Hiking enjoyment amongst the vineyards!
We now leave the narrow streets of Bacharach to return to the RheinBurgenWeg below Stahleck Castle or in the "Painter's Corner". The RheinBurgenWeg leaves Bacharach through the Steeger Tor Gate and immediately challenges your fitness levels: you need to climb the very steep path up the town ramparts! After this first test of fitness, the RheinBurgenWeg becomes a grassy path and you climb steeply uphill through old vineyards until finally reaching the side of the slope. Time for a breather!
The tour now takes on a more sedate aspect as it crosses the Rhine plateau, with few uphill or downhill sections, nevertheless offering quite awesome views of the Rhine Valley between the meadows and vineyards. The trail crosses both stream and road in the Leimbach Valley to return to the edge of the slope. There you pass the fork to the passenger ferry to Kaub and come a little later to the Sauzahn Lodge, offering a truly superlative view.
You'll find it hard to drag yourself away to follow the diverting trail along the edge of the Middle Rhine Valley. Further wonderful views await you! You soon reach the first one after the Elligbach Valley: the Pfalzblick ("viewpoint") lodge, which does justice to its name and presents the Rhine with Pfalzgrafenstein Castle from a genuine "box seat".
After a short section along the side of the road, the trail heads into the Engebach Valley and, from here, passes through extensive vineyards. Once again you're treated to magnificent views until you come to the K90. The trail now heads downhill for a short way, before crossing the road and continuing along a narrow path to the next cultural highlight: suddenly you're faced with the mighty Schönburg Castle ahead of you!
And yet there's still more to come on today's section. You discover this a few metres on when the RheinBurgenWeg winds down the rocky Elfenley path to Oberwesel. Sure-footedness is called for and you really need to stop if you want to savour the truly wonderful views. All too soon, today's stage comes to an end at the fork in the road heading to the historic town centre where you should definitely make time to visit the ramparts that can be walked on and the Church of Our Lady.