The tiny town of Dinant (pop. 13,000) boasts wonders disproportionate to its size. An imposing citadel towers over the Meuse River. ( 22 36 70. Citadel open Mar.-Sept. daily 10am-6pm. Required tour in French and Dutch, 45min. every 35min. 5.50.) Bring a jacket to tour the cascade-filled caves of the Grotte Merveilleuse, 142 rte. de Phillippeville. Rich with stalagmites and stalagtites, the cave lives up to its name it is indeed marvellous. (Open Apr.-Oct. daily 10-1 lam and l-5pm; Nov.-Mar. 11am and 14pm. Tours every hr. 5, students 4.50.) The ELeffe Abbey, a brew of beer and religion, offers enlightening tours for the adventurous beer pilgrim. (Tours May-Aug. Su and W 3pm.) Dinant is also a good base for outdoor excursions. Dakota Raid Adventure, r. Cousot 6 ( 22 32 43), leads rock-climbing and kayaking daytrips in the area. Dinant is accessible by train from Brussels (lhr. 9.60) or by bike from Namur; on summer weekends, take a one-way river cruise from Namur (3hr.). With your back to the train station, turn right, take the first left, and then the very next left to reach the tourist office, Quai Cadoux 8 (082 22 28 70), which plans excursions and books rooms.
DAYTRIP FROM DINANT: ROCHEFORT Rochefort (pop. 10,000), a charming town with hospitable residents, is hidden within the rolling hills and woods of the Lesse Valley. Hike up to the crumbled Chateau Comtal for a breathtaking view of the Northern Ardennes. (084 21 44 09. Site open Apr.-Oct. daily 10am-6pm. 1.80.) Also visit the Grotte de Lorette, one of Wallonie’s many spectacular caves. (084 21 20 80. Tours July-Aug. daily 10:30am-noon and 1-5:30pm, every 45min.) To reach Rochefort, take the train from Namur to Jemelle (40min. every 40min. 6.60) and bus #29 from Jemelle (every hr. usually 34min. after the hr. 1.10). The tourist office, 5 r. de Behogne, sells hiking maps. (084 34 51 72. Open M-F 8am-5pm, Sa-Su 9:30am-5pm.)