The Call of the Wild in The French Ardennes

Less than two hours from Paris, The French Ardennes remains one of the lest-explored, greenest and – in places – wildest areas of France.


Most of it was designated as a Parc Naturel Régional (PNR) in 2012 – recognising it as a rural area of outstanding natural beauty.


French holiday makers to the region already know exactly what to expect here: a “great outdoors” where it’s possible to commune with Nature, and spend day-after-day in the open air enjoying the sights and sounds of one of the most unspoilt regions of France.


Not surprisingly, this is all reflected perfectly in the choice of accommodation, range of activities, and many of the attractions that are available to visitors.  It’s the kind of place where you can sleep in the trees or in hammocks, go walking with donkeys, and learn to climb rock-faces or trees.


And, from mid-September to mid-October, visitors to The French Ardennes will once again be given the chance to join guided tours that go deep into the forest to hear The Deer’s Bellow.


Two of the best opportunities for visitors to The French Ardennes to experience this are provided in the village of Signy-l’Abbaye – on September 9, and September 22.


The first of these gives participants the opportunity to listen to the sounds of the night – and more particularly the deer herds in the thick forests.  Meet at 18:30 in front of the church of Signy l’Abbaye for a three-hour tour, priced at 17 Euros per person and 11 Euros for under 12 years.  Places do need to be booked, by telephoning +33 6 49 48 54 23. For further details, visit


The tour on September 22, meanwhile, starts from the Tourist Office in Signy l’Abbaye at 18.00 – and the group will be shown tracks left by the forest animals, before having an opportunity to listen for the Deer’s Bellow. Participants are advised to take a torch, as well as suitable clothes and walking boots.  A small snack will also be available before the tour. Prices are 14 Euros for adults, and 5 Euros for children (12 to 18).  Further details can be found at


Suitable accommodation in The French Ardennes for similar countryside pursuits include Cabane et Vallee, located within the regional nature park, where two woodland cabins sleep 2-4 people in the village of Haulmé – in the remote and wild Semoy Valley.  Prices start from 120 Euros a night; and there are many outdoor activities nearby – including canoeing, climbing, walking and cycling.


Kotas Nordic Spirit– in the tiny village of Ferme de Flamanville – meanwhile, offers four comfortable and well-appointed Nordic kotas with its own pontoon by the lake for fishing and relaxation.  The wellness area itself includes a spa and a traditional Finnish sauna.  Open all year, prices start from 110 Euros for 2 people per night, including breakfast.


For all tourist information about The French Ardennes, visit