Germany off the beaten track

Würzburg: Mozart Festival in the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Residenz" (Residence) © Oliver Lang

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The Name of the Wine...

So close to the metropolis Frankfurt, and yet embedded in a unique cultural landscape, Mainz is an ideal starting point for all those who would like to set off on exciting tours of discovery: in the footsteps of the ancient Romans through 2000- year-old "Moguntiacum". On a wine pleasure trip through the vineyards of Rhine-Hesse and the Rhinegau. Or on a trip in time back to the Middle Ages to the castles and castle ruins along the Rhine. They are strung like pearls on a string - and that not 20 minutes drive from Mainz.

For a little relaxation on the river, take a boat trip on the Rhine to see the thousands of acres of postcard-perfect, vineyard-dotted landscape lining its sloped banks. With 7,400 acres planted with the "queen of the vines," the Riesling grape, the Rhine Valley region is a wine paradise for lovers of the sweet beverage it produces. Several times daily, Rhine riverboats set course for the UNESCO World Heritage Site Oberes Mittelrheintal (Upper Middle Rhine Valley), past the Lorelei (Lorelei Rock), steeped in legend, and romantic wine-growing villages.

The Rheingau region extends from Wiesbaden to Rüdesheim to the east of the Rhine. Your first stop might be Kloster Eberbach (Eberbach Monastery), a former Cistertian monastery. It was here that the indoor scenes for the film "Der Name der Rose" (The Name of the Rose) were made. Rüdesheim is just a short ride away. A ride in the cable car to the Niederwalddenkmal (Niederwald Monument) is probably on your list. A stroll through the famous Drosselgasse (Throstle Alley) will round out your excursion.

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