Is Skye's Cuillin Ridge on your bucket list? If so, you're in luck! Get 20% our guidebook to this iconic route and other scrambling guidebooks in our range - use code CUILLINRIDGE at checkout. Offer ends 30th April.

The GR5 Trail - Benelux and Lorraine

The North Sea to Schirmeck in the Vosges mountains

Guidebook to walking the northern section of the GR5 - 1000km starting in Hoek van Holland and passing through the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Lorraine to Schirmeck in France. A long-distance route covering a variety of cultures and landscapes. The full GR5 from the North Sea to the Mediterranean is one of the world's greatest trails.


A three-season trail, best between April and October. Abundant public transport links even make it possible to seize an opportunity to walk on the GR5 during fine days in winter.


End points: Hoek van Holland and Schirmeck; numerous cities between them: Bergen op Zoom, Diest, Maastricht, Spa, Vianden, Echternach, Metz.


The GR5 Trail - Benelux and Lorraine, also known as 'The Northern GR5' is relatively easy: level terrain in the Netherlands and Flanders; hilly, but not difficult in Wallonia and Luxembourg; mostly gentle slopes in Lorraine. The final stages of the walk enter the Vosges Mountains, where trails are steeper. No special equipment is needed, just comfortable walking shoes; some people use trekking poles.

Must See

Voornes Duin (Netherlands); Maten Nature Reserve (Flanders); Fagne de Malchamps (Ardennes); Little Switzerland (Luxembourg); Côte de Moselle hills and forests (Lorraine). Cities: Bergen op Zoom, Diest, Maastricht, Echternach and Metz. Museums: not just art (Pompidou-Metz); there are also museums dedicated to social history (Bokrijk), tugboats, flint, papier mâché and salt. Other highlights: historic churches and abbeys, medieval castles and modern fortifications.
24 Sept 2018
11 Mar 2024
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.35cm

A guidebook to trekking the northern section of the GR5 trail between Hoek van Holland and Schirmeck. Covering 1,000km (621 miles), this long-distance trek through the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France is ideal for those who don’t want to hike steep mountains.

The route is described from north to south in 49 stages, each between 8 and 30km (5–19 miles) in length. The route is divided into 5 sections with transport options given for those wanting to break the trek into shorter sections.

  • 1:100,000 maps included for each stage
  • GPX files available to download
  • Detailed information about accommodation and facilities along the route
  • Advice on planning and preparation
  • Part of a 3-volume set, accompanying Cicerone guidebooks The GR5 Trail and The GR5 Trail – Vosges and Jura are also available

Table of Contents

By Carroll Dorgan

Carroll Dorgan was born and educated in the United States. Pushed by the absence of jobs for inexperienced history graduates where he happened to be living in 1975 and pulled by his wanderlust, Carroll pursued a teaching career for a decade in international schools in Iran, Belgium, England and France. He then returned to California to qualify as a lawyer, but soon moved back to Europe to practice international law in the Netherlands and France. In all of those places, he explored nearby hiking trails. Now retired, he can devote time to writing about those trails.

View author profile