The Rheinsteig trail is one of the most beautiful and varied hiking trails in the whole of Germany. Over 21 daily stages, you'll hike through the Siebengebirge, experience the dramatic Middle Rhine Valley and enjoy the views in the Rheingau. Along the entire adventure, your constant companion, the Rhine, stays with you the entire way. Occasionally, it flows a couple of hundred feet below you as you trek along cliffs, whereas at other moments, you'll only be able to see it at a distance as you move through the green slopes of the Westerwald.
The Rheinsteig takes you from Bonn to Wiesbaden. If you'd rather reverse the direction and go from the east to the west, that's fine too. As you go, you'll cover almost 200 miles (320 kilometers) and conquer over 30,000 feet (9,000 meters) in elevation gain as you hike through picturesque hillside forests, narrow brook valleys, over panoramic mountain ranges, through vineyards and, of course, to the most beautiful viewing points in the Rhine Valley.
If the entire Rheinsteig is too long for you — or if you don't have three weeks to spare — that's no problem. Almost all of the stages can be reached by train from Cologne, Bonn, Koblenz and Wiesbaden. Only the small towns in the Rheingau and Neuwieder Becken are not situated along a railway line. Thanks to regional bus lines, you can also reach these places easily by public transport. So, simply choose your favorite stages and put together your own personal hike on the Rheinsteig.
If you are more interested in the countless castles on the left bank of the Rhine, then take a look at the Rheinburgenweg. Here you can find all the stages of the Rheinburgenweg: komoot.de/collection/721/der-rheinburgenweg-13-etappen-pure-rheinromantik
In the first stage of the Rheinsteig you hike from Bonn to Königswinter on the edge of the famous Siebengebirge.Starting point of the hike is the Bonn market square with its beautiful, historic town hall. Past the university you walk to the ferry terminal and take the ferry Rheinnixe to the other bank of the Rhine. Along the shore, the path leads you to the idyllic leisure park Rheinaue.Here you turn north from the shore. After a short section through the city you will reach the wooded foothills of the Siebengebirge. You can take a break at the Foveaux Lodge rest stop before continuing your tour.Now you follow the Rheinsteig over the ridge above Bonn. Again and again, you get great views of the Rhine and the city. After passing the Dollendorfer vineyard, you will cross the peaceful Mühlental valley and then climb to Petersberg. Once at the top, you can strengthen yourself with a wonderful view in the beer garden or café.Then it goes in a loop to the castle Drachenburg, today's stage destination. If you like, you can visit the castle here. To get to Königswinter, you simply take the cogwheel train, which departs directly in front of the castle.The timetable of Bonn's passenger ferry Rheinnixe can be found at rheinnixe.com.The cog railway schedule can be found at drachenfelsbahn.de/index.php/de/fahrplan-preise/fahrplan.
On the second stage, the Rheinsteig will take you through the picturesque Siebengebirge.To save you a few vertical meters in the ascent, you drive at the beginning of the tour best again with the Drachenfelsbahn to the castle Drachenburg and start your tour here. Normally, the Rheinsteig leads from here on the narrow donkey trail on to the Drachenfels, but this is due to rock falls blocked until further notice.Instead, you hike on the Drachenfelsstraße to the castle ruins on the dramatic cliff Drachenfels. Then it goes downhill to the forest cemetery Rhöndorf.Then begins the long climb to the ruin Löwenburg on the same mountain. The trail leads through dense forest and below the Great Breiberg along. Shortly before you reach the Löwenburg, the Einkehrhaus Löwenburg offers you a leisurely break.The ruin Löwenburg is romantic to look at and the view of the surrounding Siebengebirge is no less beautiful. If you've had enough of the view, follow the signposted Rheinsteig down to the quiet Ohbachtal valley.After a gentle climb you reach the Himmerich, the last mountain of observation of today's stage. Just below the rocky summit is an expansive plateau that gives you a magnificent view. At the Mucher Wiesenbach you finally hike to the outskirts of Bad Honnef. From the end of the stage it is only a short distance to the city center.
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On your third stage you follow the Rheinsteig through the southern foothills of the Siebengebirge and on to the steep cliffs of the Middle Rhine Valley.From Bad Honnef the Rheinsteig leads you steadily uphill and around the Leyberg. If you like, you can also make a detour to the Leyberg here. The path is marked with a yellow Rheinsteig symbol and at the summit you will be rewarded with a great view of the Siebengebirge.From the slopes of the Leyberg you will then gently downhill towards the Rhine. In Bruchhausen the trail leads you out of the forest for a short distance and along open fields.The first highlight of the Middle Rhine Valley is the Stuxberg. The rocky hill rises directly above the tranquil town of Unkel and rewards you with magnificent views.In the constant up and down it goes on the ridge further south. The slopes are getting closer and closer to the banks of the Rhine and at the Erpeler Ley a wonderful panorama awaits you from the Rhine Valley and the wide meadows around Kripp.Afterwards, you hike gently downhill until you reach your destination Linz.
On the fourth stage, the Rhine Valley is already at its best. While the slopes far back on the opposite bank and extensive meadows are on the banks of the Rhine, you wander on the eastern shore on picturesque ridges - panoramic views to the peaks of the Eifel are guaranteed.From Linz, the first thing to do is to climb steeply up to the Kaiserberg. There you can get an overview of your current hiking area with a beautiful view. On forest trails you walk then and through the village Dattenberg. Here it goes directly back to the steep slopes over the Rhine and you can enjoy great views of the valley.After Leubsdorf you wander across picturesque, wide meadows and fields. A rest area with seating is perfect for a break. Afterwards, the Rheinsteig then leads you again with a great view over the Rhine valley slopes and on to the stage destination Bad Hönningen.
On your fifth stage on the Rheinsteig you can see many views - in between you walk through vineyards and quiet side valleys of the Rhine Valley.The fifth stage starts in Bad Hönningen. From here, the Rheinsteig leads you on quiet forest trails up to the Rheinbrohler Ley. The rock rises high above the Rhine and gives you a fantastic view. While you rest here on the bench, you can watch the ships on the Rhine.From the Rheinbrohler Ley you hike down the Rheinsteig into the valley of the Hammersteiner Bach. Through the valley to the village Hammerstein, which lies directly on the banks of the Rhine. Here you walk a short distance along the shore until the Rheinsteig rises again.After a short but steep climb you reach the castle ruin Hammerstein. From the proud castle only a few walls and part of the keep are preserved. From the ruins, it goes down again and through the Mühlbachtal. Following is the last ascent of today's stage. Here the Rheinsteig runs across the vineyards above Leutersdorf.From the end of the stage it is only a short descent to the stage goal Leutersdorf.
On the sixth stage you will get to know a particularly beautiful landscape of the Middle Rhine Valley. Around the city of Neuwied, the slopes of the Westerwald far away from the Rhine and have thus created the Neuwied Basin. The Rheinsteig follows the ridge and so you can enjoy great views of the vast landscape.Starting from Leutersdorf, you first wander to the viewpoint Rheinhelden. Here you take a last look at the Rhine, before the trail leads you north from the shore and leads to the wooded slopes of the Westerwald.Without major differences in altitude you follow the Rheinsteig along the ridge along meadows and through small wooded areas. Only at Altwied the trail leads you downhill and along the homonymous castle ruins along. If you do not carry provisions with you, then you can take a break here in a restaurant near the castle.For a while you walk along the banks of the Wied, which meanders through a narrow valley. At a river bend lined with meadows, you leave the shore and climb through the forest in the direction of Rengsdorf. After a last section over wide meadows you finally reach your milestones.Rengsdorf is not directly accessible by train, but there is a regular connection with the bus line 101 to Neuwied station.Timetable information is available at vrminfo.de.
After the quite sporty first six stages, the seventh stage presents itself as a real pleasure hike. You'll hike across the ridge on the edge of the Neuwieder basin along the entire route, with more vertical meters on the descent than in the ascent on the program - the perfect hike to regenerate a bit of energy.At the beginning of the tour, the Rheinsteig will take you around the town of Rengsdorf and on to the lookout point Nonnenley. From here you have a particularly beautiful view of the enchanted valley of the Engelbach.On forest roads it goes on to the south. Around 2,000 years ago, the Roman Limes ran here and along the trail several Roman watchtowers were rebuilt as reconstructions. Also on today's stage you can admire such a tower.From the said Römerturm the Rheinsteig leads you gently downhill to the lake Schwanenteich. Right next to the lake there is a hotel with a café and a restaurant, where you can take a break in a nice atmosphere.Strengthened, you then wander on the edge of the forest and with a great view of the Neuwied basin. Stage of today's hike is the town Sayn with its impressive castle ruins.Sayn is one of the few stages on the Rheinsteig that can not be reached by train. Instead, the town is approached from Koblenz from the bus number 8.Timetables can be found at evm.de/evm/Homepage/Verkehr.
At the eighth stage of the Rheinsteig, you finally leave the Neuwied basin and return to the slopes of the Middle Rhine Valley. Quiet forest paths and easy dirt roads alternate on today's stage. There are of course a few particularly beautiful viewpoints.After a last look from the defensive wall of Sayn Castle, you leave the town and wander north into the forest. The Rheinsteig leads you here over a ridge. After paying a visit to the viewpoint Oskarhöhe, descend to the Brexbachtal valley and continue in serpentines up to another Roman tower.Here you leave the forest and then wander with stunning views over the Rhine Valley and the Neuwieder basin through a wide field landscape. Without significant height differences, you can enjoy nature to the fullest.After crossing the A48 motorway, Gasthof Wüstenhof invites you for a break with a great view. From here it is only a short distance to the finish line Vallendar.
With less than ten kilometers, the ninth stage is by far the shortest stage on the Rheinsteig. But that's a good thing, because in this way you have enough time to explore the impressive fortress Ehrenbreitstein at the stage finish of today's tour.From Vallendar you follow the Rheinsteig through a light forest landscape on the outskirts of the city. The trail climbs gently and leads you out onto wide fields and meadows.Soon it goes a little downhill and you pass the place Urbar. Immediately afterwards the ascent to the fortress begins. The extensive parade ground around the fortress was redesigned for the Federal Garden Show 2011 and is freely accessible. A special highlight is the spectacular viewing platform.After you have strolled through the park, it is worth of course a visit to the fortress and the attached museum. Especially exciting: There is also a youth hostel in the fortress so you do not have to look far for accommodation.Everything about the hostel can be found at diejugendherbergen.de/jugendherbergen/koblenz/portrait.
Along the tenth stage the Rhine bank is densely populated and so the Rheinsteig leads you here a bit off the Rhine valley through quiet forest landscapes and into the Lahn valley.After spending the night at the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, you will first descend a few meters to the banks of the Rhine. You stroll along the shore here for a while and enjoy the view of Koblenz. Soon the Rheinsteig will lead you away from the shore and into the romantic Bienhorntal.The Bienhornbach formed here over time a picturesque valley landscape and the trail leads you through completely. Shortly before the source of the stream, the Rheinsteig branches off from the Bienhorn valley.On forest paths, you now hike steadily uphill to the lookout Hunsrückblick. Below you can already admire the Lahn in its sweeping riverbed.Afterwards you follow the Rheinsteig downhill to one of the most exciting sections of the entire hike. The Ruppertsbach has cut here namely on its way down to the Lahn an impressive gorge in the slate rocks. After heavy rains or in the spring it bubbles cheerfully downhill and you walk along a narrow rock path directly along the stream.Arrived at the bottom of the gorge, you have reached your stage destination Niederlahnstein.
With only a little more than eight kilometers, the eleventh stage is the shortest hike on the Rheinsteig. Today you can take it easy. After a short section along the Lahn, you will hike over the Mehrsberg back to the Rhine Valley.From Niederlahnstein you walk along the river Lahn upstream for a while until the Rheinsteig rises on the slopes of the valley towards Mehrsberg. Arrived at the highest point, you will be spoiled with a great view of the picturesque Lahn Valley.Afterwards you cycle through the spa town Lahnstein, where you can also find an inn for a rest. You leave the tiny place behind you and walk downhill through the forest.The descent is followed by the last ascent of the day. After a meadow section, a stretch awaits you via a rock path insured with wire ropes. As you scramble along, you can already cast your first glimpse of the Rhine.At the end of the Felsenweg you can take a break at the Rest and Grill Hut Braubach and enjoy the Rhine Valley panorama with the Marksburg Castle. With fresh energy you finally lay the short piece back to the stage destination Braubach.
On the twelfth stage you can get to know the Middle Rhine Valley from its most dramatic side. The Rheinsteig leads you on the entire route over a mountain trail above the steep slopes of the valley, which come here on both sides close to the Rhine. Especially beautiful is the Rheinschleife directly below the Filsener Ley.It is worth getting up early, because at the beginning of your tour you can still visit the Marksburg. From 10 clock begin the first tours of the only never destroyed high castle from the Middle Ages. But even from the outside, the Marksburg is a beautiful sight.From the Marksburg, the Rheinsteig leads you up and down over the ridge above the banks of the Rhine. The slopes are densely forested, but in between you can always throw beautiful views of the Rhine and the surrounding countryside.A particularly nice resting place on the twelfth stage is the newly designed Rheinsteighütte Osterspay. There are plenty of seating, a wooden deckchair and a fantastic view.About the viewpoint Hexenköpfle, where in the Middle Ages actually witches were burned, you continue to Filsener Ley. On the rock above the Rheinschleife is a small chapel and a cozy rest area. Only a little later you reach the milestone Kamp-Bornhofen.
Along the 13th stage, the Rhine slowly meanders through the valley, which it has carved deep into the Rhenish Slate Mountains over the course of millions of years. Special highlights of today's stage are the castles Liebenberg and Sterrenberg, better known as the "enemy brothers".From Kamp-Bornhofen you start the hike first steeply up to Rosenlay. For the demanding ascent you will be rewarded with a dramatic view.From here, the Rheinsteig meanders gently uphill across the ridge. Again and again beautiful views are presented before the descent to the "Enemy Brothers" begins: around the castles of Liebenstein and Sterrenberg, close to each other, a legend emerged in the 16th century, according to legend that two brothers lived on the two castles Just before there was a duel, the woman moved into a convent and the two brothers stopped their quarrel, in fact there is no indication that there were actually two brothers living there, despite all, the castles are visiting worth - especially since you can fortify yourself in the Burgschänke with a delicious meal.After leaving the two castle ruins behind you, you continue to the village Lykershausen. Afterwards you follow the Rheinsteig to Hindenburgblick, a great vantage point above Kestert. In a loop, it finally goes downhill to the stage destination Kestert.
The highlight of the 14th stage is the impressive Burg Maus and the views from the vineyards at St. Goarshausen. Although the castle Maus is privately owned, it can be visited as part of guided tours. A guided tour lasts between 60 and 90 minutes and must be registered in advance by calling 06771 - 2303.Your today's hike starts in Kestert. At the beginning of the tour, you will hike through the forest to Oberkestert and on to Pulsbachtal. The Rheinsteig winds its way from here over the ridge and down to Wellmich, which is located at the confluence of the Wellmicher Bach in the Rhine. Here, two guesthouses invite you for a rest before you make your way to the castle Maus.In many bends and serpentines it goes over a wide footpath up to the impressive castle complex. If you do not have time for a guided tour or if you are not interested in old walls, then you can continue your hike and just enjoy the panorama of the Rhine Valley and the castle.As you continue to wander, you can already see another castle. On the other bank, the huge ruins of Rheinfels Castle tower high above the banks of the Rhine. After wandering through the vineyards of St. Goarshausen, you will reach your today's destination.
The 15th stage of the Rheinsteig is considered by many hikers as the queen stage. With more than 22 kilometers of track and about 700 vertical meters in the ascent and descent comes here a lot together. But you will also be rewarded with the most beautiful vantage points, dramatic castle ruins and of course the rock pulpit Loreley for the efforts.From St. Goarshausen, the Rheinsteig meanders steeply up to the Dreiburgenblick viewpoint. From here you can also see the castles Katz, Rheinfels and Maus. On your way to the Loreley you pass the castle Katz and through the small village Heide.Shortly after you reach the sweeping rock plateau. In summer Loreley can get crowded - no wonder, because the view is simply picturesque. If you are still too many people here after the loneliness on the Rheinsteig, then you can continue your hike, after all, there are more beautiful viewpoints awaiting you.The next view you can admire at the rock pulpit Spitznack. Below you, the slopes drop steeply towards the Rhine and in the north you can admire the Loreley rock. You follow the Rheinsteig further over the ridge and after crossing the Urbachtals worth a cozy rest on Rossstein or at the pavilion at the Schwedenschanze.Freshly rested, you then hike evenly downhill to the stage destination Kaub.
After the hustle and bustle on the Loreley, beautiful forest paths, lonely hiking trails and fantastic views await you on the 16th stage of the Rheinsteig. At the finish of today's stage all wine lovers will get their money's worth, because Lorch am Rhein is a real wine town.In Kaub you take a look at the famous castle Pfalzgrafenstein, which sits here on an island in the middle of the Rhine. Then it goes on a serpentine path through the vineyards below the castle ruins Gutenfels.On comfortable forest paths you follow the Rheinsteig along the slopes of the Rhine Valley and into narrow side valleys. Of course you can expect great viewpoints in several places, which offer you different views of the Rhine Valley and the surrounding landscape.Above the tranquil town of Lorchhausen, you are already crossing the first vineyards of Lorch, your current destination. Once there, you can visit one of the numerous inns and wine taverns to end the stage.
At the 17th stage it is now time to say goodbye to the picturesque slopes of the Middle Rhine Valley. Until the end of this stage, you will still be hiking on the ridges of the Rhine Valley, but from the high plateau Niederwald the Rheinsteig will take you into the Rheingau. So that the farewell is not so difficult, shows the Middle Rhine Valley again at its best.From Lorch you can hike on the sun-drenched mountain slopes of the Rhine Valley through endless vineyards. If you look at the juicy grapes on the vines here, you will understand why the wine in Lorch tasted so delicious.Several viewpoints with benches invite you to take a break along the way before you reach the town of Assmanshausen. From here it goes up to the high plateau Niederwald. If you want to save yourself the altitude, you can also take the cable car and hover comfortably in the air.On the top of the Niederwald you can expect not only beautiful views of the Rhine Valley, but also the famous Niederwald Monument with the Germania statue. From the Niederwald you can then take a second cable car down to the stage destination Rüdesheim.Information about the two cable cars can be found at seilbahn-ruedesheim.de/willkommen and seilbahn-assmannshausen.de.
On the 18th stage the Rheingau welcomes you. The Rheinsteig leads you on today's tour a little away from the banks of the Rhine and over the wooded slopes above the vast meadows and fields.Today's stage starts at the mountain station of the Rüdesheimer Niederwaldbahn. Above the wide vineyards, the Rheinsteig leads you further east. You cross the Blaubach and wander upstream on its shore to the monastery Nothgottes.Here, the Rheinsteig branches off in the direction of the pilgrimage town of Marienthal. After a visit to the small monastery and the attached monastery garden, you will hike through the quiet Elsterbach Valley to the Donnersbergblick resting place.Take a seat here on the wooden lounger and enjoy the view over the meadows and hills of the Rheingau. Through the forest, we continue to the stage goal Johannisberg.Johannisberg does not have its own train station, but can be reached from the train station Gneisenheim by bus line 183. Timetables can be found at r-t-v.de/fahrplaene-rheingau.html.Timetables of the Niederwaldbahn can be found at seilbahn-ruedesheim.de/willkommen.
The rolling hills, which you cross on the 19th stage, are entirely dedicated to winegrowing. Especially in summer, when the vines are juicy and green, this is a great sight. If this prospect makes you quite thirsty, then you can already look forward to first-class wines in Kiedrich, today's stage destination.After a short distance, you will reach Vollrads Castle, which stands amidst wide vineyards. For moderate prices you can dine here in the castle restaurant and enjoy the house wine.The vineyards then continue north. The path climbs a bit and soon the Rheinsteig leads you along the edge of the forest, just above the vineyards. The view is just fantastic - so it is easy to hike.If it was too early for you to stop at Schloss Vollrads, then you can take a break instead in the beer garden of Kloster Eberbach. Fresh and rested you put the last route back to the stage destination Kiedrich.Also Johannisberg can not be reached directly by train. Alternatively take the bus 172 to the train station in Eltville. The timetable is available at r-t-v.de/fahrplaene-rheingau.html.
The penultimate stage is only about ten kilometers long and so you can easily enjoy the evening before an extra bottle of wine. Today's tour takes you away from the vineyards and into the green mountains of the Rheingau.You leave Kiedrich heading north and make a small visit to the Scharfenberg castle ruins. In addition to the old keep there is a great view of Kiedrich and the Rheingau.The Rheinsteig then leads you first through the Sülzbachtal and then into the idyllic nature of the Buchwaldgraben. A beautiful hiking trail leads here through a peaceful Au and forest landscape.From the Buchwaldgraben you follow a quiet forest path to the stage destination Schlangenbad.Like the other stages in the Rheingau, you can reach Schlangenbad only by bus. From Eltville train station the bus 173 will take you directly to Schlangenbad. The timetable can be found at r-t-v.de/fahrplaene-rheingau.html.
The 21st and last stage spoils you shortly before the end of your hike once again with the most beautiful landscapes of the Rheingau. Dense forests, wide meadows, hilly vineyards and of course the view of the Rhine in Wiesbaden. The festive destination of the Rheinsteig is then Biebrich Castle on the banks of the Rhine.The starting point of the last stage is the spa town of Schlangenbad in the middle of the green Rheingau. Southwards you leave the city and wander from there over densely wooded ridges. In the middle of the forest, you will soon see a long rock formation known as the "Gray Stone." The steep cliffs are also popular with climbers, especially in summer.You pass the village Frauenstein and on a hill above the village you will find the monument Goethestein at a great vantage point. In honor of the great poet, who was on several occasions in Wiesbaden and explored the surrounding countryside on walks, they had erected at this point a pyramid-shaped memorial stone.From the Goethestein you hike through the gently undulating vineyards down to the banks of the Rhine. Along the Wiesbadener Rheinwiesen you will stroll to the castle Biebrich. Then you can put your feet up on the terrace of the Schlosscafé facing the Rhine and watch your 21-day hike while looking out over the river.