Surroundings & tourist information
La Ferme du Bois-le-Comte is located in the southeast of Belgium. The farm borders France and is surrounded by pastures and broad-leaved forests. The most southern part of this region is known as the 'Belgian Provence' because of its mild climate, its gentle landscape and its warm atmosphere.
A diversity of plants and flowers that are rare in the rest of Belgium grow here thanks to the exceptionally genial micro-climate. And lots of animals live in the woods surrounding the farm. With a little patience you may meet deer, squirrels, foxen, badgers, wild boars, owls, herons or buzzards.
Walking and cycling
Bois-le-Comte is situated at 2 km from the village, at the end of a metalled road, surrounded by kilometers of unspoilt nature. As soon as you go outside, you are in the woods and you can roam around for hours without meeting anyone. The scenery is stunning, a paradise for lovers of nature.
The residence is at an intersection of footpaths. Several mapped walks and long-distance paths (GR 15, Chemin des Pélerins, ...) pass by Bois-le-Comte and nearby, and we also have a dozen topographic maps at your disposal. Most walking routes are also suitable for bikers and riders. You do not need to be in a super condition if you want to bike here, the hills are gentle. But you do need a goud mountain bike, which can be rented in Florenville.
This is a selection of the most beautiful areas in the region. For all of you who love walking in nature.
- Chameleux, hamlet in a beautiful valley, with a gallo-roman site, and Williers, on top of the hill, a charming old French border village with wonderful panoramic views. You can have a drink under the chestnut trees at the square Chez Odette. At walking distance from Bois-le-Comte; a very nice walk on the borderline, through the woods and along a small river. Takes about 1,5 hours to Chameleux.
- Florenville: the church tower offers the most magnificent view of the entire Semois valley. If the tower is closed, enjoy the panorama from the benches near the church. 2,5 hours walk (8 km) through the woods (via Chameleux); 12 km by car.
- Chiny: stunning view of the Semois; in the village of Chiny you follow the direction of Léglise/Neufchâteau and cross the Semois, the place is indicated.
- Muno, La Roche à l'Appel: important European geological centre in the middle of a nature reserve: marvellous mapped walks; path Muno-Sainte-Cécile for walkers, bikers and riders (a 7 km long path following an old railway through the forests); also many walks in the direction of France.
- Chassepierre: very nice, charming village along the Semois, surrounded by fields, pastures and woods. A famous international open air street arts festival takes place here in August.
- Herbeumont: stunning panoramic view from the ruins of a 12th century castle on a woody hill. You can see Le Tombeau du Chevalier (the knight's tomb).
- Le Trou des Fées in Croix-Rouge (near Etalle): a hill full of small caves where fairies live.
- Le Gros Cron in Lahage (near Meix-devant-Virton): lovely scenic area where traces of a celtic settlement from the first century before J.C. were found. Much later hermits lived in the cavity at the foot of the rock.
- The Saint Walfroy mountain in Margut (F): beautiful views of the region from the holy mountain, dedicated to the goddess Arduina, the goddess of nature and fertility. This goddess was drive away by Walfroy, disciple of Saint Martin, who destroyed the statue of Arduina and built a church instead, which became a place of pilgrimage. The present abbey is still called the Ermitage de Saint Walfroy.
- The forest of Les Epioux in Lacuisine, The arboretum in Chiny, the forest of Anlier, the nature reserve in Attert, the nature reserve and the lake of Etalle, and, further away, the museum of the forest in Renwez (F).
Places worth seeing
The region has a rich history and offers lots of possible excursions. Here is a brief survey of interesting places. You can find detailed information in Bois-le-Comte and at the local tourist offices (websites: see links).
- The famous abbey of Orval: Guided visits (also in English) of the old ruins (with a majestic oak tree) and herbal garden, slides presentation of contemporary monastic life. Also nice to experience: the vespers (in French),every evening. The abbey is at half an hour’s walk through the forest.
- The basilica of Avioth (F): A major place of pilgrimage along the road to Compostella. The basilica is a majestic gothic masterpiece in the middle of the fields. It is famous for its nice sculptures and for the black madonna with child who has been worshipped for 900 years in the village. Mothers with stillborn babies used to come from far and near to Our Lady of Avioth because she had the gift of bringing the child back to life for a few minutes so that it could be baptised and could go to heaven. At 10 km from Orval.
- Gérouville: Village founded by the abbey of Orval and known for its more than 700 years old lime tree.
- Torgny: Belgium’s southernmost village with the atmosphere of the Provence. The village is classified as one of the most beautiful Belgian villages. The marked micro-climate enables winegrowing.
- The castle of Bouillon: very famous, very touristic but worth visiting, especially with children.
- The fortification of Sedan (F) with Europe's largest fortress (35.000 m2): much less known in Belgium than Bouillan but at least as beautiful.
- The citadel of Montmédy: an impressive, perfectly preserved fortress, built on a rock more than 100 m above the Lower City. The Higher City was fortified and protected by more than 6 km long, double walls with lift bridges. There is a walking circuit around the citadel wich offers a beautiful view of the valleys.
- Marville (F): marvellous Spanish style town. Do visit the original 16th centuray cimitary and the ossuary, which counts at least 40.000 skulls and a warning to remember our mortality: "Nous avons été comme vous/ Vous serez comme nous/ Priez Dieu pour nous." ("We have been like you/ You will be like us/ Pray God for us.")
- Montauban: important archeological site near Virton where remnants of 3 successive periods of occupation were discovered (Iron age, Roman age and Middle Ages).
Sports & wellness
- Kayaking down the Semois river: from Chiny to Lacuisine, Florenville, Martué or Chassepierre: from 8-26 km.
- Sauna in Florenville and Virton (awaiting our own sauna in Bois-le-Comte).
- Indoor swimming pools in Jamoigne, Bertrix and Virton; open-air swimming pool in Florenville.
- Horseback riding a.o. in Pure (recommended! -> relais équestre des récolets), Moyen, Chassepierre, carriage rides a.o. in Lacuisine.
- Festival du Conte in Chiny, 2nd weekend of July
- Trad-Folk festival in Chiny, 2nd weekend of July
- Festival of artisans and artists in Torgny, 3rd Sunday of July
- Entertainment, parties, torchlight processions, fireworks in the castles of Bouillon & Sedan and the citadel of Montmédy, August
- Classical music and theatre festival in Florenville-Chiny, 1-14 August
- Gaume Jazzfestival in Rossignol, 2nd weekend of August
- Big fireworks in Florenville (from the church tower) on 15th August, from 10 pm
- Internationaal Street Arts Festival in Chassepierre, next-to-last weekend of August; fabulous festival (also for children), not to be missed!
- X-Cape Trophy: two days team sports and adventure, last weekend of August
- Open doors along the Semois river: local potters, bakers, bee-keepers,... open their doors; lots of free, guided walks in nature, last weekend of August
- European Film Festival in Virton (Ciné Patria), November
- Tintigny (farmers market with organic products and organic restaurant): each Friday from 5-10 pm (more information and menu of the week: www.marchefermier.be)
- Orgéo (farmers market with organic produce): each Saturday from 3 - 5.30 pm
- Florenville (small organic farmers market): each first Wednesday morning of the month, each other Wednesday afternoon
- Florenville (second-hand market): each last Sunday of the month, March-November
- Virton: each Friday morning
- Arlon (second-hand market): each first Sunday of the month, March-November
Tourist offices for the 3 regions surrounding bois-le-comte
- Pays de la Semois entre Ardenne et Gaume: Chiny, Florenville, Herbeumont
- Pays de Gaume: Etalle, Tintigny, Virton
- Pavillon d'accueil du territoire du sanglier: the French border region: Avioth, Montmédy, Sedan, Mouzon, Stenay, Charleville-Mézières
Tourist offices for neighbouring regions
- Bouillon: Bertrix, Bouillon, Paliseul
- La Forêt d'Anlier: Habay-la-Neuve, Léglise, Neufchâteau
- Pays d'Arlon: Arlon, A ttert, Aubange
Detailed tourist information is available in Bois-le-Comte.