Three days sampling Brabant by bicycle

By: Tamara Adventurous | Read time: 13 minutes

Curious as to how you can cycle from France to the Sahara without ever leaving Brabant? And where to go for Brabant wine or authentic Trappist beer? Find inspiration on this three-day cycling route along the cycle network leading from Breda. Highlights along the way include the fortress town of Heusden, the Loon and Drunen Dunes National Park and the Brabantse Kempen. And, just as it should be in Brabant, there is every opportunity to stop off along the way to sample something tasty and home grown.

Get your cycling holiday off to a good start

Want to make the most of the first day of your Brabant cycling holiday? Come the night before and stay in Breda so that you can hop on your bicycle nice and early the next day.

Stay overnight in Breda

Day 1. Breda – Heusden

Breda’s stunning city centre, surrounded by forests and nature reserves, is the ideal place to start this three-day cycling trip. When you arrive in the city, it is well worth taking the time to stroll through the mediaeval streets and see the sights, including the Valkenberg urban park, Breda Castle, the idyllic Begijnhof and the Grote Kerk. The city also boasts plenty of places to stop off for a good coffee and a bite to eat. A great start to the holiday!

Stelletje in Valkenberg Park Breda Kasteel Breda Buitenkant Grote Kerk Breda

The Holy Triangle in the Baronie Breda

  • Sint Catharinadal Wijnhuis de Blauwe Camer

Breda is surrounded by the Baronie, a large green area that is perfect for cycling. The interchanges take you to Saint Catharinadal. This oldest (and still inhabited) female convent in the Netherlands is located in the Holy Triangle, a succession of three convent complexes in Oosterhout. As you approach the estate, you could be forgiven for thinking that you are in France, as Sint Catharinadal boasts the largest vineyard in Brabant (save some space in your pannier for a good Chardonnay!).

Interchanges: 80 - 20 - 78 - 91 - 02 - 04 - 03 (15 km)


"On Wednesday afternoons, you can take a tour of the estate, which includes a mini wine tasting. Alternatively, book a table at Wijnhuis de Blauwe Camer, where you can enjoy a special lunch of fresh ingredients from the convent garden, plus its own wine, and views over the vineyard."

Loon and Drunen Dunes National Park

From Oosterhout, cycle via the interchanges to the Loon and Drunen Dunes National Park, one of Western Europe’s largest shifting sand areas! It’s a good spot to alight and take a nice walk. Along the route you’ll find Restaurant Roestelberg, a good spot for a break and the starting point for a number of varied walking routes. A good tip is to climb to the top of the adjacent sand hill from where you can enjoy great views over the dunes!

Interchanges: 30 - 06 - 08 - 09 - 38 - 13 - 12 - 37 - 32 - 22 (23 km)

Stel op een bankje genieten in de Loonse- en Drunense Duinen Meertje in de Loonse-en Drunense Duinen

Heusden fortress town

  • Een afbeelding van Heusden in de lucht
  • Vestingstad Heusden met haven en molen

From here, it’s another hour of leisurely cycling to today’s final destination, the historic fortress town of Heusden. You should arrive here towards the end of the afternoon, giving you enough time to discover the true beauty of one of the Netherlands’ fortress towns.

From the ramparts, walk through one of the gates of the old city wall and into the fortress. Wander through the picturesque streets and sample the unique boutiques and characteristic Brabant eateries. After all that cycling, why not treat yourself to an ice cream from somewhere like ’t IJshuys? For a delicious dinner, we recommend Ons Gheluk in the heart of Heusden.

Interchanges: 33 - 81 - 21 - 15 - 14 - 70 - 87 - 86 - 85 - 83 (18 km)

Day 2. Heusden – Oisterwijk

  • Stel wandelt in Den Bosch of 's-Hertogenbosch met St. Jans Kathedraal op de achtergrond
  • Varen over de Binnendieze in 's-Hertogenbosch
  • Buitenkant Sint-Janskathedraal 's-Hertogenbosch

The first stage of today’s ride takes you along part of the River Meuse, cycling through a typical Dutch landscape along dyke roads, between meadows and past ferries. It’s just a half hour of cycling before you reach the principal city in Brabant, ’s-Hertogenbosch, another fortress town!

Interchanges: 01 - 82 - 41 - 45 - 46 - 48 - 49 - 50 - 51 - 53 (17 km)

A taste of ’s-Hertogenbosch
On this three-day cycling holiday, ’s-Hertogenbosch is only one stop amongst many, but we highly recommend paying another visit for a longer opportunity to explore. For now, make do with a comfortable terrace and enjoy the local speciality ‘Bossche Bol’, a pastry filled with cream and covered in chocolate! Make sure to a get a glimpse inside ‘Sint-Jan’, the largest cathedral in the Netherlands, and soak up the atmosphere of the picturesque district of Uilenburg.

Interchanges: 59 - 55 - 21 - 22 - 24 - 63 - 60 - 61 - 12 - 14 - 10 - 15 - 26 - 78 (13.5 km)

In the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh

In Brabant, city and nature are never far away. Cycle from the centre of ’s-Hertogenbosch via the Bossche Broek and the Vughtse Heide in the direction of Helvoirt. Wherever you are in Brabant, you’ll encounter heritage that recalls painter Vincent van Gogh. It was here that the master painter was born, grew up and created many of his works. A fun fact: his original work can be admired at Het Noordbrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch. In Helvoirt, he enjoyed spending time with his wider family. Places you’ll come across include the vicarage where the family lived and the small church at which Vincent’s father was preacher. Zwijnsbergen Castle has also been an official Van Gogh monument since 2023.

Fancy some lunch? Restaurant LOTS in Helvoirt offers tasty dishes on its (covered) terrace, with seasonal regional produce. Alternatively, continue cycling and sample Natuurpoort De Drie Vennen in the Oisterwijkse Bossen en Vennen nature reserve.

If you’d like to know more about Van Gogh’s homeland, you can follow in his footsteps on the Vincent Van Gogh cycle route.

Het Noordbrabants Museum buitenkant Een wandelaar bij een routepaal met daarop een Van Gogh routebordje.

Green and chic Oisterwijk

  • Stel geniet aan de waterkant bij de Oisterwijkse Bossen en Vennen
  • Terras van Boshuis Venkraai in de Oisterwijkse Bossen en Vennen.

Forests as far as you can see, hidden heaths and more than 80 fens – the Oisterwijkse Bossen en Vennen nature reserve offers plenty to see. Whatever the season, the area is always a beautiful place to cycle, with numerous attractive spots to stop off for a break, including forest cafés, plus the ‘natuurpoorten’, starting points for excursions into the reserve.


"Want to stay overnight in Oisterwijk? Then why not try Hotel Leijhof?"

  • Leerfabriek Oisterwijk
  • Bij Robert Oisterwijk
  • EKWC Oisterwijk

From the forest, cycle straight into Oisterwijk, with its chic centre packed with fine restaurants and cosy boutiques. The highlight is De Lind, the largest terrace area in the Netherlands, and a nice spot for dinner. Continue cycling on a little and you will find yourself at the KVL site on the other side of the railway. This was once Europe’s largest leather factory but has now been transformed into a place for fun and relaxation. Admire art at the European Ceramic Works Centre (EKWC), pick up something tasty from master boulanger and master patissier ‘Bij Robèrt’ or enjoy a nice cup of coffee at Koffiemiep. If you’d like to stay overnight, and do it in style, head to the NEO KVL Hotel.

Interchanges: 22 - 85 - 79 - 84 - 18 - 14 - 02 - 16 (7 km)

Day 3. Oisterwijk – Tilburg

Ready for one final beautiful day on your bicycle? This morning, the interchanges lead you through Brabant’s Kempen region, a true paradise for cyclists! From Oisterwijk, cycle via Middelbeers to Hilvarenbeek, which locals say has the most beautiful square in the country. Time to decide for yourself! Het Vrijthof has a lengthy history, but is now the ultimate place to enjoy a delicious lunch. If you need to take a break a little sooner, there are plenty of fine restaurants along the route, including Brabant Cycle Cafés, which offer an especially warm welcome to cyclists.

Interchanges: 15 - 16 - 17 - 19 - 25 - 86 - 90 - 09 - 08 - 23 - 03 - 80 - 81 - 25 - 26 - 68 - 49 - 48 - 01 - 42 (38 km)

Trappist beer

The final stage takes you towards Tilburg. Think you can hear monkeys? You’re not mistaken! The route takes you straight by the Beekse Bergen safari park. Shortly before entering the city, take a moment to see Koningshoeven Abbey in Berkel-Enschot. You started your journey with wine from the nuns in Oosterhout, and today, it ends with authentic Trappist beer in the abbey’s convent garden. Guided tours are available at fixed times, plus there is a monastery shop that sells beer and other treats for you to take home.

Proeflokaal Abdij de Koningshoeven in Berkel-Enschot Abdij de Koningshoeven La Trappe borrelplank Proosten met La Trappe bij Abdij Koningshoeven
  • Wandelen langs Piushaven Tilburg
  • Shoppen in het Dwaalgebied in Tilburg

From the abbey, cycle via picturesque Piushaven and the streets of the Dwaal region to Tilburg’s Central Station in just fifteen minutes. Which is precisely the time it takes to return to your starting point, Breda, by train. If you don’t plan to bring your own bicycle along, you can hire both regular and electric bicycles for this route in Breda, including the 2Ride. You can take your bicycle onto the train outside peak times and with a special ticket.

Interchanges: 41 - 09 - 06 - 82 (11 km)

Fancy another night in Tilburg?

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