Sports and the Outdoors

Mittelrhein Klettersteig. If you have Alpine hiking ambitions, try this climbing path—a "via ferrata" complete with cables, steps, and ladders to help reach heights more quickly. It's an alternate route of the Rhein-Burgen-Wanderweg (hiking trail from Koblenz to Bingen). The trail starts at St.-Remigius-Platz, about 1 km (½ mile) from Boppard Hauptbahnhof. Allow two to three hours for the climb, though there are several possibilities to return to the "normal" path in-between climbs. Rent the necessary gear at the Aral gas station on Koblenzer Strasse in Boppard. St.-Remigius-Pl., Boppard, Rheinland-Pfalz, 56154. 06742/2447.

Weinwanderweg. The 10-km (6-mile) hiking trail from Boppard to Spay begins north of town on Peternacher Weg. Many other marked trails in the vicinity are outlined on maps and in brochures available from the tourist office.

Marksburg. On the eastern shore overlooking the town of Braubach is the Marksburg. Built in the 13th century to protect the silver and lead mines in the area, it's the only land-based castle on the Rhine to have survived the centuries intact. Within its massive walls are a collection of weapons and manuscripts, a medieval botanical garden, and a self-service restaurant. Try to get a table on the terrace to enjoy the stunning view. Braubach, Rheinland-Pfalz. 02627/206; €7. Easter–Oct., daily 10–5; Nov.–Easter, daily 11–4.

Schloss Stolzenfels. On the outskirts of Koblenz, the neo-Gothic towers of Schloss Stolzenfels come into view. The castle's origins date to the mid-13th century, when the archbishop of Trier sought to counter the influence (and toll rights) of the archbishop of Mainz, who had just built Burg Lahneck, a castle at the confluence of the Lahn and Rhine rivers. Its superbly furnished period rooms and beautiful gardens are well worth a visit. From B-9 (curbside parking) it's about a 15-minute walk to the castle entrance. Koblenz, Rheinland-Pfalz. 0261/51656; €4. Apr.–Sept., Tues.–Sun. 9–6; Oct., Nov., and Mar., Tues.–Sun. 10–5; Jan. and Feb., weekends 10–5.