Belgium is a country of two cultures: the French-speaking Walloons and the Germanic Flemings. The country offers splendid art cities, from Brussels to Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent, and famous breweries such as Hoegaarden and De Koninck (to say nothing of the range of Trappist ales). And with its gourmet reputation for food, its pretty villages and its woods and pastureland, there's lots to do and see. You can gaze at some of the finest paintings in northern Europe or cycle along quiet forest tracks. Stop to drink cherry-flavoured beer and eat (arguably) the world's best chocolate. The Ardennes area, in particular, with its rivers and deep valleys, is a positive playground for kayaking, mountain biking and hiking. Belgium also offers castles, ancient monasteries and intriguing, prehistoric limestone grottoes. Belgium's hostels offer an appealing range of accommodation - all with a good choice of nearby attractions and ranging from an 18th-century fortified farmhouse to a refurbished convent.