Rhineland-Palatinate - Historical Castles and Delicious Wine
Rhineland-Palatinate impresses with stunning landscapes, romantic old towns and castles as well as with numerous delicacies, including the region's exquisite wines. It is the perfect destination to unwind, relax or celebrate the carnival exuberantly.
Geography - The warmest German state
Rhineland-Palatinate lies in the west of Germany and has an area of 19,853 km². The state has a population of about 4.1 million people and borders on the states of Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and the Saarland as well as on the countries of France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Besides the capital of Mainz, there are other worthwhile destinations such as Koblenz, Trier, Worms, Speyer, Kaiserslautern, Cochem, Bingen and Dernau. Rhineland-Palatinate consists of two geographical regions: the Upper Rhine Plain and low mountain ranges like the Westerwald, the Hunsrück and the Eifel. Other well-known regions are the Taunus, the Middle Rhine, the Mosel-Saar region and the Palatinate Forest. While the Upper Rhine Plain has the warmest climate in Germany, the low mountain ranges are rather cool and have high precipitation in winter. The summers are mostly dry and pleasantly warm in the mountains, while they are rather hot and stuffy in the Upper Rhine Plain.
Nature - Forests, wine and river landscapes
Rhineland-Palatinate's scenery is characterised by many low mountain ranges, beautiful vineyards and scenic rivers. The Moselle, the Rhine, the Saar and the Lahn are of particular significance. The highest peak is the Erbeskopf with a height of 816 metres. In addition, there is a great number of lakes with the Laach Lake (3.3 km²) as the largest example. It is a crater lake, which indicates that there was once an active volcano in its location. The forests are as prominent in the landscape as the vineyards and cover about 42 percent of the state's area.
Culture - Romantic castles and impressive cathedrals
Apart from the beautiful landscapes, Rhineland-Palatinate has a great number of romantic castles and historical towns. Worth visiting are Eltz, Pfalzgrafenstein, Reichenstein, Rheinfels and Berwartstein Castle as well as the Marksburg and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Speyer Cathedral and the Porta Nigra ("black gate") in Trier are UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. Travellers should also not miss out on Mainz Cathedral, the Cathedral of Trier, Worms Cathedral, Maria Laach Abbey, the Apollinariskirche and the Stolzenfest Castle in Koblenz. There is a wide range of sights and activities for culture enthusiasts, including a number of museums. Interesting examples are the Technik Museum Speyer, the Karl Marx House, the Landesmuseum Mainz, the Gutenberg Museum, the DB Museum in Koblenz and the Römisch-Germanische Zentralmuseum. A real highlight is the Volkskunde- und Freilichtmuseum Roscheider Hof (a folklore and open-air museum), which is popular with all age groups. The Mainz Carnival is one of the longest-standing and greatest events during the carnival season in February, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Experience - Pleasure for body, mind and soul
Connoisseurs know Rhineland-Palatinate as a wine region because it produces a variety of delicious wines. Various festivals and events celebrate the region's wine every year and the wine route is a popular travel destination too. Other culinary specialities are Pfälzischer Saumagen ("sow's stomach"), Weck, Worscht un Woi ("bun, sausage and wine"), Lewwerknepp (liver dumplings) and Handkäs (sour milk cheese). However, travellers are not only offered pleasures for their taste buds but also a wide range of spa and recreational facilities. Visitors can also go on a boat trip on the Moselle, the Lahne or the Rhine. Families are often drawn to the Holiday Park Pfalz, which has one of the largest and fastest roller coasters in Europe. The beautiful old towns are the perfect locations for going shopping or spending a relaxed afternoon in a street cafe.
Activities - Hiking in the wine state
Rhineland-Palatinate's wonderful landscapes can be explored on foot during a hike, by bike, motorcycle or car. There are countless cycling trails and hiking routes, which offer both variation and spectacular views. You can even go hiking here in winter. Travellers who enjoy being outdoors find numerous camping grounds on their expeditions. They are a great way of feeling free and escaping from stressful everyday life without having to go without a certain service or comfort. You can also enjoy the scenic landscapes on one of the many golf courses or while you are Nordic walking. Holidaymakers who are looking for an adventure will not be disappointed either. There is a number of climbing parks and high rope courses in Rhineland-Palatinate which are suited for both beginners and advanced climbers. An exciting experience for motorsport fans is a visit to the Nürburgring.
The inhabitants of Rhineland-Palatinate speak a number of dialects, which often differ from one town to the next. So, if you travel around in the region instead of staying in one place, you gain an impression of Rhineland-Palatinate's language culture.
Rhineland-Palatinate is world-famous for its delicious wines but it also offers a wide range of spa facilities, leisure activities, cultural and natural sights and culinary delicacies, which promise relaxing holidays. However, you also have the opportunity to party, especially during the carnival season.