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Upstream, downstream! The Rheingau Riviera and its history

A guided tour by boat to the stately villas between Eltville and Walluf while enjoying picnic and wine on board.

Quick Details

Meeting point: 65357 Oestrich-Winkel, jetty at Leinpfad & B42, between Hotel Schwan, P01 and church Sankt Martin, near Alter Kran

Directions: A66 direction Rüdesheim, exit Oestrich-Winkel, Oestricher Kran

Included in the tour fee: Themed tour, picnic and wine

Note: the ship has a maximum capacity of 12 people.

Additional dates, group dates or company events are available on request.

Please note that there is a handling fee for processing your booking and printing your ticket immediately as print@home.

up to 12 people


With the discovery of the Rhine landscape and its development by steamship, not only tourists came to the Rhine in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but also well-funded builders: wholesalers and industrialists settled in the Rheingau, in the vicinity of the old aristocratic estates.

“Protzkästen” – that’s what the locals called the stately villas that the newcomers had built high above the Rhine, between Eltville and Walluf, as retirement residences, surrounded by extensive parks and garden terraces, with a view of the river and the towers of Eltville. They commissioned important architects such as Hermann Muthesius and Wilhelm Kreis, a native of Eltville, who built the white castle on the Königsklinger Aue, opposite Crass Castle. The most famous garden architect to embellish the villa landscape along the Rhine was Heinrich Siesmayer, the creator of Frankfurt’s Palmengarten: he was commissioned to design seven parks in and around Eltville.

Today, the stretch of river between Eltville and Walluf, where the Rhine barges were once pulled upstream on long ropes by horses and men, is one of the most beautiful walks along the Rhine. This is where new lovers like to meet, where friends are out and about, admiring the landscape or engrossed in conversation, where barbecues are held on the beach, parasols are set up, and the very brave even dare to go into the river to look at the area from a duck’s perspective. We, too, change perspective and, coming from Oestrich, explore the landscape between river kilometre 511 in Eltville and river kilometre 508 in Walluf, by boat, up the Rhine, with a view of the Rhine meadows, the riverside promenades and the magnificent villa panorama: only from the river does the Rheingau Riviera unfold its full splendour.

Our boat tour:

Let yourself drift and, over food and wine, listen to the stories that tell of life on the river: of the old riverside landscape with its reed-lined bays, of the sailing ships that sailed the river with their goods, of the work of the towmen and ferrymen, of the spa guests who docked in Eltville by steamer to be transported to Schlangenbad and Bad Schwalbach, and of the villas and gardens along the Rhine: Of rich people who demonstrated their wealth (and lost it again), of benefactors and benefactresses whom the Rheingau people remembered with gratitude, and of architects who made their mark on the Rhine.