Whether you choose to cruise its waters, explore its castles or sample its wines, the Rhine Valley is a haven of adventure and discovery
Dissected by one of the world’s most scenically beautiful rivers, flowing for over 1,000km into neighbouring Switzerland, the Rhine Valley is one of Germany’s most breathtaking locations, defined by charming towns, splendid castles and wonderful nature-filled vistas.
- Admire the medieval buildings of Kobern-Gondorf.
- Explore the old town of Koblenz.
- Visit the historic castles that line the banks of the Rhine.
- Take a cruise along the waters of the river.
- Sample the local wine that is produced along the Rhine.
From Koblenz south to Bingen, the Rhine cuts through dramatic slate mountains and past hillside castles and sprawling vineyards, before bending to the east towards Mainz. Here, visitors will witness Germany’s landscapes at their most breathtaking and memorable, with the forested hillsides seemingly stretching endlessly, only punctuated by charming villages and striking landmarks. This area is often referred to as the “Rhine Gorge” or the “Upper Middle Rhine Valley”, and this remarkable 65km section of the river is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visitors to the area can also discover charming towns and villages along some of the Rhine’s nearby tributaries, including Kobern-Gondorf which sits on the banks of the Moselle River. Here, you can find many aspects of the Rhine’s allure all within one location, as the charming little town is home to everything from beautiful surroundings and impressive castles to authentic medieval buildings. Highlights include the likes of the famous Matthias Chapel, the princely castle of the Dukes von der Leyen, the Liebieg Castle and the oldest half-timbered house in Germany, known as the “Abteihof St. Marien”.
For a dose of the Rhine’s iconic castles that sit along its shores, there’s arguably no better place to head to than Sankt Goarshausen. Sat along the river’s eastern bank, with Sankt Goar located opposite the town on the western bank, here you’ll discover both Katz Castle and Maus Castle, as well as the ruins of Rheinfels Castle. Built across the 13th and 14th centuries, they provide some of the most sought-after photo opportunities on the river.
Another highlight of the Rhine Gorge is the city of Koblenz, the gateway to this scenic portion of the river. In addition to its own castle and fortress, one of the true highlights of a day spent in Koblenz is simply walking through its old streets, where you can discover everything from picturesque marketplaces to some of the oldest churches in Germany.
To me, this area is the sum of everything quintessentially German. Half-timbered houses and cobbled town squares, scenic river bends and Gothic churches, as well as forests, cliffs and hillside castles. No wonder they call it Romantic Rhine Valley! Now lets have some wine...
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