Roman history along the German-Dutch Border – cycling the Via Romana


Roman history along the German-Dutch Border – cycling the Via Romana

Bike Touring Collection by Hannah

Two countries, 260 kilometers (161 miles) – on this exciting round trip, you can expect both fascinating history and varied landscapes of beautiful lakes and charming dike scenery. The Via Romana cycle route showcases magnificent gardens, picturesque castles and unusual archaeological discoveries. On a network of excellently developed cycle paths, you explore the border region of Germany and the Netherlands.

Your round trip starts and ends in Xanten in Germany, a small town with tangible Roman history and buildings. You cycle through the exciting and varied landscapes between the Lower Rhine, the Maas and the Waal rivers and visit worthy sights along the way such as the swan town of Kleve, the Dutch town of Cuijk, Nijmegen town on the banks of the Waal, and the tranquil cultural town of Bedburg-Hau.

The Via Romana leads almost exclusively over flat terrain and the stage lengths are around 50 kilometers (30 miles, making it a wonderful Tour to cycle. There are also other towns along the route that are suitable as stage destinations if you want to adjust the stages. In addition, the bike paths are well developed and signposted, so you can look forward to a safe and relaxed ride. This adventure is therefore also particularly suitable for older travellers and children.

The starting point Xanten is easily reached by regional train via Duisburg. Since it is a round trip, it is also possible to arrive by car. Of course you can also start your trip at another point. For example, you can reach Nijmegen by train from Düsseldorf via Arnhem.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    24.1 mi
    9.2 mph
    550 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today your journey into the past starts in the footsteps of the Romans. You start at the train station in Xanten, which you can reach with the regional train via Duisburg. Your tour takes you over 40 kilometers to the lovely swan town of Kleve.

    As soon as you set off, you will reach the first Roman highlight: the Xanten Archaeological Park. Here it is advisable to bring some time with you to let the Roman buildings affect you in their original scale.

    The route now leads you on mostly paved roads and bike paths through the completely flat land. Halfway along the way, the historic market square in Kalkar attracts visitors with its gastronomy and historic ambience.

    The remaining 20 kilometers you cycle through fields and forests and you can look forward to a piece of the Voltaire Trail - exciting facts from Roman times await you here too. You can end your tour in the wonderful Prinz-Moritz-Park in Kleve. You can find numerous accommodation offers at kleve-tourismus.de/planen-buchen/unterkuenfte-in-kleve.

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    30.0 mi
    9.1 mph
    875 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Your second stage takes you almost 50 kilometers to the city of Cuijk on the Maas. You will only cycle around 300 meters in altitude and thus have enough time to visit exciting, historical sites and enjoy the landscape.

    After Kleve, the tour takes a detour on a beautiful route around the St. Willibrord Church and past an archaeological museum. Back on the course, you pass the magnificent historic gardens of Kleve.

    Now you cycle relaxed through the village environment and cross the municipality of Kranenburg. Shortly afterwards you will reach the national border and continue cycling on Dutch soil. The Netherlands is known to be one of the most bicycle-friendly countries in the world - you will feel at home here immediately.

    The path leads you over Groesbeek, through a beautiful moor area and past what is probably the largest Roman house in the Netherlands. Shortly afterwards you will reach the banks of the Meuse and your stage destination Cuijk. Here you will find various accommodation options, which you can see at landvancuijk.nl/toerisme-en-recreatie/overnachten.

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  • Intermediate
    28.8 mi
    10.5 mph
    625 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today there are a good 46 kilometers through a varied landscape to the charming city of Nijmegen on the program. You leave Cuijk behind you and reach the banks of the Kraaijenbergse Plassen, an extensive lake area, which you drive along for about ten kilometers.

    Next you cross the Meuse and cycle through an enchanting nature reserve. Afterwards you can look forward to wonderfully developed bike paths through the forest. You will pass a magnificent hunting lodge that invites you to take a break.

    The path leads you around the bend and you drive another ten kilometers through the forest. You are now heading for your stage destination Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands.

    Impressive archaeological finds, charming promenades and relaxation by the water - you will definitely get your money's worth in Nijmegen. Of course, the city on the water has an excellent network of bike paths, so nothing stands in the way of your discovery tour. You can find various accommodations at de.visitnijmegen.com/ubernachtung; Hotel or campsite according to your taste.

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    35.6 mi
    10.4 mph
    625 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your stage today is the longest with a good 57 kilometers, but it remains flat with a single increase. You cross the border again and your stage ends on the German side in Bedburg-Hau.

    Behind Nijmegen, the route takes you over fantastic dyke paths through the water landscape along the Waal. You can even relax and go swimming on the sandy beaches. You continue through the fields and forests and you climb the small hill on the route.

    The descent ensures a good momentum and you roll lively across the border to Germany. Quiet streets lead you through the fields and the municipality of Kranenburg. Then you cycle through a nature reserve to the Old Rhine and on wonderful dike paths following the shore to Griethausen. From here it is only a few kilometers to your destination, Bedburg-Hau.

    In the tranquil community you can enjoy a wide range of cultural activities, such as modern art in the Moyland Castle Museum. You can find the accommodation offer here: bedburg-hau.de/de/inhalt/uebernachtung.

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    33.2 mi
    9.6 mph
    525 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your last tour of the Via Romana takes you back to Xanten for a good 53 kilometers. The route is flat as usual and you can look forward to an extended swim stop in good weather.

    It starts in a dangling through the nature reserve Deichvorland near Grieth. Behind the Wisseler See you cycle to Kalkar, which you already touched on your first stage. Past a traditional windmill, it goes over wide fields through the rural area.

    Soon you will come across the bank of the Lower Rhine and continue cycling on wonderful dike paths. Here you will also find a nice café for a break to strengthen yourself. Next, the Xanten North and South Seas await you - a beautiful lake landscape with a wide range of water sports and of course plenty of bathing opportunities.

    The town of Xanten begins behind the lake. The tour takes you around the Birten Amphitheater: Here, Roman history comes to life. The end point is in front of the train station, where the regional train runs to Duisburg every hour.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    152 mi
  • Duration
    15:33 h
  • Elevation
    3,200 ft

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Roman history along the German-Dutch Border – cycling the Via Romana