Hiking in Belgium

Belgium is the perfect destination for a hiking holiday. Just a short drive over the border from our Amsterdam, Dunkirk or Calais ports and you can enjoy everything this rich and diverse country has to offer.

When most people think of Belgium, they think of beer, chocolate, bustling Brussels and historic Bruges. However, there are many ‘off the beaten track’ attractions to soak up in Belgium, from majestic scenery and quaint villages to towering castles and world-class museums, and all are best experienced on foot. If you’re lucky, you might even happen across one of the many regular and vibrant festivals that punctuate the calendar of many rural communities across Belgium.

Header image credit: Andrew Hitchcock

Gear and clothing

Gear & clothing

Walking in Belgium is a very safe activity. The weather can be changeable, especially in mountainous areas, and temperatures get low in winter, but for the most part you’ll only need the same gear and clothing you use in UK.

Pack good quality and lightweight boots, all-weather waterproofs and a mobile phone for emergencies. Also, whatever the weather, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip protection are a must for those hoping to spend all day outside.

As with any hiking trip, take plenty of drinking water and make sure to check the weather forecast before setting off.

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Popular hiking destinations in Belgium

Ardennes

Ardennes

Beginning in France, the Ardennes stretches east across Luxembourg and covers three Belgian provinces on its way to Germany. The Belgian Ardennes is one of the most popular and inspiringly beautiful hiking experiences in Europe.

This region stands in stark contrast to Belgium’s industrial north and affords adventurous holidaymakers rugged wilderness landscapes in which to lose themselves for weeks at a time. Pay the Belgian Ardennes a visit and you’ll trek through leafy forests and mountainous hillsides, and pass through some of the most picturesque villages and towns in the country.

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Ninglinspo

Ninglinspo

This trail is actually within the Belgian Ardennes, but bears separating from our general Ardennes listing as it’s a truly breath-taking example of the beauty and wilderness found in the region.

The Ninglinspo is a small mountain river and along its length there are charming waterfalls to be enjoyed as they topple down through water basins millennia in the making.

This is a challenging hiking destination, so not for the faint hearted, but the expenditure of energy is richly rewarded by natural discoveries and stunning views.

Image credit: Katrien Berckmoes

The High Fens Nature Reserve

The High Fens Nature Reserve (Hautes Fagnes nature reserve)

The highest part of eastern Belgium is the Hautes Fagnes (or High Fens), an expanse of windswept heathland lying between the Ardennes and the Eifel highlands.

The High Fens is the largest nature reserve in Belgium and provides hiking enthusiasts with over 11,000 acres of secluded woodlands, towering valleys and rugged wilderness landscape to explore.

Image credit: Frank Vassen​

La Roche a L'appel Geological Park

La Roche à l’Appel Geological Park

Another great walk within the Belgian Ardenne is at the Roche à l’Appel Geological Park.

A shorter trail than others mentioned here, this is a must for those enthusiastic about geology. Take a tour around the historic Muno village before plunging into dense, ancient woodland on a hike that offers incredible views of the Ardenne itself.

Image credit: Monkeybusinessimages​

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