What I like about the little village of Erezée is that it’s not one of the main tourism honeypots of the Ardennes, so walking in the beautiful hills in the region really gives you an opportunity “to get away from it all”. For example, Liz and I walked the 8.5 km “Estinale” route recently. Despite it being a warm, dry Saturday in the middle of August, we didn’t encounter a single fellow hiker during the whole route!
The Estinale footpath is #7 on the excellent Erezée-Manhay hiking map (available for 7 EUR from the tourist office in nearby Hotton). It starts in the village and heads directly north to the next village of Fanzel. Here there’s an excellent picnic opportunity either on the grass or the stone wall next to the River Aisne. I was delighted to see a kingfisher flash downstream just a few metres away from us.
When we were last in Fanzel five years ago there was a cosy little café in the centre of the village, but that’s no longer there, so you’ll have to take your lunch with you. Mind you, I’m not altogether surprised the café has gone. The service was unfriendly and the coffee was probably the coldest cup of coffee I’ve ever had in Belgium.
You’ll certainly need the nourishment of a lunch, because the route back involves a fairly demanding climb up to the 370-meter mark, before descending through the dark woods of the Bondrissart and back to your starting point.