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The Nahe Holiday Region
A Land of Poetry & Gemstones

The Nahe holiday region lies in the foothills of the southern Hunsrück. This is a landscape full of poetry and colour, dotted with old towns and villages full of history. The region's highlight is undoubtedly the German Gemstone Route, together with the gemstone capital Idar-Oberstein and the German Museum of Precious Stones. The region is also known for its three spa resorts that are located in the Nahe wine-growing area.

Note by the Executive Editor

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is 32 km away from the Nahe region (35 minutes driving time by car to Idar-Oberstein at the German Gemstone Route). Buses run from the airport to the region's towns of Birkenfeld, Idar-Oberstein and Kirn.

1. Gemstones & Geology

Here on the Nahe river, lovers of precious stones find just what they are looking for. Mellenia of geological processes have given rise to the most diverse land formations and types of rock. You can experience, in their natural state, sparkling minerals along the German Gemstone Route (Deutsche Edelsteinstraße) and fossils from the Hunsrück Slate and Castle Route (Hunsrück Schiefer- und Burgenstraße).

Discover agates, rock crystals or amethysts in the Gemstone mines at Steinkaulenberg. At the Fischbach Copper Mines, one of the largest of its type in central Europe, you can learn how valuable copper ore was extracted 200 years ago. The Herrenberg Slate Quarry presents an insight into the mining of slate and also exhibits some remarkable fossil findings. The Schmittenstollen (Schmitten Tunnel), the only mercury mine in western Europe, demonstrates how mercury is extracted in its nonpoisonous state as cinnabar ore. All mines are open to the public.

The Gemstone Museum in Idar-Oberstein has a superb exhibition about the jewellery and gemstones trade that made the town a world-renowned gemstone metropolis. Here, where gemstones, minerals and slate have been processed from time immemorial, a great diversity of creative craftsmanship has grown up. Today the region's jewellery studios, young jewellery designers and goldsmiths inspire us with new creations in precious stone and metal. Visitors from all over the globe value the German Gemstone Route as a number one address for brilliant experiences of impressive variety.

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2. Wellness & Spa Resorts

Discerning lovers of healthy way of life come together from near and far on the Nahe. Relaxation has always been a priority in the region's approved spa and health resort towns of Bad Kreuznach, Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg and Bad Sobernheim. Here you will find services and facilities organised in the categories

  • Select (exclusive and beauty holiday),
  • Wellness (wellness, relaxation and health),
  • Sporting (fitness and activity) and
  • Explorer (special experiences for getting to know the region).

All bearing the German Spa Association's seal of approval, which means you can be confident that your wellness break will be of first-class quality, based on a sound holistic health concept and delivered by expert medical staff and therapists.

2.1 Bad Kreuznach

The mineral spa of Bad Kreuznach is widely regarded as one of the loveliest spa and health resorts in Germany. The healing powers of the salt-water springs and the radon gas present in Kreuznach‘s salt water and porphyry stone were recognised as long ago as the 19th Century. A spa holiday in Bad Kreuznach gives you the opportunity to use its many outstanding amenities: the saline springs, thermal baths, mineral water and even a 'health mine'. Bad Kreuznach with its Salinental (Saline Valley) can lay claim to Europe's largest open-air inhalatorium.

2.2 Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg

Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg is located in the heart of the lovely Nahe Valley, nestling between the Rotenfels, the highest rock wall north of the Alps, and the Rheingrafenstein rock face and the castle ruins of the same name. This thermal saline and radon spa and climatic health resort is ideal for improving the health of the whole body.

2.3 Bad Sobernheim

Bad Sobernheim's spa visitors certainly believe in the energising effects of ‘healing earth’ treatments, invented by Pastor Emanuel Felke. Bad Sobernheim is the only spa town in Germany where guest can experience the therapeutic powers of loam through mud baths, ‘Rasul’ baths, mud packs and mud wraps. The three privately run spa and wellness hotels offer traditional Felke treatment combined with luxurious modern-day pampering. They have won many awards, are set in beautiful surrounding and offer private spa facilities.

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3. Wine Region & Wine Festivals

Small but beautiful, the Nahe wine-growing area lies between the hills of the Hunsrück and the Rhine river. Excellent Rieslings, grey and white Burgunders and noble sweet wines have always typified this little wine region. The geological composition and diversity of soil impart to the Nahe wine area the distinctiveness for which it is known.

The Nahe Wine Region extends from Martinstein near Bad Sobernheim to Bingen am Rhein. Geological development has bestowed upon the Nahe Region a great diversity of soils. This enables the vintners to grow so many different varieties of grape of the highest quality.

Many vintners offer wine tastings directly from the vineyard, in their wine cellar, wine garden or Strausswirtschaft (wine-bar). Here you can enjoy delicious Nahe wines at their best. Or visit one of the many wine festivals along the Nahe Wine Route (Naheweinstraße). You’ll find plenty of opportunity to do so in, for example, Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg, Bingen am Rhein or in Bad Kreuznach.

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4. Activity & Nature

You will find plenty of opportunity to set off on an invigorating tour of the Nahe region, for example, one of the many cycling and hiking tours which take you through the most delightful vineyards and wildly romantic valleys, past imposing knights’ castles and sleepy villages in one of Europe's finest upland landscapes.

Ever the adventurer gets his money’s worth here. Experience the sensation of being free. In the extensive Saar-Hunsrück Nature Reserve with its deep valleys, rocks, meadows and wooded mountain ridges. In the Soonwald-Nahe Nature Reserve with its deciduous forests of countless species, its ancient beeches and oaks and the sunny vined slopes of the mild Nahe Valley.

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4.1 Long-Distance Cycle Routes

You will find excellent opportunities for cycling on one of the many long-distance cycle routes. The Nahe holiday region has marked out over 500 kilometres of cycle paths for you. The main route is the Nahe Cycle Route (Naheradweg), which takes you from the source of the Nahe river near Selbach to its confluence with the Rhine river near Bingen am Rhein.

4.2 Draisine Cycle Journey

Or how about a trip on the Draisine: huge fun for all ages! You can explore the picturesque Glan valley on a cycle draisine. A 40 kilometres stretch of disused railway track takes you on a cycle journey from Altenglan near Kusel via Lauterecken and Meisenheim to Staudernheim near Bad Sobernheim.

4.3 Canoeing

The Glan river, a fast-running meadowland river with small swells and many bends, is most suitable for canoe trips. There are several companies renting canoes (including drop-off and pick-up service) and organizing guided tours.

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5. Culture & History

The Nahe holiday region has many sights and attractions awaiting you around every corner. It is an amazing experience for anyone interested in history. Visit the little medieval towns Herrstein and Meisenheim. Experience the region's rich diversity in legendary places and fascinating museums.

The Celtic village (Altenburg) in Steinbach is an impressive reproduction showing what a typical Celtic village would once have looked like. This farmstead settlement has been reconstructed with a great deal of attention to detail and vividly depicts the Celtic way of life, as well as the working conditions, culture and environment.

Or follow in the footsteps of knights, take a step back in time and really enjoy history. With staged performances and demonstrations, medieval tournaments conjure up images of times long past. Once a year, Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg turns into one big gathering place for a variety of travelling folk. Around 30,000 spectators flock to the town every year, when knights, travelling entertainers, musicians and craftspeople arrive to transform the area at the foot of Ebernburg Castle into a giant medieval market. The large medieval tournament is held against the spectacular backdrop of the mighty Mount Rotenfels. More than 300 players in historical costume await your visit.

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6. Travel Guides to Nahe Destinations

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Video: A Pictorial Journey through the Nahe Holiday Region

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Bad Kreuznach
The state-approved mineral spa of Bad Kreuznach is widely regarded as one of the loveliest spa and health resorts in Germany. A spa holiday in Bad Kreuznach gives you the opportunity to use its many outstanding amenities: the saline springs, thermal baths, mineral water and even a ‘health mine’. Bad Kreuznach with its Salinental (Saline Valley) can lay claim to Europe's largest open-air inhalatorium.  ... read more in the Bad Kreuznach Travel Guide
Bad Kreuznach Wine Region
This beautiful wine-region is located next to the spa town of Bad Kreuznach and lies in-between Germany's wine-growing areas of Nahe and Rheinhessen. Its picturesque landscape is part of the ‘Rheinhessisches Hügelland’ (Rheinhessen Hill Country), which is characterized by large vineyards and small wine villages. One of the most pleasant holiday experiences is a holiday on a traditional wine-growing estate. ... read more in the Bad Kreuznach Wine Region Travel Guide
Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg
The renowned spa town of Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg is nestling at the foot of Ebernburg castle. The town is situated in the most picturesque part of the Nahe Valley and is surrounded by the bizarre rock formations of the Rheingrafenstein and the Rotenfels — the highest rock wall north of the Alps. ... read more in the Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg Travel Guide
Bad Sobernheim
Bad Sobernheim is the only spa town in Germany where guest can experience the therapeutic powers of loam through mud baths, ‘Rasul’ baths, mud packs and mud wraps. The three privately run spa and wellness hotels offer traditional Felke treatment combined with luxurious modern-day pampering. They have won many awards, are set in beautiful surrounding and offer private spa facilities. ... read more in the Bad Sobernheim Travel Guide
Bingen am Rhein
Down the ages Bingen am Rhein has always been a centre of wine trade and an attractive destination for travellers. Hardly any other town in Germany is predestined to be the secret capital of German wines. Here is where Germany's wine-growing areas of Rheinhessen, Nahe, Rheingau and Middle Rhine Valley meet. Bingen am Rhein is also known as the gateway to the Romantic Rhine and the UNESCO World Heritage of the ‘Upper Middle-Rhine Valley’. ... read more in the Bingen am Rhein Travel Guide
In the midst of the delightful middle highland landscape of the Nahe and Hunsrück region, the Birkenfelder Land offers visitors various possibilities for spending both adventurous and relaxed weekends. Culture interested visitors find various historical attractions: they discover traces of the Celts, Romans and the Wittelsbacher. Or recuperate at the ‘Hunsrück Holiday Park Hambachtal’ with its sauna paradise and an indoor subtropical swimming-pool where recreation and fun for the entire family is guaranteed. ... read more in the Birkenfeld Travel Guide
Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route)
A highlight is undoubtedly the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route), together with the beautiful restored half-timbered houses of the historic old town of Herrstein and the gemstone capital Idar-Oberstein. Jewellery studios, young jewellery designers and goldsmiths inspire us with creations in precious stone and metal. Visitors from all over the globe value the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) as a number one address for brilliant experiences of impressive variety. ... read more in the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) Travel Guide
Hunsrück Schiefer- und Burgenstraße (Hunsrück Slate and Castle Route)
The Hunsrück Schiefer- und Burgenstrasse is a historical route in the ‘Nahe-Hunsrück’ area. Although more or less hidden and almost invisible at first sight, the tourist route leads through a region characterised by slate and fortresses. It is one of the most beautiful and interesting areas of the Rhineland-Palatinate. Many features that make this holiday region so quaint and unique do not impose themselves on the visitor but must be discovered. Visitors exploring the region will find many remnants of historical and geological interest. There are numerous castles, churches, fortresses and manor houses along the road that reflect the culture of the regions ancestors and thus create a direct link between the history and geology of the area. ... read more in the Hunsrück Schiefer- und Burgenstrasse (Hunsrück Slate and Castle Route) Travel Guide
When talking about Idar-Oberstein, gemstones of course come to mind immediately. Originally the mining of gemstones, bringing agates, rock crystals, amethysts and other splendid stones to the daylight, was an important formative influence on the city. For 150 years, however, cutting these stones and trading jewellery and gemstones has become the most important field in gemstone manufacturing and contributed to the city's reputation world-wide. The unique sights related to gemstones, a visit of the ‘Deutsche Edelsteinmuseum’ (German Museum of Precious Stones) or a tour of the ‘Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse’ (German Gemstone Route) will be memorable indeed. ... read more in the Idar-Oberstein Travel Guide
The holiday region of Langenlonsheim is located in the midst of surrounding forests and vineyards. Its greatest treasures are the premium wines and sparkling wines of the ‘Naheregion’. With a winegrowing surface area of 1,300 hectares, Langenlonsheim is the largest operating winegrowing municipality on the ‘Naheweinstraße’ (‘Nahe Wine Route’). Langenlonsheim Forest stretches up to 300 metres above the Nahe, where hikers can enjoy an unlimited view of the winegrowing regions of Nahe, Rheingau and Rheinhessen. Over 100 vineyard operations feature cosy wine taverns inviting you to try the local Riesling, Silvaner and Blauer Spätburgunder. The mysterious hermitage in the forest and the enchanting Nahe landscape invite you to revel in your daydreams. ... read more in the Langenlonsheim Travel Guide
Meisenheim am Glan is a place of picturesque impressions from the annals of history. Its medieval townscape makes Meisenheim a true gem and insider secret. With its harmonious city architecture, it is truly one of Germany’s most rewarding ‘undiscovered’ small towns. Old timber-frame houses, majestic royal courtyards, historic town squares and alleyways or Meisenheim’s most imposing landmark, the late Gothic ‘Schlosskirche’ church, sweep visitors up and off to an earlier era. Cosy guesthouses, cafés and restaurants allow visitors to relax and enjoy the romantic atmosphere of this medieval town. With its idyllic location on the banks of the Glan River, Meisenheim is a popular excursion destination that invites you to explore the picturesque Glan Valley on a handcar journey, a bicycle tour, a hike or a canoe tour on the Glan. ... read more in the Meisenheim Travel Guide

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7. Points of Interest

Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum
There are over 10,000 exhibits to admire — both cut stones and also crystals and raw stones — at the Gemstone Museum. Attractive presentation about the history and techniques of gem cutting.
The abbey ruins still create a vivid impression of its former grandeur, even today. Information panels retrace the history of the abbey where Hildegard of Bingen lived and worked for 40 years.
The Felsenkirche (Church of the Rock) is built into a natural rocky niche high above Oberstein. It can only be accessed through a tunnel cut through the rock. The church has a variety of exquisite treasures, incl. a medieval winged altar. Viewing platform.
Strolling around the narrow streets with their beautifully restored timber-framed houses is like stepping back into medieval times. Herrstein's landmark is the 15th-century town gate and mighty clock tower.
Historisches Kupferbergwerk
History at your fingertips — the visitor mine and reconstructed copper smelting works at Fischbach. An extensive network of tunnels and shafts gives a vivid impression of mining during the Middle Ages.
Keltensiedlung Altburg
There was once a Celtic village on a large rocky spur high above the valley of the Hahnenbach. A part of it has been rebuilt and is now the focal point of the open-air museum, which is well worth visiting.
The picturesque old quarter of Meisenheim, with its half-timbered buildings, fine residences, romantic alleyways and squares, is a popular excursion destination. The late-Gothic Palace Church is a central landmark.
Museum Birkenfeld
The way to understand history is to discover it for ourselves. This is the theme at the local history museum, which has reopened in autumn 2006 after extensive redevelopment.
Museum Rittergut Bangert
Bangert Manor has a remarkable group of museums — the Palace Gardens Museum with collections about cultural history and the history of the town, the Roman Hall with classical mosaics and the Puppet Theatre Museum.
Orgel Art Museum
The Organ Art Museum illustrates the history and fascinating intricacies of organ building and instrument making. One highlight is a replica of a claviorganum — an organ and a harpsichord in one.
Rheinland-Pfälzisches Freilichtmuseum
The open-air museum in Nightingale Valley offers vivid insights into the rural life of days gone by. Visitors can step back in time at the smithy, mill, shop, butcher's, school, bake house, vintners' houses and farmhouses.
Schiefergrube Herrenberg
The Herrenberg slate mine offers fascinating insights into how slate used to be mined. On show at the Fossil Museum next door are fossilised creatures that lived in the primeval seas up to 360 million years ago.
Schloss Dhaun
The medieval castle was converted into a baroque residence in 1729. Today it is a seminar and conference centre. Guided tours of the historical castle.
Stone sculpture meets wine culture. Sculptures by the acclaimed couple Wolfgang Kubach and Anna Kubach- Wilmsen are freely accessible in the sculpture park.
Star chef Johann Lafer's Hotel auf der Stromburg is a romantic hotel offering impeccable hospitality. Dine in style at the ‘Turmstube’ or the ‘Val d’Or’ restaurant.
Whisky-Museum Kyrburg
Take a trip into the world of whisky in the vaulted cellars of Kyrburg Castle ruins, the landmark of Kirn an der Nahe. Castle restaurant in the watch house.

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8. Events Finder

There is always something happening — whether it is art, music, wine festivals or a host of other activities. The Events Finder gives you an overview about what is on, where and when. Here you can search for events and festivals in the region.

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9. Hotel & Holiday Flat Finder

Here you have direct access to the online accommodation reservation service of the Tourist Board of Rhineland-Palatinate. No other hotel reservation system on the Internet offers you such a broad and comprehensive list of accommodation in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate regions. You can list accommodation, search accommodation, contact accommodation establishments and make online reservations.

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10. How to get there from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

10.1 By Rental Car

Google Maps: Route from (A) Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to (B) Idar-Oberstein
(39 km distance / 48 minutes driving time) » get directions

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10.2 By Bus

Buses run from the airport to the region's towns of Birkenfeld, Idar-Oberstein and Kirn.

Bus routes and timetables:

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Tourist Office Address

Naheland-Touristik GmbH
Bahnhostraße 37
55606 Kirn

Tel.: +49 (0) 67 52 - 13 76 - 10
Fax: +49 (0) 67 52 - 13 76 - 20