Quite wild, the northern part combines moorland, peat bogs and vast forests, with striking evidence of the exploitation of iron and slate. It is here that the Vieilles Forges lake, the largest in the Ardennes, nestles. The citadel of Rocroi with its skilful pentagon-shaped fortifications is a masterpiece of Vauban. As in Rocquigny or Signy-le-Petit, admire the twenty or so spectacular fortified churches of Thiérache.
The Meuse and Semoy rivers offer spectacular wooded meanders as far as Revin and Givet. Don't miss the viewpoints of La Marfée, Les Dames de Meuse, Mont Malgré-Tout, or the wonderful cave of Nichet. A pleasant cycle path follows the towpath, without forgetting a multitude of sporting activities to be practised on the water or in the middle of broom and heather. This is also the place for a break from the Belgian neighbours, to discover the tourist towns of Dinant and Namur.
Further east, on the land of many battles, visit the colossal Sedan castle (14th), the largest in Europe, at the gates of Luxembourg. Marvel at the site of the Carthusian monastery of Mont-Dieu. Go behind the scenes of felt, the oldest textile in the world, in Mouzon.
In the footsteps of Rimbaud and Verlaine
Then join the classical arcades and pavilions of the sumptuous Charleville-Mézières ducal square. The capital of the Ardennes is intimately linked to the memory of the poet Arthur Rimbaud, but also to puppets, celebrated by a major international festival. In addition to its flamboyant Gothic style basilica, Charleville-Mézières has about twenty religious buildings. Beautiful views of the ducal city from Mount Olympus.
The ridges announce the chalk plains of the Ardennes Champagne region which stretches west to the border with the Marne, not far from Reims. The opportunity to see the grandiose and astonishing baroque church of Asfeld, with its domes, its cupolas, its columns. The universe of the poet Paul Verlaine is also evoked at length in Juniville.
Campsites in the Ardennes
About thirty campsites are waiting for you in the Ardennes. Pitch your tent or rent your mobile home at a campsite in the Ardennes during your next holiday! Choose the campsite Le Lac des Vieilles Forges *** in Les Mazures, nestled in the Ardennes forest, 200m from a large lake and its fine sandy beach.
The omnipresence of wild nature
In the south-east of the department, the Argonne Ardennaise offers you thick forests, where wolves, deer, wild boar and roe deer enjoy themselves. With the oases of freshness of the lakes of Bairon and La Samaritaine.
About fifteen parks and gardens are worth a visit in the Ardennes department, complemented by the vast areas of the Ardennes Regional Nature Park, which covers 116,000 hectares.
To guide your holiday in the Ardennes, thematic routes allow you to appreciate the worlds of beer, abbeys, legends, and the fortifications of Rimbaud and Verlaine. A little everywhere warm inns promote red turkey, dry ham, bacon salad, wild boar stew, white pudding from Rethel and some cheeses.