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Three cyclists on a bridge in the old town with half-timbered houses

Maas & Vennbahn

The Europe-tour from/to Maastricht

10 Days / 9 Nights
Three cyclists on a bridge in the old town with half-timbered houses

Two beautiful routes along the Meuse River and the Vennbahn Rail Trail are the basis for a „Tour d’Europe“ starting and ending in Maastricht, the town where the foundations were laid for the European Union with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. The International Meuse Route is a bicycle route along the meandering River Meuse between Maastricht in the Netherlands and the French town of Sedan which boasts Europe’s largest castle. On a connection route to the Vennbahn which starts in the Walloon region in the South of Belgium the route follows country roads past rolling cropfields and pastures on a high plateau. Imposing farmhouses dot this prosperous agricultural region. Characteristic Ardennes villages and unforgettable panoramas will hold you spellbound. Bouillon, a historical gem, and the town of Bastogne, known for the Ardennes counteroffensive near the end of World War II, are just two of the many historical highlights on this journey and therefore interesting places to stay overnight. The 125 km long Vennbahn trail is a cycle path on a former railway and crosses three countries. It finishes in Aachen, a town of historical significance, as the cathedral and gothic Town Hall testify. The Vennbahn trail was named as the cycle path of the year 2014.

Itinerary at a glance

Along the Meuse River, you will pass by the magnificent Chateau Freyr, the fortress of Sedan, and the blast furnaces of Seraing. Charming towns like Dinant, Monthermé, or Charleville-Mézières await, and you can reach Maastricht through Aachen

Individual Arrival wehn you’re ready, set off on the first leg of your bike tour: from Maastricht to Liège/Belgium, aka the “fiery city”. On the way to Belgium you will follow the River Jeker (which flows into the River Meuse at Maastricht) to the picturesque village of Kanne. Shortly after, take a look at the boats going through the locks at Ternaaien/ Lanaye, 225 m long and 25 m wide. From here, follow the RAVeL “La Meuse à vélo” trail, via the friendly town of Visé, to Liège (or Luik, as it is called in Dutch). The last kilometres take you past tall cranes, rusty boats and old but busy industrial zones.

Taking you right through the centre of Liège, the safe cycling path along the Meuse is very pleasant. Next, follow the John Cockerill railway to make your way out of the built-up area of Liège. Follow the signs for RAVeL “La Meuse à vélo”. Seen up close, the blast furnaces of Seraing are awe-inspiring. If you like decorative glass, opt to stop off at the Val St. Lambert crystal factory shop. Next, ride your bike on quiet back-roads, past typical Walloon villages, never far from the river, towards Huy. Just before Huy, briefly switch to the bike track along the Meuse where the Tihange nuclear reactor is another very striking industrial complex. The Grande Place in Huy is the ideal spot for a lunch break. On the route along the Meuse to Namur, nature gradually prevails over industry.

You are quickly back on the banks of the Meuse. Follow the RAVeL “La Meuse à vélo” to Dinant. You will pass the village of Wépion, famous for strawberries; and the Gardens of Annevoie, well worth a visit. In Dinant take your time to enjoy the town and riverside cafes. After Dinant, you will reach the lovely Chateau Freyr. Then continue on <La Meuse à vélo> for several kilometres on the former railway from Hastière to Mariembourg. Cross the border into France and the first town you’ll encounter is Givet with its imposing Charlemont citadel. After visiting Givet, set off on the Voie Verte Trans-Ardennes and follow it to Haybes.

Continue all day on Voie Verte Trans-Ardennes, along the Meuse River. One of the day’s highlights is a visit to the charming town of Monthermé. Your destination is Charleville- Mézières, known for its lovely historical town centre.  

In September 2015, an extension of the Voie Verte Trans-Ardennes was opened. It now stretches along the Meuse till past the town of Sedan in northern France. Through a picturesque landscape you will cycle to Sedan, famous for its castle, the largest in Europe. This is where you leave the International Meuse Route. After a lunch break you will set off on the first leg of the <connecting route> that bridges the end of the Meuse Route and the beginning of the Vennbahn route. On the French side, a quiet road climbs gradually (average incline 3%) to the border. After crossing the border back into Belgium there’s a delightful descent to your hotel in Bouillon. Opt to visit the impressive castle-fortress of Godfried of Bouillon.

Make your way up and out of the pretty town of Bouillon by way of a narrow, climbing road. After that follow two more steep hills, before you reach the village of Cugnon. To reward you for your efforts , in Hotel des Roches in this charming place, coffee or tea with home cooked apple cake will be served! After this well deserved break, you will find yourself pedalling on country roads flanked by farmland, on a rolling plateau. You will pass many characteristic villages apparently untouched by time. Enjoy the great views! At the end of this leg of the route you will follow another stretch of the RAVeL-route (on former railway line 163 from Libramont via Bastogne to Gouvy). In halting place Bastogne you’ll find many monuments that remember the Battle of the Ardennes at the end of WWII.

From “Gare du Sud” railway station, follow RAVeL 163 in a northerly direction on one of the most beautiful bike tracks in the RAVeL network. South of Gouvy, at the end of this RAVeL route, head east to the border with Luxembourg. Shortly after, cycle through a slightly undulating Luxembourg landscape on peaceful roads to the Vennbahn route. In Huldange, the highest point in Luxembourg you will reach the Vennbahn. A little later on, you will cross the border back into Belgium. Through a beautiful landscape the route takes you to the ruins of Burg Reuland, towering high above the village. Then you continue to Hemmeres, a German enclave, and finally to Sankt-Vith, this day’s destination.

Progress is easy on the newly asphalted bike track between Sankt-Vith and Waimes. Zoom on towards Belgian-German Ardennes-Eiffel Nature Park. Stop off in Montenau (and an Ardennes ham smokery) and in Sourbrodt (former station along the “Vennbahn” railway) and in Kalterherberg where you will find several possibilities for a tasty lunch. Further on, you will leave the “Vennbahn” to make a detour to Monschau via Rur-valley. Quaint and enchanting, this Eifel town boasts lovely half-timbered houses, enticing shops, friendly roadside cafes and good restaurants.

„Vennbahn“-cycle path will lead you during your last day of cycling to Kornelimünster and further to Aachen. Both cities are historical highlights of this journey The route continues back to the Netherlands from Lemiers through the picturesque countryside back to Maastricht

Departure or extension

Route information


This route leads almost continuously on different cycle paths along the Meuse and further on along the Vennbahn. Some stages are hilly, a good basic condition is recommended.

Prices & Dates

Category: 3***- and 4**** hotels

Prices per person in EUR

Our Rental Bikes

Rental bike partner men
Men's bike 21/24-speed
Derailleur gears or hub gears with freewheel
Rental bike partner unisex
Unisex bike 21/24-speed
Derailleur gears or hub gears with freewheel
Rental bike partner e-bike
E-bike 7 to 21-speed
with freewheel

E-Bike, damit Sie Ihre Reise motorunterstützt genießen können

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Accomodation as already mentioned
  • Breakfast buffet or extended breakfast
  • Luggage transfer between the hotels
  • Detailed travel documents 1x per room (German, English and Dutch)


  • 1 Coffee and fruitcake in Maastricht on Day 1
  • 1 Coffee and homemade applepie in Cugnon
  • GPS-data 
  • Service hotline


Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Maastricht train station
  • Maastricht airport
  • Parking approx. €20,-/day, no reservation possible/necesary

Things to note

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price!
  • Further important information according to the package travel law can be found here!
  • This tour is a partner tour.
Christine Pölzleitner

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Christine Pölzleitner
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