Jutting a long finger south, the Limburg 'appendix' was created as a geopolitical quirk in 1839 to link the major historical city of Maastricht to the rest of the Netherlands. The hills and forests of southern Limburg make for excellent hiking and biking and the Drielandenpunt where the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany converge is the country's highest hill, though at just 323m that's not exactly Alpine.
Clinging to the Maas river, the narrow northern 'neck' of Limburg is mostly a no-nonsense place of industry and agriculture. Venlo, the major North Limburg town, has a somewhat bedraggled feel but retains a small historic quarter near the train station, and, like Roermond with its giant mall, is a popular destination for German cross-border shopping sprees. Thorn is one of the province's prettiest mall towns while Valkenburg is a popular rural tourism centre.