Cycling where the Meuse is boss

In this beautiful part of Limburg, the River Meuse has the upper hand. Here, for forty kilometres, it forms the border between Flanders and the Netherlands. A mighty river, heritage and unspoiled greenery: a beautiful backdrop to a wonderful cycling adventure.

Cycling where the Meuse is boss




Start: Dilsen-Stokkem

Our cycling tour starts in Dilsen-Stokkem, a town separated from the Netherlands only by the river Meuse. We get on our bikes and begin our quest. But even before we get to the Meuse, we cycle past another highlight of this region: Vilain XIIII Castle, also known as Leut Castle.   

This site was once home to an illustrious lord of the manor and his family. Later it fulfilled various community functions: hospital, maternity unit and a care home. But that too is now a thing of the past. A new future is being worked on behind the scenes, but you can still get to know the location now. Leut Castle regularly opens its doors to the public. The pop-up events around art and meeting are worth a visit.


Just crossing

Via this heritage gem, we make our way to the Meuse. Although we soon have to slam on the brakes. The mighty river cuts our route in half. Fortunately, we find a free ferry. This takes us across the river; smoothly, safely and dry as a bone. And thus, we suddenly find ourselves in the Netherlands. Because, whoever crosses the Meuse here also crosses a national border. For about 15 minutes, we ride along the cycle paths of our northern neighbours. Then another ferry takes us to the other bank, back in Flanders. 

We get back on our bikes, ride straight on for a while and then turn right. And so, we move into the Maasweerden. This is a natural flood plain of the Meuse. On a quiet, dedicated path, it looks like we are cycling straight through a painting. A scene of pristine blue and green, while the birds chirp happily. After touring this succession of tableaux vivants, we leave the water for a while.


A bit of Maaseik

We cycle on to Maaseik, a town that has produced two artistic greats. Indeed, it is the probable birthplace of Jan and Hubert van Eyck, the spiritual fathers of the masterpiece The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. At the Maaseik market, we cycle past the statue of these brothers.   

After this urban interlude, we head back towards the Meuse. This takes us past the vineyards of Aldeneyck, one of the many wine estates in the region. That is already starting to make our mouths water. After this, our tour leads past some nice pieces of heritage. First we pass Nieuwenhof, an 18th-century castle with farm. This is soon followed by Wurfeld Castle, which dates back to 1640, and the Wurfeld Mill. This well-preserved water mill from 1560 now serves as holiday accommodation.


Through unspoiled greenery

After a pleasant introduction to some historic sites, we ride back into the greenery. An arrow-straight, standalone cycle path carries us along for kilometres. We are surrounded by bright green trees and move entirely separated from all other traffic. Now this is what is called being happy. With smiles on our faces, we set off towards the end of this adventure. Accompanied by birdsong, we bid farewell to this fine cycle path.  


Back to the Meuse

Via a few branches of the Meuse, we enter nature reserve Negenoord-Kerkeweerd. In days gone by, it was a site for gravel extraction. Today it is one of the many nature reserves that make up Landscape Park ‘Meuse Valley River Park’. All together, it covers 2,500 hectares of unspoiled nature, literally crossing borders.    


Finish: Dilsen-Stokkem

At the end of our tour, we find Visitor Center De Wissen. This is the main gateway to the Meuse Valley River Park. Here we find all the necessary information for the second part of our adventure: a further exploration of the Meuse Valley. Because there is so much more to see, do and experience there. 



Practical information

  • Parking:
    Maascentrum De Wissen, Dilsen-Stokkem 
  • Public transport:
    Tip: Take the free ferries: from April to October at weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from May to September every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Bicycles for hire: 
    Maro, De Fietsboetiek 
  • Nodes:
    50 > 27 > 19 > 46 > 26 > 24 > 25 > 27 > 45 > 43 > 44 > 48 > 49 > 50