The romantic Rhine Valley - Walking tours exploring Romanesque art and vineyards

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STRASBOURG - SPEYER - RUDESHEIM - ST GOARSHAUSEN - KOBLENZ - KÖNIGSWINTER - COLOGNE

The Vosges Club & CroisiEurope invite you to discover our
Walking tours Cruise
The Romantic Rhine Valley
Walking tours to discover Roman art and vineyards


DAY 1: STRASBOURG

We board between 6.00pm and 7.00pm in Strasbourg (at the river port/station on the rue du Havre) and settle into our cabins. We are introduced to the crew over a welcome cocktail in the lounge/bar. We then have the presentation of the programme of walks, followed by dinner in the on board restaurant and an evening of entertainment. We set off from Strasbourg for Speyer during the night.

DAY 2: STRASBOURG - SPEYER

We arrive in Speyer early this morning and have breakfast on board.

The walkers’ program: On the walk through the « Pfälzer Wald » National Park (or Palatine Forest), we discover a very diverse landscape. (Walk of around 3 hours, 8km (5 miles) with a climb of around 200m).

The “non-walkers” programme: we set off by coach for a guided visit of Heidelberg and the castle – a true symbol of the German Romantic Movement. Heidelberg has a magnificent, unrivalled position in the Neckar Valley, squeezed between tree-covered slopes, and dominated by the castle’s imposing ruins.

We return on board for lunch and cruise towards Rüdesheim. On this part of the Rhine, we find many different landscapes as we cruise. Between the Odenwald and the Rhine banks, the valley is marked by the Bergstrasse. On the left bank, the Palatine begins with the Pfältzer Wald and the German wine route, a series of small, world famous wine towns of long tradition all the way to Rheinhessen. We arrive in Rudesheim during the evening as we dine on board.

DAY 3: RUDESHEIM

Breakfast on board.

The walkers’ program: we set off by coach for Hallgarten. Our walk takes us through the vineyards to the Cistercian Abbey at Eberbach, made famous by the film “The Name of the Rose”. We have a guided visit of the Abbey, followed by a tasting of some Rhine valley wines(1). (Walk of 2½ hours, 7km (4.4 miles) with a climb of around 200m)

The “non-walkers” program: we set off by coach for the Cistercian Abbey at Eberbach. We have a guided visit of the Abbey, followed by a tasting of some Rhine valley wines. The Cistercians spread much knowledge and expertise across Europe, including established techniques on winemaking and vines, and the ancient Abbey at Eberbach is on the best land in the whole Rheingau wine region.

We return on board for lunch around 1pm and the afternoon is free to discover Rudesheim at our own pace. This little Rhine town has retained many fine noble dwellings, such as the Ritter’sher Hof house, built in 1542 by Heinrich Brömser and decorated with frescos. The narrow, romantic streets are perfect for all the town’s many visitors to wander happily, none more so than the famous Drosselgasse with all its cafés and wine bars where you can taste wines in a convivial atmosphere. We return on board for dinner and an evening’s entertainment.

DAY 4: RUDESHEIM - ST GOARSHAUSEN

Breakfast is taken on board as we set sail towards St Goarshausen. We cruise past Bacharach, long ago the property of the Palatine counts, surrounded by vines and old towers that bear testimony to Middle Age fortifications, and the fortified island of Pfalz, Oberwesel and finally the legendary Loreley Rock, symbol of the romantic Rhine. We arrive in St Goarshausen around 11am where we have free time for independent exploration. In 1284, this little fishing village became the property of the powerful Counts of Katzenelnbogen and became a town in 1324. The town is stretched along the banks of the river and is dominated by the Katz castle (visits not permitted). Pretty half-timbered little houses still decorate the main Burggasse today. We return on board for lunch.

The walkers’ program: our walk today is to the famous Loreley Rock. We begin with a pleasant walk along woodland paths, and then we find the granite statue. This legendary rock sits high above the river at a height of 132m. The Loreley Rock has become the symbol of the Romantic Rhine and occupies a special place in German literature. At the summit, we are refreshed by coffee and cake. (Walk of 2hours, 4.5km (2.8miles) with a climb of around 300m)

The “ non-walkers” program : we set off by coach for the magnificent Loreley Rock. At the summit, we are refreshed by coffee and cake.

We return on board late afternoon. After dinner on board, the evening is free in St Goarshausen, where we moor for the night.

DAY 5: ST GOARSHAUSEN - KOBLENZ - KÖNIGSWINTER

We have breakfast as we sail this morning. The journey takes us through delightful landscapes, where we discover villages with such evocative names such as Boppard and Braubach, as well as several castles, each with its own legends of knights-of-old and a real source of inspiration for the poetry of yesteryear. We arrive in Koblenz around 9am where we have free time. Why not join our hostess to discover the charming old town. This former residence of the Prince-Electors, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle, is surrounded by lush green picturesque landscapes. The town has undeniable charm and character, thanks to the beautifully restored Bourgeois houses, Roman, Gothic and Baroque churches and Neo-Classical castles. We return on board around 11am and set off again to Königswinter, where we arrive around 2pm after lunch on board.

The walkers’ program: our walk today is in the volcanic massif of the Siebengebirge or Seven Mountains. Through wooded hills, we follow the marked footpaths up to the summit of the Drachenfels at an altitude of 321m: from here there are wonderful views right to Bonn and Cologne. Legend has it that it was here, on this “Dragon’s rock”, that Siegfried killed the monster then bathed in its blood to make him invincible. (Walk of 2½ hours, 6km (3.5 miles) with a climb of around 250m)

The “ non-walkers” program: departure in a coach to Bonn for a guided tour of a city which is 2,000 years old, where the celebrated composer Ludwig Van Beethoven first saw the light of day. Discover the best aspects of the city. Get drawn into its history by the splendid facades of houses from the 20th Century in the southern district of Bonn. After the tour, you will have a little free time before returning to the boat at Koenigswinter. Or free time in Koenigswinter – do not hesitate to take a ride on the funicular railway (pay at the bottom of the railway) and enjoy the beautiful panorama from the top of the Drachenfels hill.

We return on board. Tonight we have a Gala dinner followed by an evening of dancing. We moor up for the night at Königswinter.

DAY 6: KÖNIGSWINTER - COLOGNE

We have breakfast as we cruise, arriving in Cologne around 8am. We disembark at 9.00am. End of our journey.

For navigational reasons and passenger safety, the company and the captain reserve the right to modify the cruise itinerary if necessary.
 
Alcohol abuse can damage your health. Drink in moderation.
Transport

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More info

Hiking : difficultys, level 2

Croisihike

Level
The hikes that are proposed during this cruise are little half-day strolls (2 to 3 h walking), implying few changes in altitude (around 150 to 300 m). Along the hike, you get the chance to see and discover some natural or cultural areas which are on your cruise’s programme.The durations stipulated in our programmes are given as a rough guide and do not take the breaks into consideration. No athlete’s training is necessary for these hikes, but you should be in good shape and rested to fully enjoy this cruise.

Your equipment

Backpack
It is essential to bring a backpack (max 30L) in which you can put what is necessary for a hike: sweater, raincoat, picnic, flask of water and solar protection.
It is important, for your comfort and pleasure during the hike, to choose a good backpack. You should take a good-sized and sturdy bag with padded braces and a strong and waterproof fabric. There will be no porterage.

Shoes
First of all, good shoes should not hurt you and should be comfortable. You should try your shoes and use them a little before leaving, it is important that you feel comfortable wearing them.
Without taking into consideration the difficulty of the hike, the sole should always be of a good quality that is to say that they should be well sewed and not slippery on a wet or damaged ground. You should prefer ankle boots with softened soles in order to avoid malleolus, back- and joints traumatisms.

Clothes
The equipment for a hike should necessarily include
• More or less warm underclothes depending on the planned hike
• Light quick-drying trousers
• Warm sweater or fleece jacket
• Cape for the rain or raincoat
• Hat or cap
• Thin gloves and a bonnet for the beginning and the end of the season

Equipment
Do not forget to bring:
• Sunglasses
• Sunscreen cream
• Small personal first-aid kit (refer to following paragraph)
• Flask
• Toilet paper
• Folding knife
• Telescopic sticks for those who are used to use them

Pharmacy
Your guide will have a first-aid kit for each hike.
It is yet compulsory to bring a personal first-aid kit, different in according with the destination, which will at least include:
• Plastic strip
• “Twinfaces”
• Analgesic
• If necessary, mosquito lotion
• Eye drops
• Intestinal antiseptic…
… and your personal medicines if you undergo a treatment.