Blossoming rape fields line the roadside, while vast moorland landscapes hide their exciting past. Enchanted ornamental and herb gardens invite you in on a trip of relaxed discovery, while old windmills double-up as cozy cafes. Endless green meadows and dead straight dikes let you enjoy fantastic views of the Wadden Sea. You'll find all of this and more in the province of Groningen, a place that's home to one of the oldest cultural landscapes in Europe and borders on the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea and De Hondsrug Geopark.
The nature of Groningen is so beautiful and varied that one day is not enough. So you have enough time to discover the great cycle paths of the area, it is a good idea to stay overnight in one of the many inns that are part of the province's historical and cultural heritage.
Groningen has an infinite number of beautiful cycle paths. If you don't want to plan your trip on your own, you can take one of the recommended rides here and start cycling right away. These routes connect the most beautiful cycle paths and places in the province in themed rides and offer recommendations for resting places and activities in between. The lengths of the different routes range from 18 to 55 miles (30 to 90 kilometers) and offer you options for day trips or discovery tours lasting several days.
The windmill "De Entreprise" is the starting point for this almost 30-kilometer route around the 1,700 hectare nature reserve Midden-Groningen, which is still in the middle of development. Arable land and small natural areas are rearranged to create a coherent area of grassland, shrubs, lakes and swamps.The route takes you through elongated villages with historic row village development, where no house is the same. Along the way, the Fraeylemaborg sits on a 23-acre estate. The main building was built more than seven centuries ago and got its present appearance at the end of the 18th century. On the grounds of the Borg is the restaurant "De Boerderij" and invites you for "befitting" lunch or coffee and apple pie.And then the beautiful gardens on this route. Alie Stoffers, for example, warmly welcomes you in her "Tuinerie". In Harkstede, the owners of "De Drie Wilgen" show what they have made of a former piece of farmland. "De Tienhove" is a characteristic Groningen farm with a beautiful visit garden, and the garden of Jan Nauta and Sible de Blaauw forms a thriving island in the farmland.
The approximately 62 kilometers long route starts well, because you cycle on a cultural monument. The planting along the J. Buiskoolweg dates back to about 1928. Landscape architect Vroom was then commissioned to plant the street with ornamental shrubs. This planting was exceptional and for this reason, the Dutch monument authority decided in 2001 to declare the entire way to the monument.Continue through a spacious landscape towards Sellingen. Afterwards, you cycle through Ter Borg, a peasantry that may have developed in the Middle Ages. It comprises four farms, three of which have the status of a national monument. Then you will pass the Theater van de Natuur. It underlines the importance of the new nature around Sellingen and is a concept by Adriaan Nette. In 1996, the artist started with the stairs. As of this year, almost every year, a new natural stone level with a text by a visiting director has been added.A little further on you see the forest Lieftinghsbroek, the only forest nature reserve in the province of Groningen. Behind the Metbroekbos, a beautiful nature reserve, you can reach the Vlagtwedde church and the 1950 Monument to the Allied Soldiers Monument. Then follow the last few kilometers through Veelerveen along Frank Sciarone's Moor. 1997), and back to De Entourage.
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The approximately 51-kilometer bike tour is all about delicious food from the region. It starts at the living room Café Hammingh in Garnwerd, from the terrace you can see the boats passing by on the canal Reitdiep. Here you can taste a real Groningen mustard soup or the local spelled beer.From there, you cycle along winding paths, past whaling villages and past medieval churches through the centuries-old landscape of Middag-Humsterland. On the way you will find delicious cheeses, freshly ground flour, juicy fruits and the taste of hand-rolled prawns and salty oysters.About halfway the picturesque fishing village of Zoutkamp invites you for a stopover and a rest. Here you can eat fresh fish and let the charming harbor with its colorful houses on you. Strengthened and rested, you can then tackle the rest of the tour, which will take you back to the starting point on flat bike paths.
The slightly over 40-kilometer-long route is extremely varied, certainly also in terms of nature, because it leads through a small nature reserve in an old moorland, which was drained by hand before 1850 for peat extraction. The result was an agricultural area with small meadows, fields, young deciduous forest and here and there a house.De Lethe is also an old moorland that was drained in the 17th century. In the Eighty Years' War, military fortifications were built on the narrow sand back, but it was rarely fought. But the soldiers' paths were used by peat-cutters to smuggle contraband across the borders.After passing the castle of Wedde, you will soon arrive at the luxurious village of Bellingwolde, home of the Veldkamps Meul'n, a flour mill from 1855. The many beautiful manors in the village clearly show that the high grain prices between 1850 and 1875 brought great wealth. Along the main street is also the museum De Oude Wolden with changing, always special exhibitions.After a short hike, you will be back on the way back to the starting point, the old windmill De Korenbloem, where you can round off the nice bike ride in the cozy tearoom.
Kiek over de Diek is a new bike path that will take you from Lauwersoog to the easternmost point of the province of Groningen, Nieuw Statenzijl. The cycle track is about 90 kilometers long and leads across the Wadden area, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.The cycle path runs alternately over and in front of and behind the dyke and connects two unique natural landscapes: the Lauwersmeer and the Dollard. As you cycle over the dike, you have a magnificent view of the Wadden Sea lying on one side and the potato, cereal and rape fields on the other side. You can also see and experience a lot along the route that runs behind the dike. For example, the historic lock in Noordpolderzijl and the dyke foreland near the West Polder.The bike path connects to existing cycle paths so you can cycle around and visit inland attractions. Along the dike, you will find log cabins, TOPs (parking for hikers and cyclists) and campsites, so that it is easily possible to stay overnight, if you want to divide the bike tour in several stages.
The approximately 28-kilometer bike tour starts at De Vlinderij, a historic place where there used to be a shipyard. From there you can quickly reach a beautiful project, the nature education center Tussen de Venen.After a small arc you come to Kiel-Windeweer. It is the clearest example of typical Zeilendorf development, because the village is 100 m wide and six kilometers long. A varied line with houses and cottages along the canal Kieldiep. The lock keeper's house from 1885 is a cultural monument. In the former Moorkolonien church from the year 1755 is the restaurant "De Amshoff" with accommodation in the vicarage.Continue to Borgerswold, which means "forest for the citizens" and lives up to its name. Here there are water surfaces and forest with the associated opportunities for leisure activities. Not only the Veendamer enjoy the Borgerswold: Even as a guest you can cross it on the bike.The adjoining "Parkstad" Veendam was built in 1655. There was sometimes a row village along the main channel, but thanks to the former river de Oude Ae, the straight line was broken and a dangling developed, so Veendam has got a real heart. This center is now partially covered and offers a surprising variety of shops. In the monumental Moorkolonienmuseum you can learn a lot about the history of the moor colonies.Then it goes a little bit to the north and the circle through the beautiful moor colonies closes again at De Vlinderij.
Wheat, spelled, oats and their by-products such as straw brought prosperity to East Groningen on the German border. The area, with its endless fields and billowing corn, is not in vain called corn republic.It is an area of contrasts. At the end of the 19th century, the farmers made a lot of money on the fertile clay soils and built magnificent courtyards with large barns behind. In contrast, the workers had to work hard and got a pittance for it. Everywhere in the region you will find examples of sometimes extremely radical ideas that oppose any tradition or established order. In addition to the prime example Blauwestad for example a gallery in a former stable. The former farmland has been transformed into an attractive natural area with countless recreational opportunities.Experience the history of Groninger Gold on a bike ride along the golden-yellow grain and rippling water. It starts on the round trip, for example, at the gates Winschotens. From here you cycle over wide, flat fields to the west. You keep coming back to small villages and settlements. Then you meet the Westerwoldsche Aa and follow it to Bad Nieuweschans, where you can take a leisurely break. Then you continue along the course of the river back to the starting point. On the way you make a detour to Bellingwolde, where impressive mansions line the streets.