Excursions to Surrounding Areas
You can use the Tour Search box (top right-hand corner of the home page) to select a guide who will accompany you to the area of your choice, in the language of your choice. The following picturesque locations are easily accessible from Heidelberg:
Mountain Road – Neckar Valley – Odenwald Forest – German Wine Route – Schwetzingen – Speyer – Worms
Situated between the Rhine and the Odenwald mountains, Heidelberg is an ideal base for exploring the vast range of beautiful old towns and stunning landscapes in the region.
The historic cities of Speyer and Worms played a key role in Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish history throughout the centuries. Today they present moving vestiges of their former grandeur and significance.
Just twenty minutes from Heidelberg, Schwetzingen’s enchanting summer residence and majestic gardens transport visitors back to the splendour of the mid-eighteenth century. Prince Elector Carl Theodor designed the magnificent baroque gardens as a monument to the golden age in which he reigned.
This day trip takes you through the Roman city of Ladenburg in the Rhine valley to Weinheim on the Bergstrasse with its lively old town, picturesque leather-tanning quarter and atmospheric castle garden.
After continuing on to Heppenheim with its historic market square, we return to Heidelberg via the Odenwald Forest and the Neckar Valley.
German Wine Route
A Day Trip along the German Wine Route:
Experience a day in Germany’s second largest wine-growing area, and discover
at first-hand why the poet Karl Gottfried Nadler was inspired to write, “Joyful
Palatinate, may God preserve it!”
Speyer is our first stop:the ancient imperial city of Speyer, host to numerous Imperial Diets, is home to the largest remaining example of Romanesque architecture in the world: the imperial cathedral dedicated to St. Mary.
Hambach Castle sits majestically atop a mountain spur. The castle, originally a medieval fortress, is considered “the cradle of German Democracy” after the Hambach Fest that took place there in 1832. The view across the Rhine valley is breathtaking.Neustadt an der Weinstrasse lies in the heart of the Palatinate on the German Wine Route. Visitors can enjoy a stroll through the historical old town with its lovingly restored half-timbered houses and narrow, winding streets.
We will be happy to arrange a private wine tasting session for you with one of the region’s outstanding vintners.
Schwetzingen as a half-day tour
Approx. 4 hours (including bus ride)
In the heart of the small town of Schwetzingen, a magnificent palace complex, the summer residence of the prince electors of the Palatinate, transports visitors back to the golden days of the 18th century. The castle garden, with its ornamental fountains, tree-lined alleys, minareted mosque, pavillions, temples and sculptures, was constructed under Prince Elector Karl Theodor (1742-1799), who had a passion for art and culture.
The meticulously tended flowerbeds of the circular formal garden, laid out along the geometrical lines of a French baroque garden, are changed several times a year, according to the season. Beyond this, an expansive landscape garden with shady corners, and numerous lakes, ponds and waterways invites visitors to enjoy an unforgettable, leisurely stroll.
Schwetzingen as an all-day tour in combination with Speyer
Approx. 8 hours (including bus ride and a break between tours)
Speyer, the imperial cathedral city on the Rhine, is particularly attractive to guests interested in art and cultural history. In 1981 the imperial cathedral of Speyer was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site as “a major monument of Romanesque art in the German Empire”. The foundation stone was laid in 1030 under Emperor Konrad II, and the cathedral was consecrated in 1061.
In the cathedral’s expansive forecourt stands the great Cathedral Bowl, which for centuries marked the boundary between imperial and clerical law. The bowl has a capacity of 1572 litres, and each new bishop had to fill it with wine for the people of the town. In recent years, this ritual has been carried out ten times.
The old town’s magnificent main street, named Maximilianstrasse after Bavaria’s first king, Maximilian I Joseph, and now fondly called “the Max”, is the center of life in the city. Along this impressive avenue, emperors, kings, princes and bishops made their entrance into the city. Today “the Max” is lined with attractive shops and cafés.
Speyer’s Jewish community was one of the most important Jewish settlements of the Middle Ages. The community flourished for more than 400 years, enjoying a spiritual and economic heyday in the mid-thirteenth century. The mikvah, one of the best-preserved Jewish ritual baths in Europe, was in use until the mid-sixteenth century and can still be seen today.
Entrance to the cathedral is free; entrance to the cathedral crypt is € 3.00.
Entrance to the mikvah and the synagogue courtyard is € 2.00.
An excursion to Worms can be arranged as a half- day tour (approximately 4 hours, including bus ride) or as an all-day tour (approximately 8 hours including a break) in combination with a tour of Heidelberg
Only one hour from Heidelberg by bus lies the more than 6,000-year-old city of Worms. Today Worms is famous for its magnificent cathedral, built in the 11th and 12th centuries, and for its Luther Memorial, the world’s largest memorial to the Protestant Reformation. It is also home to Europe’s oldest Jewish cemetery, a green oasis in the heart of the city.
All three main attractions are located in the center of the city, just a few minutes’ walk apart. Additionally, throughout the city you can find sculptured reminders of the Nibelungenlied, the timeless saga of passion, jealousy, intrigue, ambition, and full-scale slaughter that has transfixed readers for centuries.
Some of the region’s finest wines originate in the vineyards around Worms. A visit to the city offers a wealth experiences and impressions, both cultural and culinary, and can be arranged with Heidelberg guides as an excursion on its own, or in combination with a tour of Heidelberg.