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help wrapping up itinerary

Life got in the way and now I’m trying to wrap up planning for our upcoming trip this April. We will spend a few days in Bruges before renting a car and heading down to our base in Dinant. We would like to make an early start to the drive and visit Hallerbos Forest if blooming. Then Kasteel van Beersel and Villers Abbey before reaching Dinant, if time allows. The next days are what I am struggling with. We have one full day to explore and then we will have around a half day the next day before we drop our rental car in Brussels.

We like castles. We also like small, picturesque towns and have read that driving in the area is supposed to be scenic so that might be very nice. We also like learning the history of an area, so we thought the Open Air Museum could be interesting. We only speak English so not sure if that will affect the enjoyment of Bokrijk or not.

Option 1 - Day 1: Visit Chateau Bouillon and Chateau Sedan, return to Dinant
Option 1 - Day 2: Visit La Roche-en-Ardenne and Durbuy, return car in Brussels

Option 2 - Day 1: Visit Chateau Bouillon, La Roche-en-Ardenne, Durbuy, return to Dinant
Option 2 - Day 2: Visit Bokrijk Open Air Museum, return car in Brussels

Is O1D1 too much? Sedan is HUGE and Bouillon isn’t small itself. We aren’t the type to rush through things. Would Option 2 be a better choice? Do you have another suggestion entirely? Your advice is much appreciated!

Posted by
1966 posts

My idea for day 1, a 200km itinerary:

Dinant – Bouillon – Sedan – Charleville-Mézières (Place Ducale) – Rocroi – Givet – Dinant

Place Ducale in Charleville-Mézières has the same style as Place des Vosges in Paris and worth a stop to see it. Rocroi is one of the many fortifications by Vauban, as are the citadels in Givet and Dinant. Likely so many places in one day can be too much, but Rocroi for instance needs just a stop and for Givet it’s enough driving through on the way back along the Meuse to Dinant.

If day 2 is just a half day and as Bokrijk is a bit out of the way I question if you can visit both Durbuy and Bokrijk the same day. For the latter you will need at least a few hours to see and enjoy it. With so little time I would skip La Roche-en-Ardenne, too touristy to my opinion.

Posted by
676 posts

Hi Wil, thanks for your reply! Do you think we could visit both Bouillon and Sedan, and the respective castles, in a day and not feel rushed? We like to take our time. I’m guessing we could spend 2-3 hours at each castle? By the time we would drive back and forth, that would make for a pretty full day I’m guessing.

If we visit Bokrijk, that would be the only place we would go to before heading to Brussels. We wouldn’t try to visit Durbuy that day. If Bokrijk isn’t recommended, we would visit Durbuy with other recommended places. If not La Roche-en-Ardenne, maybe Annevoie or somewhere else?


Posted by
1966 posts

Hi Julie,

Hard to say, you can hang around outside the castle of Bouillon for an hour or so, but have no idea for Sedan as I visited the castle only there. For driving you will need not so much time as Bouillon is about an hour from Dinant and Sedan an additional ½ hour. The castle of Bouillon is open in April from 10am to 6pm during weekdays and 6.30pm during weekends, but can’t find those for Sedan if this is helpful for your planning. Just thinking keeping Bouillon for the end of the day and have diner there for instance before heading back to Dinant.

I have visited Bokrijk twice and is very nice and worth to consider. From nearby Hassselt it is an easy drive to Brussels. Further I am not so familiair with the region to recommend visits to other places as Durbuy, but Annevoie looks good. The local TI in Dinant can certainly provide more info about interesting itineraries. Maybe in your eyes La Roche can be nevertheless interesting, but I visited it some five years ago and it was not so lovely anymore as I can remember it as a kid.