Let’s start on a positive note by saying 2020 wasn’t all bad. We couldn’t travel abroad but we did get to discover some more wonderful places in Belgium, and one of those was Dinant. We explored the area as the first stop in a longer trip we did in the Ardennes and it set us off in a great way! So let me tell you all about it!
We spent 2 nights at Les Sorbiers, which was an absolute treat! We found it on booking.com and a bit more expensive than what we usually go for, but as we booked quite late the choices were limited. Les Sorbiers is located on the banks of the Meuse river and comes with its own domain. You can have a wander and admire their vegetable garden or wander down the path following the river to the next village. It’s quiet and beautiful and exactly what we needed after some busy months at work.
We had dinner there on the first night as that was the most convenient option. Not very cheap and while my choices were nice, my boyfriend’s picks did not live up to expectations. The second night we went for dinner at Bord’Eaux on the other bank of the river. A popular place with a terrace overlooking the river and the food was lovely.
We had breakfast at Les Sorbiers the first morning. It was a bit underwhelming, so on the second day we opted for a visit to a local bakery on our way to Dinant called Les Gourmandises du Moulin in the cute little village of Falmignoul.
Being so close to the French border we couldn’t resist and popped over for a few hours. The next town from Les Sorbiers is called Givet and has a fortress of its own, way bigger even than that of Dinant. We had a mooch around the little town and then tried to find a way up to the fortress. Eventually we figured out that there isn’t an easy way up for pedestrians and after a quick bite to eat we went to get the car and drove up to the fortress.
When we arrived at the fortress we honestly thought it was closed. The car park was empty, and with empty I mean zombie apocalypse empty! But when we entered it appeared to be open so we bought some tickets and went out to explore what felt like our private fortress! It was big and we kept on discovering new parts to check out. When we finally encountered another visitor we figured we’d give them the private experience as well and drove back to Les Sorbiers. We could have gone for a walk somewhere else, but we made the excellent choice of reading on the sunlit terrace with ice cold lemonades at hand. We could have been in the South of Italy as far as I knew, that’s surely what it felt like. Bliss.
Parc de Furfooz
On our second day, after a lovely breakfast break in Famignoul, we headed for Parc de Furfooz for a short walk. We surely weren’t the only ones with the same idea because it was busy! You follow a circular route and come across all sorts of nice things to see: a replica of a Roman bath house, several caves, nice views over the valley and a wild garden.
Ready for the main event: Dinant! Also known as the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. Our first mission was to find a parking spot (we went for a paying one, not the cheapest option but definitely easier) and then lunch. We chose a terrace on the side of the river that made both sweet and savoury pancakes.
We wandered the main streets along the river and went to see the impressive war monument a little tucked away on the other side of the river.
Time for our second fortress in two days! Smaller than the one in Givet, but clearly more frequented and better preserved. The museum is very interesting, so much so that we felt a bit sorry our time there was too limited to give it the time it deserved. But the views from the top were stunning and really topped off our visit (pun intended)!
Have you been to Dinant? Or any other personal favourite in the Ardennes?
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