Smokkelroute, 5-days

Smokkelroute, 5-day-tour

In the footsteps of smugglers...

During your journey on the Schmokkelroute in the German-Dutch border area, you will travel on the tracks of smugglers. As you follow the paths of former adventurers, historic sights to see and technical masterpieces of today’s times await you on this cycling route. Discover Germany’s longest fen settlement with bascule and swing bridges decorated with flowers, countless canals with historic ships and the famous Meyer Werft (shipyard).

Included services

  • Accommodation with breakfast buffet in 3 and 4 star hotels, or in the Netherlands in a guesthouse directly on the area of the Bourtange fortress
  • Rooms with shower and toilet
  • Luggage transport from hotel to hotel
  • Tour of the Meyer Werft (shipyard) in Papenburg (daily at 10:30am or at 2:30pm)
  • Detailed information package with maps and tour description
  • GPS Data on request
Travel days

1. Day: Arrival - Haren

Individual arrival. Haren has something to offer for everyone, with the Dankern castle, the maritime museum, the St. Martinus Church and the Kunsthaus. Haren has been connected with shipping for centuries and is the home to 50 barges and 170 sea and coastal vessels.

2. Day: Haren - Bourtange (approx. 65 km)

Your first cycling stage leads you via the German-Dutch border along the Haren-Rütenbrock Canal to the small border municipality Hahnentange. You then continue via a really lovely avenue to the former Cross Monastery to Ter Apel. The monastery which dates back to late medieval times is one of the most important historic buildings in the Netherlands. Today’s cycling stage, the “Bourtange fortress”, is a popular excursion destination. Festivals take place regularly in the pentagonal complex. Small shops and museums invite one to linger. The moats and the star-shaped rampart are an impressive sight.

3. Day: Bourtange - Papenburg (approx. 60 km)

Today you will begin your journey in the direction of Vlagtwedde. You then cycle to Wedde with the “Wedderburcht”. Travelling through the town of Rhede, with its agricultural museum, you will reach today’s destination Papenburg. You will see the Meyer Werft (shipyard) from afar, where a round tour (incl.) with a tour guide awaits you.

4. Day: Papenburg - Dörpen (approx. 29 km)

There is enough time for a stroll through Papenburg in the morning, due to the short cycling stage. You can go on the Papenburg harbour tour, visit the open-air museum Von-Velen-Anlage or take a round tour with a tour guide (incl.) through the Meyer Werft (shipyard). Your path leads you via Aschendorf to Heede, with the 1.000 year old lime tree, before you reach Dörpen.

5. Day: Dörpen - Haren (departure) (approx. 30 km)

The last cycling stage leads you through the soft hilly cultural landscape at Lathen to Haren. Take the remaining time to discover the loveliest spots during a round tour, before you depart on your journey home.


You cycle mainly on asphalted cycle paths as well as on natural, paved agricultural roads. The tour is also suitable for families, as there are no major ascents and the route is well-signed.

Total length: approx. 184 kilometres

level of difficulty: 1


Exclusive services

  • Rental bike + 1 saddle bag (7-gear-unisex with back pedal)
  • E-bike with 1 saddle bag



Additional information

  • Possible visitor’s tax payable on-site
Prices / Dates

Price per person

Base price
Single room € 487,--
Double room € 344,--
Triple room € 344,--
Quadruple room € 344,--
Half-board € 88,--
Rental bike (7-gear-unisex with back pedal) + 1 saddle bag € 40,--
E-Bike + 1 saddle bag € 84,--
Additional nights
Double room Single room
Haren € 52,-- € 67,--
Haren (departure) € 52,-- € 67,--

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