Home » 4 Days in Belgium – beautiful places and castles in Wallonia
Beautiful places and castles in Wallonia, Belgium, 4-days itinerary in Wallonia, things to do in Wallonia, places to visit in Wallonia

4 Days in Belgium – beautiful places and castles in Wallonia

by Daniela

When I say Belgium, what comes first to your mind? Brussels for sure, and then I bet Antwerp, and then Ghent and most likely Bruges. And I am sure you have hardly ever heard of places like Dinant, Durbuy or Bouillion. Just get off the beaten track and you will discover a part of Belgium, you have never suspected it existed. Wallonia is all about beautiful places and medieval castles!

With our full-time jobs, a long weekend here and there is the perfect way to travel more. So, we took the Friday and the Monday off and headed to Belgium. I know 4 days are not enough to discover a whole region but we have chosen some of the highlights in Wallonia for this short trip.

What can you expected from this 4-day itinerary in Wallonia? Here’s the balance:

  • charming places – 5
  • castles – 5
  • gardens – 2


Tip: If you enjoy slow travel, with a lot of historical and cultural background, and beautiful nature, you will fall in love with Wallonia!
Wallonia is full of charming places and medieval castles! A real treat for the slow traveller!Click To Tweet

Where is Wallonia and how to get there?

Wallonia (Wallonie in French and Wallonië in Dutch) is one of the 3 regions in Belgium together with Flanders and Brussels. It’s basically the south-eastern part of Belgium. In Wallonia they speak French, whereas in Flanders they speak Flemish, which is actually Dutch.

Living in the Netherlands, we could just drive to our destination, but you can fly to Brussels International or Charleroi airports and rent a car to explore all those beautiful places in Wallonia. Alternatively, you can use the train or one of the international bus lines, but I would not advise it, unless the travel time is less than 5 hours, otherwise it’s not worth for a short trip of 4 days to “loose” 2 days in transit.


What to do and see in Wallonia?

With only 4 days we couldn’t cover the whole region, that’s why we chose one town as a base and did trips to the rest of the places. To be considered as our base such a place should satisfy these two criteria:

  • It should be charming and small;
  • It should be centrally located, so that we can visit other beautiful places during our stay.

Rochefort was the perfect choice for our 4-day adventure in Wallonia.

Here is our 4-day itinerary with the places we visited and the things we did in Wallonia. Each day from the itinerary is marked in its own colour on the map. Click on the arrow in the top left corner for more information.

Places to visit in Wallonia on day 1 from the itinerary

As we arrived the night before in our hotel (you need to use your time wisely if you have only a limited number of days per year), we could head in the morning to the first place on our itinerary:

castle at the water middle in a green park, Annevoie Castle in Wallonia, Belgium

Annevoie Castle in Wallonia, Belgium

Annevoie Gardens and Castle

The Annevoie Castle is located in the small village of Annevoie-Rouillon. The best way to get there is by car. The castle was built in the 17th c. and belonged first to the family of Halloy and later to the family of Montpellier. Today, the castle is not open for visits, but its marvelous garden is. The garden was designed in 1758 by Charles-Alexis de Montpellier and is the only water garden of this kind in Belgium. It is a fusion of the 3 garden styles popular in the 18th c.: the English, the French and the Italian. The whole garden has been constructed around water with numerous fountains, water jets, canals, ponds, cascades and waterfalls, there is even an artificial grotto of Neptune. What is unique about these water gardens is that there aren’t used any electrical or mechanical pumps and devices. We loved walking around and discovering the various hooks and types of gardens.

beautiful park with water cascades and fountains, trees in blossom, spring time, Annevoie Gardens in Wallonia, Belgium

Annevoie Gardens in Wallonia,

Tip: Visit the detached café Bucow with amazing view over the gardens. They are specialized in local dishes and in their shop you can find local produce: beer, wine, juices, jams, honey, sausages.


The Annevoie Gardens are open from April to November, each day from 9:30 am till 5:30 pm. Adult fare is 8,20 EUR and the reduced fare for children aged 3 to 18, is 5,50 EUR. However, you should add 1,25 EUR for parking if you are coming by car.

You can spend 2 – 2, 5 hrs at the Annevoie Gardens.

a fountain in a park, small pond, green alley, Annevoie Gardens, Belgium Wallonia

Annevoie Gardens, Wallonia


DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. If you book a hotel via one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. This is helping me to maintain the blog and pay for things like the hosting. Thank you for contributing to the existence of this blog! This is not a sponsored post and I have paid for all expenses during these 4 days myself.  All opinions, as always, are mine.


Dinant

The small town of Dinant is a real hidden gem. It is as picturesque as on all those pictures: with the bright colours of the houses reflecting in the waters of the Meuse River and the dramatic vertical cliffs serving as a background of this colourful splash. Before visiting the town, I didn’t know that it’s the birthplace of Adolph Sax, the inventor of the sax. If you are interested in the history of music instruments you can visit Mr. Sax’s House (La Maison de Mr Sax), or otherwise you can enjoy a walk around in Dinant and admire the 28 gigantic saxophones placed all over the town.

[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BewQF7ngXUJ/?taken-by=ipanematrvls width=500]

If you are into bird views, I will recommend you taking the cable car to the Citadel of Dinant (Citadelle de Dinant). This medieval fortress, situated 100 m above the street level and built in the 16th century, has plenty of stories to tell. The admission (including the cable car) is 8,50 EUR, children aged 4-12 years pay 6,00 EUR. Once up there you will be struck – the view over the Meuse River and the town is mesmerizing.

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Tip: You can buy a combination ticket for the Citadel, the cable car and a boat trip on the Meuse River.


Another interesting place to visit in Dinant is the Collegiate Church of Our Lady (Collégiale Notre Dame de Dinant) with its pear-shaped bell tower, dating back to the 13th c.

We spent only half a day in Dinant, but the town itself can be a destination for a long weekend as there’s enough to see and do there. You can take a boat trip on the Meuse River, or visit the caves, the Leffe Abbey and Leffe Museum. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Wallonia!

[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BeyZhOJApz1/?taken-by=ipanematrvls width=500]

 

What to do on day 2 in Wallonia

For day 2 of our short trip in Wallonia I have chosen another two tiny but picturesque towns in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes: Durbuy and La Roche-en-Ardenne. The Ardennes is a mountainous region in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France.


a street with cobblestone, old hoses, ivy walls, rainy day, Durbuy, Belgium, Wallonia

Durbuy

Durbuy

They say that Durbuy is the smallest town in the world, whether it’s the smallest, I don’t know, but for sure it’s one of the most charming places I have ever seen. The old town is just postcard-perfect! Take your time and walk around in the old town’s cobblestone lanes with quirky shops and lovely cafés. A major point of interest is the Anticline (l’Anticlinal) – a U-shaped rock formation that looks like a vertical wall.

cobblestone streets, old house, quirky cafe, Durbuy, Belgium, Wallonia

Durbuy

a quirky pub in Durbuy, Belgium, Wallonia, cafe on the street with tables and bar stools

Durbuy

Tip: You can find local produce and specialties in the little shops in the old town, as well as lots of quirky souvenirs. 


If you love parks and gardens as much as we do, then you would enjoy a visit to the Topiary Gardens. The park features 250 amazing sculptures of immaculately pruned box trees and shrubs. From the park there’s a lovely view to the privately-owned castle of Durbuy. The park is open from 1 March to 31 October and the entry is 4,50 EUR for adults and 1,00 EUR for children aged 6 – 12.

Topiary park in Durbuy, Belgium, Wallonia, pruned box trees, figures from box trees and shrubs, sculptures of animals and people made of box trees

Topiary park in Durbuy

We’ve stayed only half a day in Durbuy, but one can easily spend there a whole day.  It kept raining that day but nonetheless we enjoyed this charming little place in Wallonia.

old town square with cafes, cobblestone street, La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium - Wallonia

La Roche-en-Ardenne

La Roche-en-Ardenne

The second stop on our 2nd day in Wallonia was La Roche-en-Ardenne – another small town up the Ourthe River in the Ardennes. Although La Roche was majourly destroyed during WWII, it is still a charming place to visit.

Lupulus beer, antipasti with salami, olives and cheese, cafe in La Roche en Ardenne, Belgium, Wallonia

La Roche-en-Ardenne

We enjoyed walking around and sitting in one of the cafés on Place du Bronze. We loved so much this place that we missed the opening hours to the ruins of the medieval Castle.

La Roche-en-Ardenne, lovely detail with kitties on a bridge with river, Belgium, Wallonia

La Roche-en-Ardenne

When we finally reached the top of the hill we were not allowed to the castle anymore. It was 4:45 pm, and in April the castle was open only till 5:00 pm. Too bad, we couldn’t hear the story of the Ghost of Berthe de la Roche, but we had a lovely afternoon enjoying a few glasses of Lupulus from the neighbouring Gouvy.

How to spend day 3 from your 4-day Belgium itinerary

view from the Bouillon castle, River Semois, houses on a hill, river with a bridge, Bouillon, Belgium, Wallonia

Bouillon

Bouillon

Nope, I am not talking about the broth, but about a small Belgian town located almost at the French border.

The most famous attraction of Bouillon is the Castle of Bouillon. The castle was first mentioned in the 10th century and it was the stronghold of the Ardennes-Bouillon Dynasty. The most famous representative of this dynasty being Godfrey of Bouillon – one of the leaders of the First Crusade (1096 – 1099) and the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The Bouillon Castle in Belgium - Wallonia, medieval castle and a river

The Castle of Bouillon

The Castle of Bouillon is very well preserved and is accessible via draw bridges.  It offers amazing views on the town and the Samois River. We witnessed there a birds-of-pray show, which was quite interesting. In the castles there’s also an exhibition about the history of writing from the Middle Ages to the present day. Entry tickets for adults cost 7,00 EUR and for children 5,00 EUR.

Man holding a big eagle, part of the Birds of Prey Shaw at the Bouillon castle in Wallonia, Belgium

The Castle of Bouillon

Tip: The correct pronunciation of the name Bouillon is ​[bu.jɔ̃], as it comes from French.

You can spend a whole day in Bouillon as the castle is quite interesting. You can also take a walk in the surroundings which are like a park.


Where to go on your last day 4 in Wallonia

impressive white church, grey sky, Notre Dame de la Visitation Church in Rochefort, Belgium - Wallonia

Notre Dame de la Visitation Church in Rochefort,

Rochefort

The last day of our 4-day trip to Belgium was reserved for our home base – Rochefort. We had only half a day to spend there, as we had to drive back to the Netherlands the same day.

Rochefort is another lovely town on a river in Wallonia – this time the Lesse River. It’s mostly famous about the Trappist beer with the same name and the nearby caves. There are also remains of an old castle, but they can be visited only with an appointment. The castle is open for public on certain days in the year, so check their website, before you go.

a castle tower, rainy day, castle of Rochefort, Belgium, Wallonia

The Castle of Rochefort

There’s a nice little park alongside the river and a few good restaurants in the town. There isn’t much to do and see in the town itself, as all attractions are in the neighbourhood, but nonetheless Rochefort is quite pleasant.

the town hall in Rochefort, Belgium, Wallonia, beautiful building with the Belgian and EU flags

The town hall in Rochefort

Where to stay in Wallonia?

During our 4-day trip to Wallonia we stayed in a charming hotel, just in the centre of Rocherfort – La Male Poste. The hotel had even a swimming pool, a very posh restaurant and a large sunny terrace.

lovely hotel in Rochefort, Wallonia Region in Belgium, old facade of a hotel with shutters

Hotel La Male Poste in Rochefort

You can also check the best deals for hotels in Wallonia via the Booking.com form below.



Booking.com

 

Do you have a full time job? Then you might be interested in other 4-day itineraries in Europe. Check out the following posts:

Have you been to Wallonia in Belgium? Share with us which places you have liked most in the comments!

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9 comments

Michelle 24th February 2018 - 2:59 pm

We absolutely adore small European towns. Thank you for exposing me to an area that I didn’t know about yet. I will definitely be adding this to my European must-see list!

Reply
Alice | Girl with a saddle bag 24th February 2018 - 9:25 am

I hoping to visit Belgium again this year and I love your ideas for some places to explore off the beaten path. Have done Bruges and the other likely suspects on previous visits, so these look like fantastic ideas to try something new. I’m already excied at the idea of going to track down some Trappist beers in Rochefort 🙂

Reply
ipanematravels 24th February 2018 - 1:50 pm

Oh, Belgium is THE country to be when it comes to beer!

Reply
ARI 24th February 2018 - 8:58 am

It’s been too long since I’ve been spent days in row exploring Castles and gardens, not since I road tripped throughout Ireland actually. This is a great short list and Bouillon in particular looks like a dream of a town. Have to visit Belgium soon

Reply
Diana 24th February 2018 - 6:44 am

This Town looks so charming! I was in Belgium a few years ago but only had time for Antwerp and Brussels. I would love to visit smaller towns like this one!

Reply
ipanematravels 24th February 2018 - 1:47 pm

Yep, that’s understandable if you have limited time and if it’s your fist time.

Reply
Brianna 24th February 2018 - 3:51 am

I absolutely fell in love with Belgium while I was there last year. But I only got to see the bigger towns of Brussels, Ghent and Bruges. I am dying to see more of the smaller towns like this!

Reply
ipanematravels 24th February 2018 - 1:46 pm

I am so lucky to live so close to Belgium, can see all of them!

Reply
Caroline 24th February 2018 - 3:30 am

This looks like such a lovely party of Belgium! I’m a sucker for castles too and these look so awesome! Looks like such a charming party of the county, would love to go sometime!

Reply

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