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Roam with a view: Top spots for spectacular scenery

Le Tombeau du Géant (c) WBT/JP Remy-Botassart
00:42 01/05/2021
This corner of the Low Countries isn’t short of highlights when it comes to panoramic views. Here are a few of our favourites

Close to Bouillon in Luxembourg province, the Giant’s Tomb (pictured above) nestles in a bend on the Semois river. Legend has it that a giant once threw himself from the surrounding hills to his death to avoid capture by the Romans. The lookout point is in the village of Botassart, on the route of multiple signposted walks.

The Basilica, majestically looming atop the Koekelberg hill in the north of Brussels, is one of the largest churches in the world. It’s worth a visit not only for its signature Art Deco style but also to marvel at the fantastic views you get to enjoy after climbing up to its observation deck.

Namur cable car

Namur's new cable car links the lower town with the citadel, the city’s prime tourist destination. Admire the view as you rise or descend above the Sambre river and enjoy the panorama of both the Meuse valley and the city centre from the spectacular site.

The Congo viewpoint at Stoumont in Liège province provides a panoramic view of the valley below. It owes its name to the workers who laid the train tracks here in the late 19th century. Virtually uninhabited, the surrounding landscape resembles an equatorial forest.

Vlooyberg Tower (c) Stijn Stokke/Wikipedia

Whether you happen upon it accidentally while wandering around the countryside near Tielt-Winge, or go in search of it, your first glimpse of the Vlooyburg Tower is always a delight. Made in the form of a staircase, it takes visitors 11m into the air in a spot that’s already elevated. When the sky is clear, you can see as far as Vilvoorde to the west and the shafts of the old Limburg coal mines to the east.

From the Falize Rock in Malmedy, the 70m altitude affords you a sky-high view of the Warche valley. It can be reached via a 9km signposted walk (follow the blue rectangle with a logo of a cockerel) called The Two Rocks.

Liège citadel (c) WBT/JP Rémy

After a 13km tourist trail, reward yourself at Liège’s Belvedère de la Citadelle with one of the best views of the city from the 60m terrace (access behind CHR hospital). A staircase zigzags towards Saint-Léonard park for further exploration, while Les coteaux de la citadelle is an alternative shorter walk.

Mont des Arts spotlights a view of Brussels that has become a classic on postcards and Instagram alike. The magnificent facades, gardens and the iconic Gothic-style tower at the Grand Place are best enjoyed around the fountain all the way at the top, which is also home to a refreshment stand with deckchairs.

La Fête au Palais

Meuse valley hotel and restaurant La Fête au Palais blossoms in the summer when customers flock to enjoy its stupendous view. The three-star eco-friendly establishment in the pretty village of Lustin also has a large terrace bar.

Place Poelaert, at the foot of the majestic Justice Palace, provides panoramic city views with the Atomium sparkling on the horizon. The ancient stone balustrade with a 63m drop fills up quickly around sunset in summer, with a free public elevator connecting downtown and uptown.

Panorama walking trail (c) David Semyn

The name Panorama tells you what you need to know about this walking trail in the heart of the Flemish Ardennes. Up into hills and down into valleys, you’ll get a heck of a workout on the 16km route, but incredible views certainly make it worth it. It’s easy to build in shortcuts if you so choose; just check out the map of the route.

At 67km, the coastal tram is the longest tramline in the world, connecting cities and towns all along the Belgian coast from Knokke-Heist to De Panne. Reason enough to hop on board! Highlights are the beautiful sea views between Ostend and Middelkerke as well as a trip through the dunes.

Thuin (c) WBT/JP Rémy

The fortified town of Thuin in Hainaut is famed for its hanging gardens. Its steep terraces were cultivated in the Middle Ages as vegetable patches because of the lack of green space. The rural area attracts walkers and cyclists; for the best viewpoint, visit the town’s belfry.

On a clear day, you can see France and Luxembourg from Arlon’s Saint-Donat cathedral. The site in Luxembourg province is on the grounds of a long-disappeared castle. Reach it by walking up the listed Way of the Cross, a restored 19th-century stone pathway.

Located in a bend of the Semois river, the Luxembourg province village of Frahan, known as Les Crètes, almost qualifies as an island. Along with the neighbouring village of Rochehaut, it offers one of the most beautiful walks in the Bouillon area, with magnificent valley views.

MAS (c) Filip Dujardin

A ticket to the MAS Museum in Antwerp gives you access to the roof 10 floors up. The museum is right on the waterfront of the port city, and its “promenade” lets visitors gaze through glass to the outside world on every level. But nothing beats the rooftop, with spectacular 360° views over the city, harbour, left bank and up and down the Scheldt river.

The lookout tower in the nature reserve known as the Lommelse Sahara is not only beautiful, it takes visitors 30m into the air, offering a breath-taking view of pine forests, sandy plains and numerous ponds. All three of the signposted walks in the reserve pass the viewing tower.

If you’ve a head for heights, check out this interactive map of Wallonia’s most spectacular viewpoints, with panoramas of river valleys, cities and rural landscapes.

More from The Bulletin's summer travel guide

  1. Walk this way: Discover Belgium on foot
  2. Get your green fix at our favourite parks, woodlands and gardens
  3. Top spots for spectacular scenery
  4. The best culture this summer is outside
  5. Monuments and memorials to remember the fallen
  6. Delve into Belgium’s rich industrial past
  7. Local food at its finest
  8. Come on in, the water’s lovely
  9. The finest spots for a summer apero
  10. Big days out for all the family
  11. Seven cycling experiences to discover
  12. Top heritage sites for a fine day out
  13. Don't miss out this summer thanks to our agenda of events in Belgium
Written by The Bulletin