367 kilometers of Neckar romance
“Germany, in the summer, is the perfection of the beautiful, but nobody has understood, and realized, and enjoyed the utmost possibilities of this soft and peaceful beauty unless he has voyaged down the Neckar on a raft.”
He was right, good old Mark Twain, and that’s why we can highly recommend taking a trip through the Neckar Valley. Actually, from here you would be voyaging up the Neckar (and not on a raft, we suspect), but that makes no difference.
Rivers make extremely practical tourist destinations. Traveling along them – whether by land or water – you can directly take in all the picturesque sights they have to offer. You may pass by towns and villages along the shores and feel tempted to linger, or discover castles and fortresses perched on the hillsides to the left and right that seem to call out: Hey, I’m worth a visit, feel free to stop by!
So if you believe that “the journey is the reward,” then take a trip up the Neckar as it winds its way through the Odenwald range towards Mannheim, across a wonderfully romantic hilly landscape carved out by the river in prehistoric times. Neckargemünd, Neckarsteinach, Hirschhorn, Eberbach, Mosbach, Bad Wimpfen ... charming villages full of timber-framed houses await you everywhere. Dilsberg Castle, the four castles in Neckarsteinach, Hirschhorn Castle, the ruins of Eberbach Castle, Zwingenberg Castle, Hornberg Castle, Horneck Castle, Guttenberg Castle, the Staufen Imperial Palace in Bad Wimpfen – the Neckar must have been pretty popular among the castle builders of yore. This list of sights only covers the last 100 kilometers of the river – and it is by no means complete, either. If you decided to keep going at kilometer 101, the list would go on and on like that for the next 267 kilometers until you reach the source of the Neckar in the Black Forest ...
You see: the Neckar Valley is almost a must for visitors to the Palatinate region – and the “perfection of the beautiful” can be found here not only in summer but all year round.