Rhine Valley

 

The Middle Rhine Valley is the most famous German river valley internationally. Especially for foreign guests, it is the epitome of German romanticism on the Rhine. It is not for nothing that the upper Middle Rhine Valley between Bingen and Koblenz has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002.

Castles, vineyards, cozy towns and villages characterize this delightful region. The main actor is of course the "Father Rhine", who has carved out a rugged valley between Taunus and Hunsrück. Below Koblenz to Bonn, the Rhine squeezes between the Westerwald and the Eifel.

Simply visit the valley and let yourself be enchanted by the romance of the Rhine.

 

Regions
The Middle Rhine region is shared by the federal states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. Only the foothills to Bonn belong to North Rhine-Westphalia. The Middle Rhine is a sub-region of the historic Rhineland that still lives on in two federal states.

Upper and Lower Middle Rhine Valley
The world-famous castle-occupied valley between the Nahe and Moselle rivers, the cities of Koblenz and Bingen and the Hunsrück and Taunus mountains is known as the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. In the middle of St. Goarshausen you can find the famous Loreley, a rocky outcrop at the narrowest point in the Middle Rhine Valley.

In 2002 the Upper Middle Rhine Valley was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Bingen and Rüdesheim, although these cities are in Rheinhessen and Rheingau respectively.

The section between Koblenz and Bonn-Bad Godesberg and Bad Honnef is called the Lower Middle Rhine Valley. It separates the Eifel from the Westerwald and the Siebengebirge.

 

Viticulture
The Middle Rhine wine-growing region is one of the oldest cultivated landscapes in Europe still preserved today. However, the cultivation area has decreased drastically since the 19th century. In the steep slopes of the Middle Rhine, cultivation and harvesting are laborious and hardly economical. In 1989 the Middle Rhine winegrowers were still cultivating 681 hectares. Since then, the area has decreased by around 36% until 2011.

In the Hessian towns of Lorchhausen, Lorch, Assmannshausen and Rüdesheim, a lot of wine is still grown. However, these wine villages on the right bank of the Rhine are part of the Rheingau wine-growing region and represent almost as much vineyard area as the entire Middle Rhine wine-growing region. To the northwest of Lorchhausen you can only see small areas of vineyards. The many dry stone walls show where wine-growing used to be. Today these areas are overgrown with bushes and trees. It looks a little better on the right bank of the Rhine. Larger vineyard areas can be found especially in the side valleys with southern slopes, such as in Oberheimbach, Bacharach, Oberwesel and on the Rheinbogen near Boppard.

 

Rhein Valley Map

Burg Godesburg

Burg Godesburg is a medieval castle near Bad Godesberg in Rhein Valley of Germany.

Burg Drachenfels

Drachenfels Castle stands on top of the 321 meters high mountain that is volcanic in its origin.

Schloss Arenfels

Although the Arenfels Castle was originally build in 1260 few architectural features of the former structure remain today.

Rheineck Castle

Rheinneck Castle is located on a Western side of Rhine river at former border between Roman provinces of Upper and Lower Germania.

Hammerstein Castle

Hammerstein Castle was build and occupied by Henry IV who brought here his crown insignia.

Burg Ehrenbreitstein

Burg Ehrenbreitstein is a defensive fortification that stand today on the hill at the confluence of Rhine and Moselle rivers.

Burg Lahneck

Castle Lahneck is most famous for death of seventeen year old girl Idilia Dubb who was trapped in the ruins.

Schloss Stolzenfels

Beautiful pseudo- Gothic castle of Schloss Stolzenfels adds its own charm to the Rhine valley. Located on the Western bank of the Rhine this building is more of the residence than a castle.

Braucbach and Marksburg

Medieval Castles Braubach and Marksburg is the only castle in the Middle Rhine from the medieval times that hasn’t been destroyed.

Burg Maus above Wellmich

Despite its nickname 'mouse', Maus Castle was never captured by the enemy forces.

Castle Rheinfels

Medieval Rheinfels Castle was found in 1245 by Count Diether V of Katzenelnbogen as a base for his toll- collecting operations.

Burg Katz

Standing on the eastern shore of the Rhine river this castle overlooks the town of Saint Goarhausen. It was build in 1371 by Count Wilhelm II of Katzenelnbogen.

Burg Schönburg

Medieval Burg Schonburg get its name from a German word that means 'beautiful mountain'.

 

 

Getting there

By train
The valley can be easily reached by train. There is a railway line on both sides of the river. Intercity trains run on the left bank of the Rhine with stops in Bingen am Rhein and Koblenz.

By street
The valley is accessed by two federal roads: the B 9 runs to the left of the Rhine and the B 42 to the right.

The Upper Middle Rhine Valley is connected to the European trunk road network via the Hunsrück Autobahn A 61.

By bicycle
In the romantic Middle Rhine Valley between Bingen and Koblenz, it is essential to use the left bank of the Rhine. There is a continuous cycle path along this. Between Bingen and Bacharach, as well as between Spay and Koblenz, the cycle path is off the road.

The right bank of the Rhine (with Loreley and Rüdesheim) still has large gaps in the cycle path. These should only be closed in the next few years. The federal highway 42 is not recommended as a cycle route as there is heavy traffic here. The Rüdesheim - Assmannshausen section, which is also temporarily closed due to construction work, is particularly dangerous. There are no alternatives.

If you want to visit the sights on the right bank of the Rhine, it is best to take the ferry.

Further information nationally: see Rhine cycle path

By boat
Numerous boat trips are offered on the Middle Rhine:

Cologne-Düsseldorfer
Rössler line
Bingen-Rüdesheim passenger shipping
Loreley Line Weinand

 

Around the Rhein valley

Public transport
Large parts of the Middle Rhine Valley belong to the Rhein-Mosel VRM transport association. The eastern part of the left bank of the Rhine from Bingen to Bacharach belongs to the Verkehrsverbund Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Nahe RNN, which has transitional tariffs with the Hessian RMV. The Hessian section on the right bank of the Rhine from Rüdesheim to Lorchhausen belongs to the Rhein-Main RMV transport association. From Rüdesheim bus line 171 runs parallel to the train to Wiesbaden. If you exceed the tariff limit Bacharach / Oberwesel or Lorchhausen / Kaub, you have to buy a train ticket. In Rhineland-Palatinate, not all train stations have ticket machines; these must then be purchased on the train (at no extra charge).

The northern end of the valley near Bonn belongs to the Rhein-Sieg VRS transport association, which has transitional tariffs until shortly before Koblenz.

On foot
On the right bank of the Rhine, the Rheinsteig accompanies the Rhine. Signposts for the Rheinburgenweg are sometimes still attached.
Between Kaub and Rüdesheim, the Rheingau Riesling Path and Hessenweg 7 often run below the Rheinsteig.
On the left bank of the Rhine, the Rheinburgenweg runs along above the Rhine.
On both sides, the two high-altitude paths lead parallel to the Rhine, usually further away.

Ferries
There are no bridges in the entire Upper Middle Rhine Valley between Mainz / Wiesbaden and Koblenz-Süd. If you want to translate in between, you have to use a ferry. The Rhine Valley is best seen from the perspective of the Rhine anyway! A ferry ride can also be a bit of a treat. A total of eight ferries make it possible to cross the river.

Car and passenger ferries:
Ingelheim-Hafen - Oestrich-Winkel
Bingen-Hafen - Rüdesheim-Bahnhof Tel .: 06721 - 14 140
Lorch - Niederheimbach Tel .: 06743 - 6032
Engelsburg - Kaub Tel .: 06774 - 373 and 364
St. Goar - St. Goarshausen Tel .: 06771 - 2620
Boppard - Kamp-Bornhofen Tel .: 06742 - 2953

Passenger ferries:
Bingen Bridge 5 - Rüdesheim Bridge 8 Tel .: 06721 - 14 140
The Ober- and Niederlahnstein - Koblenz-Stolzenfels ferry service has been closed since autumn 2010.
Koblenz - Koblenz-Ehrenbreitstein Regular passenger ferry: March - April: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., May - November: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.