Take a day trip on the Rhine River

Take a day trip on the Rhine River

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Imagine peacefully floating down a river, enjoying a regional lunch and exclaiming at the beauty of the landscape as you glide by. This quintessential European travel dream can become a reality by taking a Rhine River cruise.  

One of the main attractions along the Rhine is Burg Rheinstein, where you’ll be swept up in the romance and medieval flair of the castle’s ancient walls. This 13th century castle is home to sparkling stained glass, giant frescoes, antique furniture, 15th century armor, a Neo-Gothic chapel and gardens with fabulous views of the Rhine Valley. Visit in the gift shop for miniature handmade treasure chests or head to the cafe for some refreshments as you tour this imposing fortress.

Don’t stop there! Continue on your journey through the Upper Valley of the Middle Rhine, also known as the Romantic Rhine. The area is speckled with wine villages, castles and ruins, visible amongst jaw-dropping landscapes. It was inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Keep your eyes on the river banks for views of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Pfalzgrafstein, Kloster Eberbach and more. The architecture ranges from medieval knight’s castles to Baroque palaces, creating a unique cultural scene.            

In the vicinity of Burg Rheinstein is the charming town of Rüdesheim, which is famous for its wine production. Head to Dosselgasse, the heart of the Old Town. This historic street, known as 472 feet of joie de vivre, is home to quaint shops, restaurants, live music and more.

You’ll also find the town’s first guest house on this street, Drosselhof, which opened in 1727. Stay for a wine tasting or even have a small bite of fresh cuisine while you are enchanted by the musicians. Don’t forget to purchase your favorite wines before carrying on your adventure!

Above the town, nestled within vineyards dating back to the medieval period, stands the Benedictine Abbey of St. Hildegard. A community of 48 nuns lives here and extends a warm welcome to every guest. The current abbey was built in the 20th century, but the monastery dates back to 1150 when Hildegard of Bigen built a monastic house. Visitors can see the inside of the monastery church and browse the wine shop, where wine made from the monastery’s own vineyard is sold. This location offers an entirely different vantage point than a cruise ship and even more breathtaking views of the surrounding valley.

Don’t miss an opportunity to soak up the sun while cruising down the Rhine River and enjoying the astounding landscapes Germany has to offer. To find a Rhine River cruise, your installation's MWR Outdoor Rec or RTTtravel is a great place to start. You can also check out any villages along the Rhine that offer their own cruise companies, dates and times (Rüdesheim, Bingen, Boppard, etc.). Cruises will vary in length and number of stops, and many of them include lunch. If you book a cruise where you will be disembarking to explore, don’t forget to bring euros for shopping or tipping tour guides along the way.

Make the day a productive one by exploring the Romantic Rhine area. Cruises are great for couples or large groups alike and can be a fantastic way to see numerous castles at once, while also getting to enjoy vineyards and the German culture. Organize an outing today for the perfect summer holiday!

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