The South of Luxembourg is the region of the Red Earth ("Terres Rouges") and the steel mills. After more than 100 years of mining activity, the pits were closed at the beginning of the eighties of the last century. The mining activity has changed the landscape dramatically but since then, nature has taken back its rights and now, the new green is contrasting with the old red rocks and 2 Nature reserves ("Haard", "Giele Botter") have been declared within the whole area. The latter has hence become a paradise for hikers and bikers with a maze of endless singletrails, assorted with short up- and downhills. Concentration and technical dexterity are essential but there are never more than 100 m of climbing in a row. The will be two day-trips, starting from Esch-Gaalgenberg, on the heights of Esch/Alzette, in the midst of a luxuriant natural environment.
This tour is suitable for intermediate and advanced bikers with a sound physical condition. The difficulties of the trails in the South have a wide spectrum; often, the trickiest parts can be avoided, by just posting a small detour. Alternatively, the guide will always be able to spot an even “dirtier” descent than the last one… In any case, you should have an excellent command of your bike, as well as strong legs, for there may be steep climbs. For more details, please refer to the “For whom” section.
Technical level: intermediate; endurance rating: 2-3 (out of 4): 50-60 km and approx. 1000 m of total climbing per day.
1. Day: From Esch-Gaalgenberg to Rumelange (and back)
We will leave the meeting point direction south-east to warm up on the first singletrails of the day. In the forest between Esch-sur-Alzette and Rumelange, the trails are technically not too difficult and the biking is fluid. When reaching Rumelange, we may stop at the terrace of the “Musée des Mines” for a cup of coffee or a sip of history. Near Rumelange, the trails become more rocky and narrow and we will have some nice views over canyons created by the mining activity. We will continue to Tétange and Kayl, where some really steep uphills await us. As a matter of fact, around there, the tour includes some really beautiful paths in the "Haard" Nature Reserve. Towards the end, we will get our kicks on the “Rollercoaster” trails of the “Lallénger Bierg” in Schifflange, where there is a fully-fledged bike-park. We then head back to the hotel on the “Gaalgebierg” in Esch-sur-Alzette with some last really nice technical sections.
Total distance: 60 km; total climb: +/-1100 m.
2. Day: From Esch-Gaalgenberg to Differdange (and back)
On the second day, we will leave Esch-Gaalgebierg North-West towards Belvaux, pedaling some 3-4 km on an easy road. On that occasion, we will cross Esch-Belval, where the former steel mills are being transformed into a Docklands-style business district, keeping whole parts of the old halls and machines to form a kind of open-air museum. Arriving on another “Gaalgebierg” (lit.: "the hill with the gallow"), we can do an extra round on a 3 km trail specially created for mountain biking, quite technical and strenuous. We will then continue to Differdange and Fonds de Gras, the following kilometres being very varied: singletrails, large forest tracks and some portions of paved cycling roads. In the valley of “Fonds de Gras” we will find an old railway station and a pub, unchanged since the 1950’s: time to take a break. Leaving “Fonds de Gras” behind, we will go up and down again into the next valley which hosts the old mining village Lasauvage ("the wild one") where we will admire the typical architecture of the 20th century mining worker's homes. We soon ride back to Belvaux following the French border, through a small valley with a little river, passing some more remains of the mining industry. Back in Belvaux, we return by road to Esch-Gaalgebierg.
Total distance: 50 km; total climb: +/-900 m.
This camp is currently not planned but can be provided on demand. Please write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +352 621 35 66 41.
3 Countries 2 Days
3 Countries 2 Days brings to an area not so much explored by our guides so far, namely the southwest of Luxembourg, and includes the neighbouring countries, Belgium and France. It will be offered for the first time in 2018, and is still in elaboration, by our 2 guides Luc and Christian.
On the first day, we will take a train ride to Steinfort/Kleinbettingen, on the belgian border. The guides will then bring you south, biking along the border, aiming for Esch/Alzette where we plan the first overnight stay (Hotel or Youth Hostel). The ride is not very technical, surely less then day 2, but there will be as many singletrails as possible, passing Messancy, Aubange and Pétange. The good thing about this area is, that even though it is not a top destination (like the Müllerthal or the Esch-sur-Sûre lake), there is a high population density and hence many mountain bikers. Our challenge - that or our guides - is to explore the region and to hunt for the smallest bit of trail. So there will be surprises, even for the acquainted.
On the second day there will be more fun, while crossing the Red Rock Area, and later, heading to Luxembourg-city, where we include the nice Hesper trails, a kind of fun park at the doors of the capital (5-10 km of singletrails to end the journey).
The endurance level is 3, meaning 50-60 km per day and up to 1250 m of uphill (more details later,
when the scouting is finished). The technical skills, necessary for this event are "intermediate", meaning that it is accessible for bikers with
some experience, but more demanding in terms of physical level.
This trip is planned for June 16-17, 2018.
Starting point is the Luxembourg-city Youth Hostel (2, rue du Fort Olisy, L-2261 Luxembourg, Tel.: 26 27 66) where we will drop our luggage and meet for a coffee or an optional breakfast at 8h30. We will start on our bikes from there and head for the train station where the journey begins. The trip ends at 16h00 on the second day, at the same spot.
Prices are as follows, they include the guiding, the transport of the luggage, the overnight stay and the breakfast on the second day:
- Youth Hostel (double room): 140 EUR;
- Hotel, double room: 155 EUR
Single rooms upon request and availability. Evening meals and lunches are not comprised. Registration deadline (payment received) is May 25 for the Youth Hostel and June 13 for the Hotel.
Please use the following link to the registration page (reservation code 3C2D 2018): not binding at that stage, you will be sent a
registration form to be filled in, scanned and sent back. Once the payment is done, your registration is effective.
Every participant will be responsible for the biking gear and the bike - participants without a helmet or with a clearly insufficient bike will be refused. For this trip, we recommend a normal cross-country bike, with up to 120 mm of front supension. A full suspension bike with at least 130 mm of front travel is not mandatory but can be useful. Participants can rent test bikes from S-cape Sports (25 EUR / day).