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Roman forts, ancient cities and the River Rhine - the Roman Limes Route takes you along the Dutch section of the northern Roman border.
Reconstruction of a Roman watch-tower at Fort Vechten near Utrecht. Photo © Holland-Cycling.comReconstruction of a Roman watch-tower at Fort Vechten near Utrecht. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com

From Katwijk on the North Sea coast to the German border at Millingen, you follow the Dutch section of the Limes - the northern border of the Roman Empire - which ran along the old River Rhine. In 2nd century AD - when the empire was at its greatest - the Limes ran from the North Sea at Katwijk along the rivers Rhine and Danube all the way to the Black Sea. Since Roman times the course of the Rhine downstream from Wijk bij Duurstede has changed, so the route follows the old course of the river and what is now called the 'Old Rhine' (Oude Rijn).

In Holland around twenty forts were built along the Rhine. In between these forts a series of watch-towers (castella) was constructed, interconnected by roads. Along the route you’ll see little direct evidence of the of these Roman structures as most archaeological remains have been preserved underground. However, great effort has been made to make this Roman history visible by means of modern reconstructions and information boards (in Dutch). The route takes you through the historic towns of Leiden, Woerden, Utrecht, Arnhem and Nijmegen which are well worth exploring.

Please note, that you will only see signposts for the Roman Limes Route at each number of the numbered cycle network. The rest of the time you follow the signsposts of the numbered cycle network.

You can also combine this lomg-distance route with a day trip. We recommend:

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Roman Limes Route (Romeinse Limesroute)

Route: Katwijk - Nijmegen
Distance: 220 km
Connections: Katwijk - LF Coastal Route
Utrecht - LF9
Bunnik - LF Waterline Route
Arnhem - LF3, Rhine Cycle Route
Maps: Online cycle route planner, or any good cycle map, or guidebook 'Fietsgids Romeinse Limesroute' (Dutch only)
GPS tracks: Download from Nederland Fietsland