Written by Marie and Chris from worldonabudget.com

Marie and Chris travel around the world with a lot of heart and make the most of their free time and their money without sacrificing anything in the process. From adventurous trips through Latin America to unknown places in the Balkans and popular vacation destinations in Germany, everything is included.

Today I would like to tell you about one of my favorite hikes, which not only reminds me of my childhood, but brings me right back there. You can look forward to a varied tour with great sights, exciting history and lots of nature.

Aachen

The city, which has a population of just under 250,000, is located in the border region with the Netherlands and Belgium on the northern edge of the Eifel. The city's landmark is Aachen Cathedral.

Herzogenrath

The city of 46,000 inhabitants is located in the transitional area between the Eifel and the Lower Rhine lowlands. One of the sights of the former mining town is the Rode Castle in the center of town.

Starting at the foot of the cathedral in Aachen, past the Lousberg, through the Wurm Valley with a stop at Wilhelmstein Castle for refreshments, to the end point of the hike, Rode Castle in Herzogenrath.

The complete route I only hiked this route in adulthood, since you should be in good shape for the approximately 16-kilometer route. However, the individual places all played a big role in my childhood and so I have one or the other insider tip for you.

By the way it is is a section of the European Long Distance Trail E8, which is marked with a black (or sometimes white) cross from Aachen to Herzogenrath.

The big E with the cross shows the way © Worldonabudget

Find your perfect starting point

For simplicity I have chosen the most famous sight of the city, the Aachen Cathedral, as the start of the hike. Of course, you can also simply choose your own starting point and take other highlights in Aachen.

My insider tip for the visit to Aachen Cathedral: On a field trip when I was in elementary school, I first learned about the Devil's Thumb, which is stuck in one of the entrance doors and can be felt. This eerie story has always fascinated me, and the thumb is not the only remnant of the devil in Aachen.

Let's start at the Aachen Cathedral © Worldonabudget

Let's go with the hiking fun

When you see the dome After you have admired the city's history at length, the hike can begin: Via the stations Katschhof, Rathaus and Marktplatz you reach Pontstraße, which you follow to Ponttor. Once you reach Ponttor, turn right and walk between Salvatorberg and Lousberg in the direction of Aachener Soers.

Insider Tip 1: According to legend, the Lousberg was heaped up by the devil with a sack full of sand after he was tricked by a peasant woman from Aachen. A bronze statue with the clever woman and the Prince of Hell is located between Lousberg and Salvatorberg.

Insider Tip 2 & 3: With a little time you should treat yourself to a view from the Lousberg over Aachen and the surrounding countryside or simply relax in one of the hammocks you will find north of the Lousberg.

Outwitted devil, shrewd peasant woman - bronze statues between Lous- and Salvatorberg © Worldonabudget

Off into nature

Do you have the Aachener Hausberge the hike takes you through the Aachen Soers and past the grounds of the famous CHIO horse show. Through a tunnel you pass under the A4 freeway and in no time you are already in the Wurmtal nature reserve.

Giving name to the valley is the Wurm, which is a tributary of the Rur. The Wurm will accompany you for a large part of the hike and you will follow its course for quite a bit. Be prepared for steep and tree-covered slopes that enclose the Wurm valley. Bird lovers will get their money's worth here, because the Wurm Valley is home to some rare species.

Insider Tip: Wurmtal brings back childhood memories for me. We often went for walks in the woods, played with friends, or took trips to Wilhelmstein Castle. There is an open-air stage with regular events, a miniature golf course and a restaurant.

It goes to my home

I grew up in the tranquil town of Herzogenrath, which lies directly on the border and has now grown together with the Dutch town of Kerkrade. Herzogenrath is also home to Rode Castle, the end point of my favorite hike.

Insider Tip: The beautifully restored Rode Castle is a feast for the eyes in itself. But a visit is even better in June, when the annual castle festival takes place and the castle and the surrounding city center are transformed into a festival mile.

Destination of the hike - the old hilltop castle Rode © Worldonabudget

The environmentally friendly return journey

From Rode Castle you need about 10 minutes to get to the Herzogenrath train station, from where trains leave every quarter of an hour to Aachen. But you can also get to Düsseldorf and Mönchengladbach by train without any problems.

I hope, you have now got the desire to walk in the footsteps of my childhood and to follow this exciting route full of highlights yourself.

Cover photo: A total of 30 kings were crowned in Aachen Cathedral between 936 and 1531 © engel.ac - stock.adobe.com

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