Wallonia, Belgium: A Budget and Family Travel treasure
It can be tough to find a destination that’s great for the whole family, but there’s one that you probably haven’t even considered.
Wallonia, Belgium, offers opportunities for an incredible family getaway. You might already be thinking, “Belgium? Isn’t that where all the world summits are?” Sure, Belgium is known as the EU’s political metropolis, and throughout the year the country is full of economists, diplomats, and financial gurus from all over the world. However, it also has great potential to be a prime tourist destination, and Wallonia is the perfect place to start.
While many speak French there, the official languages of this federal region of Belgium are both French and German. Expect Walloon to greet you sometimes though, as that’s the native language and it can be tough for locals to communicate with English-speakers at times.
All that is forgotten as you take in the wondrous beauty of Wallonia’s forests, some of which feature theme trails for hikers. History lovers will be enchanted by the local historical sites including castles and abbeys. If you want places to start, Abbey of Orval, and Abbey Notre-Dame of Leffe, are two popular landmarks that you simply must check out. Meanwhile, those from the big city get a chance to slow right down on visits to the many small villages and towns found in Wallonia.
Namur, Wallonia’s capital, is 60 km south-east of Brussels. Its intricate layout, cobblestone streets, and elegant flare, will leave you thinking you’re in a storybook. There you will find the Museum of Old Namurois Art, and the Archaeological Museum—featuring collections from prehistory and the Gallo-Roman and Merovingian periods from the Namur province. Another of the city’s sightseeing highlights is definitely the citadel, located on a hill that overlooks the river Meuse (also known as the Dutch Maas).
For more outdoorsy adventure, get your water activities going with kayak trips, and watch nature go by as you coast along the river.
Kids will love visits to the chocolate factories, and parents can get just a little tipsy at local breweries.
Any hang-ups you had about visiting Belgium can be put aside, as not only is the country easy to access by all modes of transportation, but Wallonia is just one of the awesome places where you can have great family fun.
Jacqueline “Jackie” Jones is a Barbadian author and entrepreneur who spends more time lost in the virtual world than anyone should. Jackie loves meeting new people as much as she loves traveling, and she’s often guilty of “interviewing” unsuspecting strangers whether they want her to or not. When she’s not dealing with the day-to-day of running two businesses (Originz Multimedia and Waterway Media), or spending time with family and friends, Jackie turns to words and is an accomplished speculative fiction writer.