First section – from Maastricht to Liège (BE) in 12 stages

First section – from Maastricht (NL) to Liège (BE) in 12 stages

You start in Maastricht (NL) and follow for a while the old Roman “highway” Via Belgica to Rimburg and afterwards you cross Zuid-Limburg to the west and cross the city Sittard. You leave the Netherlands and enter Belgium. Once at Hasselt you turn south to Tongeren and further to Liège.

In section 1. you walk from the capital of Limburg (NL) to the capital of Wallonia (BE). You cross Zuid-Limburg via Meerssen, Spaubeek, and Heerlen. And cross the river Wurm, the open frontier to Übach-Palenberg in Germany. You even walk on parts of the Via Belgica an old Roman path. Once you are in Belgium you walk through to Flanders National Park Hoge Kempen (Candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage). At the end you can visit the Basilica of Our Lady in Tongeren (Candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage) and spend some time in the city Liège.

Overview map and stats:

Number of stages:12.
Total length:250,4 kilometers
Shortest stage:17,6 kilometers (Wintershoven to Tongeren)
Longest stage:23,7 kilometers (Spaubeek to Landgraaf)
Total ascent:1.265 meters
Total descent:1.225 meters
Elevation map of stage 1. till 12.:
Average distance:20,9 kilometers
Path, dirt road, gravel, natural trail:86%
Road and asphalt:14%

The stages:

Stage 1.

Maastricht to Meerssen

Maastricht is the start of the Modern Grand Tour (MGT) and you follow a part of the Roman trade route Via Belgica.
22,8 kilometers

Stage 2.

Meerssen to Spaubeek

Meerssen was already inhabited during Roman times. In 1865, a priest discovered remnants of a Roman villa.
20,6 kilometers

Stage 3.

Spaubeek to Landgraaf

Spaubeek is a quiet village with a train station. Near the Sint-Laurentiuskerk is a large square where you can park for free.
23,7 kilometers

Stage 4.

Landgraaf to Übach-Palenberg

Landgraaf is located in the province Limburg and is a young municipality in beautiful surroundings.
21,1 kilometers

Stage 5.

Übach-Palenberg to Jabeek

Übach-Palenberg is located 20 km of Aachen at the frontier with the Netherlands. Club life is very important.
18,7 kilometers

Stage 6.

Jabeek to Born

Jabeek is a small residential area in Beekdaelen. The name is probably derived from the stream Quabeek.
21,1 kilometers

Stage 7.

Born to Opglabeek

Born dates from the year 1125. The settlement Born arose on the northeast side of the Graetbos near a water source.
21,2 kilometers

Stage 8.

Opglabeek to Genk

Opglabbeek inhabitants lived from agriculture and turf extraction at the end of the 18th century.
18,9 kilometers

Stage 9.

Genk to Hasselt

Genk is a cosmopolitan city in the Belgian province Limburg with more than 66,000 inhabitants.
22,7 kilometers

Stage 10.

Hasselt to Wintershoven

Hasselt arose in the 7th century near the Helbeek. The name is probarly derived from Hasaluth, which means hazel forest.

Stage 11.

Wintershoven to Tongeren

Wintershoven is located at Roman main road to Tongeren. Roman roof tiles were used for the Sint-Pietersbandenkerk.

Stage 12.

Tongeren to Liège

Tongeren is the oldest city in Belgium. Famous inhabitant of Tongeren is undoubtedly the Eburone king Ambiorix.