Two countries, 112 kilometres (70 miles) – the Eifel-Ardennes Cycle Route leads from the Nürburgring racetrack in western Germany to the Belgian town of Sankt Vith. Along the way, you discover the volcanic Eifel low mountain range, former railway lines and relaxing spas. Fiery volcanoes would once have shaped the landscape, where you can now cycle leisurely over the mountains they created. You can take a deep breath and enjoy the fresh air at health spas in Prüm and Kelberg. Whilst in the town of Gerolstein, famous mineral water and the rough rocks of the Dolomites beckon. As you ride, you pass through the habitats of beavers, bats, and even wolves. You’re guaranteed a wild adventure.
In this Collection, I’ve divided the Eifel-Ardennes Cycle Path into three stages for you. With 50 kilometres (31 miles) and 600 metres (1,970 feet) of altitude difference, the first stage is the most athletic. However, the crisps climbs are rewarded with considerably longer, fast descents through the Eifel mountains. With 27 and 36 kilometres (16.7 and 22 miles) respectively, the second and third stages have much less climbing and are ideal for relaxed cyclists and families. The second stage takes you along farm tracks through gently undulating landscapes to the town of Prüm, so-called ‘Luftkurort’ (literally meaning air spa), known for its air quality. On the third stage, you ride along disused railway tracks through the Prüm and Alfbach valleys and cross the border to Sankt Vith municipality in Belgium, where you can finish your Tour with some Belgian treats.
As it is not too lengthy, the Eifel-Ardennes Cycle Route is ideal for a long weekend. You can also cycle it in two days if you combine the second and third stages. Most of the route is paved with around 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) on dirt roads. A touring bike, gravel bike or even a road bike is ideal for this adventure. In the towns of Kelberg, Prüm and Daun you can stock up on provisions for your Tour. At the stage destinations Gerolstein, Prüm and Sankt Vith, you also find a wide range of accommodation.
You can reach the Nürburgring by public transport with the 859 bus, which takes you from the market in Adenau to your starting point in just 15 minutes. From Bonn, Koblenz and Cologne, the journey to Adenau takes between one and a half to two and a half hours. If you want to get an early start or if you don't live close by, you could travel to Adenau the day before. This gives you plenty of time to enjoy the wonderful route through the volcanic Eifel. If you just want to cycle part of the route, you can begin in the towns of Gerolstein or Prüm. Gerolstein is especially easy to reach with the regional train from Cologne or Trier.
In Sankt Vith, you have several options to continue your journey or to head home. The Vennbahn Cycle Path takes you to Aachen in less than 100 kilometres (62 miles) or to Troisvierges in Luxembourg in about 30 kilometres (18.6 miles). You can take the TEC bus 304 from Sankt Vith to Eupen and take the number 14 to Aachen (which takes 30 minutes), or you can simply cycle the 16 kilometres (10 miles). Aachen is very well connected by regional train and you can easily continue your journey to Cologne, Bonn or Koblenz.
The Eifel-Ardennen Cycle Path begins at the world's longest race track, the Nürburgring. This can be reached by public transport from the city of Adenau by bus. From Cologne, Bonn or Koblenz you can drive via Remagen and Ahrbrück, and from there take the 863 bus to Adenau. In Adenau, the 859 bus takes you to the starting point in fifteen minutes. You can also cycle the remaining seven kilometers, but the route leads along a federal road.
The stage takes you almost 47 kilometers to Gerolstein and leads you through the western Vulkaneifel, past an exciting castle with a pack of wolves and a listed locomotive shed. You can expect two longer ascents of a total of 600 meters in altitude, followed by significantly longer descents. You can look forward to a five-kilometer descent right behind the Nürburgring. Then it goes uphill again, through the climatic health resort Kelberg and into the wooded hills of the Vulkaneifel.
On the route you will have several opportunities to pause and enjoy the wonderful view. Then you can look forward to a rapid descent of about ten kilometers to the Kneipp spa town of Daun. Here you have the opportunity to strengthen yourself for the remaining 20 kilometers in one of the restaurants or to stock up on your provisions in the supermarket. Your second ascent of almost eight kilometers to the Ernstberg begins behind Daun. Then you can simply let yourself roll back down the mountain for the last ten kilometers to your stage destination Gerolstein.
In addition to the well-known mineral water, the versatile, small town in the heart of the Vulkaneifel has a lot to offer. The rough rocks of the Gerolsteiner Dolomites give the city a special ambience. You will find a wide range of gastronomic options and exciting places, such as the old, listed railway depot. In the beautiful Kyllpark you can end your tour on the water. You can find the accommodation offer at gerolsteiner-land.de/unterkunftssuche.
On the second stage you cycle almost 27 kilometers with moderate altitude meters from Gerolstein to the pretty climatic health resort of Prüm. On this comparatively short stage, you can plan a detour to the exciting excursion destinations in the region, take long breaks on the way or explore the two cities more closely. Of course you can also do more distance by driving the last stage to St. Vith directly afterwards.Before you start, you can fill up your drinking bottles with the best Gerolsteiner soda in the Kyllpark at the Helenenquelle. This is followed by a gentle climb that rewards you with a wonderful view of the expanses of the Vulkaneifel. Past the idyllic village of Müllenborn, you cycle on quiet bike paths through the beautiful landscape without any car noise.The further and higher you cycle, the better the view. You will reach the highest point of your tour in the tranquil community of Weinsheim. From here there are only about five kilometers to Prüm. The tour ends in front of the magnificent St. Salvator Basilica, which characterizes the townscape and has an interesting story to tell.There are numerous hotels, holiday apartments and youth hostels in the Prümer Land, which you can see on the map at ferienregion-pruem.de/uebernachten. Before Prüm you will also find a natural forest campsite where you can camp and even sleep in a barrel.
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The last stage of the Eifel-Ardennes Cycle Path takes you 36 kilometers through the gently rolling landscape to the Belgian town of Sankt Vith. The route runs on former railway lines and crosses two disused railway tunnels.
At Prüm you cycle along the river of the same name, which meanders through the landscape here. After about ten kilometers through the Prümtal, turn away from the bank and cycle past the Pronsfeld bike park, where you can try your hand at a pump track. With a gentle, constant slope you now drive up to the Alfbachtal, where the beaver is at home. The sympathetic rodent has left its mark everywhere here; with a little luck you can see the animals.
At Winterscheider Berg you cross a former railway tunnel, which now offers cyclists a shortcut in summer and bats a quarter in winter. Six kilometers further you are already on the Belgian border. You can hardly imagine a border crossing more beautiful - you cycle on a narrow wooden bridge over the babbling Urft and find a rest area on both sides.
On the last ten kilometers through Belgium you drive through another train tunnel and then enjoy the wonderful view of the moorland. You will soon reach your stage destination Sankt Vith with its characteristic, neo-Romanesque parish church. Regular markets, high-class restaurants and the surrounding Eifel landscape attract numerous visitors to the pretty community. It doesn't matter whether you choose a portion of Belgian fries or a restaurant with Michelin stars - everything tastes great after a long bike ride. You can see the accommodations in Sankt Vith here: st.vith.be/Tourismus/Unterkunfte-Gastronomie/Schlafen. From wellness hotels, holiday apartments typical of the region to camping, everything is included.
Your journey doesn't have to end here, because you can cycle on the Vennbahnradweg to Aachen in less than 100 kilometers or about 30 kilometers to Troisvierges in Luxembourg. Sankt Vith was originally a railway junction, but the railway lines were destroyed in the Second World War and, after they were closed, turned into long-distance cycle paths. You will no longer find a train connection, but you can take the TEC bus 304 to Eupen. From here a line 14 bus takes you to the train station in Aachen in half an hour. You can of course also cycle the 16 kilometers. In Aachen you are well connected with the regional train and in less than an hour you are in Cologne.