Castles of the Rhineland with Andante Travels

  • Exclusive access to the underground excavations at Trier cathedral
  • Sample sumptuous local wines during a special tasting experience
  • Visit a host of truly stunning castles that are rich in both history and heritage

The magic of the beautiful Rhineland awaits. Dramatic castles perched on hilltops that overlook winding rivers, incredible vineyards belonging to renowned wineries and famously rich history can all be found in this glorious part of Germany.

From romantic ruins to castles still magnificently preserved, we visit a variety of architecturally and historically engaging sites, and the expertise of our guide lecturer will bring them vividly back to life before our very eyes. During this trip, we will be treated to special access at the cathedral in Trier, charming towns will be ours to discover on fascinating walking tours; and regional culture will be revealed to us in exciting and immersive ways.

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We arrive in Frankfurt and travel to our hotel, where we have a talk from our Guide Lecturer.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

This morning we drive out to Rüdesheim am Rhein to enjoy a walking tour along the cobbled street of Drosselgasse to view the medieval buildings, as well as the aristocratic residences. After lunch, we visit the ruins of Rheinfels Castle, overlooking the Rhein at Sankt Goar. Established in the 13th century, this was once the largest castle in the Middle Rhine region. Constructed by Dieter V von Katzenelnbogen it was besieged for a year and 14 weeks in 1255/ 56 by the Rhenish League after an increase in the Rhine tolls. The siege was unsuccessful.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We have a short trip to Marksburg Castle in the morning, located just above the town of Braubach. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was never destroyed, and so gives a beautiful impression of a Bergfried (a great stone tower similar to a Keep or donjon). The castle was probably originally established c.1100 to control tolls on the river.

In the afternoon, we make our way to Koblenz (the Roman Confluentes because it is situated at the confluence of the moselle and the Rhine), to visit first the Ehrenbreistein Castle and wander the halls of the Landesmuseum Koblenz. Ehrenbreitstein is the second largest fortress is Europe, occupying a site where archaeology has recovered evidence from 400BC onward. It overlooks the ‘Deutsche Eck’ or ‘German Corner’ where the two rivers meet.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

Today we travel to Andernach. The city traces back to the Celts who settled here first, before the Romans occupied the territory under the name Antunnacum. Here, we will view the Rheintor, the Round Tower and other medieval remains. The Rheintor or Rhine Gate formed the prinicipal entrance through the fortifications of Andernach from the River Rhine. It was probably originally built c.1200.

After lunch, we will drive to the shores of the Laacher See to visit the Benedictine Maria Laach Abbey. Dating from c.1093 to c.1250 it is one of the most stunning Romanesque monuments in Germany, a basilica church with western towers, a crossing tower, transepts and a crypt.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Our morning will be spent at the Medieval Eltz Castle, overlooking the Elzbach River and nestled in the hills. Its strategic location, perched on an oval crag, is surrounded by the river on three sides, some 70m below. The afternoon will be spent visiting the Imperial Cochem Castle. This, even higher being some 100m or more above the Mosel River, was first documented in 1051. The core of the building has its origins as a massive Romanesque Keep.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Today we transfer to Trier. In the morning we pay a visit to the famous Porta Nigra (or black gate after its discoloured stone). This vast structure was builtc.170AD as a gate in the Roman city wall and, in the Middle Ages, was converted to hold two medieval churches, one monastic and the other for the public. Trier, an exceptionally large Roman city with fine remains including an amphitheatre and a basilica hall also has an Archaeological Museum and the birthplace of Karl Marx. In the afternoon we will visit the High Cathedral of Saint Peter, the oldest bishop’s cathedral in Germany.

Hotel: Hotel Ante Porta, Trier
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

In the morning we journey to Heidelberg Castle, to view the remains of one of the most important Renaissance buildings north of the Alps. Originally two castles, the upper one was destroyed in the 16th century and the lower one ruined by war in the 17th century and fire in the 18th century. After lunch, we make our way to Rheinstein Castle, situated in a strategic position on a rocky ridge overlooking the Rhine. The name dates from its reconstruction in the 19th century, called this because of its position on cliffs above the river. We travel further to our last stop, Frankfurt.

Hotel: Cityhotel Kurfurst, Koblenz
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

We check out of our hotel this morning and journey to the airport, where we catch our individual flights home.

Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Tour Manager & Guide Lecturer
  2. Meals - Most meals included
  3. Transport - Return flights (UK only) & all local travel
  4. Hand-picked hotels throughout the tour

Shining light on the Dark Ages

The Medieval era was filled with breathtaking artistic achievement spurred on by tremendous religious faith. Alongside the beauty, life could be coarse and cruel; cut short by famine, disease or the religious zeal that spurred on wars that still echo today.

This era is one of the most intriguing yet misrepresented periods of history. Did people really think the world was flat? No, that enduring myth was created by a 19th-century American journalist. Were witches put on trial and burnt at the stake? Yes, but you’d have to wait for the refined Renaissance period to bear witness to that. Travel alongside an expert guide lecturer, and separate fact from fiction in this fascinating period.

Book Now

To book your tour without flights from the US, please call our team on 888-591-0830

2019 Tour Details

  • 8 Days
  • 1st Jun - 8th Jun 2019
  • with Brian Ayers
  • Code: RHL19A
  • Available
  • Guaranteed Departure
  • without flights
  • sgl supp: $485

Tour Guide