The Palatinate wine trail shows the region at its best, with ambling paths guiding walkers through a mixture of enchanting woodland walks and sun-drenched stretches through a sea of vines.
The Palatinate wine trail is characterised by steep climbs through the chestnut trees and pine forests of the Haardt hills, narrow paths and sweeping views across the Rhineland Plain. The route starts at the northern edge of the Haardt hills in the quaint, narrow medieval lanes of Neuleiningen. Passing through Bad Dürkheim, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Annweiler am Trifels and Bad Bergzabern, the trail includes many charming little wine-growing villages. If all that walking leaves you feeling thirsty, there are plenty of excellent vineyards happy to uncork a bottle right on the wine estate, where a drop of the region's wine tastes its absolute best! With many castle ruins, as well as Hambach Castle, Ludwigshöhe mansion and the 673m high Kalmit hill, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the magnificent views across the vineyards and out to the Rhineland Plain. The wine trail ends where it meets the 'Waldpfad' woodland trail in Schweigen, so walkers with any energy to spare can carry straight on.
Neuscharfeneck Castle, Dernbach. Built in the 13th century by Karl-Friedrich I, this now ruined castle is the third largest in the region, with a wall 58m long, 12m thick and reaching a height of 20m in places. The castle, destroyed during the Thirty Years' War, makes a fascinating place to visit.
At a glance:
Starts and ends: Neuleiningen – Schweigen-Rechtenbach
Number of stages: 10
Altitude variation (approximate values): ascent 6,100m, descent 6,050m
Terrain: 66% unmade, 16% asphalt, 18% other, e.g. gravel