On the 2-Country Route (2-Länder-Route), you cycle through the Lower Rhine region in North Rhine-Westphalia to the Netherlands. On the way, you cross the border between the two countries several times, passing beautiful landscapes and magnificent nature. Alongside open fields and meadows, you ride through idyllic national parks and nature reserves with mystical moors, picturesque heathland, romantic forests, and flat polder landscapes.
In this Collection, I guide you along the 270-kilometre (167 mile) cycle path from the imperial city of Aachen in Germany to the Dutch city of Nijmegen in five stages. As the route starts from the main station in Aachen, the easiest way to arrive is by train. The ICE long-distance trains and Thalys run across the border from Belgium and France. Aachen also has good regional train links, both with surrounding German cities and places in Belgium and the Netherlands.
You mostly cycle along flat roads to Nijmegen, riding through beautiful nature, as well as interesting cities such as Roermond and Venlo in the Netherlands and Geldern, Xanten, and Kleve on the German side. There are also many places to stop en route for a bite to eat and enjoy Dutch and Lower Rhine specialties, as well as a good choice of accommodation at all stage destinations.
When you arrive in Nijmegen, you can start your journey home by train. One option is to travel to Arnhem, for example, which has rail connections to Germany. There are also direct connections from Nijmegen to Roermond and Venlo. Before you jump on the train, however, it is worth spending some time in the oldest city in the Netherlands, a fitting finale for your adventure on the 2-Country Route.
The starting point of the 2-country route is in Aachen at the main station. The station offers good long-distance connections with the ICE and Thalys, including cross-border to Belgium and France. In addition, the station is also served by a number of regional trains, whose connections also extend across the borders to Belgium and the Netherlands. So you can easily travel to the starting point by train.At the beginning of the first stage you drive through the historic Aachen old town and cycle out of the city into the countryside on the northern edge of the Lousberg. You get to Kerkrade and Herzogenrath over wide meadows and fields. The Dutch state border runs exactly between the two cities, which have practically grown together. So you are cycling along a street that is half in the Netherlands and half in Germany.Then you follow the worm on the German side. The river also forms the border with the Netherlands. Then you pass the local recreation area Wurmtal with beautiful lakes and great nature and afterwards roll on a gently sloping route over wide fields. Here you pass the NATO airfield and through the Rodebach nature reserve, which is right on the border.Afterwards it goes through beautiful, refreshing forests to Tüddern, where the first stage ends. There are some places to stop for a break in the village. Much more and above all accommodation such as hotels, bed and breakfasts and a campsite can be found in the adjacent Sittard, which is on the other side of the border in the Netherlands. Sittard also has a train station with train connections to various Dutch cities.
On the second stage, a relatively flat route awaits you at the beginning, which leads you past colorful fields and wide meadows. Behind Haaren you cross the border and continue on the Dutch side, where you follow the playful loops of the Rur to Roermond.In the Dutch city the Rur flows into the Meuse and you have done half of the stage. A great opportunity to take a long break and strengthen yourself in one of the cozy restaurants or cafes in town.With renewed energy, you then cycle through Roermond and leave it towards Germany. After you have crossed the border again, you roll on German soil through the transnational De Meinweg National Park. Here you can enjoy the wonderful nature of enchanted moors, picturesque heathlands and shady pine forests.On a slightly hilly route you then cycle past the Hariksee and Borner See and then reach the stage destination Brüggen. In this place you can pay a visit to Brüggen Castle at the end of the day. There are numerous places to stop for a break and accommodation in Brüggen. In addition to hotels, you will also find holiday apartments, a youth hostel and a campsite.
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Also on the third stage of the 2-country route you cycle on mostly flat paths through the beautiful border area. You leave Brüggen to the north and are welcomed by wide fields. After about ten kilometers you will come to the Nette and follow its course. The river flows through large lakes in several places, such as the Krickenbeck lakes.Here you drive past the lakes, pass the nature reserve Venloer Heide and cross the Dutch border. On the other side you will reach Venlo. You can take a long break in the atmospheric harbor on the Maas. Here you will find shops and restaurants.With renewed strength, you then cycle out of the city along the Maas. On the northern outskirts of the city you turn into a forest and pass the idyllic Zwart Water. The route then leads you over beautiful fields to the Leeremarksche Heide, where you cycle through shady forest.A little later you roll back to Germany and reach the stage destination Geldern. There are various types of accommodation available, such as hotels, guest houses and holiday apartments. There is also a train station in the city, from which you can take the regional train to Düsseldorf and Kleve.
You leave Geldern to the north and immerse yourself in beautiful nature at the gates of the city. Here you pass the Hague Castle, where it is worth taking a first break, where you can also stop.Then it goes on a flat stretch past wide fields and meadows until you tackle a first ascent after about 20 kilometers. At the edge of the Tüschenwald you cycle over a small hill. After a short flat stretch over fields, you dive into the Hees. The path through the forest passes the Wolfsberg and thus another small climb awaits you.The third and last ascent of the stage takes you over the Fürstenberg to Xanten. In the city you can relax with a leisurely break and gather new strength for the onward journey in one of the cafés or restaurants.Then you roll out of the city through the Nordpark and drive on flat paths through a wonderful field and meadow landscape to Kalkar, the stage destination. In the city on the Lower Rhine you will find a small selection of accommodations, such as hotels and holiday apartments, and good places to stop for a break.
Like the previous stage, the last section on the 2-country route is mostly flat, with a few hills waiting for you only about halfway.From Kalkar you drive over the fields to Moyland Castle. Here you can take a first break. Then you cycle through the open landscape to Kleve, where you overcome small inclines. It is worth taking a short stroll in the city's historic gardens before continuing.Behind the city, you dive into the Dueffel nature reserve, which is mainly populated by wild geese. After a little detour through Kranenburg, it's back to the nature reserve and then across the border to the Netherlands.Here you drive through a picturesque polder landscape past large lakes to the Waal and roll on the dike road through beautiful nature to Nijmegen, where you reach the destination of the five-day bike tour.With a stroll through the Dutch city you can end the tour in style and look back on it before you start your journey home. From Nijmegen you can take the train to Arnhem, for example, where you have a connection to Germany. You also have connections to Roermond and Venlo from the train station in Nijmegen.