Enjoy the good life in the Land van Cuijk

By: Naline Outdoor fanatic | Read time: 5 minutes
  • De Maasheggen in het Land van Cuijk

La Dolce Vita. Living like a God in France. We all have our own idea of what the good life means, such as enjoying good company, tasty food and drink, and plenty of space in beautiful surroundings. The good life in North Brabant proves like no other that we don’t have to travel far to experience it. A hidden gem awaits you in the northeasternmost point of the province. It was time for me to experience for myself what the locals have long called Een Goei Leven (A Good life), in Land van Cuijk.

Day 1: Numbered junction route

UNESCO Biosphere of Maasheggen

Two big letters on the drawbridge clearly let me know that I have arrived at The Barendonk Estate in Beers, my starting point for two days in Land van Cuijk. After checking in to my comfortable hiker’s cabin, Tessa welcomed me with a guided tour of the grounds. Armed with a few last-minute tips, I got on my bike and followed the numbered junction route from Boxmeer via Overloon back to Beers, a route that takes me straight through the Maasheggen. In 2018, this area was awarded the UNESCO Man and Biosphere status on account of the exceptional interrelationship between man and nature in the oldest cultivated landscape in the Netherlands.

A cycle trip filled with surprises

A cycle trip filled with surprises

Boats and ferries sail up and down the River Maas and I pass shoulder-high corn fields where a church tower juts out here and there. Before I knew it, I had cycled to the so-called Forbidden Area (Verboden Gebied) near Vierlingsbeek. This is a reference to the Second World War when all inhabitants of the area were evacuated during the Battle of Overloon. At various places, commemorative points and information signs refer to the turbulent history in this part of the Land van Cuijk. 

Rural enjoyment

My route from Overloon took me slowly back towards Beers. I passed the vast Molenheide heathland at Mill and the varied countryside of the Verborgen Raamvallei nature reserve. You can buy delicious regional produce from various farmers along the route. It’s a great way to get acquainted with the farming life in Land van Cuijk. So that evening I enjoyed a wedge of farmhouse cheese and a glass of local wine from the Daalgaard vineyard in my hiker’s cabin.


"A cycle path goes straight through the Overloon War Museum. You get a unique view of the hall full of military vehicles from the cycle bridge. It is worth your while to get off your bike for a visit."

Day 2: Via Valentiana

The next morning, while enjoying a big mug of Maasheggen tea, I check out my route for day 2. Today, I will be following the Via Valentiana from Cuijk to my final destination in Boxmeer. In Roman times, the River Maas was an important transport artery going from Maastricht to Nijmegen. The route between Cuijk and Boxmeer has been reconstructed, and you can follow the banners along the Via Valentiana cycle path. So not only do you get to find out all about Roman times, but you also cycle through a lovely part of the Maasheggen. Museum Ceuclem is a good place to start to find out about the history of Cuijk and surrounding area.

Brabant Monastic Life

Brabant Monastic Life

The oldest still-inhabited monastery in the Netherlands is less than four kilometres further along in Sint Agatha. You can freely access the beautiful monastery gardens and you can also take a look inside the monastery chapel during opening hours. An interesting fact: the monastery also houses various art studios and a genuine monastery brewery. Nowadays, five local brewers brew beer in the former stables, including the Tripel 1371 monastery beer.

A good life

The last few kilometres of my trip are in my sights. On the patio of Het Veerhuis in Oeffelt, I enjoy views of River Maas with an artisanal drink made by De Aanmakeri. Here, owner Maarten makes pans full of cordial from natural ingredients such as elderberry and hawthorn taken from the ‘picking garden’ in the Maasheggen. And that could be exactly where to find that ‘Good Life’, in encounters with locals, enjoying regional produce and of course the beautiful countryside that surrounds you wherever you are in Land van Cuijk.

Scroll back to top