Dive in! - East Belgium Go to content

Dive in!

Enjoy the outdoor life, celebrate culture, open the door to new adventures – with all the family. East Belgium has made relaxed living a way of life. And warmly welcomes guests.

Text: Thomas Zwicker Picture: Jochen Tack


1. In harmony with nature

Remarkable for the wild landscape of its setting, the East Belgium Triathlon is a challenge for all ages. It has been one of the biggest sports events in the region for 35 years. The most popular discipline, the middle distance triathlon, is considered a pure-nature-classic: a 1900-metre swim in the Weser (or Vesdre) reservoir (the second largest reservoir in Belgium), 90 kilometres on the bike through the High Fens Nature Park, and finally a 21-kilometre run beside the reservoir – exhilarating for athletes and spectators alike.

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2. Celebrating together

Many towns in East Belgium, in keeping with their German neighbours, maintain the Rhenish tradition of carnivals, often with a satirical take on current issues. The Cwarmê in Malmedy brings locals and their guests together for four days of celebrations. Malmedy’s Malmundarium (below) has a permanent exhibition about the carnival, alongside its history and art collections.

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3. Making tracks

Trees frozen into ice sculptures, clear blue skies and a few cross-country ski tracks across an open field of snow… this is the highest place in Belgium. With its High Fens and the Eifel-Ardennes region, East Belgium has a vast winter sports playground on its doorstep. There are around 20 ski centres, with excellent cross-country skiing areas and alpine-ski slopes, plus toboggan runs, guided snowshoe tours and winter hiking trails.

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4. Time travel underground

Bass-notes boom, disco spotlights bathe the rock walls of the "Cathedral" in colourful light to the beat of the music: the light show is the highlight of a guided tour of the Recht Slate and Bluestone Mine. Until the 20th century, bluestone – a bluish phillite slate – was mined in the village of Recht by opencast mining. "For about 15 years, up to 25 men worked in the mine until it was closed about 100 years ago," says Christian Krings, a guide at the mine. Tyrolean stonemasons also moved here to work the bluestone – as some of the family names in Recht still recall.

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Leisure and excursion ideas in Ostbelgien

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