Lemiers is a small village with a long history in South Limburg, the southernmost region of the Netherlands. The adjoining hamlet of Holset is widely considered to be part of it.

Remarkably, part of Lemiers lies on German territory, as the village sits right on the border between the two countries. Administratively, both Lemiers and Holset are part of neighbouring Vaals, which encompasses a number of villages and hamlets in the area.


View from Holset

Situated along the ancient Roman road from current-day Maastricht to Aachen, Lemiers existed already in those ancient times. Extensive excavations in the 1920s/1930s exposed the remains of a large Roman villa of some 150 by 160 meters. There's nothing much to see at the site now, but the area (a meadow, now) is listed as a national monument.

Modern-day Holset, now home to about 160 people, probably originates in the Early Middle Ages, and likely developed around a logging site. There is however evidence of a much earlier settlement at the same location. Historians believe an Eburon temple stood here some 2000 years ago. It is thought to have been destroyed when Julius Caesar destroyed the whole Eburon people. Around 360 the bishop of Maastricht is known to have come here to convert the locals to Christianity, but it took another few centuries for a church to be built.

Get in

Lemiers lies on both sides of the N278 from Maastricht to Vaals, about a kilometre from the outskirts of Vaals itself. A smaller street, across the red brick St-Catharina en Lucia church, leads to Holset, although the hamlet can also be reached via scenic small roads from Vaals or Vijlen.

Buslines 43 (from Heerlen to Vaals) and 50 from Maastricht to Vaals pass and stop here.

The nearest train stations with intercity connections are those of Aachen (Germany), Heerlen and Maastricht. The nearest airport is Maastricht-Aachen airport.

Get around

As small as Lemiers is, you can easily get by on foot or bike. Parking is allowed along most of the roads. The newer part of the village is centred around the main road, while the oldest part is a short downhill walk towards the creek. From the centre of Lemiers to Holset it's another kilometre. It's a pleasant walk, but alternatively you can go by car or bike. There are parking spaces in the hamlet as well.


The castle of Lemiers.
The 12th century St. Catharina chapel.


There isn't all that much to do in this small village. The main reason to come here are the lush, rolling landscapes around. Go hiking or rent a bike and bike your way around. Then, order coffee at one of the pleasant establishments and relax. The tourist office in Vaals can help you if you're looking for other activities in the area.


There aren't a lot of helpful shops for travellers around. With Vaals at just a kilometre or so away, you'll have to do as the locals do and head there for any shopping. In Vaals you'll find supermarkets, clothing shops and more.


Some of the best options to eat are in the heart of the Holset hamlet. Hotel Piethaan and Herberg Oud Holset also have restaurants, open to non-guests. See the Sleep-section for details.


For any serious night life or clubbing you'll have to follow the local young people to Aachen. The hotels and restaurants in the village and hamlet usually have some pleasant outdoor terraces for drinks however, and welcome people for coffee or afternoon drinks. They just don't stay open as late. The only real café is:


The small church of Holset.


Most hotels offer free Wifi. Note that mobile coverage sometimes gets confused by German providers. Your phone may switch to a German telecommunications company, and this may come with additional roaming costs. To prevent it, set your mobile phone to manual provider switching.

Go next

The rest of South Limburg lies right outside the village borders, starting with the towns of Vaals and Vijlen. Consider hopping on the heritage train in Simpelveld or head to the large and historic German city of Aachen.

Slightly further away but a great destination is Maastricht, with its charming old centre and lovely atmosphere.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 26, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.