Utrecht to Maastricht

One of our favourite trips goes from Utrecht along beautiful canals and rivers to the charming hilly landscape in the Maastricht area. Below, we suggest going south along Maas through scenic Limburg, and back north through Belgium and Brabant.

Utrecht

Accomodations should be reserved well in advance; some of the hotels are very popular. In Utrecht, NH Hotel Utrecht Jaarbeursplein can be recommended. Rental of bicycles can be pre-ordered through Wiel-Rent.

Day 1. Utrecht to Wageningen (65 km, map link)

Towards Wageningen

Start: Knooppunt 52 (1 km west of Utrecht Central Station). Bike south along the canal towards Knooppunten 13, 73 and 74. Before reaching 74, cross the canal to the left on Symfonielaan. Go left to Lekkanaaldijk and over the bridge to Knooppunt 6. Follow the right side of the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal to Houten, where the Knooppunten route turns away from the canal for a few kilometres (_6-90-3-14-64-66). Then continue along the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal to Wijk bij Duurstede (66-63-58-57-56-55-14-15), where De Engel Café can be recommended for lunch.

From Wijk bij Duurstede, bike northeast to Amerongen and Veenendaal, on a nice narrow bike path through the forest (_15-17-65-42-43-85). Continue east through a charming landscape past Rhenen to Wageningen (85-38-34-30-33-26-11-12-28-45-25-83). In Wageningen, Hotel de Wereld can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay (just before Knooppunt 83).

Day 2. Wageningen to Afferden (60 km, map link)

From Wageningen, go south to the bicycle ferry crossing the river Niederrijn (_83-61-81-95). Continue south-east through a nice open landscape towards Nijmegen (95-50-51-52-56-57-24-25-17-43-42-61-74-37-19, taking the bridge over the river Waal). A lunch stop may be a good idea, for example at De Waagh.

From Nijmegen, continue south along the beautiful river Maas to Afferden (19-42-18-17-12-11-38-37-36-35-50-16-45-44-28-27-38-39-25-51-29-46-34) where Auberge de Papenberg may be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3. Afferden to Roermond (80 km, map link)

Continue south along Maas (34-32-89-68-67-66-71-15-74-55-70-25) to Arcen, where De Maasparel is conveniently placed for a lunch stop. Continue along Maas (25-93-92-28-84-96-7) through Venlo to Roermond (7-8-5-70-99-2-3-4-91-61-87-83), where many accomodations and restaurants are found. Oolderhof can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay (_83-64-82-92-36; Oolderhof is just after 92).

Roermond

Day 4. Roermond to Maastricht (64 km, map link)

Bike to Knoppunt 36 (or take the bicycle ferry from 92 to 93 and continue south to 84 and 36). Continue to Maasbracht (_36-37-11-10) and further south to Berg aan de Maas (_10-39-1-3-13-19-27), where Café Lombok is conveniently placed for a lunch stop.

Kasteel Oud Rekem

Take the bicycle ferry across Maas, and bike west to the beautiful Zuid-Willemswaartkanaal and Rekem (_27-50-56-57-58), where the old town is worth a visit. Then continue south to Neerharen (_58-559-54) and turn left to reach Maastricht (54-10-1). Sluises are seen joining four waterway levels (Albertkanaal and Zuid-Willemswaartkanaal at Neerharen and Briegden; nearer Maastricht: Zuid-Willemswaart-kanaal and Julianakanaal, as well as Julianakanaal and the river Maas).

Neerharen

There are many accomodations and restaurants in Maastricht. Van der Valk Hotel Maastricht can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay (on the east side of Maas and the railway).

Being in the hilly Maastricht area, we advise to use a few days for local cycling trips (to Voeren, Slenaken, Vaals and Drielandenpunt, Terworm and Valkenburg). Some time should also be used in the beautiful old centre of Maastricht.

Day 5. Maastricht to Hamont (56 km, map link)

Starting at Knooppunt 1, at the Sint Servaasbrug in the centre of Maastricht, go north via Markt to Knooppunt 10 on the border to Belgium. Continue on the left side of the Zuid-Willemswaartkanaal to Knoppunt 54 (Neerharen), then go north along the Zuid-Willemswaartkanaal to Tongerlo (54-559-58-57-56-55-48-44-47-13-12), where Café de Kieper is conveniently placed for a lunch stop.

From Tongerlo, continue along the canal to Lozen (12-11-196-7-263-8-210) and further to Hamont (_210-542-568). We have positive experience from high quality B&B options in Hamont.

Sluijs at Lozen

Day 6. Hamont to Oisterwijk (62 km, map link)

From Hamont, go north to Valkenswaard (568-542-223-216-38-36-56-55-96-95) and continue north to Veldhoven, where Brasserie Ludiek is conveniently placed for a lunch stop (95-94-45-91-44-25-56-22-18).

Then continue north to the Wilhelminakanaal (_22-18-16-4-48-12), go west along the beautiful canal to Oirshot (_12-13-62-61) and north towards Oisterwijk (_61-60-21-9-90-22-19). Between Knoppunten 22 and 19 is Landgoed de Rosep, which can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7. Oisterwijk to Tiel (57 km, map link)

From Landgoed de Rosep, go north-east to ‘s-Hertogenbosch (19-17-77-88-89-82-1-2-29-11-13-68-14-63-84-88-52). The old city in Den Bosch is worth seeing, for example by joining a historical boat trip on the old canals.

's-Hertogenbosch
From Den Bosch, go north along the river Maas (52-90-91-96-95-10-2-1-34) to the cycle ferry across De Lithse Ham. Then continue to the cycle ferry across the river Waal (69-24-80) to Tiel, where Van der Valk Hotel Tiel may be recommended for dinner and overnight stay (82-83-68; you will see the hotel just after Knooppunt 83).

Day 8. Tiel to Utrecht (49 km, map link)

Go north (_83-68-1-66-64) to Buren, where Wilhelm von Oranien once lived and a historical round trip can be taken.

Thereafter, continue north to Culemborg (64-65-36-35-19-14-33-42) and Vianen (_42-41-40-13-12-11-10). Culemborg and Vianen are old towns with a central square surrounded by nice shops and a big church in one end, like many other dutch towns. For example Van der Valk Hotel Vianen may be visited for lunch.

Along river Lek

From Vianen, take the bicycle ferry across the river Lek (Knoppunten 10-20) or cross the bridge near by. Continue through Nieuwegein to Utrecht (20-25-22-23-24-74-73-13-52).

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