The Amblève meanders its way over a distance of 93 kilometers through the picturesque landscape south of Liège. The rivers source is situated in the High Ardennes near Büllingen at an altitude of 640 meters. In this German-speaking region of Belgium it is named Amel.
The river flows through a varied landscape of forests and vast meadows into the French-speaking region of Belgium. From Ligneuville on it is called Amblève. Ligneuville has been known as a breeding place for trout and they claim to be the trout capital of Belgium.
The Amblève is probably best known because of the Coo Waterfalls. In the 18th century the monks from Stavelot rerouted the river to power a watermill. The old meander has been turned into an arteficial water reservoir. This, in combination with the two upper reservoirs, powers the water powerplant of Coo-Trois-Points. The plant was built between 1967 and 1979. It was intended as a buffer for the Tihange nuclear power plant. It's operated remotely from the dispatch in Brussels and can be started in 20 seconds. The total capacity of the plant is 1164 MW. This maximum capacity can be delivered for 5 hours. Then the upper basins are empty and the water must be pumped back up.
The Amblève flows into the Ourthe at an altitude of 120m. The downslope of the Amblève is quite steep, that's why the river is fun to kajak. Supposedly the most beautiful part of the river is Les Fonds de Quarreux.
But geology enthusiasts probably prefer to stick to the scientific explanation: quartzite, unlike schiststones, is extremely durable and hardly susceptible to erosion, so that the rocks stubbornly cope with the Amblève, which is deepening its bed here.
Shorly after it flows into the Meuse it passes the city of Liège.