Right on the border to the Netherlands lies the region Grafschaft Bentheim, where cycling is called “fietsen”, just like the Dutch word. In the south of the county, around the town of Bad Bentheim, and in the north-west, around Uelzen, the countryside has some gentle hills, but otherwise there are no inclines to impede easy cycling. Along the rivers and canals, across moors, heathlands and through forests, your ‘fietse’ will zoom effortlessly over the excellently maintained 1,000km of cycle paths. And if you decide you’ve earned a rest, grab your bike and hop on the ‘Fietsebus’. This additional service is great for families planning a child-friendly tour. Between Nordhorn and Zwolle, in the Vechtetal valley, lies Europe’s largest open-air museum: kunstwegen. 60 artworks unite nature and art in an inspiring and magical way. Art fans meet nature; nature fans discover art.
The mighty castle of Bentheim, standing tall over the town of Bad Bentheim, is one of the largest and the most northerly hill castle in north-western Germany. Every May, the castle provides the backdrop for the Bad Bentheim Knights’ Tournament, where lances are broken, horses paw the ground and knights battle valiantly. The castle, open all year round, includes an Alchemists’ Kitchen, where visitors can discover how the sorcerers of old mixed their potions. Below the castle, in Bentheim Forest, lies the Bentheim Mineral Therme spa, where you can relax in warm salt water baths. Time has been turned back 3000 years at the bronze age farmstead in Uelzen, where visitors are invited to experience what farm life was like in many centuries ago.