Belgium may not be the first country to pop into your mind when thinking about hiking, but it actually has an abundance of walking trails scattered all over the country! Whether you’re up for a walk in the forest, a historical walk, or a hike that gets you to an astonishing viewpoint, there are plenty of choices to opt for. Head to the Belgian Ardennes for stunning pine woods, the north of the country for sandy dunes and heath, or the centre to discover one of the world’s most famous battlefields. This post features some of the most epic hikes in Belgium, so grab your walking shoes and get ready to head to one of the following amazing locations!
Best Hikes in Belgium: Castles, Viewpoints & Historical Walks
1. Tros Marets Valley
This beautiful valley is located near Malmedy in the East of the country. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in Belgium and love how diverse it is.
With its forests, moor landscapes, streams, and cascades, the Tros Marets Valley doesn’t disappoint. The valley got its name from the mountain stream that twists its way through it and you can hear the sound of the streaming water from a distance.
Starting at Ferme Libert, this hike may be one of the more challenging ones in Belgium, but it’s so rewarding!
Length: 8 km (5 mi)
Starting Point: Ferme Libert (Route de la Ferme Libert 31, Malmedy)
2. Rocher du Bieley
The hike leading to the Rocher du Bieley in Elsenborn, near the German border, is one of my favourite hikes in Belgium! The surroundings are truly stunning and the view on top of the Bieley rock left me speechless.
There are various starting points (both in Belgium and in Germany) and multiple loops that you can do, the shortest one being approximately 7 km (4,3 mi) long.
I started hiking from a small parking lot in the Wahlerscheider Strasse near Krinkelt. You’ll need maps.me or another map for this hike, as there are no indications on the trails. It’s good to know that although the hike is easy, you will have to do a bit of climbing up a hill to reach the Bieley Rock.
Length: 7 km (4,3 mi) or more
Starting Point: Wahlerscheider Strasse (50°28.05″N, 06°18’07.08″E)
Beware: Make sure to check the timetable before you do this hike, as the army frequently uses this region for shooting exercises.
3. Baraque Michel
This is one of these places that you can visit multiple times a year and it will look different every time, depending on the season.
The Baraque Michel is located in the High Fens region, and it’s home to one of Europe’s last high moors. There are three well-indicated walks you can do here (short and longer ones), all starting at the Baraque Michel parking lot. No matter which of these walks you choose, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most beautiful Belgian landscapes!
Fun fact: the Baraque Michel was Belgium’s highest point up until the annexation of the Eastern Cantons in 1919. Now Signal de Botrange, which is just a few kilometres further, is the highest point of the country.
Difficulty: Easy to medium
Length: 4,5 km, 5,9 km or 8,3 km (2,8 mi, 3,6 mi or 5,1 mi)
Starting Point: Baraque Michel (Baraque Michel 36, Jalhay)
4. Ninglinspo Valley
Located close to the town of Aywaille in the Ardennes region, the Ninglinspo Valley Hike is one of the most popular hikes in Belgium, and it’s easy to understand why.
Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also a pretty entertaining one! It starts in the village of Sedoz and goes alongside the Ninglinspo River. You’ll first spend some time following narrow pathways alongside the river while climbing and descending rocks along the way. Although this is my favourite part of the hike, the second part is pretty cool as well. It will bring you to a beautiful viewpoint, which is a perfect picnic spot!
Length: 6 km (3,7 mi)
Starting Point: Sedoz 5, Aywaille
5. Battlefield of Waterloo (1815 Walk)
This is one for the history buffs! The so-called 1815 walk will take you around the Waterloo battlefield, the place where Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by the Duke of Wellington in 1815.
It’s a 14-km (8,7 mi) walk that starts at Lion’s Mound and passes through the countryside. The hike will take you along multiple farms and historical monuments that were built after the infamous battle.
Length: 14 km (8,7 mi)
Starting Point: Lion’s Mound
6. Hallerbos (Blue Forest)
The beautiful Hallerbos, which is often dubbed Belgian’s Blue Forest, turns blue for a few days every year. Around April, millions of blue hyacinths start blooming here, transforming this forest into a truly magical place.
Length: 4,8 km or 5,1 km (3 mi or 3,2 mi)
Starting Point: Hallerbos parking 8 (Vlasmarktdreef, Halle)
7. Kalmthout Heath (Kalmthoutse Heide)
The Kalmthout Heath, located on the border with the Netherlands, is one of the largest and oldest nature reserves in Flanders. Landscapes here are pretty different from most other hikes in Belgium, with heath, dunes, pools, and forests dominating the area.
Although there are numerous walks you can do here, one I particularly enjoyed is Trail Sheep. This 8,5-km (5,2 mi) hike will take you to the heart of the Kalmthout Heath and does a great job showcasing the area’s diversity.
Length: 8,5 km (5,3 mi)
Starting Point: De Vroente (Putsesteenweg 129, Kalmthout)
8. Vêves Castle to Walzin Castle
One of the things Belgium is famous for is its vast amount of castles. So why not hike from one castle to another? Two of my favourite Belgian castles are located just a few kilometres away from each other and they’re connected by a walking trail.
Both Vêves and Walzin Castle are truly enchanting, but there’s even more to this hike. You’ll also pass the village of Furfooz, the river Lesse, and the rocks of Chaleux, which are famous among climbers. The entire region is charming, and if you have the time, you can also pay a visit to Dinant, the city where the saxophone was born!
Length: 15 km (9,3 mi)
Starting Point: Vêves or Walzin Castle
9. Fondry des Chiens
Fondry des Chiens is a sinkhole that was created by rainfall eroding limestone rocks for millions of years. It’s quite an impressive formation that’s surrounded by beautiful grassland.
There’s more than one hike that you can do in this area, but a particularly nice one is the one that will also take you to the Roche aux Faucons viewpoint. This well-indicated hike starts in the village of Nismes and it’s a must for lovers of nature and geology!
Length: 7,5 km (4,6 mi)
Starting Point: Rue Vieille Eglise 5, Viroinval
10. Bayehon Valley
Located near the village of Ovifat, the Bayehon Valley is home to one of Belgium’s most beautiful waterfalls. The hike to reach it starts on a small parking lot on the Route du Bayehon and will take you through stunning pine forests.
You’ll walk along a stream and will have to cross some bridges before climbing to the viewpoint. From here, you’ll be rewarded with a view over the Bayehon Waterfall. It’s a steep descend to get to the waterfall’s basin, but believe me, it’s worth it!
Length: 12,5 km (7,7 mi)
Starting Point: Route du Bayehon
Tip: If you’re up for a longer hike, this hike can easily be combined with the Reinhardstein Valley. This walk will take you along the Reinhardstein Castle, Belgium’s highest waterfall and the Nez de Napoleon viewpoint. I have done this hike separately from the Bayehon Valley hike, and although I have thought about including it in this post, I decided not to. The reason for this is that I was somewhat disappointed because a lot of trees were cut down, giving the valley a rather bald impression.
11. Megaliths of Wéris
That’s right, there are megaliths in Belgium! These menhirs and dolmens date back to 2.500 B.C., and they’re made from natural concrete, which is known as puddingstone. Something fascinating about these megaliths is that they form a row over a distance of 8 km (5 mi).
The megaliths hike starts in Wéris, which is known as one of the most beautiful villages in Wallonia, and it will take you through the Belgian countryside.
Length: 11,3 km (7 mi)
Starting Point: Wéris
Tip: Pay a visit to La Maison des Mégalithes to learn more about these mysterious stones.
12. Sonian Forest & La Hulpe Castle
Another of my favourite hikes in Belgium is the one in the Sonian Forest that starts at La Hulpe Castle. The Sonian Forest is Belgium’s largest area of woodland, and it’s spread over the three regions of Belgium; Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia.
With its countless beech trees (which are native to the region), this forest is a great place to walk. Besides the forest, another highlight of this 11,5-km (7,1 mi) hike is the place where it starts: the astonishing La Hulpe Castle and its domain.
Length: 11,5 km (7,1 mi)
Starting Point: La Hulpe Castle
How to get around in Belgium
The easiest way to reach the starting points of these hikes is by renting a car. The hikes that are listed below can be reached using public transport, but it’s not always easy, and for some, the nearest bus stop is a few kilometres from the starting point of the hike:
Baraque Michel, Ninglinspo River, Battlefield of Waterloo, Hallerbos (Blue Forest), Kalmthout Heath (Kalmthoutse Heide), Fondry des Chiens, Bayehon Valley, Megaliths of Wéris, La Hulpe Castle
Tips for hiking in Belgium
- Wear comfortable (hiking) shoes and layered clothing
- Bring water, lunch and snacks
- Don’t forget to wear sunscreen
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What are some of your favourite hikes in Belgium? Let me know in the comments!