Belgium // The Ardennes //

Spa-Francorchamps

Just outside Francorchamps, the race circuit of Spa-Francorchamps is renowned as one of the most scenic and historic venues in the motorsports world. Formerly a 14km-long road circuit, races used to take in the whole of the surrounding area, to Malmédy and Stavelot and back, but now those towns serve as dormitories for the thousands who come here to enjoy the racing every year. The highlight by far is September’s Belgian Grand Prix, but the circuit is busy almost every day between March and November, hosting all kinds of events, some of which are free. Anyone can visit, and most of the time there’s free access to the paddock and pit lane, as well as the panoramic top-floor brasserie. It’s also possible to see more of the circuit – the media centre and race control room, for example – by way of the regular guided tours that are run on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 2pm (t087 29 37 00, whttp://www.spa-francorchamps.be).