Valkenburg & South Limburg
Valkenburg aan de Geul
With its mysterious underground environment, Valkenburg aan de Geul has been a popular destination with tourists for many years. Standing atop the romantic castle ruins, one has a magnificent view out over this hospitable fortified city. In and around Valkenburg, visitors will find everything they are looking for in a nutshell: two family amusement parks, a funicular and a toboggan run, underground marlstone passages and museums, the only hilltop castle in the Netherlands, a thermal bathhouse, Holland Casino, two cycling adventure attractions both above and underground, nice restaurants, lively nightlife spots, old castles, green parks and vast expanses of nature.
In addition to all of this, Valkenburg aan de Geul has the honour of calling itself the Christmas Town of the Netherlands. Each year, thousands of visitors come to the two unique underground Christmas markets in the marlstone caves. The semi-weekly Christmas Parade, the ‘Magicalibration’ show and many other Christmas events contribute to a memorable Christmas experience.
In the rolling hills of the Limburg landscape, one finds nostalgic villages and towns hidden between green pastures and colourful fruit tree orchards. In 2005, the Heuvelland (literally, ‘hill country’) was declared one of the most beautiful areas in the Netherlands. It is the perfect environment for hiking and cycling. In this area, you can find vineyards, beer breweries, a climbing and adventure centre, a sub-tropical swimming pool, a glass works, the three-country point, the highest point in the Netherlands (the Vaalserberg, altitude: 322.5 metres), the largest maze in the Netherlands, various golf courses, outdoor karting tracks, a steam train route, museums and galleries, shops selling regional products, cosy pubs and intimate restaurants.
Parkstad Limburg is currently the fastest growing tourist destination in the Netherlands, and is a region full of contrasts and extremes. Parkstad Limburg has the largest Roman archaeological sites in the Netherlands, the largest indoor ski village in the world, the largest furniture strip mall in Europe, the most innovative and the most modern zoo in Europe, one of the largest castles in the Netherlands which are still open to the public, the largest world gardens park in the Netherlands, and so forth and so on….
In the gently rolling and nearly flat northern part of South 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.
Try something different, try South Limburg!