Round trip 1 from Heerlen

 

The Heerlen-Mastricht-Vaals area is hilly, with extremely nice cycling and walking paths. Going anywhere in this area within one day is possible. This 4-day round trip has short daydistances, and is therefore quite childrenfriendly. Others might want to take 2 daytrips in one day. Nevertheless, it is great having plenty of time when being in this gorgeous area. Accomodations are easy to find, but some of the hotels are very popular, so reservations should be made well in advance.

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-Valkenburg-Maastricht (29 km, map link)

From Kasteel Terworm, bike west across the bridge at Knooppunt 53. Continue through Voerendaal to Winthagen and Wijre (_53-54-57-58) through a beautiful cultural landscape.

Turn north to Valkenburg (58-59-60) which is an old holiday centre with strong cycling traditions, including the famous Cauberg climb and Amstel Gold Race. The old castle and caves are worth a visit. Restaurant Bombarino may be chosen for lunch.

The suggested route to Maastricht goes over the hill through a nice cultural landscape. Continue into Maastricht along Akersteenweg to Van der Valk Hotel Maastricht, which can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay. The beautiful old centre of Maastricht must be visited.

Day 2. Maastricht-Voeren-Slenaken (23 km, map link)

From Van der Valk Hotel Maastricht, bike south-east along Phillipsweg and Rijksweg to Knooppunt 5, and continue south through the nice landscape (_5-73-74-78-100). Then turn east and enjoy the beautiful view along the border to Belgium.

There are good lunch cafés at ‘s-Gravenvoeren (100-431), for example at Hotel Blankthys.

The suggested route continues to Sint-Martens-Voeren (_431-422-423-424), where a high railway bridge can be admired. Then the route goes uphill to De Plank and steeply down to Nurop (_424-429-428), before returning to the Netherlands at Slenaken.

Huge railway bridge

There are many hotels in and near Slenaken. Hotel Klein Zwitserland can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay. The view from the hotel terrace is wonderful.

Evening sun at Slenaken

Day 3. Slenaken-Drielandenpunt-Vaals (27 km, map link)

From Slenaken the suggested route goes east, uphill to Heijenrath and downhill towards Epen. A stop should be made to the right of the road to admire the fantastic view.

Beautiful view from Eperheide

From Epen the route goes south, crossing the border to Belgium at Knooppunt 92. Then go east to Gemmenich (92-1-91) and uphill to the Drielandenpunt 323 m above sea level, which is the highest point of the Netherlands on the border to Belgium and Germany. It is fun both for children and adults to try the labyrinth. Everyone who can find the way to the center and out again should be really proud. Brasserie&Restaurant WilhelminaToren may be visited for lunch.

Drielandenpunt

Then go downhill through the nice landscape to Knooppunt 93 and continue towards 95 into Vaals, where the entrance to Van der Valk Hotel Kasteel Bloemendaal is reached after ca. 700 m. This hotel can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4. Vaals-Gulpen-Heerlen (28 km, map link)

From Kasteel Bloemendaal, go back to Knooppunt 93 and continue uphill to Vijlen and downhill to Mechelen (93-90), where De Oude Brouwerij may be visited for lunch before continuing to Gulpen (90-86-85).

Mechelen

Go through Gulpen and continue through the valley towards Wijre (85-58). Enjoy the beautiful landscape view on the route back to Terworm (58, 57, 54, 53).