Upper Middle Rhine Valley (RLP - Germany)

Rhine is a massive river that begins at Konstanz in South Germany, passes via Switzerland, then goes along the French-German border and goes back into Germany and then heads into Netherlands and finally into the North Sea! The length of the river is a whooping 1033km. A portion of the Rhine River, 67km from 526km to 593km, from Rudeshiem/Bingen to Koblenz is protected as UNESCO World Heritage Site - Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Pic Courtesy: Ms.Claudia SchwarzLike my blog? Support me via Patreon! It costs less than a cuppa coffeeWhile I knew I wanted to visit the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, I was absolutely confused on 'how to see upper middle Rhine valley'! It seemed like a vast area and not one place. I did not understand where to stay and what to see. I finally figured it and here's the same for you!The best way to explore the Rhine Valley is ofcourse on the Rhine River itself. Depending on the time that you have, you could do only a non-stop cruise on the Rhine river, or stop at a few villages or many villages if you do have much time. The cruise has about 10 stops between Koblenz & Bingen. You could stay at Koblenz or Bingen which are big towns or any of the smaller towns or villages in that entire 67km for a more authentic experience. If you do want to see the several castles and churches and beautiful, picturesque villages along the Rhine, you need 4-5 days! While kids would love the touristic activities in Koblenz & Bingen, you could skip one of these if you want to be more authentic/adventurous.The train does go along the Rhine river all the way from Koblenz to Bingen. Whilst it is possible to go by train and it is super fast, you cannot really enjoy the beauty of the nature here, with that! The train taken 35 mins to reach Bingen from Boppard while the cruise boat takes 4 hrs! Cruise is very slow, even though it has almost the same number of stops as the train. So we took the train in some sections on our forward journey and the whole of our return journey and the boat for the most picturesque regions in the onward journey. The cruises are equipped with a proper restaurant that provide food & drinks a la carte. As you go on the cruise, you'll spot the Rhine km mentioned on the banks and it is possible to guide yourself about what you're seeing. Another interesting feature in this path, is that it was loved by William Turner, an English Artist of the Romanticism movement and he has done a series of paintings sitting the banks of Rhine & cliffs of the valley!!! Today, you can stand at the very places where he stood and did his paintings! There are a whooping 40+ castles in this length of 67km! Originally these castles were tax collection points for the ships that passed on the Rhine! Almost 50% of the value of the goods were paid as taxes by merchants as the passed through this region!!!! About 35 of those castles are still intact or renovated or rebuilt, for us to go & visit. The oldest of these fortresses & castles date back almost to 10th C CE. Ofcourse there are innumerable churches in this stretch as well. The oldest churches date back to almost 5th C CE! There are 40+ important, historical churches in this stretch! Now, you get why I say you need 4-5 days right?! If you really do want to visit just these castles and churches, and not to mention the trekking paths, trails, vineyards, museums and other things to do in this region, it takes a lot of time!This region is so gorgeous that you could spend an entire lifetime here. Infact that's what a local that I met, did! He's from Chicago in the USA, and saw this beautiful Rhine Valley and the view was so spectacular that he decided to buy a house & settle down here. That's what the valley is capable of doing.... It is so gorgeous that you could spend a lifetime here, if that's not what you're looking for, atleast 4-5 days would do some justice.... I spent just 2 days and it felt way too rushed! But something is always better than nothing...... Our first stop was ofcourse Koblenz (592nd km) for half a day including cable-car to the fortress, and then we proceeded by train to Boppard (570th km) and for the rest of the day we caught a glimpse of Boppard, St.Goar and Oberweesel and spent the night there. Next was was the magical trip on the cruise to Bacharach (543rd km). After spending a couple hours at Bacharach we headed by cruise again to Bingen (529th km). A few hours at Bingen (we missed the chairlift though) and we headed back to Koblenz by train.It is possible to go along the Rhine via walking & hiking. Way marked trails of various types are available in the region, like Wine Trail, Nordic walking, Mining & countryside etc. The longest is the Rheinsteig Hiking trail that's about 320km, followed by Rhein Castle trail that's about 200km! Ofcourse you can always do a part of it to get the flavour of the region.On our first cruise from Boppard to Bacharach, the first castle we spotted was at Kamp Bornhoten (566th km) - Sterrenberg Castle and Liebenstein Castle. These were built in 1190, however they fell into ruins in 16th C itself, and were rebuilt later in 1968-78 in Gothic style and converted into a hotel. The are called the 'Feuding brothers', a legend and is one of the Turner paintings as well - Hostile Brothers. In the region between Koblenz & Boppard are about 10 more castles. The next town we crossed was St.Goarshausen & St.Goar (557th km) where the Rheinfels Castle is located. 2 other castles here are the Maus Castle and Katz Castle (mouse & cat). These were built in 1355 & 71 and again, the Turner painting of Burg Maus features this. Beyond this is the most famous spot in the whole region - Lorelei (555th km). Here's the 360 view from atop the observation deck. The legend of Lorelei is that she's a very beautiful maiden with flowing, long, blonde hair who distracted the sailors who tried to maneuver the curve of the river here, making them to wreck their ships (Turner's painting Loreley)! She was standing here awaiting her long-gone lover. Anyways, with the distractions she made, she was ordered to be sent away to a nunnery. She wanted to look onto the river standing at the Lorelei rock one last time and lo-behold, her long gone lover was heading back! She wanted to wave to him from atop there, but slipped and fell!!! Though it sounds medieval, the story was made up only in early 1900s by Heinrich Heine. Her sculpture is there in the middle of the river. The folk song of Lorelei is sometimes played in the cruise as we cross this point!The next castle we spotted was Schonburg Castle in Oberwesel (550th km), followed by Gutenfels Castle in Kaub (546th km). In Kaub is also the most fascinating, photographers' favourite castle - Pfalzgrafenstein Castle (Turner's painting Pfalz bei Kaub). This is an island castle built in 14th C CE. Very close to it, in the main land is the Sauerburg Castle, also built in 14th C. Today, this is a hotel as well. Beyond this, are the ruins of castles Stahlberg in Bacharach (544th km) and Furstenberg (541st km). The next huge castle is Rheinstein Castle in Trechtingshausen (533rd km). The Mauseturm in Bingen (529th km) is another island castle (or rather, a watch tower), built in 14th C CE. And finally the Niederburg Castle in Rudesheim (527th km) wraps up this series of castles. This was probably built in 10th-11th C on top of ancient Roman ruins that existed here already. All of these castles are either renovated, rebuilt or in ruins. Only 2 of the castles in this entire stretch were left unscathed - Markusburg Castle in Braubach (580th km) and Pfalzgrafenstein Castle in Kaub. Here's our video, a vlog of the Rhine cruise and some the villages we visited. Coming back soon with the review of the gorgeous hotel we stayed in Boppard!To Get There:Explained in the article above in paragraphs 2-4.On Google Maps: Castles - Markusburg, Sterrenberg, Liebenstein, Maus, Katz, Schonburg, Gutenfels, Pfalzgrafenstein, Sauerburg, Stahlberg, Furstenberg, Rheinstein, Mauseturm, Niederburg; Loreley rock.Turner Route: https://www.turner-route.de/enCruise: Various cruises with various comfort levels and budgets are available. We took the Line rides on Köln Düsseldorfer (like hop-on hop-off)P.S: I was invited by UNESCO Germany to experience the region for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.{ "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "TouristAttraction", "name": "Upper Middle Rhine Valley", "alternateName":"Rhine River", "address": { "@type": "PostalAddress", "addressLocality": "rhineland palatinate", "addressCountry": "Deutscheland" }, "touristType":"Heritage Tourism", "image": "https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ym8GXyiiswM/Xby9ZpqJJ8I/AAAAAAAAc_g/eNjpH20C-J0qVLwMsSKqE129hyY0JKNgwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Bhushavali%2BMy%2BTravelogue%2BUpper%2BMiddle%2BRhine%2BValley%2B%25281%2529.jpeg", "description": "Upper Middle Rhine Valley is a 67km stretch of the river Rhine from Koblenz to Bingen which is so beautiful both naturally and culturally with several cute villages and 40+ castles" }

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