You do not need to travel far away to be in a different world. This cozy holiday cottage located in the region of Comblain-Au-Pont will indeed make for an exotic stay. At a distance of 40 km from my place, I immediately feel cast away upon arrival! A magnificent region to be discovered by bicycle or mountain bike.
This morning, I am meeting Philippe, owner of a cozy holiday home for 2/4 persons in Sprimont near the village of Fraiture. A winding road going down from the heights of Sprimont to the Pont de Scay, right at the confluence of the Ourthe and Amblève rivers. The tone is set: it is sure going to be testing! Philippe is a former high-level mountain biker. As the years went by and as health problems began to appear, he switched to the electric mountain bike. The perfect way to keep cycling and to share his passion with his wife who now may follow him without too much effort. Philippe and his wife have tastefully laid out their holiday home and used natural and ecological materials only. They will warmly welcome you and will have you discover all the gems the region has to offer. This holiday home with its enchanting garden is our very favourite!
Which routes do you propose?
Most of our guests come mostly to walk rather than cycle. As soon as they arrive, I give them NGI (National Geographic Institute) maps of signposted routes from the Ourthe-Amblève tourist office. Since I want them to be fully informed, I try to give them exhaustive information. They also have a dozen of NGI maps at their disposal to discover the surrounding municipalities, other cycling routes as well as signposted mountain bike trails. I also made some small road books with hiking trails starting right from our holiday home. I tried all the trails myself before putting the maps at disposal. I know exactly what I am talking about, then!
After a long trip on Friday afternoon, the guests often feel like going for a walk to get some fresh air. I always advise them to opt for a 2km walk right from the holiday home that leads to a beautiful panorama. A good way to start their stay!
Are these walk trails adapted to both sporty and non-sporty persons?
Yes, they are. The region offers many possibilities for the cycling enthusiasts of all levels. Whether it be for family bicycle getaways along a RAVel route or for sporty cyclers who wish to surpass themselves. Or for seasoned mountain bikers who are looking for technical routes.
What are the advantages of these cycling trails?
All the routes are always on secondary roads away from traffic and large highways. I like bucolic routes where you feel secured and peaceful among nature. These routes also take you through lovely panoramas throughout region. You may even enjoy a 360° view over the town of Huy.
What do we get to see on these routes?
It all depends on the route you choose (short, long, for bicycle or mountain bike, etc.). For example, you may go to Liège (25km) via the RAVel route for a family outing and eat an ice-cream along the Meuse river. If you still have some energy, you may continue until Maastricht (55km) and stop by in Eijsden to eat something at the marina. For the true sportsmen, the mythic hill La Redoute, between Aywaille and Remouchamps will be an exciting challenge. A 1.7km hill used each year by the professionals of the well-known race Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The region is great for the mountain bike lovers because you may easily go from one valley to another. The steep relief is great for the mountain bike. You may either go down the Amblève valley near Aywaille, Remouchamps and Stoumont or the Ourthe valley near Comblain-Au-Pont, Hamoir and Bomal. Many routes in the heart of nature await you. Small paths along rivers or more steeped routes where you have to bypass rocks.
How do you find your way?
Many cycling lovers and connoisseurs know in advance which route they wish to follow. Most of them have already their GPS data ready when they arrive. As far as I am concerned, all these technologies are beyond me. There is nothing like an old map that you may scan through and dream about your future route ? I always advise my guests to have a map with them even if the signposting is clear. I sometimes lose my way when I try a new short cut which is actually longer than the regular path and which eventually makes my wife want to break up ? (laughter) And take something to eat and drink with you too, just in case! Because in the small villages and hamlets you will go through, you will not always find a shop open. We are indeed in the countryside where you may ride several hours without finding anything.
What is there near your holiday house?
My garden, of course! (laughter) Honestly, I am very proud of the lay out of our garden and vegetable garden which actually won a prize with Natagora. It is an enchanting garden where it is pleasant to relax. And we allow the guests to help themselves in the vegetable garden. They are free to have a look if they want to. As far as the points of interest in the region are concerned, there is the magnificent panorama of MartinRive on the crests and Le Chession. Le Chession is a plateau located on the heigths of Comblain-Au-Pont dominating the confluence of the Ourthe and Amblève rivers where you will find the well-known “Roches Noires”. The Tour Saint Martin in Comblain with the old cemetery and stone sculptures. The place offers a view over the village center and the classified rocks. And there is also the not-to-be-missed caves of Remouchamps or the caves of Comblain-Au-Pont.