The valley in the north of the Eifel is formed by the Ahr, which rises near Blankenheim and flows into the Rhine after 89 kilometres. It is one of the most beautiful side valleys of the Rhine. Ancient winegrowing villages such as Maiyschoss, Altenahr or Dernau duck into the narrow, winding valley. One of the most sought-after red wines in Germany grows on the southern slopes between rugged slate cliffs. The 30 kilometre long red wine trail leads through the vineyards, some of which were already planted by the Romans, from where you can also walk sections. The most beautiful part of the river lies between Altenahr and Bad Neuenahr.
Rugged rocks and great views
Near Altenahr, the Ahr has dug a loop-shaped canyon into the slate mountains of the Eifel. Here the Ahr road takes a short cut through a tunnel, so that only a hiking trail follows the river. The valley, also called Langfigtal, is protected for its bizarre rocks, rare birds and wild plants. The geological hiking trail shows the diversity and beauty of the Ahr valley and leads to the fantastic viewpoints “Black Cross” and “Devil's Hole”. (There and back: 4.7 kilometers, 1:30 minutes, up and down: 241 meters)
Red wine town with spa facilities
Ahrweiler has a medieval old town with Roman origins, richly decorated half-timbered houses and a preserved city wall with four gates. The town has become rich through the wine trade. Until today there are countless tasting rooms, wine grower processions and wine weeks. A huge vine press from the 19th century is set up on a thoroughfare. Bad Neuenahr is completely different: the health resort presents itself as an elegant spa with spa bath and casino. The alkaline thermal springs bubble out of the earth at a temperature of 36 degrees and are said to have a healing effect.
Refuge in case of nuclear attack
With its 17-kilometer-long tunnel system under Marienthal and Ahrweiler, the bunker was to serve as an alternative seat for around 3,000 selected representatives of the Bonn government during the Cold War in the event of a nuclear strike. Although the facility was top secret, rumors soon spread around it. There was talk of an underground luxury department store and a brothel. With the end of the Cold War and the relocation of the capital, this enormously expensive project became completely superfluous. Part of the huge complex is now a documentation site. On the eastern portal of the Silberberg Tunnel, an open-air museum with a memorial was set up to commemorate the “City in the Mountain”, where the inhabitants of the city found refuge during the bombings of the Second World War.