Small towns and villages

Here we’d like to give you an overview of the small towns and villages visited  by our guests during their stay at Le Roptai. You are more than welcome of course to visit the webpages of Val de Lesse and Haute-Lesse.

The small village of Ave lies at the foot of Le Roptai’s hill. The hamlet of Auffe is 2 km away. In Ave you can sit on the terrace of the local café, the quaint little church… The small village of Ave is 1km away from the campsite, so it is a nice destination for a first walk around to get a feel of the area!

The small village of Belvaux is ideally located along the river Lesse, at bit more than 4 km from the campsite. Several nice walks start from Belvaux. There is also a well-known fine cuisine restaurant and not far away the mount of Ermitage where it is still possible to see the ruins left by the Earl Edmond d’Hoffschmidt (1777-1861)

The small village of Lavaux-Ste-Anne is 6 km away from Le Roptai. It is known for its castle, which started being built in the 13th century. The castle has three museums: one about the life of the aristocracy, one about rural life in Famenne, and a museum about the natural environment. Right nearby there  is a wetland with marshes, grassland with a lot to see in just a 30 minute tour.

3,5km away from Le Roptai in the municipality of Rochefort you will find the small village of Lessive. In 1971 a land station was built for telecommunications via satellite. It was built in the wooded valley ‘La Héronnerie’, 1km to the south-east of Lessive and north-east of Le Roptai. The station has been closed to the public since 2007.

The most well-known tourist village in the area is Han-sur-Lesse, 5km away from Le Roptai: you can visit the world-renowned caves and an interesting wild animal park.
As the name indicates, the village is on the river Lesse. Nearby the villagethe river  has dug into, and eroded, the limestone rock, thereby creating the caves.
In the wild animal park you will see wild boars, deer, but also buffaloes, wolves, bears, wild cats…All these animals used to live in the area a long time ago. A local crafts museum (called ‘Le Han d’Autrefois’) offers a 600m²exhibition on about 40 former local crafts as well as a collection of 2500 tools that were used in the past.

Wellin is 5km away from Le Roptai, west of the E411. From the village centre nice walking trails are way-marked. Wellin is also the closest village for supermarkets,  post office, banks, and other amenities.

If you follow the main road going through Han-sur-Lesse for 6km you will get to Rochefort, to which Le Roptai is attached in administrative terms. It is small tourist town: there are two small tourist trains offering different tours, the Villa of La Malagne dating back to Roman times exhibiting features of daily life 2,000 years ago, the Lorette-Rochefort cave and the 11th and 14th century ruins of the Contal Castle. There is also nearby the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy, where the famous Rochefort Trappist beer is brewed. The Abbey itself is not open to the public, but on a regular basis it is possible to go and buy its local products.

It is a pilgrimage site 17km from Le Roptai. Tradition says that in 1932 a boy and girl saw an appearance of the Holy Virgin Mary. Since then ‘Our Lady of Beauraing’ is worshipped on a pilgrimage site.

Givet is in France, just 25 km from Le Roptai. A few minutes after having crossed the border you will find the indoor swimming pool Rivea on the left-hand side of the road. On the right-hand side there is a big shopping mall, with a big supermarket, several shops and a world famous fast food restaurant. This welcoming town stretches a bit further along the Meuse. It also has a nice citadel.

There is a beautiful provincial domain at Chevetogne, but the village located 20 km from Le Roptai is mostly known for its international Benedictine monastery. It is ‘international’ in two ways: first because monks from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Canada, Japan and Eastern European countries live there, French being the language of communication. Second because the Benedictine monks at Chevetogne exclusively dedicate themselves to promote ecumenical dialogue and understanding between all  Christians, especially between the Christian Orthodox Church with Byzantine liturgy and the Roman Catholic Church with Latin liturgy. It was decided to build a Byzantine church and a Latin Church.

The difference in terms of ‘organisation’ between ‘Byzantine’ and ‘Latin’ monks does not mean however that church services are organised separately. On the contrary the groups take part in common services, which builds up unity between the two traditions.

The Chevetogne monks choir is internationally renowned for its authenticity and professionalism in performing Byzantine liturgy songs (in Slavonic and Greek).

Dinant is located 37 km from Le Roptai on the river Meuse. The hilly area along the Meuse is steeper than the hills around our campsite. Things to see in Dinant include the Citadel, to which you can go taking a cable car, the Leffe Abbey, where a very tasty beer is brewed, the Bayard Rock, a pointy rock slightly detached from the rock wall when entering Dinant. It is only possible in one direction to drive between Bayard and the rock wall, otherwise in the opposite direction the road goes round the Rock.  Another hightlight, ‘La Merveilleuse’ is a cave which was discovered in 1904 when a railway line was installed.  In the cave you will see many stalagmites and stalactites in different rooms.

Durbuy is said to be the smallest town in the world. It is 42 km from Le Roptai and one of the major tourist highlights in the Ardennes. There are quaint little alleys and typical shops in the centre.

Namur, the provincial administrative capital, is 55km from the campsite. It is less than 45 minutes away by car. There you will find a variety of shops, restaurants, open terraces, theatres, and a citadel.