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View with Pfalzgrafenstein Castle in the background

The Rheinsteig Trail - walking on higher grounds

The Rhine has been personified as a mythical god, Rhenus Pater (lovingly nicknamed "Father Rhine" by the Germans), for centuries. The river, castle ruins and rock formations have inspired generations of painters and poets to create romantic works.

The lyrics of one German song ask why it is so beautiful along the Rhine. The answer is in the landscape. The river, which carves its way through the Middle Rhine Valley in such spectacular fashion, is in a class of its own. Rocks (e.g. the Lorelei), castles (e.g. the Marksburg) and romantic towns (e.g. Kaub and Rüdesheim) complement the diverse ensemble from the natural world. So it is no surprise that the Upper Middle Rhine Valley was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2002. This is world heritage that you can enjoy in hiking boots.

The Rheinsteig Trail is one of the most popular tours in Germany. On the right bank of the Rhine, hikers can discover the myths behind the famous river between Wiesbaden and Bonn for themselves. This hike has everything an excellent route needs. It truly is a five-star experience of the great outdoors. Nevertheless, a hike along the Rheinsteig can be a physical challenge. Hikers need to cross a number of tributary valleys carved deep into the landscape. Many stages of the Rheinsteig Trail are at such towering heights that you would think you were in the Alps. But you can take the trail one stage at a time. The Rhine Valley has excellent train and river cruise connections, so you can easily find your way back to the start no matter where you decide to stop.

Almost every stage of the trail is exceptional, whether you are in the Rheingau region between Wiesbaden and Rüdesheim, in the narrow Middle Rhine Valley or the Seven Hills. Nevertheless, you should take time on this premium trail to stop and admire the view, see the cultural attractions along the route such as theNiederwald Monument or the Drosselgasse lane in and around Rüdesheim and have a glass of Rhine wine.

TIPS: the Drachenfels hill and Deutsches Eck headland

Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:
"I love sitting in the beer garden on the Drachenfels hill and admiring Father Rhine. It's almost as good as sitting and having a cold one in the beer garden at Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz, which boasts a sensational view of the Deutsches Eck (or "German Corner") where the Moselle flows into the Rhine."

At a glance: Rheinsteig

Starts: Wiesbaden

Ends: Bonn

Length: 320 km

Number of stages: 23

Altitude variation: lowest point 51 m, highest point 356 m

Terrain: 45% unmade, 15% asphalt, 40% other, e.g. farm tracks

Certified quality hiking trail

Events

Rhineland-Palatinate's Summer of Culture takes place every year from 1 May to 3 October and features well over 200 projects covering all kinds of different cultural aspects. The theme is revised annually to reflect new focuses for the content, and the venue for the grand opening also changes every year. A large cultural festival on the first weekend in May offers families their first peek at the summer's programme of events.

The Summer of Culture is extremely wide-reaching in its scope, with events held across the state covering cultural, religious, artistic and social themes. In early 1992 the Rhineland-Palatinate state government announced the staging of the first Rhineland-Palatinate Summer of Culture, the aim of which was to increase people's awareness of the region's attractive cultural programme. Rural areas were particularly targeted in the hope of stimulating people's interest and of spreading pleasure in art and culture, in discussion and debate. What the organisers had – and continue to have – in mind was a sort of 'citizens' movement for culture'. And the Summer of Culture is, in fact, characterised by the large number of small projects and ideas at its core that were themselves developed out of local or regional initiatives. With almost 250 events including concerts, readings, exhibitions, children's activities, theatre and much more, the festival is a marvellous melting pot of people and ideas.

Upcoming dates:

01.05.2019 - 03.10.2019

Venue

Verschiedene Veranstaltungsorte
Platz der Mainzer Republik
55116 Mainz

All information on prices, dates and opening times are subject to change without notice.

Mainz is well known in Germany for its carnival antics – but let's not forget that the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate also hosts another, equally exciting event – the Midsummer's Eve Fair. 

Attractions here include the splashtastic Buchdruckertaufe or Gautschen, a traditional baptism ritual for apprentice printers and typesetters, along with theatre, comedy, entertainment and music on six city-centre stages. The fair always culminates in style with a fireworks display above the Rhine.

Upcoming dates:

21.06.2019 - 24.06.2019

Venue

Innenstadt
55128 Mainz

All information on prices, dates and opening times are subject to change without notice.
Celebrate the festival of St. John the Baptist in the picturesque center of Mainz, with the stage shows, art and book markets, concerts, sports events, rides, and delicious food. The festival ends with a brilliant fireworks display.

Upcoming dates:

21.06.2019 - 24.06.2019

Venue

Rathaus
55116 Mainz
Fon: (0049) 6131 120
www.mainz.de

Organiser

Landeshauptstadt Mainz
Rathaus
55116 Mainz
Fon: (0049) 6131 120
http://www.mainz.de/johannisnacht

All information on prices, dates and opening times are subject to change without notice.

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