Hiking in Wallonia: the Clairefontaine Convent

  • Walking or hiking

Along the border between Belgium and Luxembourg, you willll find the ruins of the Clairefontaine abbey, built in the 13th century. These ruins and the spring of drinkable water encourage an extra stroll. From there, the circuit enters the valley of the Eisch and by-passes the old dam, crossing the Luxembourg border in places. On the way back, you can prolong the ramble by passing the ‘Karlsberg’ and a thick hardwood forest.

Route/Points of interest

  • From the car park (S), the circuit crosses the runs as far as the chapel (1) and the spring. Climb the metal stairway.
  • With the chapel at your back, take a right (‘Rue de Cloître’). This little-used path crosses a pretty valley consisting of woods and meadows to lead you to the Apostolic school of Sacré-Cœur (2).
  • The waymarkers (red rectangles No 7) take you to the right to pass over a bridge and by-pass the school.
  • Leave the ‘Sans Soucis’ farm on the right and keep left.
  • Once in the wood, you soon will arrive at a Y-junction. Take a left. (Another walk also marked with red rectangles leaves from there; you can follow this track too).
  • The main track goes as far as a meadow at the edge of the forest and then turns right.
  • After a small wood, the trail leads to a young plantation of pines. It continues alongside the interior of the Eisch valley.
  • At a Y-junction, it turns left, leading to an old hydro-electric dam entirely covered in vegetation (3) – it was built after the First World War. At a crossing you’ll find a bench. At that point keep left to explore the other side of the Eisch.
  • The trail continues peacefully to the bank of the Eisch and goes alongside it to a little concrete bridge, enabling you to turn left back to the school car park.
  • There, you can either return to the car park, passing near the abbey, or go right in front of the bridge towards the other corner of the site and follow a marked trail (red rectangles No 6). This describes an arc around the Karlsberg before making a short foray into Luxembourg.
  • PLEASE NOTE: at the T-junction in the wood, the trail turns first to the right, then immediately to the left (follow the red/white GR signs). On the left you can see the whole length of a small meadow. The trail passes near this meadow on the left and in front of a Belgium/Luxembourg border stone with a red pine cone (4).
  • At the next crossing, the marked trail (red rectangles No 6) heads off to the left before returning to the bridge in front of the school.

For an even lovelier walk, take a right (GR signage at first, then more red rectangles) and climb the hill. Once at the top, you will find a large crossing. Keep left and follow the sandy forest track which by-passes a gate. This track rapidly leads to a lane, which heads to the left to take you back to Clairefontaine abbey.

Prepare your walk

Make sure you wear good hiking boots and comfortable walking clothes.

There is no café along the road so take some snacks and water with you.

Author’s Tips

After the walk, take a stroll through the lanes of Arlon and try some game pâté, one of the specialities of the region. Saint-Donat church, lying above the village, is also worth a detour.

In the downloadable brochure below, we have selected one of the best walks per province: natural gems, family friendly paths, memorable views along the way, trails sprinkled with history… One even will introduce you to the iconic abbey beers.

A walker's guide to Wallonia

If you were to draw a straight line on an atlas northward from the Massif Central in France to the North Pole, the only area of high ground the line crosses is the Ardennes, shared between Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany – but mainly belonging to Wallonia, the southern part of Belgium!

Information on the walk




Maximum distance9 Km


Maximum duration3:00
The information provided is an indication only. We advise you to inquire directly with the organisers of the event that interests you before you leave.