Hiking vacation in the land of the Nibelungen: Heidelberg, Neckarsteig and Odenwald in one week

8 Days

Your trip

Hand on heart – have you ever been to the Kurpfalz?

This tour offers you a round arch through the inner Kurzpfalz with its old capital Heidelberg, the lovely wine route at the edge of the Odenwald with its castles and picturesque half-timbered towns high up to the Neckarsteig into the land of the Baden freedom fight against Prussia around the Romantic Four:

Eight castles in Eight days – and I bet you’ll find more!

For two days you will travel along the Rhine: On the long-distance trail Odenwald – Vosges you will approach the castle and the old town of Heidelberg from the north, coming from Weinheim. Then we “turn left” and hike along the Neckarsteig through the gorges and deep rocky outcrops that the Neckar has carved into the warm red red sandstone.

A special highlight offers you the mountain festival on the fourth day.

If you like – join us in the canoe and paddle along the Neckar from Eberbach to Zwingenberg with its wildly romantic Wolf Gorge and the castle of the Princes of Baden. If you don’t want to go swimming, then you can also cover the Zwingenberg leg on foot along the Neckarsteig.

Welcome to the Rhine and Neckar!

Accommodation and catering

You will stay in two very high quality, regiotypical hotels on ***star to ****star level. A rich breakfast is included in the price.

The route and its requirements

The proposed day hikes are technically easy and good condition. You follow mainly forest paths, but are also in some narrower places in rocky terrain on the way. Surefootedness and sturdy shoes are therefore undoubtedly important.

In the middle of the week you can relax a little – but you don’t have to.

They are on the move up to just under 20 km a day, so they hike on mainly paved forest paths for 6 h to 8 h a day.

You can shorten any hike almost at will and continue by train. You can also skip individual stages or – on your own – replace them with alternative, shorter routes. Therefore, we classify this trip in the category “challenging” and “flexible”.

On our theme page you will find ideas for excursions, events and dates in the region.

The trip is not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for detailed information if needed.

Arrival and transfers

We recommend that you arrive by train. Get in on the vacation at home. Arrive here relaxed. Dream a little during the return trip. Make yourself comfortable and book one of our rental bikes.

Please drive via

> or via

> by long-distance or regional train.

There please get on the streetcar line 5

> Direction Weinheim / Mannheim (coming from Heidelberg) or

> Direction Weinheim / Heidelberg (coming from Mannheim)

um. Please take line 5 to Schriesheim train station.

You have a 49 € – Germany – Ticket?

Great! Please bring it with you – we will refund you 25 Euro, that is 50% on the basic price of the tour!

You don’t have a Germany – Ticket yet and you don’t want one?

Also good. We can provide you with tickets for the transfers. However, the total price is then unfortunately above the € 49 ticket. If you agree with this, please be sure to book the option“Transfer Person” in addition!

Oh by the way

The trip is also available as a short vacation. Why don’t you take a look?

> The trip 226c create Si a long weekend.

In addition, we also have two bike variants on board:

> The 225b invites you to a rather leisurely round trip through the Kurpfalz.

> The 225a gets them up to speed and mileage a little more.

In addition, we also offer it as a short vacation, which you can freely arrange as you wish. This offer can be found under the number 226b.

Notes

Please note our information on entering Germany, Austria and Switzerland under our country information. Please also see our notes on package tours.

Unforgettable

  • Heidelberg, its warmth, its castle
  • The wine country of the Bergstrasse with its castles and half-timbered towns
  • The Odenwald with its Nibelungen saga, its simple beauty and vastness
  • The Neckar with its cycle path, the Romantic Four with their old towns and castles

From day to day

Individual arrival :
Day 1

Individual journey to Schriesheim

Are you traveling by train?

Please travel by train via

  • Heidelberg HbF or via
  • Mannheim HbF.

Please change to streetcar line 5 in the direction of

  • Weinheim / Mannheim (coming from Heidelberg) resp.
  • Weinheim / Heidelberg (coming from Mannheim).

Take line 5 to the Schriesheim Bahnhof stop.

Are you traveling by car?

Please drive directly to the starting hotel. Public parking is available within walking distance of the hotel.

Hotel
Weinheim - Schriesheim :
Day 2

Day hike Weinheim – Schriesheim, approx. 19 km, 600 m, ~ 7 h ↑↓

Your first day takes you along the western slopes of the Odenwald along the forests, valleys and lovely wine towns of the Baden Bergstrasse on the long-distance hiking trail Odenwald – Vosges. You start with breakfast in Schriesheim below the Strahlenburg. Once a fortress of the imperial monastery of Lorsch, Heinrich von Kleist’s knightly drama Das Käthchen von Heilbronn is said to have taken place here.

Please take the streetcar line 5 from Schriesheim Bf for nine stops to the station Alter OEG-Bahnhof (stop Weinheim) to the two-castle town Weinheim. With the Windeck Ruin on the Schlossberg and the Wachenburg on the Wachenberg, Weinheim amusingly offers a home to the oldest and the youngest castle on the Bergstrasse.

If you like, start your day tour with a detour up the Schlossberg to Windeck Castle.

Otherwise, linger a moment in the old town and please walk through the castle park up the north slope of the Geiersberg opposite the two castles through the Weinheim Exotics Park. Follow the white – red – white marked Odenwald – Vosges – path. Now you will dive deep into the Odenwald. Leave Oberflockenbach on your left, enjoy great views. On the way to the Ursenbacher Höhe you will pass a small sea of rocks.

This erosion form of magmatic deep rock is typical and not rare in the Geopark Odenwald. Shortly after the Ursenbacher Höhe, after ~ 12 kilometers of walking, you will reach your highest point for today at 430 meters. From now on it goes back to the Rhine valley below the Strahlenburg to Schriesheim.

Please follow our tour description on komoot.de.

Congratulations! The first start has been made. We count: 3 castles and 1 castle

Breakfast
Hotel
Schriesheim - Heidelberg :
Day 3

Day hike Schriesheim – Heidelberg, approx. 16 km, 600 m ↑↓, ~ 7 h

Hopefully, you will remember today as one of the most beautiful days. Via paths steeped in history and grandiose views, it leads you along the famous Heidelberg Philosophers’ Path and down the narrow Snake Path into the old town of the Kurzpfalz region.

First we climb up through the town to the Strahlenburg and then steeply uphill to the edge of the Schriesheim quarry with its climbing paradise on the Ölberg. From here you have a wide view over the Rhine Valley, Mannheim to the Palatinate Forest.

We follow the old border path with beautiful views into the Odenwald and partly deeply cut hollow ways up to the lookout tower and high altitude inn on the Weißen Stein. Continue to follow the well-known white – red – white Odenwald – Vosges – path in the direction of Heidelberg.

Just before descending to the Philosophenweg, the trail has three more surprises in store for you.

The impressive ruins of the Michaelskloster monastery above Heidelberg on the hilltop of the Heiligenberg with its magnificent distant view of the Rhine plain.

A little further down, you will come across a huge forest stage with a view over the Rhine towards France – one of the so-called ‘Thingstätten’, which the NSDAP had erected throughout the Reich after seizing power. It once provided space for 20,000 spectators for völkisch indoctrination and propaganda of the Aryan master race. Today it lies peacefully there in the woods, offering space and sun to visitors and lizards.

All this is surrounded by a ring wall, probably the oldest structure in the Heidelberg area. The Celts built a castle and settlement up here in the Bronze Age around 400 years before the birth of Christ.

Following the path further, you will pass the Heidenlochloch and the ruins of the former St. Stephen’s Monastery.

Via the Bismarck Tower and the world-famous Philosopher’s Path, you descend the Snake Path to Heidelberg’s Old Bridge and into the Old Town.

Please walk the entire Neckar riverbank or the inner city pedestrian zone, the Heidelberg Hauptstraße all the way through to the end to Bismarckplatz. There, please get back on the streetcar line 5 in the direction of Weinheim and get off at 12 stops until Schriesheim Bahnhof.

Done! We count: 3 castles, a castle, two monastery ruins, a devil’s hole and a fortress rampart

Heidelberg - Neckargemünd :
Day 4

Day hike: Heidelberg – Heidelberg Castle – Königsstuhl – Neckargemünd, approx. 17 km, 600 m ↑↓, ~ 7 h

From Schriesheim you drive – just like yesterday only in the opposite direction – again to Heidelberg to the Bismarkplatz. If you like, walk along the main street towards Heilig Geist or walk east along the Neckar promenade towards the Alte Brücke. Our route tip on komoot.de takes you up the Königsstuhl in a zigzag.

From the old town we first climb up the castle path to the once world-famous terraced garden of the castle. Even if the day is still fresh – we should take a little time for the park, the castle and its impressive fortress ruins.

After leaving the electoral splendor on the uphill side, we walk a short distance along the newly laid historical path. he commemorates the siege and storming of Heidelberg by the Bavarians led by General Tilly during the Thirty Years’ War some 400 years ago. We zigzag uphill via the Upper Castle, a former outer castle of the castle, and the Molkenkur.

There are hundreds of paths up the Königsstuhl. The most regal – and exhausting – is undoubtedly the ladder to heaven.

We follow it only the last part and before that we make a hook over the poacher’s cross in the electoral forest.

Welcome to the summit!

We leave the Königsstuhl to the east along the Via Naturae through the electoral city forest. A short detour during the slow descent is still worthwhile to the Heidelberg Felsenmeer. There is hardly a more beautiful distant view of the Neckar and the Heidelberg mountain towns of Ziegelhausen and Schlierbach than from here.

Follow the Neckarsteig further east until you reach the old town of Neckargemünd. If you like, take a detour through the city park to the ruins of Reichenstein Castle above the city. Stroll a little through the small center and go in the evening with the S – train (S1 or S2) from the station Neckargemünd old town 4 stations to Eberbach main station.

You will reach the day’s destination Eberbach.

Done!
We count: 5 castles, two chateaus, two monastery ruins, a devil’s hole and a fortress rampart

Breakfast
Hotel
Canoe or hiking tour to Zwingenberg :
Day 5

Canoe or hiking tour to Zwingenberg

Today is a day of rest. But even if the mountain town of Eberbach itself is worth a day, we have prepared a nice excursion idea for you – active, that is.

Set out for the festival town of Zwingenberg am Neckar with its wonderfully pretty castle of the Princes of Baden. Go by canoe, go on foot, just as you like.

In Zwingenberg we recommend a short hike through the Wolf Gorge. You will find the entrance at the end of the village directly below the castle. According to legend, this very gorge found its famous echo in Freischütz. Whether true or not. Carl Maria von Weber’s opera with its magical elements makes the gorge a legendary place with a magical flair.

If you want to dare the canoe tour, please book the option“excursion canoe tour” with. You need a little courage, but you can paddle without any previous experience. We will briefly introduce you to the paddling and steering techniques and show you the start, finish and stopover in Zwingenberg.

Survived! We count: 6 castles, 2 chateaus, 2 monastery ruins, a devil’s hole and a fortress rampart

Breakfast
Hotel
Eberbach - Hirschhorn :
Day 6

Day hike Eberbach – Hirschhorn, approx. 13 km, 350 m ↑↓, ~ 6 h

The walk today is relaxed – but rewards you with one of the most beautiful destinations of this castle-filled week. We follow the Neckarsteig to the west in the direction of Hirschhorn Heidelberg. In the morning, a stroll through the beautiful old town of the Neckar and mountain town of Eberbach is worthwhile.

The promenade in extension of the city wall has garnished the city with all kinds of sculptures from the regional and craft history.

A real eye-catcher full of exciting information and stories.

If we first go along the Neckar for a while, we leave it at the end of the town at the Gelita company. We go up towards Tannenkopf and above the village of Igelsbach with great distant views on the north side of the Neckar valley towards the west. Via Hoppe Hütte, the Neckarsteig leads us on a beautiful descent trail to the wildly romantic castle complex of Schloss Hirschhorn.

There is probably no more beautiful castle complex in Germany than this ensemble of old town, city walls, castle and palace.

If you are on the castle, you will inevitably pass the “Wedekind Stone” in front of the middle gate. It testifies to a battle, a then much admired respectable success of the Baden revolutionary troops against the attacking united armies of the German Confederation under Prussian leadership. The freedmen managed to hold the castle for a few days before they had to flow to Eberbach. Cannonballs in the Hirschhorn mill, defensive ramparts and partisan graves in the forest still bear witness to the battle.

A recommended route is via the Hirschhorn monastery through the old town to the train station. From there, take the S-Bahn (S1 or S2) one stop back to Eberbach.

Done! Found!
We count: 7 castles, 2 palaces, 2 monastery ruins, a devil’s hole and a fortress rampart

Breakfast
Hotel
Neckarsteinach - Heidelberg :
Day 7

Day tour: Neckarsteinach – Dilsberg Fortress – Neckargemünd, 8 km, 340 m ↑↓ ~ 4 h

For the last day of hiking we propose two partial hikes.

First we take the train from Eberbach to the four-castle town of Neckarsteinach. From the train station there, if you like, you can take a detour into the old town and walk back along the pretty Neckar promenade. In any case, please cross the Neckar over the lock bridge – whether directly from the train station or after a morning pint in the old town. The route description can be found, as always, at komoot.de.

By the way, in 1622 the Bavarian General Tilly stood here and shelled the Dilsberg with his men during the Thirty Years’ War. The fortress held firm. Only when Heidelberg fell into the hands of the Catholic League a short time later, did the fortress town of Dilsberg, situated high above, also surrender.

Let’s follow the Neckarsteig and climb up the Dilsberg directly from the sling gates. The former Electoral Palatinate fortress town is well worth seeing and rewards the effort of the climb with a magnificent panoramic view.

You should give a while to the fortified town. There are a few nice little cafes in the old town. Then follow the Neckarsteig over the rocky paths in the direction of Neckargemünd. At the train station Altstadt you now have the choice:

  • Either you decide the walking work for today and this week. Then please take the S-Bahn in the direction of Heidelberg. Get off the train in Heidelberg Altstadt and walk calmly to Bismarckplatz. There, take streetcar line 5 and return to Schriesheim for a final night on this tour. You already know the route very well.
  • Alternatively, take the same train but only go two stops to Heidelberg Schlierbach. From here you can still follow a short panoramic hike over the Russenstein, a beautiful rocky path to Heidelberg.

If you decide to hike, let komoot.de guide you again, this time over the second part of the day. You hike via the Benedictine abbey Stift Neuburg – with a nice courtyard cafe – towards the Russenstein and via the Philosophenweg back to Heidelberg.

The price for this extra tour should also be mentioned: approx. 8 km, 200 m ↑↓ ~ 3 h.

Done! Congratulations – and count incredible
11 castles, 2 palaces, 2 monastery ruins, a devil’s hole and 2 fortresses in one week

Breakfast
Hotel
Individual departure :
Day 8

Farewell day – or extension

Stay – or come back! There is still so much to experience.

If you have to go home in between, we wish you a good trip.
If you – just like us – have fallen in love with the region: We are always looking for good colleagues :-)!

Services

contain

  • 7 x overnight stays in typical, family hotels of outstanding quality and character
  • 7 x breakfast and packed lunch
  • 1 x rental bike, as booked

not included

  • Anything not explicitly listed as included, including in particular:
  • Parking, arrival and departure
  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Admissions

Dates and prices

Travel start Tue or Sat possible in …
Season 1 02.05. – 04.11.
The day of arrival determines the season.
All prices per person. The prices in the booking form or shopping cart apply.
Travel package Season 1
Double room w. breakfast 800 €
Single room w. breakfast 1.400 €
Extra nights
Schriesheim: double room w. Breakfast 80 €
Schriesheim: single room w. Breakfast 120 €
Additional services
Rental bike e-bike 100 €
Rental bike tours 250 €
Transfer 70 €
Please note: Depending on the accommodations we book for you, the overnight stops may differ from the start and finish points indicated in the route plan. Please refer to your individual hotel list for accommodation locations! Also, in many places you have freedom to shorten the path or make it different. The proposal presented here is therefore more for inspiration and orientation than for compulsive imitation. We recommend: Download the komoot app on your phone, search for this "Collection", download the routes on your phone and let the app guide you as navigator and inspirer. Especially in the Rhine Valley, the navigation is very helpful not to get "stuck" in any dead ends and commercial areas.

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