of the 28 most beautiful villages of Wallonia.
Belgian Luxembourg as never seen before
The Medieval Castle of Bouillon
It is now towards the province of Luxembourg that we set sail, first stop, the fortified castle of Bouillon! Treasure of medieval times, the castle can be visited both by day and by night, with a torchlight, to reveal all its mysteries, since it is a thousand years old.
Orval Abbey and its Trappist beer
After Villers Abbey, we will take you to Orval Abbey! Victim of the flames of the French Revolution, the ruins of the abbey are full of history with the Mathilde fountain in the middle (naturally, your favourite author warmly recommends this stop). It is also the perfect occasion to combine a historical visit with a tasting of the famous Orval beer. It’s gonna foam!
Did you know that? Orval beer is one of the 6 Belgian beers still brewed under the control of the Trappist monks. Achel, Chimay, La Trappe, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle or Westvleteren, we let you test and choose your favourite. For Matias, our Trappist expert at Imagine Belgium, it’s Westvleteren. The debate is open!
Want to get away in Gaume?
Did you enjoy Orval? Now let’s go to the Gaume! A discrete region on the border with Luxembourg, the Gaume has many assets. We invite you to discover the Fairy Trail for a nice walk full of challenges and enchanting legends!
Durbuy the romantic
On the way back to Liège, don’t miss Durbuy, it is also known as “the smallest town in Europe”! Stroll through the narrow streets and enjoy the surrounding area, because Durbuy is also a great walking loop. We advise you to follow the 10 km “tourist trail”, which is easy to do with your family. Our little tip before you continue your journey: your little adventurers will love climbing trees in the Adventure Valley treetop park.
A beautiful end in the province of Liège
Liège, the Ardent City
You can’t go through Liège without going through the Montagne de Bueren. This staircase of 374 steps is recognized as one of the ten most extraordinary staircases in the world. Are your calves well warmed up? Continue the walk by taking a stroll through the hillsides of the citadel. On arrival, take advantage of the terraces of the Curtius brewery to chill, another emblematic place in the city! There you will certainly find our Marie sipping a beer.
Take a break, eat a waffle (Liège waffle of course), we’ll take you to the Prehistomuseum. The museum is a huge playground on prehistory and archaeology, with 11 challenges to be a family of “Super Sapiens”. Our last piece of advice: to get around the city, nothing better than the river shuttle that will drop you off at the main places in the city.
Limburg, one of the most beautiful Walloon villages
Surely you know of the province of Limburg, let’s introduce you to the village! Situated to the east of Liège, Limbourg is one of the 28 most beautiful villages in Wallonia. Similarly to Durbuy, you can stroll through the streets and enjoy the charm of this village for an afternoon, before setting off in the direction of the Hautes-Fagnes.
Get away in the Hautes-Fagnes
To end your roadtrip with grace, plunge into the heart of the Hautes-Fagnes! The Fagne de la Pôleur walk is ideal for children. The 5 km route starts from Mont Rigi, the walk is easy and is accessible to people with reduced mobility. Follow the gratings to discover the exceptional vegetation of the Hautes-Fagnes park at your own pace.
There are a thousand other incredible places to discover in Wallonia! We can’t wait to see your family road trip photos this summer, so don’t hesitate to send us your #BelgianSummer photos and tag us on Instagram.
Imagine Belgium is committed to offering activities that are accessible to as many people as possible. Starting this summer, we are offering the chance to try our brand new virtual reality experience to discover Belgium from the Grand Place in Brussels. We’ll tell you more soon.