Along Charming Villages hiking route

Close map
Close map sidebar
Toggle map sidebar

Along Charming Villages hiking route

11,1 km
2u 10m
71% Verhard

Oude Scheldestraat 16, 9630 Zwalm

Display start location on map


Preview waypoints
Paved road
Unpaved road
Show map sidebar

Extended route description

At the very north of the Zwalm Valley walking network, Dikkele, Paulatem and Sint-Maria-Latem vie for the title of most beautiful village panorama. In between, the Munkbosbeek winds through the hilly landscape, quietly surrounded by fields, groves and grasslands.

Starting point

De Kaaihoeve

De Kaaihoeve Meilegem.jpg

The provincial nature and environmental education centre De Kaaihoeve is tucked away in the paradise-like greenery of the Scheldt Valley. Here you will learn all about the region's fauna and flora. Among other things, there is a permanent exhibition, a documentation centre, a nature garden suitable for kids and a bird-watching hut for enthusiasts.

Node 94



Beerlegem is the first charming and centuries-old village you will come across on this walk: the Merovingians had a settlement here as early as the 7th century. In the 1950s, when the local sand pits were mined, archaeologists uncovered a Merovingian burial ground with 80 graves.

Ten Bieze Castle


Near the church of Beerlegem, in a beautiful 40-acre park with moats and ponds, lies the magnificent Ten Bieze Castle. It was built in the early 18th century for the Marquis van Rode, who was the local ruler back then. Unfortunately, the castle is not accessible, but the walk offers various beautiful vantage points.

Node 82-80



Pinch yourself for a moment when you get to checkpoint 80. You're not in a dream, but Dikkele: a Zwalm village brimming with nostalgic charm, with barely 180 inhabitants, a 19th-century church and an authentic walled presbytery in the middle of the rolling agricultural fields.

The first mention of Dikkele - as 'Deckla'- dates back to about 1000 years ago. Not coincidentally, subsequent mentions were in connection with the criminal activities of one Jan de Lichte, the notorious gang leader who bedevilled the surrounding forests with his highwaymen.

Node 82-80

Café De Casino


A mandatory stop on this route is the local cafe De Casino, where the charming atmosphere of yesteryear is a delight. Get cozy around a serving of Leuven stew and treat yourself to a Zwalm tripel beer or a Valeir. In winter, they bake delicious waffles here on the stove. Open from 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and from 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Node 85


The tiny Paulatem also vies for the title of most beautiful village in the Flemish Ardennes. There's only one monument here: the frequently rebuilt Sint-Gangulfus Church. St Gangulfus is said to protect residents from 'marital difficulties and adulterous women'. Adulterous men don't get a mention though.

Restaurant 't Jagershof


Ten Bieze Castle is off limits to visitors, but you can book a table in the former gamekeeper's house on the edge of the castle grounds. The old farmhouse, with traditional red and white shutters, has been converted into cozy private restaurant 't Jagershof where French-Belgian cuisine is served up for your delectation. Or you can always just pop in for ice cream, pancakes or waffles!

De Kaaihoeve