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The rhine from above

Under way between St. Goar and Oberwesel
A KD tour on the Rhine on its own is a really good choice for an excursion – namely when you decide to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Such a boat trip becomes even more attractive, more entertaining and more impressive if you combine it with a trip on dry land.The options for such a combination are almost limitless. Our current suggestion is a hike from St. Goar to Oberwesel.

Ship plus X is a formula which always works well when you are looking for attractive outings on the Rhine. On this occasion the X is the RheinBurgen-Weg (Rhine Castle Trail), or more precisely stage ten of this 200-kilometre trail from Remagen to Bingen, which presents hikers with truly magnificent views of the Rhine Valley. Naturally, stages one to nine and eleven to thirteen are also splendid destinations for excursions, and perhaps we will tell you more about those in future editions of RheinZeit. But these numbers already reveal one thing: e Rhine Castles Trail divides these 200 kilometres of German landscape, which are so richly blessed with natural and cultural highlights, into convenient sections, each one of which is by itself a delightful destination for a day trip.

The right feeling from the outset

This time the focus is on stage ten, which in terms of locations means from Sankt Goar to Oberwesel. where are several ways to begin such a day trip by boat and on foot, all of which depend on your answer to the question: “How will I reach the starting point of my hike?” – which in this case is St. Goar. As the town, which has 3,000 inhabitants, also has a railway station, you could travel there conveniently by train, or, of course, you could drive there in your own car, park and then set o on your outing. But by far the most appealing way to get there is – you’ve guessed it – by ship. Anyone who boards a vessel in Koblenz or Rüdesheim in the morning will be familiar with the wonderful holiday feeling which automatically overcomes visitors as they glide along the Rhine at a leisurely pace, marvelling at the sight of the unbelievable variety of castles which are dotted along the banks. And what is more, with this option you also have the opportunity to start the subsequent hike ideally fortied because you will have enough time on board to enjoy a lavish breakfast – and that is certainly to be recommended. In St. Goar you will then disembark on the newly redeveloped river promenade full of energy and well rested. If you do not want to set on along the Rhine Castle Trail immediately, you can first of all visit Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar, which was once the largest defensive fortication between Koblenz and Bingen. Today the ruins, the oldest parts of which date from 1245, house a museum and also a romantic hotel that offers a unique view. But you should not let yourself become too attached to the admittedly extremely inviting hotel terrace. Aer all, the plan is to head upriver and uphill on Shanks’s pony towards Oberwesel.

Ausblick vom Hotel Schloss Rheinfels

Steep start

This stage of the Rhine Castle Trail is around nine kilometres long and starts immediately behind St. Goar railway station, from where a short path takes you to the main route towards Oberwesel. the very first climb through the wildly romantic Lohbachtal Valley is very steep, but short, and once you have put this behind you, the route becomes pretty level. When you reach the Rhine plateau, you will be rewarded with a first look back. Aer all, you will justifiably have every right to pat yourself on the back for what you have already achieved, and you will also be able to take in the rst of many superb views of the Rhine Valley which this hike holds in store. Here the Kretschhütte Hut also attracts guests with its spacious rest area, but if you just started your outing in St. Goar, you can happily bypass this. From this point, the Rhine Castle Trail will display its adventurous potential; hikers will experience be accompanied by gentle thrills almost all the way to Oberwesel. There is no need to worry, though. e route can be mastered safely even with relatively small children; you only need to have a head for heights and be sure-footed here. First you proceed along the climb edge, and that means almost every step will reveal to the hiker dierent views of St. Goar, the Rhine and the steep bank on the opposite side of the river. Seelenbachteil and Galgenbachteil are the names of the next milestones before the route once again briey heads steeply uphill. The top of the climb is marked by the viewing point Maria Ruh, and that is really worth a visit because from there you are presented with what is probably the most stunning view of the storied Loreley Rock located on the opposite bank of the Rhine. the best proof that it is worth taking a lengthy rest now is provided by the large number of benches available up here.

Loreleyblick

Ein besonderer Ausblick

Panoramablick vom Günderodehaus Oberwesel

Difficult decision

After you have gathered your strength and feasted your eyes on the scenery there, you will walk along tracks by glorious elds and meadows, between hedges and woods, to the Beulsberghütte Hut with its panorama of vineyards where you will have to take a decision: culture or climb? is marks
the entrance to the via ferrata known as the Oelsbergklettersteig, one of two almost alpine sections on the Rhine Castles Trail. Now the hiker is confronted with 1.3 kilometres with a dierence in height of around 170 metres, almost vertical walls, fixed ropes, ladders and stirrups. e route across
the via ferrata will certainly test your nerve, but will present no problem to people with a head for heights, suitable footwear and a reasonable fitness level.

The alternative route is the Skulpturenpfad, an art trail which takes you round the mountain across easily mastered terrain. At the point where the via ferrata and the Skulpturenpfad meet again, it is worth making a detour to the Günderodehaus, which accommodates a small lm museum and a lovely café, not to mention the panoramic view over Oberwesel. And then you have almost reached your goal: Oberwesel is no more than a few steps away. If you still have enough energy following this three-hour hike, you will nd a host of sights which are well worth seeing, for instance the town wall,
parts of which you can walk along, and Schönburg Castle, which towers above the little town. How about sampling a glass of tasty wine from the surrounding vineyards? The Lanius-Knab vineyard with
its wealth of tradition, for example, is an ideal address for wine tasting. But there comes a time when even the wine fans amongst the hikers will have to head to the Rhine to catch a ship back to their local landing stage and bring this entertaining day to a leisurely end with a first-class Rhine wine and a delicacy or two from the delicious selection oered by KD’s shipboard kitchen.

Beeindruckend! Günderodehaus Oberwesel

Weinrast mit Aussicht