About this Germany walking region
Flowing between the noble city of Koblenz and the attractive town of Bingen, the River Rhine (Rhein in German) meanders between slate mountains, hillside castles and steep vineyards to create one of the most beautiful and magical places in Europe.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the area around the Rhine is home to some of Germany's most dramatic scenery, where forested hills are punctuated with craggy cliffs and steep vineyard vistas. Idyllic villages are dotted around the river and their timber houses and quaint churches really do conjure up the image of fairytales.
The Rhine Gorge may be one of the area's best-known attractions, but there is plenty more to entice visitors to this region.
The Mosel (Moselle in French) is every bit as beautiful and dramatic as the Rhine. Broad sweeping bends, with vineyards covering deceptively high slopes reveal hidden delights such as the Roman remains in the city of Trier and the towering spires of Burg Eltz castle.
As it meets up with the Rhine in Koblenz, the Mosel offers superb walking and cycling opportunties. And let’s not forget the excellent wine which this region produces. The Mosel is home to Europe’s steepest vineyards and exploring them on foot is a great way to find out more about this region and its people.
Walking in Rhine Valley & Mosel Valley
The Rhine Valley and the Mosel Valley are now widely regarded as one of the finest hiking destinations in Germany with their extensive premium walking trails which all follow the high quality standards stipulated by the German Hikers Association.
The famous “Rheinsteig” long-distance trail, running along the eastern bank of the Rhine for 320km (199 miles), features spectacular views across the wonderful Rhine scenery.
Another popular long-distance hike, situated in the Mosel Valley is the “Moselhöhenweg” (Mosel High Route), which runs along both sides of the river for 390km (242 miles). Those who venture away from the river banks will be rewarded with some superb vistas; well worth the sometimes steep climbs involved. One of the great things about this walk (and many others in the region) is that you can take a boat trip in one direction and a walk in the other. During the walking season, from April to October, there are a number of scheduled boat shuttle services between each of the main villages.
When planning your walking holiday in Germany, it is worth knowing that the Rhine and Mosel Valleys pretty much go into hibernation from November until March. Weather depending, the season usually starts sometime in April. Spring and autumn are particularly pleasant times to visit the region, when the crowds are fewer and the flowers are at their prettiest.
Koblenz and around Koblenz (R/M)
Where the Mosel flows into the Rhine ● Cultural monuments, cosy lanes and narrow alleyways ● Excellent starting point for trips into the magnificent landscape along the Rhine and the Mosel ● Above the town: the mighty Ehrenbreitstein fortress, one of the largerst fortresses in the world ● Great place for art, culture and shopping.
Lahnstein to St. Goar (R)
Postcard-pretty places such as Braubach, Boppard and St. Goar ● The most fabled spot along the Rhine: Loreley ● Marksburg Castle set in the hills above Braubach, virtually unchanged since Medieval times ● Boppard – ancient fortress town and a landmark of wine culture ● The ruins of the mighty fortress Burg Rheinfels, St. Goar.
Oberwesel to Trechtingshausen (R)
Pure Rhine Romanticism! ● Charming medieval villages such as Kaub and Bacharach ● Oberwesel, the village of towers and wine ● Take a walk atop the 14th-century town wall surrounding the exquisite half-timbered houses of Bacharach ● Kaub, home to the scenic Fortress Pfalzgrafenstein, built by Kind Ludwig of Bavaria.
Rüdesheim and Assmannshausen (R)
Entrance to the Middle Rhine Valley ● Rüdesheim am Rhein, picturesque, lively and a hub of tourism ● Renowned for its top-quality Riesling wine ● Pretty wooded hills and terraced vineyards ● The world-famous Drosselgasse in Rüdesheim: one big party all day long! ● Romantic Assmannshausen, home of Germany’s best red wines.
Schweich to Traben-Trarbach (M)
The enchanting twin-town Bernkastel-Kues, with its pretty old town (Altstadt) ● Ruined 13-century fortresses framed by forests and vineyards ● Glorious river valley views from the Moselhöhenweg walking trail ● Traben-Trarbach, spa town, centre of wine making - and blessed with beautiful Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) villas.
Trier and around Trier (M)
Germany’s oldest city with some splendid buildings to prove it ● The finest Roman monuments north of the Alps (UNESCO World Heritage Site) ● Interesting Franco-German cuisine ● Surrounded by hills, forests, vineyards and charming villages ● Enjoy the local esprit and lively atmosphere ● A good base for visiting Luxembourg.
Zell to Kobern-Gondorf (M)
Beilstein… a tiny village right out of the world of fairy-tales ● Cochem, a vibrant wine-maker town, boasting numerous architectural gems typical of the Moselle region ● Slow down and experience the lovely and idyllic Treis-Karden ● Burg Eltz (Castle Eltz) and Burg Pyrmont (Castle Pyrmont) – the jewels of the Moselle region.