Quaint village, yes, but Han-sur-Lesse packs a cultural punch. There’s the subterranean Grottes de Han cave complex to explore, locally brewed artisanal beer to quaff and seasonal Belgian food to gobble. Here’s how to spend two days in this charming village in the Belgian Ardennes.
Where to stay in Han-sur-Lesse
Just a short walk from the Grottes de Han caves, this 117-bedroom hotel is decorated in a traditional Ardennes style. Timber runs throughout, creating a warm, relaxed feel, while the bedrooms feature eye-catching deer murals above the beds.
Unwind with a Belgian G&T at the lounge bar, check out the lobby artwork and take a dip in the swimming pool. End the day with a drink next to the fireplace at the hotel bar.
Pro tip: if you’re looking for a local experience, ask the bartender to knock up an Arduenna Sour; made with a local organic gin, this classy cocktail serves up notes of juniper, peach and pine.
Visit the Inzofalle Deer Farm
The word Ardennes comes from the Gallo-Roman name for the region, Arduenna Silva, meaning “wooded heights”. And nothing encapsulates this corner of the country more than verdant fields, dense forests and rolling hills. See it all at Inzofalle Deer Farm, which is run by genial Dutchman Hendrik van Beuningen, who will be on hand to answer questions about the region. Deer form a pivotal part of the local culture and cuisine; see a variety here, from red to roe and the much larger fallow deer.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Head to Brasserie de la Lesse
Next head to Brasserie de la Lesse, an independent microbrewery that operates as a co-operative. They’re committed to using local resources as much as possible, offering a range of beers – from La Chinette (a light, floral Belgian blonde) to La Rouge Croix (a rich, sweet brown ale). Join the tour to learn about the beer-making process and their commitment to locally sourced ingredients.
Dine at Merlesse
Forget any preconceived notions of Belgian food and book a table at this trendy open-plan restaurant. The menu was curated by renowned chef Benoit de Witte and the wine list by his brother Bernard; they strike a perfect balance between haute cuisine and local tradition. Nothing embodies this more than their four-course seasonal menu – serving traditional venison with a red wine sauce and Parisian gnocchi. Vegetarians are also well-catered for, with dishes including smoked leek and goat’s cheese.
Visit the Grottes de Han caves
The first visitors to this underground cave system arrived in the early 1800s, and they faced a perilous journey in the pitch-black across rugged terrain. Thankfully, access is now vastly improved. The cave complex spans several kilometres, penetrating deep into the Ardennes countryside, with stalagmites and stalactites, rivers and lakes, and large halls to see. Take time for photos, especially in the vast main chamber, which hosts music events and black-tie dinners in the summer.
Stroll around the village in the afternoon
Grey-stone cottages, winding rural lanes and a pretty gothic church are the highlights of tiny Han-sur-Lesse. Enjoy the relaxed pace and take advantage of the hotel’s position to explore what’s on offer. A couple of steps from the lobby and you’re in the shadow of Saint-Hubert Church. Further afield you’ll find cafes and gift shops. Sit and watch the world pass at Taverne du Centre cafe while enjoying a coffee and a waffle. Or head to the natural wildlife park that hosts 250ha (620 acres) of Wallonian flora and fauna – look out for Przewalski’s horses, a rare and endangered species. If you have any questions about the region make sure you head to the charming Tourist Office opposite the hotel.
Planning to explore the region further? Make sure you book one of the best places to stay near Namur through Culture Trip.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.