Walk of the Week: Castles of the Romantic Rhine
A new addition to our collection, Castles of the Romantic Rhine combines some of the best that Germany has to offer. Walking between picturesque villages and historic hilltop fortresses, this trips gives you more than your fair share of stunning castles, topped up with a glass of Riesling at the end of the day.
In a Nutshell
Distance: 120 km Grading: Moderate. You need to be a reasonably fit walker as you're expected to walk 23 km a day with some steep ascents and descents. There are excellent train connections along the trail so should you find the trail a bit too tough to handle, you can easily skip a section.
Where is It?
The trail goes along the Rhine River in the west of Germany, near the city of Frankfurt.
Why Walk It?
The Upper Rhine Valley is the ideal walking spot, especially if you like wine and castles. The region is full of fairytale castles and as you're walking, you can see them from afar, positioned on hill tops overlooking the valley. While the walking is challenging, you are rewarded at the end of each day, when you can visit a Weinstube (wine tavern) and indulge in the hearty German cuisine. The route follows the Rheinsteig, established in 2005 and considered one of German's top walking trails. This well-marked route goes along an elevated path on the Eastern bank of Rhine, giving you excellent views of the river and its surroundings. In the evenings you'll be staying in charming family-run hotels and guesthouses, getting a good night's rest before continuing your walk along the Rheinsteig. If you get tired of castles (but who would?) then the Loreley Rock might prove a real highlight of the trip. This slate rock, almost 200 metres tall, is situated at the narrowest point of the Rhine and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Featured in local myths and made famous by poets and songwriters, this cliff is one of the regions top attractions.
Planning Your Walk
Many prefer to do this walk in the spring, when it is less warm and you share the path with fewer people. If you choose to go during the Rhine in Flames festival we advise booking as far as possible due to the popularity of the event. The Upper Rhine Valley is served by several airports. Frankfurt, Frankfurt Hahn, Dusseldorf and Cologne Bonn Airports all connect with Koblenz by train or bus. For further information visit the website of Deutsche Bahn for timetables and tickets. When returning from Rüdesheim, you can get the train back to all of the above airports, some of which may require a change. Our destinations will be happy to talk you through any aspect of this trip, or you can contact one of our destination specialists on firstname.lastname@example.org.