Ahr Valley in Germany: Hiking the red wine trail (Rotweinwanderweg)
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The Ahr Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Germany, all the worse that the valley was hit particularly hard by the 2021 flood disaster. And now, about a year later, great concepts are being offered to (again) inspire people to hike in the Ahr Valley. True to the motto: SolidAHRity - hiking for reconstruction.
Hiking for reconstruction: This is currently what awaits you in the Ahr Valley
There are currently restrictions when it comes to access. Currently (as of May 2022) the parking spaces in the winegrowing villages are still closed, but a shuttle system has been introduced with which you can easily get to the Ahr Valley on weekends, both with your own car and with public transport. As many restaurants and wineries have not yet reopened, there are numerous food and wine stands along the trail. Please use this, because the proceeds benefit the local people. You can find up-to-date information on the Instagram channel of the red wine trail and the Ahr Valley Tourism website.
The classic route on the red wine trail through the Ahr Valley
The red wine trail begins in the small wine-growing town of Altenahr and ends after 35.6 kilometers in Bad Bodendorf. If you want to walk the whole way, you should split it up into two days. We walked the section from Altenahr to Ahrweiler. Incidentally, this is also considered to be the most beautiful section of the red wine hiking trail. On this route you pass the towns of Mayschoß, Dernau, Rech, Marienthal and Walporzheim.
The hike begins in the center of Altenahr. Always following the signs, we follow the path to Are Castle. Incidentally, it leads behind some residential buildings, but is easy to find thanks to the red grape sign. We made a small stop at the castle. Already here you have an incredible view of the valley and the vineyards.
Continue in the direction of Mayschoss. Here the path leads through a coniferous forest. The air is immediately a little cooler and fresher. Once you have passed the forest, the beautiful view of the wine village of Mayschoß is revealed.
The hiking trail now leads further and further through the vineyards, sometimes the path literally meanders through the vines.
Whenever you think it can't get any nicer, new perspectives become available.
When the sun gradually sinks and provides a particularly beautiful light, the day is perfect. A special highlight is still waiting, which I definitely want to recommend.
Highlight on the red wine hiking trail: the Marienthal monastery in the Ahr valley
You should at least have seen the Marienthal monastery, which fortunately was able to reopen a few months after the flood disaster. The special feature: The monastery is mostly a ruin, so that you can sit between open castle walls and look at the sky and vineyards while eating. In addition to the large restaurant, the monastery also has a wine shop where you can buy wine and specialties from the Ahr Valley.
After the visit, we decided to stay on the red wine trail for another section. And shortly before Bad-Altenahr, the path takes on a completely different character. Here you can already see the city and have a somewhat freer view. You also get a foretaste of what the second large section of the red wine hiking trail looks like.
The red wine hiking trail in the Ahr Valley is so dog-friendly
We did the hike with our dog Frieda and were amazed at how dog-friendly the trail is. You should just know that there can be quite a lot going on on the way at lunchtime. It is therefore advisable to run either very early or very late. The paths themselves are very well signposted, always easy to walk on and suitable for every fitness level.
You should bring enough water with you, as it can still be very warm even in October. Shadows are rare. And about duration. We were on the trail for a total of around seven hours and covered 18 kilometers. Sure, you could be much faster, but small stops to drink wine, eat and take photos are definitely part of it.
The Red Wine Hike
- Arrival: By car or public transport (please check the current location)
- Starting point: Altenahr Castle, the path is already signposted in town
- Route: 35 kilometers in total, length is variable. We walked 18 kilometers.
- Suitable for dogs: Very!
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