Viroinval / Viroin-Hermeton Nature Park (Belgium)
With a 20-kilometre stretch that connects the north and south end of the territory, nature walkers can marvel at the pristine meadows and farmlands, thick-green forests and rolling hillsides.
In the north, the Calestienne region is home to the park's rarest natural habitats. Venturing further along, one can walk through quaint historic villages, where the locals proudly show off their artisan skills in cheese-making and brewing beers. The Viroinval lies close to the town of Chimay, known for its world-famous Trappist beer. In the south, there is the never-ending Ardennes forest, which boasts the area's largest and most diverse eco-systems.
For those wishing to see the region by mountain bike, the local authorities have provided a maze of hundreds of kilometres of trails linking Belgium and France together.
What makes the Viroinval Nature Park special?
The park is a walker's paradise, offering some of the most technical and spectacular jaunts through valleys and hillsides. The vista points are well-placed and the area is extremely family-oriented with picnic and barbeque areas.
For a romantic getaway, the nature park is home to Les Jardins d'O de Nismes, a fully restored campsite surrounded by brooks and streams.
Unique events and festivals throughout the year give visitors a taste of the special heritage this unmatched region has to offer.
A dedicated structural plan has been implemented to maintain the rural appearance of the villages. Several initiatives have also been adopted to keep out any intrusion of non-native plant life and measures have been taken to preserve the natural limestone grasslands.
The land and waters, along with the species that inhabit them, are of prime concern to the Viroinval Municipality. Policies have been put in place to keep visitors on marked walking paths to protect the natural habitats. Fishing is also a major tourist attraction, thus spawning a fish-breeding management plan to protect the aquatic habitat from over-fishing.
The locals want their land and waters to keep its charm for many years to come.
What to look for in:
- Spring: Flocks of sheep grazing in picturesque meadows
- Summer: Countless barbeques, picnics and smiles
- Fall: Fruit and wine festivals with a wonderful ambiance
- Winter: Brisk hikes through the dusted white hillsides
Highlights of Viroinval Nature Park
- Romantic strolls through endless greenery
- Birds singing in the enchanting forests
- The sweet, savoury aroma of a freshly poured bottle of beer
- Watching a meteor shower under the Milky Way