Cycle tour through three countries – on the Vennbahn cycle route to Luxembourg

Cycle tour through three countries – on the Vennbahn cycle route to Luxembourg
ravel Logo Vennbahn rail bike path

For a change I like to go out on the road just by bike. Meanwhile there are more and more beautiful cycle tracks along the rivers, or on old railway lines. I could now explore one of the most beautiful green way cycle paths on railway lines – the Vennbahn cycle route. It starts in the German city of Aachen or optionally in the nearby copper city of Stolberg, then runs mostly through Belgian territory and ends after 125km in the Luxembourgish Troisvierges – or with the German name Ulflingen.

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Vennbahn bike path – Table of content

By train to the Vennbahn rail bike path – via the copper town of Stolberg

My entry to the Vennbahn cycle path was not Aachen – I didn’t feel like going to big cities. By german railway I travelled across the country with the appropriate ticket*. But only as far as Langerwehe – there I already left the NRW-Express shortly before Aachen. From Langerwehe you have to cross the mountain twice, make a small stop in Mausbach, and then you’re in Stolberg. Not east german Stolberg in Harz mountains, which is also a beautiful town and is associated with this Stolberg in partnership – this is about the copper town Stolberg im Vichtbach – Valley.

Old town Stolberg with castle

A few kilometres east of Aachen, a small charming town with a stream and houses made of quarry stone and bluestone, and a castle that towers above the town on a ridge. Unfortunately, due to the corona, a lot of things are still closed, the small craftsmen’s museum on the castle forecourt will probably not reopen until 2021. But this entrance was already charming. With the most charming smile of a traffic warden I ever experienced. There I would like to drive again freehand in the wrong direction on the footpath…

west german Coppertown Stolberg - Old town at the Vichtbach creek
In the old town of Stolberg
Castle  Stolberg in west Germany
Stolberg Castle

In the Stolberg-Tourist office, which fortunately is open, you can get some good information about cycle paths in the Aachen area – there is a useful map including brochures for the region around Aachen. And a map for the entire Vennbahn bike route.

The mountains around the copper town Stolberg can be quite exhausting for inexperienced and heavily loaded cyclists – I don’t exclude myself from that…

feeder line bike path for Vennbahn cyclists

But from Stolberg, a „feeder line“ to the ravel Vennbahn green way was set up, and it is easy to drive. There is also a real railway connection running parallel to it, but at present only partly for goods traffic in operation. For the year 2021, a reactivation of the rail connection to Breinig was planned and is delayed – then you can also get out of Stolberg by train. The feeder line bike path starts south of Stolberg via Breinig to Kornelimünster and already passes under a considerable viaduct of a railway branch of the Vennbahn line.

Vennbahn feeder line bike  path Stolberg - Kornelimünster
On the feeder way from Stolberg to the Vennbahn cycle path

The advantage of railway bike lines is that they have only small gradients, so that they are easy to manage for everyone. For the Vennbahn bike path, a maximum gradient of 3% is given – I will come back to a few surprising exceptions. Especially the „feeder lines“ are often more steep, because they have to reach the main line from the villages in the valley.

In Belgium, the old railroad lines that have been converted into green way bike paths, such as the Vennbahn bike path, are designated „Ravel“ – réseau autonome des voies lentes. This means something like „independent low-speed network„. The RaVel cycle paths bear the numbers of the former railroad lines. The Vennbahn cycle route includes RaVel 46,47 and 48.

On the Vennbahn cycle track

If you’re on it, you can make real meters! Almost all of the Vennbahn cycle path is asphalted, and this with a very smooth surface structure that keeps rolling friction low. But in the south, the route is steadily uphill – one reason why many people start their green way day tour in Monschau and cycle the 52 km back to Aachen. Up to the first Belgian town Raeren there are still rail tracks parallel to the road, but no train is expected there. At stations like Walheim and Raeren there are a few discarded „museum cars“ or locomotives, but there are also some other witnesses of railway operation like old signals or signal boxes. The stations are only partly still existing, mostly rebuilt as residential buildings.

ravel Vennbahn cycle path: old station with village name signs
The places are marked by old station signs
ravel Vennbahn green way bike path - first belgian station  Raeren
Raeren station, the first Belgian station

At Roetgen the Fen greenway cycle path changes again to German territory and then runs along the border to Konzen. A disadvantage of the old railway lines is that in former times the railway lines and stations were mostly built far outside the villages. Therefore I only made a few detours. Besides, the villages here are mostly far down in the valley, while the railway winds around the settlements on a contour line. When I am rolling so beautifully, I have to admit that I have little desire to go down there and then to go up again.

Monschau – deep in the valley of the river Rur

I made an exception to this in Monschau – the last major town in Germany. This small half-timbered town is really deep in the Rur valley. From the former Venn railway station there is either a road with narrow serpentines or a rather steep downhill. You should only take the latter if you are safe in cycling and your brakes work well. Especially if you still have to brake the load from your luggage.

In the 18th century Monschau itself had an economic boom for a few decades as a city of clothiers. Especially the soft, lime-free water from the raised bogs proved to be an advantage. Today Monschau is a tourist magnet. Unfortunately already too much of a good thing – the core consists actually only of restaurants, souvenir shops and inns. It’s nice to stroll there for an hour through the alleys that share the narrow valley with pretty half-timbered houses and the course of the river Rur (not Ruhr!), but then it’s enough again.

Old town Monschau with half-timbered houses in the river Rur valley
Clothier town Monschau on the Rur

For the way back uphill to the Vennbahn cycle track, I choose the less steep but much longer cycle path along the Rur. This is part of the Rurufer (Rur – River bank) cycle track, which starts at „Signal de Botrange“ summit on 694m altitude near the Belgian town Sourbrodt, meets the Vennbahn track at Kalterherberg and runs parallel and follows the outflow of the Rur eastwards from Monschau.

Kalterherberg – sometimes German, sometimes Belgian

Kalterherberg is now (almost) finally the last German town on the Vennbahn rail bike path. And the last chance to go shopping in a German „supermarket“ again. I don’t emphasize that now because I like the German sales culture so much or because I would like to recommend the cheap German discounter prices. No, but the „Nah und frisch“ in Kalterherberg is for long distances the last real shop until St.Vith! You should consider that. The Vennbahn bike path then winds its way through many kilometres of sparsely populated area, and without some supplies your energy needs could be insufficiently covered. Worth seeing in Kalterherberg is the „Dom“ (Cathedral), a church with double towers, which is quite impressive for such a small village.

Vennbahn cycle path Kalterherberg Cathedral
„Cathedral“ Kalterherberg
Vennbahn railbike draisinen in Leykaul: With bicycle trolley on railway tracks to Sourbrodt
Vennbahn railbike bicycle trolley

At the station there are still tracks up to Sourbrodt, about 7km away. These are used! You can rent a bicycle trolley from Vennbahn railbike in Leykaul (Kalterherberg station), cycle with your family or friends through the „High Fagnes“ to Sourbrodt and start the way back after a recovery phase. The ride with the bicycle – trolley on the Vennbahn – tracks is possible for 2-4 adults or families up to 5 persons.

And there are also other interesting stories: The Kalterherberg rail station was located on Belgian territory, before that there was a customs station for decades. But behind the station there is still a German exclave. This has to do with the unfortunately very troubled history of this region, which you will encounter again and again when you travel on the Vennbahn – bike route.

Vennbahn – Historical

Originally, the Vennbahn railway was built in the 1880s, mainly by the Prussian Railway Company, mainly to transport coal and iron ore back and forth. This brought a considerable economic upswing to some of the towns along the railway line. For example, up to 1400 people were employed directly by the railway at Waimes station! But after the lost First World War, the former German Fen railway line was transferred in its entirety to Belgium in the Treaty of Versailles as compensation for war damage suffered.

This means that the railway became Belgian territory in its entirety. That is why it is often also a borderline, but in some places ex- or enclaves were also created. It is nice that at the former Venn railway stations small rest areas have been set up everywhere, where information boards not only give cycle route information, but with historical photos and anecdotes put the local history into the overall political context. In Kalterherberg, for example, reference is made to the coffee smuggling of the years 1945 to 1950, when over 4000 tons of coffee were transported from Belgium to Germany, involving some of the local population. The price of coffee in Germany at that time was about 4 times higher than in Belgium. Smugglers and customs officers played a cat and mouse game for years.

Vennbahn cycle path, Station Kalterherberg: historical Belgian passenger coach
Belgian passenger coach
Vennbahn green way bike path: Former Railway station area in Sourbrodt (Belgium)
Railway station area Sourbrodt
Vennbahn bike path belgian Sourbrodt: a last signal box of the railway
One last signal box

Fenland of the High Venn as eponym

By the way, the name of the Vennbahn railway is also borrowed from this region. For to the west of the railway line is the High Fagnes (High Fen, ger: Hohes Venn), one of the largest raised bogs in Europe. For those interested in moors, there is a bicycle tour that opens up the moor well and includes Sourbrodt in the south and Eupen and Raeren.

You will also get a few small impressions along the Vennbahn green way cycle route, as between Kalterherberg, Bostagne, Weywertz and Waimes moor areas are passed several times.

Vennbahn cycle route - Hautes Fagnes (High Fen) bogland near Sourbrodt
In the moorland of the Hautes Fagnes

Turn off at Waimes to Malmedy and the southern Fagnes

In Waimes you must be careful and read the signs well. There the greenway track divides – another old railway line via Malmedy to Trois – Ponts was also converted to a bike track (RaVel L45 rail bike path). The old railway station is a kind of divider between the lines, as it was in the past. You can reach the actual town of Waimes via the Malmedy line.

Vennbahn cycle route: Old belgian railway station Waimes separates with the cycle path to Malmedy (RaVel L45)
Station Waimes separates Vennbahn and the cycle path to Malmedy

For long periods of time you are really alone on the Venn cycle route and far away from roads or settlements. This is very pleasant. Left and right there are ridges, valleys, meadows and swamps. At times it goes through forest, then there are pastures again. Sometimes you drive over a dam and the landscape lies below you, then again there is a cut into a hill. So the whole route remains varied and yet relatively easy.

A viaduct over the landscape

Near Born south of Montenau a viaduct spans the Vennbahn cycle path – the „Freiherr von Korff – Bridge“. In 1916, a connecting railroad line to Vielsalm was built for strategic military reasons. From St. Vith to Born the line ran along the Vennrail route. In Born, the branch was made by means of an overpass building, which crossed the Vennrail and gave the new railroad line its westward guidance. For this purpose, 11 bridge arches were built over a length of 285m. The height is about 18m. The bridge was named after the district administrator in the Malmedy district, Baron Friedrich Bernhard Hubert von Korff. Today, a small piece of the bridge is accessible near Born, where a viewing platform has been set up. Along the Vennbahn cycle route south of Born are also other rather overgrown railroad – relicts to find, including the pit of a former turntable.

old railway viaduct crosses the Venbahn cycle route near Born

St. Vith and Reuland Castle – Farewell to Belgium

St Vith is the last major town in Belgium at the Vennbahn cycle route. The railway line is already built over in the town, so you have to use roads and paths when entering the town. This is quite well signposted. The old railway station is used as a small museum. The town itself is situated on the mountain above the old railway facilities. A big church building is the most impressive thing of the place. Apart from that there are a lot of restaurants and snack bars, which makes the city seem quite busy. However, after the kilometres on the ravel Vennbahn – bike course, where I was increasingly on my own after Waimes, everything is probably very busy. You will find a carrefour supermarket north of the centre.

Vennbahn voie verte bike path: Old belgian railway station  St.Vith is  a museum now
Station. St.Vith – today a Museum
ravel Vennbahn cycle route - greenway through an old railway tunnel near St. Vith
Free ride in the tunnel

Just after the St. Vith train station, you first go through the old railway tunnel. Then unfortunately first over some streets and side roads – the old railway line is already built over here, too. And then the Vennbahn cycle route, which hasn’t had much traffic since Monschau, gets really lonely.

Watch out in the border area – 180° – bend (connection to the Eifel-Ardennen cycle path)

Vennbahn cycle route: greenway distance sign post "100km from Aachen" with local emergency call numbers
100km from Aachen

Actually, the Vennbahn cycle path is very well signposted. There is even every 500m a distance kilometre – sign post with emergency call sign like on the motorway. South of St.Vith at Maspelt / Lommersweiler you have to be careful. Because there the Venn cycle track leaves the straight line and makes a 180° turn onto the Ourtalstraße (Our – valley-street). But your way could also go straight ahead. Because this is also the beginning of the Eifel-Ardennes cycle path (or the separation of the same from the Vennbahn cycle route ?). If you pass under a motorway high bridge there, you are already wrong.

Vennbahn clcle route under construction near Hemmeres
Bridge construction site near Hemmeres

The course of the ravel Vennbahn track is interrupted because a viaduct in the Our valley has been destroyed. That means you have to drive through the valley of the brook, a little bit through Hemmeres over German territory, then along a splinter road and back to Belgium. A new bridge for a slightly better routing was handed over in July 2020 – so the splitt road is probably finished by now.

Vennbahn railway track - ruin of the Our valley  Viaduct
Line interruption at Hemmeres – ruin oft the Our valley viaduct
Vennbahn bike path - art in the border area in Our valley
art at the border in the Our valley
Vennbahn voie verte cycle path:  Reuland castle, Our valley - last village in Belgium
Castle Reuland

Now we are approaching the Luxembourg border. Here it gets a little more strenuous. Behind the castle of Reuland the Venn cycle road is steadily uphill, also over some railway viaducts, which were destroyed several times during the wars.

Goedange railway Tunnel – Right of way for bats

Between Lengeler and Goedange the next greenway deviation comes from the railway line – and thus also from the average gradient. Actually the railway crosses a tunnel here. But this tunnel is closed since it was discovered during the construction of the bike track that bats have settled in the old walls. More than 13 species have been identified, some of them hardly found in Luxembourg. For this reason, the old railway tunnel and its surroundings have been declared an FFH area (Fauna-Flora-Habitat – protected area) and the Vennbahn cycle track has been laid around it.

Symbol Persönlicher Tip

But you can drive up to just before the tunnel and look. In my opinion, this is especially worthwhile from the south – first around and then there. Because the southern tunnel exit runs out over a long brick-lined notch with an old retaining wall – a kind of old cellar corridor without a ceiling. And it is mossy and water drips and runs…

At both entrances there are also information boards about the bats including webcam videos and an acoustic column … so it was definitely an interesting side trip.

Old railway tunnel Huldange - Goedange in Luxemburg with steam locomotive
Historic railway tunnel Huldange – Goedange 1961
Vennbahn bike path - deviation at historic railway tunnel  Goedange for bat protection - southern tunnel entrance
Tunnel for bats today: Goedange – southern tunnel entrance
Vennbahn cycle path - the access to the Goedange bat tunnel from south
Access to the tunnel Goedange

Target achieved: Troisvierges (Ulflingen) in Luxembourg

The cycle track doesn’t really get on the train anymore… shortly before Troisvierges the branch of the Belgian railways already joins the line and that’s the end of Venn cycling on the old railway track. You have to go underneath, over the river and over the mountain – and then you see the railway station Troisvierges (Ulflingen) in the valley in front of you. Then you can ride the train properly again. And the beautiful thing – in Luxembourg free of charge, wherever you want to go! Including free bycicle transport. For example to a subsequent stroll through the city of Luxembourg – City.

ravel Vennbahn greenway cycle path, Final station Troisvierges in Luxembourg
Last station of the Vennbahn cycle path: Troisvierges in Luxembourg

Venn cycle way experiences

In summary, a few impressions and experiences on the Vennbahn cycle path: The cycle route is almost continuously well developed and smoothly asphalted, the few sections with „water-bound surface“, i.e. gravel paths, are negligible. Also the signposting for venn cycling is almost perfect, almost exaggerated. Only in Waimes, where the RAVeL L45 branches off to Malmedy and at Lommersweiler, where the straight stretch becomes the Eifel-Ardennes – bike path, while the Vennbahn cycle way makes a 180 ° – bend, could be better indicated (eg painted on the asphalt). At all former railway stations you can find information boards with the vennbahn cycle route map, altitude survey and local historic notes.

In my experience, on the northern sections of the vennbahn cycle route near Raeren and Roetgen and around Monschau are also many pedestrians, sometimes even riders on the road. Increased attention is required there. In addition, there are a large number of „level crossings“ in short succession in the localities – mutual consideration is necessary here. At a few of the level crossings, the right of way is reversed in favor of the Vennbahn – cyclists, so that motorists have to stop. From Kalterherberg the settlement is thinner and the landscape of the High Fens and the Ardennes let breathe and the cyclist heart beat faster. The short Luxembourg section of the Vennbahn green way runs largely off the actual railroad line and is more strenuous, but just as varied in scenery. The tunnel approaches in the Huldange area are an impressive experience both in terms of railroad history and natural features.

Travel tips for the Vennbahn bike tour

… the weather at the ravel Vennbahn cycle route

shown here using the weather of Waimes / Weismes in Belgium, which is located approximately in the middle of the Vennbahn bike path:

Maybe you need sunglasses* ?

How to get to the Vennbahn Cycle route

You can reach the ravel Vennbahn line either by train or by long distance bus. With the Deutsche Bahn* (german railway) you can go to Aachen main station or station Aachen Rote Erde. I used a „Quer durchs Land“-Ticket* („through the land“-ticket) to cross Germany, which is available as a group ticket for up to 5 people and is valid on all regional trains and regional express trains in Germany. In addition, you need a bicycle ticket, which is valid one day and currently costs 6,50€. In intercity (IC) and meanwhile also some intercity express (ICE) – trains the bicycle transport is limited also possible. But this is only possible with a reservation – when searching for a connection, please enter „bicycle transport“ as a condition.

You can also get to Aachen with the Flixbus* or other long distance busses. The number of bikes that can be taken on the Flixbus is limited and subject to prior reservation.

Return travel options at the Vennbahn cycle route

The return journey from or the journey to Troisvierges in Luxembourg can be made by regional trains via Belgium. (Connection: Troisvierges (L) to Liège (B) via Gouvy, then from Liège-Guillemins to Aachen (D)). Please note: In Belgium, bicycles may only be loaded onto the train at points instructed by the train attendant and under the supervision of the train crew! A bicycle ticket is also required in Belgium (8€). Within Luxembourg, rail transport, including bicycle transport, is free of charge in 2nd class.

Local bike shuttle – providers at the Vennbahn cycle path

The public Aachen Transport Association (AVV) offers bike buses Aachen to Kalterherberg /Monschau and vice versa on weekends approximately between mid-April and mid-October. Reservations are possible the week before until Friday 12:00 o’clock under the phone number +49 241 91 28 90.

Some private cab and transport companies also organize the transport of cyclists and bikes along the Venn greenway route. This makes sense especially for larger groups who can then share the costs.

Taxi Feyen
Alter Römerweg 12
B-4770 AmelPhone +3280349302
or +3280349087
Taxi Elégance
Libermé 22a
B-4700 EupenPhone +32475539824
FEE Radladen
Monschauer Str. 21
D-52156 MonschauPhone +492472 912009
Venn Shuttle
Unterer Stehling 10a
D-52156 MonschauPhone +492472 8028175
Siepen Radreisen
Schillingstr. 48
D-52355 DürenPhone +492421 889750

Accommodation along the Vennbahn Cycle route – Hotel, apartment, camp site

Distance information Vennbahn – route kilometers from Aachen main station (north – south – direction)

Aachen (0km)

In Aachen there is a large number of different accommodations. Unfortunately, however, with little information on secured bicycle parking. The MotelOne* has after all 20 bicycle parking spaces secured in the in-house garage. So it is one of the most suitable Vennbahn Radweg accommodations at the start or finish. Otherwise, it is absolutely recommended to ask for bicycle parking spaces in the houses directly, especially if several participants want to travel to a group bike tour.

MotelOne strives as entire chain after all around a stronger resources conservation and pollution free enterprise of all hotels. The MotelOne in Aachen* offers 20 bicycle parking spaces in the in-house garage without reservation, but no charging station for eBikes. Otherwise, this hotel usually offers double rooms with an option to upgrade.

The Hotel Granus* even rents out bikes free of charge for exploring the city of Aachen and the surrounding area for the duration of your stay. So if you just want to do a little trial tour on the Vennradweg, for example to Kornelimünster or Raeren… A storage facility for your own bikes for the night before the big Vennbahn bike tour is available in this hotel if necessary in the garage, but this should be arranged in advance. In the Hotel Granus single, double and triple rooms are waiting for tired cyclists with the possibility of expansion up to 5 guests.

Up to four guests can be accommodated in the Rooftop Aachen* vacation apartment. Two bedrooms with double beds are available for this purpose. Since a small garage belongs to the facility, it is probably no problem to put the bikes secured. Please ask in advance!

Stolberg (D) (Alternative starting point)

You will find your overnight accommodation at the Romantik Parkhotel am Hammerberg*, which is located five minutes‘ walk from the centre of Stolberg. Whether before or after the big cycle tour on the Vennbahn – cycle path – here you can relax and make yourself comfortable by the fireplace or in the sauna. There are family rooms and a number of single and double rooms. Pets are allowed.

The Burghaus* is also not far from the centre of Stolberg. In the cosy apartment you will find a separate bedroom and a kitchen with microwave and refrigerator. Pets are not allowed here.

The guest house Dahmen* offers space in different rooms from a single room to an apartment with 3 bedrooms. Coffee/tea makers are available in all rooms. This accommodation is about 1,5km from the centre of Stolberg.

Monschau (D) 47,5km

Travelers from around the world find their place in Der kleine Globetrotter* in the historic old town of Monschau. The 300-year-old house has been lovingly restored and has individual double rooms with private bathrooms. A common room invites you to exchange experiences. Pets are permitted.

A further accommodation is the Guesthouse Schloßcafè*. Breakfast is included. If you only want to make short tours in the surrounding area, you can also rent bicycles here in the house.

You can enjoy a hearty breakfast during your stay at the Burghotel Monschau* or relax from the exertions of the day over an open fire in the lounge in the evening. Lunch packages for the day are also available.

The Venngasthof „Zur Buche „* is located just outside the hotel, but ideal as an introduction to the Eifelsteig hiking route. The Vennbahn cycle path is about 2km away. A hearty breakfast is part of the offer. The restaurant offers traditional hearty regional dishes. Bicycle storage facilities are available. The house also rents out electric bikes.

Sourbrodt (B) 61,5km

With L’anerie de Sourbrodt*, an entire holiday home is available in Sourbrodt. Three bedrooms can accommodate up to 6 guests. Your dog can also come along – pets are allowed.

If you are travelling with just two people, you will find your accommodation in the beautiful rustic chalet in Sourbrodt with Terrace*. A kitchen with refrigerator, oven and coffee machine is available. Nothing can really go wrong there 🙂

Waimes / Weismes (B) 74,8km

Au Cheval Blanc in Waimes* offers apartments in various sizes. If you would like to relax in the whirlpool after your cycling stage, you can use the spa and wellness centre nearby. The restaurant offers French and Belgian cuisine.

Rooms for couples are available at the Welcome B&B in Waimes*. A shared bathroom with shower and bathtub can be used. Breakfast is available on request for an extra charge.

The Belair Hotel „Ravel Etape „* is named after the RaVel cycle route. There, guests can be accommodated in double rooms or a triple room. After the exhausting bike tour you can relax in the outdoor pool.

Montenau (B) 81km

Haus Pauline in Montenau* can accommodate up to 6 cyclists in 3 bedrooms with double beds or a bunk bed. The terrace and garden make your stay more pleasant. The dog can come along, as pets are allowed.

Four guests can find their night’s lodging in two bedrooms at Cozy Holiday Home in Montenau with Private Terrace*. You can barbecue in the garden or relax on the terrace. Also a „in-between – laundry“ is possible here, because a washing machine is available. In addition, as usual in holiday homes, a fully equipped kitchen.

Whether with or without a tent, you will find a place at Camping Oos Heem*. In addition to pitches for your own tent, you can also sleep in a safari tent or in two chalets. This means that there is a wide range of accommodation available, so that even small groups can be accommodated. The outdoor pool can be used to relax after a strenuous bike tour. A restaurant will take care of your meals. Nearby there are also possibilities for canoeing. Holidays with dogs are possible on the campsite.

St. Vith (B) 91km

The small town of St.Vith has a whole range of accommodation to offer, some of it of a very high standard.

If you value a wide range of wellness and relaxation facilities after your strenuous day’s work, then the Relaxhotel Pip Margraff* should be the place for you. Sauna, Turkish steam bath, whirlpool and „rock bath“ – indoor pool facilities are just the thing after a few hours sweating in the saddle. The rooms are equipped with shower or bathtub. A restaurant provides the right refreshment in the evening for the next day.

The Gourmet Hotel Zur Post* is more about culinary delights and the highest wine culture. The restaurant with French cuisine is the only one in East Belgium to boast a Michelin star. Pleasant double rooms are available for overnight stays. Pets are also allowed here.

Also in St.Vith, the Schlommefurth Bed & Breakfast* awaits guests in double rooms (and one triple room). A continental breakfast is offered. There are coffee and tea makers in the rooms.

Those who prefer the peace and quiet of the forest will find it at Hotel Steineweiher* on the outskirts of St.Vith. Many guests emphasise the location at the spruce forest and on the edge of several fish ponds. Various accommodations are offered here, ranging from single to four-bed rooms, some with bath and some with shower. There is a restaurant in the house. Holidays with dog are also possible here.

Burg Reuland (B) 103km

The Beautiful Apartment with Sauna and Jacuzzi in Burg-Reuland* is also very relaxing. The holiday home has 3 bedrooms and therefore room for up to 6 guests. In the garden there are barbecue facilities and a children’s playground. For those who haven’t done enough of the day’s activities, there is an „action and fun – Center“ just a few hundred meters away

Another 200m from the Vennbahn cycle path, then you can sink into the soft feathers at the Hotel Paquet*! The castle is not far away either. There is a restaurant in the house. Single and double rooms are available for accommodation.

The holiday home Capreolus capreolus* (white name for the deer) in Reuland Castle offers room for 4 guests in the bedroom. Another two can sleep on the sofa bed in the living room. A kitchen and barbecue facilities in the garden are available. Holidays with dog are possible.

The hotel Ulftaler Schenke* is also close to the Vennbahn cycle path in Reuland Castle. There are double, triple and family rooms available. Pets are allowed.

The Hotel Val de l’Our* places great value on wellness facilities with sauna and outdoor pool. Rooms are available from 1 to 3 persons. If you just want to get a taste of the air on the cycle path, the hotel also has bicycles for hire. The hotel has a restaurant with good cuisine.

Troisvierges (L) 125km

At the destination of the Vennbahn Cycle Route, the Hôtel Restaurant Lamy* awaits tired cyclists. Cosy, comfortable and partly also quite luxurious rooms of various sizes are offered. Bicycle storage facilities are available in a locked garage. Electric bicycles can be charged. An Irish Pub belongs to the hotel, where you can also eat delicious pizza later in the evening.

Otherwise, you can of course use the regional express trains of Troisvierges, which will bring you free of charge within one hour to the capital Luxembourg with a wide range of accommodation.

Vennbahn Cycle route planner map

A cycle map for whole Be-Ne-Lux countries* is the Cycle route planner map from Richard Peace. It contains all greenways and smaller cycle path in Belgium, Netherland and Luxembourg including the Venn cycle route.

As a little summary at least here a Vennbahn – FAQ:

How long is the Vennbahn cycle path?

The Vennbahn greenway cycle route from Aachen in Germany to Troisvierges in Luxembourg is 125 km long and is currently one of the longest railroad cycle paths in Europe.
Vennbahn Wegweiser Aachen-Troisvierges

What is the gradient on the Vennbahn cycle route?

The average gradient on the Vennbahn greenway cycle path is less than 2%. The maximum short-term gradient is 3%.

Where does the Vennbahn cycle track begin and end?

Depending on the direction, the Vennbahn ravel cycle route starts/ends in Aachen in Germany at the main station or alternatively in Aachen – Rothe Erde station. The other end is in Troisvierges (Ulflingen) in the north of Luxembourg also at the train station.

Does the Venn cycle route have connection to other cycle tracks in the region?

There are several long-distance greenway cycle paths that cross the Vennbahn cycle route, lead into it or partly accompany it. Already in Aachen and again at Kornelimünster the Wasserburgen – Route crosses. In Raeren begins the connecting cycle path Raeren – Eupen 10,5km. At Kalterherberg crosses the river Rur – cycle way (161km), which begins in the High Fens near Sourbrodt (B) and crosses the Rur-Eifel region. The RAVeL – route L45A starts at Bütgenbach eastward and results in its turn again a connection to the Kyll – cycle track at Buchholz – Losheimergraben. In Waimes the RAVeL L45 – route (21km) branches off to Malmedy. At Lommersweiler the regional Eifel-Ardennes cycle track (37km) starts directly from the Venn cycle track. And near Troisvierges the Luxemburg cycle path RAVeL 163 runs southwards to Bastogne (26km).

Is there a shuttle service at the Venn cycle route for the return trip?

Between Aachen and Monschau or Kalterherberg in Germany the Aachen public traffic service offers a bicycle – bus on weekends between mid-April and October. In addition, several cab companies in the region offer a shuttle service for Vennbahn cyclists. This is especially worthwhile for small groups. From the start or end point in Aachen and Troisvierges it is possible to return to the starting point by train.

Can I plan stages – where can I stay overnight on the Vennbahn Cycle Route?

Stages on the Vennbahn Cycle Route can be planned over two or three days (2x approx. 60km or 3x approx. 40km). Overnight accommodations are available in all larger towns as vacation apartments, sometimes also on camping sites.

What is there to see on the Vennbahn cycle path?

The Vennbahn ravel route leads through historically interesting landscapes, which often went back and forth between Germany and Belgium. Kornelimünster, Raeren with its moated castle, the cloth-making town of Monschau or the Our valley with Reuland Castle are worth seeing. Railroad fans will find many a relic from the time of railroad operation on the Vennbahn line. Nature lovers will be thrilled by the moorlands of the High Fens or the bat tunnel near Goedange. Restaurant and pub scene can be found in Monschau (D) and St.Vith (B).
Venn railroad historical traces

Do you like it? Invite your friends for your Vennbahn bike tour!

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