Rhine River and Castles Walk

Rhine River and Castles Walk

Trip Highlights

  • Walking through the stunning Rhine Valley
  • Exploring ancient wine-growing villages
  • Experiencing the areas rich history through its impressive castles and towns
  • Discovering the charming town of Koblenz where the Rhine meets the Moselle River

Trip Summary

Discover Germany's most popular region on the recently developed Rhine Trail (Rheinsteig). The Rhine Gorge stretches 65km along the river between Bingen and Koblenz in Germany and with its rich history, geological characteristics and unique culture it was understandably listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. The river has carved through the predominantly slate rock to produce dramatic cliffs up to 200m, the most famous of which is Loreley Rock. Dotted with castles, many of which were reduced to ruins during the Thirty Years War, and with the southern slopes covered by vineyards producing the famous riesling varietal, the region is as picturesque as it is fascinating. Walking through pretty wine villages with half timbered houses, ascending to the historic castles high above the river and arriving in Koblenz where the Rhine meets the Moselle are just some of the highlights of this week long walking holiday. In the evening stay in comfortable hotels specially chosen for their location and character.

Suitability

This trip involves 6 (or 3) days walking along wine-grower paths, solitary walking paths and old bridle paths. Good fitness and sure footedness is required for uphill/downhill sections on the mountain ridges of the Middle-Rhine valley. There is a section on a gorge which requires sure footedness and a head for heights. Walking times of up to 6 hours and distances of up to 25.5km are to be involved. For this reason the trip is graded as moderate (3). All stages can be completed or shortened using public transport.

Itinerary

Make your own way to Rüdesheim and your centrally located hotel. A wine growing area since Roman times, you'll find quaint wine taverns and historic half-timbered houses abound. Each summer a wine festival is held here (in mid August). It is also a music town, hosting Johannes Brahms on numerous occasions. There are several sites to visit, however you should not miss Drosselgasse, a laneway in the centre of the old town brimming with beautifully decorated restaurants. The cobblestone street is most alive during the summer when live bands play through the day and night in open-air garden taverns and wine bars. There are also interesting museums, abbeys, castles and wine taverns to visit.

Meals:  Nil

The walk begins along the Rheinsteig trail with a long ascent to a hunting lodge. Alternatively this section can be by cable car (Seilbahn) to the Niederwald monument (optional) high up on the Middle-Rhine valley. From here you can enjoy the beautiful views of the Nahe estuary. As you make your way above the Rhine, pass by the wine-growing communities of Assmannshausen, best known for its red wine, a magical cave and the Niederwald Memorial, before arriving in Lorch, with its many half-timbered houses, typical of the region. Enjoy a complimentary wine tasting this afternoon at the Rössler winery (closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but will open with prior arrangement). Overnight Lorch. Walking: 21km/13mi, ascent/descent +660m/2165ft, -680m/2230ft

Meals:  B

The walk today takes you along well maintained forest trails with panoramic views over the Rhine. You'll pass the ruins of Nollig castle and Gutenfels castle, and have great views of the impressive toll-castle Pfalzgrafenstein, located on an island on the river. This evening is spent in a small wine-grower town, either Kaub or Dörscheid. Walking: 13km/8mi, ascent/descent +460m/1509ft, -460m/1509ft

Meals:  B

A more challenging yet immensely rewarding stage today with many narrow ascents and descents. One of the highlights is an ascent to the legendary Loreley Rock with its impressive viewing platform providing a superb panorama of the Rhine River. The last stage takes you to Dreiburgenblick where you have a fabulous view of Katz, Rheinsfels and Maus castles. From here it is a short descent to the town of St Goarshausen in the Hasenbachtal Valley where you stay overnight. Walking: 19km/11.8mi, ascent/descent +590m/1935ft, -620m/2034ft

Meals:  B

Another challenging day with steep trails along idyllic paths to wine-grower communities. Today you walk along unspoilt tracks, with fantastic scenery and past defiant castles whilst crossing the Filsener Lay, one of the most beautiful nature reserves of the region. The castles of Liebenstein and Sterrenberg are famous for the legends surrounding the two "hostile brothers“ from the 12th/13th century. You also pass by a historic mining area and a pilgrim monastery from the 13th century which is still run by the Friars Minor. Overnight Kamp Bornhofen. Walking: 21km/13mi, ascent/descent +690m/2264ft, -700m/2297ft

Meals:  B

Along the route today you will come across Liebeneck castle, the Dinkelholder Mills and the impressive Marksburg castle. We recommend taking time to visit this complete extant castle. Your destination is Braubach, a walled wine-growing town with many half-timbered houses. Walking: 17km/10.5mi, ascent/descent +620m/2034ft, -620m/2034ft

Meals:  B

During the final stage several highlights await: castles, nature reserves, woodland and the Bienhorn valley. The tour offers long-distance views, amazing nature as well as an adventurous section through the Ruppertsklamm gorge, a genuine highlight! The gorge section is challenging, with rock stairs and some sections of the trail are secured with ropes. This will require a level of attention and if you are not comfortable on exposed trails you can easily skip this section following an alternative route. You cross the Rhine via the impressive bridge 'Pfaffendorfer Brücke‘, before ending your hiking in Koblenz, where the Moselle joins the Rhine. Overnight Koblenz. Walking: 20km/12.4mi, ascent/descent +690m/2264ft, -680m/2231ft

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast. If you would like to extend your stay in Koblenz, please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B

5 day trip

On arrival, check in to your centrally located hotel close to the Rhine and train station where your maps will be waiting for you. Rüdesheim has a wonderful tradition as a winemaking town which is celebrated each summer with a special festival held on the 3rd weekend in August. It is also a music town, hosting Johannes Brahms on numerous occasions. There are numerous sites to visit, however for a stroll through town you cannot miss the Drosselgasse, a laneway in the centre of the old town brimming with beautifully decorated restaurants. The cobblestone street is most alive during the summer when live bands play through the day and night in open-air garden taverns and wine bars. There are also interesting museums, abbeys, castles and wine taverns to visit.

Meals:  Nil

The walk begins along the Rheinsteig trail with a long ascent to a hunting lodge. Alternatively this section can be by cable car (Seilbahn) to the Niederwald monument (optional) high up on the Middle-Rhine valley. From here you can enjoy the beautiful views of the Nahe estuary. As you make your way above the Rhine, pass by the wine-growing communities of Assmannshausen, best known for its red wine, a magical cave and the Niederwald Memorial, before arriving in Lorch, with its many half-timbered houses, typical of the region. Enjoy a complimentary wine tasting this afternoon at the Rössler winery (closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but will open with prior arrangement). Overnight Lorch. Walking: 21km/13mi, ascent/descent +660m/2165ft, -680m/2230ft

Meals:  B

The walk today takes you along well maintained forest trails with panoramic views over the Rhine. You'll pass the ruins of Nollig castle and Gutenfels castle, and have great views of the impressive toll-castle Pfalzgrafenstein, located on an island on the river. This evening is spent in a small wine-grower town, either Kaub or Dörscheid. Walking: 13km/8mi, ascent/descent +460m/1509ft, -460m/1509ft

Meals:  B

A more challenging yet immensely rewarding stage today with many narrow ascents and descents. One of the highlights is an ascent to the legendary Loreley Rock with its impressive viewing platform providing a superb panorama of the Rhine River. The last stage takes you to Dreiburgenblick where you have a fabulous view of Katz, Rheinsfels and Maus castles. From here it is a short descent to the town of St Goarshausen in the Hasenbachtal Valley where you stay overnight. Walking: 19km/11.8mi, ascent/descent +590m/1935ft, -620m/2034ft

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts - generally buffet style and usually consisting of cereals, breads, spreads, meats, cheeses, fruit, tea, coffee and juice
  • 7 nights accommodation in comfortable 3 star hotels and guesthouses on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Maps and route notes (one set per room booked)
  • Wine tasting in Lorch
  • Luggage transfer
  • Emergency hotline

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from Rüdesheim / Koblenz or St Goarshausen
  • Meals not detailed in the itinerary including lunch and dinner daily
  • Drinks
  • Tour guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc.
  • Entrance fees, cable car and sightseeing fees and public transport used to shorten hikes
  • Travel insurance
  • Visitors tax - may be levied by hotels and payment is required locally
  • The optional cable car on day 2 - allow Eur10 pp

Upcoming Travel Dates

Reviews

I took this holiday to escape the daily grind and recharge. I really enjoyed the Lorch-Kaub stretch, particularly the start from Lorch!

M. Oeynes,, UK

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:Germany
Starting Point:Rüdesheim
Finishing Point:Koblenz or St Goarshausen
Activities:SELF GUIDED WALK
Grade:moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:RGW
Prices From:GBP£720 Per Person
Single Supplement - 5 Day trip:GBP£110  Click for more information
Single Supplement:GBP£180  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.