Stage 4 of Rhine River Castle to Castle Hotel Hike as part of a German walking holiday or a day hike.
Lorch to Assmannshausen along Romantic Rhine River Gorge: 9.2 miles
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Hike or stroll from one medieval castle turned into a hotel to the next through a gorgeous UNESCO world heritage site – yes please!
We stay on the Right Bank of the Rhine River today in a moderate 9.2 mile day hike meandering up and down through vertical vineyards with delicately winding roads, the Teufelskadrich Nature preserve and overlooking the Rheinstein and Burg Reichenstein Castles.
What would be a more perfect Mother’s Day gift for the Outdoor lover in your life?
Germany’s Upper Middle Rhine Valley includes abundant historic castles and castle hotels nestled upon hilltops overlooking the mighty Rhine River linked by well-marked, vineyard strewn and soft hiking trails.
My friends and I’ve personally routed and walked (in January and February even) this glorious one day hike on my Castle Hotel exploration in Germany. I promise it’s not too challenging, but you’ll earn your local Rieslings hiking along this gorgeous river gorge littered with half-timbered villages and dark green forests.
Lorch to Assmannshausen Germany Castle Hike
This is Stage 4 of 5 in the Castle to Castle Hotel Germany Hiking Guide, Romantic Rhine, to be used as a day hike.
Combine each of the 5 stages to create your own adventure…Hike 1 to 5 days in a row enabled with Germany’s excellent transit system. You’ve got plenty of options to suit your desire.
Each hike includes detailed GPS guidance (without any special apps) so it’s simple and not frustrating to find your way, get local food recommendations, and history highlights.
If you’re on the multi-day castle to castle hotel hike, start at Burg Reichenstein in Trechtingshausen and use the train to get to Niederheimbach.
From there jump on the auto-fahren (or auto-ferry, pedestrian friendly) and cross the river Rhine to Lorch. Pick up the Rheinsteig trail right in town for the day’s walk to Assmannshausen to stay at the 450 year old historic Hotel Krone Assmannshausen.
Trail Map for Hike and Stay at the Best Castle Hotels in Germany – Lorch to Assmannshausen Hike – 9.2 Miles or 15 km
This hike is for you if you want to explore the vineyard strewn Right bank of the mighty Rhine littered with medieval castles and unique, steep vineyards and maybe do an overnight stay in a castle hotel.
You can also book a private Rhine Private Wine Tour with a guide to taste wine in a “Schloss” (Palace) and gain insight into the romantic villages.
Stage 4: Castle to Castle Hotel Hiking Guide: Romantic Rhine, Lorch to Assmannshausen Germany
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How to Get to the Upper Middle Rhine Valley Hikes & Area Guide
German word of the Day: Weingut : Winery. We’ll be going past many Weinguts today. We also will be walking past the “Red Wine Pavillion: and little random wine huts in case you need to stock up mid-hike. And don’t worry, there will be a bin so you don’t have to litter your bottles.
Access the Rheinsteig trail from the train station at Lorch.
Paid parking is available here. If coming from the Left Bank of the Rhine River you can use the pedestrian and auto ferry.
Follow the abundant signs for the Rheinsteig around half timbered villages south and upward out of the village.
This region is about 45 minutes from Frankfurt international airport by car.
The best way to access the hike is by train. This region is served by the MittelRheinBahn Train.
If using a car, simply park in Assmannshausen (the end of the hike) and use the train to get to Lorch and hike back.
Download the DB Bahn app and you’ll find the best timetables. The train runs typically 1-2 times per hour. You can purchase tickets on app or at the local kiosk at every train station. There are toilets onboard. If you get caught not paying for a ticket there is a 60 euro fine.
If you’re making this an overnight at the castle or 450 year old hike, park in the lot at the castle you’ve chosen to stay and take the train and/or ferry to Lorch and then start your hike and your car will be waiting for you at the end.
♀️ If bikes are your thing and you want to explore the Rhine by bike this unguided adventure book will help you explore by bike.
Who is This Guide NOT for and What are the Alternatives?
This guide is not for strollers. There are sections that would be great for backpacking your kid with a comfortable Osprey Baby Carrying Pack.
An alternate hike more stroller friendly would be the St. Wendel Sculpture and Playground path.
Or you could take a cruise down the Rhine River to view all the lovely castles on both sides of the river.
Stage 4: Castle to Castle Hotel Hiking Guide: Romantic Rhine, Lorch to Assmannshausen
Full Trail Guide
Location: Upper Middle Rhine Valley – UNESCO World Heritage Site. 45 min from Frankfurt, Germany, 1 Hour from KMC Military Area
Trail Guide: Lorch to Assmannshausen
Type of Hike: Point to Point
If on multi-day trek: Using ferry & train (to get to awesome castle hotels and views from both sides of the Rhine)
Distance: 9.2 miles, 15 km
Elevation: 1,250 ft up, 1,275ft down
Duration: Approx. 3:30-4 hours
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate on soft paths and vineyard roads
Start/end point: Lorch to Assmannshausen
Fees: Parking: metered. Ferry crossing the Rhine: 2 euros per person. Train: see ticket prices on DB Bahn App, please download for best timetables.
Camino de Santiago: Yes – Long Stretches on Camino
Something Good to Eat: I love Kronenstube.
Bar and restaurant inside a 450 year old half timbered hotel? Yes, please! Super cute.
Komoot App with GPS Tracking: You get one free zone with this free app.
Stay in a History or Castle Hotel
Check out the links here from Booking – I always use them for my multi-day hikes because they are trustworthy and helpful to keep organized.
Beginning of Trail Castle Stay: Near Niederheimbach
Best Castle Stay
Burg-Reichenstein stuns guests with it’s gorgeous views, comfortable rooms and delicious restaurant. From the Niederheimbach ferry, walk to the train station and take the train upriver to Trechtingshausen. From there it’s just a 10 minute walk to this castle complex overlooking the Rhine.
Closest to Trail
Hotel Weinberg-Schlößchen in Niederheimbach is less a castle than a fancy villa, but it’s only 1.8km walk from the ferry at the end of the trail, or 25 minutes.
In Cutest Village
Bacharach Youth Hostel Castle A romantic castle atop the Super cute village of Bacharach that is also a youth hostel, booked directly on their site. From the ferry, walk to the train station in Niederheimbach and take the train downriver to Bacharach. It is a 0.5 km walk, or 10 minutes uphill.
Rheinstein Castle (Romantik-Schloß Burg Rheinstein) An upscale castle hotel in Trechtingshausen, book directly on their site. From Niederheimbach ferry walk to the train station, take the train upriver to Trechtingshausen and walk 30 minutes along the bike path uprive. The castle is directly on the main road. This does add 2.5 km walking, boo.
Going budget and have an SUV? It’s completely legal to sleep in your car (but only one night in each place) in Germany in a parking lot with a comfy SUV air mattress.
End Of Trail: Assmannshausen History Hotel Stay
Hotel Krone Assmannshausen is a 450 year old historic hotel with a wine terrace, full bar and restaurant. It’s a half timbered marvel in the village.
Tips for Hiking Stage 4: Rhine River Castle Hike
Best Time to Do the Hike
Valentines Day (mid-February) to Thanksgiving (Late November)
If planning this as a winter (or late fall, early Spring) hike, carefully consider your daylight hours. There are signs of wild hogs which charge your shins at night. If you’ve got to do the night hike thing, take a serious Headlamp, it’s got 900 lumens to scare them away.
The other consideration to take seriously are floods and mudslides. These gorges are steep, so If the weather report has 4-5 days of rain in a row after a month of not having much rain at all, ditch your plans, it’s not worth it.
The landscape might not absorb water and trees will be at risk of falling branches on the trails and your head, and the mud will make you miserable.
To make lemonade, the warming weather means there’s rarely snow on the ground and January hikes are relatively pleasant. I wore a fleece and trail running shoes in January. It’s possible to do as a winter hike (I did!) but some hotels (especially castles) will be closed for vacation.
Parking likely will fill up, especially in summer so get there early.
If doing a multi day hike, let the castle hotel know you are undertaking a multi day hike and ask if you can leave your car there for the duration.
Why the River Crossings?
The beginning of this stage doesn’t really have a castle hotel, but just across the river using the reliable trains and ferries it’s easy to make it a dream come true.
Right Bank vs Left Bank of Rhine River
The Right bank refers to the side of the river on your right if you are facing downriver, or the direction the river flows. Left bank is the opposite. They both are gorgeous.
If doing a multi-day hike, depending on the castle hotel you’ve chosen, you’ll either walk, train, or train and walk to your castle hotel.
These paths are not at all technical. A decent trail running shoe would work, here’s ,my favorite women’s shoe and the men’s version as well.
These Black Diamond walking sticks will help you walk faster, but aren’t really needed for balance, but might supercharge your fitness if you want to get your heart pumping.
You’d want to have rubber tips due to some pavement at times. Find quality poles that won’t break the first time you use them, on amazon.
Don’t be like me and get eye pre-cancer, protect your eyes from the damage inflicted by the sun with cat 3-4 sunglasses.
Bring your own water as buying water in Germany is crazy expensive both at restaurants and at convenience stores.
Beyond the Best Hikes in Germany: Fisherman’s Trail in Portugal
If you’re looking for some breathtaking coastal scenery on the last wild coast of Europe, the Rota Vicentina Fisherman’s Trail will be a delight. Hike and stroll over the path of actual fishermen today and over the past 1000 years.
It’s a 2-3 hour bus ride from Lisbon and wanders over sand dunes and cliffs along the rugged Atlantic ocean. Here’s a detailed planner needed to complete a 4 day Inn to Inn hiking trip.
More German Adventures
🚠 SUMMER CHAIRLIFTS 🚡 🚠
An easy & relaxing Way to experience the 🇩🇪 German OUTDOORS 🚠
It doesn’t have to be HARD to explore & connect to Nature 🌎.
1️⃣ On the Upper Middle Romantic Rhine UNESCO site:
the Boppard Chairlift and Assmannshausen chairlift offer stunning views of the Rhine River. The Rüdesheim cable car offers wheelchair accessibility.
2️⃣ Flying over the Moselle River:
the Cochem chairlift takes you over vineyards and slate blue craggy mini-mountains.
Just like an e-bike, a bit of technology can make exploring nature more accessible to everyone. ❤️ ♿️
Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a physical therapist and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.