A magical Christmas in The Ardennes

Situated in the southeast of Belgium, The Ardennes region is one of those natural, unspoiled areas with rich fauna and flora, large forests made up out of broadleaf and fir, intertwined with rivers and picturesque villages. It is a place where traditions and folklore still live on, conserved and untouched by modernity but with all the luxuries and amenities of a comfortable, modern life.

During winter, when it snows, the entire Ardennes region turns into a fun snowy paradise for downhill and cross country skiers, but people also enjoy tobogganing and snow scooters. Another great experience would be horseback riding in the snow or going deep underground, leaving the world behind for a few hours, and visiting some ancient caves, which have been there for thousands of years. 
There is also so much culture here, with its ancient fortifications, abbeys, and castles, the entire region is almost a treasure box of old relics and heritage. 
As it usually happens with places such as this, the culture and traditions have long ago given birth to a solid cuisine, in this case consisting of game, wild boar, incredible cheeses, the world-famous smoked ham, and pate. 

Where to stay: discover Vallée les Étoiles 

If you would like to experience all of the above and more, a good idea would be doing it during Christmas, when the magic gets pumped up to even a higher level, if that’s at all possible! 
The wisest thing to do is stay in the heart of the action, so to say. The Belgian Ardennes can be a one-day trip kind of experience but it’s really not recommended to rush through something which is so complex and completely beautiful. You have to be kind to yourself and your family and give time for everyone to drink in the beauty and feel at home in such a place. 
Our recommendation, without a doubt, would be the gorgeous Vallée les Etoiles holiday park, located in Blaimont, Belgium - also known as the heart of the Belgian Ardennes! 
This holiday park has something for every kind of guest. Couples find it romantic, families think of it as enchanting and friend groups see it as fun and adventurous.  
During winter, the fully equipped Norwegian-style bungalows are just the right amount of cozy and quaint. You get that connection to nature through the wooden holiday homes and the fact that basically, the forest is right in your backyard while the river is located a short walk away from every single cottage. 
The holiday homes are all arranged on a sunny slope so there is abundant light and vitalizing warmth during every single part of the day.
There are many options available, for couples, families, and large friend groups: La Lune for 6 people, La Lune Comfort for 6 people, Etoile for 2 people, La Soleil 4 person holiday home, La Terre for 8 people, La Soleil Comfort 4 persons. 
Every cottage has a common area, and its very own terrace created and curated for family gatherings, friendly talks, and romantic stargazing. 
The park itself is located only 20 minutes away from Dinant and at a 40-minute drive from Namur, so culture, Christmas markets, and a nice cup of hot wine are just around the corner. 

The perfect place for a Christmas Dinner 

Vallée les Etoiles has a wonderful secret, in the shape of La Bonne Heure restaurant, where the true taste of the Ardennes comes to life.
During the holidays, everyone should have the chance to enjoy good food together in a cozy atmosphere, and there is no better place to do that than this diverse option. 
It is ready to serve guests from its regular menu, or during Christmas, a very special one with unique options only served during this time of the year. Great examples for this are chicken stew cooked in red wine with bacon and mushrooms, baked trout from the Ardennes complete with roasted almonds, grilled venison steak with wild berry sauce and so much more! 
The gorgeous panorama view from the terrace is more than worth a peek, while the holiday decorations, the fireplace, and the restaurant’s very own La Bonne Heure liqueur are all there to set the scene for a cheery Christmas. 
During this time of the year, besides the usual great quality wines and artisanal beers, guests also have access to a long list of coffee and hot chocolate, such as Caramel Macchiato, La Bonne Heure Hot Chocolate with Speculoos, and even Speculoos Macchiato! 

A wish come true  

The magic of Christmas is kept alive at Vallée Les Etoiles in many ways and this year, the park awaits its guests with a Christmas Wish Tree at the reception, where families can carve their deepest wishes on a decoration, hang it on the tree and fill their souls with hope and love.  

A walk around town  

Dinant is a picturesque city on the Meuse river, situated right between the water and the surrounding high walls of the ancient valley. 
There are so many things to see and experience here, such as the 16th-century church, the Citadelle, Rocher Bayard, the historical center and the town is also the birthplace of Adolph Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. 
Take a stroll along Avenue Cadoux, then along the Croisette, enjoying the seasonal illuminations reflecting on the Meuse river - as enchanting as the holiday season itself! 
You can visit the large artisan market and get regional delicacies as Christmas presents for friends and family. 
Usually, there are also concerts and animations during this time of the year, a favorite of children and adults alike! 

Fun activities around the park during Christmas 

There are many activities planned around the park during Christmas, ones which involve families and children, creating the perfect holiday setting: 
  • We have some exciting news: on the 26th of December, between 11:00 and 18:00 o’clock, there will be a free SUP boarding demonstration in our heated swimming pool! The awesome people from Paddle & Packraft Sensation will be there to help try out this exciting activity, preparing you for summertime, to simply rent & SUP 
  • Children adore Christmas Time! During the holidays, an animation team will be handling the mood and turning up the fun at our park, creating the best ever experience for the smallest of guests! See the full schedule below and take part in the activities 
  • Fun alert! The park is partnering up with their friends from Dinant Evasion and creating an entire weekend of fun activities:  The schedule: on 28-29th of December 10 AM Ardennes Challenge (min 10 yrs)– 10 AM Kids Challenge (min 8 yrs)- 3 PM Alpes Challenge (min 10 yrs). Reservations are possible via the site of Dinant Adventure “Adventure rendez-vous” Avontuur events 2021”. Groups ( min 10 pers) can reserve another challenge if they want, if they contact them in advance. 

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