Today we visit two of Belgium’s best destinations. First, the Caves of Han-sur-Lesse in the Ardennes. This are not just any cave system, it’s truly exceptional. It is one of Belgium’s top tourist attractions with well over half a million visitors per year and a 3-star rating by the Michelin guide. This huge complex of caves were carved out as a result of erosion by the small Lesse River. During our tour we will walk no less than 2km through the caves and visit several spectacular rooms, some of which are very large. Afterwards we’ll head towards Dinant, arguably one of the nicest towns in the country with a very long history and a superb citadel overviewing the Meuse river 100 meters below. If you want to get to know Belgium and tick-off some must-see destinations from this country, you can hit two birds with one stone today with Expat Club.
Trip by 4* luxury coach with reclining seats
Bottled water during the outbound journey
Entrance fees Grottes of Han
Guided tour Grottes of Han
Entrance fees PrehistoHan
Lunch in Han (optional)
Entrance fees Dinant Citadelle
Entrance fees cable car (one way, down)
Great group of international people
A lifetime of expat memories
Coach pick-up points
Place Schuman (bus stop next to KBC Bank on roundabout)
La Chasse (long bus stop on Avenue d’Auderghem before main intersection)
Metro Delta (long bus stop on Avenue de Beaulieu next to Metro exit)
Metro Hermann Debroux (long bus stop next to Loxam, “under” the highway)
Who can join this trip?
Expat Club is known for welcoming a wide variety of international people on its trips. This creates a special, open-minded, safe and friendly environment in which everyone should feel comfortable.
Expat Club loves welcoming young expats, too! If you want to bring your child(ren) up until 18 years, please first add the regular adult ticket(s) to the cart and then go to the cart page. On the cart page, there is a child ticket available for only €40. If you require 2 or more child tickets, you can change the quantity on the cart page too and update the cart.
As with any Expat Club trip, our schedule today is carefully designed so you can enjoy all the places and have enough time for lunch, a coffee and some free time. Still, all times below are tentative and depend also on external circumstances, such as weather and traffic conditions. Together with the bus driver, guide and welcoming destinations we will do our best to give you the most optimal experience. FYI, Expat Club loves being on time and we are very often spot on when it comes to keeping track of the schedule.
08h00 – Departure Place Schuman (+ La Chasse, Delta, Hermann-Debroux)
09h45 – Arrival Han-sur-Lesse
10h00 – Train ride to entrance of caves
10h15 – Guided tour inside caves
11h45 – PrehistoHan & free time
12h30 – Lunch (optional)
13h30 – Departure to Dinant
14h30 – Guided tour Dinant Citadelle
15h45 – Cable car to Dinant
16h00 – Boat tour
17h00 – Free time
18h30 – Departure to Brussels
19h45 – Return to Brussels
Caves of Han-sur-Lesse
Although we only visit the caves, it is part of a much larger natural complex, the Domain de Grottes de Han, which also includes a Wildlife Park and several smaller attractions.
It is quite amazing to know that the Lesse River found its way through the rocks of the Ardennes. As you can see on the above pictures, the river is considerably larger on exit than on entry. This is due to the water that is added to the river while running underground. It’s very humid inside (95%) with a constant temperature of 13 degrees.
Upon arrival we’ll be boarding a unique 110-year old tram that was once part of a much larger vicinal tramway network. Needless to say that they are expecting us, so there is really no need to stand in line for tickets and the tram itself. In just a few minutes the tram will take us to the entrance of the caves. At the end, one or more English-speaking guides will be waiting for us to take us through the caves. Due to the temperatures and high humidity it is advisable to dress warm. Also keep in mind that there will be a total of 504 steps (up and down) over a length of about 2 kilometers. During 1 to 1,5 hours this guided tour we walk along many spectacular rooms with the most beautiful and amazing rock formations.
At the end of the tour you can either relax in one of the two restaurants or you can go to the PrehistoHan (entrance also included). “This year PrehistoHan is highlighting the underwater excavations carried out on the bed of the Lesse and at the exit from the Cave of Han. Films, models and photos take you down with the divers, into the murky waters of the river, to the discovery of one of Belgium’s most fabulous archaeological treasures. It’s an adventure that started 50 years ago! Frequented by man for over 4,000 years, the Cave of Han has yielded up an impressive quantity of archaeological remains dating from the Late Neolithic to modern times. The best represented period is without doubt the Late Bronze Age. The quantity of objects discovered is such that it makes Han one of the most important sites in western Europe for this period. The exhibition also includes a section dedicated to the natural sciences: geology, the formation of the caves and concretions and cave fauna. A large model of the massif of the caves, a presentation of the various networks of the cave system and an animation on the Lesse in spate round off the exhibition.” (source: https://www.grotte-de-han.be/)
Situated along the beautiful Meuse River, Dinant has a very long and tumultuous history. In Dinant there are many things to do, including the ascent by cable car (or foot) to the impressive Citadel that towers 100 meters over the town and Meusse river. You can also visit the Adolph Sax museum, take boat tour over the river, visit the lovely Maison Leffe (and taste various sorts of their beers).
As a group we will start actually on the top of the town, since our bus driver will drop us at the Citadelle. We will go in for a nice guided tour (included in trip fee) through this impressive structure. Learn about it’s amazing history that spans many centuries and covers, unfortunately, also several wars. After the tour we will descend to the lower part of town by cable car (also included), where you will enjoy some free time before we return to Brussels.
Dinant is the birth town of Adolph Sax, the inventor of one of the most famous instruments. You may find some time to find his birth house and visit the Sax museum. But of course you are also more than welcome to go to a nice bar and enjoy the local beer… Leffe! We finish as a group in a nice bar / restaurant for some drinks. We leave again around 19h15 so we won’t be back too late in Brussels as it’s just 1h15 driving.
After our tour through he caves of Han and our individual visits to the PrehistoHan, you are invited to join us for lunch. This is optional (€24,90), but should be reserved in advance. Such lunches are always a great way to get to know more people in our group. You can choose between 2 main courses:
Salmon filet lemon cream with small vegetables and chips or Stuffed tomato with Ricotta and quorn (vegetarian)
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1 drink + coffee/tea
We will be travelling with a comfortable 4* luxury coach from Lauwers Reizen. The seats are configured in Princess Class, which means you will have extra leg space and can recline your seat. This way you can get some extra rest. All seats have footrests as well. There is a (small) toilet on-board and a DVD system with three flat screens, so we can show you a nice movie or documentary outbound and/or inbound journey. Btw we depart from Place Schuman, followed by La Chasse, Delta, and Hermann-Debroux. It’s just a drive of about 1h30 towards Han-sur-Lesse.