The lovely region of Rheineland-Pfalz is located on the western border of Germany, adjoining Luxembourg. It is a popular area with Americans who enjoy the many festivals held here. The area is rich in castles, with one at almost every town; picturesque towns with mural-painted houses and Roman ruins. This area is Germany's leading producer of wine and the wine routes in the south west are lovely. They are particularly busy in late summer, when the wine festivals are celebrated. The largest festival is the Durkheimer Wurstfest, or sausage festival, but the wine far outweighs the amount of sausages consumed!
The Mosel Valley is one of the prettiest valleys in the world and runs from Trier in the southwest of the region, to the famous Deutsches Eck in Koblenz. The winding river valley which stretches for about 50 miles (80km) is lined with beautiful vineyards. The better known German Wine Road also runs through the area further south, towards the French border. In the early autumn there is a continuous circuit of wine festivals in these areas offering wine tasting, parades and cultural events.
This region's specialities are sausages served with heaps of potatoes and sauerkraut. The Pflaz region serves Saumagen, a bologna made with pork and potatoes which is sliced and grilled. In this region beer takes a backseat to wine, especially as most of Germany's white wine is produced in this region.
The capital ofRheineland-Pfalz is the city of Mainz at the southern end of the Rheinland, Germany's premier wine region. It is home to some of Germany's most scenic castles and, although a modern city, it has some great museums.
In the southeast of Rheineland-Pfalz are the historic cities of Worms and Speyer which are both dominated by huge old Cathedrals. Speyer Cathedral is beautiful both inside and outside and has a massive crypt. The freshly painted town buildings which line Maximilianstrasse always make a colourful sight, along with the traditional maypole and the Altportal. The town also has some lovely churches such as the tiny Heiliggeistkirche or Holy Ghost Church. On a more modern note, Speyer has a Technik Museum with military aircraft and hardware on display.
Further north is Koblenz where the Rhein and the Mosel River meet. The Ehrenbreitstein Castle is one of the largest in this area with a maze of battlements and there is also the more modest 13th century Koblenz Castle. Take a ferry across the river and enjoy the historic architecture in this lovely city. The nearby towns of Weindorf and Bingen am Rhein are also worth exploring. In the far southwest is the modern metropolis of Kaisersalutern which has some historical treasures.
Those staying in a holiday rental in Rheineland-Pfalz will find the summers warm and sunny and the winters cold. The area gets a little rain or snowfall all year round. Summer temperatures average 74°F (23°C) in August and it remains warm until well into October.
The main international airports serving Rheineland-Pfalz are the Bonn/Cologne (CGN) Airport which is 40 miles from Koblenz and Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) which is 48 miles away.