Great day trips Belgium -
Just across the border
Belgium is so small that it's fine to go abroad just for a day trip.
Less than an hour drive away from the westernmost border between Belgium and France, Cap Gris and Blanc Nez can be found. It's a stunning location to watch white chalk cliffs and you can even spot England. It's one of the trips I made the most during the past years. There is so much to do and the landscape is totally different than what we're used to in Flanders.
Other than hiking and falling in love with the nature, you can find fossils and ammonites on the beach, spot seals, try out the local dishes or enjoy the traditional architecture. Get back on the cliffs before high tide, or your shoes will drown. Also be aware, there is a high possibility of heavy wind when you reach the top.
Best reachable by car, you don't have to pay road taxes to use the highway. Also parking is free.
3. mONScHAU [germany] - ARCHITECTURE/NATURE
Monschau is located in Germany, literally just across the border with Belgium and not far away from the High Frens / Hoge Venen.
It's small village where no cars are allowed. You have to leave your car on a huge parkings outside of the town. €
The village is full of traditional German buildings and little shops, which makes it perfect for a short romantic trip. It's also a cool location for photograpers and you've probably seen some photo's of this city on instagram before.
The downside of this perfect mix for a short trip is that it's a very touristical town and in Dutch we have a saying called 'headwalking' [koppenlopen], which is very applicable here, depending on the time of the year and weather.
Try to combine your trip to Monschau with a nature trail closeby. This can be near the village itself, but you can also drive a little bit further or back to a national reserve closeby. Some good spots are mentioned on the nature page of my website. For example the High Fens in Belgium, the Vennbahn,...
Luxembourg City is the capital city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Not really grand at all, if you ask me. Nevertheless, I thought Luxembourg city has a lot to offer and has an incredibly quiet and comfy atmosphere. Also in the surrounding area of the city, there are many possibilities for nature hikes.
This picture was taken from within the city walls. A must see when visiting Luxembourg. I was there in august 2017, with one of my best friends Jonathan. Who helped me choosing this profile name :).
Luxembourg city is located about a 2 hours drive from Brussels. Or 15 minutes from the South-Eastern Belgian Border.
A hilly landscape where fields and forests alternate.
The national park is located in the Pas-De-Calais province, in the north of France.
The region is about a one hour drive from the Belgian border. We just drove randomly around until we found a beautiful base point for our walk.
It's a very relaxing and beautiful landscape. I wen't there in different seasons and everytime I saw a different and beautiful landscape.
- In spring: many fields in the region become yellow, since the rapeseed blooms. The landscape becomes very colorfull and diverse.
- In summer: the crops are big and ready to harvest. The landscape is busier and turns green.
- In autumn: bales of hay everywhere, which i think looks incredible, especially in the hilly landscape! In later autumn, the trees become brown and colorful, which is always an incredible phenomenen, wherever you are.
- In winter: I haven't been there in winter. Feel free to send me some pictures if you have.
7. ZEELAND [the netherlands]
Zeeland is located in the southwestern part of the Netherlands. The vegetation is a bit similar to West-Flanders, but the fields are wider, the population is lower and it is much more quiet. Zeeland has many beautiful beaches and cozy villages. Just take your bike, scooter or car and discover the authentic area by yourself.
Some places in zeeland are quite touristical, with many bars and shops, but that also has a charm ofcourse.
- One of these places is Sluis, just one km from the Belgian border, and therefore, you'll find hundres of Belgians enjoying their beers after biking there.
- Cadzand: a beachtown, also located just a few kilometers away from the Belgian Border.
- Middelburg: the capital city of Zeeland
- Zoutelande: just a basic beachtown, nevertheless super famous due to a Dutch song by BLØF and Geike Arnaert.
8. SOUTH ENGLAND [united kingdom] -
You probably didn't expect England to be on this list. But yes. You can even go to England for just a daytrip and you won't have to be sitting in the car for a whole day. Although it might depend on where you live.
First of all, you have to drive to Calais, in the north of France. This trip by car takes for me about 1 hours from Ostend, from Ghent and Brussels it is respectively a 1,5 hours and 2 hours drive. The cheapest way to reacht England is by ferry, which takes about 1,5 hours. You can also drive your car on a train, then the crossing is only around 30 minutes, but it will make the trip definitely more expensive. 1,5 hours on the boat might seem long, but I can guarantee that it is actually a great experience.
When you arrive in England, you are good to go, don't forget that you have to drive left. You don't have to drive to find beautiful locations, such as (in parentheses, the drivetime from the Ferry)
- National Trust, The White Cliffs of Dover (5 minutes)
- Cliffs between Dover and Folkestone (5-10 minutes)
- The historical city of Canterbury. (About a 20 minutes)
- Botany bay, Kent. (About 30 minutes)
What places would you recommend yourself?
If you have multiple days, follow the English coast further to the West. The further you go, the more beautiful it gets.
This picture was taken in Capel-Le-Ferne.
A bit too far for a day trip, but definitely a must see, not too far away from Belgium!
I had great expectations for my trip to the Mont Saint-Michel. My trip was very short, but exceeded my expectations by far! The nature around the Mont Saint-Michel is fantastic. The vast majority of people drive to one of the paying car parks around Mont Saint-Michel and then walk via the Bridge to the entrance of the town. There is also an option to take the bus.
Since we didn't want to spend fortunes on parking, we thought of leaving the car at a free lot, a little bit further away from Mont saint-Michel and taking small bicycles with us. In the spontaneity of the trip we forgot to take the bicycles with us. It later turned out that they were not necessary at all!
We parked in a small hamlet, a few kilometers before the car park, from there you can walk through the fields to Mont Saint-Michel. It's about the same distance than walking from the car parks! I wouldn't be surprised if it is even shorter!
Unlike the road, where you have a less beautiful view and where you are surrounded by people, you pass sheep in the fields, where hardly any people walk. It's really a fantastic environment. From the fields you can also acces the end of the bridge, from where you reach the Mont Saint-Michel. So forget about the expensive paying car parks and park your car for free in the hamlet called 'La Rive', where the fantastic walk starts.
There is also a beautiful winding river, during my visit it was unfortunately dried out, but you have probably already seen it on social media. I will not release the location to keep it a secret, but you can search for yourself.
The village itself is ofcourse also a nice place to visit, many thin streets with small cozy shops lead you to the top of the hill, where you arrive at the large abbey. The village has a population of about 43 anno 2020.
Take into account that there are thousands of visitors in the village, even in times of Corona. Because of this I only visited the town very shortly. This is one of the most touristical places in all of France, next to the Eiffel Tower and the palace of Versailles.
I will not talk about the history of the Mont Saint-Michel here, you should look it up online. 😁
Och, one more tip. Don't cross these 'dry' rivers, as you can see on the pictures on the left. They look easy to cross. Untill you take one step and you start sinking away. Luckily my girlfriend was there to save me!
1. De Utrechtse heuvelrug [Utrecht Hill Ridge]
A stunning nature reserve with heath landscape, hills and forests.
You can also walk and bike between Scottish highlanders. A spectacular experience!
2. The pyramid of Austerlitz
The 36-metre-high pyramid was built by Napoleon's army in 1804. It is located on one of the highest points of the Utrecht Hill Ridge, the pyramid is definitely an interesting sight.
3. The lonely Oak
You need a drone to see this incredible pattern from above.
I needed to stitch multiple shots together to get the whole circle in one image. Nevertheless, the nature around the lonely oak is definitely beautiful on its own.