On ancient Ground: biking to the two most ancient settlements of Luxembourg, via the Müllerthal and the Ardennes

The tour leads in three days from Luxembourg-city to medieval Vianden via Echternach, the two cities being cultural and touristic highlights of Luxembourg. The tour features two highlights namely the crossing of the Müllerthal (1st and 2nd day) and a traverse of the Ardennes, the hilly region north of Ettelbrück/Diekirch. The tour stops in Mersch, on the third day, where we will take the train to get back to Luxembourg-city. Optionally, it can be extended to rally the capital by bike.

 

This tour is suitable for intermediate mountain bikers, with some experience and a sound physical condition (endurance level ranked 2/3 out of 4). While some technical trails of the Müllerthal can be avoided, others cannot and participants should hence be able to master stones, roots and (occasionally) steep up/or downhills, as well as longer climbs. For more details, please refer to the “For whom” section. 50 km and approx. 1000 m of total climb per day.

 

Detailed description

 

1. Day: Luxembourg - Echternach

 

The tour will start close to the Youth Hostel situated in one of the picturesque valleys surrounding Luxembourg-city. We'll mount on to the Kirchberg plateau and come across the buildings of the European institutions and the financial center. We'll then quickly dive into the woods of the Grünewald and penetrate into the "Gatter", the former private hunting ground of Grand-Duke Jean, now open to the public. Most of the journey will be spent in the woods, but the real fun will begin with the entry into the Müllerthal, a famous hiking area, well-known for its typical rain-washed sandstone canyons. We'll ride as much as possible on the small singletrails, trying to avoid however the most difficult ones. The approach to Echternach will be "from above", overlooking the lake from a nearby hill and rushing towards the Youth Hostel that is on the shores of the latter. Evening meal at the Youth Hostel.

 

Total distance: 45 km         Total climb: 750 m

 

 

2. Day: Echternach - Vianden

 

The destination of the second day, namely Vianden, features certainly one of the nicest medieval castles in Europe: a good reason to start early, however trying not to spoil the copious breakfast in the stylish Youth Hostel of Echternach. We'll have a small but violent ascent on the road before taking up again the rolling singletrails of the Müllerthal during the first half of the day. There will be a lot of fun for the technically skilled, others will have to hide their sore faces. After touching the bottom of the tour with the traverse of the Sûre valley (one of the three rivers marking the border with Germany, the two others being the Our and the Moselle), one last climb waits before getting to destination while following a paved cycling track in the Our valley. Overnight stay in the Youth Hostel or in a Hotel, dinner in a local restaurant.

 

Total distance: 55 km         Total climb: 1250 m

 

 

3. Day: Vianden - Mersch (optionnally Luxembourg-city)

 

Technically less demanding, the third day will be marked in the first half by three typical Ardennes climbs, giving way to nice views over hills and more castles. Passed Diekirch, we'll mainly come through farmland and the majestic beech and oak woods of Luxembourg, staying atop a kind of balcony, overlooking the Alzette valley, until we reach Mersch. Train back to Luxembourg-city or optionally biking to destination. This day is marked by long portions of biking through the well-kept, sometimes wild forests of the Luxembourg "Gutland", the southern part of the country. In total, if taking up the whole distance, no more than 5 villages will be crossed (except start- and end-points) during this truly epic ride.

 

Total distance: 40 km (optionally: 75)          Total climb: 1000 m (optionally: 1500)

 

 

Organizational aspects

 

This tour is currently not planned but can be provided on demand. Please write an email to singletrails.lu@gmail.com or phone +352 621 35 66 41.