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Enjoy the peace and quiet of the rolling hills around Maastricht on a bike

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Don't miss the signs!
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The province of Limburg is the only place where you’ll find gentle rolling hills in the Netherlands, and the beautiful countryside entices many locals as well as visitors to the area to hop on a bike for a leisurely ride on a sunny day. 

 

You can easily plan your own route with the help of the knooppunten (junctions) network (check the explanation and video in Explore the Netherlands the Dutch way: get on a bike to see how it works). Even though there are signs along the way and maps at the junctions, it’s not a bad idea to purchase a bike map from the local tourism office (VVV), just in case you miss a sign and get lost. Even if you don’t have a map, there’s always some friendly help just around the corner. We took out our map once and before we knew it, a gentleman on a bike stopped to offer his help.


The route we planned was south-east of Maastricht, and had a length of about 50 kms. We rented some good quality hybrid bikes at bike rental company Aon de Stasie (“At the Station”) in Maastricht and off we went. The beginning of the route was somewhat teeth rattling thanks to the cobblestones in the city, but as we reached the outskirts the path changed into a nice smooth asphalt. Most of the way we rode on very quiet country roads, and sometimes off-road paths, away from car traffic.


We passed by flowering orchards, and here and there we saw cows, horses and sheep in the pastures. We also stopped to take pictures of a few old castles. And we rode by some fields where hops were grown for locally brewed Gulpener beer. Every few kilometers we passed through a small village of sometimes no more than a few houses. The somewhat bigger towns had town squares with cafés, restaurants and outdoor terraces, where many people were enjoying the warm spring sun and a bite to eat. We stopped at about the halfway point, at the town of Gulpen, and tried some - of course - Gulpener beer.


We took our time getting back to Maastricht, enjoying the views and taking lots of photos along the way, but we made it back well in time to take a refreshing shower before dinner.