rüne Flussauen, steile Weinhänge und alte Ritterburgen umgeben das wildromantische Neckartal, durch das der Neckar seit Jahrhunderten fließt. Green river meadows, steep vineyards and ancient knight castles surround the wildly romantic Neckar valley, through which the Neckar has flowed for centuries. The Neckar rises in the Black Forest and flows through Stuttgart through Heilbronn to Mannheim, where it flows into the Rhine somewhere. All in all, he travels almost 400 kilometers through Baden-Württemberg from his source to the mouth of the Rhine. We drive on a day's stage along its most beautiful valleys from Hessigheim to Heidelberg through one of the most beautiful river landscapes in Germany: the wild and romantic Neckar valley. Our Neckartal Roadtrip is also a section of the castle road.
Neckartal Roadtrip: Hessigheim Rock Gardens
Hessigheim is located on the German Wine Route. Here we drive with our convertible through cute small wine villages along the Neckar. Steep vineyards rise from the river valley. In Hessigheim worth a stop in the rock gardens Hessigheim. High above the Neckar valley, climbers get their money's worth on steep rock faces and walkers hike up the steep slopes between the grapevines to have a fabulous view of the Neckar valley from up there. However, you should plan a bit more time to visit the rock gardens in Hessigheim. When I am here, there is always a Swabian onion cake with new wine in the parking lot.
Bad Wimpfen is a real insider tip, even under Baden-Württemberg. Hardly anyone knows the nice half-timbered town. Bad Wimpfen was once the largest imperial palace north of the Alps and is still proud of it today. Imperial palaces are places where the emperors and their entourage have been traveling and speaking justice or doing other business. In Bad Wimpfen even Friedrich Barbarossa Palatinate is said to have once held. Even today, the Palatine Chapel, the arcades of the Hohenstaufen Palace and the Blue Tower are among the city's greatest attractions. But it is also worthwhile to walk over the old brick paving stones and to look at the many old half-timbered houses and village fountains that lovingly decorate the inhabitants of Bad Wimpfen. The entire old town of Bad Wimpfen is a listed building. And from the top you also have a super nice view of the Neckar valley. Bad Wimpfen is located about 10 kilometers from Heilbronn. In the Advent season, there should be a beautiful old German Christmas market, which I have not visited yet.
for lunch at Burgschenke Burg Guttenberg
For lunch, we head to the castle tavern at Burg Guttenberg. The old Stauffer castle from the 12th century is said to be one of the oldest castles in Germany. From up there you have a fantastic view over the Neckar valley with its winding river. With a little luck, you can see an eagle circling around the castle tower, because Burg Guttenberg also owns the German Greifenwarte, which is home to over 80 birds of prey. In the castle museum you can get an authentic insight into life on a knight's castle from the 12th century and climb the castle tower.
From April to October there will be daily flight demonstrations at 11am and 3pm.
continues our convertible road trip along the Neckar valley. One castle joins the next and you do not know where to look. But one of them stands out especially:
"He can lick me in the ass!" - that is probably the most famous quote from Goethe's play "Götz von Berlichingen". The robber baron Götz von Berlichingen with his iron hand actually existed in the 15th century and he lived here in the beautiful Neckar valley at Burg Hornberg. The knight spent 45 years at Burg Hornberg am Neckar in the village of Neckarzimmern, not far from Bad Wimpfen. Picturesque the castle towers on a hill above the river. By the way, the second oldest remaining winery in the world, which uses the steep terraces for traditional wine growing, is at its foot. Here you can also stop in the restaurant or stay overnight.
Neckartal Roadtrip: Vierburgenstadt Neckarsteinach
After Hornberg Castle shows the Neckar valley what it can and unfolds its full splendor. For me by far the most beautiful route on our Neckartal Roadtrip. The road leads directly along the river Neckar through green meadows and on the hills around grows wine and forest. And of course, perched on every hill is an old knight's castle from the Middle Ages. The Neckar valley is really rich with castles (similar to the romantic Rhine Valley). The most beautiful stage is located between the so-called romantic four. The romantic four are the places Neckargemünd, Neckarsteinach, Hirschhorn and Eberbach. The picturesque highlight is the four-castle town of Neckarsteinach. Here you look at four castles in a place that rise above the Neckar: Vorderburg, Mittelburg, Hinterburg and Castle Schadeck. The area here is so beautiful that you should stay here for a bit, to hike, cycle on the Neckartalradweg or canoeing. You could also change to a boat and continue on to Heidelberg, which is only about 15 kilometers away. But for all this time we have no time, we continue our Neckartal Roadtrip with the convertible.
Neckartal Roadtrip: Heidelberg
Heidelberg is the epitome of German Romanticism and is known to tourists around the world. Above all, it was the poets and philosophers who made Heidelberg famous through their well-known works and carried the city's reputation throughout the world. They came to Heidelberg on the Neckar to study at the oldest university in Germany . Among them personalities such as Joseph von Eichendorff, Gottfried Keller, Georg Friedrich Hegel, Jürgen Habermas, Hannah Arendt and many others. Heidelberg has remained a student city to this day and the philosopher's path is reminiscent of the philosophy students of that time. The philosphy students used to take pleasure in strolling and contemplating God and the world while enjoying the stunning view of the city. A prominent landmark of Heidelberg is the famous castle ruin on a hill above the Neckar, to which, however, also a train goes up. From the top you have - again - a fantastic view of the Neckar valley and Heidelberg with its noble villas on the banks of the Neckar. Other highlights include the old stone bridge and the Old Gate. The old town invites you to stroll. Although I must honestly confess that the old town of Heidelberg is much too busy for me, especially in the summer months here is bustling and there are tourists from all over the streets. Fast food chains destroy the homelike flair and the waiters in the restaurants are so unfriendly that we have left the city without eating anything. I would therefore recommend to visit Heidelberg in the off season. However, Heidelberg is worth a visit despite the bustle and it is best to stay overnight right here, to explore the beautiful Neckar valley from here with a little more time.
Explore attractions in Heidelberg:
- explore Heidelberg's attractions with the Heidelberg Card *
- Heidelberg city tour through the old town *
- Heidelberg city tour to witches, executioners, Hübschlerinnen *
Christmas market in Heidelberg:
Conclusion for the road trip through the Neckar valley information
Our Neckartal Roadtrip in Heidelberg ends for us and we drive the entire route back to Schorndorf, from where we started. Unfortunately, we only planned one day's stage for our road trip this time. It would of course be better if you plan several and longer stops with overnight stays, because only then you have enough time to really look at all the highlights and sights in the beautiful Neckar valley or maybe go hiking a bit on the way. Especially in Heidelberg offers an overnight stay. Who wants to go further: Schwetzingen is not far away and offers a beautiful castle with garden.
Do you know the romantic Neckar valley already? What were your highlights or did you now feel like driving through the Neckar valley? Write me your feedback in the comments!
read my other articles about the region:
Information about the castle road
The castle road is a German highway. It starts in Mannheim and even leads to Prague in the Czech Republic. In Germany, it leads through the states of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Bavaria. A road trip along the castle road leads through picturesque villages and along numerous castles and palaces.
Stages on the castle road along the Neckar:
- Castle Hornberg
- Castle Guttenberg
- Bad Wimpfen
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