This photo tour can be a hike, but it offers many of the most famous viewpoints in the Middle Rhine. The first scene is of Kaub with its two castles from the opposite side of the river. The second is the panorama over Bacharach with its medieval spires. In addition, it takes you to the island Castle of Pfalzgrafenstein and the castle of Stahleck. There are potentially two ways to approach this hike, one is to walk along the river, and the other is to walk along the cliffs above the river. Having done both, I can say the pictures are better from below, but the hike along the ridge is much nicer.
The two towns of Kaub and Bacharach are connected by their association with the Electors of the Palatinate. Bacharach was their ancient capital before it was moved to Heidelberg. The castle in Kaub generated substantial wealth for the Electors and remained one of their most valuable possessions for centuries.
How to Get Here:
- Direct Regional Train from Frankfurt or Koblenz to Kaub Station, or by cruise ship from any corresponding dock in the valley.
- Hike Starts at the Train Station in Kaub. Note that you will need to take the ferry across to the castle and then across to the other side. Depending on the time of year, there will be a special castle ferry. During the off-season, if the castle is open, it will be serviced by the car ferry.
Photography Note: For most of this trip, you will want the sun to be past mid-day. The best pictures of Kaub will happen with the sun directly south, and the best pictures of Bacharach are only possible in the late afternoon and evening. You may want to start in the late morning for the optimal trip.