The "Mond von Capri" (Capri Moon) work of art, a Westphalian artistic community, a Dutch Hanseatic city, moors, forests, canals and ever-changing scenery: cyclists can experience all of this in addition to spectacular art on the 225 km Vechtetalroute from Darfeld through the County of Bentheim to Zwolle in the Netherlands.
Route and sights
The Vechtetalroute is a quiet, relaxed, adventurous and varied tour. It takes four or five days and has been rated 3 stars by the ADFC cyclists' association.
Cyclists start this route in the Baumberge hills at the source of the Vechte river near Darfeld. They pass Darfeld Castle and the mill in Burloh before heading to the pilgrimage site of Eggerode. They then ride through the artistic community of Schöppingen on quiet streets and through meadows and fields to Metelen. Metelen Abbey and Plagemann’s Mühle (Plagemann’s mill) lie along the route. Once they pass the Haus Welbergen moated castle and head through Langenhorst, they reach the rail bike path to Wettringen.
They then cycle through the car-free zone between Haddorf and Ohne in the County of Bentheim. This is where the “raumsichten” (“spacespectives”) sculpture project with the spectacular Laßnitz installation, a railway bridge over the Vechte river and the German border, begin. In Schüttorf, after a short stint along the banks of the Vechte, it is worth making a detour to Bad Bentheim and taking a look around its impressive castle grounds. Cyclists then continue to journey along the raumsichten stations through the Vechtetal valley to Nordhorn, where visitors can go on boat trips, shop on the Vechteinsel (Vechte Island) or visit the zoo – there is so much to see and do here! The journey then continues along the “kunstwegen” art trails, which originated in Nordhorn. Cyclists cross the Vechtetal valley from Frenswegen Abbey to Neuenhaus and ride across the Spöllberg barrow, until they reach the southern edge of the Bourtanger Moor. Here they go through Neugnadenfeld, the former prisoner-of-war camp, and arrive in Emlichheim.
The Vechte river leads cyclists past the windmill and Vechtezomp flat-bottomed boat in Laar to Gramsbergen, a small Dutch town on the border with Germany.
In the vibrant municipality of Hardenberg, cyclists now ride at a leisurely pace through the farms to Marienberg, and then through the forests between Beerze and Ommen. Once cyclists pass the Vilsteren Estate (Landgoed Vilsteren), the route is mainly car-free and meanders through nature reserves along the Vechte river to Dalfsen. From here, cyclists can relax as they pedal along the Vechte dyke to Zwolle. Urban life, street cafés and, of course, plenty of art can be enjoyed as cyclists finish on the Vechtetalroute.