Are you looking to be more adventurous on the water this year? The Romantic Rhine Valley is an enjoyable getaway with excellent sightseeing opportunities. Between Bingen and Bonn, Germany, the Rhine River flows as the Middle Rhine through the Rhine Gorge. This region features a breathtaking landscape surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque villages and terraced vineyards.
Tourism generated here after aristocrat travelers brought much attention to the area during the Romanticism period of the 19th century so that the location became known as the Romantic Rhine. The Middle Rhine Valley is also home to about 450,000 people today.
The Rhine valley is a fairytale world of legends and medieval castles perched on nearly every hillside. One of the most well-preserved is the Marksburg Castle while other significant ones include Stolzenfels, Pfalzgrafenstein, the Electoral Palace and the Stahleck Castle, which offers overnight accommodation. The charming villages along the Rhine Gorge provide striking sightseeing opportunities as well as cafes, shops and hotels.
The steeply rising rock of the Lorelei, which is the deepest and most narrow section of the Rhine Gorge has always stood as a symbol of Rhine Romanticism. Lorelei is the region’s most famous natural attraction. The beautiful siren would sit on the rock combing her golden hair – a sight that, as legend has it, lured many sailors to their death upon the rocks.
The valley and its romantic small towns and wine growing villages on both sides of the river are best discovered by boat, or on footpaths such as the Rhine Castles Trail or the Rheinsteig. However, there are also highways and trains that run along both sides of the river. The peak season is definitely summer, when the hillsides are green and the cruise boats busy. In September, many inns and restaurants already start closing down for the winter, and almost all cruises end by November, starting up again in April.
Have you cruised down the Romantic Rhine Valley? If so, share your experience in the comments below.