About the villages
Stevensweert is an old fortified town on an island between two Meuse arms. The fortress was founded by the Spaniards during the Eighty Years War in 1633. The street plan is reminiscent of the times of the fortification, with the streets running to the centre like spokes in a wheel. In order to allow the inhabitants and visitors of Stevensweert to experience what the fortifications used to look like, part of the earth ramparts were reconstructed, with a wide moat in between. At the edge of the small village lies the ‘Hompesche Molen’ and the ‘Molenplas’, which are managed by ‘Natuurmonumenten’.
The white town of Thorn in the municipality of Maasgouw has been a tourist attraction in the region for many years thanks to its rich history, which goes back to the late 10th century. Over time, a miniature principality developed under the watchful eye of an abbess and 20 noble nuns. The state had its own jurisdiction and struck its own currency. This came to an end in 1794 with the arrival of the French. Today, the town is best known for its white facades and pancakes.
The region is a beautiful area where you can re-experience its history and where it is wonderful to hike and live! The Meuse lakes are a joy for sailing and motorboats, for surfers and swimmers, with various day beaches and marinas. From Stevensweert, it is possible to enjoy the beautiful wetlands on day cruises.
What is there to do?
The area around Stevensweert and Thorn is ideal for exploring on foot. You will find yourself in a rural environment for the most part, you can stroll along the Meuse and get a sense of history in the villages of Stevensweert and Thorn. With the ferry in Ophoven/Ohé and Laak, you get to the other side of the river Meuse in no time at all. While you’re there, explore the Flemish hiking region of ‘Kessenich’. For those who like some help to get started, a few tips:
- Stroll along the ‘Molenplas’. En route: Tree monument, stepping stones, nature perfect for strolling and large grazers.
- Hiking in ‘Koningssteen-Kollegreend’ nature reserve (hiking area ‘Kessenich’). En route: large grazers, the far end of Belgium, sea of flowers (summer months), border posts.
- Set off with a Meuse Explorer in tow.
Thanks to the extensive cycling route network in Belgium and the Netherlands, you can create your own cycling route using junctions that are indicated in both directions. This way, you can decide which direction you want to go and how long your ride will be. Why not, during your bike ride, take a ferry to the other side of the river Meuse? That way, cross-border cycling in the RivierPark Maasvallei becomes hassle-free. Join the cycling route network via junction 1 at the ‘Hompesche Molen’ or junction 53 in Thorn. You can park at the car park in Steegputstraat (P1, paying). You can map out your cycling route using the cross-border map RivierPark Maasvallei.
- Village of Stevensweert + ramparts
- Centre of Thorn
- ‘Molenplas’ + tree monument
- ‘Hompesche Molen’
- ‘Koningssteen-Kollegreend’ nature reserve
For more information and tips, please visit Visit Zuid - Limburg.