Okay, okay, its not a major world mountain but for those avid peak baggers out there this may provide useful - there's certainly not much on the internet and for those hopeing to climb the highest peak of every country here is the gossip.
Vaalserberg is an extremely small mountain (hill some would say) in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands and forms that countries highest peak. Most people who climb it (or drive it, walk it or roll up it) do so because of its special quality as being the pivot of the border bewtween Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands - or "Dreilandpunt" as some locals would say.
However, ignoring the road to the summit there is a wonderful walk through the village of Vaals at its base. The climb will take no more than half an hour and the route is quite clear. The village is very pleasant = just follow it up.
Despite, its easiness, smallness and nothingness on the world scale it can be a lovely spot after the flatness of the Netherlands and a summer evening with balloons flying by can give great views over Limburg.
I suppose it can be approached from Belgium, Germany or the Netherlands but maybe the best approach is from Aachen in Germany or Maastricht in the Netherlands. Buses between the two towns will drop you at the small village of Vaals where there are several cafes and shops and the route begins up to Vaalserberg.
A visa will be enough, its an all year round mountain (rain may be offputting) and any wildlife will have the sense not to go near it - despite this there are some lovely forest clearings on the top.
When To Climb
Summer is best but any time of the year will do as it is certainly not a peak to get you into trouble. October has been particularly recommended as the crowds are less and if a nice day the surrounding forest shows off its spectacular autumn coat.
Not huts but there are many hotels on or around the peak and even a luxurious castle or two. There is a picnic table in a summit clearing that will give you a comfortable and secluded sleep if necessary, if the weather is good. Possibly a better and safer option is a couple of campsites that are in the area. Contact the Tourist Information office in the centre of town for details - too easy!!
Any weather forecast for Maastricht or Southern Holland should do.
In the Netherlands the Vaalserberg is known as the "Drielandenpunt". It is noted for being the location where the borders of three countries intersect, those being the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, which gave the spot the name Drielandenpunt, "Three-countries point".
At one time this was even a Vierlandenpunt or "Four-countries point". Moresnet or Neutral Moresnet was, from 1816 to 1919, a tiny European mini-state of about 3.5 km squared that existed solely because its two large neighbours couldn't agree on who should own it, deciding therefore to make it a neutral territory where both would share control equally. It was located some 7 km southwest of Aachen, directly south of where the borders of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands intersect on the Vaalserberg.
This combination has made the Vaalserberg a well-known tourist attraction in the Netherlands, with a tower on the Belgian side offering a grand panorama of the surroundings.
Cyling In the Area
Like most of Limburg's hills, the Vaalserberg is a famous cycling target. The area between Maastricht and Vaals might not be very appealing to a true mountaineer, but the explosive climbs are quite challenging for the road cyclist! The bike is probably the best way to enjoy the hills around Vaals, just make sure you have enough gears on it..
- The Drielandenpunt
A short description fo the mountain and its touristic attractions. Some nice pictures. In Ducth, German and French
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