The Rhine, Main, and Moselle rivers offer a magical tour of Germany’s history and cultural elegance. The best way to take in the captivating beauty of the vintage German towns, historic castles, and elegant vineyards is through an amazing river cruise. Each river provides its own set of scenic attractions and adventures that will take you back in time.
Besides being one of the longest rivers in Europe, the Rhine River has unmatched cultural and natural beauty. The Rhine borders the fabled lush and fertile Black Forest to its south and west, while miles and miles vineyards line follow its path.
If you are a wine connoisseur or even if you just enjoy trying new wines, the Rhine offers exquisite German wines (Rivaner, Riesling, Pinot Meunier, Ortenau, Pinot Noir, Gutedel, Pinot Gris, and many more) made in the very vineyards you’ll be sightseeing through. There are over 100 wine festivals every year in Germany.
The most historically prominent region along the river happens to be the stretch between Koblenz and Rüdensheim. The hills on this part are lined with historic castles that give you an authentic taste of the middle ages.
You cannot miss the town of Saint Goar, with its vintage houses and cobblestone streets, or the charming Braubach village, with its half-timbered houses dating back to the 16th century. Not to mention the famous Rheinfels castle – the largest castle overlooking the Rhine. Locations like the mysterious Lorelei (Loreley) rock, surrounded by a curious air of cultural folklore, are definitely something to look out for.
Ehrenbreitstein Fortress where the Rhine & Moselle join
The Moselle River meets the Rhine at the city of Koblenz. The Moselle valley is regarded as one of the most beautiful corners of Germany – the forests and vineyards along the valley offer a very expressive landscape. The best time to cruise the river is during fall. During this season, the leaves transform to beautiful shades of red and golden across the vineyards, as the bright yellow-green grapes ripen for harvest in November.
The Moselle valley has no shortage of castles atop its many hills. In Cochem, the biggest town along the river, lies the Cochem Riechsburg – the town’s ancient castle. Such an authentic medieval atmosphere and gorgeous scenery are nicely complimented by the cool autumnal air.
The highlight of the river is the charming town of Brenkastel-Kues. The houses boast vintage architecture, made purely out of timber. The beautiful autumn mist seeps through the picturesque town and forests, offering a breathtakingly magical view.
Frankfurt on the Main River
For a firsthand experience of medieval Germany, you have the river Main and its undeniable scenic beauty. Joining the river Rhine at the city of Mainz – home to the world’s first printing press – the Main River is defined by vast stretches of lush green forests. This spellbinding landscape is filled with history and folklore – a rich and fascinating experience on its own.
Take in the magnificence of Frankfurt am Main, one of Germany’s most popular cities – and rightfully so. The beauty of the city lies in its remarkable timbered buildings and spectacular landmarks such as the Alte Oper (opera house), St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, and Römer, the iconic town hall dating back to 1405. Sip on some exquisite apple wine as you witness the magnificence of Frankfurt.
Travel along the quaint cities of Nuremberg and Würzburg, and witness the timber-framed buildings, laden with subtle hints from World War II. Moving on, you’ll witness the lovely city of Bamberg – home to an imperial cathedral dating back to the 13th century. The entire city is packed with historical and cultural value, so much so that it has a World Heritage Site status. Witness the city come alive during Sandkerva – the annual beer festival held in August.