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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Self-guided walking holiday, Castles of the Romantic Rhine (the Rheinsteig)
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Highlights

  • Walk along the Upper Rhine Valley, between historic castles on the Rheinsteig.
  • Exploring romantic vineyard riverscapes on footpaths high above the river.
  • The Loreley rock, made famous in song, at the narrowest point of the Rhine.
  • Walking between picturesque villages and historic hilltop fortresses.
  • Sipping a Riesling in a timber-framed tavern in Rüdesheim’s Drosselgasse.

The picture-book Upper Middle Rhine Valley is perfect for walkers and wine lovers. Discover countless (more than 30!) hilltop castles and stately homes as you follow the Rheinsteig hiking trail along the eastern side of this UNESCO World Heritage region.

Walk from Koblenz to the pretty wine village of Rüdesheim. Rewarding, undulating footpaths offer panoramic views, as you wander through vineyards, deep gorges and quiet woodland. Myths and legends abound here, such as the story of Loreley, the beautiful siren of the rocks. And of course, there’s the world-class wines, which you can sample as you drink in the rich cultural heritage of the romantic Rhineland.

Day 1: Arrive Koblenz

Your journey begins in beautiful Koblenz - a city set at the confluence of two rivers; the Mosel and Rhine.  At the headland of Deutsches Eck you can note the difference in colour as the rivers meet, and admire the imposing equestrian monument of Emperor William I.


Koblenz welcomes you with several castles, historic townhouses and the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress with its cable car that takes you high above the Rhine. Enjoy exploring the quaint old town with its many restaurants and wine bars.


Overnight: Koblenz


Day 2: Walk to Braubach

The fortress is the perfect place to start your walk on the Rheinsteig, and this first day promises plenty of variety and even a touch of adventure!


After a quiet start, the trail climbs to reach one of the most beautiful sections of the entire distance; the leafy ravine of the Ruppertsklamm, whose narrow path climbs 235m over 1.5km, secured with ropes. You should be a confident, sure-footed hiker for this section, however there is also an alternative route if you prefer. Passing Burg Lahneck you reach Braubach, known for the fabulous Marksburg Castle.


Walk: 20km, approx. 5-6 hrs


Overnight: Braubach


Day 3: Walk to Kamp-Bornhofen

The Rheinsteig leads you alongside the walls of the remarkably well-preserved Marksburg Castle, a principal site of the UNESCO World Heritage Rhine Gorge. The castle is well worth a visit, taking you back to the Middle Ages as you stroll past eery dungeons and gun ramparts.


Ahead lies the most famous of all of the Rhine’s loops, as you hike through the nature reserve of Filsener Ley en route to the traditional timber rafting and shipping community of Kamp-Bornhofen.


Walk: 18km, 4-5 hrs approx.


Overnight: Kamp-Bornhofen


Day 4: Walk to St. Goarhausen

You can look forward to a day full of highlights, starting right behind Kamp- Bornhofen with two castles—Sterrenberg and Liebenstein, only 150m apart and yet sworn enemies in days gone by!


Continue on to pretty Maus (Mouse) Castle. Built between 1353-1388 it was one of the most modern fortresses of its time. Finally, you arrive at your overnight stop of St. Goarshausen with its small. attractive old town.


Walk: 23km, 6 hrs approx.


Overnight: St. Goarhausen


Day 5: Walk to Kaub, train to Lorch

Today is the absolute pinnacle of the Rheinstein; a unique section which perfectly symbolises the romantic Rhine.


The paths are an absolute joy to follow, with views over the dream-like Upper Middle Rhine Valley. The absolute highlight is of course, the 132m-high Loreley slate rock. Take the time to immerse yourself in the myths and legends of this famous spot at the fascinating visitor centre. At the end of your walk in Kaub, take an easy train journey (6 mins, approx. EUR3 payable locally) to Lorch am Rhein, where you will spend the next 2 nights.


Walk: 24km, 6 hrs approx.


Overnight: Lorch am Rhein


Day 6: Train back to Kaub, walk to Lorch am Rhein

Begin today by returning by train (6 mins) to the atmospheric wine village of Kaub, where you left off on your walk yesterday. This is a pretty spot with its photogenic half-timbered houses.


As today you've only 13km to walk, you have time to take a ferry from Kaub across the Rhine to visit Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, perched on a rock in the middle of the river.  Later, you will discover a real curiosity; the ‘Free State Bottleneck’ (Freistaadt Flaschenhals), a short-lived quasi-state that existed from 1919-1923, due to the miscalculations of the French and American forces in dividing their occupied zones, following the Armistice of 1918.


Walk: 13km, 4-5 hrs approx.


Overnight: Lorch am Rhein


Day 7: Walk to Rüdesheim

Your Rheinsteig walk may be nearing its close, but of course the best is saved for last, with a multitude of wonderful wine experiences!  Passing by the steep slopes of the Teufelskadrich (the devil’s residence), you reach the red wine region of Assmannshausen, before arriving at the Riesling-paradise of Rüdesheim.


If you feel like taking it easy today, you can take the Aßmannshausen chairlift up to the hunting lodge of Niederwald, then enjoy a forest walk before taking the cable car down to Rüdesheim.


Celebrate having walked one of Germany’s Top Trails, with a well-deserved glass or two of local wine in one of the taverns on the lively Drosselgasse; a cobbled street filled with wine bars, shops and restaurants.


Walk: 22km, 5-6 hrs approx.


Overnight: Rüdesheim


Day 8: Onward Travel

If you’ve not booked extra nights at the end of your tour, then check-out after breakfast and bid farewell to the romantic UNESCO Middle Rhine Valley.


Accommodation

One of the highlights of this tour is the authentic, family-run accommodation.  You’ll stay 7 nights in carefully chosen properties that are a mix of comfortable small hotels, traditional guesthouses and country inns. 


Many of the properties are in special wine areas, or are associated with a particular 'Weinstube' (wine bar/wine establishment). 


A list of our preferred/usual accommodation choices is given here, however these are subject to availability and particularly in peak season can be very much in demand. If unavailable then we will book you into accommodation of the same or a higher standard.   


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers and a supplement is payable as some of the costs are not shared. Single rooms are available should some of your party wish to have their own room and a single supplement is again then payable. 


Meals

7
Breakfasts are included. Packed lunches are available from your
accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop on the way; there
are plenty of biergarten and kiosks to satisfy your thirst and
appetite! Dinners are not included but available at all overnight
accommodation or close by.




 

 

 



Altstadt Hotel - Koblenz



Altstadt Hotel - Koblenz

This lovely historic hotel is located directly in the heart of Koblenz, and is close to Deutsches Eck. There is a lovely cafe, and the rooms are modern and stylish.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Zum Weissen Schwanen - Braubach



Hotel Zum Weissen Schwanen - Braubach

Relax at this charming traditional country inn, which has an excellent restaurant and brasserie. Chefs produce mouthwatering locally sourced food, often using herbs from the inn's garden.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Gartenhotel Schreiner - Kamp Bornhofen



Gartenhotel Schreiner - Kamp Bornhofen

This friendly property is conveniently located directly on the Rheinsteig and is run by the Schreiner family. There is a restaurant and a terrace; perfect to relax with a drink.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel & Weinwirtschaft Nassauer Hof - St. Goarhausen



Hotel & Weinwirtschaft Nassauer Hof - St. Goarhausen

Hotel Nassauer Hof is a friendly property with bright, comfortable rooms. The team extend a warm welcome to walkers, with maps and hiking information to hand. There is a tavern/restaurant and beer garden.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Im Schulhaus - Lorch



Hotel Im Schulhaus - Lorch

This 3-star superior property is located in a 1933 schoolhouse built in the 'Bauhaus' style. It reopened in April 2013 as a charming hotel. Breakfast room only (no restaurant) so you can dine in one of Lorch's restaurants.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Zum Baren - Ruedesheim



Hotel Zum Baren - Ruedesheim

Stay in a comfortable 4-star hotel in the heart of charming Rudesheim. The modern rooms have TV and telephone, and the hotel is ideally situated for exploring this picturesque town.


 

 

 

Availability

This walk is available to start on any day of the week between mid-March and mid-November.


Rhine in Flames Festival: Please be aware that should you wish to travel during the festival ‘Rhine in Flames’, then accommodation is normally very difficult to secure unless you book a considerable time in advance, and the hotels may charge a premium. We will always do our best to make arrangements for you, however at busy times a supplement may be payable for transfers or superior accommodation. Specific dates for 2017 are: 1 July in Rüdesheim, 12 August in Koblenz, 16 September in St. Goar,


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.This walk is available for solo walkers but we would recommend that you are experienced in walking and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the holiday is slightly more expensive as some costs are not shared.


Grade & Fitness

This walk is graded moderate and you should be an experienced hiker in good physical shape, to make the most of this tour.  You’ll be walking up to 24km each day, with alternating steep ascents and descents. Some of the trail is on narrow, uneven paths, which require you to be sure-footed.  Hiking poles are recommended as you will be climbing/descending on trails up to and down from the castles. However, a bonus is the excellent network of public transport along the Rhine, and many places have a train station (with regular services) which will allow you to shorten your day’s walk should you wish to take a break.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The Rheinsteig is comprehensively way-marked  all along the trail. It is one of the ‘Top Trails in Germany’. We supply you with an excellent map, and detailed route notes, so you can easily find your way. 


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear, sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.


Getting to Koblenz

By Air: There are several airports close to the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.  Frankfurt Airport is is 1h15 by direct train to Koblenz. You could also fly into the smaller Frankfurt Hahn Airport which is 1h10 by bus to Koblenz. Dusseldorf Airport is 1h10 by direct train to Koblenz. Cologne Bonn Airport (Koln-Bonn) is 1h25 by direct train from Koblenz. For further information visit the website of Deutsche Bahn for timetables and tickets.


By Rail: Koblenz Hauptbahnhof has excellent connections for trains throughout Germany and further into Europe. Visit www.bahn.co.uk for information. 


By Road: Please let us know if you are planning to arrive in Koblenz by car; so that we can inform your first hotel and check as to availability of parking. Please note that there can be a charge for parking your car (if available) at the first hotel for the duration of your walk. It is essential to check this in advance.


Departing Rüdesheim

In Rüdesheim there is a train station and there are many connections to other stations in Germany. Train journeys to nearby aiarports are as follows: Frankfurt Airport 1h20 (change Mainz-Kastel), Frankfurt Hahn Airport 2h20 (train via Mainz to Wiesbaden, then bus to airport), Dusseldorf Airport 3hrs (change in Koblenz), Cologne-Bonn Airport 2h10 (change at Frankfurt).  Again, please see Deutsche Bahn for detailed timetable information and tickets.

Included

  • 7 Nights in hand-picked small hotels, guesthouses and country inns.
  • 7 Breakfasts.
  • Daily door to door luggage transfers.
  • Detailed route descriptions with maps and a comprehensive pre-departure information pack.
  • 24/7 telephone support from our German and UK offices.

Excluded

  • Flights and travel to Koblenz and from Rüdesheim.
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Taxi transfers or public transportation if you wish to shorten a walk.
  • Return train from Kaub to Lorch am Rhein (approx. EUR3 each way, payable locally).
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Entrance fees to local attractions and castles.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program.

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable.
  • Solo walker supplement if applicable.
  • Additional nights during the tour.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised so that we can secure the best accommodation options for you. If you are considering booking during the 'Rhine in Flames' festival, then making arrangements as soon as possible is essential, as this area is extremely popular during September.

How fit do I need to be?

This walk is graded moderate and you should be an experienced hiker in good physical shape, to make the most of this tour.  You’ll be walking up to 23km each day, with alternating steep ascents and descents. Some of the trail is on narrow, uneven paths, which require you to be sure-footed.  Hiking poles are recommended as you will be climbing/descending on trails up to and down from the castles. However, a bonus is the excellent network of public transport along the Rhine, and many places have a train station (with regular services) which will allow you to shorten your day’s walk should you wish to take a break.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

You can enjoy this tour from the middle of March, to mid-October. Spring is great as the more popular areas are quieter, summer can be very hot (if you like the heat!), and we also particularly love later in the season, when the autumn colours of the vines are simply stunning. 

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use the excellent public transport connections or a local taxi to continue to your next overnight stop.  There are plenty of train stations all along the route, which are ideal if you want to shorten your walk (train fares are payable locally). Your accommodations will be able to help with arrangements, or we are able to assist you from our German and UK office. 

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