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 can be reached by public transport from Schiphol in about 3 hours by train. For those of you arriving by car, there is parking at the Hotel. You will be welcomed with coffee/tea and “vlaai”, local fruit pie. 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. After a long descent you will reach the town of Aachen, once the centre of Charlemagne’s empire. After your visit to this historic town, cycle further to Maastricht to continue with a beautiful drive through the hills of South Limburg or to continue the route to Vaals. If you choose the last option, you will be picked up by a taxi and brought back to your hotel (a surcharge of € 10 per person applies).
After breakfast, your holiday draws to a close and you make your own way home.
|Start Friday from the 31st of May till the 18th of September and
Start Thursday between 2nd of July and the 20th of August
|Season A: 01/05 till 30/06 and 01/08 till 30/09
Season B: 01/07 till 31/07
|Per person in a double room
7 nights’ accommodation, breakfast included
|Season supplement B||25,00|
|A supplement will be required for:|
|Extra night (only Maastricht)||65,00|
|Maastricht or 's Gravenvoeren|
Below are the accommodations that we book as standard for this trip. They are carefully selected by us for cyclists. All rooms have a shower or bath and toilet. If one of the hotels is fully booked, we will reserve a comparable alternative.
Maastricht - NH Hotel****
Eupen - Ambassador Hotel Bosten****
Saint-Vith - Relaxhotel Pip Markgraff***
Clervaux - Hotel Koener***
Bütgenbach - Hotel Bütgenbacher Hof****
Monschau - Michel & Friends hotel****
3/4 Star Hotels
Tourist tax included
Breakfast included, Halfboard optional
Detailed roadbooks with maps and tourist information
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