The Rhine Valley is the epitome of a romantic landscape, a place so easy to fall in love with. Steep valley hillsides rise from the waters of the Rhine, clad with vineyards and fairytale castles which balance imperiously on mountain summits. Quintessential towns and villages extend a warm welcome, tempting us to pause and sample their delicious harvests of local wines. From trains and boats to horse drawn carriages, you can experience this region from various angles and relish in the beauty of the Rhine Valley.
Day 1: London-Remagen
We journey from London St Pancras to Brussels by Eurostar, where we join the high speed rail connection to Cologne. From here we take a local train along the Rhine to Remagen and check into our hotel, our base for the next five nights.
Day 2: Ahr Valley
We travel by train along the Ahr Valley, an area of broad plateaux and narrow gorges where picturesque half-timbered towns nestle into the landscape and castles crown hill summits. This is the most northerly of Germany's wine producing regions that is mostly dedicated to the production of red wines. Seldom is this wine exported so our special excursion to Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler will give us the opportunity to sample some and purchase a souvenir bottle or two as well as enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride.
Day 3: Cologne
Our rail journey today takes us to Cologne, a city dominated by the magnificent Gothic Cathedral. A climb up to the south tower to the viewing platform rewards you with extensive views across the city and the Rhine. The architecture is striking, from Romanesque churches, simple post-war and classic modern buildings and many historic monuments. A walk into the medieval Old City reveals the lively old Market square and historic Town Hall, the oldest in Germany. Cologne also offers excellent shopping and is of course most famous for its Eau De Cologne legacy. We travel to Bonn by train for a short stay and then travel by boat to Remagan, enjoying a scenic boat journey along the Rhine.
Day 4: Vulkan Express
We enjoy a nostalgic ride on the Vulkan Express, a privately owned narrow-gauge train. The journey through one of the most scenic valleys of the Rhine, takes one and a half hours, passing castles, crossing viaducts and going through a tunnel as we ascend to the Eifel Mountains and the village of Engeln.
Day 5: Rüdesheim
Today we travel through the Rhine Gorge by train, passing the legendary Lorelei Rock to reach the quaint wine town of Rüdesheim. Drosselgasse is the hub, lined with taverns serving the Rheingau region's finest Riesling wines. The Niederwald monument which depicts the mythical figure of Germania can be reached by cable car, where spectacular views of the Rhine Valley and castles can be enjoyed. The ruins of Ehrenfels Castle is another idyllic location, surrounded by vineyards above the Rhine Gorge.