Starting at the border with France, our route takes us along the western bank of the river to Speyer, home to the first of three imperial cathedrals along the Rhine. Castles, palaces and ruins are reminders of a turbulent past. Many different cultures have left their mark on the region – from Celts, Romans and medieval knights to the Romantics and the Prussians. The UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley is just one of the scenic highlights and boasts around 50 castles and palaces and the Loreley rock. The end of the route is at Remagen, a town whose history goes back to Roman times. Terrain: the long-distance cycle route is asphalt-surfaced over most of its length and car-free for long sections. It follows the course of the Rhine and passes through the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley with its many castles and fortresses. The terrain is predominantly flat. Scenery: Rhineland Plain with vineyards, flat riverbank meadows around the old, cut-off branches of the river, small wine villages, orchards and slate mountains. The route passes the Loreley rock near St. Goarshausen.