The Rhine with its 1,321 kilometers is the longest and most important waterway of Europe. There is a good reason why the residents of the Upper Rhine Valley also lovingly call it “Father Rhine.” The broad river – which starts in the Swiss Alps and digs its way through Europe to the North Sea coast in Rotterdam – makes the region in the tri-border area of Germany, France, and Switzerland an important connecting link for international shipping routes. The many harbors are transshipment point for millions of tons of goods. But not just the economic aspect makes the largest European waterway so important: The river and its shores are a highly diversified recreational paradise.
On one of the cruise vessels that are designed for every requirement, you can experience the Rhine in all of its beauty. Past the pristine nature sanctuaries, idyllic Rheinaue wetlands, and an imposing watershed, you sail through the various landscapes that represent the region’s charm. You can also relax at one of the shore restaurants and savor the region’s typical delicacies with a view of the river. In addition, one can enjoy the ambience of an elegant ship on one of the many Rhine cruises that sail from Basel, Breisach, and Strasbourg over the cathedral cities of Mainz and Speyer to the Lorelei. Avid outdoor athletes can go on guided canoe tours, jump into the waves, or explore the protected stretches of the landscape with their rich flora and fauna during various hikes.
The Upper Rhine Valley
The beautiful Upper Rhine Valley is located in the heart of Europe, where the Rhine connects France, Germany and Switzerland. With an area of more than 21.000 km² the region is almost as large as Tuscany, and has the same centuries-old tradition of attracting tourists who love art, culture and fine cuisine. The Upper Rhine Valley is a compact region of versatile scenery and culturally of extraordinary diversity with many charming towns and villages on both sides of the Rhine. The economically prosperous region with its six million inhabitants is within easy reach and offers its visitors a lot of everything.
It never takes more than ten minutes to get from one highlight to another. Famous for its short and mild winters and pleasing summer temperatures from April to October, the region is one of the most beautiful and fertile landscapes in Europe: The markets, vineyards and sophisticated restaurants as good as gold for gourmets; the Gothic cathedrals in Freiburg, Basel and Strasbourg, medieval castles and the countless museums with art collections ranging through history make it a MUST for art connoisseurs; the unique landscape is a paradise for golfers, hikers and ramblers, swimmers, bikers and outdoor fans. Some twenty million overnight stays each year – of which many guests are returning visitors – confirm the region’s outstanding appeal to tourism.