Between the Rhine and the Moselle rivers in southwestern Germany, there is a land known as “the state of root and wine”. Dionysus – the Greek God of Wine – seems to cast a spell on this land, turning all the hills in the region into vineyards and covering towns and castles in grapevines.
The Germans call this land Rheinland Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate) and it is the country’s largest wine producer. From the hillsides along the Moselle and the Rhine rivers to the open plains of the Palatinate, about seventy percent of German wine is produced here. There are Riesling, Dornfelder, and Müller-Thurgau, to name a few.
Yet wine is not all the state has to offer. Rheinland-Pfalz is also blessed with strikingly beautiful villages such as the town of Bacharach and spectacular castles like the Reichsburg in Cochem or the Ehrenbreitstein fortress in Koblenz.
Concealed behind a 14th-century wall, tiny Bacharach is perhaps the most charming village in the region. This settlement along the Rhine is known for its photogenic old town filled with half-timbered houses, medieval towers, and the Church of St. Peter.
Constructed in the 12th century, the red and white Protestant church is one of the largest worship places in Rhineland-Palatinate. It looks simply astonishing amid the vast green landscape.
Nestled in one of the most romantic parts of the Moselle Valley, the old town of Cochem hasn’t changed much since the Middle Age. It is composed of colorful half-timbered houses, narrow alleyways, and cobbled streets, a picturesque market square, as well as medieval churches and gates.
The town’s focal point is the magnificent Reichsburg overlooking the Moselle River. The Gothic castle was first erected in the 12th century and then rebuilt in 1868 after its complete destruction in the 17th century. With its many delicate oriels, turrets, and battlements, Reichsburg gives us the impression of a typical fairytale castle.
Situated at the confluence of the Moselle and the Rhine rivers, 2027-years-old Koblenz is the gateway to the terraced vineyards and castles of Rhineland-Palatinate. Main sights in the city include the German Corner where an equestrian statue of William the Great is erected and the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Lacking in appearance, the fortress impresses visitors by its size, its location (118 meters above the Rhine), and the panoramic view over the confluence.
Tips for visiting Rhineland-Palatinate
- Due to its location, Koblenz makes itself the perfect base to explore Rhineland-Palatinate. Most boats and trains stop or go through this city.
- Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket is probably the most convenient and affordable way to travel around the region. It grants unlimited using of regional trains and buses within one day and you can even travel to Luxembourg with the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket + Luxemburg. Please note that a one-way ticket from Koblenz to Luxembourg City already costs 31€. The price of the day ticket starts at 25€ for one person and goes up to 49€ for five persons.
- If the view from the Ehrenbreitstein is the sole purpose of your visit, come after 18:00 as the area is free to access. Before that time, you will have to pay an admission fee. But keep in mind that the last cable car to get down depart at 19:00, or else you have to use the elevator at the other side of the fortress.
44 thoughts on “Rhineland-Palatinate: The Land of Root and Wine”
Beautiful photos! I very much like this region, and I have also done some blog posts on Bacharach: https://operasandcycling.com/category/germany/bacharach/
Thanks for the very interesting information! 🙂
Wow, that Reichsburg is something else! That castle is so pretty, I wonder that I haven’t seen it a million times on Instagram. Thanks for all the nice tips for places to visit in Germany 😀
My pleasure! 🙂 My trip to Rheinland-Pfalz was just a coincidence but it is far more interesting than I expected.
Some time early next year, we will share our castle hunt along the Rhine!
You should plan at least 3 days 🙂 There are too many castles in the area.
Those villages look fantastic, will definitely have to check out this area 😉 Thanks for the reportage and the tips!
My pleasure! I think you should do it as soon as possible before these towns become more touristic 🙂
Bacharach looks really beautiful! From your photos it looks like a charming, quiet town where walking around would be pure bliss. As for Cochem, the first time I heard about it was a few months ago from another blogger’s post. Twice mentioned in only a few months’ span, I guess it’s a sign that it’s worth visiting. Would love to explore this part of Germany one day. Thanks for the visual tour, Len!
You welcome! 🙂 In this region, you can also find the Eltz Castle, very popular on Instagram. According to legend, this castle has never been fallen and it is still privately owned by a noble family. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to visit it this time 🙁
Wow the place is absolutely gorgeous! If I visit Luxembourg, I will consider visiting this place too. I love the half-timbered German houses.
very beautifully captured and a detailed review…. It was pleasure reading about the same…..
you have a lovely blog…..
Thanks a lot, Sudhir! I am glad that you like it 🙂
Beautiful photos, Len, as always! 🙂
Thanks a lot! 🙂
Love this wine region and the history of these wine country speaks for itself!
Indeed 🙂 Thanks for visiting!
Beautiful photos to compliment your wisdom of this area . Looks like something we need to add next time we go. Thank you.
My pleasure! 🙂
Heidelberg is worth a visit 🙂
Indeed! I was there as well. But unfortunately it was pouring rain, so I couldn’t make any photo 🙁
you’ll just have to go again! 🙂
Quite lovely. More places added to my list of places to visit.
Glad that you like it! 😉
What beautiful pictures. I wish I had your skill with a camera. My husband and I are in Portugal, and I can see that Germany may be next year’s destination. Your pictures stir my soul! Thank you. Regina
Thanks for your kind words, Regina! If you have any question regarding travel in Germany, feel free to ask 🙂 I’m not an expert, but I will try my best.
Shots are beautiful…what is the closest German town to this area? My German geography is not up to par.
I think Frankfurt is the closest big city to this area 🙂 From there you can easily take the train to Bacharach and then to Moselle Valley.
My pleasure 🙂
Beautiful photos, Len! These little towns remind me a lot to the German speaking part of Switzerland and Alsace! This architectural style is so so pretty!
Indeed! My mom often said that these houses look like multi-layered chocolate cakes 🙂
One can almost expect to see Hansel and Grettel coming out from one of those pretty houses! 🙂 They look like out of a fairy tale for me, hehehe
Love this place that I’ve visited many times and is home to most of my relatives. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. Bacharach is my favourite village among so many pretty ones. Thanks for taking me there!
My pleasure, Caroline! I agree with you that Bacharach is the most photogenic town in the region. Every street, every corner is pretty.
kiểu kiến trúc châu Âu luôn làm mình mê mẩn đến phát hờn luôn :((. Mà ảnh bạn chụp còn có hồn hơn nữa ý.
Hihi cảm ơn bạn nhé 😀
In 1840, the French author Victor Hugo visited Bacharach and wrote an enthusiastic description of it. The same year, by coincidence, was when the German author Heinrich Heine first published his novel “The Rabbi of Bacharach.” https://operasandcycling.com/category/germany/bacharach/
Thanks for the stories, Don 🙂 The ruined church did send me a shiver down my spine.
Your photographs make me long to see more of Europe!
Thank you, Alison 😀
Gorgeous panorama of Rhineland Palatinate. I love this region so much. It´s the first trip I´ve made when I came here in Germany and it´s still close to my heart. I cannot drink other white wine except Riesling. When we visited a vineyard in Moselle, we bought boxes of wine from the Winery of our hotel, it was really a great time.
And chasing castles along the Rhine river is something that everyone who visits Germany must do….
Indeed. I found the beauty of this region is so underestimated. Magnificent landscape and castles. Yet only a fragment of foreign tourists know about this place.
Regarding wine, I think we have the same taste 🙂 Among German white wines, Riesling is my most favourite. Refreshing taste, and profound acidity. Gewürztraminer is also tasty.
Normally when we Asians travel ,we would like to discover as many countries as possible within a week or two or so, since it´s not cheap to do a European tour. But then, there are much more than the touristy areas, actually there are sooo much more to explore here in Germany that I hope to see…I guess I need more vacation days from work! :-))) But then, life happens when you are busy making plans.