Start: Maastricht Finish: Maastricht
Your trip starts in Maastricht (the oldest town in the Netherlands) or nearby in Lanaken, depending on availability. Free parking at the start hotel. 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, called the “city on fire”. 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 trail, via the friendly town of Visé, to Liège (or Luik, as it is called in Dutch). The last kilometres take you past tall cranes, rusty boats and old but busy industrial zones.
Challenge: 35km, 210m ascent, 199m descent
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.
Challenge: 74 km, 708m ascent, 690m descent
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 to Dinant. 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 for several kilometres on the former railway from Hastière to Mariembourg. Cross the border into France and the first town you’ll encounter is Givet with its imposing Charlemont citadel.
Challenge: 50 km, 626m ascent, 603m descent
Shortly after Givet, you will arrive in Haybes. 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.
Challenge: 55 km, 988m ascent, 930m descent
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 a section that bridges the end of the Meuse Route and the beginning of the Vennbahn route. On the French side, a quiet road climbs gradually (average incline 3%) to the border. 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.
Challenge: 50 km, 618m ascent, 560m descent
Make your way up and out of the pretty town of Bouillon by way of a narrow, climbing road and proceed on our through the south of Belgium. After a few kilometres 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! In the town of Libramont-Chevigny, you can make a half-way stop for lunch. 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.
Challenge: 70 km, 1484m ascent, 1189m descent
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.
Challenge: 63 km, 918m ascent, 953m descent
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.
Challenge: 45 km, 546m ascent, 580m descent
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.
Challenge: 61 km, 540m ascent, 840m descent
After a hotel breakfast, your holiday with Belgian Bike Tours has come to an end. It’s time to make your own way home.
The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Some of the hotels we work with appear here. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a similar one and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra nights: Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way.
A great hotel in a beautifully converted 17th century monastery, located near the historic city center on the banks of the river Meuse.
This hotel has a bar and 24-hour reception. The modern rooms, with tv and air conditioning, are decorated in light earth colors with bright accents and wooden floors.
This hotel is located on the edge of the pleasant center of Givet. As the name suggests, you will see the color yellow much in the excellent, warm rooms of this hotel.
This very good hotel is located in the city center, close to the Place Ducale. The modern and comfortable rooms all have air conditioning and free WiFi. There is a gym and sauna.
Hotel de la Poste is located in a beautiful historic building on the Semois River. The rooms have an authentic design, among other Emperor Napoleon III preceded you by spending the night here.
A hotel located in the heart of Bastogne has a modern design. The hotel has been around since 1946 and exudes elegance and comfort. The restaurant from the hotel is in a former train.
In the heart of the romantic town, you will find the delightful hotel of the Pip-Margaff family, in an atmosphere that is a cross between tradition and modernism.
This attractive hotel is located in one of the most beautiful places is the Eifel. In the hotel you can use the indoor swimming pool and sauna.
A good hotel on the edge of the historical center of Maastricht. Discover the city with its many sights such as the Vrijthof and Sint-Pietersberg.
You can start on any Wednesday, subject to availability, between May and September.
Nearest airports to fly to are Amsterdam or Maastricht. All of them can be easily reached by local transport, which is affordable and offers a frequent service.
Arrival/Departure in/from Maastricht
From Schiphol Airport
Take the train (IC3543) to Venlo. In ‘s-Hertogenbosch transfer to IC845 to Maastricht.
From Central Station take bus 6 to Amby and get out at Scharnerweg. From there it’s 5 min. walking to Novotel Maastricht.
You can also take a taxi from Central Station (5 min)
From Maastricht-Aachen airport:
Take Bus 30 to Central Station. From Central Station take bus 6 to Amby and get out at Scharnerweg. From there it’s 5 min. walking to Novotel Maastricht.
You can also take a taxi from airport (15 min) or Central Station (5 min)
Free parking at the first hotel
GPS tracks are available