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De Aix-la-Chapelle/Aachen (D) à Herve (stage 1)

On the Line 38 RAVeL

Length (in km)
31 km

Starting from the ‘Trois Frontières’ or ‘Three Borders’ panoramic tower, a symbolic spot set on the edge of the village of Gemmenich in Belgium and the towns of Vaals in the Netherlands and Aix-la-Chapelle/Aachen in Germany, you will cross the Pays de Herve region from east to west along Line 38. This old railway line, one of the first of its kind, is a symbol of the RAVeL and its friendliness. It took years of effort by local people before the public authorities finally began to set up the line. The work is still carrying on and will continue in the years to come.

Line 38 leads you through meadows and orchards in quest of local products. Herve cheese, Liège syrup, Liège-style meatballs, cider and abbey beers as well as the products of local breweries can be savoured in old farmhouses converted into guest rooms, gourmet restaurants or the old Herve railway station, which now houses the Tourist Office with a brasserie area, where local products are on sale. Don’t hesitate to stop off at the Grain d’Orge brewery in Hombourg, Val-Dieu Abbey near Aubel or Clermont-sur-Berwinne, one of the most beautiful villages of Wallonia. Finally, it is worth mentioning that, in May 1940, the German troops entered Belgium through this region. The marks of this invasion are still clear to see in the Laschet tunnel in Hombourg, the Henri-Chapelle American cemetery and the Fort of Battice.


The route:
In the place called Trois Frontières, you head towards the Route des Trois Bornes in the direction of Gemmenich and follow No 91 of the nodal-points network in the Belgian Province of Limburg and then No 1 of the VeloTour nodal-points network of the East Belgium Tourism Agency. This connecting route of about ten kilometres on roads is slightly hilly. When you arrive at crossroads No 1 in Sippenaeken, take rue Terhaegen and then rue de Sippenaeken as far as Hombourg, following the signs to Herve and the EV3 logo. 
The Line 38 RAVeL, which starts as you enter the village of Hombourg, leads you safely to Herve along its own path through the villages of Aubel, Froidthier, Thimister and Battice.

Asphalt on the road, then ash on the Line 38 RAVeL between Hombourg and Aubel (several muddy parts in wet weather). Asphalt on Line 38 between Aubel and Herve.

Height difference: 
Between Trois Frontières and the start of the Line 38 RAVeL in Hombourg, three short stretches have inclines of 5 to 8%. On the RAVeL, imperceptible incline but slight, virtually steady climb as far as Herve.
Between Trois Bornes and Sippenaeken, follow No 91 on the nodal-points network of the Belgian Province of Limburg and then No 1 on the VeloTour nodal-points network. Between Sippenaeken and Herve, follow the directional signs usually found on the RAVeL.

Safety, precautions: 
Beware of motor traffic between Trois Frontières and the start of the Line 38 RAVeL in Hombourg. On the Line 38 RAVeL, take care when crossing roads.

Stage shared with the W2 international route.

Useful info

Tour Panoramique des Trois Frontières, Route des Trois Bornes 99, 4851 Gemmenich (Plombières).

Coordinates Lambert 72 : X : 266600 m - Y : 161635 m

GPS coordinates: Latitude: 50°45'12.72 "N - Longitude: 6°1'16.53 "E

Access by train: Aix-la-Chapelle/Aachen Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) (D) is just over six kilometres from the start of the route in Trois Frontières.
Parking: large car park in Trois Frontières.
Rest areas: 
Trois Frontières, Herve.


  • RAVeL map of the Province of Liège published by the SPW. This map, called ‘More RAVeL, more pleasure’, can be ordered free of charge by clicking here.
  • Line 38 RAVeL leaflet published by the Pays de Herve Tourist Office.

Around the route by bike:

Alternatively, you can start the stage in the city of Aix-la-Chapelle/Aachen (D), which is about six kilometres from the start of the route in Trois Frontières.


Stage map