Cycling to new heights in the south Limburg Downs
The foothills of the Ardennes run right through the middle of south Limburg and are a paradise for cyclists. The rolling hills of the Downs are so atypical of the Netherlands that Dutch holidaymakers feel as if they’re abroad – and they feel it most in their calves! Cycling through the Downs is the best way to explore this 5-star landscape. There are magnificent routes to discover, with the cycling capital of the Netherlands, Valkenburg, as the jewel in the crown. Have you packed your bags yet?
Cauberg, Eyserbosweg and the ‘Dead Man’ – you may have heard of these challenging climbs in the cycling world. You’ll find them all in the south Limburg Downs, where cyclists can push themselves to the limits (or a friendly push from someone else!). Pro riders, mountain bikers and recreational cyclists (on a regular bicycle or an ebike) know that cycling is the perfect way to explore this very un-Dutch landscape, where every route offers its own challenges.
Plan your cycling route through the Downs
Even if you know your way round the Downs, it can be handy to plan your cycling route in advance. That way you can avoid busy roads and see more of the exquisite countryside of south Limburg. What’s the best way to plan? There are wonderful cycling routes available for every type of navigation system, from paper maps to GPS trackers, but one of the most popular is the cycling network of numbered junctions.
Numbered junctions: you’ll never lose your way again
Don’t get annoyed if happens anyway, but Limburg’s cycling network of numbered junctions makes it almost impossible to get lost. You need nothing more than the junction numbers to find your way. Simply tape the list to your handlebars or write them on your arm. No more fussing with empty GPS batteries or crumpled maps. The route from junction to junction is clearly marked. You can follow existing routes, shorten, lengthen or combine them, or create your own route from scratch. The network in the Downs offers numerous attractive routes. To plan a perfect cycling holiday, go to Visit Zuid-Limburg and buy the cycle map showing the network of numbered junctions.
Dutch cycling capital – Valkenburg
The ideal base for exploring the Downs on your bike is Valkenburg, the cycling capital of the Netherlands, where even the fittest cyclist downshifts a gear or two to climb the notorious Cauberg. You’ll be smack in the middle of the Downs there, with easy access to personal advice at the Visit Zuid-Limburg Experience, countless cycling routes and, last but not least, a wide variety of outdoor cafes for those all-important post-ride refreshments. A rendezvous point for cyclists is the Amstel Gold Race Xperience, where you can compete in your own race.