It might come as a surprise that the smallest city in the world is so big on adventure but Durbuy, a town in the Wallonia region of Belgium, is full of fun things to do for families. Durbuy and the surrounding area offers outdoor activities ranging from fishing and cave exploring (or spelunking for hardcore underground explorers) to goat herding, hiking, kayaking and much more. But for adventure in one place, you should visit Durbuy’s amazing Adventure Valley.
Located just outside of the city centre is Belgium’s biggest adventure park where you can climb, bike, zip, slide, run, jump and more in a picturesque setting. It’s an impressive space with climbing walls and big air jumps, suspended labyrinths and treetop walks. We spent a day at Adventure Valley and had a fabulous time but I’ll warn you, one day is not enough to do all the activities on offer!
Belgium’s Biggest Adventure Playground
It pays to be a little organised before you turn up at Adventure Valley; there are numerous activities available and not all of them are at the main site. The following are some of what we think are some of the best activities for kids at Adventure Valley.
At the heart of the adventure park is the playground, a wonderful wooden world of bridges and houses and things to climb. This was the perfect spot for Sam, my three-year-old, and we spent a lot of time here. I’ll be honest, three is a little young for Adventure Valley, especially when you have older kids who want to take part in absolutely everything. But if you have two adults on hand, then you can split up and the playground is a fun place to spend a few hours while the rest of the family does something a little more high-octane.
The Tubing Slide
Definitely one of the most popular activities with my big kids was the tubing slide. The slide is the longest in Belgium, which means that you have a fair way to climb with your inner tube, and a great course to whizz down.
The 3D Labyrinth
This has only just opened (and wasn’t quite ready when we visited) but it looks like a lot of fun and I’m sure it’s going to be one of the region’s (if not Belgian’s) most popular things to do! Built behind an old quarry, it’s an elevated course where you have to navigate wooden platforms and obstacles as you try and make your way through the 3D maze.
The Bike Park
We didn’t get the chance to try the bike park during our visit but we saw plenty of kids pedalling furiously over the 2km-long track. It’s like a mini mountain biking course with obstacles that you have to avoid (or ride over!). It’s brilliant for kids who are still relatively new to cycling and really easy to follow. For more experienced riders there are two pump tracks. For those not familiar with the term ‘pump track’ (like me!) these are tracks made up of a continuous loop of dirt bumps and rolls that you ride without pedalling. Instead, you create speed by means of a pumping movement with your arms and legs. These tracks are definitely for cyclists who know what they’re doing.
You need to book in advance for this activity (you can book a time slot when you arrive at the park).
The Playground in the trees
Another favourite with my three kids were the bouncy bridges that you crossed in order to reach the nets suspended within the trees. These enclosed, netted areas were great fun for running, bouncing, jumping and, in my case, falling around. The nets definitely favour lighter children than heavier adults and I was certainly not at my most graceful! Still, they are a lot of fun to play in as a family.
Click & Climb
This is a 20m outdoor climbing wall where you are harnessed in and have to manoeuvre yourself through various challenges to reach the top.
How much does Adventure Valley cost?
Access to Adventure Valley and its restaurant are free but if you want to take part in the activities, then you need to purchase a coloured wristband. The different colours of wristbands gives you access to a defined number of activities for that day.
White: No charge.
Access to the park and for children under the age of 6. This colour bracelet doesn’t allow access to any of the activities in the park apart from the playground.
Green: Adult €25, Child €20
Access to the playground, bike park, 3D labyrinth, adventure park with nets, the tubing slide and the nature walking challenge (this last challenge is in a different location).
Blue: Adult €35, Child €30
The same access as the green wristband and access to the speleo experience, the via ferrata (you must weigh a minimum of 40kg), the treetop park and the click and climb.
Red: Everyone €50
As above as well as access to the big air, mega zipline, duo ziplines, challenge park, pamperpaal and free fall rock.
There are also a handful of activities sold separately. These include, kayaking, bike hire, laser game, the escape room and the tourist train that are all off site. When booking an ‘à la carte’ activity as well as a wristband, you are given a 50% discount on a green wristband and a 10% discount on the blue or red bracelet.
The activities are open every day from 9 am until 6 pm and the restaurant is free of entrance. The restaurant remains open in the evening.
Save up to 5% if you book online
Which colour wristband should you choose?
The colour wristband you choose very much depends on how long you want to spend at Adventure Valley and how old your children are. If you have kids under 10 then the green wristband gives you all you need. For marginally older children, the blue wrist band is a good option as you can take part in the slightly more adventurous activities such as the speleo (caving) experience, the via ferrata, a mountain climbing route and the click and climb, a climbing wall. The red wristband is perfect if you’re travelling with teenagers.
If you are interested in some of the a la carte activities then I would definitley recommend the kayaking. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to do this during our time in Durbuy but we saw plenty of kids paddling gently along the river Ourthe in the sunshine and it looked like a wonderful family thing to do.
How long should you spend at Adventure Valley?
You can easily spend a whole day at the park. There’s a restaurant on site, open for both lunch and dinner if you decide to stay from opening to closing. If you want to take advantage of some of the a la carte activities, such as kayaking, then you will probably need two days.
Glamping at Adventure Valley
Adventure Valley have recently introduced a glamping option for families and friends who want to camp. This is no ordinary campsite, however, the site is made up of luxury safari tents, the kind you usually find in Africa. There are two choices available, the Bali tents and the Shaka tents. The Bali are the more basic where you’ll have to use the communal toilets and showers and bring your own bed sheets. The Shaka tents are more upmarket and come with ensuite bathrooms as well as towels and sheets. We spent two nights in one of the Shaka tents and loved it. There was a kingsize bed in the centre of the tent and bunkbeds to one side. The tent had a fridge and our own private terrace so my sister and I could enjoy a glass of wine once the kids were asleep. There’s a communal dining hall or you can head into Durbuy, which is full of excellent restaurants.
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Disclosure: I was a guest of Wallonia Tourism for the purpose of this review. All opinions are, as always, entirely my own.