Valkenburg aan de Geul

Valkenburg Travel Blog

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Valkenburg aan de Geul, the multifaceted marl town, is one of the most enchanting places of the Netherlands.

It’s a charming, exuberant, extremely varieted and above all very cosy city.

The river Geul flows right through the centre of Valkenburg, where it appears more like a mountain stream than a river, it's fast flowing and has changeable water levels.

This cosy city has very much to offer so one week is not enough to see everything there is.

The centre of Valkenburg aan de Geul is especially renowned for its hospitable and touristic character, for its cosy restaurants, coffee houses and terraces.

There are also the many boutiques and welcoming shops, which are often located in interesting historic buildings.

The compact inhabited area of the town is cradled, as it were, by several areas of outstanding natural beauty that are unique to the Netherlands.

De Geul, river Geul

So it’s nice to do one of the many walking-or cycling routes there are of  this beautiful town.

But there is more!

 

Valkenburg aan de Geul is sometimes popularly called “Marl stone Town”, for Valkenburg soil is rich in lime, the soft yellow marl stone, which, since Roman times, has been quarried as building material.

As a result of marlstone quarrying now there is a network of underground corridors that, these days, is over 250 km long. In Valkenburg, or to be precise, under Valkenburg, you find a truly fascinating world.

These caves are home to a number of attractions and in it a variety of events is staged, such as the famous Christmas Markets in the Municipal-and Fluweelen Caves (velvet caves).

On foot the tour takes about an hour, by train about half an hour.

I took the train, because in the Fluweelen caves, there was no train, I liked it both, but I preferred the train, because it was very very cold in the caves.

 

The chairlift of Valkenburg offers a magnificent view of Valkenburg. It takes you to the toboggan run and the Wilhelmina tower. The Wilhelmina tower offers an even more superb view of the town centre and the Geuldal (Geul valley).

 

 

The Geul Valley is dotted with castles, churches, historic wind-and water mills and farms. There are only 6 real castles. Valkenburg’s origins are in Genhoes Castle. A little further downstream the fairytale-like Schaloen and Oost Castles are situated

 

Right in the middle of Valkenburg lies the only hilltop fortress the Netherlands landscape boasts.

The castle ruins constitute one of the many proofs of the rich and buzzing past of this town.

A tangible past that goes back as far as the Middle Ages.

It’s near the Fluweelen caves, there is a combination possible to a two tickets in one for these two attractions.

 

Also very interesting is the “Steenkolenmijn” ( coal mines).

There you see a unique film from 'De Staats Mijnen' (DSM). This film will gives you a good insight into all aspects of mining.

Fascinating After the film, a former miner guides you through the world of coal extraction. You experience the hard, but impressive world of the miners. It's as though you are travelling through time.

Each visit is different

Fourteen former miners, with a wealth of underground experience work in the coal mine as guides. Each guide tells his own story.

 

If you like to go back in history for a moment, you can, by making a steam railway trip.

Tulips in Valkenburg
The steam-train “De Miljoenenlijn” runs from the small station of Valkenburg,the oldest station in the Netherlands, to Simpelveld, Heerlen, Landgraaf, Kerkrade and even into Germany and back.

It's a nice way to enjoy the views of the sloping landscape from this nostalgic train.

Originally, it was a rail track for transporting coal. The name 'Miljoenenlijn' comes from the fact that the construction cost 1 million gulden (equivalent to 500000 €) per km of track.

It was sold in 1995 to the ZLSM (Zuid Limburg Stoom trein Maatschappij)

 

 

For kids there is an amusements park called “De Valkenier” and there is also a fairy-tale forest called “Sprookjesbos” with moving fairy tales figures.

Grotestraat (big street)

It’s not alone for kids, I liked it also very much, because I still believe in fairytales.

Fantasy helps you through reality, if you see the wonder of a fairy tale; you can take the future even if you fail.

So this was my story about Valkenburg, not a fairy tail, but a week in Valkenburg can be like  a Fairy tail, there is a lot to see and to do, but the fairy tail you have to make it yourself.

bkretzer says:
Cool blog, Aggie!
Posted on: May 10, 2009
aggieaggie says:
Ha ha, no no Vance, Valkenburg is really worth your visit, but I'm not finished yet!:P
Valkenburg is better than Amsterdam, so you have to change that:-)
Posted on: May 10, 2009
vances says:
Our itinerary is already full --> you need to stop enticing us with more fabulous choices, lol!

:^)
Posted on: May 10, 2009
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De Geul, river Geul
De Geul, river Geul
Tulips in Valkenburg
Tulips in Valkenburg
Grotestraat (big street)
Grotestraat (big street)
Hotel Botterweck
Hotel Botterweck
Limburg pies
Limburg pies
Ajax Feijenoord en PSV in one shop!
Ajax Feijenoord en PSV in one shop!
Toboggan run
Toboggan run
Train station Valkenburg, the olde…
Train station Valkenburg, the old…
Train station Valkenburg, the olde…
Train station Valkenburg, the old…
Fish
Fish
Dutch cows in the meadow
Dutch cows in the meadow
Frog fish in the Geul
Frog fish in the Geul
Oost castle
Oost castle
The story about Oost castle
The story about Oost castle
Oost castle
Oost castle
Somewhere in the woods
Somewhere in the woods
Schaelsberger bos
Schaelsberger bos
Pied Piper of Hamelin
Pied Piper of Hamelin
Fairy-tale forest
Fairy-tale forest
Fairy-tale forest
Fairy-tale forest
Fairy-tale forest
Fairy-tale forest
Upstaires to the castle ruines
Upstaires to the castle ruines
The castle ruines
The castle ruines
The castle ruines
The castle ruines
A prisoner
A prisoner
The castle ruines
The castle ruines
The castle ruines
The castle ruines
The castle ruines
The castle ruines
A view over Valkenburg from the ca…
A view over Valkenburg from the c…
A view over Valkenburg from the ca…
A view over Valkenburg from the c…
The castle ruines
The castle ruines
Towncave
Towncave
The train in the Towncave
The train in the Towncave
Bombshelter
Bombshelter
Champain
Champain
4 swinging boys
4 swinging boys
Tortoise
Tortoise
The train in the Towncave
The train in the Towncave
Fluweelengrot, velvet caves
Fluweelengrot, velvet caves
Saws
Saws
The Caste of Valkenburg
The Caste of Valkenburg
The Caste of Valkenburg
The Caste of Valkenburg
Megalosaurus
Megalosaurus
The heads gallery
The heads gallery
The Royal Family
The Royal Family
Sinterklaas:-)
Sinterklaas:-)
Velvet caves
Velvet caves
Bike
Bike
Tools
Tools
A former miner, the guide
A former miner, the guide
Velvet caves
Velvet caves
Procession for dead memorial
Procession for dead memorial
Wreath-laying memorial for dead
Wreath-laying memorial for dead
Valkenburg
photo by: benwielenga