the most beautiful castles in the Ardennes
The region is well-known for its many castles dating back to the Middle Ages. Visitors will notice that there's at least one castle in almost every valley. We have chosen for you the most beautiful castles to see and visit in the Belgian, French and Luxembourgeois Ardennes.
Walzin Castle is one of the largest in Belgium. Perched at the top of a 50m-high cliff, it overlooks the River Lesse. In our opinion, the best way to look at it is from the water, while kayaking down the river! It looks like the setting of a beautiful fairytale! It's also possible to walk or hike through the surrounding countryside.
Bouillon Castle features in many legends and is located not far from the French border. From this impregnable fortress there are beautiful panoramic views over the town below and the surrounding countryside. Many different activities are organised at the castle and its museum, including a history fair, falconry displays and nocturnal tours lit by flaming torches. A great place for a family visit! Afterwards, don't forget to have a look around the town, where there's always something going on, and which serves as a base for many walking or mountain-biking trails or kayaking trips down the river.
With its watchtowers, keep and ramparts, Reinhardstein Castle is impressive all year round. It blends into the countryside of the Warche valley, on its rocky outcrop, creating a superb setting. Enjoy a walk through the unspoiled landscape of the valley surrounding the castle, and catch a glimpse of it in the distance.
Standing in a tree-covered valley, Franchimont Castle recalls the glory days of the Middle Ages. Steeped in history, it fascinates visitors of all ages, who can join in a treasure hunt at the archaeological site. An interactive tour and dynamic guides help you to relive daily life at the castle in the mediaeval era.
Jehay Castle in the Province of Liège is an Exceptional Walloon Heritage Site. The imposing Meuse Renaissance building is famous for its checkerboard-patterned walls. The castle's park is also worth a visit. Tip: admission is free on the first Sunday of each month.
Located at the heart of the Palogne estate, the ruins of Logne Castle overlook the Ourthe valley. Major archaeological excavations and restoration work supported by the Walloon Region are currently underway. Hundreds of excavated artefacts are on display in the archaeological museum. There's also a treasure hunt for families that takes you to the heart of the history of this beautiful fortress.
The Bailiff's Castle at Anthisnes
In the Middle Ages each baliwick had a bailiff who acted as the protector of the abbeys within it. Today, the Bailiff's Castle in the village of Anthisnes is open to visitors and is also home to the Beer and Péket Museum. Children can become real knights in an official ceremony! Also, don't miss a visit to the cellars of the fortress to sample some local specialities.
Modave Castle is an elegant residence that has seen counts, cardinals and princes pass by. The interior is decorated with huge painted canvases, tapestries, ornaments and exceptional works of art. An audio-guided tour is available to learn more about the building's history. The castle gardens are open with free admission during the castle's opening hours. Stroll around the terrace, the kitchen garden, the swimming pool and the greenhouses. It's a haven of calm set in the middle of a nature reserve in the Hoyoux valley!
Located on the bank of the River Meuse, Freÿr Castle represents the elegance of the Renaissance. Its French formal gardens were inspired by those of the architect Le Nôtre, and feature orange trees that are more than 300 years old. In Spring and Summer, it's a delight to walk through the flowers and trees while admiring the elegant architecture of the castle.
A prototype fortress, Vêves Castle transports its visitors back to a world of folktales and legends. The original round perimeter path and watchtowers are still in good condition, as the castle underwent relatively few changes over the years. Kids will be delighted by the dressing-up box and amusing guided tours! And while you are there, take the opportunity to visit the village of Celles, listed as one of the most beautiful in Wallonia.
Sedan Castle is the biggest fortress in Europe! You can explore over three hectares of rooms and halls and many events are held in the castle throughout the year, including festivals, jousting tournaments, exhibitions and mediaeval fairs.
And for a really unusual experience, why not stay overnight in the castle? The four-star Castle Hotel welcomes you for an extraordinary stay in a remarkable historic building.
At the heart of the French Ardennes, Hierges Castle watches over the charming village of the same name. A path leads from the entrance to the village along the foot of the walls of this enormous fortress. Hierges experiences more activity in the summer months, including a vintage car rally, among other events.
10km from Charleville-Mezières, the ruins of this fifteenth-century fortress are spread over 1.5 hectares. Over the last 50 years, a huge excavation and restoration project has taken place here and the artefacts found are now displayed in the Castle Museum. If you're staying in Charleville between May and September (when the castle is open), don't hesitate to visit!
La Cour des Prés Castle at Rumigny
The romantic La Cour des Prés Castle is open from 14 July to 31 August each year for a tour, a concert followed by a candlelit dinner or even an overnight stay in its Bed & Breakfast.
This is the biggest castle in Luxembourg. It is located at a point 150m above sea level surrounded by countryside and is a magnificent setting for a short break. From the top of its keep, you can enjoy a 360° panoramic view over the Luxembourgeois Ardennes forest. More adventurous visitors can hike up into the surrounding hills for stunning views of the castle.
This place is a delight for photographers. Located in the splendid Éislek landscape, the majestic, feudal and charming Vianden Castle has been attracting tourists for several centuries. The narrow streets of the mediaeval village of Vianden were a favourite of Victor Hugo in the past. Waymarked trails guide walkers and hikers along the valley through a stunning natural landscape.