Hi! I would be so grateful for help! I am an american who is doing a trip to Iceland/London/northern Europe. For north europe, I will have a 7/8 days before I return to USA and I want to travel this route: Calais -> Lille -> Bruges/Brugge -> Antwerp -> Hague -> Amsterdam (I fly back to USA from Amsterdam) ...
But these are all pretty much canals and modern cities and it would be nice to go to at least one city/town with hills and some elevation. Are there ANY hill towns within 3 hour bus or train ride from any of the cities in my route?
The best I have found so far is Dinant in Belgium, which means I would have to change my route to Brussels instead of Antwerp, which is fine. But i want to know if there are any other towns/cities with hills and elevation besides Dinant. Please help!!!
Hi. Highest part of Belgium is South East (Ardennes). Bastogne, close to Luxemburg border is at elevation 515m.
Not sure there is a lot to see there except WWII memorial.
Thanks Alain! What about south Netherlands? Do you know if it has any high parts? Or what about northeast france near the border of Belgium? Are there any high points there?
So far, it looks like Dinant is the best option!
You basically have to go east to get any hills. Definitely nothing worthy of the name in the Netherlands (there's one hill in the furthest south-east corner, but not as part of a town). Luxembourg city itself would be good, and can be reached in exactly three hours (direct by train) from Brussels. Dinant is half that time, though, and if that counts as "hill town" for you, then I'd stick with it (my memories of the place are vague, but afaik the town itself is rather flat, nestled along the river, and it just has some hills around it).
I cannot give anything specific but these might help your research.
This links to Wikipedia Highest points in Belgium
Ditto Netherlands but two are in the Caribbean. It's not called Netherlands for nothing.
Someone already mentioned the Ardennes / Champagne area.
Luxembourg looks like it might be good bet but may be a bit too far out of your way.
French Ardennes show nice landscapes but are not very high (maybe 200m max.). The two main historical towns are Sedan and Charleville-Mézières.
The link of the tourism web site:
French Ardennes Tourist Guid
For higher roads in France you have to go further east to the beautiful Vosges mountains, closer to the German border.
[ Edit: Edited on 18-Sep-2014, at 10:38 by Alain13 ]
Thank you all so so so so much for your advice. Some people on tripadvisor made fun of the question, but you all really helped me, and I think the best idea is to go into Luxembourg City for a few days and cut other things I don't care about like Brugge and Antwerp out of my itinerary. thank you all so much. tremendous help!!!
Near Calais there are the French side of the White Cliffs of Dover, around Cape Blanc Nez and Cape Gris Nez I believe. On a clear day you might be able to see England viewable from on top of the cliffs..
I also note that you are going on the route North America - Iceland - London. I did that same thing in May, to Dover for a cruise and saw the White Cliffs of France from the Channel. Quite impressive.
Maybe the TP Blogo for my trip will give you some ideas if you have any time before Calais.
Getting to Iceland and London to Dover
I did get to Amsterdam too later, but no hills.
I don't know how out of the way this place is from your route, but my favorite place in France is Connelles. It's a hilly village less than 2 hours north of Paris. Richard the Lion heart's castle ruins and the famous Sherwood forest (from robin hood tale) are all a short distance away with amazing views. Chateaus and castles are found among the hills. Its really quite picturesque.