Now that Esch-sur-Alzette, the largest city in the south of Luxembourg, has been named the cultural capital of Europe 2022, many cycling fanatics will be eager to swap the winding cobbled roads of Flanders for tours along the red canyons and Art Nouveau facades. We suggest three cycling routes that combine the joy of pleasure with nature and culture.
Alzette cycling route (route PC15)
Route: Bereldange – Ettelbruck
Distance: 31 km
The cycling route de l’Alzette, which winds its way through 17 towns and municipalities, is accompanied along its entire length by the Luxembourg-Ettelbruck railroad line from its starting point in Bereldange. This gives you the opportunity to combine your cycling tour with excursions by rail or to return to Luxembourg City by train. Follow the channel of the Eisch watercourse from the capital to the gateway of the Luxembourg Ardennes. During that journey, you will cross bucolic landscapes interspersed with orchards and castles. From Mersch you can detour halfway along the course towards the idyllic valley of the Eisch, with its many castles and fortresses. It is also here in Colmar-Berg that you can find the imposing Castle Berg, the main residence of the high ducal family of Luxembourg. Definitely worth a detour!
Cycling route de la Terre Rouge (route PC8)
Region: Land of the Red Earth (south of Luxembourg)
Route: Bettembourg – Pétange
Distance: 42.50 km
In the south of Luxembourg lies Terres Rouges (Land of the Red Earth), an old industrial area that developed in the mid-19th century through the discovery of iron ore. Its industrial exploitation colored the landscape so that today steep cliffs of red sandstone alternate with mines, blast furnaces, fields and forests. The Parc du Fond-de-Gras revives more than a hundred years of iron industry, while at the archaeological site Titelberg you can discover traces of a large, Celtic settlement. On this cycling route you will also pass through Esch-sur-Alzette. With its cultural offers, good shopping opportunities (including the longest pedestrian street in the country) and important architectural heritage with many Art Nouveau facades, it should come as no surprise that the country’s second city was named cultural capital of Europe 2022. However, since part of this cycling route is on public thoroughfares, it is not recommended for families with small children.
Cycling Route de l’Ouest (route PC17)
Route: Noerdange – Schleif
Distance: 47.8 km
This cycling route crosses a less-known but equally interesting region of the Grand Duchy: the Upper Sûre Nature Park and its reservoir. After gradually overcoming the limbo of the Luxembourg Ardennes, the route takes you on a short ride from Koetschette to the Upper Sûre Nature Park. Here you can indulge in a wide range of activities, from swimming and water sports to even solar boat excursions. Along the hiking trails of the ‘Circuit du Lac’ you can enjoy magnificent views. Your taste buds will also be spoiled here because the region is famous for its quality local produce, ranging from spelt-based beers to the famous Ardennes raw ham. From Koetschette, certainly try out the route to the east. After five kilometers you will reach Napoleonsgaard, a beautiful viewpoint on the third highest mountain in Luxembourg. If your legs hurt after the steep climb, you can take a break in the church of the tiny hamlet of Rindschleiden with its remarkable frescos from the 15th and 16th century. A must!
More information: www.visitluxembourg.com