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GR16 Sentier de la Semois: Mortehan - Membre

One of the nicest GR trails of Belgium along the river Semois with many panoramic views and climbs.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 68.599 miles
Duration: Multiple days

Overview:  Three days along the borders of the river Semois in the Ardens along the nicest places. One of the most beautiful GR routes in Belgium... more »

Day 1: Mortehan - Bouillon: 31km

Height difference: +687m -779m

Starting point: Camping Les Ochay - Mortehan

Ending point: Youth hostel - Bouillon

Day one is the easiest of the three day hike, we start in the small town of Mortehan at the border of the Semois near Pont de Linglé at the camping site of "Les Ochay". From here we pick up the GR16 trail signs (red-white stripes) in the direction of Bertrix. We never leave the GR trail until we reach Bouillon so its just enjoying the views and trails.

Day 2: Bouillon - Chairiére: 29km

Height difference: +1226m -1370m

Starting point: Youth hostel - Bouillon

Ending point: Camping "Le Trou du Cheval" - Chairiére

Day two is the heaviest day of all so be prepared! Best is to start early in Bouillon so you'll have enough time to reach the campingsite in Chairiére. We pick up the GR trail on the bridge Pont de France in the center of Bouillon where the Semois flows. From here we do not leave the GR16 trail until we reach Chairiére to reach the camping site. The camping site is located close to the GR trail so it's not much of a detour.

Day 3: Chairiére - Membre and back to the start: 10,3km and 14,8km

Height difference: +731m -923m

Starting point: Camping "Le Trou du Cheval" - Chairiére

Ending point: Camping Les Ochay - Mortehan

Day three is the day to return, we do not give up the GR16 trail yet. You'll hike further along the GR16 trail to Membre-Sur-Semois before taking the bus back to Menuchenet. But if your condition is still OK after day two, you might hike to the last village before the French border. After the short bustrip to Menuchenet, we hike from the busstop back to the camping "Les Ochay" where we started the first day.

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Tips:  The three day hike is very long (30km a day!). First day is way good, second day puts you to the limit. Plan this hike good and look... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Camping Les Ochay - Starting point

This camping site is the ideal place to start the three day during hike. It lies just on the GR trail.

2. Cugnon

Nice and small unique village

3. Auby

Above Cugnon lies the village Auby wich has a great view over the Semois valley

4. Gué du Maka

At the border of the Semois: Maka. A piecefull place at the local river.

5. Dohan

A small town we pass through. It's another typical village of the area with a castle of the 17th century and a nice church.

6. Les Long Champs

At this point you'll see that the road is closed but the official path still runs through the closed area although it is prohibited to go that way.

7. Abandoned road

Closed due to risk of mountain flow. The abandoned road that remains gives it a cool place to walk by.

8. Gué du Han du Han

A nice resting place near the Semois border. Ideal for picnic or a 5 minute break.

9. Youth Hostel Bouillon - Night 1

This Youth Hostel is the ideal place to rest out for the night. You can enjoy Bouillon or rest out a bit here. Reservation is advisable.

10. Chateau Fort de Bouillon

Above Bouillon lies the great castle of Godefroid de Bouillon. It's definitely worth a visit! The castle dates from the 7th century and its the oldest castle of the country.
Castle is always open in the high season, check on www.bouillon.be for exact times. Also worth a visit is the museum of the Castle witch is situated in the centre of Bouillon ... More

11. Belvédère d'Auclin

From this tower you'll get an amazing view over the city Bouillon and the river Semois. At the moment i did the hike the tower was unfortunately closed.

12. Abbaye de Cordemois

This piecefull abbey has a pretty neat shop, always worth a visit! It's very well situated along the borders of the Semois.
The exact name is "Abbaye Notre-Dame de Clairefontaine" and was constructed in 1935 in neo-gothic style.

13. Moulin de l'épine

This is an old watermill along the route.

14. Botassart - Point de vue

An amazing viewpoint at the grave of the Giant (Tombeau du Géant). The grave is clearly visible in autumn when the colors of the trees form a nice symbol.

15. Confluence de la Liresse

From here you can take a sidepath to "Les échelles", a more difficult route with ladders, but you'll loose another few hours.
In this guide we stay on the GR path witch takes you on a steep climb to Rochehaut.

16. Rochehaut

In this village you'll find many shops and restaurants but also another major view over the valley of the Semois and the village Frahan just beneath it. After enjoying this view we go down to the village Frahan.

17. Frahan

Another typical village in the Ardens.

18. Ferme pour enfants

If you arrive here around noon then this is an ideal place to rest and eat. If you are already a bit tired, this is also a place where you can sleep.

19. Crêtes de Frahan

More adventurous path on the rocks of Frahan (Crêtes)

20. Alle-sur-Semois

A more touristic village at the borders of the Semois. You can do a lot of side activities in this village like going on adventure in the woods, mountainbiking, kayaking and many more. This village used to be full of mineworkers of the slate mines but evolved into a touristic little town.

21. Mouzaive

Small village where we pass through. Just one more town left before reaching the camping site.

22. Chairiére

When looking around when hiking through this little village you can see some old sheds and barns where the locals hanged their tobacco leaves in.

23. Camping le Trou du Cheval

To spend the night we leave the GR16 for a bit and get to this camping ground to set up your tent. The camping lies just near the Semois in a calm and piecefull place, ideal to rest out for the night.

24. Vresse-sur-Semois

This small town is known for a little old bridge called Pont Saint-Lambert, many painters and photographers come to this place.
Great place also to search for breakfast.

25. Junction with GR126

Path joins GR126, keep on the right track! Follow GR16.

26. Membre-sur-Semois

The last village where we take the bus back to where it all started.

27. Busstation Membre - 43 Bohan - Menuchenet

Time to head back. We take the bus to Menuchenet (bus 43), we step of at the last stop.
For correct times visit www.infotec.be

28. Busstation Menuchenet

Step of the bus, this was the last stop of the bus. From here we hike back to the starting point.

29. Bellevaux

Small village on the way back

30. Les Hayons

Small village on the way back