International Four Day Marches Nijmegen
The International Four Day Marches is a renowned annual event that sees tens of thousands of people descending on Nijmegen and its surrounding area to walk together for four days. Let's hope the Dutch weather stays fine for the four days!
International Four Day Walk in and around Nijmegen
On July 18-21, 2023, the 105th edition of the Four Day Marches takes place. Avid walkers, athletes and everyday enthusiasts from all over the world and from all walks of life are set to embark on this four-day adventure together in the city of Nijmegen, its suburbs and its green surroundings.
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After four consecutive days of walking, the event culminates in the arrival on the Via Gladiola, where the walkers receive their royally approved medals. The walkers are also presented with gladiolus flowers, which have been a symbol of victory since Roman times and were strongly associated with gladiators, hence their similar names.
The scenic routes of the Four Day Marches
Each year, an impressive amount of people participate in the Four Day Marches - typically more than 40.000 walkers each year! The distances involved are 30km, 40km and 50km, depending on the participants’ eligibility and fitness levels.
There is a different route each day, complete with its own specially designated map, from the vicinities of Nijmegen city to the landscapes of the Dutch provinces of Gelderland, Brabant and Limburg.
The days are each named after the biggest town visited during the walk of each particular day: the first day is known as "the day of Elst", the second is "the day of Wijchen", the third is known as "the day of Groesbeek" and the final and fourth day is named "the day of Cuijk".
Transport and accommodation
Additional buses and trains operate during the event, so participants are advised to arrive via public transport rather than by car.
As one can imagine, walking for four consecutive days requires a good night’s rest. If you're thinking of taking part, planning your accommodation is of the height of importance, and there are plenty of options available, including camping, hotels, hostels and staying with host families. There is a website dedicated especially to the accommodation for walkers in the Four Day Marches, called Vierdagsebed (Four Days Bed).
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The Four Day Marches: 105-year tradition
The walk has taken place since 1909 and has been based in Nijmegen since 1916. It was originally a military event that had a few civilians participating, but this has been completely reversed. Nowadays, the majority of the walkers are typically civilians, but military participants still usually make up a few thousand.
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Thumb photo: Ivo Antonie de Rooij via Shutterstock