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bruges to ardennes

Hi everyone,
We will be in Bruges for the Beer festival in Feb. We are thinking of getting a car and driving out to the Ardennes. Of course we would like to visit Chimay, Orvel and achouffe (depending on time and logistics). I would like to see Dinant.

My questions:
Will driving be a factor in the mountains at this time of year? We live in the mountains of NC so are used to driving in some snow.
Any suggestions on routes or how we can make a go at these locations and maybe others with one day travel out, spending the night and then one day travel back?
Any things we should not miss around this area?

We wouldn't mind seeing some war stuff but I would also like to see some nature. Waterfalls?
Any ideas or suggestions would be great.
Thanks

Posted by
754 posts

I was in the Adennes area several years ago and don't recall mountains. I do recall rolling hills and forests and that it was beautiful. Have you checked a topographical map to get a feel for the height of the hills?

Posted by
250 posts

I drove from Ghent to Dinant. There are no mountains, just rolling hills. In Bastogne, the WWII Museum is worth a visit: http://www.bastognewarmuseum.be/home.html

We also drove to Luxembourg to visit the American Cemetery where Patton is buried. This was worth the drive.

Posted by
248 posts

Kris,
One point you may have already researched, or if not perhaps will want to research, is whether the rental car will have the kind of tires that might be necessary in the Ardennes in February. But remembering that there are not mountains there, more like rolling hills. Obviously the probable weather will be a factor and should be researched prior to the trip. I don't know about Belgium but am aware that many rental companies, in general, often prohibit, and certainly do not facilitate, the use of chains or similar traction devices on their cars. It may be different in Belgium, I take trains there so am not familiar with rental car company practices in Belgium.

Posted by
103 posts

@ Laurie Beth, I don't know why I assumed there were mountains! I guess it was just the green on google maps. So good we should be fine driving in that terrain :)

Posted by
103 posts

@ jvb dinant looks impressive! I'd love to make it to Luxembourg since I have some ancestors from there! Great suggestions

@curioustraveler- good idea to check with rentals. I know when we drove to Siena at Christmas they required chains. Hopefully they will at least have snow tires. My husband can drive up a mountain with regular tires and 6 inches of snow so I'm thinking we should be fine, especially now that I know it's just rolling hills!

Posted by
1246 posts

From Bruges is best to avoid Ghent and Brussels during weekdays for driving to the Ardennes. I suggest taking the E403 to Tournai/Doornik, further E42 to ringroad R3 west of Charleroi for going south direction (N5) to Phillipville, Couvin and finally Chimay. Driving to Orval from the latter you will pass Bouillon, a nice place famous for it’s huge medieval castle, think worth a stop or staying like I suggested in my other post.

Posted by
103 posts

@Wil excellent advice! Thank you.
I did have the castle of Bouillon on my list so I'm glad to know it's on the route.