Rhineland-Palatinate has many great circular hiking trails that incorporate the many castles and palaces - they are called "dream trails", "dream loops", "side trails", for example. And for those who prefer a short excursion, there are even "dream trails".

We read about mystical dream paths of the Aborigines, dream of volcanoes in Iceland or a tour through southern vineyards. Yet we find all of this - and much more - concentrated in one federal state: Rhineland-Palatinate. Where the Moselle between Koblenz and Trier meandering through deep valleys and the mighty Rhine making its way northward, so much comes together: exuberant nature meets important monuments, exciting history meets the present - and hikers are always sure to encounter cozy Straußwirtschaften along the way. 

Looking down on the Rhine and Moselle from above

The region around the Rhine and Moselle is characterized by wide vineyards, deep forests and the volcanic Eifel - so it is not difficult to designate a series of "dream trails" in this beautiful cultural landscape. From the vast network of hiking trails on the Rhine, Moselle and in the Eifel, 26 particularly attractive tours have therefore been grouped together under this label - they are easy, medium and challenging day tours of up to 18 kilometers. They often offer unusual panoramic views. They all lead through very different natural landscapes: past the unique Maars, the crater lakes of the green volcanic Eifel, through purple flowering juniper heath, along gurgling streams or sunny vine terraces. Again and again, the landscape opens up to the Moselle or Rhine, to valleys and castles. A multitude of magnificent medieval buildings tell of centuries past - of knights and princes, kings and princesses who lived here in magnificent chambers, strolled in enchanted gardens and never tired of rebuilding their destroyed castles even after wars. Sometimes they even transformed them into fairy-tale castles.

Dream paths - not only for little people

The views of old knight's castles are also fascinating for children and therefore a nice incentive for a hike - especially since the dream trails are also available in miniature format. The ten "dream trails" are between three and seven kilometers long. Some of them come without long and steep climbs and are therefore ideal for a relaxed tour with the family. How about the "Moselle Dream" along ancient vineyard walls up to the Domgartenhütte lookout point? Or with an excursion along the dream trail "Kleiner Stern", with a view of Andernach and the Neuwied basin?

A classic: the Rheingold Arch

Already Johann Wolfgang von Goethe raved in his poems and travelogues about the magic of the region, about the legendary and much described Rhine romanticism. A beautiful medium-difficulty round to start is, for example, the dream path "Rheingoldbogen". The almost 13-kilometer-long circular hike starting in Brey promises varied changes of scenery. The first ascent leads through dense forests, while traces of the ancient Romans are soon visible: Water pipes, released through old shafts, run along the path. The trail continues on a pleasantly springy forest floor in the direction of the Jesuit monastery Jakobsberg, before the path then slowly descends again. 

On the largest bend of the Rhine

Why this is a real dream trail, you understand at the latest at the Bopparder Hamm, the largest Rhine loop, which winds smoothly around green slopes. Here, the beautiful panoramic view of the Rhine valley with Boppard, Filsen and Osterspai opens up. Riesling, Rivaner and Pinot Noir thrive on expansive vineyard slopes. Finally, from the Rhine plateau, the view falls on the stately Marksburg Castle standing on a rock cone on the opposite side of the Rhine. It is the landmark of the town of Braubach and the only hilltop castle on the Middle Rhine that has never been destroyed. From the torture chamber to the knights' hall and armory to the witch plants in the knight's garden, this castle exudes a truly medieval atmosphere. Via a meadow path, the Rheingoldbogen dream trail leads back to the starting point in Brey. Sounds tempting? Then all you have to do now is pack your daypack, lace up your hiking boots and off you go.

Here are four more dream trails to choose from:

1. the volcano trail

This dream trail takes you to the lofty heights of the Ettringer Bellberg and promises fantastic views of the crater landscape of the Eastern Eifel. Tour character: 6.7 km, approx. 2 hours, level: medium.
All info about the tour

2. the Schwalberstieg

This dream trail starting in Niederfell leads along refreshing streams and a beech high valley finally to the highlight: a beautiful view of the Moselle valley. Tour character: 13.2 km, approx. 4 hrs, level: medium.
All info about the tour

Relaxed rest - view from the bench over the valley near valley near Kobern-Gondorf with Niederburg © Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus GmbH/Dominik Ketz

3. cave and gorge trail Kell

A whole potpourri of nature experiences awaits hikers along the way. The trail leads to the Wolfsschlucht gorge and to a waterfall, in trass caves and to a Roman spring and offers magnificent views again and again. Tour character: 12.1 km, approx. 3.5 hours, level: medium.
All info about the tour

The Keller Reservoir: On its 11th stage from Kell to Riveris, the Saar- Hunsrück Climb passes by Kell am See © Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus GmbH/Dominik Ketz

4. eifel dream

It doesn't get any greener than this. Ideal for a hot summer day is this dream trail. It leads hikers under a canopy of shady gnarled oaks, beeches and pines to a refuge that provides cooling: a Kneipp basin in the middle of nature. Tour character: 5.3 km, 1.7 hrs, level: easy.
All info about the tour

Cover photo: Marksburg Castle, built in the 12th century, towers above Braubach on the Rhine © Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus GmbH/Dominik Ketz

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