Round trip 2 from Heerlen

This round trip goes to the Eifel area south of Aachen, with high hills, friendly lakes and rivers, and ancient volcanoes. Parts of the route goes on old railroads converted to paved cycling paths (Vennbahn). Converted railroads have gentle slopes, making it easy to use road and hybride bikes.

Heerlen is suggested at a starting point, reachable by train. Hotel Kasteel Terworm can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay. Bicycles can be rented from Zinkviooltje in Epen.

Day 1. Heerlen to Eupen (52 km, map link)

The suggested route starts from the garden exit of Kasteel Terworm, along Koekoeksweg towards Fietsknooppunt 51. At Knooppunt 51, go east to Heerlerbaan and then south past Knooppunten 1 and 2, entering Aachen along Roermonder Strasse. Turn left following Ludwigsallee and Monheimsallee, and turn left again (east) along Adalbertsteinweg. Immediately after the railway bridge at Rother Erde, go left along Vennbahnweg, which continues along Vennbahn through a nice landscape and over spectacular bridges through Brand to Kornelimünster.

Restaurant Sankt Benedikt in the beautiful old village of Kornelimünster may be a suitable place for a lunch break.

Sankt Benedikt in Kornelimünster

Continue along Vennbahn through Walheim towards Raeren, turning west from Vennbahn along Bahnhofstrasse at Knooppunt 48. Then continue past Knooppunten 30 and 45, reaching Eupen before Knooppunt 34.

There are many accomodations and restaurants in Eupen, where Best Western Ambassador Hotel Bosten can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay. To find the hotel, turn left (south) from Nispert at Werthplatz, and continue along Hisselgasse, Kaperberg, Kehrweg and Frankendelle to Haasstrasse.

Day 2. Eupen to Heimbach (50 km, map link)

From Hotel Bosten, go east towards Wesertalsperre (Knooppunten 40-41) and to Vennbahn (_41-42-43-46-11). A lunch stop may be made in Roetgen, for example at Landgasthof Gut Marienbild. Continuing to bike uphill all the way to Lammersdorf (11-12-16), the gentle slope of Vennbahn may still be felt as a challenge.

Knooppunt 12 on Vennbahn

At Knooppunt 16, leave Vennbahn along Kirchstrasse and continue towards Rursee (_16-17-18-19-20-21-64). Cross the two bridges at Rurberg to the eastern side of Rursee, and go north along the sea. The winding path ends after ca. 10 km at Rurtalsperre Schwammenauel in Heimbach, where Der Seehof is recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

An extra day at Heimbach can be recommended, enjoying boat trips on Rursee and bike trips in the nice surroundings of Heimbach.

Day 3. Heimbach to Bütgenbach (48 km, map link)

Beautiful Rursee view from Heimbach

Take the ship to Rurberg (or to Einruhr) in the morning, and bike along the river Rur to the charming old town Monschau (64-36-33), where good lunch cafès are found (for example at Hotel Horchem).

Monschau is really worth a visit

Continue west along Rur back to Vennbahn (33-32-30); then bike south on Vennbahn to Weywertz (_38-42-43-44-45-46-14). From 14, go northeast on Vennquerbahn (Ravel L45a) over a huge old railway bridge to Bütgenbach (_14-15-16-17-18). Bütgenbacher Hof can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4. Bütgenbach to Meerfeld (78 km, map link)

Meadow at Bütgenbach

From Bütgenbach, continue east along Vennquerbahn through Büllingen to Buchholz (18-19-20-21-22-23-24-26), where water buffaloes are sometimes seen in ponds north of the bicycle path.

Reaching its highest point near Losheim, Vennquerbahn continues downhill through Hallschlag (26-27-28) past Kronenburger See and Stadtkyll, ending at Jünkerath. Continue along Gladter Strasse and Auf dem Währt (where Landbäckerei Roden is conveniently placed for a lunch stop).

Continuing along Auf dem Werth, turn left towards the river Kyll just before the first bridge to find Kylltal Radweg, which is followed through Jünkerath, Gönnersdorf, Lissendorf and Bolsdorf to Dohm. Here, Müllish’s Hof is conveniently placed for a short stop, before continuing downhill to Pelm along Kylltal Radweg.

At Pelm, turn left away from Kylltal Radweg over the bridge to Bahnhofstrasse, and turn right again along Gerolsteiner Strasse to reach the main road (B410). Continue south along B410, and take the first road to the left (Geeser Weg) towards Gees and Neroth. At Neroth, go south along Hauptstrasse to Oberstadtfeld, and continue south on Dauner Strasse to Niederstadtfeld, on L27 to Schutz, on K6 to Deudesfeld, and on L16 towards Meerfeld.

Geologic pyramid in Meerfeld

Shortly after Deudesfeld, turn right from L16 to K10 into Meerfeld, which lies in a deep volcanic crater. NaturPurHotel Maarblick can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay. An additional day in Meerfeld is recommended, taking a bike trip to the pittoresque town Manderscheid with its old castles and steep hillsides.

Day 5. Meerfeld to Steffeln (51 km, map link)

Leaving Meerfeld, the route to Deudesfeld is the same as for Day 4 (K10 + L16), while the suggested routes between Deudesfeld and Pelm are different for Day 4 and Day 5. The routes can, of course, be switched, or the same route can be used both days.

River Kyll

The suggested route from Deudesfeld on Day 5 goes along L16 past Meisburg, over a hill and steeply down to Kyll at Mürlenbach. Then go north on Birresborner Strasse on the western side of Kyll (Kylltal Radweg) past Birresborn and Lissenborn to Gerolstein, where Restaurant Poseidon is conveniently placed for a lunch stop.

From Gerolstein, continue along Kylltal Radweg to Margarethenstrasse in Bolsdorf, where we recommend to turn north along Im Auel to Hillesheim to visit the fascinating old town and Cafè Sherlock in Das Kriminalhaus.

From Hillesheim, go west along Prümer Strasse, and turn right (west) along K50 after Oberbettingen towards Steffeln, where Vulkanhotel can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Instead of making the detour through Gerolstein and Hillesheim, a more direct route to Steffeln may be taken.

Day 6. Steffeln to Monschau (67 km, map link)

High bike path standard

From Steffeln, go north along Hochstrasse and L24 to Schönfeld. Just before Schönfeld, turn right along Auf der Mühle and Wirftstrasse to the main road (B421) in Stadtkyll. Continue north on B421, and just after the center of Stadtkyll take left on Kerschenbacher Strasse (K64) and immediately right on Waldstrasse (Kylltal Radweg) which continues as a narrow cycling path back to Vennquerbahn.

Historischer Kronenburg

On Vennquerbahn, go northeast to Kronenburg, where a lunch stop may be made at Restaurant Pfeffer und Salz.

Continuing uphill through Hallschlag to the highest point of Vennquerbahn near Losheim, Knooppunt markings are seen again (28-27). Continue downhill past Buchholz, Büllingen and Bütgenbach, until Vennbahn (Ravel L48) is reached at Weywertz (27-26-24-23-22-21-20-19-18-17-16-15-14).

Then bike north on Vennbahn past Kalthererberg (_14-44-43-42-38) to the same place where Vennbahn was entered from Monschau on Day 3 (near Knooppunt 30). From here, take the bike path to Monschau (30-32-33), where Hotel Horchem may be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

In the centre of Monschau

Monschau is a beautiful old town with many musees, which can be recommended for a longer stay than only one night.

Day 7. Monschau to Heerlen (71 km, map link)

From the center of Monschau, go north along Laufenstrasse (from Knooppunt 33 to 26) and turn west towards Vennbahn, which is entered at Knooppunt 27. Continuing north, the highest point on Vennbahn is reached near Lammersdorf (27-25-24-16). From here, bike downhill past Roetgen and Roeren (_16-12-11-9-48) towards Walheim and Kornelimünster, where nice lunch cafès can be found.

High Vennbahn bridge

The last part of Vennbahn, from Kornelimünster to Aachen, is an easy ride downhill. Within Aachen, go northeast along Adalbertsteenveg as recommended for Day 1. The old centre of Aachen is worth a visit, seeing the cathedral and museums from the time when Aachen was the capital of the empire of Carolus Magnus, 1300 years ago. To visit a cafè may also be a good idea. Then the remaining challenge is to find back to Roermonder Strasse, which is the easiest road back to Heerlen.

On Roermonder Strasse, go north towards Knooppunten 2, 1 and 51 on the route from Day 1. Within Heerlen, continue from 51 towards 53 if Kasteel Terworm is the end point of the bike tour.

The route ends here at Terworm