Five Country Meuse – Vennbahn Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Self-Guided | Individual | 10 days | 9 nights | From £819 per person
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• Cycle along the River Meuse and the whole international route
• A real Tour of Europe taking in 5 countries!
• Ride along the excellent Vennbahn
• Explore World War II history
• Ride into Luxembourg
• Visit typical Ardennes villages and the Walloon region
About the Tour
Through The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany.Two beautiful routes along the Meuse River and the Vennbahn Rail Trail are the basis for a “Tour d’Europe” starting and finishing in Maastricht, the town where the foundations were laid for the European Union with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.
The International Meuse Route is a bicycle route along the meandering River Meuse (or Maas as it is known in Dutch) between Maastricht in the Netherlands and the French town of Sedan which boasts Europe’s largest castle.
The route is over 200 km long and incorporates the RAVeL
The approximate difficulty level for this tour
Day 1: Day 1 (Wednesday)
Arrival in Maastricht – subsequently from Maastricht (NL) to Liège (B) / 35 km
Make your own way to Maastricht, the oldest town in the Netherlands. Free parking at Hotel Novotel ****. By way of a welcome we have arranged for coffee/tea and Limburg pie for you, to get your energy up for the trip ahead.
When you’re ready, set off on the first leg of your bike tour: from Maastricht to Liège, aka the “fiery city”. On the way to Belgium you will follow the River Jeker (which flows into the River Meuse at Maastricht) to the picturesque village of Kanne. Shortly after, take a look at the boats going through the locks at Ternaaien/ Lanaye, 225 m long and 25 m wide.
From here, follow the RAVeL
Day 2 (Thursday)
From Liege (B) to Namur (B) / 70 km
Taking you right through the centre of Liège, the safe cycling path along the Meuse is very pleasant. Next, follow the John Cockerill railway to make your way out of the built-up area of Liège. Follow the signs for RAVeL
Seen up close, the blast furnaces of Seraing are awe-inspiring. If you like decorative glass, opt to stop off at the Val St. Lambert crystal factory shop.
Next, ride your bike on quiet back-roads, past typical Walloon villages, never far from the river, towards Huy. Just before Huy, briefly switch to the bike track along the Meuse where the Tihange nuclear reactor is another very striking industrial complex.
The Grande Place in Huy is the ideal spot for a lunch break. On the route along the Meuse to Namur, nature gradually prevails over industry. (70.0 km).
Day 3 (Friday)
From Namur (B) to Haybes (F) / 80.0 km or 50.0 by bike and 30.0 by train
If the full 80 km are a daunting prospect to you, take a train from Namur to Dinant, complete with views of the Meuse. If you want to take up the 80 km challenge, you’ll quickly find yourself back on the banks of the Meuse. Follow RAVeL
You will pass the village of Wépion, famous for strawberries; and the Gardens of Annevoie, well worth a visit. In Dinant take your time to enjoy the town and riverside cafes. After Dinant, you will reach the lovely Chateau Freyr.
Then continue on
Day 4 (Saturday)
From Haybes (F) to Charleville-Mézières (F) / 55.0 km
Continue all day on Voie Verte Trans-Ardennes, along the Meuse River. One of the day’s highlights is a visit to the charming town of Monthermé. Your destination is Charleville-Mézières, known for its lovely historical town centre. (55.0 km).
Day 5 (Sunday)
From Charleville-Mézières (F) to Bouillon (B) / 50.0 km
In September 2015, an extension of the Voie Verte Trans-Ardennes was opened. It now stretches along the Meuse till past the town of Sedan in northern France. Through a picturesque landscape you will cycle to Sedan, famous for its castle, the largest in Europe.
This is where you leave the International Meuse Route. After a lunch break you will set off on the first leg of the
After crossing the border back into Belgium there’s a delightful descent to your hotel in Bouillon. Opt to visit the impressive castle-fortress of Godfried of Bouillon. (50.0 km).
Day 6 (Monday)
From Bouillon (B) to Bastogne (B) / 70.0 km
Make your way up and out of the pretty town of Bouillon by way of a narrow, climbing road. After that follow two more steep hills, before you reach the village of Cugnon. To reward you for your efforts , in Hotel des Roches in this charming place, coffee or tea with home cooked apple cake will be served! After this well deserved break, you will find yourself pedalling on country roads flanked by farmland, on a rolling plateau.
You will pass many characteristic villages apparently untouched by time. Enjoy the great views! At the end of this leg of the route you will follow another stretch of the RAVeL-route (on former railway line 163 from Libramont via Bastogne to Gouvy).
In halting place Bastogne you’ll find many monuments that remember the Battle of the Ardennes at the end of WWII
Day 7 (Tuesday)
From Bastogne (B) to Sankt-Vith (B) / 62.5 km
From “Gare du Sud” railway station, follow RAVeL 163 in a northerly direction on one of the most beautiful bike tracks in the RAVeL network. South of Gouvy, at the end of this RAVeL route, head east to the border with Luxembourg.
Shortly after, cycle through a slightly undulating Luxembourg landscape on peaceful roads to the Vennbahn route.
In Huldange, the highest point in Luxembourg (558.5 m N.A.P.) you will reach the Vennbahn. A little later on, you will cross the border back into Belgium.
Through a beautiful landscape the route takes you to the ruins of Burg Reuland, towering high above the village. Then you continue to Hemmeres, a German enclave, and finally to Sankt-Vith, this day’s destination.
Day 8 (Wednesday)
From Sankt-Vith (B) to Monschau (D) / 45.0 km
Progress is easy on the newly asphalted bike track between Sankt-Vith and Waimes. Zoom on towards Belgian-German Ardennes-Eiffel Nature Park.
Stop off in Montenau (and an Ardennes ham smokery) and in Sourbrodt (former station along the Vennbahn railway) and in Kalterherberg where you will find several possibilities for a tasty lunch.
Further on, you will leave the Vennbahn to make a detour to Monschau where you will stay the night. Quaint and enchanting, this Eifel town boasts lovely half-timbered houses, enticing shops, friendly roadside cafes and good restaurants.
Day 9 (Thursday)
From Monschau (D) to Maastricht (NL) / approx. 55 km (bike) and 35 km (train)
On your final cycling day, head back from the centre of Monschau to the Vennbahn rail trail. A visit to the monumental town of Kornelimünster is a must.
After a long descent you will reach the town of Aachen, once the centre of Charlemagne’s empire. From Aachen, it’s only a few kilometres to the border with the Netherlands and the Dutch town of Kerkrade.
That is where you get on a train to Maastricht; and relax and enjoy while the hills of scenic southern Limburg glide by like a protracted panorama.
Day 10 (Friday)
After a hotel breakfast, your holiday has come to an end. It’s time to make your own way home.
Leaving the Meuse Route behind, you will continue on a connecting route to the Vennbahn which starts in the Walloon region in the south of Belgium. The connecting route follows country roads past rolling cropfields and pastures on a high plateau. Imposing farmhouses dot this prosperous agricultural region.
Characteristic Ardennes villages and unforgettable panoramas will hold you spellbound. Bouillon, a historical gem, and the town of Bastogne, known for the Ardennes counteroffensive near the end of WWII, are just two of the many historical highlights on this journey; and therefore interesting places to stay the night.
From Bastogne to the border with Luxembourg you will follow rail trail RAVeL 163. One of the prettiest cycle paths on the Walloon cycle route network, it will take you all the way to the Vennbahn.
The Vennbahn rail trail is a cycle path on a former railway. It crosses three countries and is 125 km long. The maximum average incline is 2%. It leads from Troisvièrges in the north of Luxembourg along the scenic River Our to Belgian-German High Fens-Eifel nature park. Sankt-Vith and Monschau are the towns where you will stay the night in Germany. The Vennbahn finishes in Aachen, a town of historical significance, as the cathedral and gothic Town Hall testify.
The tour includes:
• Nine overnight-stays in 3-star and 4-star hotels
• Breakfast (buffet)
• Coffee and pie in Maastricht on day 1
• Route description
• Tourist information for on the road
• Daily luggage transfer
• Train ticket for yourself and your bike for Kerkrade-Maastricht
• Coffee and apple pie in Cugnon (day 6)
Five Country Meuse – Vennbahn Cycling Holiday 10 days, 9 nights
All prices are per person and include bike hire.
Nine overnight stays in 3 star and 4 star hotels
£819 per person
Availability: 24th May, 7th June, 21st June, 19th July, 2nd August, 18th August, 30th August and 13th September 2017
Departure Days: Wednesdays and Friday (18th August only)
Duration: 10 days
Bike Hire: Included
E-Bike Rental: £59
Extra Night Prices:
Maastricht: £59 per person per night (B&B only)
Single supplements apply.
You will stay in the same hotel as the previous night.
Any local tourist taxes are not included in the holiday price and are payable at the hotel.
Holiday Price: From £819
Single Supplement: £329