Belgium is a compact nation whose roads are not often discussed in the “best driving” lists peppering travel magazines. However, the Belgian countryside is unique, picturesque, and well worth exploring behind the wheel.
We’ve put together this list of roads for driving in Belgium to inspire you on your journey through Belgium, hitting historic, gastronomical, and—of course—photogenic highlights across the country.
1. Tour the Bulge
Driving in Belgium is one of the best ways to observe the stage of war. Some of the most legendary battle sites from World War II are featured on this circular route.
Start at the northern edge in Trois Ponts, following the N68 to the border town of Schmiede. Follow the N7 on your brief detour through Luxembourg, then take the N12 back toward the Belgian town of Houffalize. You’ll swoop through Boeur before turning south on the N30 to the iconic battle town in Bastogne.
Be sure to visit the Mardason memorial on your way east before heading north on the N834 toward La Roche-en-Ardenne. From La Roche, turn east on the N860 toward Houffalize to wind your way back toward the main A26.
2. The Castle Run
Tucked away in the southwestern corner of the nation, you will find the Château de Bouillon. It rests at the end of the Semois valley, in an idyllic setting surrounded by lush green countryside. Though short, the journey from Rue Bois Jean along the river valley to the castle is spectacular, offering iconic vistas of the countryside, river and beautiful examples of Belgian architecture including Abbaye de Cordemois.
Start by heading southeast toward Bohan–enjoy the panoramic views of the river and continue eastward on the N935. Switch and twist your way along the border until you can pick up the N810 eastbound into the walled city of Bouillon.
3. Ardennes Adventure
An excellent snapshot of the nation, the Ardennes provides visitors with quaint countryside views and breathtaking historic landscapes. This region is easily experienced as a circular drive that starts and finishes in Dinant.
Drive southwest to France briefly for a peek at the medieval castle and village of Hierges. Next, cross back into Belgium and follow the N95 into Rochehaut and onward to Bouillon for a spectacular view of the seventh century fortress and castle.
Moving toward Botassart, you should keep an eye on the scenery near Ucimot to get the best views of the legendary Giant’s Tomb.
4. Napoleon’s March
Much of the Belgian countryside is steeped in history, and while many of the connecting roads through this region are modern, the echoes of the past are prominent when driving in Belgium along the path of Napoleon from the French border town of Beaumont to his defeat on the battlefield at Waterloo.
Head from Beaumont toward Charleroi on the N53, perhaps catching a battle re-enactment in Thuin or Ham-sur-Heure. Follow the N29 through Fleurus to the N98 in Ligny to absorb the sites of Napoleon’s final victory before moving on to the final staging sites for the Battle of Waterloo itself. Follow the N9 northward through Plancenoit to Mont-Saint-Jean and then turn up the Route de Lion to take in the panoramic view.
5. A Drive in the Woods
Start in Neaufchâteau and head south on the N85, the lazy curves and green fields soon give way to a narrower, more forested setting. Drive on through Forèt de Chiny, along the Semois river, until you come to Florenville. Swoop through the city center and head south on the N88 into the Forèt d’ Orval.
Enjoy the views of Abbaye d’Orval and then wind your way along the French border in the shadow of lush, green old-growth timber. Head north on the N895 when you see the turn for Soye, and slither you way through the forest until you reach Bellefontaine.
Now head north through the town on the N879 toward Tintigny, and continue through the countryside to Breuvanne, where you can pick up the N801 and head back toward Neaufchâteau. The countryside along this final leg of your circular route is peppered with rustic churches and other buildings. A highlight along the way is the majestic Chateau d’ Assenois.
We hope this glimpse into what driving in Belgium has to offer inspires you to get behind the wheel. Contact the team at Auto France today for assistance in planning your next journey in Belgium!
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