Stage 1. Maastricht (NL) to Meerssen (NL)

Stage 1. Maastricht (NL) to Meerssen (NL)

The city Maastricht is the start of the Modern Grand Tour (MGT) and you follow a part of the old Roman trade route the Via Belgica. The 400 km Roman Via Belgica runs from Boulogne-sur-Mer (France) to Köln/Cologne (Germany) and was an important trade route. The Romans could not simply pass the river Meuse, because during the Roman times this was a wild river, that ran dry in the summer and was fed by rain in the winter. So the Romans built a bridge to cross the river Meuse and a lively Roman settlement developed around it, read more…

The area around Meerssen was also inhabited during Roman times. In 1865 a priest and amateur archaeologist discovered remnants of a Roman villa in Meerssen, which is today known as the largest Roman villa in the Netherlands, read more…

Overview map and stats:

Start:Plein 1992, Maastricht (NL)
Coordinates (DD):50.846217 / 5.700382
End:Markt, Meerssen (NL)
Coordinates (DD):50.884428 / 5.755057
Distance:22,8 kilometers
Ascent:142 meters
Descent:133 meters
Elevation map:
Path, dirt road, gravel, nature trail: 88%
Asphalt, road:12%
Pdf route map:Go for download to page here
Gpx track:Go for download to page here
KML file:Go for download to page here
  • Pdf files are excellent for viewing.
  • Gpx track can be uploaded to many devices, so you always know the direction to follow or your position.
  • KML files can be uploaded in Google Earth. As result you get a detailed satellite view. You can even follow a videotour, which is a linear walk-through the stage.

Some highlights:

In the rest of the Netherlands, the city Maastricht is often seen as “foreign“, mainly because of its peripheral location near Belgium and Germany, but also because of the atypical landscape, the Maasland house construction, the deviant history, the complicated language situation, the dominance of Catholicism. (more in the past than now), the strong emphasis on community life (fanfares, carnival, processions) and the alleged Burgundian way of life, read more…

Specific info:

Sleep suggestions:

Interesting websites: