Along Germany's southernmost Borders

This tour explores the most southern parts of Germany while also crisscrossing the borders with Austria and Switzerland. After visiting Freiburg, the gate to the Black Forest, go north and visit the romantic town of Heidelberg. Your last stop is the Rhine Valley where you will be staying in a castle that has accommodated a number of German emperors well over 1000 years ago.

This trip will be customized according to your wishes.


Arrival in München

40 km | 39 minutes


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 Villa at Nymphenburg Palace

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The attrac­tive Neo-Renais­sance villa was built in 1886 next to the Nymphenburg Palace and park, one of the most famous sites in Munich.

The 17th century palace, now open to the public, has played an important role in numerous historic events. The small, family-run hotel next door prides itself on its 23 indi­vid­u­ally designed bedrooms and friendly service. Bicycles are loaned for free, for example, and tickets for the local public trans­porta­tion system for the ride downtown can be purchased at the recep­tion desk. In spite of the quiet loca­tion, Germany`s largest beer garden is just minutes away. The hotel staff will gladly provide restau­rant recom­men­da­tions and assist with the planning of local activ­i­ties. Indeed, the little inn was recently named a Service Hotel by the travel website Venere.

Upper Bavaria

“The true Bavaria” between the Alps and the Danube
Upper Bavaria is consid­ered to be the real Bavaria, the borders of which have changed several times over the centuries and have not taken tribal or language borders into account. In partic­ular, there is no specific Upper Bavarian dialect. The term “Oberbayern” first appeared in 1255 and today Upper Bavaria is only one of several admin­is­tra­tive districts in Bavaria, bordering the Upper Palatinate to the east, Franconia to the north and Swabia to the west. Because of its natural beauty and cultural attrac­tions, the region between the Danube and the Alps attracts many visitors from Germany and abroad.


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.

Nymphenburg Castle

Time Travel to the Bavarian Monarchy
A visit to the castle that Elector Ferd­inand Maria once gave his wife on the occa­sion of the birth of the heir to the throne is a journey through time to the Bavarian monarchy. Two shady avenues lead to the castle, between them lies the Nymphenburg Canal. In summer it belongs to the swans, in winter to the ice skaters. At the end the half a kilometer wide castle rises. The 230-hectare English castle park with its streams, canals and bridges looks like a fairy tale forest. Today the castle houses four museums.

From München to Salzburg

Rental car pick-up

From the hotel to the rental car station

17 km | 25 minutes

Rental car pick-up

Rental car pick-up
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Europcar
Vehicle: VW Polo or similar (EDMR)
Loca­tion: Munich (Railway Station)

From Munich to Salzburg

147 km | 2:00 h

The scenic route will take you through the rolling hills of the Prealpine country­side past beau­tiful Chiemsee. One of Ludwig the Mad's (Ludwig II) most spectac­ular projects after Neuschwanstein is located on the island of Herrenchiemsee: An opulent palace designed as a replica of the Palace of Versailles.

There are several quaint Bavarian towns close to the route, such as Traun­stein and Ruhpolding.


Merchant city on the banks of the Inn: Rosenheim
At a strate­g­ically favor­able loca­tion, at the conflu­ence of the Mangfall and the Inn, an important trading center devel­oped early on. A merchants' route from Italy to the north brought pros­perity to the town as early as the 13th century, a fact that is still evident today in the old town with its arcaded passage­ways. In the 19th century, Rosenheim expe­r­i­enced an upswing. The magnif­i­cent build­ings in the Art Nouveau style or the “Heimatstil”, as it was called here, bear witness to this.


Rowing, hiking or sailing on the cleanest lake in Upper Bavaria's
Tegernsee is one of a group of pre-Alpine lakes south of Munich in Bavaria that includes Ammersee, Starnberg­ersee, Schliersee, Simssee and Chiemsee. Lying farther south than the others and shel­tered by mountains on three sides, Tegernsee enjoys more sunshine than the neighbouring lakes – in fact, more sunshine than any other place in Germany. The lakeshores are, in contrast to many other Bavarian lakes, almost entirely acces­sible to the public, although partly covered with reeds. In the south there are two larger bays and a small island, the Ringseeinsel. In several surrounding villages one can rent sailing, rowing or electric boats. The pleasant climate makes Tegernsee a popular getaway for resi­dents of Munich. Thanks to the sunshine, clean air and remark­ably clean water fed by mountain streams, numerous spas have settled in the towns that dot the lakeshore. The Austrian border, marked by snow-capped peaks south of the lake, is a mere 20 km away.


Viewing mountain with Germany's highest church
The 1,838 metre high mountain belongs to the Mangfallgebirge, the eastern part of the Bavarian foothills of the Alps. It is the highest peak of the Wendelstein massif. Because of its exposed loca­tion it offers a very good view of the foothills of the Alps and at the same time can be seen from many loca­tions. The Wendelstein cable car and the Wendelstein rack and pinion railway open up the mountain, which consists of light grey Wetter­stein lime­stone. Around 100 metres below the summit stands the Wendelstein Church of 1889, Germany's highest church. There is also a mountain obser­vatory. The mountain top is also easily acces­sible on foot. From the valley station of the Wendelsteinbahn in Bayris­chzell-Oster­hofen it takes about three hours to reach the summit.


Mozart's romantic birthplace

The city located at the northern boundary of the Alps is one the most beau­tiful in central Europe. The backdrop of the Alps to the south contrasts strongly with the rolling plains to the north.

The closest Alpine peak – the 1,972 m Unter­sberg – is only a few kilome­ters from the city center. The inner city, or old town, is dominated by baroque towers and churches. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is Salzburg's most famous son. The houses where he was born and also lived in are popular tourist attrac­tions and there are many monu­ments remem­bering the “Wolferl” in the city. His family is buried in a small church grave­yard in the old town.

Accommodation: A historical villa in Salzburg

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The historic villa was built in 1863 by an Italian master builder and from 1923 to 1938 was the resi­dence of the world-famous von Trapp family, whose life under­lies the musical “The Sound of Music”.

The prop­erty is situ­ated in the middle of a picturesque park near the histor­ical centre of Salzburg. Since 2008 the hotel has been restored to its former glory and is open to the public for the first time as a hotel. Numerous photos recall the former inhab­i­tants of the villa, creating a family charm. The former bedrooms are now stylish and indi­vid­u­ally furnished guest rooms. In the dining room you start the day with a rich Breakfast, which you can finish later with a glass of wine on the large terrace or in the cosy salon.

Bercht­esgaden National Park

National Park around Lake Königssee and Mount Watzmann
The park is located in the mountai­nous area south of the town of Bercht­esgaden. The eastern, southern, and western bound­aries of the park coincide with the state border between Germany and Austria. The area of the park is econom­ically unde­vel­oped, and there are no settle­ments. In the center of the park is a large lake, the Königssee. West of the lake is the massif of Watzmann (2,713 metres (8,901 ft)), the third highest mountain in Germany.

Salt Mine Bercht­esgaden

Under­ground train ride into the history of mining
Salt has been mined here using the “wet mining” technique since 1517, making it the oldest salt mine in Germany. The mine, which is open to the public, currently employs 100 people, fifty of whom work under­ground. After donning miners' clothes, you will enjoy a multi­media show called the “Salt­TimeJourney,” and then ride a narrow gauge train down into the mine. To reach the under­ground salt lake further down, you can either take the stairs or use the miners' slide. A cable ferry will pull you across the lake and back to the train. The tour lasts about an hour.

St. Wolfgang

Pilgrims Church above Lake Wolfgang
At the end of an eventful polit­ical life in 976, when Saint Wolfgang built a monastery with his own hands and worked several miracles, he had no idea that his hermitage would become one of the most famous tourist resorts in Austria. St. Wolfgang owes this above all to the pilgrimage church, which is dedicated to him and enthroned in perfect grace over the Wolfgangsee. Inside, the late Gothic church impresses with a richly deco­rated altar, which Michael Pacher completed in 1481. He shows Our Lady kneeling in front of her child and framed by two monks, Saint Bene­dict and of course Saint Wolfgang.

Ramsauer Schatt­seitweg

Through the magic forest to Hintersee
The varied hike leads along the Schatt­seitweg from the Gasthof Oberwirt in Ramsau to Hintersee. After a few minutes you reach the glacier springs, which are fed by the melt­water of the Blaueis glacier at Hochkalter, 1,500 metres above sea level. After you have crossed the Marxen­klamm gorge, through which a torren­tial white water rushes, you go on a nature trail through the magical forest. Over bridges and footbridges you reach the Hintersee and go back halfway up. (round trip: 15.7 kilome­ters, 5:15 hours, up and down: 734 meters)

Bercht­esgaden alpine adven­ture trail

Educa­tional and obser­va­tion trail over alpine paths
The hike leads through the history of alpine farming. Three alpine pastures are on the way, where informa­tion boards provide informa­tion about the alpine pasture system. You also have wonderful views of the Bercht­esgaden and Chiemgau Alps. The tour leads along paved alpine and forest paths. The alpine steep tracks require a certain amount of surefoot­ed­ness. (Round trip 11.1 kilome­ters, 4 hours, up and down: 670 meters)

Via the Grünstein to St. Bartholomä

Hike and boat trip
The great hike begins at the large parking lot at Königssee. The first high­light is the Grünstein (1304 m) with a beau­tiful view over the Bercht­esgaden basin. From there it is possible to cross over to the Kphrointhütte. After a snack you can descend to the church of St. Bartholomä and return by boat to the starting point. The world-famous pilgrimage church, the first parts of which date back to the 12th century, is picturesquely situ­ated on a peninsula. Adja­cent to it is the former hunting lodge, which now serves as an inn. (Hin: 5:30 hours, 11 kilome­ters, up and down: 680 meters, only for expe­r­i­enced and sure-footed hikers, contains secured passages)

From Salzburg to Innsbruck

179 km | 3:00 h
A charming side road takes you from Salzburg to Bercht­esgaden. Here, you will pass Eagle's Nest at Mount Ober­salzberg, where Hitler had his Bavarian holiday home, named the Berghof. At the rivers Saalach and Lofer you will cont­inue toTyrol.


Wild beauty at the foot of the Watzmann
The fjord-like lake at the foot of the Watzmann stretches between steeply rising mountain slopes. It is 200 metres deep and is consid­ered one of the cleanest lakes in Germany. On its eastern shore, a footpath leads to the Malerwinkel, which has attracted count­less painters for centuries. There you have a magnif­i­cent view on the lake, the peninsula St. Bartholomä and the Schönfeldspitze. From the boat dock on the shore, boats go to the south end of the lake. From there you can cont­inue on foot to Obersee. The chapel on St. Bartholomä is the landmark of the lake. It dates back to the 12th century.


The mountain is calling!
Once the cruel King Waze­mann ruled over the Bercht­esga­dener Land with his wife and child. Once he crushed a peasant family with his horse. The farmer's wife cursed for God to turn him and his family into stone. Imme­di­ately the earth opened up and spit fire: the king became a scary mountain, surrounded by secondary peaks, which are still called Watzmannfrau (wife) and Watzmannkinder (chil­dren) today. Writer Ludwig Ganghofer used the myth in his novel “Die Martinsklause”. Later, the 2,713-metre-high colossus fascinated alpin­ists and mountai­neers. The first ascent of the central peak took place in 1800, but it was not until 1868 that the three main peaks were crossed. A total of over 100 mountai­neers have already died in the walls of the evil king.

Zillertal Railway

Travel like over 100 years ago
The Zillertal valley has been crossed by a railroad line between Jenbach and Mayrhofen for over 100 years. Construc­tion began in 1900 and the line and all its sections have been in oper­a­tion since July 31, 1902. At the beginning, the oper­ating company owned two steam locomo­tives, ten passenger cars and 22 freight cars. Nowa­days, the line is used mainly for local tourist traffic. In addi­tion to several modern trains, various oper­able steam locomo­tives also traverse the picturesque valley and, as nostalgic slow trains, convey the travel feeling of a bygone era.


The only big city in the Alps

The capital of Tyrol is located in the Inn Valley at the junc­tion of the north-south route connecting Germany to Italy with the east-west route between Switz­er­land and Vienna.

The only major city in the Alps has a medieval city center with narrow alleys and numerous exam­ples of Gothic archi­tec­ture, the most famous of which is the house with the Golden Roof (Gold­enes Dachl). The city, which has twice hosted the Winter Olympics (1964, 1976), is famous for its scenic setting amid soaring Alpine peaks such as the Karwendel mountain range in the north and the Lanser heads as well as the Patscherkofel – a popular skiing terrain – in the south-east, where a cable car leads to the summit also during the summer months.

Accommodation: A historical downtown hotel

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The old double eagle coat of arms of the Astro-Hungarian Empire still hangs above the entrance to the histor­ical guest­house.

In the 15th century the stalls of Emperor Maxi­m­ilian I (known as the Knightstood on the site. The stalls were replaced by a patri­cian villa in the 17th century that has now served as an inn for nearly 500 years. Since its recent resto­ra­tion the hotel has been awarded a 4-star rating. No two rooms in the building are alike, and most are deco­rated in accordance with a specific theme, such as the Sissi Room named after the Austrian Princess or the Castle Room. The area of the building that contains the hotel restau­rant was once part of a neighbouring monastery. The restau­rant, one of the best in Innsbruck, also has a proud, 500-year tradi­tion. A well­ness and massage centre is also avai­l­able to guests.


Quaint farm­houses in the shadow of the Zugspitze
The town dates back to the Roman route station “Partanum” on the Via Claudia. In 1361 it gained in importance when it became the offi­cial resting station on the trade route from Augsburg to Italy. Quaint farm­houses are found espe­cially in Garmisch. Southwest lies the Zugspitze – the highest mountain in Germany at 2,964 meters – and its top can be reached by cable car! The famous Bene­dic­tine Abbey from 1330 is located 15 kilome­ters north in Ettal.

Tyrolean Folk Art Museum

Collec­tion on the cultural history of Tyrol
As early as 1888, the Tyrolean Trade Asso­cia­tion had decided to open a “Trade Museum”. The tradi­tional Tyrolean crafts­man­ship was threat­ened by indus­trial­i­sa­tion at that time. The collec­tion initially concen­trated on hand­i­crafts. Over the years, the collec­tion was expanded to include other themes, before the Tyrol state took over the museum from the Tyrolean Trade Asso­cia­tion in 1926. Since its reopening in 1929, the museum has been inspiring count­less locals and visitors.

Golden Roof

Former resi­dence of the Tyrolean sovereigns
The late Gothic bay window is located in the old town of Innsbruck and bears its name because of the 2,657 fire-gilded copper shin­gles on the roof. The magnif­i­cent house was built in 1420 as the resi­dence of the Tyrolean sovereigns. However, the magnif­i­cent dungeon was only added 80 years later on behalf of the then German King Maxi­m­ilian I.. In 1536 the leader of the Tyrolean Anabaptist move­ment, Jakob Hutter, was burned alive on the square in front of the Golden Roof. Many of his followers then emigrated to America and founded several commu­ni­ties in Penn­sylvania, where they are still called Hutterer today and live a tradi­tional, pre-indus­trial lifestyle. Today the Golden Roof houses a museum.

Around the Patscherkofel

Sun terrace with glacier view
The circular hike around the Patscherkofel offers magnif­i­cent views of the Viggartal, the Viggar­spitze and the Glungezer. The first section leads from the mountain station of the Kofelbahn along the Zirbenweg past the Boschebenhütte to the Hochmahdalm. Here you can stop for refresh­ments on the sun terrace with a fantastic view of the Stubai Glacier. (return: 5.5 kilome­ters, 2 hours, up and down: 250 meters)

From Innsbruck to Pfronten

120 km | 2:30 h

Stams Abbey

Monastery church and burial place of the Tyrolean sovereigns
The abbey was founded in 1273 by Cister­cian monks who culti­vated the wilder­ness above the Inn River. It was intended to serve as a burial place for the Tyrolean sovereigns. The orig­inally Roma­nesque church was remod­eled in the 18th century in Baroque style. The high altar in the form of a tree of life with 84 sculp­tures is worth seeing. Today, the monastery oper­ates a museum, a monastery store, a distillery and an alpine pasture.


Germany's highest mountain with pano­ramic views
With its 2,962 meters, the highest mountain in Germany is located southwest of Garmisch. The border between Germany and Austria runs across the western summit. Extending southwards from the mountain is the Zugspitzplatt, a plateau with numerous caves. On the side slopes of the Zugspitze are three glaciers, including the two largest in Germany.
Located directly on the Zugspitze are the Munich house on the western summit and the Wiener-Neustädter-Hut in the western flank. Three cable cars lead to the peak, – the one from Tyrol being a cogwheel railway. In winter it is a skiing area, whereas in summer visitors come to enjoy the breathtaking views.


Magnif­i­cent baroque monastery
The Bene­dic­tine monastery between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Ober­ammergau was founded in 1330 by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian. The monastery includes farms, several inns, a hotel and a grammar school with adjoining boarding school. Further­more, an art publishing house, a distillery and a brewery. But the main attrac­tion is the magnif­i­cent church. The central building dates to the High Gothic period, but was added to by a large dome in the Baroque period.

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)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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)


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 Konstanz

137 km | 3:30 h (including ferry crossing)

The route leads along the pano­ramic German Alpine Road, one of the most scenic stretches in Germany, to Lake Constance.

In Lindenberg you may want to stop to sample the famous Lindenberg Cheese. From Lindau you will trace the entire north shore of the lake around to the city of Konstanz in the southwest corner.

Lake Constance region

Swabian Sea against a high mountain backdrop
Europe's third largest lake is widely consid­ered one of its most beau­tiful, thanks to its incomparable Alpine setting. Yet what makes the freshwater lake truly unique is its geograph­ical posi­tion between three countries: Austria, Switz­er­land and Germany. Oddly, it has never been estab­lished what part of the lake belongs to which country, thus making it impos­sible to deter­mine what country one is offi­cially in during a boat ride. The River Rhine flows through the lake, entering at the east end, passing through the city of Konstanz and exiting near the medieval Swiss town Stein am Rhein. The romantic island of Mainau with its landscaped gardens and sculp­tured flowerbeds is worth an excur­sion. The little town of Stein am Rhein, the Swiss answer to Rothenburg just 28 km west of Konstanz, should not be missed.


Lookout between Allgäu and Tyrol
The 1178 meter high Oberjochpass is only a few hundred meters away from the Austrian border. It is an important link between the Allgäu and Tyrol. Those who drive the winding Jochs­traße between Hinde­lang and Oberjoch, can already marvel at the view of the Allgäuer Alps, while Hinde­lang and Oberdorf lie below.


Sailing and swimming in the Allgäu natural lake
The natural lake to the west of Immenstadt covers nearly 2.5 square kilome­tres and is crossed by the river Konstanzer Ach. Other trib­utaries are the hill­side streams in the south. An area of outstanding natural beauty has been estab­lished all around the lake. The Alpsee is great for sailing and surfing because of the valley running east­wards offering passage for the prevailing west­erly winds. This often leads to strong turbu­lence; the wind direc­tion can change very quickly. There are bathing opportu­ni­ties in three places: on the south-west, south-east and eastern shore.


Following the torrent on wooden footbridges and rock stairs
North­east of Sonthofen, the Starzlach has dug a wild and romantic ravine for many thou­sands of years. The torrent rises at an alti­tude of 1070 metres and then rushes through the picturesque gorge. It plunges over several waterfalls, which provide cool­ness in summer and freeze to bizarre ice curtains in winter. Wooden footbridges, rock stairs and even shorter tunnels have made the wild gorge acces­sible. (return 2:30 hours, 3,6 kilome­ters, up and down 250 meters)


By cable car to the local mountain of Ober­staufen
The 1,834 meter high mountain is the highest peak of the foothills of the Allgäu Alps. Because of its exposed loca­tion it is easy to reach and offers a great view of the mountains and the lush green foothills from above. The Hochgratbahn leads up the mountain. One can, for example, take the cable car up the hill and, on the way back, walk to the valley station via the Nagelfluhkette. (return: 11.3 kilome­ters, 4:30 hours, up and down: 960 meters)


2000 years of history at Lake Constance

Despite its two thou­sand year history the city on the southern shore of Lake Constance is vibrant. This is due to the Univer­sity, which attracts many young people, to the theaters and concerts.

Since 1993 the harbor is dominated by a massive statue that rotates once around its own axel every four minutes. A nine meter high female figure with a plunging neck­line holds two gnomes in her hands. This is the legendary pros­titute Imperia and the two gnomes are the Emperor and the Pope. During the Council of Constance 1414-1418 she slept – and played – with both. Jan Hus, who criti­cized the power and demo­r­al­izing influ­ences of concu­bines within the Roman Church most violently, was burned at the end of the Council in Constance at the stake.
The old town around the cathedral and the town hall is espe­cially beau­tiful and inter­esting.

Accommodation: An exclusive lakefront villa

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The attrac­tive villa built in 1872 in the late-Empire style is a regis­tered landmark on the shore of Lake Constance.

The nine bedrooms featuring lake views have been lovingly deco­rated and furnished with antiques. Guests can stroll along the shore prom­enade directly in front of the building, relax in the large garden behind it, or take cruises to various destina­tions around the lake. Downtown Constance is just a 15-minute walk across a bridge over the Rhine in one direc­tion, the beau­tiful island of Mainau a few minutes' drive in the other. The charming hotel is also perfectly situ­ated for day trips to Switz­er­land.


Zeppelin plant on the northern shore of Lake Constance
This town on the northern shore of Lake Constance named after the first King of Württem­berg was only estab­lished in 1811. Because of free trade priv­i­leges with Switz­er­land the city grew rapidly and attracted indus­trial­ists and tourists, including the Russian Tsar Alexander II. In the early 20th century the Graf von Zeppelin from Konstanz set up his airship factory in Friedrichshafen. This was converted into arms facto­ries in the Third Reich, but today they belong to Airbus.


Magnif­i­cent gardens in Lake Constance
Due to its magnif­i­cent gardens and park­land the 45-hectare island at Konstanz is also known as “Island of Flowers”. The favor­able climate contributes to the thriving of palm trees and other trop­ical plants. In March the flower season opens with an orchid exhi­bi­tion. There­after blos­soming tulips, narcissi and hyacinths have a turn to show off their beauty before being replaced by rhodo­dendrons and azaleas. Summer is the time for roses and in autumn the dahlias develop their splendor. In the all-year-open butterfly house one can stroll around at 26 degrees and 90 percent humidity, marveling at the exotic vegeta­tion and cascading waterfalls.


From a fishing settle­ment to bishop's resi­dence
At the tran­si­tion between Obersee and Überlinger See lies the small town between forests and vine­yards. The former fishing settle­ment expe­r­i­enced its heyday as the resi­dence of the bishops of Constance between the 16th and 18th century, in which today's townscape was shaped. The New Palace east of the Schlossplatz was also built for the bishops. Today, Balthasar Neumann's impres­sive building houses the Dornier Museum. The Meer­sburg castle rises above the city. It is consid­ered to be the oldest castle in Germany, which was inhabited throughout. The writer Annette von Droste-Hülshoff spent her last years here.

From Konstanz to Freiburg

128 km | 2:30 h
The rela­tively short leg allows enough time for a scenic drive through the heart of the Black Forest. Beau­tiful Lake Titisee is an excel­lent place to stop for coffee.

Black Forest

Fragrant meadows, dark forests
Germany's south-western corn­er­stone is about 160 kilome­ters long and between 20 and 60 kilome­ters wide. The descent towards the Rhine is steep while the tran­si­tion into the Neckar and Danube Valleys to the east is a more gentle one. With its fragrant meadows, dark forests and crystal clear waters, the region is still the epitome of the perfect world. The Black Forest is ideal for leisure activists: hiking, mountain biking, climbing and white­water rafting is just as popular as visiting one of the many thermal baths between Baden Baden and Bad Griesbach.

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.


A view from Lake Constance to the Swiss Alps
Towering above Lake Constance is the local hill of Singen, crowned by a ruin. The 693 meter high Hohentwiel offers great views: From the impres­sive fortress the eye roams from Lake Constance across the rolling hills of the Hegau to the chain of summits of the Swiss Alps. For the last 9,000 years people have been settling on these slopes of the volcanic mountain. Farmers from the Neolithic period, artists from the Bronze Age and the Celts have all left their traces. A short one-hour walk leads from downtown Singen to the summit.

Forest nature trail Häusern

About the biocoenoses in the Black Forest
More than 50 display boards inform about the biocoenoses in the mixed forest, among them the bats, the forest mush­rooms and the birds in the Upper Black Forest. Anyone can take part in a forest quiz. The trail starts at the Felsenweg. From there it cont­inues across the Scheibenfelsen to the sports field of Häusern. Passing the sports field, we follow the signs. A short detour to the Fuchsfelsen (Fox Rock) is optional. From there you have a wonderful view. Through Gold­egasse we return to the starting point. (return: 2 kilome­ters, 1 hour, up and down: 30 meters)


In the footsteps of charcoal makers and glass carriers
There have been glass­works in the remote Windberghochtal ever since the 12th century. Their fragile prod­ucts were trans­ported with great care through the Black Forest. The glass carriers with their custom-made “backpack cupboards” were special­ized in this. The hike passes several huts and leads through a magnif­i­cent wilder­ness with waterfalls and ancient forest. In good weather you have a wonderful view up to the Alps. (return: 14.1 kilome­ters, 5 hours, up and down: 372 meters)


Beau­tiful views from the highest mountain of the Black Forest
At 1,493 metres, Feldberg is not only the highest mountain in the Black Forest but also in Germany not counting the Alps. A nature reserve has been estab­lished around the summit with its subpolar vegeta­tion. Espe­cially during inver­sion weather condi­tions during winter you have sensa­tional views. Then the Vosges mountains pile up on the other side of the cloudy sea, while in the south the snow-capped Alps glitter – from the Zugspitze to the Bernese Upper Alps. In the House of Nature, which also serves as the admin­is­tra­tive seat of the Southern Black Forest Nature Park, there is a perma­nent, inter­ac­tive exhi­bi­tion. Behind the house begins the nature trail “Wichtelpfad im Auer­hahnwald”. (return: 2.2 kilome­ters, 0:45 hours, up and down 60 meters)


Green university town in the warm Upper Rhine Valley

The city in southwestern Germany which lies in the Upper Rhine Valley between the French Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest to the east, enjoys a pleasant warm climate.

Its story begins with a castle (Freiburg – “free castle”) of the Zähringer Duke in 1008. Today the vibrant univer­sity town with over 30,000 students is a stronghold in the world for solar energy research and one of the few German cities with a “green” mayor. The picturesque, traffic-free old town with its magnif­i­cent cathedral lends itself to a leisurely stroll, to shop or to dine. South of the city the Schauins­land rises, – one of the most beau­tiful mountains in the southern Black Forest. And a few kilome­ters north the Kais­er­stuhl (Emperor’s Chair), a range of hills where rare plants and excel­lent wines grow, emerges from the Rhine plains.

Accommodation: An ancient Wine Bar next to the Cathedral

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast | 1x Parking (paid directly) – no SUV

The hotel is actu­ally located in two build­ings: one on the Münsterplatz in the shadow of Freiburg's impres­sive cathedral, the other just a short walk away along cobble­stoned streets.

The Weinstuben serves a very satisfying lunch or dinner in a conge­nial, cozy atmo­sphere. Beamed ceil­ings, wooden tables, white linen, and contented chatter set the mood for the charming restau­rant. It is a popular place to dine in the marvelous medieval town of Freiburg. In addi­tion to the restau­rant, there are 26 guest­rooms, found either directly above the Weinstube or in the neigh­boring building. All have been refurbished and are very attrac­tive.


Distant views of Mont Blanc
To the south of Freiburg lies a mountain peak called Schauins­land (“look into the country”); with 1284 meters one of the best view­points in the Black Forest. Espe­cially in the fall, when the mountains rise “above the clouds” pheno­m­enal views open up: to the Vosges, the Hornisgrinde and the Bernese Alps, even to Mont Blanc. Those who do not want to hike to the summit can take the Schauins­land-Tram.

Emperor's Chair

Sunshine, wine and walking
North of Freiburg lies the Kais­er­stuhl (“Emperor's Chair”), a group of hills that rise up from the Rhine Valley. Its name is most likely owed to King Otto III, who held court at Sasbach in 994 and later became emperor. Germany's warmest region is famous for its white wines, but also for its great variety of orchids. Wild hyacinths grow between the vines, irises bloom on the slopes and green lizards and mantises live in the meadows. The best way to explore this sunny area is on foot via the 22-kilometer Kais­er­stuhl-Path which leads from Endingen to Ihringen.

From Freiburg to Heidelberg

198 km | 3:00 h

From Freiburg the route will head north along the entire west edge of the Black Forest National Park. One of the oldest German spas is located towards the north end of the Black Forest: Baden-Baden.

Remnants of Roman baths show that the natural springs of Baden-Baden have been valued by the priv­i­leged classes for over 2,000 years.


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.


At the meeting place of two cultures
The capital of Alsace (Elsaß) on the western bank of the Upper Rhine is located at the meeting place of two cultures and is not the seat of the Euro­pean Parlia­ment only by chance. The Roman settle­ment quickly devel­oped into an important trading center and was one of the most splendid cities of the German Empire in the Middle Ages. Mystics and human­ists lived here as did reformers and first-class arti­sans. Johannes Gutenberg devel­oped his first printing press in the shadow of the cathedral. Goethe and Herder studied at the Univer­sity. 1681 the city was occu­pied by Louis XIV and remained French until 1871 (Franco-German War). After the 1st World War, the city fell back to France. The historic center on the Grande Isle consists of picturesque half-timbered houses from the 16th and 17th centuries. The impres­sive cathedral, one of the most signif­icant monu­ments of Western archi­tec­ture, towers at its center. The entire old town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Black Forest High Road

Holiday route through the Black Forest National Park
Germany's oldest holiday route runs through the northern Black Forest and is part of the Bundess­traße 500, which begins in Baden-Baden and climbs up steeply to the main ridge of the northern Black Forest, reaching it at Bühler­höhe. On a rock there is a small church of St. Mary, popu­larly known as the Adenauer Chapel, with glass windows worth seeing. When the weather is clear, one has a comprehen­sive view over the Rhine plain to the Vosges.

From Bühler­höhe, the elevated road runs from 800 to over 1000 meters above sea level. Near Sand am Mehliskopf an all-weather bob run is in oper­a­tion year round. Here is also the junc­tion to the nearby Schwarzenbachtalsperre and to the cross-country skiing centre Herrenwies.
Below the highest mountain in the northern Black Forest, the 1164-metre-high Hornisgrinde, the road reaches the almost circular Mummelsee, around which leads a short plank track.

The admin­is­tra­tion of the Black Forest National Park, which the Black Forest High Road crosses over long distances, is located in the nature conser­va­tion centre at Ruhestein. To the west of Ruhestein, the only via ferrata in the northern Black Forest leads over the Karlsruher Grat. A few kilome­tres further south along the road lies the Lothar Trail, which demon­s­trates the consequences of hurricane Lothar. Over the heights of the Schliffkopf and the Kniebis the road finally leads to Freu­denstadt, where it ends.


Last flood­plain forest on the Upper Rhine
When the Rhine was still a trib­utary of the Rhone and flowed into the Mediterranean, dewing Glet­zscher had formed a huge lake between the Black Forest and the Vosges. Later, after the Rhine had dug its way through the barrier of the Taunus Mountains, the lake became a wetland biotope with large riparian forests and a maze of water arms with an extremely diverse fauna and flora. When the Upper Rhine was straight­ened and tamed in the 19th century, only Taubergießen remained of the area. With almost 2,000 hectares of land, it is today the largest nature reserve in Baden-Württem­berg. Several hiking trails lead through the “last jungle on the Rhine”. Boat trips with tradi­tional fishing boats are also offered. A popular circular route is the Swamp Beaver Route (round trip: 13 kilome­tres, 3 hours, up and down: 20 metres).


Romantic wine-growing town on the Roman road
The romantic wine-growing town southwest of Baden Baden was located on the Roman road from Strasbourg to Mainz. The magnif­i­cent houses and the partially preserved city wall bear witness to the wealth of the Middle Ages. Above the ceme­tery there is a statue of Erwin von Steinbach, who was involved in the construc­tion of Strasbourg Cathedral as a builder, and died in Strasbourg in 1318. If you walk from Baden Baden, you pass the cosy Walde­necksee. Via walkways and narrow paths one follows the forest sports trail after the hut to Varnhalt. (There: 8.4 kilome­ters, 2 hours, up: 140 meters, down: 250 meters)


Local Mountain of Baden Baden
The 670 meter high mountain four kilome­ters east of Baden Baden offers a great view over the Rhine Valley. It is named after the ancient Roman god of trade, to whom a Roman votive stone found on the summit is dedicated. If you don't want to go up on one of the many hiking trails, you can take the Merkurbergbahn from 1913. At the lookout tower there is a mountain inn. A hiking trail leads through the species-rich mixed forests and on to the bizarre rocks at the Battert. (return 16,8 kilome­ters, 5:30 hours, up and down: 680 meters)


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 boutique hotel on the River Neckar

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

On entering the rooms in this new boutique hotel guests are first struck by the stunning views of Heidelberg from every window. At night the illu­minated castle and Old Town spread out before you will almost seem unreal. For more unre­stricted pano­ramic views you can relax on the rooftop lounge, or spend the after­noon or evening even higher up in the hotel's private vine­yard – with a well-stocked picnic basket provided by your host.

After admiring the view guests can begin to admire their tempo­rary home away from home: every room and every piece of furni­ture in it were exclu­sively designed by a Floren­tine archi­tect with an eye to balance and harmony. All items of furni­ture were handmade by local craftsmen. While thor­oughly modern, the inte­rior decor was designed to recap­ture the late 18th century spirit of Romanticism, when Heidelberg was Germany's philo­soph­ical and literary centre. The noble simplicity of the 18th century building's white exte­rior gives the impres­sion of a private resi­dence rather than a hotel. Downtown Heidelberg is just a few minutes' walk away across the famous Old Bridge.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jewish quarter of Worms

Medieval center of German Jewry
The Jewish commu­nity of Worms was one of the most important in the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages and early modern times. Jewish merchants enjoyed impe­rial customs freedoms since the 11th century A famous Talmud school flour­ished in Worms. The syna­gogue was conse­crated in 1034. The Jewish ceme­tery is the oldest in Europe and has existed since at least 1058. The glorious era ended in 1096 when the Crusader army reached Worms. The Jews were murdered unless they under­went forced baptism or committed suicide. The former Jewish quarter in the north of the old town is now restored. Worth seeing is the syna­gogue, which was devastated in the pogrom night of 1938 and rebuilt in 1961. The Rashi House is now a museum and provides informa­tion about Jewish life in the Upper Rhine region.

Luther monu­ment at the former Reichstag

Where the Middle Ages ended
Where the Kunsthaus Heylshof stands today, the Palatinate, the palace of the German emperors in Worms, was located in the Middle Ages. From the 15th century onwards, impe­rial diets were held here, at which the impe­rial estates gathered and decided on common laws and orders. It was above all the Impe­rial Diet of 1521 that found its way into world history. At that time, the young monk Martin Luther was supposed to recant his heret­ical theses before the emperor and the envoys of the pope. Instead, with his foolhardy refusal, “Here I stand, I can do no other,” he ushered in the schism of the church and with it the end of the Middle Ages. This is commem­o­rated by the Luther Monu­ment of 1868 in the then customary style of national hero worship. Besides a titanic Luther, it shows the Euro­pean reformers Waldes (France), Wyclif (England), Hus (Czech Republic) and Savon­arola (Italy).


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.


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.


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.


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 a. Main

Rental car drop-off

From Oberwesel to Frankfurt

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

Rental car drop-off

Rental car drop-off
Loca­tion: Frankfurt Airport (Desk at Airport)

16 days
from € 2,779.00
per person based on two people sharing a double room
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Meals (as listed above)
  • Sunny Cars Permit for Austria (payable on site)
  • Sunny Cars Permit for Switzerland (payable on site)

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

The prices can vary depending on the season.
Your Consultant
Alina Frielingsdorf

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-25

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