Topics include Transportation, Dining Scene, For Foreign Visitors & more!
A noteworthy area to visit in Germany revolves around two rivers, the Rhine and the Mosel. Their blending valley regions create a mystical experience long remembered by visitors.
One section – the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, also known as the Rhine Gorge or the Romantic Rhine – was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2002. This international recognition is well warranted as it features numerous interplays between humans and their environment, as demonstrated by mythological structures, castles, vineyards and towns with deep history. These features extend throughout the entire Rhine-Mosel region.
In the Rhine and Mosel Valleys, there are numerous cities and towns worth visiting each with their own distinctive charm. For example, Rüdesheim on the Rhine (Rüdesheim am Rhein) is located on the river’s east bank and is one of Germany’s most visited towns. Since the early 1800s, poets and artists have been using its beauty and historical features as a creative muse. Rüdesheim is also a major winemaking destination. Another example is Koblenz, a town with streets lined with cobblestones, two castles and historic statues. It is also the site where the Rhine and Mosel rivers meet.
Seventy percent of Germany’s wine comes from the Rhine and Mosel valleys, making it the largest winemaking region in the country. You can visit the numerous vineyards to taste Riesling, Pinot Noir or other varieties directly from the source while surrounded by peaceful countryside. There are also many wine festivals that take place in the region, especially during August and September.
History & Lore
Numerous landmarks in the Rhine and Mosel valley carry mythological significance. Just one example is the infamous Lorelei close to St. Goarshausen. It is a 120-metre rock that shares the name of the mermaid who sat upon its peak. Legend tells that her tempting song would lore sailors, navigating the Rhine River, leading to their fatal demise.
The Rhine and Mosel Valley also have the world’s most dense collection of castles. (From Bingen to Koblenz along the Rhine, there are 18 castles alone!) Burg Eltz is one site that cannot be passed up. Surrounded by Mosel valley forests and hills, the multi-towered structure will stir your fairytale imagination. Another, Rheinfels, is the Rhine River’s largest castle and was constructed in the late 1200s.
The natural beauty and Mediterranean climate of the Rhine and Mosel Valley are extremely inviting for those who are either avid or leisure outdoor enthusiasts. The area is home to a rich population of plants and animals juxtaposed against ornate structures and terraced landscapes.
You can experience the scenery by boat, train and bus, or more actively on foot and bicycle. (There are numerous spots to rent bicycles and accessible trails throughout). Options for both short and long walking trails abound. For example, The Limes (also accessible by bicycle) will take you back in to Roman times, with defence structures built between 1 and 3 BC. The Mosel High Route, a longer distance hiking trail, takes you through vineyards and stunning viewing points. The Dörscheider Heath nature reserve is another highlight, boasting more than 600 species of butterflies.