Van Gogh cycle route is the most beautiful cycle route in Europe: ‘It takes you back in time’

Not a route over the Austrian mountains or through Swedish nature, but the Van Gogh cycle routes through Drenthe have been voted the most beautiful cycle route in Europe. “We scored the highest on all points,” says a surprised Elisabeth Stoit of Marketing Drenthe.

Stoit was standing on behalf of this organization at the cycling and walking fair in Utrecht when she received the prize. “First there was a presentation of all five routes that had been nominated. It was kept very exciting until the last moment. And despite the fact that there were very beautiful routes abroad over mountains and along the sea, we are still the cycling route of the year become.”

The jury assessed the routes on several points: the quality of the cycle paths, the signage, and substantive information. But according to Stoit, the unique ‘see-through panels’ along the route were decisive. “These are panels with a glass plate in them, which allow you to look through the eyes of Vincent van Gogh at the landscape that inspired him so much. You are actually looking back in time a bit.”

The panels are located in the places where Van Gogh probably also painted. “So you can follow in Van Gogh’s footsteps a bit.”

The Van Gogh cycle route actually consists of three different routes. One starts in Hoogeveen, another is in the Zweeloo area and the third is near Nieuw-Amsterdam/Veenoord. “The routes are also linked together,” Stoit explains. “Then you have a route of 150 kilometers, because the individual route is fifty kilometers.”

In the run-up to the election, Stoit had already realized that cyclists really enjoyed the routes. “It is a very beautiful route where you also feel close to Vincent van Gogh. Especially because you also have listening stories about Van Gogh on the information panels, people just find that very nice.” But she didn’t expect to win. “That’s really a surprise.”

In addition to great advertising for the cycling routes, Stoit also received a trophy. “I think it will first be placed in Dwingeloo at the recreation board. But I think we will turn it into a changing cup, so that everyone who contributed to the route can also have it at home.”