The Romantic Rhine, or “Upper Middle Rhine Valley” is the part of the Rhine between the cities of Koblenz and Bingen. It stretches for about 60km and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002.

It is a bit like the “Loire Valley” of Germany with its vineyards and castles. On the other hand, the Rhine valley is deep and rugged (it is called a gorge) and its castles are medieval. This gives this site a particularly spectacular dimension on one side and romantic on the other. Hence the name “Romantic Rhine”.

The “romantic” aspect also comes from the many legends, artistic and literary inspirations of the place. The emblematic rock of the Loreley is the very symbol of this romanticism.

Because of its proximity to France, the Upper Middle Rhine Valley is also a perfect destination for French people who want to spend a long weekend or even a week in Germany!

I was able to take a two-day (and two-night) trip along the Rhine from Koblenz to Rüdesheim am Rhein. Here are the sites that I was able to take pictures of in two days:

  • Koblenz
  • Loreley and Katz Castle in Sankt Goarshausen
  • Pfalzgrafenstein Castle
  • Rheinstein Castle
  • Rüdesheim am Rhein

The Romantic Rhine is probably one of the most spectacular and consistent sites I have ever visited in Germany: cultural heritage, breathtaking landscape, but also wine!

I had the chance to discover this region in October, with the beautiful colors of autumn. On the other hand, the weather was not always good. What is sure, however, is that I will come back because I really loved it.

Vallée du Rhin Loic Lagarde map Allemagne Germany UNESCO

Koblenz

Koblenz is the largest city on the romantic Rhine. It lies at the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle. The point where these two rivers meet is called the “Deutsches Eck” and is represented by a statue of Emperor Wilhelm I. Like much of western Germany, Koblenz was French under Napoleon, the prefecture of the department “Rhine-and-Moselle”.

Some remarkable sites to be photographed:

  • Fortress Ehrenbreitstein
  • Deutsches Eck
  • Kastor-Kirche
Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 06
Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 02
Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 07

Katz Castle and the Loreley

It is one of the most emblematic castles on the romantic Rhine. It is close to the famous Loreley Rock. This part of the Rhine is the tightest and steepest! It is for this reason moreover that it is feared by the navigators. Loreley or Lorelei is the name of a nixe (Germanic nymph). According to the legend, she attracted the navigators causing accidents, as the sirens did in the Odyssey!

Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 09

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle

This surprising castle is located on a small island in the middle of the Rhine. It can only be reached by boat. Dating from the 14th century, this castle was used as a toll station.

Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 11
Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 12
Rhine Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 30

Rheinstein Castle

Dating from the 14th century, this castle was restored by Prince Frederick of Prussia in the 19th century to become a romantic castle (a trend of the time, reminiscent of the transformation of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria).

Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 26
Rhine Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 30-2
Rhine Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 30-6

Rüdesheim am Rhein

Rüdesheim am Rhein is a small town on the Rhine, situated in the heart of the vineyards. In Rüdesheim, you can breathe the wine and the vineyards! The walls are covered with vine leaves, making it a very photogenic pattern. If you like wine, a stop in Rüdesheim is therefore a must!

Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 18
Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 19
Rhine Rhin Romantique Loic Lagarde Germany Allemagne UNESCO 24

Accommodation idea: Schlosshotel Auf Schönburg

For a romantic stay I recommend you to stay at the Schlosshotel Auf Schönburg. A change of scenery is guaranteed because you will sleep in a medieval castle!

Photo Tips

Best times to take pictures

  • As on all outdoor sites, morning and evening are the best times to have the beautiful lights. That said, the Rhine Valley is deep, so the sun disappears quickly! The castles, although suspended on their rocks, are quickly in the shade.
  • Rüdesheim am Rhein is beautiful at night.

Photo material to be taken

  • Lenses: from wide angle to telephoto lenses
  • Drone : check if you need to have authorizations before flying. Many sites are obviously private and protected.

Spots to be photographed

  • View of the Katz Castle in Sankt Goarshausen
  • Pfalzgrafenstein Castle
  • Rheinstein Castle
  • Lanes of the Drosselgasse in Rüdesheim am Rhein

 

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