Belgium may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of hiking destinations, but this small country has a lot to offer. With its diverse landscapes, Belgium offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to different levels of experience. From the gentle slopes of the Flanders region to the challenging routes of the Ardennes, Belgium’s hiking trails provide breathtaking views and unique experiences for all hikers.
Best time to go hiking in Belgium
The best time to hike in Belgium is from April to October. During this time, the weather is mild, and the trails are open. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the weather in Belgium can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to check the forecast before you go.
Hiking in Wallonia and the Ardennes
Wallonia is the southern region of Belgium and is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, including the Ardennes forests. The region has a wide range of hiking trails for all levels of hikers. Here are some of the best hiking trails in Wallonia:
- High Fens: Located near the border of Germany, this natural reserve offers a unique hiking experience with its heathlands, marshes, and forests. The hiking trails provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Ninglinspo: This natural reserve offers a unique hiking experience with its beautiful river and waterfalls. The trail offers a mix of easy and challenging paths through the forest. Along the way, you’ll pass by several beautiful waterfalls and pools, making it a perfect hike for a hot summer day.
- Valley of the Hoëgne: This beautiful hike is located in the Hautes Fagnes nature reserve and is perfect for nature lovers. The trail follows the Hoëgne river and passes through forests, meadows, and wetlands. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to see a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and wild boar.
- Bayehon Waterfalls: The Bayehon Waterfalls hike is a stunning and challenging route that takes you through dense forests, rocky terrain, and past beautiful waterfalls.
- Promenade des Echelles in Rochehaut: This beautiful trail is located in the charming village of Rochehaut and takes you through the stunning Semois Valley. The trail is about 6 km long and takes about 2-3 hours to complete. Along the way, you’ll pass through beautiful forests, meadows, and past stunning views of the Semois River. The highlight of the hike is the famous “Echelles de Rochehaut”, a series of ladders that lead up to a panoramic viewpoint of the valley.
Hiking in Flanders
Flanders is a region in the north of Belgium known for its picturesque countryside and charming villages. The region offers a range of hiking trails for all levels, from easy walks to more challenging treks. Here are some of the best hiking trails in Flanders:
- Hoge Kempen National Park: One of the largest nature reserves in Flanders, this park offers a variety of hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- Hallerbos: Located in the province of Flemish Brabant, Hallerbos is a beautiful forest known for its stunning bluebell carpet that covers the forest floor in the spring. The forest has several hiking trails that range in length and difficulty, and all offer beautiful views of the forest’s natural beauty.
- De Teut: Located in the province of Limburg, De Teut is a beautiful nature reserve that is perfect for hiking. The reserve features heathlands, woodlands, and beautiful sand dunes. The hiking trails in De Teut vary in length and difficulty, but all offer stunning views of the reserve’s natural beauty.
- Kalmthoutse Heide: A beautiful nature reserve with heathland, woodland and sand dunes. The hiking trails offer stunning views of the landscape and its wildlife.
Tips for Hiking in Belgium
- Stay in a gîte: Wallonia is famous for its gîtes, traditional guesthouses located in the heart of the countryside. Stay in a gîte on your hiking trip for a truly authentic experience.
- Stay at a designated camp site: Many nature parcs have a small designated camping spot for trekkers on foot. In dutch they are called “Paalkampeerterrein” in french “Zone de Biviouac”.
What to Bring for a Hike in Belgium
Whether you’re hiking in Flanders, Wallonia, or the Ardennes, it’s important to be prepared for your hike. Here are some essential items to bring:
- Sturdy hiking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, including layers for changing weather
- A backpack with water, food, and a first-aid kit
- A map or GPS device
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Belgium may be a small country, but it offers a wealth of hiking opportunities for all levels of hikers. From the gentle slopes of Flanders to the rugged terrain of the Ardennes, Belgium’s natural landscapes offer breathtaking views and unique experiences. By following our guide and tips, you can make the most of your hiking adventure in Belgium and discover the beauty of this charming country. So pack your bags, lace up your hiking shoes, and hit the trails for a memorable hiking adventure.