Valkenburg aan de Geul
At the southernmost tip of Zuid-Limburg, nestled between the mossy green hills, lies the extraordinary city of Valkenburg aan de Geul. Located in the heart of the Heuvelland nature reserve, this marlstone city boasts a rich touristic tradition and a lush Tuscanesque landscape that has drawn visitors from home and abroad for more than 125 years. Valkenburg aan de Geul, just a stone’s throw from the major cities of Maastricht, Aachen, Liège, Hasselt and Tongeren, truly is the beating heart of the Euregion.
Parkstad Limburg is currently the fastest growing tourist destination in the Netherlands. It is a region full of contrasts and extremes. Parkstad Limburg has some of the finest Roman archaeological sites in the Netherlands (Thermenmuseum & De Vondst in Heerlen), the largest indoor ski centre in the world (Snowworld Landgraaf), the largest furniture retail park in Europe (Woonboulevard Heerlen), the most innovative and most modern zoo in Europe (GaiaZOO in Kerkrade), one of the largest castles in the Netherlands (Kasteel Hoensbroek) which is open to the public, the largest themed gardens in the Netherlands (Mondo Verde Landgraaf), and so much more!
In the rolling hills of Zuid-Limburg, there are a myriad of nostalgic towns and villages hidden away between meadows, woodland and colourful orchards, waiting for you to be discovered. In 2005, the Heuvelland (literally, ‘hill country’) was declared one of the most beautiful areas in the Netherlands. It is the perfect backdrop for hiking and cycling.
Here, there are vineyards, breweries, a climbing and adventure centre, a sub-tropical swimming pool, a glass works, Drielandenpunt (place where the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium meet), the highest point in the Netherlands (Vaalserberg, at 322.5 meters), the most expansive maze in the Netherlands, various golf courses, outdoor go-kart tracks, a steam train, museums and galleries, shops selling regional products, cosy pubs and intimate restaurants.
In the gently rolling and nearly flat northern part of Zuid-Limburg, in the narrowest part of the Netherlands, one finds a unique region: the river forelands of the Maas River. This is also where the foothills of the Ardennes start, a gently rolling landscape, perfectly suited to fantastic cross-border cycle tours. Visitors to this area will find very old churches and basilicas, sheltered views of villages, museums, a zoo, a family park, shops, shopping centres and charming restaurants.