Romantic Road: From Munich to the Rhine Valley - Germany
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Romantic Road: From Munich to the Rhine Valley

Starting in Munich, your first visit is the fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein, after which you follow the Romantic Road to Rothenburg. A stay in 2000-year-old Augsburg gives you plenty of time for stops in some of the charming villages along the way. After visiting Heidelberg, the highlight will be a stay in a medieval castle in the Rhine valley.

This trip will be customized according to your wishes.

Munich

Munich

38 km | 34 minutes
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Munich

Tech, art and folklore

Although it is still a rela­tively young city, Munich’s charisma extends far beyond the Bavarian borders. Around the 11th century a few monks settled on the Isar – hence the name (apud Munichen – with the monks).

Because of its strategic loca­tion at a bridge and also at the inter­sec­tion of two trade routes, the city soon became the resi­dence of the Wittelsbach family who reigned as dukes, electors and kings of Bavaria. The city expe­r­i­enced a boom in the Baroque era and finally also in the 20th century. Munich became the capital of Art Nouveau – but also of the National Socialist move­ment. In 1919 Hitler already tested the demonic effect of his speeches in the Hofbräukeller. Although Munich is a high-tech loca­tion today, the Bavarian folklore is lovingly cared for, espe­cially in the last week of September when the Okto­berfest beer festival takes place.

Accommodation: A downtown hotel next to the Hofbräuhaus

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The 4-star hotel with an authentic Bavarian ambi­ence is just a few steps from the famous Hofbräuhaus in the very heart of Munich.

In addi­tion to spacious, modern bedrooms with indi­vid­u­ally adjustable air-condi­tioning, the prop­erty features an award-winning restau­rant, a cosy bar and spa/fitness facil­i­ties. An espe­cially popular feature is the lavish Breakfast buffet. All major sites in the Munich Old Town are within easy walking distance.

Marienplatz

Munich's pulsating heart
The square with the New Town Hall is Munich's pulsating heart. The carillon in the town hall attracts thou­sands of visitors. As the inter­sec­tion of the east-west axis between Isartor and Karlstor and the south-north axis between Sendlinger Tor and Schwabing, it is an ideal starting point for sightseeing tours through the Bavarian capital. In the pre-Christmas period the Christmas Market takes place here.

Church of Our Lady

Cathedral and landmark of Munich
The Gothic cathedral and city parish church “Zu Unserer Lieben Frau” dating back to the 15th century is the landmark of the city. The nave is 109 meters long, 40 meters wide and 37 meters high and is said to accommo­date 20,000 people. The 100 meter high towers with the so called “Welschen Hauben” are based on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. From the south tower of the Frauenkirche one has a magnif­i­cent view over the city. The footprint in the entrance hall is called the Devil's Step. The devil himself is said to have stood here because he had bet with master builder Jörg von Halspach for his soul. The church regu­larly gives organ concerts, has several choirs and its own cathedral singing school.

Viktu­al­ienmarkt

Munich's culinary centre
The Viktu­al­ienmarkt is the culinary centre of Munich. On 22,000 square metres you will find every­thing from fresh fruit and vegeta­bles and unusual cheeses to exotic spices. There are also snack and coffee stands and a cosy beer garden with a maypole. Munich's star chefs are also taking advantage of the wide range of prod­ucts on offer, and, in addi­tion to gourmets from all over the world, they are also welcome customers at the Viktu­al­ienmarkt.

From Munich to Pfronten

Rental car pick-up

Munich

4 km | 14 minutes

Rental car pick-up

Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Buchbinder
Vehicle: VW Golf or similar (CDMR)
Loca­tion: Munich (City Office)

From Munich to Pfronten

156 km | 2:30 h
A beau­tiful detour leads past two Prealpine lakes, Kochelsee and Walchensee, on the way to Garmisch Partenkirchen, where you can take a cable car to Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2,962 m).

Isarwinkel

Bavaria's picture book land
The land on the Isar is also called “Bavaria's Picture Book Land”. In front of the mighty mountain scenery in the south with its deeply cut valleys, a blooming landscape spreads out with blue lakes, char­ac­teristic places, splashing streams and gentle hills. The main town of Bad Tölz lies on the Isar river. The spa was formed at an iodine spring. The old town around the curved Markts­traße with its magnif­i­cent gabled houses is worth a visit. In the novel “Der Jäger von Fall” (The Hunter of Fall) Ludwig Ganghofer set a literary monu­ment to the inhab­i­tants of the Isarwinkel for their love of their home­land and thus also made the river landscape known trans-regional.

Walchensee

Blue-green alpine lake with viewing mountain
The Walchensee, with a maximum depth of 190 metres, is one of the deepest alpine lakes in the world. Hence its blue-green colour, which contrasts wonderfully with the white lime­stone walls of the Karwendel and Wetter­stein mountains. The most beau­tiful view over the lake is from the Herzog­stand (1761 metres), to which a cable car leads up from the lake. Several circular hiking trails start at the top.

Wieskirche

A miracle and rococo perfec­tion
On June 14, 1738, the farmer's wife Maria Lory saw tears in the eyes of a wooden figure depicting the suffering Jesus at the scourge column. This miracle soon attracted thou­sands of pilgrims. For the"Pilgrimage to the Scourged Saviour on the Meadow" a new church became neces­sary: the Wieskirche. From 1745 to 1754 Dominikus Zimmer­mann created the oval church, which nowa­days is regarded as Rococo of the highest perfec­tion. Today the Wieskirche is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts one million visitors from all over the world every year, espe­cially on the Festival of the Tears of Christ on the Sunday following 14 June. Concerts take place during summer.
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Allgäu

Baroque Churches and pre-alpine Hills

The Allgäu between Lake Constance in the west and the Lech River in the east is consid­ered one of the most beau­tiful destina­tions in southern Germany.

Extended moors and forests cover the north, while the southern part, sculp­tured by the ice age, is hilly and fertile. In the south the Allgäu borders the Alps with soaring mountain peaks and deep valleys. The Upper Swabian Baroque Road (Ober­schwäbische Barocks­traße) will lead you to marvellous churches and castles which harmo­nize wonderfully with the country­side.

Accommodation: A remote mountain-top castle

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

On a lofty summit orig­inally selected by King Ludwig the Mad for the site of another fairy-tale castle after comple­tion of Neuschwanstein sits a hotel which is like no other.

Newly arrived guests are first struck by the endless vistas of mountains, green valleys, lakes, and forests at their feet. Then comes the hotel itself, in which every room was indi­vid­u­ally and imag­ina­tively deco­rated by the owners them­selves, resulting in living quar­ters that are not mere guest rooms but dist­inct crea­tions that exude luxury, taste and comfort. Next to the hotel the ruins of Ludwig's final project still stand, within whose tranquil walls the visitor may better sense the lingering spirit of the eccentric ruler than at tourist-plagued Neuschwanstein, clearly visible in the distance. Trav­ellers who brave the narrow road leading up to the castle will be richly rewarded.

Füssen

Castle and old town at the foot of the Alps
The town is located in the Eastern Allgäu on the river Lech, which exits spectac­u­larly from a gorge between Ammergauer and Allgäu Alps into their foothills. That's why it has its name. The Romans called the settle­ment on the Via Augusta “Fauces”, which means “gorge”. Today Füssen marks the southern end of the Romantic Road and is a good starting point to visit the Bavarian royal castles. Worth seeing is the old town with its gabled houses and the High Castle, which lies on a steep rock high above the city.

Pfronten

Health resort with cable car to the Breit­enberg
The health resort on the northern edge of the Allgäu Alps is crossed by the River Vils and consists of 13 indi­vidual villages. The landmark is the late baroque church of St. Nicholas in Pfronten-Berg. From Pfronten-Steinach a cable car takes you to the Hochalpe (1502 m) and from there a chairlift goes on to the Breit­enberg (1838 m). From there you have a beau­tiful view in all direc­tions.

Hohenschwangau

From medieval castle to royal summer resi­dence
Hohenschwangau Castle, then also known as Schwanstein Castle, was first mentioned in docu­ments in the 12th century. It was owned by the Knights of Schwangau until the 16th century, after which it changed hands several times and was severely damaged in various wars. In 1832 the later King Maxi­m­ilian II, father of King Ludwig II, acquired it and had it rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style according to orig­inal plans. The Bavarian royal family used Hohenschwangau as a summer and hunting resi­dence. King Ludwig II spent his child­hood here and used it as his summer resi­dence until his death in 1886.

Aggenstein

Mountain with a view between Germany and Austria
On the border between Germany and Austria lies the 1,986 meter high Aggenstein. From the Breit­enbergbahn base station you can hike along a scenic trail to the Bad Kissinger hut. The last part to the summit is a secured climb. You can take a break at the Bad Kissinger hut. The ascent to the summit requires sure-foot­ed­ness and concen­tra­tion. At the top you have a pano­ramic view over the Tannheimer mountains. On your way down you pass the Hochalphütte, where you can stop again. (return: 10.7 kilome­ters, 5 hours, up and down: 1172 meters)

Lechfall

Spectac­ular exit of the River Lech from the Alps
The waterfall near Füssen is a unique natural monu­ment of the Bavarian Alps. The water masses of the River Lech, fed from the Alps, plunge over five steps twelve metres into the depth. Below the Lech Falls, the river narrows and enters the Lech Gorge. It is the only one in the entire Bavarian Alpine region through which a larger Alpine river can still flow freely and unim­peded by man. From the Lechfall car park you can take a tour of the royal castles, which leads to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau through magnif­i­cent landscape. (return: 13 kilome­ters, 6 hours, up and down 522 meters)

From Pfronten to Augsburg

140 km | 2:30 h

From Füssen you will take the Romantic Road to the north. Numerous castles, monas­tries and quaint villages are tucked into the rolling hills and forests.

The first part of the route is known as the “Land of Churches”. The rococo pilgrimage church of Wies (a World Heritage Site) and the baroque church in Rottenbuch should not be missed. Other places worth visiting include Wildsteig, Schongau, Hohenwurch and Landsberg am Lech. [Side note: Landsberg is where Adolf Hitler was impris­oned in 1924 and wrote “Mein Kampf”.]

Schönegger Käsealm

Moor walk and Brotzeit
From the Wieskirche the Brettlesweg runs through the Wiesfilz. The board­walk leads through a moist bog with many ponds. After a few minutes you reach the Schönegger Käsealm, where you can buy several dozen kinds of cheese, sausage, fresh hay milk and farm­house bread. Every­thing is from their own produc­tion. Or you can enjoy a Schönegger Brotzeit (snack) at one of the sunny tables. (There and back: 3.4 kilome­ters, 1:30 hour, up and down 52 meters)
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Augsburg

City for the Mozart and Brecht enthusiasts

The second oldest German city after Trier is named after the Emperor Augustus. Because of its strategic loca­tion on the main route to Italy, it quickly rose to a free impe­rial city and an important commer­cial center in the Middle Ages.

The Roma­nesque cathedral dates back to this time and on its south side one can admire the “prophet-windows” which are just as old – the only ones world-wide. Also worth seeing are the “Fuggerei”, the oldest social housing devel­op­ment in the world that has been inhabited since 1523, as well as the house of the Mozart family and the birthplace of Bertold Brecht.

Accommodation: A historical hotel next to the cathedral

1 Night | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The small hotel in the heart of Augsburg has been run by the same family for four gener­a­tions. Despite its central loca­tion, the inn sits in a surpris­ingly quiet section of the Old Town near the Cathedral, surrounded by narrow medieval streets where time seems to have stood still.

The 15th century building orig­inally served as the resi­dence of the Cathedral Provost, Johann Duke of Bavaria, whose coat of arms still adorns the hallway. In 1518 Martin Luther hid from the author­i­ties in the Provost's garden. Other famous guests included Marie Antoinette, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Napoleon III.

Maxi­m­il­ians­traße

Roman street with important historic artwork
In 15 BC, the Romans founded the military camp of Augusta Vindelicorum, which later became Augsburg. Around the same time, the Romans built a military road over the Alps, which ended in the Maxi­m­il­ians­traße. The Via Augusta remained the most important artery between southern Germany and northern Italy until the Late Middle Ages. The street's current appear­ance dates to the Renais­sance and the Baroque periods, during which the splendid guild houses lining the road were built. The road ends at the town hall in front of the Augus­tusbrunnen. This fountain was named after the Roman emperor and founder of Augsburg.

Fuggerei

Oldest oper­ating social housing complex in the world
The oldest oper­ating social housing complex in the world was estab­lished in 1521 by Jakob Fugger, a rich merchant from Augsburg. The foun­da­tion's charter, which is still valid today, provided poor, debt-free citi­zens of Augsburg with row housing. Today, 150 needy Catholic citi­zens of Augsburg live in the 140 apart­ments and 67 houses for a yearly rent, excluding util­i­ties, of 0.88 euros. Once a day, they are expected to recite the Lord's Prayer, a creed and a Hail Mary on behalft of the founder and the Fugger family. One of the houses is open to the public and serves as a Fuggerei museum.

Riegele Wirtshaus

A count­less selec­tion of beers and Bavarian special­ties
The Riegele Brewery was founded in 1884, when Sebas­tian Riegele Sr. bought the “Zum Gold­enen Roß” brewery, which in turn had dated back to 1386. Today, the Riegele Brewery has a pub offering a count­less selec­tion of beers, Riegele beer cocktails and Bavarian special­ties. In the summer months, you can also enjoy the shade of the old trees in the beer garden. At 200,000 hl, the Riegele Brewery is the largest private brewery in Augsburg. If you register in advance, you can even attend one of their eight-hour beer-brewing courses.

From Augsburg to Rothenburg

153 km | 3:00 h
This section of the Romantic Road includes the only three towns in Germany with intact medieval city walls: Nördlingen, Dinkelsbühl and Rothenburg. Other histor­ical villages of note include Feucht­wangen and Schillingsfürst.

The Romantic Road

Medieval cities, charming landscapes
Germany's most famous and popular holiday route offers charming landscapes, historic cities and castles along the way. It starts at the Main river and passes through western Franconia, Bavarian Swabia, and Upper Bavaria before reaching the edge of the Alps in the eastern part of the Allgäu. It covers 413 kilome­ters between the city of Würzburg and Neuschwanstein Castle. Sights along the way include the Würzburg Resi­dence, the medieval towns of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl, the Fuggerei in Augsburg, and the town of Landsberg am Lech, with its historic old town and its Wieskirche.
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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

189 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.

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 Oberwesel

128 km | 2:00 h

You will pass by the city of Worms, where Martin Luther was threat­ened with excommu­nica­tion in 1521 unless he retracted his teach­ings.

He refused and was declared an outlaw by Emperor Charles V. Important sites in Worms include the Roma­nesque cathedral from the 11th and 12th centuries and the oldest Jewish ceme­tery in Europe.

Speyer

Roma­nesque Impe­rial Cathedral on the Upper Rhine
As a free impe­rial city in the Middle Ages, Speyer was one of the most important cities of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The Emperor's- and St. Mary's-Cathedral is the world's largest preserved Roma­nesque church, – to-day a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Salian King and later Emperor Conrad II initiated the construc­tion in 1025 with the goal of creating the largest church of the Occi­dent. Eight German emperors and kings are buried in the crypt. Just a few minutes from the Cathedral is the Judenhof, the old Jewish quarter of Speyer. Here one can also view the mikvah (the bath­house) and sections of the syna­gogue.

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.

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 Frankfurt

Rental car drop-off

From Oberwesel to Frankfurt

79 km | 2:00 h (including ferry crossing)

Rental car drop-off

Loca­tion: Frankfurt Airport (Desk at Airport)

11 days
from € 1,799.00
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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