According to EQUZHOU, the town of Durbuy is located in the heart of the Ardennes on the river Ourthe. The town is said to be the smallest town in the world. This is not correct because this honor goes to the Croatian town of Hum where only thirty people live. Durbuy, however, has long been the smallest city in Belgium, but since the municipal reorganization this is no longer the case. This does not make Durbuy any less beautiful or picturesque. It is a beautiful small town with a beautiful compact historic center. Partly due to the beautiful center, the many cozy restaurants and the various outdoor options, Durbuy has grown into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Ardennes in recent decades. Various activities are organized in Durbuy throughout the year to attract tourists to the city. The Christmas market and the ice skating rink in December are very popular.
Top 10 things to do in Durbuy
A few kilometers from Durbuy, in the municipality of the same name, lies the village of Wéris. This beautiful little village is known for its Menhirs. The village is one of the most beautiful villages in Belgium and is therefore on the list of Les Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie. In the village and in the immediate vicinity of the village there are several megaliths and dolmen. These giant stones have been put away here for unknown reasons. There is a small megalith museum in the village. From the village you can take a walk along the various megaliths and dolmen.
#2. Parc des Topiaires
The Parc des Topiaires has a unique collection of shaped boxwood shrubs and trees. During a walk through the park you will encounter all kinds of different boxwood plants, from squirrels to elephants and from waving old people to playing children. You can’t think of it that crazy or you’ll come across it here. In total there are more than two hundred and fifty different figures on the ten hectare site. The park is open daily and can be visited for a fee. The park has limited opening times in the winter. It is also possible to take a guided tour.
Bomal is a small village in the municipality of Durbuy, about five kilometers from Durbuy. Bomal is located where the Ainse meets the Ourthe. The village is mainly known in the region for the large bustling market that is organized here every Sunday. This busy market is very popular with the locals, especially in the summer months, but also with the tourists who stay near the village. During market days there is a major traffic jam in and around the village with visitors wanting to get in or out of the town.
#4. Tourist train
Like any self-respecting tourist destination in the Netherlands or Belgium, there is also a tourist train in Durbuy. The train takes you through the small but beautiful historic center of Durbuy. In addition, the train travels back and forth between the various sights of Durbuy such as the Parc des Topiaires and the microbrewery Marckoff. A train journey with the tourist train costs a few euros. You can also buy a combination ticket, which in some cases is cheaper.
#5. The labyrinth of Barvaux
The labyrinth of Barvaux is one of the most popular sights near Durbuy. The labyrinth was created on an eleven-hectare maize field with a total of about ten kilometers of walking path. During your walk through the labyrinth you will meet actors who make a visit to the labyrinth even more fun and exciting. Large parts of the labyrinth are reconstructed every year. This is often done with a current theme, which means that a visit can also be great fun for the little ones. The labyrinth of Barvaux is open from the beginning of July to the end of September.
The Ourthe arises after the Eastern Ourthe and Western Ourthe merge into the Ourthe. The Western Ourthe rises at the Belgian town of Libramont and the eastern at the town of Ourthe. Durbuy is located on the Basse-Ourthe, this is the part of the river that is formed after the Nisramont reservoir. Near Durbuy, the Ambléve and the Vesder join the Ourthe before flowing into the Meuse near Liège. The Ourthe is one of the most popular rivers in the Ardennes for kayaking. There are therefore several kayak and canoe rental companies near Durbuy. In the summer months it is often not possible to navigate the river due to the low water level.
#7. Historic center
The small but beautiful historic center of Durbuy has perhaps the greatest attraction for the tourists staying in the vicinity of the city. In addition to some unique shops, you will find some cozy cafes and very good restaurants. The old cobbled narrow streets only add to the cozy feeling of the town. Everything in the center of Durbuy breathes the old cozy atmosphere of days long gone. Just outside the old center of Durbuy is a large parking lot from where you can easily walk to the center.
#8. Mountain biking
Several mountain bike tours can be ridden from Durbuy in different lengths and different levels of difficulty. The different MTB routes are indicated by the international MTB sign, a triangle with two circles underneath. The different routes all have their own color. A map is available at the local office du tourisme showing the different routes and the difficulty of the route. Those who do not have their own mountain bike can rent a mountain bike from one of the companies near Durbuy. However, it is wise to book these in advance to avoid disappointment.
There are two golf clubs near Durbuy and there is a mini golf course in the town itself. There is also a mini golf course in Barvaux. The most famous golf club near Durbuy is located just outside the municipality, the Five Nations Golf Club. This golf course is considered one of the most beautiful in Belgium and is one of the fifty most beautiful courses in the world. There are eighteen different and challenging holes. The other golf club, the Bleu Green, is located within the municipal boundaries of Durbuy. There are also eighteen different holes here. The miniature golf courses of Durbuy and Barvaux are open all year round.
#10. Microbrewery Marckoff
The microbrewery Marckoff is located in Durbuy. This beer has been brewed here since the sixteenth century. Although the beer has been away from the city for several centuries, the old tradition has been picked up again since 1989 and beer is brewed in Durbuy. It is a microbrewery, which means that the beer is only brewed in limited editions and that the sale is mainly made to the local catering industry and to the visitors of the brewery. The Marckoff beer has a beautiful somewhat cloudy amber color and has a fruity but slightly bitter taste. The beer has an alcohol percentage of 6.5 percent.