Castles of the Romantic Rhine8 Days & 7 Nights 4.3 Read 9 reviews
- 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
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent tour.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Solo Travelers, Multi-Generational
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years
Activity Level & Terrain
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.
The Rheinsteig is comprehensively waymarked 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.
Experience & Fitness
You should have a good level of fitness and a sure foot to get the most from this trip. However, there are regular public transport options for shortening or skipping sections.
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).
Please be aware that twin & double rooms in Germany (Doppelzimmer in German) are typically 2 single mattresses side by side in one double bed frame with two separate duvet covers and pillows.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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)
- Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
- Additional nights during the tour
When To Go
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. Contact us for more information.
Weather and Climate
The weather in the Rhine area region is changeable. Very hot days are often followed by rain and thunderstorms. Therefore you should be prepared for all weather eventualities. Check the weather report each day locally before setting off for your hike.
Getting to the StartBy 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 the 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.
Getting from the End
In Rüdesheim there is a train station and there are many connections to other stations in Germany. Train journeys to nearby airports 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.
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.
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.
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 offices.
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 colors of the vines are simply stunning.
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.
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.
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.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalized 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.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in 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.
Hotel Brenner is a family-run ***romantic hotel. Due to its location in the centre of Koblenz it has direct access to the city’s touristic highlights as well as to the best shopping and dining facilities. All rooms are decorated in a romantic style but with a high comfort and standard.
The Diehls Hotel is located directly on the River Rhine, opposite Koblenz's Old Town. Family-owned for over 95 years, Diehls Hotel is today the oldest owner-managed hotel in the Rhine-Moselle-city of Koblenz.
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.
Hotel Zum Weißen Schwanen is a small family-run hotel situated in the village of Braubach, famous for the legendary Marksburg. The rooms have been furnished in an individual and traditional style. They have en-suite bathrooms, hairdryers & TV. The hotel has two restaurants, which are famous for their hearty dishes.
Hotel Garni Maaß, a charming 3-star hotel, is located in Braubach, a small town with a well preserved old town and beautiful half-timbered houses dominated by the Marksburg, the only undestroyed castle on the Rhine.
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.
This charming, traditional hotel is housed in a 12th-century farmhouse with a half-timbered facade in the historic Kamp-Bornhofen, picturesquely situated amidst the Unesco World Heritage "Upper Middle Rhine Valley".
The family-run Hotel Garni Rheinpracht with an annexe is only separated from the Rhine by a road.
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.
Auf der Sonnenseite mit herrlichem Blick auf den Rhein und Burg Rheinfels liegt das Hotel Colonius, welches sich seit 1867 im Familienbesitz der gleichnamigen Familie befindet.
From here you can start your excursions in all directions, whether in the romantic Rhine Valley or on the Rhine heights with the wonderful vantage points on the Loreley Plateau. What began as a water mill a long time ago is now, after more than 200 years of tradition, a cozy country hotel with familiar hospitality.
Nassauer Hof is a small family-run guesthouse, which has been carefully renovated and refurbished. This family-run hotel is housed in a 200-year-old building in Sankt Goarshausen, just steps away from the River Rhine.
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.
Dieses Hotel mit angenehmem Ambiente befindet sich in einem heimeligen Gebäude. Die Familie Kirdorf betreibt das Hotel Deutsches Haus seit 7 Generationen.
Genießen Sie Ihren Aufenthalt in Kaub nur wenige Meter vom Rheinufer entfernt. Ein stilvolles Haus mit geschichtsträchtiger Vergangenheit heißt Sie willkommen.
In zentraler Lage in Kaub empfängt Sie dieses gemütliche 3*Hotel.
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.
Hotel Im Schulhaus provides guests from around the world a modern, comfortable hotel***Superior in the midst of beautiful countryside. The rooms are tastefully equipped with flatscreen TV, W-Lan and modern baths. You can borrow books from the small library and there are self-service drinks in the basement around the clock. All in all this hotel combines modern and comfortable standard with warm and friendly hospitality. There are many places for dinner in Lorch, just a short walk from the hotel.
The modern inn offers rooms with shower, WC, TV and internet access. The rustic vintner‘s pub is open from March through December. They can offer their own quality wines and regional cuisine.
The former Burghotel – is now a small, personally run guesthouse. All rooms are spacious and furnished with an individual touch. In good weather, you can relax or take your breakfast on the Rhein-Terrace or the flowering garden.
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.
Housed in a traditional half-timbered house, this Bavarian-style hotel is near the vineyards of the Rhine region.
This 3-star Superior hotel is located in the Old Town in the center of Rüdesheim am Rhein, a wine town in the Rhine Valley and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This small guest house in the center of Rüdesheim is located on the cobblestoned Drosselgasse and offers views of the Rhine.
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.
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