Once upon a time, there was a small village that thrived right next to Maastricht. In just a short walk, you'd leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you and entered a place that still had that feeling of rural Limburg. Here lay vast open fields and a cosy village centre surrounded by a tangible piece of history: the fort and castle ruins. While this sounds like a journey back in time into the Middle Ages, it's not. This is the district of Sint Pieter, the green heart of Maastricht. In 2019 you can still come here to take a step back from daily life enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
Can you name a provincial capital where you can find yourself surrounded by nature within just a fifteen-minute walk from the city? That's right, it can only be Maastricht! South of the city is the rural district of Sint Pieter, which was an independent municipality until 1920. Here, you have left the hustle and bustle of the myriad of streets of the city centre well behind you. It is the perfect place to come and escape the rush of the city or to bring your city trip to a peaceful close. The district is known for its spectacular views over the Heuvelland hills, the city, and the Belgian border. The cute animals standing in the fields that you come across during your walk complete your excursion into nature.
Fantastic views are only possible from the top of the hill. So, switch on your fitness tracker watch and easily get to those 10,000 steps. You start your walk at the foot of the Sint-Pietersberg hill, an 8 km plateau that links the Netherlands with Belgium. Many sport enthusiasts descend on Sint-Pietersberg hill on the weekend to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. If you're not super-fit, that's fine too, as there are walking and running routes starting from 2.8 km. Experienced walkers can enjoy routes up to 13 km.
Whether you've walked 2 km or 13 km, grabbing a bite to eat and something to drink afterwards is always fun. Simply walk down the hill. Nestled at the foot of the hill are many great cafés and restaurants where you can replenish.
The name Daniëll Wolff baron van Dopff is not exactly famous, but this is the man who commissioned the construction of Fort Sint Pieter for the much-needed protection of Maastricht at the start of the eighteenth century. 300 years later, the Fort is still standing, but these days it is a tourist attraction. Visit the fort to add a little cultural experience to your day out in nature.