Walk ‘Germany’s most beautiful hiking route’ on footpaths high above the Rhine
UNESCO-World Heritage region along Germany’s most famous river
Discover countless hilltop castles and vineyards as far as the eye can see
Stay in Idyllic riverside villages with charming timber-framed houses
Enjoy the world-famous Rheingau Riesling in quaint Straußenwirtschaften wine taverns
Self-guided walking holiday in the Upper Rhine Valley
The Rheinsteig follows the eastern bank of the Rhine, usually along a ridge high above the river. The famous stretch, awarded World Heritage status in 2002, is the castle-studded section between Rüdesheim and Koblenz. The Upper Middle Rhine Valley not only impresses with its density of castles – the highest in the world – but also offers spectacular views of steeply sloping vineyards and dramatic loops of the Rhine.
The Rheinsteig: A Premium Hiking Trail
The Rheinsteig has been nominated as Germany’s most beautiful hiking route and is certified as a premium hiking trail by the German Hiking Institute. This certification is awarded to quality hiking trails that are well-marked, well-maintained and continuously monitored along their entire route. Attention has been paid to choosing natural, low-traffic paths and routes that incorporate beautiful scenery with cultural highlights.
On this walking holiday you will discover why the Rhine has captivated visitors for centuries. You will walk along rewarding and undulating footpaths through vineyards, deep gorges and quiet woodland, with daily distances from 13 – 21 km. After working up a thirst on the hiking trails, it’s time to try a refreshing glass of the world-class regional Rheingau Riesling. The Rheingau region is famous for its idyllic wine locations and numerous wine taverns called ‘Straußenwirtschaften’ which invite you to sample the delicious Riesling wine. A hiking trip on the Rheinsteig is the perfect holiday for walkers and wine lovers!
On our 8-day Rheinsteig hiking tour: Rüdesheim – Koblenz you will enjoy a week of wonderful hiking along the most spectacular stretch of the Rhine valley. We also offer a short break option, where you can enjoy a lovely 5-day hiking trip on the Rheinsteig from Rüdesheim to St. Goarshausen.
|5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS
|From €580 per person sharing*
*A high-season supplement will apply during the busy summer months
|8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS
|From €840 per person sharing*
*A high-season supplement will apply during the busy summer months
|In beautiful 3*** hotels and inns. All rooms with private facilities. The standard hotels of this trip are listed below. If any are unavailable, we will book an alternative hotel of a similar standard.
|You can start on any day, subject to availability, between March 23rd and October 10th.
|DISCOUNT FOR DIGITAL ROUTE BOOK
|Join us in achieving greater sustainability by choosing our digital route book, rather than the printed version. As a small thank you we will give you a discount of €20 per room (let us know at the time of booking if you would like to do this).
|DIFFICULTY / TERRAIN
|The difficulty level of this trip is rated as moderate overall. You will hike mostly on vineyard and forest trails and some rocky paths. Basic fitness is required, as well as surefootedness for ascents and descents along the mountain ridges. Expect walking times of up to 6 hrs and distances of up to 21 km.
|WALKING WITH A DOG
|It is possible to book this hiking tour accompanied by your dog. We are happy to request dog-friendly accommodation for you. Please ask us for a quote and let us know the size and breed of dog.
Please note: Additional costs for your dog (e.g. for public transport or in the accommodations) are not included in the tour price and have to be paid on site.
Day 1: Arrival in Rüdesheim
Your walking holiday on the Rhine begins in the ancient vintner town of Rüdesheim, where wine has been produced since Roman times. The village is full of quaint wine taverns and historic half-timbered houses.
Day 2: Rüdesheim – Lorch
Distance: 21 km | Ascent: 660 m | Descent: 680 m | 5½ hrs approx.
You begin your hike on the Rheinsteig by making your way up to the hills above the Middle Rhine Valley. There is also the option to do this the easy way by taking the cable car! You will enjoy the first of many panoramic views as you make your way past the Niederwald hunting lodge to the charming riverside town of Assmanshausen, renowned for its exquisite red wines. Your destination today is the village of Lorch, where you will find many beautiful half-timbered houses, which are typical of the region.
Day 3: Lorch – Dörscheid/Kaub
Distance: 13 km | Ascent: 460 m | Descent: 460 m | 4 hrs approx.
Highlights of today’s walk are the ruins of Nollig Castle, as well as Gutenfels Castle and the iconic toll-castle Pfalzgrafenstein located on an island right in the middle of the river.
You will walk along panoramic hilltop paths with wonderful views over the Rhine valley. Tonight you will either stay on the riverside in Kaub or higher up on the ridge in the neighbouring village of Dörscheid.
Day 4: Dörscheid/Kaub – St. Goarshausen
Distance: 19 km | Ascent: 590 m | Descent: 620 m | 6 hrs approx.
You are now right in the heart of the Middle Rhine Valley, with its serpentine-tracks, fabulous views and legendary castles. Today’s route takes you past the best-known rock on the Rhine, the 132m-high Loreley, where the blond Rhine mermaid is said to have lured countless sailors to their deaths. There is a wonderful viewing point here at the narrowest point on the Rhine, and you can immerse yourself in the myths and legends of this famous spot at the fascinating visitor centre.
The last section takes you past the Dreiburgenblick (“three castle view”), where you have a fabulous view of the castles of Katz, Maus and Rheinfels. This is a fitting finale to a wonderful walk, before you descend to the pretty riverside town of St. Goarshausen.
Overnight: St. Goarshausen
Day 5: St. Goarshausen – Kamp Bornhofen
Distance: 21 km | Ascent: 690 m | Descent: 700 m | 6 hrs approx.
For people doing the 5-Day-Tour your trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast.
Today’s route takes you through the Filsener Lay, one of the most beautiful nature reserves in the region. You will pass the two castles Sterrenberg and Liebenstein, barely a hundred metres apart and known as the “Hostile Brothers” due to a legendary dispute between two sons of a count who became such enemies that they had a wall built to separate their castles. Your destination today is the wine-growing town of Kamp Bornhofen.
Overnight: Kamp Bornhofen
Day 6: Kamp Bornhofen – Braubach
Distance: 17 km | Ascent: 620 m | Descent: 620 m | 5½ hrs approx.
Your route to Braubach takes you past Liebeneck Castle, the Dinkelhold river and mills and the impressive Marksburg Castle. We highly recommend you take time to visit this this marvellous and untouched example of medieval architecture. Marksburg Castle is located on a steep, almost inaccessible cliff and is guarded by a series of original gates and drawbridges that really bring you into its medieval past.
Your destination is Braubach, a walled wine-growing town with many half-timbered houses.
Day 7: Braubach – Koblenz
Distance: 20 km | Ascent: 690 m | Descent: 680 m | 5½ hrs approx.
The final stage on your Rheinsteig hiking trip offers many highlights; enchanted forests, the blooming Bienhorn valley, and of course more castles and panoramic views. A particular highlight today is an adventurous section through the Ruppertsklamm gorge. You cross the Rhine via the Pfaffendorfer bridge‚ before finally ending your week of hiking at the Deutsches Eck (“German Corner”) headland in Koblenz, where the Rhine meets the Moselle river.
You can spend the evening exploring the baroque Old Town or take a cable car high above the Rhine to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.
Day 8: Departure
Your walking holiday on the Rhine comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked any additional services with us.
Getting to Rüdesheim
Departure from Koblenz / St. Goarshausen
|From Koblenz, you can reach Frankfurt airport in about 1½ hrs by direct train. Koblenz Hauptbahnhof also has excellent connections to the smaller Frankfurt Hahn Airport, Dusseldorf Airport and Cologne Bonn Airport, as well as to cities throughout Germany and further into Europe.
Please see the website of Deutsche Bahn for timetables and tickets
|If you need to return to the starting point in Rüdesheim to collect your car, you can do so by train. There are very regular trains along the river. Koblenz – Rüdesheim takes 1 hour and St. Goarshausen – Rüdesheim takes 25 mins.
|It is also possible to return from either Koblenz or St. Goarshausen to Rüdesheim by cruise boat along the Rhine.