What do you do in the Ardennes when the weather does not allow you to make it an active weekend? Then you can consider visiting some of the many beautiful towns in the Ardennes. We went to Givet to be active there all weekend. Due to the bad weather we eventually made a city trip Givet and Dinant.
Givet is a French city located in the French Ardennes, close to the border with Belgium. More than 8,000 inhabitants live there. Dinant is 15 km from Givet, but in the Belgian Ardennes. Around 14,000 people live in Dinant.
We spent the night in a small B&B Orchidee Rose in Givet. We had clean rooms and a nice (but simple) breakfast. You can also book this stay via Booking.com. Then you only have to pay on arrival and you can cancel for free up to a week before arrival.
Dinant and Givet have a lot in common. They are both on the Maas river and have a citadel that overlooks the city. You can also visit beautiful caves near both the cities (Dinant: La Merveilleuse, Givet: La Grotte de Nichet). These caves are not as large and impressive as the Caves of Han, but the visit is much less touristy and cheaper. It is raining a bit in the caves, but you don’t feel the wind, so that makes a difference.
You can also visit the 2 citadels. The citadel of Dinant is easily accessible by cable lift or simply via the stairs. The citadel of Givet is further away from the city, so you have to reach it by car or with a shuttle bus that leaves from the tourist information point (it’s best to check the opening hours in advance).
What is the difference between these 2 cities? In Givet, most sights are only open from May to September, while in Dinant they remain open all year round. We were there in early March so our visit to the tourist information office in Givet was only for a short while. In Givet we could only climb the Mont d’Haurs. This is a nature park on a hill where remains of the old city walls can still be seen. The indicated path is just over 3 km long. In the summer this can be perfectly combined with a visit to the citadel.
In Dinant we had to choose between the caves or the citadel due to lack of time. We finally chose to visit the caves. I found this worthwhile, but my traveling companions were a little less enthusiastic. I think you have to be in for it.
These 2 medieval cities can actually be perfectly combined, but to fully enjoy Givet you better visit this city somewhere between April and October. Visiting Givet and Dinant is the perfect backup if the weather is bad.
Do you want to know more about the possible activities in and around these 2 cities? These links will help you on your way: