What’s a Rail Trail? It’s when an old abandoned railway that has fallen into disrepair is transformed into a path for cyclists and pedestrians. The Vennbahn rail trail, one of the prettiest and longest in Europe, was officially opened to cyclists in the summer of 2013. One hundred and twenty-five kilometers long, it is the result of successful collaboration between Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the EU. It is seen as a milestone in the history of cross-border tourism. From 1885 to 1989 the Vennbahn railway connected the German town of Aachen to the town of Ulfingen (now Troisvierges) in Luxembourg.
Make your own way to Maastricht in Limburg province, in the farthest possible corner of south Netherlands. Please note that it is easy to reach by public transport as it is only 2 hours by trains. For those of you arriving by car, there is parking at the Hotel. You will be welcomed with coffee/tea and “vlaai”, local fruit tart. If you started your trip in 's Gravenvoeren, then you will cycle 13 lovely kilometers from Maastricht Randwyck train station to your hotel in s' Gravenvoeren.
It’s only a short ride from Maastricht to the border with Belgium. Today, we recommend stops at Gemmenich, Moresnet (which was an independent mini state from 1816 to 1920) and at 14th century Raeren Castle which houses a pottery museum featuring Rhenish stoneware. After that, roll on to the town of Eupen.
Happily, motorized vehicles have been banned from most of today’s route. Revel in the High Fens nature reserve whilst you climb very gradually to 660m N.A.P. Starting at the village of Kalterherberg (Germany) , the route will follow the Vennbahn Rail Trail past Sourbrodt Railyard and the town of Waimes. At the Montenauer Ham Smokery, visitors may sample Ardennes Ham produced according to centuries old artisan methods. Round off the day in St Vith.
Continuing on the excellent Vennbahn bike track, pay a visit to Reuland Castle ruins. Soon after, you will cross the border into Luxembourg and arrive at Troisvierges. At this point, either you take a local train to the market town of Clervaux; or you cycle a fantastic route to Clervaux which does, however, include some climbs… and some wonderful descents!
Set off for the tripoint, the geographical point where Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany meet, near the town of Ouren. From there, follow the valley of the River Our back up north, passing Schönberg (literally: lovely mountain). True to the name, this really is a lovely route! From the Our Valley, the route climbs to 500m guaranteeing fine views for the last stretch to Bütgenbach.
Today we’re taking it easy! Cross the magnificent Robertville reservoir (artificial lake) atop the dam to reach the lively town of Robertville. The route then runs back into the High Fens on bike tracks offering marvellous scenery. Past Kalterherberg, set course for the Eifel town of Monschau, famous for its charming timber-framed houses.
On the final cycling day, cover another stretch of the Vennbahn Rail Trail. A visit to the historical town centre of Kornelimünster is a must. Pay a vistit to the beautiful city of Aachen before you cycle to Kerkrade and take the train back to Maastricht (ticket included). If you started the trip in 's Gravenvoeren then you will cycle about 15 lovely kilometers from the trainstation Maastricht Randwyck to your hotel in 's Gravenvoeren.
After breakfast, your holiday draws to a close and you make your own way home.
|Start Friday from the 1st of May till the 18th of September
Start Thursday between 2nd of July and the 20th of August
|Per person in a double room
7 nights’ accommodation, breakfast included
|Surcharge high season (start in july)||€ 25,-|
|A supplement will be required for:|
|Single room||€ 280,-|
|Bike rental||€ 105,-|
|Extra night (only Maastricht)||€ 65,-|
|Maastricht or 's Gravenvoeren|
7 Nights included
3/4 Star Hotels
Breakfast included, Halfboard optional
Tourist information on all the places of interest
The possibility of renting our bikes
7-days a week service-hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotel
Parking possibilities at the hotel
Any ferry crossings are not included