Everyone’s heard of camping, of course, and many of us will have tried it at some point over the years.
But many may still be unfamiliar with the concept of glamping which is, basically, “posh”, or upmarket, camping.
When the sun’s out, as it certainly has been in Belgium so far this summer, the prospect of sleeping out under the stars appears rather more appealing than it might otherwise do.
But one of the country’s best known tourist attractions has now come up with something a bit different again: top-of-the-range glamping in the heart of the Domain of the famous Caves of Han. Here, you can treat yourself to a relaxing break in a truly lovely natural setting, in the heart of the charming village of Han-sur-Lesse.
Set in a 12,000 square metre wooded park, located at the gateway to the Ardennes and on the banks of the river Lesse, the “Cocoon Village”, as it is called, certainly offers a different camping experience.
It gives folk the chance to recharge their batteries in quite idyllic natural surroundings and enjoy a relaxing and comfortable stay in one of their 32 cosy “Cocoon” tents.The spacious tents each contain comfy beds and, after a night under the stars, next day you are treated to a hearty breakfast comprising a tasty array of local products.
The site includes a bar, all toilet and washing facilities (including showers), a play area for the kids, badminton court and, just to complete the experience, everyone gets the chance to do their own BBQ outside your tent.
But, arguably the thing that really sets this place apart is that the package also usually includes visits to the adjacent Caves of Han and sprawling wildlife park, both top Belgian tourist attractions.
Folk travel from far and wide just to experience the caves alone and it’s little wonder.
The cave visit includes “Salle du Dôme”, the largest underground cave in Belgium. The caves are one of Belgium’s most popular tourist attractions with up to 300,000 visitors per year. A led lighting system brings out the natural colours and depth of the caves and dripstones.
The caves there are the only natural attraction in Belgium to have been awarded 3 stars in the famous Michelin Guide. Both the nature park and caves are located at the very heart of the Famenne-Ardenne UNESCO Global Geopark. You are best to allow a full day to see both though half a day is ok if it’s just either the park or caves.
The animal park can be visited on foot, at your own pace, along its footpath or aboard a Safari-car accompanied by a driver-guide. The visit to the Grotto is guided and is done in small groups. The site now additionally offers glamping for those able to stay over for a night or two.
Back at Cocoon Village, just up the road, a pleasant experience awaits after a full day exploring the park and cave.
A 2 night stay is necessary but, even if the weather’s bad, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.