If you’ve ever wanted to enter a fairytale paradise, look to the timeless enchantment of the Rhine River. This gentle river starts in the Alps and extends to the North Sea, gently kissing green riverbanks in Switzerland, Austria, France, Liechtenstein, Germany and the Netherlands. Along this watery pathway, a pivotal part of the physical and historic landscape of Europe, you’re find charming towns, lush natural scenery, and copious folklore. If you share this adventure with your loved one, you may feel like you’ve written your own epic tale of passion and glory.
The Swiss Alps are nothing short of breathtaking, and this is especially true where they feed into the Rhine River. You could start with a rental car in Zurich and savor the peaceful serenity of Lake Constance, a large lake which borders three different countries. On a peaceful afternoon, you should rent a small boat in a picturesque town along the lower lake and take your loved one for a quiet cruise. Among the graceful scenery and nautical sense of privacy, this is an ideal setting for you and your travel companion to express your heartfelt devotion. The couple who seeks a little bit more excitement should take in the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe and then explore the little shops and eateries in the medieval town of Schaffhausen. Of course, anyone touring the Rhine in Switzerland should sample chocolates in Basel, and then dance well into the night in the city’s historic north bank.
The Franco-German Border
After spilling out of mountainous Switzerland, the waters of the Rhine form the border between Germany and France. Rolling vineyards, dense forests and quaint little villages line both sides of this gentle yet glittering border. If you’re driving a rental car, it’s worthwhile to explore the nearby nature preserves and sample the best examples of both French and German cuisine and fine wines in the sidewalk cafes of Colmar, a small, historic city bejeweling France’s Alsace region. The larger, bustling international city of Strasbourg offers further examples of blended culture in addition to the elegant gothic cathedral, fantastic museums, palaces, and parks. See the gorgeous river from the central island, the entirety of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, or declare your affections in French, German and English for a truly international romantic experience.
Castles and folklore define the region of Germany known as the Rhine Valley. With the dozens of stone fortresses and elegant castles that line the river between Mainz and Dusseldorf, it appears as pages from a storybook, and it has the narratives of history and mythology to accompany the view. The mysterious rock of Loreley supposedly houses an enticingly fair-haired mermaid that lures men to their deaths while the banks of cosmopolitan Cologne are rumored to host a population of mischievous elves. Legends of brave knights, dragons and damsels in epic battles both factual and fanciful will inspire travelers to seize the countryside as though it were their destiny to savor every day of this epic journey.
The Rhine River splits into numerous branches almost immediately after crossing the border into the Netherlands. This forked network of deltas extend into a large portion of Holland, connecting cute towns and bustling cities with the sea and the world, at large, as it has for centuries. Among the springtime tulips, enchanting windmills and ultra-modern cities, you will find an abundance of sights to take your breath away. Take in the lush wildlife at the Hoge Veluwe National Park, or the medieval and gothic spires and bridges in Utrecht, the country’s oldest city. Rotterdam is ultra-modern and bustling, but still you can still see signs of its 13th century origins in the enduring and friendly Delfshaven district, creating a nice juxtaposition of city lights and soul. If you really want to treat your sweetheart to sweet and sensual tokens of affection, you should go on a spree at the world-famous Amsterdam Bloemenmarkt, a year-round outdoor bazaar of blossoms. Afterward, you can see the city by horse and carriage or even hire a canal cruise for two!
Whether you decide to take a river cruise or rent a car and tour this incredible part of the world at your own leisurely pace, the Rhine River provides the perfect setting for an epic tale of adventure and romance. All you need to do is provide the heroes. Auto Europe can help you save when you travel by offering discount car rentals, airfare, GPS rentals and hotels. Our award-winning customer service and top-notch travel partners ensure that the story will unfold without a hitch. It only takes a moment to book your rental car online through our simple three-step process. Of course, if you need more information or booking assistance, you can speak with our travel experts at any time, toll-free by calling 1-888-223-5555.