The cycling and horse country of North Rhine-Westphalia
Mostly flat cycle paths take in castles and parkland. Horse lovers will be in their element in Warendorf and Dülmen.
More than anything else, Münsterland is particularly well known for its parkland and horse country, which are best discovered by holidaymakers from a bicycle saddle. The region around Münster is especially popular with cyclists: a network of paths covering hundreds of kilometres criss-crosses expansive and flat landscapes, adorned here and there by palaces and castles surrounded by lavish parks and gardens.
Known as the “Queen of all Cycle Routes in Germany”, the 100-Schlösser-Route (100 Castles Route) combines beautiful historic buildings with idyllic countryside. One particular natural highlight in Münsterland is Zwillbrocker Venn, a nature reserve which plays host to wild flamingos, and which is best reached via the Flamingo Route cycling path. Another reason why Münsterland is known and loved as a cycling destination is the integrated cycle zone network. This makes it easy for leisure cyclists to sample the Flamingo Route, for example, which covers over 450 kilometres altogether, in easy-to-manage day trips or short sections.
Münsterland horse country
Münsterland also has plenty to offer lovers of equestrian pursuits. Above all else, the region owes its reputation as beautiful horse country to the North Rhine-Westphalian state stud farm, which is located in Warendorf. Studs across the region use the Warendorf breeding stallions to produce highly successful modern competition horses for international equestrian events. Popular draws for tourists include the Warendorf stallion parade and the Symphony of Stallions, an event where the Warendorf stallions show off their beauty and skills to a musical soundtrack.
Other four-legged favourites of visitors to horse country are at home in nature rather than the sporting arena: the almost 400 wild horses which mostly fend for themselves in the Hohe Mark Westmünsterland Nature Park. A particularly exciting visitor attraction is also the annual wild horse round-up, during which the herd is driven from its sanctuary in Merfelder Bruch near Dülmen so that the year-old stallions can be caught.
Historic old towns
Amidst the parkland and between the untamed forests and moors of Münsterland, visitors will also come across historic towns and villages, exuding their own special charm. The largest city in the region is Münster. Steeped with history, it has twice as many bicycles as people, which is certainly part of the reason why Münster was named “the most liveable city in the world” in 2004. Its many green spaces and the Aasee recreation lake, the old town with its cathedral and tourist draws like the principal marketplace and the castle make the university city as picturesque as it is liveable. Famous beyond the borders of Münsterland is the Pablo Picasso Art Museum, the first and only Picasso museum in Germany. It houses almost the entire lithographic oeuvre of the important artist.
Also have a look to our family trips.
Arriving at Münster Osnabrück International Airport