On our first official “summer” trip for the year (yes it’s now possible within most countries in EU), we went to one of the most famous summer lake destinations in Belgium, Lacs de l’eau de l’heure. But this is not a post about that. While there, I saw some brochures about abbey ruins in the surrounding area called Abbaye d’Aulne, which seemed quite interesting. Anyway it was on our way back to Brussels so we decided to check it out!
Abbaye d’Aulne is located in the city of Thuin, near the river Sambre. Thuin is around 20 minutes from Charleroi and around an hour from Brussels (by car). It seems to also be possible to get there by public transport in an hour and a half. You can go by local train to somewhere near Charleroi, and then take the bus that goes directly to the abbery.
I was prepared to see only the abbey, but apparently this area has a bunch of other things to see and do. There are several restaurants, a mini golf, a boat tour and of course, a brasserie by the abbey.
Parking is free but I would advise to target the “Caves de l’abbaye d’aulne” as the parking and the entrance to the abbey is on that street rather than where google tells you to go. For reference, this is the link in google maps.
The ticket to get inside the abbey ruins is 3 euros. There are also guided tours but best to call or check with the abbey about this.
You can spend any time from 30 minutes to an hour exploring the whole area of the abbey (more if you plan to take a whole bunch of photos as it is extremely picturesque). I’ll leave you guys to learn more about the abbey here (or well just go there and read about it!).
After the abbey, we grabbed a drink at the nearby caves de l’abbaye d’aulne. Here they serve the beers of the abbey. I got this white cherry beer which I have to admit is one of the best tasting fruit beers I’ve ever had in Belgium.
We left soon after but you can pretty much spend the whole day exploring the area, maybe taking a walk by the river or hanging out at one of the lovely riverside cafes. There is even a charming auberge where you can stay the night! (I think it is mostly for people who have weddings there)
Overall I would rate it as: I would definitely bring future visitors to this area.