Visiting the Eau d'Heure Lake, near Cerfontaine: the largest lake in Belgium
One of the Walloon region's prime, outdoor attractions
Belgium's largest lake is situated near Cerfontaine, in the Namur province of the Walloon region (French: Région wallonne ). In actual fact, the Lake is shared by two Belgian provinces, Namur and Hainaut, in which province is found the municipality of Froidchapelle, within the boundaries of which the Lake is also partly situated (1).
The lake is sometimes referred to as a series of lakes (French: les lacs de l'Eau d'Heure ).
Hydro-electric power is harnessed from the Lake; there are actually two dams, created in the 1970s.
There are many recreational facilities associated with the Lake (2). A vacation village, cosmopolitan enough to have been given a name in English — Golden Lakes Village — receives many visitors for stays which vary in length according to the package. Camping is also catered for.
There are over 600 hectares of water. Over 600 hectares of the Lake area is wooded, and there are 100 kilometres of trails used for cycling and walking; there is also a cycling centre, and there are opportunities for horseriding, as there are — not surprisingly — for swimming.
At Eau d'Eure Lake, the Walloon region undoubtedly has one of its prime attractions. (Belgium's politicians, who as a whole seldom seem to agree on much else, would surely be able to agree on this, at least.)
January 19, 2013
(1) In Belgium, the principal, internal boundaries are not provincial, but regional: these regional boundaries are tied very strongly to linguistic boundaries. The Eau d'Heure Lake crosses a provincial boundary, but not a regional one; elsewhere, some waters in Belgium are dissected by a regional and linguistic boundary, which makes for complicated administrative procedures.
(2) Further details are available at: www.lacsdeleaudheure.be
Also worth seeing
In Cerfontaine itself, the stone church of Saint-Lambert, dating from 1884, has a prominent spire; Canadians will be interested to know that the municipality is twinned with Louisville, QC, Canada.
Dinant (distance: 43 kilometres), in a scenic setting, with the Collegiate Church (at the foot of the Citadel, overlooking the Meuse River) and Bayard Rock and which are well-known visitor attractions.
How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York to Brussels Airport (Brussel Nationaal / Bruxelles-National ), from where car rental is available (distance from Brussels Airport to Cerfontaine : 101 kilometres). The Belgian railroad company SNCB - NMBS maintains a service between Brussels and Walcourt, 12.3 kilometres from Cerfontaine . (However, onward transport options from the station at Walcourt are sometimes limited.) Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. For any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities, you are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Other of my hubpages may also be of interest
- Visiting the Citadel at Dinant, Belgium: centuries of defensive strategy overlooking the Meuse River
- Visiting the Bayard Rock, Dinant, Belgium: where the scenic Meuse Valley, history and legend meet
- Visiting Dinant, Belgium: amazing, ecclesiastical architecture on the Meuse River
- Visiting Coo: the largest waterfall in Belgium
- Visiting the Lake of Overijse-Genval, Belgium, and its castle: waters, boundaries and languages