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Surrounded by France, Germany and Belgium, Luxembourg may be smaller than most of its European counterparts, and even most U.S. states, but this country stands tall in terms of how easy it is to explore. The best way to do is on two wheels. By bike, it’s possible to explore much of Luxembourg in a single day or see the entire country in a single weekend.

RELATED: 7 reasons we’ve got big love for this tiny European country

To start, Luxembourg has a National Cycle Route Network (Pistes Cyclables, or PC’s) made of 23 numbered tracks stretching across different regions of the country. These well-marked routes trek through villages or the countryside, along former rail lines, past excellent attractions and even close to geographical borders. Another neat thing about biking in Luxembourg is that it’s possible to cycle via rail. The Luxembourg National Railway features various tracks in which it’s possible to cycle from rail station to rail station at your own pace.

Here are some major routes—first with the National Cycle Path Network and then with the railways—that will have you pedaling past various picturesque parts of the country.

The Grund is a well preserved historic district within Luxembourg City. | Photo: © Jonathan Godin / LFT

PC 1: Grund in Luxembourg City

Start your adventure well rested by spending a night at Hotel Le Place d’Armes, a five-star Art Deco property in the old city center that beautifully melds its historic features with modern comforts (prices start at $260/night). Then gear up for PC1: This National Cycle path takes cyclists around Grund, a section in the central part of Luxembourg City, where you pedal through the narrow streets of the upper and lower sections of the Old City. The upper level of The Old City contains what’s known as the “Bock,” a set of fortifications first built in the 10thcentury and then extended and remodified overtime by the French, Spanish Habsburgs and Austrians until its decommissioning following the 1867 Treaty of London. The route also has views of the banks of the Alzette River on one side and the up-and-coming Kirchberg district, featuring the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art, on the other.

Echternach is the oldest town in Luxembourg. | Photo: © Jonathan Godin / LFT

PC 2: Kirchberg–Echternach

If you’re still getting your bearings around Luxembourg City, this route from the district of Kirchberg to the eastern abbey town of Echternach, the oldest in Luxembourg, will get you up to speed. It’s also a nice path for architecture lovers as it pedals along a bridge called the Pont Rouge, that takes visitors to places similar to PC1 along the Alzette River Valley and Kirchberg. The scenery changes as you head to Little Switzerland, the nickname for a hilly region known as the Mullerthal. Along with Echternach, the Mutherthal Trail features rock formations and three hiking routes, plus the Schiessentumpel, a small yet graceful waterfall.

The beautiful castle of Useldange in the north of Luxembourg. | Photo: © SABINO PARENTE PHOTOGRAPHER / LFT

PC 12: Pétange–Colmar-Berg

Imagine riding a route straddling two countries. This route makes it possible, as it treks along an ex-rail branch line linking Pétange, a southwestern town positioned between Luxembourg and Belgium, and Ettelbruck, a town in Central Luxembourg. It follows along the lush Alzette Valley to Colmar-Berg, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg’s principle residence. As for towns, Biekerech, in the country’s western part, has a nice lunch stop at Restaurant an der Millen. In Useldange, walk through a 12th-century castle that was purchased in 1924 by a woman who was an Useldange native and added her own personal touches; the castle is being restored.

ALSO: Cycle your way to travel perks and rewards with Orbitz Rewards—it’s free!

Clervaux is noted for Clervaux Castle, which now hosts an annual music festival. | Photo: © Walter Bircher / ADAC / ET / LFT

STATION TO STATION ROUTES

Troisvierges to Clervaux

Both of these stations in northern Luxembourg are based along Line 10, a rail line connecting to/from Luxembourg City and delving into Luxembourg’s Ardennes region, noteworthy for its century-old villages. Start in Troisvierges, head through the Luckeschbaach valley, onto the roads of the small town of Marnach, then onward to Munshausen, known to hikers for the Ardennes–Eifel Trail. Next is Clervaux, a town noted for the Clervaux Castle, which dates back to the 12thcentury. The castle now is the location for “The Family of Man,” a world-touring photo exhibition created by Edward Steichen, a Luxembourgish photographer and curator at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art.

Wiltz Castle is the site of an annual summer music festival. | Photo: © Hervé Montaigu / SI Wiltz / LFT

Wiltz railway station

In Northwestern Luxembourg, the town of Wiltz has major significance in World War II as a battleground in the Battle of the Bulge. A key highlight on this route is the Wiltz Castle, a 16th-century structure that nowadays is the location for an annual summer music festival, and, within its stables, the National Museum of Brewing. This route intersects with National Cycling Path PC 20, which starts in the northern village of Kautenbach and ends in the Belgian village of Benonchamps. The Wiltz railway station route takes cyclists along a former railway track that is also close to crossing over into Belgium and its town of Bastogne. Note: Riders have to pedal back to Wiltz, via following the track, to catch a return train.

Tagged: Europe

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Michele Herrmann

Michele Herrmann

Michele writes about women's travel, destinations, culinary, and cultural topics for various outlets and has ventured as far as Fiji, to date. She also muses her tales on She Is Going Places.

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