Frankfurt, Rüdesheim, Worms, Heidelberg
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Old-world mystique cascades across the Middle Rhine as vineyards roll beneath fabulous castles, and half-timbered taverns reveal medieval charms. Germany's most scenic region is also its most sensual, a realm of sublime aesthetics and subtle smells, captivating in its revelation of bygone centuries. This 8-day tour follows the great river, unraveling the vineyards and the surprises.
Frankfurt – Culinary Welcome
Frankfurt's culinary heritage is far more complicated than the simple sausage it gave its name to. While Frankfurters are easily found from the street hawkers, the city reveals a gourmet indulgence far beyond a sausage and a bread roll. This city has been a cultural hotbed for 2,000 years, and its legacy prevails amidst the towering skyscrapers of its future. You'll be greeted at the airport and transferred to a five-star hotel in the city's heart, where the atmosphere is distinctly old-world. Relax. Refresh. Admire the skyline. Then head out in the evening for a fantastic restaurant experience.
Housed in a fabulous country residence, this fabled restaurant has two Michelin stars and an outdoor terrace of pure indulgence. After an outdoor drink, step inside to a dining room that's as kitsch as it is chic, a style that reflects the royal tastes of a bygone era. The food is innovative and sophisticated, delicate flavors in bold and daring creations, an ode to creation that reflects the bounty and style of the Rhine. It's an ideal introduction to the tastes of this region, one that's rooted in regal history and pioneering in every dish.
Frankfurt – Exploring an Intriguing City
Frankfurt blurs the centuries, hiding its treasures beneath a facade of a futuristic vision. The country's financial capital and the glass-fronted skyscrapers suggest a city of slick, cutting-edge design. Beneath the towers, however, the history that's survived Napoleon, Nazism, and near-obliteration during World War II. An expert guide helps uncover the treasures, leading you on a trail from Roman settlement to ancient Germanic tribes, all the while connecting the dots of German emperors from the first millennia AD. Head out on a private four-hour walking tour to unearth the gems that hide along the city's streets.
Frankfurt is the city of Goethe, and his house has been wonderfully preserved. It takes you into the late 18th century, to a time of dukes and epic poems, theatrical dramas and noble lifestyles. Much like any of the world's other famous playwrights, Goethe transcends history, helping to preserve a time and a place through the written word. After the walking tour and Goethe Museum, there's a leisurely late lunch at one of the city's traditional taverns. Roasted meat smells spill from the kitchen, the beer menu is extensive and rooted in history, while the gregarious atmosphere encourages you to dine slowly and indulgently. The evening is at your leisure.
Rudesheim – Discovering the Wine of the Rhine
The Rhine, the legendary father of all rivers, is the meandering waterway that sweeps past the ancient towns of Germany. Fairytale castles hang above the water, casting a charming glow on a patchwork of vineyards and flowering valleys. Mystique clings to the corners and the Rhine always moves slowly enough for you to see it as this is not a river that rushes. The Rhine provides a gentle journey, one that seems fitting for the soft tones of the landscapes that surround it. Leave Frankfurt and cruise along the river, taking in the panoramas that feel like they're from the Middle Ages.
Stop in the elegant spa town of Wiesbaden, a place to languidly stroll and take in the Rhine over coffee. Cruise past 1,000-year-old castles and admire the vineyards that dominate the banks. Spend the afternoon at three vineyards, a exciting tasting tour revealing both the white and red tastes of the Rhine. Lunch is included and continues the immersion in local produce, one that has always celebrated organic growing. Continue along the river to Rudesheim, the medieval city of winegrowers. With a dozen traditional wine taverns for you to spend an evening at your leisure, each offering a tasting journey through the Rhine Valley.
Rudesheim – The Medieval City of Winegrowers
Beneath half-timbered houses, you'll find the secrets of Rüdesheim past. Bottles line the walls, and the ancient houses open out on small leafy gardens. Each cobbled street seems to contain at least one of these wine taverns, places that continue to define local life in the town. For centuries, these wine taverns have been the tasting houses for the Rhine's vineyards. But before all the tasting, there's more of the medieval city to find. A local guide takes you along the city's fortifications, like the Adlerturm (eagle tower), which stands like a sentinel to the past. Wander out of the old town to a wine-covered valley, and a cable car that rises above the Rhine Valley. Walk for hours, traversing the woods and glimpsing out at the famous river or take in the monument at the summit, then return to Rüdesheim and the lazy afternoon atmosphere of the taverns.
Much like a vineyard, every wine tavern presents an ever-changing menu of local produce, guiding drinkers from the popular favorites to the unique experimental bottles. A local guide helps navigate through the choice, guiding you through the menus and helping you select wines that reflect your interests. The ambiance is elevated by the buildings themselves, each a fabled portrait of medieval design, a place where you can smell the wood and delight in the originality. The evening is at your leisure, and the guide will be happy to offer dining recommendations.
Worms – Cruising Along the Rhine and More Sensual Wine
Across the Rhine, a short ferry journey to the town of Bingen and immersion in the Rheinhessen wines. A vintner takes you through the styles, building a picture of cultivation that dates back to the 15th century. An Auslese accompanied by fresh bread, an iconic Riesling from an ancient vineyard, Silvaner that preserves tradition and then a banquet of Dornfelder that goes from dry to sweet. It's a leisurely tasting journey, the Rhine glowing beneath the town as you explore the complete suite of flavors. Enjoy a traditional lunch in town before being transferred to Worms, the legendary home of Liebfraumilch wine. As always, your hotel is within easy walking distance of the old city's charms. With St. Peter's Cathedral as the luxuriant compass point, Worms is an idyllic city to explore at leisure. You will spend the night in Worms.
Heidelberg – Walking Through a Pre-Roman City
Gaze across the Worms skyline and St Peter's Cathedral dominates, surreal pinnacles that rise as if created for a lost-world fairytale. St Paul's Dominican Monastery is equally strange in design, but so is most history in Worms. A land where vineyards dominated the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), and wine was exported with names like Blue Nun. A Jewish cemetery provides another tale, and the Luther Memorial helps navigate into another captivating piece of Germany's religious history. At the forefront of it all is Liebfraumilch wine, a product that has never quite shook off a reputation of being the drunk man's wine.
Traditionally, Liebfraumilch is seen as a low-quality wine by world wine experts. However, the best stuff isn't always exported, and there's a side to Liebfraumilch that's packed with subtlety and creativity, one that often comes under a pseudonym. Your guide knows where to try a few of the region's finest bottles. After lunch and a leisurely tasting, transfer to Heidelberg, where your hotel is set in a converted old brewery, with a classic beer garden remaining in its grounds. The rest of the afternoon and evening are at your leisure.
Heidelberg – The History of Heidelberg
Baroque charms paint the canvas in Heidelberg, one of the largest Southern German cities that survived the destruction of World War II. Standing on the River Neckar and flanked by the rolling peaks of the Rhine Rift Valley, Heidelberg rises like a dream from the past. Its history has been wonderfully preserved, an ode to both itself and the surrounding region. On a relaxed city tour, start on the Haupstrasse, a pedestrianized street that's lined with monuments to the Middle Ages. Then, ascend to the Castle, where the vistas reveal green forests and red sloped roofs. History merges as you continue, from 18th-century Baroque churches to an open-air theater built by the Nazi regime to host propaganda productions.
In the afternoon, wander through the town at leisure or be guided out to a series of vineyards that line the road out of the town, many of them specializing in apple wine or wine that's still in the process of fermentation (new wine). For true authenticity, you can bring a canister and have it filled directly from the barrel. Tonight, enjoy your dinner reservations at a 17th-century sailors' inn that serves all the classics from the past. Think haunch of rabbit washed down by red wine and shallot gravy, or veal cheeks with spinach.
Heidelberg – Departure
After looping around the curves of the Rhine, head back to Frankfurt with a one-hour journey to connect with your international flight. Wave farewell to your guide, and don't worry about how to bring the wine bottles on the plane. Throughout the tour, the guides will assist in secure packing and shipment of any of your vineyard purchases.
- Explore the delightful wine of the Rhine River, one of Europe's unknown and unexpectedly sensual regions
- Lose yourself in the medieval city of winegrowers with two nights in Rüdesheim
- Cruise along the Rhine River by boat, stopping to find chateaus and vineyards that delight in their rurality
- Start the luxury tour in Frankfurt, where the juxtaposition of styles begins to unravel the historical wonders of Germany
- Spend a day exploring the local Rheinhessen wine that's been cultivated for centuries
- Step back into a distant century and spend two nights in Heidelberg, where castle ruins symbolize the impression of a fairytale world
- Spend evenings in cozy, traditional wine taverns found in half-timbered houses, historical buildings that retain their old-world atmosphere
The old-world atmosphere feels untouched along the banks of the River Rhine. Crumbling castles stand above terraced vineyards; towns reveal streets of cobblestone and intrigue, and the image of yesteryear infiltrates every angle. The Middle Rhine is Germany's most scenic area, a sublime landscape carved along the shores of a river steeped in history. Along this water, you find the medieval and Roman remains of Germany, symbolized by fairytale castles, or fine old cities of half-timbered houses, or baroque cathedrals dominating quaint stone squares.
Elevating the ambiance is the fabled produce of the Rhine and the wines and gourmet treats nurtured for centuries. This is Germany's exquisite wine growing region, an area that values quality over quantity and always provides a delightfully unique place to try it all. Sip wine in castle ruins, spend evenings in medieval wine taverns and watch the river softly ripple as you wander through the vines. Wine tasting is integral to the itinerary, and you spend two full days exploring the various styles of the Rhine, including the Liebfraumilch, and the historic home of Germany's winegrowers.
This private luxury tour starts in Frankfurt, a city that juxtaposes a modern financial center with a beguiling cultural legacy. Roman remains blur into the relics of first millennia emperors, all beneath a backdrop of glass-fronted skyscrapers. You will travel along the Rhine, wine tasting along the banks and cruising past 1000-year-old castles. Stop in the spa town of Wiesbaden, taste in a medieval ruin, and continue to Rüdesheim, the famous city of winegrowers. Several nights here allow you to soak up the atmosphere of historic wine taverns and medieval streets.
Cross the Rhine to Bingen, for a series of tastings focused on Rheinhessen wine. With the river glimmering below, you're in Germany's rural heartland, an area of elegance and continual panoramas. Worms is where Liebfraumilch wine originated, and the town's prosperity from the high Middle Ages is discovered. Then move on to Heidelberg, an ancient town that responds to its legendary reputation and provides nights of atmospheric bliss to complete this luxury tour. Private guides and wine experts offer the narrative throughout while a selection of stellar hotels exudes the old-world charm.
$2,395 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.85 stars based on 393 reviews
"We had an extraordinary travel experience in Germany with...
Reviewed By Kenneth F.
"All of the accommodations and excursions were fantastic...
Reviewed By Kristine S.
"Great selection of hotels, guides and communication"
Reviewed By elliot z.
"They were very responsive and held our hand throughout...
Reviewed By Nazanin S.
"Using this tour company was like having a friend in Germany...
Reviewed By Alan C.
"Our trip was meticulously planned by our travel designer."
Reviewed By Linda W.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era