Cycling Holidays in the Ardennes
Stretching from France to Belgium, Belgium to Luxembourg, the Ardennes department encompasses a large expanse of north-east France. With thick forest, rolling hills and fascinating geological formations, the landscapes of the Ardennes provide perfect cycling holidays for those looking to experience the charms of rural France. With disused rail lines and the winding waters of the River Meuse as a guide, exploring the fortified towns and unspoilt scenery from the saddle is a rewarding experience.
Following the path of the River Meuse, and passing through stunning landscapes of green fields before crossing the border into Belgium, the 400 kilometres of Voies Vertes – greenways – provide one of the foremost cycling experiences in the Ardennes. From the quaint towns of Montherme and Givet through the undulating areas of countryside, the disused classic railways and the stunning scenery of the cycle routes present a captivating experience for all abilities.
For a slightly different view of the Ardennes, nowhere proves quite as fascinating as Charleville-Mezieres on the banks of the River Meuse. The commune – which is the capital of the Ardennes department and was formed with the merging of the towns of Charleville and Mezieres in 1966 – offers a number of attractions. Charleville in particular features magnificent Renaissance-style architecture, a legacy of the town’s founder, Italian prince Charles of Gonzaga. Most impressive of all is the 17th-century place Ducale in the heart of the town, an architectural delight that rivals the resplendent Place des Vosges in Paris.