• Photo: Wolfgang Staudt, via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.0]

Plan Your Pfalz and Rhine Terrace Vacation

Pfalz and wine go hand in hand. This region of vineyards and picturesque villages is the home of the German Wine Road and the country's greatest wine festival at Bad Dürkheim. Six of Germany's 13 wine-growing regions are in the area.

The Pfalz has a mild, sunny climate, and that seems to affect the mood here, too. Vines carpet the foothills of the thickly forested Haardt Mountains, an extension of the Alsatian Vosges. The Pfälzerwald (Palatinate Forest) with its pine and chestnut trees is the region's other natural attraction. Hiking and cycling trails lead through the vineyards, the woods, and up to castles on the heights.

The border between the Pfalz and Rheinhessen is invisible, but you begin to get a sense of Rheinhessen's character soon after crossing it. It's a region of gentle, rolling hills and expansive farmland, where grapes are but one of many crops; vineyards are often scattered miles apart. The slopes overlooking the Rhine between Worms and Mainz—the so-called Rhine Terrace—are a notable exception, with a nearly uninterrupted ribbon of vines, including the famous vineyards of Oppenheim, Nierstein, and Nackenheim on the outskirts of Mainz.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Wine German Rieslings are some of the most versatile white wines in the world. If you've only tried the sweet style, the rest may be a revelation.
  2. Festivals Wine is a great excuse for merrymaking, and wine festivals take place in almost every town and village across the region from May through October. The largest wine festival in the world takes place in the town of Bad Dürkheim, in front of a wine barrel the size of a building.
  3. Pfälzerwald The Palatinate Forest is a paradise for hiking and cycling. Even a short stroll under the beautiful pine and chestnut trees is a relaxing and way to spend an afternoon.
  4. Castles Burg Trifels and Schloss Villa Ludwigshöhe contrast strikingly in style, inside and out. Both are wonderful settings for concerts.
  5. Cathedrals The cathedrals in Speyer, Worms, and Mainz are the finest examples of grand-scale Rhenish Romanesque architecture in Germany.

When To Go

When to Go

After countless celebrations of the Mandelblüten (blossoming of the almond trees) along the Wine Road in March, the wine festival season picks...

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