Enjoy unforgettable views of the Rhine from your castle chamber on a tour that includes stops in the historical cities of Cologne, Rothenburg and Heidelberg. This tour offers the ideal combination of history, adventure and culture.
This trip will be customized according to your wishes.
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Vehicle: VW Golf or similar (CDMR)
Location: Frankfurt Airport (Desk at Airport)
From its source at St. Gotthard in Switzerland up to its mouth of branched river arms in the Netherlands the Rhine covers 1320 km.
For thousands of years it has been one of the most important trade routes in Europe. Between Bingen and Koblenz it squeezes through a deep valley which is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Germany and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Castles and ruins alternate with vineyards and picturesque half-timbered towns. Many myths and legends surround the valley; the best known is about the Loreley, who sat on a cliff, combing her beautiful long golden hair and enchanting the boatmen with her enticing singing voice, so that many men drowned in the quickening waters of the Rhine. The best way to experience the valley is from the boat on a trip from St. Goar to Kaub.
During the 12th century the Dukes of Schöneburg ruled the area from this castle on a hill above the town of Oberwesel and levied duties on Rhine commerce. The castle was burned down in 1689 and lay in ruins for over 200 years until it was bought and restored by an American named Mr. Rhinelander in the early 1900s.
Today the modern, luxury hotel is owned once again by the town of Oberwesel and has been managed by the Hüttl family since 1957. It offers 20 elegant, individually furnished rooms and two suites with four-poster beds and balconies facing the Rhine River. Guests can stroll through the surrounding forests, meadows and vineyards or just relax and enjoy the one-of-a-kind views.
You will follow the Rhine Valley to Koblenz, where the Moselle River flows into the Rhine. Shortly before reaching Cologne you will pass Bonn, the former capital of the Federal Republic of Germany and the birthplace of Beethoven.
Important sites include the 11th century cathedral and Beethoven-Haus, which contains the largest Beethoven collection in the world, including the last piano owned by the composer.
Founded by the Romans over 2,000 years ago, Cologne is Germany's second oldest city. The city marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire and was therefore of great strategic and military importance to the Romans.
For many centuries now it has been a leading trading and transportation hub due to its location along the Rhine River. Cologne became one of the focal points of Western culture during the Middle Ages when, under the rule of Friedrich II, the relics of the Three Wise Men were brought to Cologne in 1164 after being captured from Milan. Cologne Cathedral, one of the most magnificent structures north of the Alps, was built to house these relics, although construction wasn't completed until 600 years later. Today the landmark is the emblem of Cologne and is also a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. The old town facing the Rhine together with the city boasting 12 Romanesque churches among its numerous other historical sites creates a unique ensemble and Cologne is also known as the center of the German Mardi Gras celebrations that peak during the carnival period.
The 5-star hotel has been an institution in Cologne since it was first opened in 1863. In 1910 it made headlines when it began offering ensuite bathrooms with running warm water, a rarity at the time that was considered the epitome of luxury and comfort.
This tradition has been proudly maintained over the last century: exactly 100 years after it began offering warm water, the hotel in the heart of Cologne was named the Hotel of the Year by one of the country's leading hotel and restaurant guides. The exceptional service extends from the “pillow card” which enables guests to select just the right pillow for a good night's rest, to the free minibar and valet parking. Two restaurants are available: the “Hansestube”, serving innovative French cuisine, and the Japanese restaurant Taku, which received a Michelin Star in 2012. The rooms are surprisingly quiet despite the central location just steps from the train station and the Cathedral.
East of Cologne you will pass through a hilly, forested region known as the Bergisches Land, then proceed southwards along the western edge of a low mountain chain called the Westerwald, a region famous for its pottery.
Southwest of Frankfurt the route will take you through the hilly forests of the Spessart region, one of Germany's largest natural parks, before reaching the medieval city of Würzburg. The most famous of the city's many sites is the Old Bridge dating back to 1473. From here you can take the “Romantic Road” (Romantische Straße), an old trade route that connects many of Bavaria's most picturesque villages, or continue on the main motorway.
In this Middle Franconian town on the Tauber river time seems to have stood still since the 30-year war. It now is a world-famous tourist attraction with narrow cobbled streets, tall Gothic gabled houses, churches with significant high altars and a completely preserved city wall with numerous watchtowers: The cityscape of the free imperial city has become the epitome of German romanticism.
If you stay in one of the historic hotels in the city, make sure to participate in the guided tour with a medieval night-watchman.
Originally built in 1264 as a customs house, the hotel occupies one of the best locations in Rothenburg: on main street, next to a medieval city gate and just minutes from the central square.
The current hosts, Stephan and Lilo, are the fourth generation of the same family to run the facility, which has been a hotel since 1488. The first thing guests notice is the charming entryway decorated with antiques. The bedrooms come in all shapes and sizes, and no two are alike. They all have one thing in common, however: Each was personally decorated by the hostess with exquisite attention to detail. Guests can sample traditional Franconian dishes and home-brewed beer in the rustic restaurant.
The capital of the Palatinate (Kurpfalz) is at the point where the Neckar coming from the Odenwald enters the Rhine valley.
It is considered the cradle of German Romanticism and has inspired poets such as Brentano, Arnim or Eichendorff. The city is mentioned for the first time at the end of the 12th century. 200 years later the university was established and the castle under Palatine Count Rupert was built. In 1693 the town and castle were destroyed and rebuilt in the 18th century in baroque style. Rising majestically above the roofs of the old town are the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle – the most spectacular in its location, size and beauty in all of Germany. The classical-romantic view of Heidelberg's Old Town and the castle can be enjoyed from the Philosphengärtchen (Philosophers' Garden) and along the Philosophers’ Way on the north bank of the River Neckar.
Heidelberg is a romantic old university town with a long pedestrian street, the Hauptstraße, which constitutes the dynamic heart of the city.
The hotel stands at the beginning of this key avenue. Its stately facade dates from 1592, the year the gold sign was imprinted that still hangs above the door. Official records show the building served as a town hall for a decade before becoming the Hotel Zum Ritter. Thanks to the hotel's impressive facade and central location, its lovely panelled dining room is popular among the throngs of tourists that flock to Heidelberg. This makes the hotel a very bustling place in the evenings. It has been extended to the rear, and in the newer wing you find ten spacious, modern bedrooms with custom-fitted furniture and floor-to-ceiling draperies. The remaining rooms vary from small single rooms to large bedrooms overlooking the busy main street. The decor is more modern than old-world.
Location: Frankfurt Airport (Desk at Airport)