Important: Itinéraire et l'information uniquement disponible en Anglais.
Wichtig: Nur englische Routenbeschreibung.
Learn about this lovely landscape and the hospitality of the German-Dutch border area. Discover the particular charm of the Ems and Vechte rivers, the parkland countryside of meadows and fields, forests and canals in Groningen and Drenthe. In addition to the region’s natural beauty, you will come across some wonderful sights: from historic relics and idyllic windmills to impressive fortresses from days long gone.
Rivers and streams
Forests, moorlands and peat bogs
This 7-day round trip starts in the German village of Twist, located on the edge of the “Bourtanger Moor”, national park, once the highest peat bog in Europe. For centuries, this bog was exploited for the extraction of turf, the brown gold. Today it is an exceptional nature reserve and home to rare plants and animals.
The route first brings you through Emsland, a stunning riverscape with romantic forests, emerald-green meadows and moorlands, in which church steeples show you the way into small villages. The next stopping point is Neuenhaus, located on the Dinkel and the Vechte. This ancient place was granted city and market rights as early as 1369, and its centre has a striking city hall that dates from 1793, and some houses built by wealthy merchants.
The district of Bentheim seems almost Dutch. Windmills and watermills, meadows and fields distinguish this predominantly flat landscape. You will therefore not notice when you cycle into the Netherlands, where you spend the night in Coevorden. The nearby Veenpark (bog park) is definitely worth a visit.
The history of this region is partly linked with the history of the bog. The Veen or bog colonies is a unique area with a small-scale, alternating landscape, imbued with a sober, industrious pioneering spirit and the enormous efforts with which it was created with human hands.
After spending the night in the busy modern city of Emmen, set out for the leafy area of Westerwolde. This picturesque landscape, far off the beaten track with its ash trees, copses, wetlands and meandering streams, might not be what you expect in Groningen.
This is also the location of the Bourtange fortress, the next high point of your trip. Today and the past are perfectly combined in this tiny but very pretty fortress town, which was created during the Eighty Years’ War – you feel like you’ve gone back in time!
After an overnight stay in Bourtange, ‘the heart of Westerwolde’, you cycle back into Germany and back to the welcome green Emsland area, where you spend the night in the watery town of Dörpen. The remarkable smock windmill in Wippingen will strike you as very Dutch, and here they call it a ‘Holländische Durchfahrts-mühle’ (Dutch Drive-Through Mill). But if there’s one thing you’ve seen during this wonderful week of biking, it is that borders are relative and that they are definitely worth seeing from both sides.
Program from day to day + km
1 Arrival in Twist.
2 Twist – Neuenhaus, 57
3 Neuenhaus – Coevorden, 44
4 Coevorden – Emmen, 52
5 Emmen – Bourtange, 60
6 Bourtange – Dörpen, 68
7 Dörpen – Twist, 74, departure to the Netherlands.
1 km = 0.62 miles