Watertravel & Waterside DestinationsThe Rhine as seen from the Auf Schönburg castle, overlooking the town of Oberwesel.

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Cruising Germany’s Middle Rhine Valley

The Middle Rhine Valley — Mittelrheintal in Deutsch — is without a doubt one of the more fascinating regions of Germany.

Of course, there are castles here and there alongside the Rhine River from its headwaters in the Swiss Alps till it flows into the North Sea. But when people speak of “Castles on the Rhine,” they’re most likely talking about this stretch of river. 

Known for its steeply terraced vineyards and many castles, the Rhine Gorge offers many opportunities for river cruising — from inexpensive short trips on tourist boats to long excursions with private staterooms and all the trimmings. It makes the Middle Rhine a worthwhile destination for people who love to travel by water.

Middle Rhine cruisesRhine Cruises & Excursions
Water travel on the Rhine takes many forms, from inexpensive tourist excursions to long-distance luxury cruises.

Middle Rhine Wine Country Middle Rhine Wine Country
Vineyards and wine making have been a feature of the Middle Rhine since Roman times.

Lorelei Lorelei
The large, famous rock is located near the town of Sankt Goarhausen at the point where the Rhine Gorge takes a sharp bend.

Cologne Cologne (Köln)
The city today is both one of the most important and one of the most festive in Germany, known also for its Cathedral and Romano-Germanic Museum.

For many, the name will always be associated with Operation Lumberjack and the crossing of the Ludendorff Bridge.

Sankt Goar Sankt Goar
Sankt Goar is located on the west bank of the Rhine near Burg Rheinfels, not far from the famous Lorelei rock cliff.

Rüdesheim Rüdesheim am Rhein
The town is perhaps the most frequented of all the tourist spots along the Middle Rhine Gorge.

Enemy Brothers Sterrenberg and Liebenstein
These two castles, perched above the pilgrimage town of Bornhofen, are often referred to as the “enemy brothers.”

Burg Rheinfels Rheinfels
Perched above the town of Sankt Goar, Burg Rheinfels was constructed to collect tolls from the Rhine ship traffic.

Castle SchoenburgSchoenburg
Like Burg Rheinfels, the Schönburg castle has a richly colorful and bloody history.

Marksburg Castle Marksburg
This well-preserved property is the only hilltop castle on the Rhine which was never damaged significantly in wars.

Pfalzgrafenstein Gutenfels and Pfalzgrafenstein
These two neighboring castles are situated respectively just above and just offshore from the town of Kaub.

Stahleck Stahleck
In 1135 it was the possession of Goswin von Stahleck. Today the castle is used as a youth hostel.

Burg Reichenstein Reichenstein
Once the home of notorious "robber barons," Reichenstein today is open to the public as a hotel and restaurant.

Rheinstein Rheinstein
One of the oldest, smallest and most picturesque castles on the Rhine, Rheinstein was originally a customs house.

Copyright © Don Douglas