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.
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.
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.
The walk begins along the Rheinstag trail with a long ascent to a hunting lodge. Alternatively this section can be by cable car (optional) high up on the Middle-Rhine valley. From here you can enjoy the beautiful views on the estuary of Nahe. As you make your way high above the Rhine, pass by the wine-growing communities of Assmannshausen best known for its red wine, a magic cave and the Niederwald Memorial before you arrive in Lorch with its many half-timbered houses, typical of the region. Walking stats: approx. 5 hrs, 25.5km, gradient +420m
The walk today takes you along well maintained forest trails with stunning views over the Rhine and passing imposing castles such as the Pfalzgrafenstein, Gutenfels and the ruin of Nollig with its impressive watch tower. This evening is in a small wine-grower town; either Kaub or Dörscheid. Walking stats: approx. 4 hrs, 15.5km, +420m
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 the three castles viewpoint at 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. Walking stats: approx. 5.5 hrs, 23km, +800m
Another challenging day with steep trails along idyllic paths to wine-grower communities. 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. Walking stats: approx. 5 hrs, 20km, +680m
Fortress Liebeneck, Dinkelholder mills and a completely conserved Marksburg fortress are your faithful companions on the stage to Braubach, a wine-grower town with fortification wall and many half-timbered houses. Walking stats: approx. 6 hrs, 17.5km, +630m
Today offers a challenging section at the Rupertusklamm gorge where there are rock stairs and 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. A highlight is however the Ruppertsklamm which is a dramatic gorge and the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) in Koblenz where the Moselle joins the Rhine. Walking stats: approx. 5.5 hrs, 20km, +530m
Trip concludes after breakfast.
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 river Rhine. The last stage takes you to the three castles viewpoint at 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. Walking stats: approx. 5.5 hrs, 23km, +800m
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
Per Person, Twin Share