When you look at the map, the region Grafschaft Bentheim in Lower Saxony extends into the Netherlands on a geographic level. An unlimited network of cycle paths has emerged here. The bicycle (fahrrad in German and fietse in Dutch) is a fixed part of the every day life of people on both sides of the border. A flat landscape with few inclines invites you to get into the saddle. In the south of the Grafschaft Bentheim, the Obergrafschaft, part of the Teutoburg Forest protrudes into the district – the only hills in the most bicycle-friendly district of Lower Saxony in 2007, where the largest hill castle of north-west Germany, Bentheim Castle, stands. A visit and a stroll through the winding alleys of Bad Bentheim give you a good opportunity to get off your bike. From the castle, you have a good view of the flat, northern Niedergrafschaft. Bogs, heathlands and canals shape the landscape here.
The Grafschafter Fietsentour (Grafschaft Bentheim Cycle Route) extends over 220 km on flat, well-developed and signposted cycle paths, across the district. 25 one-day routes with lengths ranging from 18 to 56 km branch off from this. The German cycle paths are linked to the Dutch junction system, which is marked on the "Grafschafter Fietsentour" cycle route map – thus, anyone who would like to continue cycling in the Netherlands is on the right path.
You can experience the special features of this border region on the routes of the United Countries Tour. The 250 km "Pionierroute" (Pioneer Route) leads through the extensive bogs and heathlands of the Bourtanger Moor – Bargerveen International Nature Park. In the former raised bog, you can detect the traces of the pioneers who once developed this area. Small, long extended villages and perfectly straight canals bear witness to a time when this was the centre of the Dutch peat industry.
Anyone who wants to enjoy art as well as cycling should not miss the "kunstwegen": between Nordhorn and Zwolle, Europe's largest open-air museum extends over 132 km in the Vechte Valley. More than 60 works of art create a unique connection between nature, art and history, appropriate for the region and the surrounding area in every location.
Sometimes, however, the people of Grafschaft Bentheim get off their bikes – and load them onto a bicycle trailer that is attached to a bus. The Fietsenbus (Cycle bus) is something that is unique in Germany. Anyone who would like to ride for a bit can put his bicycle on the trailer, get in the bus and then get off again at any stop.Every weekend and every day during the Lower Saxon Easter, Summer and Autumn holidays, the trailer is attached to the bus.