Along the Castle Road on the Neckar

Along the Castle Road on the Neckar


As a tributary of the Rhine, the Neckar river winds a total of 362 km from the Black Forest to Hesse. On our tour along the Castle Road on the Neckar, you can discover fairy tale castles and palaces, great viewpoints, and picturesque old towns between the Heilbronn region and the Odenwald. There is no shortage of sights in the Neckar valley. More than 60 castles, ruins, and palaces are located along the Castle Road on the Neckar. Here, you can follow in the footsteps of emperors, princes, and robbers, stop at cozy castle restaurants, or simply enjoy the unique view. Choose the most beautiful hikes or bike tours and put together your very own Castle Road tour.

Burg Hinterburg: Don’t forget your flashlight

Our tour starts right off with a highlight: About 15 km from Heidelberg, located on the Odenwald mountain road, is the Four-Castle Town of Neckarsteinach. You can visit all four castles within about 10 minutes on foot. While the front and middle castles are privately owned, you can visit the Hinterburg Castle and Schadeck Castle. After a short walk through the forest, you’ll reach the impressive Hinterburg Castle. The climb up the tower, including the viewing platform, is a bit strenuous and especially pitch black. A flashlight is an absolute must here. However, the breathtaking view of the Neckar loop and the opposite Dilsberg Castle is well worth it.

Extra tip: The sister castle Schadeck, also known as Swallow’s Nest, is also worth a detour..

Castles & Ruins

Experience the Middle Ages at Dilsberg Castle.

From the Hinterburg, it’s only 8 km to the Dilsberg Castle Feast on the other side of the Neckar. The castle ruins are located in the center of the medieval town of Dilsberg, offering a fantastic panoramic view of the Neckar valley and the Odenwald. Those traveling with children should be prepared for a strenuous climb. The two-euro admission fee is definitely worth it for visiting the castle. The slightly lower accessible well tunnel is also exciting – perfect for little adventurers. You can take a short break at the chocolate factory in Dilsberg. Cake lovers will be thrilled. Those traveling by camper can find a great campground right by the river at the Friedensbrücke in Neckargmünd.

Castles & Ruins

Hirschhorn Castle – Stop on the Neckar View Tour

Continue to Hirschhorn Castle, which you can reach after only 17 km. The historic Renaissance building is situated above the picturesque old town of Hirschhorn on a rocky spur of the Stückberg. Civil wedding ceremonies regularly take place in the old castle chapel. Hikers and cyclists can make a stop at Hirschhorn Castle on the 13 km long moderate Neckarblick Runde. In the Palas of Hirschhorn Castle, there is a hotel with a restaurant where you can refuel for the rest of the tour.

Castles & Ruins

Margravial Residence Castle Zwingenberg

Approximately 20 km further along the Castle Road on the Neckar River, between Heidelberg and Heilbronn, lies the well-preserved Zwingenberg Castle. The romantic fortress is considered one of the most impressive castle complexes in the Neckar Valley. It has been owned by the Margraves of Baden since 1808 and is still inhabited today. You can best admire Zwingenberg Castle in all its splendor from the other side of the Neckar or from one of the so-called „Winke-Boote“ of Neckar Käptn. These boats run all day on the Neckar. For a nearby day trip, the Felsenmeer in Lautertal is a great option. The large collection of rocks is said to have been formed during a dispute between two giants. It’s a great spot for kids to climb.


Mosbach Market Square: Experience Markets, Half-Timbered Houses, and More

At a distance of 17.5 km from Zwingenberg Castle you will reach Mosbach, located at the southern foothills of the Odenwald. The historic old town with its idyllic marketplace is surely one of the most beautiful sights in Germany. Here, you can admire centuries-old half-timbered art in all colors and shapes. The marketplace, dominated by the imposing town hall tower, hosts changing experience markets throughout the year. From antiques to flowers, herbs, and pumpkins, there is almost everything here. The nearby romantic Wolfsschlucht is beautiful for hikers. In summer, the Mosbach Castle Festival takes place here every year.

Towns, Villages & Squares

Two communities under one roof – Mosbach Collegiate Church of St. Juliana

During a visit to the Old Town of Mosbach, you should definitely plan a visit to the St. Juliana Collegiate Church Mosbach Collegiate Church of St. Juliana. What’s special about the Mosbach church is that it is a simultaneous church, meaning it is divided into an evangelical and a Catholic part. It is referred to as the collegiate church by the Protestant community and as St. Juliana by the Catholic community. The organ and the historical frescoes on the walls are particularly worth seeing.

Monasteries & Churches

Hornberg Castle on the Neckar: Residence of Götz von Berlichingen

Whoever is traveling along the Castle Road on the Neckar River naturally wonders: Where is the castle of Götz von Berlichingen? Hornberg Castle on the Neckar is only 8 km away from Mosbach on the same side of the river.

Practical for campers: Right between these two towns, there is a motorhome parking and camping site directly on the Neckar river. The perfect starting point to explore the surroundings by bike.

Hornberg Castle became known as the residence of Götz von Berlichingen. The “knight with the iron hand” lived here until his death in 1562. Today, a hotel with a restaurant is housed in Hornberg Castle, where conferences, weddings, and receptions often take place. A visit to the venerable castle is worthwhile!

Castles & Ruins

Schloss Horneck – on to the second largest castle on the Neckar

Another “Places of Germany” highlight is the impressive Horneck Castle, located 6 km away. The castle towers impressively over the town of Gundelsheim. The best way to reach Horneck Castle is by bike along the Castle Road bike path. From the Eberbach Castle ruins, you can reach Hornberg Castle in about 3.5 hours, making it the second largest castle on the Neckar River. It became known as the residence of the German Master and thus, after Riga and Marienburg, as the third headquarters of the Order. Today, the Transylvanian Cultural Center and a castle hotel are located here.


Walkable history book Gundelsheim

One of the most beautiful places in Germany is certainly the picturesque town of Gundelsheim, located at the foot of Horneck Castle. The old town with its winding alleys and historic half-timbered buildings is fascinating for visitors. The “Walkable History Book” is an exciting attraction for tourists. This historical path through Gundelsheim provides information on 17 display panels about the past of the German Order town of Gundelsheim. The town is also known for the “Himmelreich” vineyard located on the Michaelsberg behind Horneck Castle, which is the steepest vineyard still cultivated in Baden-Württemberg. For those who prefer to see Gundelsheim from the river, they can take a Neckar excursion boat to Bad Wimpfen or Heilbronn.

Towns, Villages & Squares

Guttenberg Castle: Knight’s castle with falconry.

On the other side of the Neckar river from Gundelsheim, just 3 km away, stands the Guttenberg Castle, perched high above the valley. As one of the few completely preserved castle complexes from the Staufen era, it served as a refuge for persecuted reformers. Hence the name, “Wartburg of South Germany”. Along the Burgenstraße on the Neckar, Guttenberg Castle with its exhibition “Life in a Knight’s Castle” and the Falconry is a great destination for families. Twice a day, impressive flight demonstrations take place with eagles, vultures, and other birds of prey at the German Falconry.

Castles & Ruins

Exploring the old town of Bad Wimpfen

If you are traveling with a caravan on the Neckar route, you will find a year-round parking space at the Kurpark of Bad Wimpfen. The health center with the Solebad Bad Wimpfen is located adjacent to it. You can walk to the romantic old town about 1 km on foot. You can explore the numerous sights and interesting buildings on one of the many discovery tours, including special tours for families or beer lovers. A must-see is the “Blaue Turm” (Blue Tower) of Bad Wimpfen in the castle district. Germany’s first female tower guard has been living here for many years. Another highlight: Every summer, the Talmarkt folk festival takes place in Bad Wimpfen.

Towns, Villages & Squares

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