Discover fairy-tale hilltop castles as you follow the Rheinsteig hiking trail. Walk from the quaint wine village of Rüdesheim on panoramic footpaths through vineyards, deep gorges and mystical forests where the legend of Loreley still lives. Along the way, numerous wine taverns called Straußenwirtschaften invite you to sample the first-class local Riesling wines.
- Impressive castles and palaces
- Romantic vineyards, first-class Riesling and quaint wine taverns
- Idyllic villages with timber houses
- The Loreley rock at the narrowest point of the Rhine
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Day 1: Arrival in Rüdesheim
Your journey begins in Rüdesheim. Sip a glass or two of the local Riesling in one of the taverns on the lively Drosselgasse, a cobbled street filled with wine bars, shops and restaurants.
- Accommodation: local family hotel or guesthouse – Trapp or similar
Day 2: Rüdesheim – Lorch | 21 km
Today, you will first reach by cable car the Middle Rhine Valley’s high hills and enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful panorama over the Nahe estuary. Walk past the hunting lodge of Niederwald, then continue to Assmanshausen, renowned for its exquisite red wines and beautiful timbered houses. Overnight in Lorch.
- Accommodation: local family hotel or guesthouse – Im Schulhaus or similar
- Walking for the day: 6 hours, 21 km, ↑660m ↓680m
Day 3: Lorch – Dörscheid/Kaub | 13 km
On panoramic hilltop paths with fantastic panoramas over the Rhine valley, the route leads into the historic port town of Kaub or across the mountain to Dörscheid. Today’s highlights are Nollig Castle’s ruins, Gutenfels Castle and the impressive Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, built on an island on the Rhine.
- Accommodation: local family hotel or guesthouse – Loreleyhotel Fetz or similar
- Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 13 km, ↑460m ↓460m
Day 4: Dörscheid/Kaub – St. Goarshausen | 19 km
The heart of the Middle Rhine Valley awaits you today with serpentine-tracks, fabulous views and legendary castles. The best-known rock on the Rhine, the Loreley Rock, is also part of your itinerary, as well as the Katz castle, Maus castle and Rheinfels castle.
- Accommodation: local family hotel or guesthouse – Hotel Café Herrmanns Mühle or similar
- Walking for the day: 6 hours, 19 km, ↑690m ↓520m
Day 5: Departure
Departure on your own or extension upon request.
What to Expect
Accommodation is in a mix of 3-star hotels, country inns and traditional guesthouses. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
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Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel (from the ones pictured above) is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. Packed lunches are available from your accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop on the way; there are plenty of beer gardens and small shops to satisfy your thirst and appetite. Dinners are available at all overnight accommodations or close by.
Difficulty & terrain
The walking sections require a good fitness level; there are no steep descents and ascents, but the terrain is hilly and accumulated daily elevation gain can exceed 600m. You will walk mainly on walking paths or forest trails. Daily walking times are not more than 6 hours (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available from early April till early October. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season. The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the June-September period, the daily averages are 20 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain.
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Our recommended airport for this tour is Frankfurt.
By train or bus
- From Frankfurt, there are regular train connections to your starting point (1.5-2 h). For further information, visit the website of Deutsche Bahn for timetables and tickets.
- Limited free parking is available at the starting hotel. No reservation in advance possible/needed. Paid parking is about EUR 10 per day. A scenic return from to Rüdesheim by river ship takes about 3 hours. You can check schedules here. Return by train takes one hour.
- 4 overnight stays in private en-suite double or twin rooms
- 4 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers on walking days
- Detailed route descriptions, travel and tour documents (one set per room)
- GPS-data to use via our smartphone app
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Local tourist taxes
- Any items not specifically mentioned in the programme
Options, extras & supplements
- A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights along the route