In the north of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg lies the tourist region of the Ardennes, called Éislek by the Luxembourgers and Ösling by the Germans. With two nature parks and the largest lake in Luxembourg, the region is a real nature temple for hikers. In this privileged natural area, there are also stunning castles whose medieval and cultural festivals will delight history and art lovers. Remembrance tourism holds a special place in this region of Luxembourg: a large number of sites, monuments and museums pay tribute to those who fought for freedom, especially during the Battle of the Bulge. The region is incredibly vibrant and invites visitors to be active with both their body and mind all year round. Join us on a discovery tour!
The Ardennes - naturally active
One of the best ways to discover this green landscape is the hiking trails, such as the ones that go through the nature reserves. The Our Natural Park and the Haute-Sûre Natural Park offer routes for all tastes and levels! The German-Luxembourg Nature Park offers a unique cross-border experience in an area where local sustainable development is the top priority.
If you are keen on long distances, you can use the Escapardenne Lee Trail and Escapardenne Éislek Trail, which cover 159km. This trail was ranked among 'Leading Quality Trails - Best of Europe', a European quality label awarded by the European Ramblers Association. Eight train stations run along the trail between Ettelbruck and Troisvierges, and offer opportunities to adapt the trail to families and children. Since 2019, the Éislek Regional Tourist Office offers Rail&Trail, a walking adventure to discover the region actively and without stress.
If you are keen on more strenuous sports, you could take part in the Wämper Triathlon. The event takes place in Weiswampach in August and features an Olympic distance triathlon: 1.5 km of swimming, 40 km of cycling and a 10K run.
After these sport activities, why not unwind in the Lake of the Upper Sûre? The Upper Sûre Lake is 1km West from Esch-sur-Sûre, in the middle of the Upper Sûre Nature Park. It consists of a wonderful leisure and bathing area during the bathing season (from May to September).
The castles: history, dreams and culture
The Ardennes region's castles are truly unique places where history, culture and dreams blend in perfectly.
Vianden Castle is one of the largest and most beautiful feudal abodes dating back to the Roman and Gothic eras in Europe. It was built between the 11th and 14th century and has belonged to the State since 1977. It has been restored to its former glory: its towers and ramparts will be magical for the young and old alike. In the summer, the castle hosts the Knights Festival. For over a week, visitors can discover medieval features with knight camps, fire and battle shows, jugglers, troubadours as well as demonstrations of calligraphy and birds of prey.
Each summer, fans of concerts, theatre nights and art performances are expected at Wiltz Castle. The amphitheatre hosts the Wiltz Festival, featuring international artists, Luxembourg premieres and hybrid productions combining various arts. Shows are available for all audiences!
As for Clervaux Castle, it offers a remarkable collection of documentary art photographs: The Family of Man. The collection comprises 503 photographs taken by 273 people from 68 countries and brought together by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The exhibition is a manifesto for peace and the fundamental equality of human beings, crafted through humanistic post-war photography. It was presented for the very first time in 1955 and, after circling the globe, Clervaux Castle became its permanent abode in 1994. Since 2003, it has been included in the UNESCO's Memory of the World Register
Visit Éislek App: connected tourism is advancing fast
At the beginning of 2020, the Regional tourist board of the Ardennes launched the free application Visit Éislek for smartphones and tablets. It presents several tour routes, emblematic places, restaurants, museums and accommodation on an interactive map with filtering function.
All the events and tourist offers of the region in one click!
The Ardennes - a memorial in itself
When looking at history, one of the biggest ordeals that Luxembourg had to face was World War II. In the last months of the war, the Battle of the Bulge ravaged the North of Luxembourg, leaving marks behind up to this very day.
Today, many sites, monuments and museums pay tribute to those who fought for freedom. Wiltz Castle is home to the Museum of the Battle of the Bulge. In this duty of remembrance, monuments are erected in several places in the region. These historical sites can also be explored on foot. In the vicinity of Wiltz, for example, the 1944-1945 Schumanns Eck remembrance walk ('sentier du souvenir'), covering 2.8km, lets you discover the surroundings of the battlefield. Local operators such as Gaul's Legacy Tours - which specialises in remembrance tourism - can also organise tailor-made tours.