Northern France Tourism : official website

View of the Avesnois countryside, an outstanding green landscape

Woods, green attitude and Regional Nature Park

A land of rivers: the Sambre, Helpe Major and Helpe Minor, the Avesnois has always known how to handle water and still had over 200 mills a century ago. It is a natural area punctuated by woods and the forest-covered slopes of Trélon and Mormal, and with its 9,000 hectares, is the largest in the region. A wooded countryside with, in particular, its hedges criss-crossing the landscape which its farmers planted in the 7th century. Woodlands that the Regional Nature Park is committed to conserve on a daily basis, by working very closely with the farmers and local authorities, and encouraging planting, restoration of ponds, and the creation of orchards . Particularly attractive in this respect are the areas of Fagne de Trélon (around Trélon) and the Thiérache, south east of Maroilles.

Herd of cows in the wooded surroundings of Avesnois
  • Herd of cows in the wooded surroundings of Avesnois
  • © Xavier ALPHAND
Walks and visits around the "bocage"

The resort of Val Joly

A lake stretching over 180 hectares, the largest in the region, in the centre of this must-visit tourist resort. The Val Joly offers you delightful chalets, a camp site, a vast expanse of water (3,000 m2), and also an equestrian centre, a treetop adventure trail, mini-golf, various activities (archery, fishing,etc.) .

Maroilles, a charming village

Bordering the river Helpe, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages in France. Yes, this is the village where the famous cheese of the same name originates... It is a small village where the houses built of a combination of brick and blue stone rival each other in their charm. It is a starting point for many walks, notably from the Grand-Fayt water mill - beautiful. Here also is the Nature Park's head office, a useful information centre for when you set off to explore the Avesnois. Don't miss the rustic antiques fair in June or the "Fête de la Flamiche", a local speciality, in August. For a bike ride, try the "Circuit des Renoncules" and the "Circuit Dame Marguerite". 

Maroilles: The water mill, the bell tower, a truly green setting
  • The water mill at Maroilles
  • © Xavier ALPHAND

Cycling in the Avesnois

Yes, because cycling or mountain biking for the more athletic still offer you the best options for enjoying the natural greenery and unspoilt countryside. So follow the Avesnois green trail, which takes you along an old railway track from Ferrière-la-Grande (south of Maubeuge) to Glageon, and Portes de la Thiérache. Also, stay at the Relai éco-Vélo at Ferrière-la-Grande; it used to be a railway station,ideal for starting off on the right foot. You will go through one picturesque village after another for 20 miles: Dimechaux and its Panda gîtes, Sars -Pottery, Felleries, Solre-le-Château and Lieissies... 

Bike in the woods in the Avesnois
  • Ideal landscape for a bike ride
  • © Xavier ALPHAND

The Avesnois on a plate

Follow up this nice taste of nature in the Avesnois by trying out some local produce. Cheeses, apples, milk, the Avesnois "bocage" spoils lovers of produce whose quality is preserved through the know-how of local producers. The "Bleue du Nord, a local dairy cow has given its name to a cheese (the "Pavé Bleu", produced at Le Quesnoy and the milk festival in September), orchards abound, and fill the local shops and restaurants with apples, pears, and cider. Get yourself a good table at the restaurant by contacting the Avesnois restauranteurs' network at Avesnelles, Sars-Poteries, Gussignies, Maroilles, Maubeuge or Wallers-in-Fagne... Genuine good eating and a convivial time assured! 

Assortment of specialities served on a plate in a tavern
  • Assortment of speciality Avesnois cheeses
  • © Xavier Nicostrate
Donkeys in the meadow

Package - Les Mout'Anes

Price for 2 adults and 1 child for a 2 days / 1 night stay