The history of old monastery walls, interesting art and cultural institutions and, above all, plenty of nature to relax in offers the day tour around the towns of Rheine and Hörstel in the northern Münsterland.
Today's day tour by bike starts and ends at the Falkenhof in the middle of the beautiful Ems town of Rheine. The large historical town museum houses sensational archaeological finds and interesting exhibitions about the life of the inhabitants of that time. Perhaps you would like to take a look inside at the beginning of your tour?
Just a stone's throw away, at the height of the Ems weir , is the Emsmühle, built in 1754, the last existing mill of its kind on the Ems. If it could, the mill would have a lot to tell about its turbulent past - from numerous fires and destruction during the Second World War to its current use as an electricity generator for the city of Rheine.
Heading north, you leave the city centre along the idyllic Ems cycle path, with the river always on your right. Along the route you will see two sculptures that were erected as part of the Skulpturbiennale Münsterland 2001.
Soon you will reach the Bentlage recreation area with the NaturZoo, the Salinenpark with the Gottesgabe salt works and the Bentlage Monastery with its cultural landscape. Together, these attractions form the so-called "Bentlage triad". Various themed trails run through the area, which can be combined to create very attractive tours. The Gottesgabe salt works are worth a stop and a deep breath - salt is in the air here! Even today, you can inhale salty air at the historic graduation works, which produced salt for the spa in Bentlage until 1952. Everywhere in the park you will find benches and quiet spots that invite you to take a rest. In summer you can also listen to the chattering of the storks! The "Dreigiebelhaus" visitor centre provides information about the recreation area and offers guided tours along the salt, monastery and nature routes.
Another part of the Bentlager triad is the Bentlage Monastery, which you reach after only a short drive through the cultural landscape. Nature and culture are in harmony here! The former monastery is now an important cultural centre in the region and offers high-quality exhibitions in the museum and a relaxed atmosphere in the monastery garden.
After these nature experiences and cultural impressions in the Bentlage recreation area, get back on your bike and continue north on our circular tour, leaving the city of Rheine. Once you cross the Dortmund-Ems Canal, the wide Münsterland park landscape with its fields, forests and hedges opens up to you. Through the district of Dreierwalde you finally reach Hörstel and along the Hörsteler Aa to Gravenhorst Monastery, southeast of the city.
Situated on the slopes of the Teutoburg Forest and in the midst of a park-like complex with streams, orchards and historic bridges, art has found a home in the former Cistercian monastery. The Gravenhorst Monastery is one of the few remaining complete complexes and thus an imposing monument in the Westphalian monastic landscape. It was renovated by the district of Steinfurt - with the support of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia - as part of the "Regionale 2004 on the Left and Right of the Ems" and is now a lively art venue with a historical feel. Artists from the region and from all over the world meet amateurs to produce art together. There are exhibitions, open art projects and workshops as well as concerts, readings and theatre performances. The park-like grounds of the monastery also invite you to take an extensive walk - between the moats, through the gardens, to the monastery church and the old monastery mill.
The Café Clara monastery restaurant offers a good range of gastronomic delights and refreshments for everyone - whether art lovers, cyclists or hikers. Especially the beautiful outdoor seating on the sun terrace or in the monastery courtyard invite you to linger in the unique atmosphere of the monastery. Under the motto "Closer - Fresher - Tasty", seasonally adapted dishes and drinks are offered using products from the region. The café has been awarded the Münsterland seal.
Full of new impressions and expectant, you get back on the saddle because the next attraction is not long in coming. As you cross the Mittelland Canal, the so-called "Wet Triangle" opens up in front of you. The Mittelland Canal and the Dortmund-Ems Canal meet at this waterway junction. If you want to enjoy the view of the canal triangle, we recommend a visit to the "Red Box", a bright red information pavilion with a viewing platform.
Our day tour takes you through an impressive avenue to the beautiful centre of Hörstel-Bevergern. The historic old town with its idyllic half-timbered houses, the late Gothic St. Mary's Church and the numerous "Pättken" has retained its idyllic charm. The route continues out of town along the Hemelter Bach stream, along fields and through a wooded area to the picturesque Surenburg moated castle in the Riesenbeck district. The interior cannot be visited, but from the bridge at the main entrance to the castle courtyard you can catch a good view of the walls of the three-winged complex.
The last stage of our day's tour takes us through wide wooded areas and along fields through the Münsterland park landscape back to Rheine. Along the beautiful banks of the Ems you can enjoy the last few metres of today's circular tour. You can recharge your batteries and look back on the many impressions of the day during a stroll through the beautiful old town of the Ems city or a visit to a restaurant.
In the farmacia restaurant in the old lion pharmacy on Rhein's market square, where ointments and drops were mixed in the past, you can now indulge yourself with fresh and homemade pizza and pasta.
Not all offers and services along the cycle route can be fully used yet. Here we keep you up to date on what you can experience on your cycle tour.
Rheine Nature Zoo
"High Tea Café" at Bentlage Monastery
The small Hotel Freye is located in the middle of the Emsstadt Rheine. The numerous shops, cosy restaurants and lovely cafés are in the immediate vicinity. Via the cycle paths along the Ems, you can quickly reach the Bentlage monastery and the extensive Salinenpark.
On this cycle tour, you can travel in an environmentally friendly way by public transport. The train station in Rheine is regularly served by trains from Münster, Osnabrück, Lingen and Bad Bentheim.
If you are travelling by car , we recommend parking at the free Salinenpark car park, Salinenstraße, north of Rheine. There you can start the round tour.