From valleys to dunes: 5 scenic cycling routes along the river Maas
The river Maas links south, central and north Limburg. There are many treasures along its banks, from historic towns to broad valleys and from lush nature reserves to tranquil lakes. The best way to see them is on your bike. So hop on and enjoy one of these 5 scenic routes along the river.
Maasvallei River Park
The Maas Valley
If you cycle north from Maastricht, you’ll pass through Maasvallei River Park, a low-lying area where the Maas forms the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. The route takes you through splendid scenery and charming villages. If you feel like exploring the other side of the river (Belgian Limburg), you can take the ferry. And if you can’t get enough of waterways, you’re in luck: you’ll cross the Juliana Canal, which runs parallel to the river, no less than three times.
Maasplassen lakes and Roermond
Once you’ve left the border region of south Limburg behind, you arrive at a series of interconnected lakes known as the Maasplassen. If you want to add a bit of adventure on this 41-kilometre route, then consider swapping your bicycle for a wakeboard or jet ski. There’s plenty of water to play in! If you prefer to wet your whistle on dry land, then take a seat in one of the many outdoor cafés. And if cultural heritage is your thing, then we have the perfect destination for your cycling trip along the Maas: the cathedral city of Roermond.
Between Steyl, Kessel and Baarlo
Speaking of heritage sites, the tiny Maasland villages of Steyl, Kessel and Baarlo are centuries old and each one has a unique history. You’ll explore all three on this 28-kilometre route. Steyl is sometimes referred to as the Monastery Village. Father Arnold Janssen, venerated as a saint, founded no less than three monasteries there. The heart of the village is a designated conservation area. You won’t find monasteries in Kessel and Baarlo, but you will find castles. And in between?} Magnificent scenery ranging from lush woodland to broad floodplains.
Venlo, ‘t Ven and Velden
Venlo is a town of fun and games, they say. That makes it an ideal place to start or end your cycling trip along the Maas – or both! Start in the town centre and cycle north through the hamlet of ‘t Ven with its picturesque old buildings. Continue on over moor and through woodland until you reach charming Velden. The final stretch leads back to Venlo and its market square. Enjoy cycling along the Maas!
Maasduinen National Park
The Top of Limburg
Dunes? In Limburg? Believe it or not, you’ll find them along the Maas. North of Venlo, in the region known as the Top of Limburg, lies the largest river dune landscape in the Netherlands, Maasduinen National Park. You can cycle for miles through this exquisite nature reserve without meeting another soul. But you won’t be entirely alone. Herds of Galloway cattle, sheep and goats make the national park their grazing grounds. Cycle this 27-kilometre route and become one with nature.