Rhine Castle Tour of Germany: Custom Packages Built to Order
Majestic accommodations: A 12th century castle
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Rhine Castle Tour

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.

From Frankfurt to Oberwesel

Rental car pick-up

Rental car pick-up

Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Buchbinder
Vehicle: VW Golf or similar (CDMR)
Loca­tion: Frankfurt Airport (Desk at Airport)

From Frankfurt to Oberwesel

88 km | 1:30 h
You will pass Mainz, an ancient Roman city with a magnif­i­cent medieval cathedral. The most famous stretch of the Rhine with terraced vine­yards, castle ruins and picture-book villages begins at Bingen, where the Rhine enters a deep valley.

Mainz

Epis­copal city with a glorious past
The state capital of Rhine­land-Palatinate is one of the oldest cities in Germany. 38 BC, the Romans built the camp Mogun­tiacum on a Rhine bend. 50 years on, it became the seat of the commander of Upper Germania. In the 13th century Mainz flour­ished. Its archbishops were electors and chan­cellors. The cathedral with its six towers is one of the greatest build­ings of its time. On the north­east side of the cathedral square stands the Gutenberg House, once the world's first printing workshop. This is also where the Gutenberg Bible, which was printed in 1450, is kept. The old town with its maze of streets and alleyways south of the cathedral is worth a wander.

Upper Rhine

Splendid cities and natural reserves
The Upper Rhine extends from the Rhine knee near Basel to the Rhine knee near Mainz. The region includes the German-French-Swiss border area with Alsace, north-western Switz­er­land, southern Palatinate and part of Baden. Since the Stone Age, the plain between the Black Forest and the Vosges is one of the most important transit areas in Europe. The Romans were the first to system­at­ically build roads. In the Middle Ages there was a trade route between Northern Italy and Flan­ders. Great cities such as Strasbourg, Colmar and Freiburg bear witness to the wealth of the region. But until the 19th century, unpre­dictable floods threat­ened every civi­l­iza­tion. It was not until the straight­ening of the Rhine in the 19th century that the problem was contained. In some places, however, there are still flood­plain forests and oxbow lakes, which are protected.

Kloster Eberbach

Rise and fall of a powerful Cister­cian monastery in Germany
On February 13, 1136, Abbot Ruthard founded the first Cister­cian monastery on German soil. He had been sent out with twelve other monks by none other than the founder of their reli­gious order, Bernard of Clairvaux, who followed an unusu­ally strict interpreta­tion of the Rule of St. Bene­dict. The monks were to live off of what they could produce on their own, and so their first task was to clear the surrounding virgin forest. It did not take long before the hard-working monks had cleared a large swath of farm­land, where they grew grains and raised live­stock. The well-orga­nized busi­ness was soon very lucra­tive. The abbey produced increasing amounts of wine, which was sold in Cologne and throughout the world with the help of the Hanseatic League. Offshoot monas­teries were founded up and down the Rhine. With wealth came power. The abbots played an important role in the conflicts between the king and the Pope. But wealth and power also ended up being the cause of the monastery's decline. In 1525, the abbey was looted during a peasant uprising, after which it closed its doors and was left to decay. It has since been rebuilt and now offers a winery, a first-class restau­rant and a hotel. The medieval rooms also provide a venue for concerts and confer­ences.
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Mittelrheintal

Castles, wine and half-timbered houses

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.

Accommodation: A medieval castle overlooking the Rhine

1 Night | 1x Double Occupancy | Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

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.

Rüdesheim

Wine bars and manor houses
The city on the southern end of the Middle Rhine is also the capital of the Rheingau, one of the most important wine regions in Germany. At the same time, Rüdesheim has become a magnet for corpo­rate outings and coach tours. The count­less wine bars in the Dros­sel­gasse are popu­lated by cheerful drinkers. In the shops of Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas deco­ra­tions and cuckoo clocks can be bought all year round. The Nied­erwald Monu­ment rises high above the city and can be reached by hiking or by cable car. The more than ten-meter-high statue of Germania was erected in 1871 after the war against France and till today it stares threat­en­ingly towards the West.

Pfalz bei Kaub

Medieval castle on an island
The castle on an island in the Rhine is like the Marksburg and the castle Boppard one of the few unde­stroyed and hardly changed castles in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. It has been built by Ludwig the Bavarian, who at the beginning of the 13th century was also Count Pala­tine and German Emperor. Since he needed a lot of money for this office, he had a customs duty castle built in the Rhine to profit from the heavy traffic on the river. However, the baroque tower helmet, which today char­ac­ter­izes the appear­ance, dates only from 1714. One hundred years later, on New Year's Eve 1813/14, the castle suddenly became the focus of world history, when the Prus­sian Field Marshal Blücher in a top secret action with 60,000 soldiers, 20,000 horses and as many cannons crossed the Rhine at Kaub to hunt Napoleon Bonaparte's troops.

Loreley

A tale of nymphs, mountain spirits and beau­tiful virgins
Already in the medieval ages dwarves, nymphs and mountain spirits were blamed for the dangerous currents and echoes at the 130 meters high Lorelei rock . The beau­tiful maiden however, is an inven­tion of the poet Clemens Brentano. He describes Lore Lay as a girl from Bacharach, who is consid­ered a witch because of her beauty. She is forced to join a monastery, but on her way, out of lovesick­ness she plunged from the rock named after her into the Rhine. Brentano's ballad touched the romantic feeling of his time and trig­gered further Loreley stories. The most famous poem was made by Heinrich Heine, in which Loreley, like an antique siren, capti­vates the Rhine sailors with her song and beauty, which is why they perish in the dangerous current on the rocky reef.

Rheinsteig

Fabu­lous castles, sunny vine­yards
The 320 kilometer long hiking trail follows the Middle Rhine Valley on the Eastern side. It starts in Bonn and after 17 days ends in Rüdesheim. The mark is a blue rectangle with a white “R” styl­ized as a river. From almost every place along the Rhine there are paths leading to the Rheinsteig. The longest and most beau­tiful is the 17th day from St. Goar­shausen to Kaub. Here you can expe­r­i­ence the Middle Rhine Valley in all its splendor. Vine­yards, quiet side valleys and magnif­i­cent view points – espe­cially the Loreley – make the hike unique. (21 kilome­ters, 6:30 hours, up: 753 meters, down: 750 meters)

From Oberwesel to Cologne

152 km | 2:30 h

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.

Bonn

Resi­dence of Cologne's Electo­rate and Beethoven's birthplace
This city on the Rhine can look back, as can Cologne located 30 kilome­ters to the north, on a 2,000-year history. In its heyday, between 1597 and 1794, the Roman Castra Bonnensia was the resi­dence of the Electo­rate of Cologne. By the end of this period (1770) Ludwig van Beethoven was born here. After the Second World War, the Parlia­mentary Council met in Bonn and drew up the constitu­tional law – of which one of the prereq­ui­sites was that Germany renounces Nazism in the post war period. From 1949 to 1991 Bonn was the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. On the market square lies the Old Rococo Hall, built in1737 and one of the landmarks of the city. Located directly next to the Hall is the “Kurkölnische” (Electo­rate of Cologne) Castle, now the main building of the Univer­sity of Bonn.

Ahr Valley

Vovely valley with sought-after red wines
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.

Moselle

Romance and wine in an ancient cultural landscape
The longest trib­utary of the Rhine rises in the Vosges, forms the border between Luxem­bourg and Germany for a while, and then mean­ders leisurely in a deeply cut valley through the wooded low mountain ranges of the Eifel and Hunsrück. The section between Bernkastel and Cochem is consid­ered to be the most beau­tiful, because here one still finds what can only be sensed in the indus­trial­ized Rhine Valley: the romance of an ancient cultural landscape. Villages and towns, where time seems to have stood still, lie in the shadow of myste­r­ious castle ruins and are surrounded by vine­yards that gener­a­tions of winegrowers have wrested from the steep slopes of the valley. Along the Moselle there are wonderful hiking trails (marked by an “M”), some­times at alti­tude through forests or medieval villages, some­times through vine­yards or quiet side valleys. In some places the path follows the Via Ausonia, a Roman trade route.

Gedeonseck

Via ferrata with great views
The best views over the large Rhine loop and the vine­yards of the Boppard Hamm can be admired from the Gedeonseck, to which a chairlift runs from Boppard. There's a nice restau­rant at the top. In the hinter­land begins one of the largest forests of Rhine­land-Palatinate, through which many hiking trails lead. Directly on the steep slope below the Gedeonseck, a via ferrata has been set up that offers hikers who are free from giddi­ness and well-equipped a climbing expe­r­i­ence with a magnif­i­cent view. (There and back: 5 kilome­ters, 2:30 hours, up and down: 260 meters)

Ahr loop

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)
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Cologne

Rhenish zest for life in the shadow of the cathedral

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.

Accommodation: An award-winning hotel next to Cologne Cathedral

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

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.

Cologne Cathedral

Gothic superla­tive
At 157 meters the third highest church in the world is consid­ered the master­piece of Gothic archi­tec­ture. Its west façade with the two towers has an area of over 7100 square meters and is thus the largest in the world. The laying of the foun­da­tion stone took place in 1248, after the relics of the Three Magi were trans­ferred from Milan to Cologne. The Dreiköni­genschrein is set up in the choir room and is the largest gold­smith's work of the Middle Ages. After centuries of construc­tion stoppage, the cathedral was not completed until 1880. The mighty church survived the Second World War despite massive bomb­ings and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

Museums at the Cathedral

Roman times and modern art
The Roman-Germanic Museum shows archae­o­log­ical finds from the times of the ancient Rome. Among the most important exhibits are the Dyon­isos mosaic from the dining room of a Roman villa and the tomb of veteran Lucius Poblicius. Both can be seen from the square in front of the cathedral through a glass pane. The Ludwig Munic­ipal Museum contains the Ludwig couple's collec­tion, which has attracted worldwide atten­tion. Art objects of the 20th century are on display – from Picasso to Roy Licht­enstein and Gerhard Richter.

Old town

Medieval alleys and brew­eries in the shadow of the cathedral
The old town south of the cathedral has quite a high Kölsch brewery density, medieval alleys and the historic Cologne town hall. Nearby is the fragrance museum in the Farina House, which is inexorably linked to the famous perfume “Eau de Cologne”. The Italian perfumer Johann Maria Farina created the scent that reminded him of oranges, lemons, grapefruit and berg­amot, cedrat, the flowers and herbs of his home­land. The reopened “Dufthaus 4711” awaits you in Glockengasse, with a fountain from which Kölnisch Wasser bubbles.

From Cologne to Rothenburg

373 km | 4:30 h

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.

Frankfurt

Medieval old town in front of the finan­cial district's skyline
Since the Middle Ages Frankfurt has been one of the major urban centers of Germany. First docu­mented in 794, it has been a free city since the High Middle Ages and later the coro­na­tion city of the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1816 Frankfurt became an inde­pen­dent town and in 1848 it was the birthplace of the German democ­racy, when the meeting of the German Confed­er­a­tion (Deutscher Bund) took place in St. Paul's Church. Today the city on the Main is an interna­tional finan­cial center and seat of the Euro­pean Central Bank, the Bundesbank, the stock market and many other large banks. Frankfurt is the only German city with a skyline that forms a strange contrast to the medieval build­ings surrounding the “Römer” – Frankfurt's town hall.

Spes­sart

Forest, poverty and thieves
The Spes­sart in the Mainviereck (Main-square) comprises the largest contiguous area of mixed decid­uous forests in Germany. It lies between Rhön, Vogelsberg and Odenwald about 55 km east of Frankfurt and 40 km west of Würzburg. The highest mountain is the Geier­sberg with 586 meters. In the year 839 it is mentioned for the first time – as Spehte­shart, meaning some­thing like  “Spechtswald” (woodpecker forest). At that time it was an impe­rial forest and was used for hunting. In the following centuries the archbishops of Mainz owned the forest. They did not allow settle­ment until the 12th century. Later several lords of the manor shared the dominion, which favoured the emer­gence of bands of robbers and thieves.  Docu­mented are the Spes­sart robbers at the beginning of the 19th century. They were immortal­ized in 1827 by Wilhelm Hauff's story “Das Wirtshaus im Spes­sart” and in 1958 by Kurt Hoffmann's film of the same name. Until today the triad forest, poverty and Spes­sart robbers has remained in the aware­ness of the people.

Limburg

Romantic half-timbered houses in the shadow of the cathedral and castle
The central Hessian town lies in the fertile Limburg basin between Taunus and West­erwald on both sides of the Lahn. Because of the river crossing, the town devel­oped into a flour­ishing trading centre early on. The two oldest build­ings still char­ac­terise the cityscape today: the cathedral from the 13th century is consid­ered a jewel of the late Roma­nesque period. Behind the cathedral the medieval castle from the 13th century is enthroned on a lime­stone rock. A picturesque old town with magnif­i­cent half-timbered build­ings snug­gles up in its shade. The most beau­tiful view is from the Alte Lahnbrücke (old bridge).
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Rothenburg

Medieval jewel on the Tauber river

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.

Accommodation: A Tollhouse from the year 1264

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast | 1x parking

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.

Iphofen

Baroque wine village with preserved city walls
Iphofen lies at the foot of the Schwanberg surrounded by vine­yards and ancient villages. The first Silvaner vine was planted in the area in 1692. Founded in 751, the enchanting town still features narrow cobbled streets and timber-frame houses (Fachw­erkhäuser) enclosed by a mighty town wall. The numerous wine festivals are held in front of the baroque city hall. Although almost as well-preserved as Rothenburg, Iphofen is less well known and thus less touristy. Many hiking trails lead into the nearby Steigerwald.

Out and about with the night-watchman

Guided tour through Rothenburg
This entertaining one-hour tour of old town with Rothenburg ob der Tauber's night-watchman informs about the history of Rothenburg: from its beginn­ings to the mirac­u­lous protec­tion from the bombard­ments during World War II.

Bad Windsheim

Baking bread and brewing in the Franco­nian Open-Air Museum
A tour of the Franco­nian Open-Air Museum is like a journey through time – through 700 years of Franco­nian everyday history: more than 100 build­ings, farms, craftsmen's houses, mills, brew­eries, sheep farms, an office building, school building and noble castles as well as barns, stables, bakeries and drying houses convey how the rural popu­la­tion of Franconia lived and worked in earlier times. The houses are arranged in six groups, so that one can walk from village to village just like in past times. Guided tours and changing events from bread baking and basket weaving to fencing courses take place.

From Rothenburg to Heidelberg

181 km | 3:00 h
Near Heilbronn you will enter the wine-producing region, the most scenic stretch of the Neckar Valley. If you have time you should take the “Castle Road” (Burgenstraße) to Heidelberg, a route dotted with charming villages, vine­yards and medieval castles.

Bergs­traße

Germany's fruit garden on a Roman road
The Strata Montana (“mountain road”), as the Romans called their north-south road between the Upper Rhine and Odenwald, leads from Darmstadt in southern Hesse via Heidelberg to Wiesloch in Nordbaden. The 68-kilometer-long historic road is today the national road, B3. Bergs­traße is also the name of its lovely surround­ings. A mild and sunny climate, an early spring and fertile soil make it one of the richest fruit gardens in Germany with viti­cul­ture, fruits, almonds, sweet chestnuts and walnuts. Mediterranean plants such as figs and olive trees thrive here as well.

Heilbronn

Free impe­rial city on the River Neckar
The town on the Neckar River was a “Free Impe­rial City” during the Holy Roman Empire, a status which put it in a league with many of Germany's most powerful cities, including Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg and Nurem­berg. The city was a major base for the Teutonic Knights from the Middle Ages all the way up to 1805. The famous knight Götz von Berlichingen was held pris­oner in the Bollw­erksturm (Tower of the Bastion) from 1519 to 1522. While that tower still stands today, much of the city's histor­ical archi­tec­ture was destroyed when Heilbronn was carpet bombed by allied bombers in 1944. The town's nickname “Käthchenstadt” derives from a famous play called “Das Käthchen von Heilbronn” (Kate of Heilbronn) by Heinrich von Kleist.
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Heidelberg

Romantic university town on the Neckar

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.

Accommodation: A Renaissance hotel in downtown Heidelberg

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

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.

Mountain railway Heidelberg

Pano­ramic trip to the Königstuhl
With the mountain railway you can go up to the Königstuhl and enjoy the fantastic views over the city and the Rhine plain up to the Palatinate Forest. The lower cable car, one of the most modern mountain railways in Germany, starts at the Kornmarkt in the old town and goes via the Castle to the Molkenkur. From there, you take one of the oldest electrically oper­ated mountain railways to the Königstuhl.

Old Bridge

Baroque pede­s­trian bridge
The baroque Karl Theodor Bridge is one of Germany's oldest bridge build­ings and was first mentioned in 1248. There were many previous wooden build­ings, but they were repeat­edly destroyed by drifting ice floes. It was built in its present form in 1788, but towards the end of the Second World War two pillars were blown up by the Wehrmacht to stop the advancing Allied troops. Already in 1947 the bridge was completely recon­structed. At the southern end of the Old Bridge stands the medieval bridge gate with its 28-metre-high double towers. Orig­inally it was part of the city fortifica­tions. Bridge duty was paid at the gate, in case of danger it could be closed by a trap gate.

Heidelberg Castle

From a magnif­i­cent Renais­sance building to a symbol of transience
The castle ruin high above the old town of Heidelberg is one of the most famous ruins in Germany and the city's landmark. The forti­fied castle from the 13th century was converted into the magnif­i­cent resi­dence of the Palatinate Electors in the Renais­sance. After the destruc­tion of 1689 and 1693 by the French, the castle was restored only hesi­tantly. In 1764, a devastating fire after lightning struck sealed all efforts. The building was abandoned and the ruin was used as a quarry for the new Schwet­zingen Summer Palace and later for the citi­zens of Heidelberg. At the end of the 18th century, the picturesque ruin was discov­ered by literary figures as a symbol of transience. During the Napoleonic Wars it was reinterpreted as a patri­otic monu­ment.

Philoso­pher's Path

Pano­ramic walk steeped in history
The name comes from a time when all students had to study the seven liberal arts, which were combined under the subject philosophy, before starting their studies. It was prob­ably not so much the scho­lars as the students who discov­ered the path as an ideal place for romantic walks and undis­turbed togeth­er­ness. For the first 700 meters the lower half leads steep and winding through one of the most expen­sive resi­den­tial areas in Heidelberg. Then it cont­inues on nearly even grounds . The Philoso­pher's Garden offers the best view over the Neckar to Heidelberg's old town, the Königstuhl and the castle, but also out into the Rhine plain.

From Heidelberg to Frankfurt

Rental car drop-off

From Heidelberg to Frankfurt

84 km | 1:30 h
This leg will take you around the edge of the Odenwald forest through the heavily popu­lated Rhine-Main Valley.

Lorsch Monastery

World Cultural Heritage from the time of Charle­magne
When the abbey was conse­crated in 774, Emperor Charle­magne was person­ally present with his family and court. Later he raised the abbey to one of his most important impe­rial monas­teries. Three build­ings of the formerly large complex remain: a frag­ment of the Nazarius basilica, a section of the monastery wall and the famous Königshalle. When Lorsch Monastery was declared a World Heritage Site in 2014, the monastery areas were linked in terms of landscape archi­tec­ture. An herbal garden was also created – according to the spec­ifica­tions of 1,200-year-old Lorsch pharma­copoeia.

Darmstadt

Ducal resi­dence and artists' colony
The small city between the Upper Rhine and the Odenwald was once the resi­dence of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. It was also the Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig who founded the city's most important attrac­tion in 1899: the artists' colony Mat­hil­den­hö­he. The Art-Deco style build­ings were created by seven like-minded artists. The houses all contained an artist's studio displaying inte­rior design, hand­i­crafts and painting. In the middle of the settle­ment is the 48 meter high wedding tower with an elevator and its entrance hall deco­rated with mosaics. In the Ernst-Ludwig-Haus, a museum informs about the history of the artists' colony, which came to an end in 1914.

Rental car drop-off

Loca­tion: Frankfurt Airport (Desk at Airport)

8 days
from € 1,359.00
per person based on two people sharing a double room
Services
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Meals (as listed above)
  • Climate Compensation



You can start this tour on any date.
Best Travel Time: April–October

The prices can vary depending on the season.
Your Consultants
Melissa Nußbaum

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-57


Leslie Jalowiecki

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-67


Jessica Parkin

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-23

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1. Your Tour Specifications
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2. Consulting + Itinerary
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4. Payment + Travel Documents
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5. Tour
We wish you a relaxing and memorable trip. Enjoy your holiday!

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