The Ardennes – Michael’s Featured Article in BIKE Mag.
The Ardennes – Motorcycle Tour Guide
The Ardennes region is perfect for easy and stress-free touring. First, you can build up your confidence on local, laid-back roads with great sight lines – no hedges or walls to block your view. Then, when you’re more comfortable and want a challenge, its only a 20-minute ride to the Eifel or Luxembourg to test out your new skills. Riding here is also great for pillions, where the smooth, flowing lines will keep you comfy and great cafes provide excuses to stop in every town. And thats not even mentioning the beautiful valley views along the way.
The Roads and Must See’s
The N834 toward La Roche-en-Ardenne from Bastogne is a great way to start any day in the Ardennes. It begins curving its way lazily through wooded hills, down to meet the river l’Ourthe. Another wooded section takes the road away from the river, only to meet it again in La Roche-en-Ardenne. Keep an eye out for tanks from the Battle of the Bulge. They rest on plinths overlooked by a medievel castle. This place is a great spot for lunch, or morning coffee next to the river.
Spa Francorchamps race circuit is a must. Visit for epic views and photo ops around the circuit, plus a chance to catch racing action. And if the racing inspires you to ride epic roads head over to Troi-Points. this small town is only five miles from the circuit, but more importantly is the beginning of the N66 to Huy…
The N66 starts wide, smooth and tree-lines as it rises out of Trois and heads west towards Huy. The first five miles are made up of fast straights leading into large radius beands with good sight lines through the turns. These are a joy to ride fast but are also good for a relaxing cruise. Things tighten up towards Hamoir. Restaurant du Commerce in Hamoir – and Huy is full of easy riding twists and turns. None of the corners should catch you out so just relax and enjoy the ride. Havent had enough yet? Take the N641 out of Huy. Its only 9km long, but you pop out of one corner and straight into the next.
Base yourself in Bastogne. From here you can ride out every day to somewhere new – east or west Ardennes, the Eifel, Luxembourg. It’s all close by. Heres a quick example: head to Rochefort, then up to Ciney take the N97/N461 to Huy, pick up the N66 all the way to Trois-Ponts, and then ride the N68/N838 back to Bastogne. Its a busy town with a long throughfare that runs north east to south west. You’ll find lots of restaurants and bars and the shopping is good too.
Accomodation and Food Recommendations
Accomodation in Bastogne? Book in Le Merceny Motel. Its above the petrol station, has a shop, free parking and is a five minute walk from town. You cant go wrong at 69 euros a night. I use the Hotel Melba, slighlty more expensive at 97 Euros, but includes a very good breakfast. As much bacon, sausage and egg as you can eat. There’s private covered bike parking at the rear and the place is a one minute walk from the town square. For eats i rate Il Canto Grillades, an Italian grill and pizza restaurant just off the main square.
Coffee person? You wont be left wanting in the Ardennes. You can find revitalising coffee everywhere for 2.50 euros a cup. From sandwiches to steak, everything is available and I’ve always found the food to be good quality. On a budget? Eat 6 euro Croque Monsieur exclusivlely. If you;ve got more disposable income most restaurants do a menu of the day. This normally starts at 12 euros for three courses. Add a bottle of local jupiler Lager for 2 euros, or 25cl of wine for 5 euros.
Great food can be found at Bikers Ranch, just over the German border and north of Simmerath. You’ll also find great riding around here. Turn left onto the L246 out of the Bikers Ranch, then right onto the L128 just as you leave the village and you’re into bikers heaven for the next 30 minutes.
A five day return ticket for the Eurotunnel costs a minimum of £50 (booked a month in advance), then its on to the Ardennes via Lille. ride the Ardennes with Michael Prentice from 28 April – 1st May 2017. One rider on their own bike in a shared room costs £400 for a four-day trip. For more information go to our Tours section
Michael Prentice started riding bikes at the age of six. He raced grass track for 20 years, was a race engineer, and rode countless European tours before starting his own company. FreedomMotocycleTours.com
Our Current Tours
Tours of the Ardennes and other great places around Europe are available to book with Michael. See details of our next tours on the links below.