2021: Hiking Germany's Rhine Valley: A Cultural Journey

Date and Time

Saturday, May 16, 2020 - Thursday, May 28, 2020


Rhine Valley,


Registration is required for this activity. Please contact leader(s).


This trip offers a fabulous hiking trek along the Rhine, one of the most beautiful and important rivers in Europe. Our focus will be the "Romantic Rhine"-that portion from Mainz to Koblenz whose beauty was lauded by European poets (e.g. Lord Byron) and painters of the early 19th century. Famous is the poem "The Lorelei" by Heinrich Heine wherein a beautiful maiden sits atop the most dangerous bend in the river and lures boatmen to their doom by distracting them from their urgent duties. The Rhine Valley was recognized in 2002 by UNESCO as a World Heritage site for its unique and stunning landscape, its rich history and numerous historic sites, and its many contributions to the arts. The Rhine is western Europe's largest river, flowing the entire length of Germany along its western border, from Switzerland to the Netherlands. For millennia, boats and barges carrying merchandise have sailed up and down the Rhine. This led to the development of many small towns with charming half-timbered houses and gothic churches. On the river banks are dozens of castles, in a greater concentration than found anywhere else in the world. The favorable climate and steep sides of the embankments led to the planting of extensive vineyards featuring Riesling as well as other wine varieties. Trip highlights include: * Historic Mainz, with its famous cathedral and Gutenberg Museum * Eberbach Abbey * Vollrads vineyard, including a private wine tasting * Overlook of the Lorelei, the bend in the river that was the terror of Rhine boatmen * Tours of famous castles, including Rheinfels, Marksburg, and Rheinstein * Historic and picturesque towns, including Rudesheim, Bacharach, and Boppard * River cruise from St. Goar to Boppard * Ruppertsklamm Gorge * Spectacular views around every bend! We will hike on paths that are primarily on the eastern bank ("Rheinsteig"), but also ferry across the river to examine points of interest on the western side. The trails are predominantly wooded paths on undulating terrain that lead hikers through forests and vineyards, past castles and monasteries, to spectacular overlooks and points of interest. The Rheinsteig is recognized as one of the most beautiful trails in Germany. Participants should be in proper condition for hiking 10-15 miles with elevation gains of ~2,000 feet for several days in a row, while carrying a daypack of 10-15 pounds including water and lunch. How will travel? Comfortably! We will stay in three-star hotels with two persons/room and luggage transfer between hotels. Your trip leader, Steve Cohen, lived in Germany and speaks fluent German.

AMC Trip Policy


Adult: $2,975 member / $2,975 non-member
*The price covers lodging; all breakfasts and all but two dinners; all boat and bus transportation; and emergency medical and evacuation insurance. does not include air fare.

Related Link(s):

2021 Prospectus

Click map for driving directions
Rhine river






Hiking 4 Vigorous


Adults (18+)


Since 2012 Steve, currently chair of AMC's Adventure Travel program, has planned/led eighteen hiking/trekking-oriented adventure travel trips to such destinations the Haute Route (from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland), the Alta Via II through the Italian Dolomites, the tour of the Jungfrau region (Switzerland), Patagonia, the high mountains huts of Austria, etc. He lived in Europe for four years and is fluent in both French and German.


Mike has been leading outings (mostly day-hikes, some paddling and backpacking) for the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Sierra Club for 20 years. He has served as the Chair of the AMC Potomac Chapter, 2015-2016. He has led numerous multi-day trips in the northeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. For AMC AT, he has led or co-led trips to Morocco, France, Switzerland, and Italy.