Ecotourism in the Benelux
Ecotourism is on the rise, and the Benelux countries are perfectly set up to respond to it. For example, Belgium is a peaceful country where harmony with nature is present in the cities and countrysides. Brussels and its surrounding areas have more green areas than any other European capital, with numerous parks and the magnificent Soignes Forest . Members of the tourism industry are working hard to sustain the quality of Belgium's environment whether it be hotels, guest houses, bed & breakfasts or visitor attractions.
The Nature reserve of the Moeraske is a typical green area. From the entrance, in the Rue de la Perche, it are the clumps of thyme and the wagtail that welcome you. Then, all along the path, between the embankment and the railway, willows, alders and locust trees fight every inch of the banks of the Kerkebeek. The stream is swarming with sticklebacks, great pond snails and dragonflies. On the borders, in the fallow, the viviparous lizard slaloms between the grass snake, the centaury and the yellow reseda. Further on, alongside the railway, the marsh is composed of a vegetation of helophyts and kingfishers. From the top of the embankment, accessible by stairs, we can see the marsh and at the far end, a rose garden. The Moeraske is located in Evere between the training station of Schaerbeek, the park of the Bon Pasteur and the Saint-Vincent church.
The walk of indigenous trees in Virton is a nice 3,5 km trail allows you to get to know different indigenous species while walking on the other side of the first Gaume cuesta. Along the entire trail the indigenous trees are identified by an orange dot painted at the base of their trunk and their name is indicated on a plaque.The educational walk of the indigenous trees is a kind of counterpart of the arboretum of Virton that focuses on exotic species.
De Kleine Aarde in Boxtel is a source of inspiration when it comes to housing, gardening, food, personal care, mobility and recreation. It is also home to the National Center for Sustainable Living.
A number of different model gardens can be found on the 2 hectare grounds of the park. The gardens are managed ecologically, which means that no artificial fertilizers or chemical pesticides are used. There is a natural garden, an herb garden, a vegetable garden and an edible ornamental garden. De Kleine Aarde also has a bee shed and an insect corner. And for young visitors, there is the Nature Path and an exciting maze!
In Holland the Bike Experience was added in 2003, a testing ground for bicycles and a joint initiative with the Dutch Cyclists Association. Here you can try out a number of different bicycle products to see which ones best suit your requirements, situation and desires. The Eco-park has also laid a special test track where you can take a test ride on one of the bicycles from our unique collection. Call De Kleine Aarde for more information on opening hours. www.dekleineaarde.nl
Schovenhorst Country Estate is famous for its unique tree gardens. The Small Pinetum and the Large Pinetum used to be nurseries where trees were grown for the estate’s forest. Some of the trees have reached heights of over 40 meters. The Arboretum and the Three Continents Forest have been laid out by successive generations of the Oudemans family. Their aim was to study how ‘foreign’ trees grow in our climate.
The Luxembourg Ardennes, with the Our and the Haute-Sûre nature parks, are criss-crossed by deep, steep-sided valleys and strewn with castle and manor houses dating from feudal times. Tablelands at an altitude of over 500m offer breath-taking views. This is also a region of lakes and rivers intertwined with magnificent walks.
The Mullerthal region – known as Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland – owes its name to its impressive rock formation, its waterfalls and its caverns. The Mullerthal Trail, opened in 2008, provides an opportunity to discover this region where deep forests with strange rocks alternate with vast plains or opulent orchards along the banks of the Basse-Sûre. A milder climate drew both the Romans of Ancient Times and the monks of the Middle Ages to this region.
The cheerful Moselle, the international river linking France, Luxembourg and German, flows through vineyards that yield fine wines exported well beyond the national borders. The Moselle is sure to delight and surprise lovers of flora and fauna.
Who would have thought that the region of the Red Rocks would include genuine canyons? These are due to the old open-cast mines. Since then, nature has regained its hold. This region is made up of plains from which rise up the Dudelange and Soleuvre hills, with their wide views extending as far as France and Germany.
Luxembourg’s Grunewald and Baumbusch forests, seen as the lungs of the capital, which is often considered the "Green Heart of Europe".