Rheinhessen Holiday Region
In the Land of the Nibelungen
Whatever it is you're looking for, Rheinhessen has it all. Modern city life and traditional sleepy villages, temples to fine dining rubbing shoulders with bars serving the new season's wine, art galleries in warehouses, theatre in vineyards or jazz in a barn. If variety is the spice of life, it's especially true in Rheinehessen, Germany's largest wine-growing region. The local people are cosmopolitan and full of joie de vivre, with a dash of Gallic laissez-faire and a certain idiosyncrasy thrown in.
Note by the Executive Editor
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is 87 km away from the Rheinhessen region (1 hour driving time by car to Mainz). Buses run from the airport to the region's town of Bingen am Rhein, Mainz, and Worms.
Who arrives in Rheinhessen or stops at an inn will hear the following sentence all the time: Welcome, take a seat! Your vacation begins already with a warm welcome and often enough with a good glass of wine. One of the most pleasant experiences here is a holiday on a traditional Rheinhessen wine-growing estate. Vineyard guesthouses are easy to locate in the region, just look for the sign ‘NatUrlaub auf dem Winzerhof’. Change and leisureliness, adventure and rest, nature and culture — all of that is part of the vacation experience at a wine-growing estate.
A holiday on a wine-growing estate lets you experience the tradition of viniculture in the largest German wine-growing area. Discover the secrets of Riesling, Silvaner, Burgunder and different qualities of red wines at one of the many vintners in the region. Go on a wine tasting tour and explore the variety of local wines that have a good name around the world. How about a good bottle of wine and a superb dinner? Let the local cuisine surprise you. Rheinhessen is known for its culinary arts and excellent hospitality. Or stop at one of the many Straußenwirtschaften for a glass of wine and a snack.
In any case, you will be quite taken by the Rheinhessen way of life. The people who live here know how to celebrate. And there is always a good reason for a celebration. Whether its a holiday, village festivities, music festival, wine festival, family party or church feast. You will find out that the people here are very creative to find any excuse for a celebration.
The Rheinhessen wine-growing region is situated on the left bank of the Rhine between Mainz, Worms and Bingen am Rhein — this is one of Germany's most traditional wine regions. A visit to one of the many relaxed and enjoyable wine festivals held here is an absolute must for any wine lover. Classics include the Johannisfest in Mainz, the Backfischfest in Worms, the Alzey & Bingen wine festival and Ingelheim's red wine festival.
Many of the wine-growing estates offer topnotch cultural experiences as well as fine wines. A number of the wine cellars have been turned into romantic taverns or Straußwirtschaften (inns selling locally produced wine) where cultural events and small concerts are held.
Also typical of the region are the Rheinhessische Weingewölbe (old vaulted wine cellars), which are now often wine-tasting room, sales room, restaurant and studio all rolled into one. The Weingewölbe had been built in the middle of the 19th century. Model for the structural design were old monasteries and their groined vault architecture. This design reduced the danger of house fires that were a fatal problem at this time. The buildings were used as warehouses, lumber rooms and stables. A few years ago winegrowers recognized the historical value of the buildings and restored them in detail. Nowadays the former stables and warehouses became charming wine taverns and Straußenwirtschaften. All year long you will find here cultural events and concerts.
Rheinhessen has much more to offer than you might expect. Great names are connected with the region. It was here, where great events made history or influenced world history.
3.1 Land of the Nibelungen
The town of Worms is inextricably linked with the legend of the Nibelungs. See Siegfried, Kriemhild and all the other protagonists of this famous saga being brought back to life at the Nibelung Festival. The story of the epic peom is played out at the Burgundian court at ‘Worms by the Rhine’. The festival, which brings the story to life in its original setting, is held at the cathedral at the end of August each year.
The Nibelungen Route links a total of six sites which tell the story of the Burgundian Nibelungs in a very special way. Many locations are those where the events in the story actually »took place«. The multimedia Nibelungen Museum built into the medieval town walls of Worms provides an impressive insight into the Song of the Nibelungen and the treatment of the epic poem over time.
3.2. Centre of Power
In the 8th century, Ingelheim was the centre of power in Europe. Karl der Große (Charles the Great) made his important decisions in the ‘Aula Regia’ that had major influence on the development and history of Europe. Hildegard von Bingen was one of the prominent woman in medieval Germany. Her health teachings are still well acknowledged worldwide nowadays. Johannes Gutenberg invented in the 15th century the printing press in Mainz. A revolutionary development that changed the world. Martin Luther spoke in Worms the famous word ‘Here I Stand, I can do no other’ in the speech in his defence before the emperor at the Diet of Worms.
Cycling in Rheinhessen is pure pleasure. It is more important to have an air-pump than a raincoat. 1,700 hours of sunshine a year make Rheinhessen one of the warmest regions in Germany. The hills in the region protect against cold winds. Ideal conditions for a pleasant cycle tour.
In the last years the cycle tracks have been continuously developed. They lead through the most beautiful locations. Very famous among cyclists is to spend the night at one of the many selected wine-growing estates. They offer special services for cyclists, for example bike rental.
The area around Bingen am Rhein is a fantastic region for wines and culture. Perfect for exploring the fascinating towns, rivers and countryside from the saddle of your bike. The old wine-growing traditions point to a rich cultural heritage, which is why the tours aren't just restricted to the vineyards.
Selected Rheinhessen country hotels and wineries are the starting point for excursions to the grandiose cathedrals and churches in Worms, Mainz and Oppenheim. Other wine-growing towns such as Nierstein or Nackenheim, boast not only the finest terroir and vintages, but also pretty, secluded beer gardens and flowery courtyards. Perfect for reflecting contentedly on the days events over a glass of wine.
- 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
- 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
- Mainz is known far beyond Germany for its most famous son: Johannes Gutenberg, who made his revolutionary invention of printing with movable type around 1450 in Mainz. He has certainly left his mark on this regional capital. Mainz is the city of media, uniting a modern cultural scene with the witnesses to 2,000 years of history. Museum-lovers are spoilt for choice in Mainz. From Roman warships to the world-famous Gutenberg bible, from the cathedral treasures to archaeological finds from early history to the Middle Ages. In Mainz, you can turn any day into an exciting day at the museum. ... read more in the Mainz Travel Guide
- Worms is the city of the Nibelungen. The majority of scenes from the medieval ‘Nibelungenlied’ are set in and around Worms. It is said that the Nibelungen treasures are hidden here. On the banks of the Rhine, across from the ‘Nibelungen Ring’, the Hagen holds up the Nibelungen treasures. On your tour through 2,000 years of town history, you will meet emperors and kings, myths and legends of the Nibelungen, a unique cathedral, Judaism and Martin Luther. Luther's appearance before the Kaiser and Imperial Diet linked the Reformation to the town in a special way. It was here, where Luther defended his teachings with his words ‘Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.’ ... read more in the Worms Travel Guide
- Castle Ruin Landskrone
- The ruins of Landskrone Castle sit in splendour high above the town, surrounded by vineyards. Built in the 12th century, the castle was destroyed by the French in 1689 during the War of Succession.
- Castle Ruin Schwabsburg
- The formidable tower of the ruin above Schwabsburg was once the keep of a fortified site. Built by the Hohenstaufens, it survived until the Thirty Years' War when it was destroyed by the Spanish. Visits all year round.
- Deutsches Weinbaumuseum
- Visitors to the German Museum of Winegrowing can discover over two thousand years of wine and winegrowing.
- This renowned museum of writing and printing is devoted to the city's most famous son. The museum's highlights are Gutenberg's Bibles and the replica of the old printing workshop complete with functioning printing press.
- Kaiserdom St. Peter
- Worms Cathedral has been the town's main landmark for over 1,000 years. Formerly an episcopal cathedral and today a papal basilica minor and provost church, it is one of the most splendid creations of Romanesque religious architecture.
- The massive imperial palace was built by Charlemagne around 780 AD. Visitors' centre and museum in the old fire station next to the imperial palace.
- A combination of modern architecture and sections of the medieval town wall — the setting for a fabulous journey back in time on the trail of the Song of the Nibelungs. A museum not to be missed.
- Sektkellerei Kupferberg
- See, experience and enjoy — visit Kupferberg sekt producers, discover the history of sparkling wine production in the historical cellars and round off your visit with a tasting.
- St. Stephan's Marc Chagall Windows
- Visitors to the church are especially fascinated by Marc Chagall's wonderful stained glass windows with their mesmerising colours. Meditative blue tones predominate, sparing accents of green, yellow and red add to the vibrancy of the depictions.
- These remarkable vaults, originally built as stables, were based on medieval abbey church architecture. Approx. 45 cross vaults now provide a delightful setting for functions, wine tasting and concerts.
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.
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.
Buses run from the airport to the region's town of Bingen, Mainz, and Worms.
Bus routes and timetables:
- Bingen am Rhein - Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (Bus Route Timetable)
- Mainz - Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (Bus Route Timetable)
- Worms - Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (Bus Route Timetable)