Valkenburg: International experience in your backyard
By Denise Van De Kraak, Efficient Hotel Partner, 23 August 2017
International travel bloggers write a great deal about the Netherlands. And what really stands out is that as many of those bloggers named Valkenburg as ‘’hidden secret’’ in our small country. Funny, because that is not exactly the association I have with Valkenburg. I think many Dutch people know the beautiful town by now. But for those who have never been to Valkenburg, look what you’re missing.
In this ancient city there is much to experience: from ultimate relaxation to cave adventures. Valkenburg is called a town, but it is not really very large. Not even by Dutch standards. I actually enjoy it. You can do everything by foot, without getting too tired. In the cosy centre you can enjoy walking through the traffic free streets enlivened by the many terraces. When you look up, above the awnings, the traces of past centuries are still clearly reflected in the graceful buildings. Under the medieval city gate you can imagine how the damsels used to walk around in years past, peeking at brave ‘knights in shining Armor’. The town looks like the movie set of a fairy tale movie.
On top of the hill, in the middle of Valkenburg, are ancient castle ruins. The dilapidated building is perhaps so nice because it’s a ruin. Here you can get lost between the remnants of bygone times. On top of the castle you look out over Valkenburg . Here, the old fortified city was once protected from intruders. At the foot of the ruins is a large terrace. Settle down here to enjoy the sunshine and a sandwich with a fantastic view.
The view from the castle ruins is beautiful. But when you take the cable car to the Wilhelmina tower, you discover a much better view. In the distance, is a hilly landscape where you can see the Cauberg. Under the cable car is a toboggan run where children and adults slipping from. Besides swinging from the toboggan, you can climb the 35-meter high tower.
Just outside the city you will find the Roman Catacombs. It is surprising that there are such ancient catacombs in Valkenburg. The guide reveals quickly that these tombs are perfect replicas. In the early twentieth century, the owner of the marl caves decided to recreate the ancient tombs of Rome. Each catacomb, in every detail, a perfect imitation of the reality. He even gained access to graves that are closed to the public. The fun is in Valkenburg you will have access to places you may never see in Rome. Much better known is the Gemeentegrot. The Gemeentegrot is a cave that was created by human hands. The marl was mined to build buildings. The cave has about 70 km of winding paths and you don’t get lost here. It’s pitch dark in the cave. Along the way you see beautiful art.
The greatest strength of Valkenburg is perhaps the central location in the hills of South Limburg. The compact fortress is embraced by some of the unique natural areas and signed by the ‘’Geul’: the fastest flowing river in the Netherlands swinging along Valkenburg. It creates a unique piece of nature with rare plants and flowers.
Now, don’t you want to visit Valkenburg? Maybe I can help you find a great location to stay during your trip! Go to Efficient Hotel Partner for more information.