Aachen laid-back tour through 3 countries
This round trip starts in the cathedral city of Aachen and combines a variety of landscape experiences on a variety of bike paths. You will follow the Rur River bike trail via the historic fortress town of Jülich to the Dutch border town of Roermond. Here, the Rur flows into the Meuse and this varied river offers the most beautiful and well-developed bike paths to the medieval university city of Maastricht with its vibrant cultural scene. Here you cycle cheerfully back and forth in the Dutch-Belgian border area. In this leisure dorado you can visit nice little towns like the white town of Thorn or Alt-Rekem, which in 2008 was voted the "most beautiful place in Flanders". The cultural highlight of the round trip is the final stage from Maastricht to Aachen through the province of South Limburg with its many picturesque villages, palaces, castles and churches and the fascinating underground cave world of Valkenburg.
1. day Aachen Arrival
Come to Aachen early today - it's worth it! The Aachen Cathedral was the first German building in the list of UNESCO World Heritage listed in 1978. It is the coronation church of 30 German kings, the burial place of Charlemagne and until today a significant pilgrimage church with a unique cathedral treasury. On a leisurely tour, you can also visit the historic 14th-century town hall and the new city museum before enjoying the famous "Aachener Printen", which are not only offered at Christmas time in a variety of flavors.
2. day Aachen – Jülich 35 km with train ride
The first stage leads you directly to the main station of Aachen. After a short train ride to Eschweiler you get on your bikes. You follow the tiny river Inde to the Haus Palant and further on to Lamersdorf. Here at the bottom of the Goltsteinkuppe you should go on the Indemann whose viewing platform offers a spectular view over the near open brown coal tip "Inden". However you decide, your flat cycle path leads you directly along the border of the mining area. You pass the idyllic Lucherberger Sea which west coast is a named nature protected area with its rare birds and reach the Rur River. Now you follow this lively river until Jülich where the fortress is worth to visit.
3. day Jülich – Effeld 41 km
Another full day on the versatile Rur shore bike path! Today, vast open fields dominate alternating with small villages. Not for nothing this fertile landscape was once the granary of the "Holy Roman Empire". The flat bike path usually runs directly on the idyllic shore and some lakes on the way lure with varied bathing breaks. Especially the Effelder Waldsee with its fine sandy beach and the beautiful terrace in the near of your hotel invite you to watch the sunset.
4. day Effeld – Maaseick 51 / 55 km
Today you will have a interesting day. After a short ride you will cross the border to the Netherlands. On beautiful Dutch cycle paths you come past the castle Daelenbrook to St. Odilienberg with the remarkable Romanesque basilica. In the old Hanseatic town of Roermond you will reach the Rur mouth in the Maas. The many listed buildings in the city center are dominated by the cathedral and a stroll through the old town will immerse you in the relaxed Dutch way of life. From now on, the navigable Meuse is your companion and new causeways serve as well-developed and signposted bike paths through this diverse water landscape. The white town of Thorn, with the listed village center and the beautiful abbey church, attracts visitors to a worthwhile stop. Now you have only a few kilometers left to your hotel in Maaseik in Belgium and with that you have been cycling in 3 countries during one day!
5. day Maaseik – Maastricht 44 km
Along the Meuse you will repeatedly change the border side because you cycle through the most narrow part of the Netherlands. Here is the heart of this special cycling region, nature lovers and recreational athletes will be both happy, because old arms as nature reserves change with Maas-Lake, which allow a variety of water sports. All the area is surrounded by the Meuse! Numerous beautiful cafés and shady beer gardens invite you to take a break. Another highlight is the church village "Oud-Rekem", which was named the most beautiful village of Flanders in 2008. Finally you cycle to the medieval university city of Maastricht and dive into the vibrant cultural scene or stroll in the ancient city center between almost 1500 monuments and the gothic Johannis Church (Sint Janskerk). In the evening Maastricht attracts you with a high number of international restaurants.
6. day Maastricht – Aachen 45 km
Today you can expect a new landscape, because the route leaves the river landscape and leads through the slightly hilly Zuid-Limburg. This is the tourist heart of the southernmost region of the Netherlands and the hub of the border triangle "Netherlands - Germany - Belgium". The varied day's tour leads through historic towns with churches, half-timbered houses and watermills and to castles, manors and country estates, which often entice with romantic retreats. You cycle in the narrow valley of the Geul to Valkenburg, the picturesque excursion destination with old aristocratic seats, preserved city gates, a romantic old town and the unique Fluweelengrotte with its carved in sandstone widely branched corridor system. From here you continue on small roads through this hilly landscape of Holland over Gulpen and Vaals back to Aachen, where the distinctive cathedral can be seen from afar.
7. day Aachen Departure
Today ends the beautiful round trip on 2 rivers in the border triangle.
Our gourmet extra:
In Maastricht you stay in the small Villa Hotel Botticelli, a romantic hotel with a special atmosphere that reflects the fascination of Italy, Tuscany and the Italian Renaissance. Let yourself be carried away to the magic of Italian palazzos in the heart of Maastricht.
Individual tours: Here you decide when and with whom you would like to travel. We provide you with detailed tour documents and practical planning tips, and you enjoy our all-in, worry-free package with separate luggage transport throughout your tour.
Guided tours: You can simply get on your bike and enjoy a group holiday (8–20 participants). Your tour guide will take care of everything, and your luggage will be transported separately.
This overview shows you the grade of difficulty for our tours:
In the case of our original Velociped tours, we are the tour operator. We organise and accompany these tours personally.
So that you have an even bigger selection to choose from, we also cover additional routes in collaboration with long-standing partners. With these Velociped partner tours, we are the tour broker.
Minimum number of participants
Velociped can withdraw from the tour twenty-one days before the starting date of the tour, at the latest, in case the minimum number of participants stated under the tour description is not attained. You will duly be informed without any delay in case of a withdrawal. Velociped will of course refund the paid tour price immediately. Please note our General Terms and Conditions.
Prices are per person.
19.04. – 03.05.2020
27.09. – 11.10.2020
10.05. – 21.06.2020
12.07. – 20.09.2020
28.06. – 05.07.2020
bookable additional nights
- accommodation incl. breakfast
- room with shower/bath/WC
- luggage transport
- map of bike trails with marked route
- detailed route description
- tips for tour preparation
- touristic information
- 7 days hotline service
Worth knowing about the laid back tour in 3 countries
Please find more information about your bike trip below. If you have any further question please feel free to contact us by phone: +49-(0)6421-886890.
Arrival by train
Aachen is easily accessible by train. We recommend to take a taxi from the station to reach our partner hotels in Aachen. Current schedule information and price information can be found at www.bahn.de
Our partner hotels in Aachen offer parking facilities for the entire duration of your bike trip. The cost is between 11,00 EUR and 14,00 EUR (payable locally). The number of parking spaces is limited, prereservation is not possible. Alternatively, there are parking garages near the hotels as well as Park and Ride spaces on the large access road to Aachen, from where you can continue with a special and cheap P + R bus ticket to the city center: at the Westfriedhof (Vaalser Straße ), at the Tivoli (Krefelder Straße), at the Jülicher Straße corner Berliner Ring and at the Monschauer Straße at the Waldfriedhof. You will receive detailed information about the parking facilities at the hotel booked for you with the detailed travel documents two weeks before the start of the journey.
Condition of bike paths
The laid back tour leads you mainly on flat bike paths from 35-55 km.
Available rental bikes
If you choose to rent a Velociped-rental bike for the tour, we take it to your first hotel and pick it up at the end of your journey. You can choose between woman's and men's bikes either with 7-speed gear shift and coaster brake or 27-speed gear shift and freewheel or electric bikes. All ladies' bikes have a low opening that makes mounting and dismounting much easier. The bikes are suitable for all ladies from 150 cm in height and for all gentlemen from 165 cm in height. You simply specify your wishes at the time of booking.
Coasts which are not included in the travel price
A possibly resulting tourist tax is not part of the travel price and therefore it has to be paid locally in the Hotel. The train ride on day 2 from Aachen to Eschweiler is not included in the price. The cost for the train ticket is approx. 6 euros per person incl. bike.
7 day hotline service
Just in case the bike chain breaks, flooding makes it impossible to continue your tour or any other nasty suprise: You can reach us seven days a week and we will do anything to help you as fast as possible.
Passport and visa requirements, health regulations
For EU citizens, there are no special passport or visa requirements and no health formalities to be considered for this trip.
The tour price already includes the statutory insolvency insurance. In addition, we recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance upon receipt of your travel confirmation in order to protect yourself against financial disadvantages in the event of travel cancellation, interruption of travel, illness or accident.
Aachen - Baths and Science City
The city of Aachen can look back on a 2000-year history with many sights. Even the Romans settled in Aachen, because they appreciated the thermal springs, which are located below the present city center.
At the market rises the magnificent Gothic town hall, which built the self-confident citizenship of the Free Imperial City in the 14th century on the foundations of the Imperial Palace. Since the 10th century, following the coronations of German emperors in the royal hall of the palace, the coronation banquet had taken place.
The Elisen fountainis a classicistic hall, which was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Here, in two marble drinking fountains, the sulphurous thermal water gushes, which established Aachens reputation as a spa and bathing city.
Aachen Cathedral and treasury
The Aachen Cathedral is the episcopal church of the Diocese of Aachen and at the same time the most important landmark of the city. Already around 795 the foundation stone was laid. The building was influenced by many style epochs, among other things, the cathedral is characterized by the Gothic choir hall numerous annexes. The Aachen Cathedral was the first building in Germany to be included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Aachen Cathedral Treasury is the most important ecclesiastical treasury north of the Alps. In the treasury, about 130 works of art on themes representing the different functional areas of St. Mary's Church are exhibited on three floors.
Ludwig Forum Aachen
From American Pop Art through the 1980s and 1990s to current trends, collections, temporary exhibitions, events and museum educational activities convey a vivid picture of contemporary art.
Covering 6000 square meters spread over three levels, the works of contemporary art are exhibited in a 5000 square meter garden. Many of them are world famous and are missing in no art history, such as the photorealistic painting "Medici" by Franz Gertsch and the so-called "Supermarket Lady" by the American sculptor Duane Hanson.
From Rococo to Napoleonic Empire style to Biedermeier – the Couven Museum presents middle class domestic culture and home decor in the heart of Aachen. Since 1958 this building in the centre of Aachen’s historical old town, now called “Haus Monheim”, has housed an exhibition of particularly impressive examples of upper middle class interior decor.
Jülich old town and citadel
The historic city center with the Witches' Tower, the Bastion of St. James, the castle and its citadel, the market square, the old town hall and many other historic sights can be explored on a tour of the old town.
Built by the Italian architect Alessandro Pasqualini in the 16th century, the "palazzo in fortezza" is considered the most important example of the High Renaissance in German-speaking countries. The citadel Jülich was once part of the fortress Jülich and is the most important preserved architectural monument of the city. It is today a four-sided, fortified fortress with a circumference of about 1200 meters. The citadel is surrounded by a 10-meter-deep and 20 to 30-meter-wide, partially water-bearing ditch, from whose base it grows.
The cityscape is a listed building and is rich in relics of a long history. The city center houses a treasure trove of historic buildings, such as churches and old trading houses. The cityscape is dominated by the 15th-century St. Christoffel Cathedral, which together with the 13th-century Münster Cathedral are landmarks of the city. In addition, the Stadhuis (the town hall), which dates back to 1700, and the 'Minderbroederskerk' (Minorite Church), built in the 15th century, are worth seeing. In the historic center, visitors will find a wide selection of shops and picturesque squares.
The Cuypershuis, the former home and also the workplace of Pierre Cuypers, is a true cultural treasure and not at all a boring museum. Joyce van Cruchten leads, with a lot of background knowledge and interesting anecdotes, through the 1853 built house. Cuypers, who lived from 1827 to 1921, not only inhabited the home-designed and designed house, but also housed the "Operation" Cuypers. Up to 60 employees were employed here and worked on architectural designs, but above all on sculptures, paintings and furniture mainly for decorating churches.
The white town of Thorn
In the south of Holland, in the province of Limburg, you will find the town of Thorn. This was once a tiny principality, currently it is a landmark that you must have seen during a visit to Holland. Thorn is known for its whitewashed old houses and monumental buildings. No wonder that this town attracts countless visitors every year.
The town of Maaseik is a typical Belgian town with beautiful squares, including the Grote Markt square with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, the town hall and numerous museums. The archaeological museum houses exhibits from the period from 70000 BC to the 20th century and are particularly worth seeing finds from the Roman period. Other museums are the Pharmacy Museum, the Bakery Museum and the Treasury of the Catharinakerk, which houses an 8th-century Gospels.
Oud-Rekem - the most beautiful village in Flanders
In 2008 Oud-Rekem was officially named the "most beautiful village in Flanders" by the association "Toerisme Vlaanderen". If you look around there, you will understand why. The Castle d'Aspremont - Lynden, the Museum Church, the Museum Pharmacy, the Destillery of Senden and the numerous historic buildings together form a magnificent historic village that takes you back in time. Also the Drossaerd House, the Gate House, the Court, etc: they all deserve your interest and you feel like in an open air museum.
The main attraction of Maastricht are the underground tours of the casemates. Another popular attraction is a boat trip on the Maas. In Maastricht, almost everything is different than in the rest of Holland. The legacy of 20 centuries of history is ubiquitous in the historic city center. Wherever you go, the interesting sights, centuries-old churches and beautiful facades will turn your head. During a walk you will see the most beautiful places in the old town. You pass the city walls, the park, the Jekerkwartier, the Vrijthof and many other highlights of Maastricht.
Fort Sint Pieter - Maastricht Underground
The fascinating world of Maastricht Underground is open to visitors year-round. On St. Pietersberg
century. Originally it had a military function and the Maastrichtians defended
themselves here against the French. They succeeded for a long time, but ultimately the city had to surrender. Today you can visit the fort with a guide and then refresh yourself in the restaurant. Visit the underground passageways, the mortar gallery and the secret well during a guided tour stands the Fort St. Pieter, which was built at the beginning of the 18th.
With its carefully trimmed ancient trees, the cobbled Vrijthof is now a pretty place to stay. However, this was not always the case because, as the name implies, there used to be a graveyard and later a place of execution. Follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims in the Middle Ages on the way to the grave of Servatius of Tongeren and climb the high tower of Sint Janskerk to enjoy the great view over the city. In the Stadttheater am Platz, you can recharge your batteries with a production of plays, or you can mingle with the locals at one of the open-air concerts and the regular events on the square. Definitely allow enough time for a café visit to the square to enjoy the cozy lifestyle of this city.
If you walk from the Onze-Lieve-Vrouweplein over the small alleyways to the south of the city, you will soon reach Bischofsmühle. The smell of fresh bread and the clatter of the oldest functioning watermill will show you the way. From the bridge over the Jeker the water mill is visible. The mill was owned by Godfried van Bouillon in the 11th century and, after his death, owned by the Liege prince-bishop. The Bisschopsmolengang leads to the back (the facade dates back to 1609), where you can see the wheel of this watermill.
Valkenburg and the Fluweelengrot
There is a lot to see and do in Valkenburg and surroundings. Valkenburg itself is best known for its marl caves. In Valkenburg, or better, under Valkenburg, a fascinating world opens up in the "community grotto". Here, marl was mined earlier, today visitors can explore - on foot or in a slow train - the caves in which the Romans mined about 2000 years ago marl. Another cave in Valkenburg is the Fluweelengrot, which lies beneath the castle ruins. This labyrinth was discovered in 1937. It used to be an escape for knights and castle dwellers if the castle was occupied by enemies.