Wallonia is criss-crossed by rivers originating in the Ardennes and flowing at just the right speed for recreational kayaking and canoeing with or without guided tours and lessons catering to any skill level.
On the Ourthe River
In the Ardennes, the jewel of Wallonia, where fast-flowing rivers rush from the hills through densely wooded valleys, the locals like to push themselves to the limits – and invite you to join them. Durbuy Adventure offers a full range of challenging outdoor activities that make maximum use of the glorious natural environment.
On the picture-postcard River Ourthe, you can take a two-person kayak or a raft and travel the 20km between Durbuy and Barvaux. Back on dry land, there’s quad-biking and go-karting, mountain biking on designated trails, paintballing and laser games, abseiling and climbing. Above ground, test your nerve on a Tyrolean ride through the trees. Below ground, get a taste of pot-holing in a man-made cave, where you don’t have to spend an entire weekend in the darkness.
Other companies offering similar experiences include Ardennes Adventures in La Roche-en-Ardennes and the Outdoor Centre in Nadrin-le-Roche, where you can steer your kayak for 21km, passing through several sets of rapids and the famous gorge of Hérou, one of Belgium’s finest beauty spots.
Durbuy Adventure : www.durbuyadventure.be
Outdoor Centre : www.outdoor-centre.be
Ferme de Palogne : www.palogne.be
Ardennes Aventures : www.ardenne-aventures.be
On the Lesse River
A 12 or 21km stretch of the River Lesse is open all year round (apart from exceptionally dry spells when the water levels are too low) and a variety of craft – for one, two or three people – can be hired from Dinant Aventure.
You take a train from Dinant to the starting point - the fare is included in the price - and spend a few relaxed hours meandering through the picturesque valleys, except for the mildly alarming moment when you have to shoot the rapids!
The same company has converted a disused quarry overlooking the River Meuse into a truly challenging adventure park, offering supervised climbing and abseiling, Belgium’s highest rope bridge 60 metres above the ground, a ‘death ride’ and an underground tunnel. Monitors are on hand to ensure that everything’s done in complete safety.
Lesse Kayak/Dinant Aventure : www.lessekayaks.be
On the River Semois
Recrealle (recreation centre) : www.recrealle.be