A tour of Rhineland-Palatinate leads you through the romantic Rhine and Moselle river valleys, past steep vineyards and through beautiful towns with timber framework buildings where you enjoy the end of your tour with a glass of Riesling. Spending a holiday in Rhineland-Palatinate, the most western German federal state neighbouring Belgium, Luxembourg and France, is always an experience. You can simply relax, let go and enjoy yourself in a countryside of rolling hills, steep slopes, romantic rivers, castles shrouded in legend, historical towns and traditional culinary treats.
Off to Rhineland-Palatinate!
The diversity of the landscape and culture of the ten Rhineland-Palatinate regions of Ahr Valley, Eifel, Hunsrück, Lahn Valley, Naheland, Moselle-Saar, the Palatinate, Rheinhessen, Romantic Rhine and Westerwald invites visitors to stay as there is a lot to see, to try and to discover. Diversity and unforgettable experiences are guaranteed - enjoying the red grapes of the Ahr Valley, hiking or cycling in Hunsrück, the home of legendary Schinderhannes, exploring the pot-baker area of Westerwald, discovering the Eifel with its maars - the "eyes of the Eifel", relishing the vineyard landscape on the banks of the Moselle and along the romantic Rhine with its numerous castles and palaces, travelling through the "land of 1,000 hills" Rheinhessen, relaxing in the health resorts in Naheland, paddling on the Lahn or tasting wine in the Palatinate!
Biking excursions in Rhineland-Palatinate - where cycling is a pleasure
Those who enjoy the feeling of a fresh breeze blowing in their face have a free rein in Rhineland-Palatinate. Long-distance cycling routes covering 1,200 km take you along the Rhine, Moselle, Nahe and Ahr rivers and more than 8,000 kilometres of excellent cycling routes meander through the whole of Rhineland-Palatinate. The main routes of the cycle tours are seven linked long-distance tracks along the banks of the rivers, taking you through almost every region in Rhineland-Palatinate. More than 70 cycle routes on specific themes such as Barbarossa Cycle Route or Schinderhannes Cycle Route pick up on the historical, cultural or geological features of the individual regions they cross. Normed signs along the cycle routes make it easy for cyclists to move along while enjoying the diversity of the unique countryside. Tours can be selected by their gradient, landscapes or cultural points of interest. On some of the routes there is even a bus shuttle service for cyclists and many certified bed & bike facilities take care of the cyclists' well-being.
Rhineland-Palatinate – where wine is an experience
It is not without reason that Rhineland-Palatinate is Germany's Number 1 wine country. Wine-growing has a long tradition in Rhineland-Palatinate: the Romans were the first to recognise the potential of the area and used it for viticulture. Thus, it is hardly surprising that local winemakers know their trade. It is not only first-class wines that make the six wine-producing areas of Ahr Valley, Middle Rhine, Moselle-Saar, Nahe, Rheinhessen and Palatinate famous – over 70 % of German wines and sparkling wines are produced in more than 20,000 wineries in Rhineland-Palatinate. Quaint wine-growing farms and rustic wine bars in picturesque wine-growing towns, vineyard cottages and an endless vine landscape are characteristic for the wine country. Good wines can be degusted at a wine-tasting at the vineyard or with the delicious regional specialities in traditional seasonal wine taverns or with top restaurateurs and gourmet chefs.
Yet Rhineland-Palatinate stands out for more than its first-class wines; it is also home to the most popular draught beer in Germany. The popular town of Bitburg has long been known to beer drinkers. Visitors can experience the world of beer with all their senses in the Bitburg brand experience world in which they immerse themselves in the Bitburg success story, experience how beer is made – from the brewing process to filling up the beer – and of course also enjoy a fresh draught pilsner. And there are many more small private breweries throughout Rhineland-Palatinate that can also be visited.
Rhineland Palatinate – hiking at its best
Rather than being surprised at the vast choice of hiking trails, visitors should better tie up their walking shoes and bark on an exciting tour of Rhineland-Palatinate. Just like each of the ten Rhineland-Palatinate regions, each hiking trail has its own characteristics. The paths lead through uplands, past ravines and lakes, across meadows and through woods, with breath-taking views of picturesque river and wine landscapes.
In every region hikers will find top walking trails which were all designed in line with the quality criteria of the German Ramblers’ Association or the German Hiking Institute. Be it a long distance trail such as Rheinsteig or Eifelsteig or short walks for a day trip – there is a trail for every taste!
Local festivals and festivities – celebrating all year round!
With more than 1,000 cultural wine, beer, local and public festivals and not to mention the "fifth season" in the carnival strongholds of Mainz and Coblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate never gets boring. There are many regular events to look forward to every year. One example is the "Rhine in Flames" event, which sees the Rhine Valley lit up in a fascinating fireworks show on every second Saturday in August. Visitors can choose between watching the event from the banks of the river and booking a seat on one of the 70 ships which together form the longest ship parade in Europe.
Another highlight is the German Vintage Festival (Deutsches Weinlesefest) in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. The German Wine Queen is crowned here and also frequently comes from Rhineland-Palatinate. The Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim is also a must. It is the biggest wine festival in the world: more than 300 wines and sparkling wines can be tasted there. The historical castle festival at Manderscheid invites visitors on a journey back to medieval times, to kings, knights and buskers. Against the historic backdrop of Niederburg, visitors can cheer for participants in the "Knight of the Lion" tournaments or stroll around the craft market while ballad singers, buskers, jugglers and tradesmen show off their skills. Culinary and musical events such as "Gourmet & Wine", the Moselle festivals, the Middle Rhine Moments (Mittelrhein-Momente) and events for children such as SommerHeckMeck in the Eifel region are something to look forward to. Numerous Christmas markets in Rhineland-Palatinate light up the cities in festive brilliance in the advent season. Christmas markets in Mainz and Ahrweiler, the medieval market in Trier and markets in the romantic surroundings of palaces and castles: the air is filled with the sweet aroma of mulled wine and roasted almonds and many stands provide inspiration for Christmas shopping with anything from Christmas decorations to wooden toys and jewellery. And every year brings more events in addition to the current choice. It is worth visiting www.romantic-germany.info to make sure you do not miss out on anything.
Discover Rhineland-Palatinate with the FreizeitCARD
With the FreizeitCARD | CARTE Loisirs, around 200 attractions and cultural institutions in Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Lorraine, Luxembourg, East Belgium and Wallonia can be visited free of charge. Once bought, the card will give you free admission to nearly all the facilities throughout the season. It is valid for a whole year (1 April to 31 March of the following year) and is available in three different editions: as a 24-hour card, a 3-day card and a 6-day card – for adults and for children. www.freizeitcard.info
Many roads lead to...Rhineland-Palatinate
Located in the south-west of Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate has an excellent infrastructure and can easily be reached by car, train, bus or by aeroplane via the central airport in Frankfurt-Hahn.
Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus GmbH
Löhrstrasse 103-105, 56068 Koblenz, Germany
tel: +49 (0)1805 757 4636 (€ 0.14 per min. from German landlines), fax: +49 (0)261 915 2040