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MAP OF THE ARDENNES REGIONS
ARDENNES GALLERY & TESTIMONIALS
The Ourthe, the Semois and the Lesse are all tributaries of the Meuse which flow through the Ardennes, the rural and largely wooded hill country in the south of Belgium in French speaking Wallonia.
On the Ourthe we will paddle a 21km (13m) stretch from Nisramont to Roche-en-Ardennes through the beautiful Gorge Herou, and then on the next day a further 20km down to Hotton.
We will then paddle the Semois which winds its way through a deep wooded vally in the far south of the country. We shall canoe a continuous stretch from Chiny down to Bouillon over three days. A distance of about 80km (50 miles).
Finally we will canoe a 24km (15m) stretch of the Lesse river from Houyet to Anseremme, following the river as it meanders through a deep and wooded valley to the Meuse. The valley famously follows the route of a small local railway in a valley which has no road. We will pass the the tiny National Park of Furfooz, with its Roman ruins and also the splendid Chateau Walzin.
Day 1. Arrival and first meeting.
You will be met at our arranged meeting point by our guides for your transfer to the Ourthe valley. This is usually Brussels Midi Station for those guests arriving by train from London (or elsewhere).
Alternatively arrangements can be made for arrivals at Brussels airport, or the airport at Charleroi.
We will meet you off the train that arrives at Brussels around about midday. The drive to the Ourthe valley and Roche-en-Ardennes takes about 1 hour 30 minutes. We will stop somewhere for a picnic lunch where we will discuss the trip and go through the maps. If time allows we can visit the small town of Rochefort on the way
On our arrival at Le Midi Hotel in the centre of La Roche-en-Ardenne we will unpack and relax before settling down to dinner on our first evening.
Our date for the 2017 season is August 26th to September 2nd.
This tour is €2255 per person.
Of you are a group of between 4 and 14 then choose your own dates and we will do our very best to arrange it.
Groups of more than 14 can be accommodated on special request.
The tour meets & departs from Brussels Midi Railway station at about midday or at close airports by arrangement.
Day 4. First Day on the Semois
Today we start our canoe trek down the Semois which we will follow for three days. Today we start from outside our hotel and paddle down to Chassepierre.
This river sits in a deep wooded valley and winds it's way leisurely through some beautiful countryside.
We will stop for lunch below Florenville; those with enough energy can walk up the hill to the town.
After lunch the rivers takes some big turns before arriving at Chassepierre where we will be staying at Le Vieille Ferme.
Day 5. More bends and twists on the Semois river
Today we continue to wend our way down the green Semois valley. After leaving Chassepierre the forest encloses us as we pass Sainte-Cecile and an old Monastery at Conques. We pass a huge ox-bow lake here where one of the bends in the river has been long abandoned.
Shortly afterwards we pass under the disused railway viaduct (now a footpath) as we come to Herbeumont. High above the village you can see the ruins of a medieval castle destroyed by Louis XIV of France. We can stop here for our picnic lunch and climb up to visit if we wish.
After more sweeping bends in the river we re-approach Herbeumont from the other side and then progress on to Mortehan. where we will stop.
After packing our canoes away we shall drive the short distance to Boulloin where we are staying at the La Poste Hotel.
Day 2. Our first day on the Ourthe
Today we will paddle the Ourthe river from Nisramont back to La Roche.
We will canoe through the beautiful Gorge Herou and negotiate some minor rapids as the river meanders wildly.
Somewhere near the small village of Maboge we will pull over on the bank, or on an island, for a picnic lunch. After lunch the river opens out into a wider valley as it approaches La Roche.
We remain at the La Midi tonight.
Day 3. Continuing down the Ourthe river.
After breakfast we will find our canoes on the riverbank at La Roche and continue downstream to Hotton. The river is calmer now and doesn't meander quite as much.
We will rendezvous for our picnic lunch near Rendeux before continuing our way downstream.
A short drive will take us to the L'Embarcadere Auberge at Chiny. If time allows we can visit the Trappist Monastery at Orval.
Day 6. A final day on the Semois river
Today we will continue our paddle down the Semois from Mortehan down to Boulloin. Once again the river meanders through the deep valley.
Somewhere along the way will choose a place for our lunch before the river slows down on its approach to the town. The river is dammed at both ends of town so at the upstream end we have to portage a few yards, before paddling through.
We will again be staying in La Poste.
Day 7. A ride down the Lesse river
After breakfast we will drive to Houyet (about an hour) to begin our descent of the Lesse river down to Anseremme, following the river as it meanders through a deep and wooded valley to the Meuse.
The valley famously follows the route of a small local railway in a valley which has no road. We will pass the the tiny National Park of Furfooz, with its Roman ruins and also the splendid Chateau Walzin.
At the end of the day a very short drive will take us to our hotel: the Castel de Pont-à-Lesse, which we have canoed past earlier!
Day 8. Farewells and the time to leave
After a leisurely breakfast we will return to Brussels in time to catch the midday train home, or the appropriate flights as has been arranged.
Le Midi, La Roche-en-Ardenne
For the first two nights we are at the Le Midi Hotel in the centre of the small town of La Roche-en-Ardenne on the banks of the Ourthe river.
The town has a ruined medieval castle. During the Battle of the Bulge at the end of World War 2 the town was liberated in 1944, then re-taken and finally liberated again in 1945. A small museum in the town can be visited.
Canoe on 3 different rivers
Fully Guided whilst on the river & trail
Full minibus support throughout
Includes all accommodation in B&Bs & small Hotels
Includes all breakfasts, lunches and evening meals
Join your guides for a pre-breakfast walk
Taste some Trappist Beer and visit the Monasteries
DAY TO DAY SCHEDULE
This is a 7 Night, 8 Day tour where we spend 2 days on the Ourthe, then 3 days canoeing down the Semois river and a final day on the Lesse which are all rivers in the south of Belgium in a region called the Ardennes.
The Ardennes are remote, hilly and wooded and offer beautifully quiet streams in dramatic surroundings.
Chausepierre La Vieille Ferme
On the third and fourth nights we are at the La Vieille Ferme, in the pictureqse village of Chassepierre on the banks of the Semois.
We will be able to leave our canoes besides the river and walk to the hotel which is only a few yards away.
Bouillon, La Poste
For the fifth night we will stay at the La Poste Hotel in the centre of Bouillon. This town straddles the river and is overlooked by an imposing castle.
The town is famous for Godfrey of Bouillon the leader of the First Crusade and the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Auberge de la Lesse
We shall stay at the Auberge de la Lesse for the last two nights. It is situated on the banks of the Lesse, and has some lovely hiking nearby.