More about the history of the Modern Grand Tour (MGT)

More about the history of the Modern Grand Tour (MGT)

In the 17th and especially the 18th century, the Grand Tour developed into an indispensable part of education. The idea was that when a young men returned from a long stay outside his own country, his mind would be enlightened by an introduction to the highlights of ancient and modern history and culture. His baggage would be bulging with local purchases and his knowledge would be refined. After the Grand Tour he was ready to take his place in the world and start a working life.

At the dawn of the 19th century, the notion that a journey to the sources of Western civilization in Europe should not be lacking in proper education had spread over a much broader social spectrum: it now applied to everyone.


This Modern Grand Tour of the 21th century likes to be nothing more than a further broadening of the idea that a cultural long-distance trail in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion (MRE) is essential to give a person’s character a finishing touch. Which supports also the vision of Stefan Zweig: “He thought when people from different countries get to know each other’s languages and cultures, mistrust can give way to understanding and Europe can feel like a second home.
We share more things than divide us and hoping you will experience the same after finishing the 44 stages of the MGT in the heart of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.


The Modern Grand Tour (MGT) is a long distance and self-guided walking & hiking trail in the heart of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. The proposed trail of the Modern Grand Tour is divided in 4 sections and 44 stages.

Why walk/hike the Modern Grand Tour in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine?

To step out of your daily life for a few days or a long time to follow a trail that promises lots of history, beautiful sceneries, magic moments, beautiful encounters and lots of surprises.

It’s a way of travelling from the daily hectic, through a landscape that inspires to a place of meaning. You can walk through forests or along a path in the meadows. Even in a city it is possible to leave behind the daily life. It can bring always something, whether it’s personal insight, a great idea or a better connection with nature or yourself. Or simply some days away from regular life. As pilgrim or tourist you can follow the Modern Grand Tour, it will always delivers in unexpected ways.

People go on walking/hiking all over the world and hopefully the Modern Grand Tour (MGT) becomes on the bucket list of many. You can walk this trail with religious intent or for reasons of your own such as an enriching experience. For sure the Euregio Meuse-Rhine has more than enough traces of a rich history. Romans, Spaniards, Austrians, Prussians and French have contributed to the cultural landscape of this region. You will find expressions of Christian symbolism along almost every country road.

Participants place one foot in front of the other to reach the special places in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine and give your mind a rest to look around. The modern Grand Tour (MGT) is for everyone in reach with average stages of 21 km, you only have to step out of your door.

The Modern Grand Tour (MGT) can be demanding, unexpected and adventureous, but this is part of the experience and otherwise there would be no sense of achievement at the end. The discovery of the special places and the natural surrounding creates a sense of wellbeing.

There is nothing like walking/hiking across a landscape to really get to know it. Walking in the footsteps of our ancestors gives you a real sense of the path’s past and of the people who walked it centuries ago. Some of the stages have old routes connected to ceremonial places simple to nearby villages and sometimes diverted towards water sources (wells) to refresh. Ancient path’s hold different significances, further evidence of paths can be found by looking out for hartwood trees, like oak, these trail marker trees are visible at great distances. A road with a straight stretch is used at Chèvremont as procession way for pilgrims.

The benefits of the Modern Grand Tour (MGT)

Every day you will come across special places that makes you feel more alive and where you would like to stay longer.
Life becomes simple. Early in the morning you shut the door behind and set out on foot, you take only what you need. You concentrate on walking and give your mind a rest and by stopping endless thinking you get other perceptions.
Walking/hiking this Modern Grand Tour (MGT) gives an opportunity to reconnect your inner self with your body and the external world. So many times you live in your head preoccupied with thinking about everyday life, regretting the past and fearing the future. And you neglect your body and take it for granted. While during walking you become more aware of your body, it awakens your body and unites it with your mind.

You learn things, you gain awareness , not just about your surroundings and the places you visit, but also about yourself. The route is a great teacher. Who knew you could walk so far? You could learn less positive things about yourself too. The chance encounters bring you in contact with those you would not otherwise have met.

The power of walking/hiking the Modern Grand Tour (MGT) lies in its simplicity. Don’t expect too much. Approach with an open heart. Be conscious of the fluctuations of sensations and moods that occur during the 44 stages. accept these emotions and keep walking.

And at the end different emotions will surface and completing is nevertheless an achievement to be proud of and to take pleasure from. The only path ahead now is the one that takes you home, be prepared for this and cherish your adventures and beautiful moments.
Carry a stone at the start on and treasure it. At the end after finishing the complete Modern Grand Tour (MGT) release this treasure in the river Meuse at Maastricht. You did it and finished.
Such a light hearted approach will ease your way back into normal life.