The Belgian Ardennes by bike: an ideal stay with Nutchel and Ohana
Dernière mise à jour : 9 sept. 2021
Spring is coming and is settling in our country, timidly but surely. It is therefore the ideal moment to discover our Ardennes in a different way, and why not by bike?
The vast network of walks that our Belgian Ardennes offer satisfies all types of profiles. Whether you are sporty or not, with family, friends, lovers or solo, everything is possible! It goes from a family ride to an extreme mountain bike expedition.
There is a whole series of itineraries to follow by bike to discover the region in a different way, whether it is a culinary or cultural tour, or a visit to different breweries; how can we talk about Belgium without mentioning beer?
In order to decompress and disconnect from the routine, what could be better than to escape for a weekend of well-being surrounded by nature? We met (virtually, covid obliges) Olivier, confirmed cyclist and founder of the sportswear brand OHANA, who tested the Nutchel cabins and who takes us on a ride around Martelange on "the little queen".
For a successful weekend, nothing could be simpler: leave home equipped with your bike, of course, the itinerary of your choice, a great address to lodge and especially, a comfortable outfit.
1. An unusual place to stay by Nutchel
Olivier and his friends chose Nutchel, a forest camp offering unusual accommodations, to stop for two nights. On the border of Luxembourg, the domain is located along the Sûre river, an ideal place to reconnect with nature. To get there, you will have to cross a small bridge over the river. You will have to go to the Cosy Chalet for check-in and you will be accompanied to your chalet.
« We came from Brussels, it's about 2 hours of road. We arrived at night and there were small bulbs of all the colors and candles outside, which gives it a little mysterious and fairy-like side.»
Nutchel offers you a unique glamping experience with its "Cosy Cabins", spread over 7 hectares and able to accommodate young and old, and even your faithful companion. A calm and soothing atmosphere reigns here, a true return to authenticity. It is the ideal place to recharge your batteries before or after a day of cycling!
« The cabins are in the middle of nature, but you are close to your neighbors. It's cute because it's really a small village, with tiny houses that offer all the necessary comfort. »
Nutchel has different types of cabins: up or down on earth, some can accommodate up to 6 people, with Nordic baths or not, level terraces or on the roof... In short, there is something for everyone and for every taste! Each cabin has a small terrace with a large table and its own barbecue. There are large windows, which give the impression of being outside and offer a beautiful view of the fir trees.
« There was a room with mezzanine, thus 2 double beds, one on the first floor and one on the mezzanine with a window on the outside which we can see from our bed, it is rather pleasant. There is also a bathroom with hot water and a flush toilet!»
If you are afraid of the cold, don't worry! The cabins are fully equipped, with a wood stove and plenty of blankets.
« In our cabin, it was a little cold at the beginning, but it was super nice, all in wood, very rustic, so really super cozy! We lit a room fire right away, that's the first thing we did. »
Olivier also underlined the autonomy and responsibility side: "It's nice because it's both comfortable and quite "luxurious" as a type of cabin, but at the same time, we are put to contribution. We have to go and get the logs for the fire or the ice for the fridge, it also allows the guests to be responsible and to play an active role during the stay. I found it a really nice atmosphere."
In order to take the experience even further, Nutchel is rolling out a special offer for cyclists! Its strategic location allows you to ride several routes in harmony with nature. Don't have a bike? Nutchel can provide you with one, with or without electric assistance. By June, a maintenance workshop for your bikes will be set up with all the necessary tools.
« We also took 2 bikes on the spot. They have a series of them at disposal, in particular mountain bikes. They have electric mountain bikes, others not electric, bikes for men, for women, for children... There are really all the sizes, all the models, and these are bikes of good quality. »
« Nutchel is the perfect place to get away from the city, to get away from the stress, to reconnect with nature, with yourself, to take time for yourself. On top of that, for any cycling enthusiast, it's a perfect place to go for a ride and then come back to your cabin, nice and warm, after a bike ride. I clearly recommend it for cyclists and in general for anyone who would like to get some fresh air and change their mind for a weekend. »
2. The comfort of an OHANA outfit
Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a beginner, you know that your choice of sportswear influences the rest of your experience. This is even more true for cycling. So why hesitate? Let yourself be tempted by a set that combines comfort, aesthetics and ergonomics. If you haven't heard of OHANA yet, this brand new product might just meet your expectations for the perfect sportswear.
What is OHANA? It is a brand of sportswear and more particularly of cycling and triathlon. You will find cycling suits, accessories such as water bottles - 100% recycled and recyclable plastic - as well as clothes to "chill out" after a sporty day in front of the wood stove of your cabin. OHANA means "family" in Hawaiian. Olivier launched his brand under the sign of nature, well-being and community. Because yes, sports bring people together!
3. The choice of the route
Some decide to go on an adventure without thinking, on instinct, while others prepare their escapades scrupulously beforehand. The Ardennes region is full of varied paths, marked roads and the RAVeL. Discover an overview of the different options available to you, in the surroundings of the Nutchel domain.
« For the bicycle routes, we are in the Ardennes! So there are a lot of differences in altitude, but there are also some nice climbs, it's clear that it's not all flat! (...) It made me think of the Vosges or the Black Forest in Germany. »
The EuroVelo is a network of 17 cycling routes through Europe. Among them, the EuroVelo 5 makes you discover Martelange. Called "Via Romea Francigena", this route crosses no less than 6 countries, from Italy to the United Kingdom.
The RAVel du Souvenir, which makes the detour to Bastogne, is a 38 km long bicycle path. Various stations and monuments are worth a visit for anyone interested in architecture.
Bordering Luxembourg, Nutchel also gives you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscape around the Haute-Sûre lake.
For the most athletic among you as well as for those who love challenges, you can tackle the famous Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Conquest of the Ardennes or the Race Across Belgium, a course of more than 1000 km starting from Arlon!
As you can see, there is no shortage of options! Nutchel will be happy to provide you with maps and brochures of the area to help you choose the route that suits you best.
« We really focused on the mountain bike side, it was more like small paths in the forest. Now, there are also ways to ride on the road. In this area, on the Luxembourg side, the roads are really superb, it's a very good tarmac with a little bit of difference in level. So it's very pleasant, as much for the road as for the mountain bike. »
You will have understood that there is no need to go far away to take care of yourself, to recharge your batteries and to be close to nature.
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Cover photo credits: OHANA