Daytrips from Namur (Wallonia - Belgium)

These are some places in the outskirts of Namur city and are amazing to do as day trips. 

Les Jardin d'Annevoie: When I first stumbled across the Garden of Annevoie, I just liked it coz it was serene, filled with several fountains! But then, guess what? All the fountains function just by water pressure with absolutely no motors!!! None at all!!!!


The Garden and its Castle are as old as to 18th C CE by Jean de Montpellier. Its a 20 hectares garden with a whooping 27 fountains, all that work by mere basic laws of physics and absolutely no motors!!! The work started in 1758 but was private for a long time till 1930s. The water is completely fresh because, its constantly fed to & receives from River Meuse. The Castle whose initial structures belong to 1627, is currently under renovation, so sadly we couldn't see it!


The garden are in 3 styles - French (where art corrects nature - nature looks artificial like perfectly landscaped gardens), Italian (where art adapts to nature - nature is maintained as it is) and English (where art imitates nature - artificially created nature)! This estate has all 3 types in it!


The first fountain is the Neptune's Cuff for its fan shape. The next is the Big Spitter, a little boy shaped fountain that spits a single 7m high water jet, entirely fed by the canal above, with no pumps at all!!! The next is the French Cascade (the perfect one (in the 1st pic) - nature looks artificial) followed by English Waterfall (artificially created but looks natural)!!! The next is the watersteps, perhaps the only one of its kind in Europe, surviving since 1760s, functioning without machinery!!!


After a few more fountains is the Chateau. Currently it is being renovated, so unfortunately we didn't get to see it. Just opposite to it is the Canal and beside it is the vegetable garden filled with so so many types of vegetables including artichokes, berries, lavenders and so many more. Further ahead is the French Drive, an extremely manicured French Style garden. Here are some marble sculptures - or.... are they? They are actually made of iron and its flat! Only the front part of it has been made! Well, originally there were marble sculptures if you go by the old drawings of the place, but they were missing and never to be found! These iron sculptures were made with the help of the drawings. 
This is followed by the very very romantic, Drive of Desires. A canopied walk! Further ahead after a few more fountains is the Crypt where Montpellier's family has been buried. Further ahead, after a small upward walk, is the Grand Canal, which is the main source for all the fountains. Quite interestingly its 7m wide and 365m long! The view from the end of the canal is majestic! 

There is a restaurant in here as well as a kids play area. When its sunny, you could spend the whole day chilling here! For 4 days, every summer, a nocturnal event happens here which includes live music, gourmet picnic as well as a night walk of the garden. I didn't manage to attend it - currently we don't do anything that's beyond Atyudarini's bedtime! But I can imagine it to be such a lively thing to do!
Île de Dave & Wepion Strawberry: While this is in the outskirts of Namur, it isn't too far away and can be done in a couple of hours and not a day trip. Its located in Wepion which is hardly 5km from the citadel's base and is a orchard of Strawberries! The easiest and simplest way to visit here would be by....... rickshaw. Yes!!! Namur Tourism has recently introduced Rickshaws to help tourists explore in and around. There are 3 routes running as of now and we took this one to Wepion and Namur Islands. The scenery along the route is spectacular and Atyudarini thoroughly enjoyed the blowing air on her face! 
The island is a natural island sitting in the middle of Meuse river. Its called the île de dave or Island of Dave. Its the largest island within Belgium. The island has been mentioned in documents since 1588. It was once used as an orchard and for some cultivation in 18th C and had a yacht club in 1900s. However after WWII, it has been abandoned and now it has been declared as a natural reserve.

I spotted several people swimming, on kayak, on speed boat, wake surfing etc! Half way through the island, is a part of a hill that's rocky and we did see someone climbing it as well. Seems to be an adrenaline junkie's haven! I didn't go into the Strawberry museum or little orchard, but the museum and farmers' outlet is there on the side of the road itself!
Grotte de Han: Read my post on Grotte de Han
Rail bikes of Molignee: Read my post Railbiking at Molignee
Dinant Evasion: The go-to place if you're interested in adventure. However the youngest age to do anything here would be 6 years of age. So, no, we haven't been there!


P.S: Click here to know what I wore in Namur - Day 1 Outfit, Day 2 Outfit

To Stay:
Hotels at all price points are available in Namur & Dinant.
Check out my reviews of Hotel Les Tanneurs in Namur and La Merveilleuse in Dinant.

To Get There:
On Google Maps: Les Jardin d'AnnovieneÎle de DaveWepion Strawberry Museum
Grotte de HanRail bikes of Molignee - Refer to my earlier posts.

Entrance Tickets & Timings:
Grotte de Han, Rail bikes of Molignee - Refer my earlier posts (links above).
Islands of Namur: 24 x 7

Les Jardin d'Annoviene: 
€8.50; 9:30AM to 5:30PM (last entrance at 5:00PM)
Nocturnal Picnic, Music & Tour: €50/2 persons. Begins at 6:30PM. Pre-booking necessary via website.

Wepion Strawberry Museum: 
€5; 11:00AM to 6:00PM in summers & 1:00PM to 5:00PM in winters
Rickshaw tour from Namur: €13 per person or €18 for 2. Takes 75 mins. 
Free entry with MuseumPassMusees card.

P.S: I was invited by Wallonia Tourism to experience the region for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

13 comments:

  1. Something for you, something for your baby. What fun. Loving the green landscapes that lead you to the crypts. They definitely seem so well maintained. Reading through this was almost like walking with you

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  2. The Garden of Annevoie is impressive, what a beautiful place. Fountains functioning only with water pressure now that is exciting. I would love to visit when the nocturnal event is on during Summer. An orchard of strawberries, my favourites, definitely sounds like a place I would love to visit.

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  3. The garden looks stunning!!! It seems a very good place for kids. Your detailed write - up is very helpful for trip planning.

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  4. I was not knowing that there are so many wonderful day trips from Namur. I would love to spend some time at Garden of Annevoie as it really looks very green and serene. Good to know there are so many water fountains as I love the sound of falling water. And it is really interesting that these water fountains are not controlled by motors but through natural water pressure. Drive of Desires is really a romantic walk with greenery all around. Thanks for sharing great hidden locations.

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  5. The gardens are absolutely stunning! I'd love to learn more about how the fountains are able to operate without motors... although I probably wouldn't understand it anyway because, well, physics. Thanks for putting Garden of Annevoie on my radar as I'd never heard of it before!

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  6. What an amazingly beautiful garden! Too bad you were not able to see the castle but this too looks like a fun day. My family likes to go out and just roam around the gardens and look at the beautiful flowers. It is such a great way to get to outdoors. Especially on our trips.

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  7. I had never heard of Namur before, but this makes me think that I should plan another visit to my neighbors to the south soon. I love strawberries! ;)

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  8. THis place looks so green and relaxing. And the lakes with little houses makes it look like out of a fairy tale. Namur area sounds like a perfect idea for a weekend trip.

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  9. The Garden of Annevoie look really lovely and gorgeous. I didn't know about Namur though before reading this post. It is a beautiful place.

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  10. Les Jardin d'Annevoie is surely an interesting garden that I would love to visit. Especially the water fountains controlled by pressure is something that has drawn my attention. I would love to see all the three types - French, Italian, and English - of waterfountains. The rickshaw is a great addition to roam around freely, I must say.

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  11. Namur looks so beautiful! I definitely would love to spend the entire day exploring the chateau and experiencing how regal it would've felt to live there. This city definitely looks like it was lifted out of a fairy tale. I definitely could spend all day at the Island of Dave as well.

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  12. This place seems like a nice one for a short visit. Interesting to read about the Garden and especially the fountains flowing without any motors. The Drive of Desires walk looks quite beautiful too with the canopies..

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  13. This garden looks so beautiful and exploring it on rickshaws must be fun! Can't believe that those 27 fountains work without motor, the magic of physics!

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