4 good reasons for a trip to the Flemish Ardennes
For active sportspeople or for quiet enjoyment
What can you expect from a holiday in the Flemish Ardennes? The breathtakingly beautiful, gently undulating landscapes are the perfect backdrop for an active hiking or cycling holiday. But the ultimate peace-seeker and lover of simplicity and authenticity will find just as much to their liking here.
1. The hiking paradise: always another surprise
The lovely rolling Flemish Ardennes are not called the hiking paradise of Flanders for nothing. From billiard flat to nice and steep with quite a lot of altitude: everyone will find a suitable route here. Whether you go for a short family hike, a day trip, a weekend trip or an even longer excursion, the Flemish Ardennes are a guarantee of some special surprises in any case. Behind every bend lurks another charming field path, an idyllic meandering stream or a stunning vista. The unspoilt nature, the picturesque villages, the cosy restaurants with lovely terraces where you can catch your breath with a local drink or snack, the wonderful picnic spots: you could spend your whole life here.
We offer a great many mapped-out and well-documented themed routes: through the most beautiful forests of the Flemish Ardennes, through mountains and valleys, through beautiful nature reserves, etc. But you can also take the map with the walking nodes and map out your own route. The walking nodes networks of Getuigenheuvels, Bronbossen and Zwalmvallei account for 300, 350 and 200 km of walking pleasure respectively. Along the way, you will pass by some charming and often tiny villages where, sometimes, time seems to stop entirely – and where you will always discover something nice. And again and again there is that phenomenal view, that overwhelming silence, that magnificent landscape!
Are you taking a glorious multi-day hiking trip? there is also a broad choice of accommodation in the Flemish Ardennes. From small-scale hotels and hospitable B&Bs to cosy holiday homes, where you will feel at home right from the start.
Are you out and about with the children? In the Flemish Ardennes, it is perfectly easy to swap the hiking fun with other activities that are sure to delight them. Like the amazing adventure park The Outsider in Oudenaarde, the Provincial Domain De Gavers in Geraardsbergen or the wonderful play areas in the Muziekbos in Ronse or the Kluis Forest in Kluisbergen.
2. Steep cycling: on the trail of the real Flandriens
The Wall, the Koppenberg, the Oude Kwaremont, the Patersberg: well-known names that will ring more than one bell with cycling fans from around the world. The Flemish Ardennes are without a doubt the most cycling-crazy region on the planet. Every slope, every cobblestone lane is littered with mythical tales of the heroic struggles that the leading lights of cycling once fought there. From Eddy Merckx to Fabian Cancellara and from Peter Sagan to Mathieu van der Poel.
In the Flemish Ardennes, you can test the would-be Flandrien in you. What could be better for a true cycling enthusiast than to get stuck into those same roads where their great idols shed litres of sweat? In all weathers, at one with the elements of nature. On your own or in a pack of like-minded spirits. Will you choose a warm-up of about 20 km, or will you go all the way with a long tour full of the gruelling hills? You will find a great many iconic routes neatly listed on our website, interspersed with some useful facts and interesting establishments for the obligatory breaks. Because the many cafés and restaurants where you can replenish your reserves obviously also add to the holiday fun. Would you rather follow your own path? This cycle route planner is the perfect way to map out your own route. And with the Strava app, you can record how long it takes you to complete a particular slope or cobblestone lane.
Oh, yes: don't forget to enjoy the beautiful nature, the stunning landscapes and the only beautiful corners that cross your path. Are you staying the night? A great many lodgings in the Flemish Ardennes have an offering that is specifically tailored to cycling tourism. From bike-friendly hotels to well-equipped holiday rentals for groups of various sizes. They are also often located in close proximity to an iconic site.
And of course, your cycling trip in the Flemish Ardennes is only complete with a visit to the interactive Tour of Flanders Centre in Oudenaarde.
3. Slow down: you can totally relax here
Perhaps you don't need your holiday to be full of action and adventure? Are you especially in need of peace and quiet to recharge? You've definitely come to the right place in the Flemish Ardennes too. You won't find mass tourism and crowds here, by any means. Even larger centres like Ronse and Oudenaarde are usually wonderfully calm. And almost all the tourist accommodations are nice and small. This way, you can recharge your batteries in no time, in a landscape that seems made for it.
The beneficial effects of silence and experiencing nature as sources of good health, regained balance and a renewed sense of purpose are well-known. A moment of relaxation in a different environment, away from the hectic business of everyday life: it really does make a world of difference. Indeed, a great many accommodations can play to this with custom packages or with specific wellness facilities such as yoga, a swimming pool or a sauna. Perfectly tailored to those who just want to relax in comfort without the fuss and bother.
4. Authentic enjoyment: ode to tradition and craftsmanship
Finally, the Flemish Ardennes are also the ideal destination for those who love the authentic rural life and characterful regional and farm products. Taking pleasure in all the simplicity, just like in the old days, is the name of the game here. The Flemish Ardennes are genuinely dotted around with family producers of artisanal delicacies. From small-scale and traditional breweries and coffee-roasters to bakers of legendary buttermilk pastries, culinary restaurants and more. Take your time to get acquainted with the many passionate entrepreneurs, who will give you a totally different experience of the Flemish Ardennes. Straight from the heart and proud of their craftsmanship and traditions that are often passed down from generation to generation. The Flemish Ardennes are the place for small but lovely discoveries. Here, you can still be struck by the beauty of pure and real life. And with historic art cities like Oudenaarde and Ronse and valuable heritage sites like Ename and Velzeke, you'll certainly never be left wanting on the cultural front.
Ready for the Flemish Ardennes?
Do you want to experience what makes the Flemish Ardennes such a unique region? Get some further inspiration on our website and find out more!