Durbuy - not bigger than it can fit in your hand

Durbuy Travel Blog

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One of my favourite small villages or I should probably say cities in Belgium is Durbuy; it is not a village but the smallest city in Belgium. First time I arrived here was early in my stay more than two years ago, when I was called in for a meeting at work, then I didn’t know where it was and I was quite surprised that it was one hour drive from Brussels.

Driving on the road to the city when all is green and the fresh country air is pounding in your lungs is pure joy. The roads are narrow and surrounded by trees or open fields and moves through the landscape like a serpentine or a long snake following every curve and wave in the intimidating landscape.

The joy of driving here in a car can only make me imagine how it would be on a motor bike.

Durbuy is a small city taken out of the handbook on how to create a tourist magnet. The surroundings are almost breathtaking with a hilly landscape and a river rapidly passing in the centre of the city. The houses are built in limestone and blue stone and almost all houses are well kept or maintained. Shudders are open to the sides which fulfil the beautiful look of an old castle city where you can expect knights coming towards at any corner. Many of the houses have colourful mainly red flowers in the windows or on the balconies too.

Durbuy is located on the banks of the Ourthe River, in the midst of the Liège-Namur-March triangle. The river is fantastic to follow and it will guide you through many wonderful and interesting sites.

Durbuy and the river are like twins, marking the boundaries of the regions of Condroz, Famenne and the Ardennes.

For a long time, Durbuy billed itself as "The Smallest Town in the World". Indeed, it was pretty small -- 400 residents or so -- and it had been granted "town" status way back in 1331. In 1977, though, Durbuy lost whatever claims it had to this distinction, as it joined with a number of surrounding communities into a single commune of 8,000 residents.

This small but enchanting place boasts a whole host of facilities. Thanks to this infrastructure it can cater for tourists, those in search of leisure activities and lovers of fine food. In summertime the small city can be enormously crowded due to the amount of tourist buses pounding in to the city like rush hour in Brussels.

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photo by: Sweetski