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Part 1: Maastricht - Basel

Description
The route starts in Maastricht in the Netherlands and ends in Basel in Switzerland. The route through the Ardennes rises gradually and is mainly traffic-free, taking you through the Hoge Venen nature conservation area. Nowadays a 60-kilometre cycle path has been created from a former railway line, which means you rise almost imperceptibly to what is called the ’Roof of Belgium’. The route runs through the German speaking Ostkantone or eastern Canton of Belgium then descends into the delightful Our River valley (tributary of the river Sauer/Sûre). The route takes the cyclist even higher through the low Eifel mountains in Germany, then once again descending back into the valley of the River Our. It then goes through what is called ’Swiss Luxembourg’, eventually coming out at the Moselle River flanked by countless vineyards. You enter France from the German side at Schengen. This is also where the route leaves the river and runs through the forests surrounding Metz. The landscape then opens up and the route continues through the undulating grain fields of Lorraine. Before reaching the Vosges, you cycle through an area of lakes and old canals and extensive forests.

There is a very good cycle path running beside the canal through the Vosges, which means virtually no climbing at all. But those wanting the challenge of a good climb should follow the route through the River Sarre valley (Saar in German) rising up to 800 metres at the Col du Donon. On the other side of the Vosges is Alsace with its picturesque villages and towns, stork’s nests perched high up on long poles and countless vineyards producing excellent wines. In the Alsace you can either cycle through the deeply undulating vineyards, or simply take a smooth and flat alternative. The route goes around Mulhouse over kilometres of cycle path through the border-straddling Hardt Forest. This is the virtually traffic-free route to the Swiss border at Basel. From Basel you continue southwards to either Rome, Venice or the Riviera. Of course you can also take the night train back to where you started.


Overview map
(Click on the map for the full view)



General information
Edition/Year of publication: 8th edition, 2020
Language: Dutch
Distance: 620 km.
Detailed Maps: 48, scale 1:110.000
City Maps: 6, scale varies
Traffic-free kilometres: Over 230 km.
Difficulty rating: Easy - except for one short climb in the Ardennes. In the Vosges you can either take the low and easy route, or the climb over the Col du Donon.

GPS available: Download GPS-tracks


Map samples - Part 1
Sample pages with detailed maps and height profiles.



Alternative routes of Part 1
If you wish you can download extra cycling routes for free. These maps provide a few braches of the main route that give you the opportunity to visit nearby cities along the route, or information about the route to Venice.

Overview alternative routes (green):


Download the alternative routes:
Trier (420 KB) Luxemburg (1 MB)
Metz (260 KB) Strasbourg (456 KB)
Sundgau (764 KB) Cernay - Thann (764 KB)


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