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.
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.
Take it easy today! You will cycle easily over the Vennbahn towards Aachen. Take a break in one of the lovely historical cities of Monschau or Kornelimünster. De last 30 km to Aachen are going downhill so you will have some energy left to admire the beautiful inner city of Aachen.
On your final cycling day, head back from Aachen to Maastricht. The route in Holland you will follow the long distance cycling route LF 13. Enjoy the hills and beautiful panoramas of scenic southern Limburg.
After breakfast, your holiday draws to a close and you make your own way home.
Start Friday from the 1st of May till the 23rd of September
Start Thursday between 1st of July and the 19th of August
|Double room, breakfast||695.00|
|Single room, breakfast||1,010.00|
|Extra night double room, breakfast only||65.00|
|2023-07-06 - 2023-07-28||25.00|
|Bike theft insurance||€ 3.00 x 7||21.00|
|E-bike theft insurance||€ 6.00 x 7||42.00|
Maastricht or 's Gravenvoeren
The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. A list of the hotels we work with appears below. If a certain accommodation is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a comparable alternative.
Our hybrid bikes are Giant Aero RS2 or similar bikes
Assembly: with Shimano Deore (24 gears)
Brakes: Shimano rimbrakes (hand brakes)
Pedals: Flat pedals
Weight: ca. 16,5 kg
The e-bikes have a small electric engine and battery, which can be charged at the hotels. You still have to pedal: it just makes pedaling much easier. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes because of the electric engine.
The e-bikes are Kalkhoff 2.0 Impulse or similar with 7 gears
They have a Bosch 500 Wh middle engine with a range of approx. 100km (normal use)
Pedals: Flat pedals
Weight: ca. 27 kilo.
Our childbikes are Giant, Merida or Golden Lion (aluminium)
Assembly: Shimano 7 gears
Brakes: Shimano (handbrakes)
Pedals: Flat pedals
Weight: ca. 14kg
Our roadbikes are Carbon Giant TCR/Defy, or Merida Reacto or similar
Assembly: Shimano 105 or Ultegra 20 gears
Brakes: Shimano 105 or Ultegra rim brakes
Pedals: We can provide flat pedals, toeclips, SPD, SPD-SL, Look or Keo pedals
Weight: depends on model and type but from 8,5 - 10 kg
Attention: If you rent a roadbike, those won't be provided with panniers
All our adult bikes come with hand brakes.
All our adult bikes come with hand brakes.
For children up to 30 months old (max. 15 KG) it is possible to rent a front child seat. This is not possible with e-bikes, due to the display.
For children older than 30 months (max. 22KG) it is possible to rent a rear child seat. This is also possible with e-bikes.
Helmets are not mandatory in Belgium, but can be rented. Most of the helmets are Lazer Compact helmets or Polisport
Available sizes: M, L and XL and also child helmets
All our bikes come with both front- and rear lights. You need to push the button on the lamp and it will flash three times. This means that the lights will automatically start working when it gets dark.
When you push again, the lamp will flash one time and the lights will be turned off.
All our bikes have locks on the bikes and we also provide one extra chain lock per couple of bikes.
Our e-bikes come with a defender lock with plug in chain (cable lock that is attached to the regular lock, see picture).
You need to turn the key a bit, take out the pin from the cable lock and attach it to a pole/other bike/fence etc.
When you push the pin back into the regular lock, you need to lock the regular lock as you always do, and both locks will be secured.
1 pannier is included at the 'standard' bikes and the e-bikes.
Height: 42 cm
Depth front to the side: 17 cm
Wide top: 32 cm
Wide down: 23 cm
Volume: 20 liters
It has an easy click-on/click-off system. The panniers are water resistant, so everything will stay dry.
The rental bikes come with regular pedals, so no click-in/SPD pedals or toe-clips.
All our bikes come with a quick release system, which makes it very easy to adjust the height of the saddle and the handle bars.
All bike are provided with a small repairkit including an extra inner tube, chain rivet extractor and hand pump. There is also one First Aid Kit per couple of bikes. Please leave this always in the bike after your tour!
Saddles can be adjusted in height without using any tools, see ‘Quick Release’.
Our saddles don’t come with a gel cover.
Belgian Biketours does not provide water bottles. We can also not guarantee that there are bottle holders on the bikes. You will always receive 1x pannier, so you can always store your water bottle in your pannier.
Our tandems are Multicycle, Sparta or Gazelle (all aluminium)
Assembly: Shimano Deore LX or Deore XT
Brakes: rim brakes Shimano Deore
Pedals: Flat pedals
Weight: ca. 30 kg
For a hybrid bike: € 3,00 per day per bicycle.
For an electric bicycle: € 6,00 per day per bicycle.
Please see the General Terms and Conditions for Bicycle Hire and Insurance.
Article 1 Bike Rental Price
The bike rental price is determined by the rates mentioned on the Belgian Bike Tours website at the time of the booking; or as subsequently agreed.
Article 2 Payment
a. The rental price and any other due sums regarding the rental agreement must be paid before the bike is handed over to you.
b. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make use of the bike(s) you have rented, Belgian Bike Tours will not be held responsible for any resulting expenses or damage.
c. In the case of the article 2b, the client remains obliged to pay the full rental price and any other amounts mentioned in the invoice, in accordance with our General Terms and Conditions of Booking, unless the client can prove that his not being able to use the bike was the consequence of a defect that was already present at the beginning of the rental period.
Article 3 Rental Period
a. The rental period runs from the morning of the first cycling day (day 2) to the end of the holiday (the day before departure day), as stated in the booking confirmation.
b. Extension of the rental period is possible only after approval by us and according to the (extension) rates as mentioned in article 1.
c. No refunds are possible after the rental period begins. If you return the bike(s) to us before the end of your holiday, the rental agreement will automatically be terminated and you will not get any of your money back.
d. At the end of the last cycling day of your holiday, the bike(s) must be returned to the hotel from where it was/they were issued, no later than the time stated in the booking confirmation.
If you book a one way tour tour you can leave the bike at the last hotel of the trip.
e. If the bike(s) is /are not returned by the return time stated in the booking confirmation, we will continue to charge you rent until such time as the bike(s) is/are returned to us or is/are received by us. In the event of late return, the rates as mentioned in article 1 will continue to apply, plus a fine of €25 per day. We also reserve the right to demand payment for any costs and/or damages suffered by us due to late return of our rental bike(s).
f. Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, in the event of late return of our rental bikes, we reserve the right to dissolve the rental agreement without judicial intervention and immediately claim back our bicycles where ever they may be and from whomever has them. Belgian Bike Tours also holds this right in the event that the client does not comply with any of the other conditions stated in this rental agreement.
Article 4 Improper Use
a. The bicycle(s) may only be used for its/their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the rental agreement.
b. The bike(s) must be returned to us in the same (clean!) state in which you received it/them.
c. You must take excellent care of the bicycle(s), as if it/they were your own. You must take every precaution against damage, loss or theft.
d. The bicycle may not be used on the beach; or on sandy paths in the dunes unless a paved path is unavailable.
Article 5 Damage, Loss and Theft
The renter will be held responsible for damages to or loss of the bicycle(s) or parts of it, as well as bicycle keys and chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. You must understand that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.
Article 6 Theft Insurance
It is possible to purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance. Covered are: damages arising out of the theft of the bicycle; and damages to the bicycle as a consequence of the theft. Not covered are: theft of bicycle parts; and damages arising out of attempted theft.
Article 7 Theft Insurance Premium
a. The premium for Bicycle Theft Insurance is € 3,00 per day per bicycle. For an electric bicycle € 6,00.
The number of insurance days is the same as the number of cycling days as stated in our booking confirmation.
Article 8 Liability in the Event of Theft
a. If you did not purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us before the start of the holiday, you will be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.
b. If you did purchase Bicycle Theft Insurance from us, but you failed to lock the wheel lock and failed to produce the original wheel lock key and failed to produce an official theft report drawn up by the police, you will still be held fully accountable for the sum determined by us according to standard prices.
Article 9 Costs During the Rental Period
Any charges and taxes regarding the rental bicycle(s), such as fines and ferry tickets, are to be paid by you. You will also be required to pay all costs ensuing from the use of the bicycle(s) such as parking fees, maintenance and repairs.
7 Nights included
3/4 Star Hotels
Tourist tax included
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
Nearest Airport is Brussels Airport (BRU).
The train journey from Brussels to Maastricht takes approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.
Your hotel in Maastricht is within walking distance of Maastricht-Randwyck station.
To get to your hotel in 's-Gravenvoeren the easiest way would be to take a taxi from Maastricht station.
Or if you have brought your own bicycles, you can cycle to your hotel (approx. 14 km from Maastricht-Randwyck station).
Timetable / tickets: train.