Luxembourg: European Hiking Hideaway
The GR-4 through Luxembourg is 211 kilometers (130 miles); figure nine days. The last dayroughly from Mondorf les Bain to Dudelangecould be skipped. Here the trail runs westward along the French border and reflects the more industrialized character of Lorraine to the south. The only reason to do this section is if you want to say you've walked the whole GR-5 in Luxembourg. Otherwise, head to Luxembourg Ville, well worth a stop. Be sure to spend time in the Grund, an area of restaurants in the ravine that separates the old city and the new parts of town. The more interesting hotels are in the old part of town.
This is a spring-summer-and-fall route. Some sections, like the wine country, could be hiked year round, but along the Our River you can expect heavy snow in winter. Summers can be both hot and wet.
Unless you want to camp out, there's no need to. Towns with hotels are spaced at walking distances. Same goes for foodyou'll find plenty. The local specialty, Choucouterie Royal (a selection of smoked meat and sauerkraut), is best saved for a day when you've done mega-mileage.
Luxembourgers speak German and French as well as Letzeburgesch, a medieval Germanic-Dutch dialect that is the everyday local language. Many also speak some English, especially in larger towns and cities.
At this writing, it's the Luxembourg franc, although Belgian francs are widely accepted. Luxembourg is in the process of switching to the Euro, along with all the other EEC countries.
GR-5 Du Luxembourg Aux Vosges. Cotes de Moselle - Pays de Nancy is published by Fidiration Frangaise de la Randonnie Pidestre. It's in French, but the maps it contains will get you where you need to go. This type of guidebook is called a"topo-guide" and is available in local bookstores and outfitters. Walking Europe from Top to Bottom by Susanna Margolis and Ginger Harmon is outdated (and out of print), but describes the entire GR-5.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication