Castles of the Rhineland with Historical Trips

Rudesheim am Rhein, town in the Rhine Gorge, Germany
Rudesheim am Rhein, town in the Rhine Gorge, Germany
Marksburg Castle at the River Rhine
Marksburg Castle at the River Rhine
Vineyards of Rudesheim
Vineyards of Rudesheim

The magic of the stunning Rhineland awaits. Dramatic castles perched on hilltops that overlook winding rivers, incredible vineyards belonging to revered wineries, and undeniably rich history can be found in this glorious part of Germany.

From romantic ruins to castles still magnificently preserved, we visit a variety of architecturally and historically engaging sites, and the expertise of our Guide Lecturer will bring them vividly back to life before our eyes. We will be treated to special access at the cathedral in Trier, charming towns will be ours to discover on walking tours, and culture will be revealed to us in exciting ways.

  • Indulge in the incredible wines of the region with a special tasting
  • Visit truly stunning castles that are rich in history and heritage
  • Experience authentic German cuisine during meal times
  • Tour sites of religious significance and admire the architecture

Themes

  • Historic Churches

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We fly from London to Frankfurt and travel to our hotel.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

This morning we drive out to Boppard. The town’s origins were as a 4th-century Roman fort and its defences are the best surviving Roman walls in Germany. The fortifications were extended in the Middle Ages and an Elector’s castle was also built. After lunch, we visit the ruins of Rheinfels Castle, overlooking the Rhein at Sankt Goar. Established in the 13th century, this was once the largest castle in the Middle Rhine region. Constructed by Dieter V von Katzenelnbogen it was besieged for a year and 14 weeks in 1255/ 56 by the Rhenish League after an increase in the Rhine tolls. The siege was unsuccessful. We drive back to Koblenz and enjoy a lecture before dinner.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

This morning, we drive to Ehrenbreistein Castle. Ehrenbreitstein is the second largest fortress in Europe, occupying a site where archaeology has recovered evidence from 400BC onward. It overlooks the ‘Deutsche Eck’ or ‘German Corner’ where the two rivers meet. Afterwards, we wander the halls of the Landesmuseum Koblenz. We have a short trip to Marksburg Castle after lunch, located just above the town of Braubach. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was never destroyed, and so gives a beautiful impression of a Bergfried (a great stone tower similar to a Keep or donjon). The castle was probably originally established c.1100 to control tolls on the river.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

Today we travel to the shores of the Laacher See to visit the Benedictine Maria Laach Abbey. Dating from c.1093 to c.1250 it is one of the most stunning Romanesque monuments in Germany, a basilica church with western towers, a crossing tower, transepts and a crypt. After we travel to Andernach. The city traces back to the Celts who settled here first, before the Romans occupied the territory under the name Antunnacum. Here, we will view the Rheintor, the Round Tower and other medieval remains. The Rheintor or Rhine Gate formed the principal entrance through the fortifications of Andernach from the River Rhine. It was probably originally built c.1200. We will also enjoy a trip to the Geyser of Andernach followed by a short boat trip.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Our morning will be spent at the Medieval Eltz Castle, overlooking the Elzbach River and nestled in the hills. Its strategic location, perched on an oval crag, is surrounded by the river on three sides, some 70m below. The afternoon will be spent visiting the Imperial Cochem Castle. This, even higher being some 100m or more above the Mosel River, was first documented in 1051. The core of the building has its origins as a massive Romanesque Keep.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Today we transfer to Trier. In the morning we pay a visit to the famous Porta Nigra (or black gate after its discoloured stone). This vast structure was built c.170AD as a gate in the Roman city wall and, in the Middle Ages, was converted to hold two medieval churches, one monastic and the other for the public. Trier, an exceptionally large Roman city with fine remains including an amphitheatre and a basilica hall also has an Archaeological Museum and the birthplace of Karl Marx. In the afternoon we will visit the High Cathedral of Saint Peter, the oldest bishop’s cathedral in Germany.

Hotel: Hotel Ante Porta, Trier
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

In the morning we journey to Heidelberg Castle, to view the remains of one of the most important Renaissance buildings north of the Alps. Originally two castles, the upper one was destroyed in the 16th century and the lower one ruined by war in the 17th century and fire in the 18th century. After lunch we drive to Lorsch, site of a major Carolingian monastery with its unique 9th-century Torhalle or gatehouse. This structure harks back to Roman triumphal arches but also forwards to Romanesque style architecture. From where we drive to Mainz where we will check in in our hotel.

Hotel: Mainz
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

This morning and early afternoon is free in Mainz. The hotel is situated opposite the Roman ship museum (free entry) where six ships excavated from the Rhine can be viewed and is a short walk from the city centre and cathedral. You can enjoy the sites of Mainz with our expert or spend free time as you wish. In the afternoon we check out of our hotel and journey to the airport, where we catch our flight back home to London.

Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels

Travel Information

Joining the Tour

For full information about how to join the tour, please click here.

Passport & Visa Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

Enquire now

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Book now

To book your tour without flights from the US, please call our team on 888 331 3476

2019 Tour Details

Sat 1st June - Sat 8th June

Available

Guaranteed Departure

$3,785

without flights

sgl supp: $490

RHL19A

Led By: Brian Ayers

Guide Lecturer

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