Euroroute R1 cycle path
Cycle right across Europe
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hermann monument, flamingos and attractive cities like Münster – the Euroroute R1 cycle path connects many of Westphalia’s top attractions.
The 3,500 kilometre-long Euroroute R1 cycle path leads through the north of the continent, starting in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. It then winds its way through nine different countries before finishing in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The route actually has its origins in North Rhine-Westphalia. The 275 kilometre section between Vreden and Höxter, which is still in use, was formerly known as the “Westfalen-Radweg” before it was incorporated into the wider European route. Today, the German Cyclists’ Association (ADFC) describes it as a quality route and has awarded it three stars, which it fully merits.
The landscape of the comparatively short section in North Rhine-Westphalia alone is extremely diverse. The terrain just over the Dutch border in Münsterland is flat moorland and heathland, whereas it is hillier in the Weser Uplands region. Along the way tired cyclists will find a wide range of Bed & Bike establishments to stay as well as a number of tourist attractions.
These include the former abbey now known as Schloss Corvey in Höxter, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. Cyclists can visit Schloss Corvey and the cemetery of the former abbey church, where the poet and author of the German national anthem, August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben is buried.
The cycle path passes Münster, the Hermann monument and flamingos
Other highlights along the way include picturesque towns and cities like Münster, Warendorf and Höxter, which offer plenty of opportunities for eating, shopping and sight-seeing. However, the Euroroute R1 cycle path also offers a lot to see for those who prefer to stay in the saddle. The route passes Zwillbrocker Venn, one of North Rhine-Westphalia’s largest nature reserves, which is famous for its flamingos. In the Teutoburg Forest, the imposing Hermann monument can be seen from far and wide. It commemorates the Cherusci war chief Arminius, under whose leadership Germanic troops defeated the Roman Army in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD.
Much of the North Rhine-Westphalia section of the Euroroute is also suitable for less-seasoned cyclists as there are very few ascents and the roads are extremely quiet.