Praise from the prince of poets and precious marble

There are many ways of discovering the scenery around the river Lahn: you can hike along the Lahn Trail, ride along the Lahn Valley Cycle Path, canoe down the river or take a train ride through the Lahn valley. Whichever you pick, you will be travelling through beautiful forests and idyllic valleys of meadows, little medieval towns and modern spas.

The 290 kilometre Lahnwanderweg Trail leads from the source of the Lahn in the Rothaar Mountains to its mouth, where it flows into the Rhine near Lahnstein, with unspoilt paths and wonderful views of the scenery. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe walked these paths too, and described the view of a cliff at what is now the ‘Goethepunkt’ viewing tower near Obernhof as ‘to die for’. The sparkling ‘Goetheberg’ riesling grows at the foot of the cliff.

Viewed from afar, you could almost mistake Arnstein Abbey for a cathedral. The old Premonstratensian abbey, also near Obernhof, cuts an eye-catching figure in the Lahn valley and attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. Members of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary have worked there since 1919.

The Lahn Trail alternates between the quiet heights above the river and the valley, with its charming towns of Bad Laasphe, Marburg, Wetzlar, Giessen, Weilburg, Braunfels, Limburg and Bad Ems.

View point "Goethepunkt" on the Lahn trail near Obernhof, Lahn valley

View point "Goethepunkt" on the Lahn trail near Obernhof with a view of the Lahn river, Lahn valley

The Lahn covers 245 kilometres from its source at Netphen in North Rhine-Westphalia to its mouth at the Rhine near Lahnstein in Rhineland-Palatinate. The Lahn Valley Cycle Path tracks its route on what are mostly traffic-free and even paths. Riding through the beautiful forests, idyllic meadows and medieval villages is a real joy. Virtually all the villages along the route have a railway station, so you can simply take a train back to where you started when you get to the end.

Cycling tour on the Lahn Valley Cycle Path near Obernhof, Lahn valley

Cycling tour on the Lahn Valley Cycle Path near Obernhof, Lahn valley

Lahneck Castle in Lahnstein, Lahn valley

Lahneck Castle in Lahnstein, Lahn valley

Lahnstein, a town of lively markets and splashing riverbanks, lies near the mouth of the Lahn into the Rhine. Stolzenfels Castle on the left bank of the Rhine and Lahneck Castle on the right form the northern gateway to the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. In the Middle Ages, Lahneck Castle with its pentagonal keep was the northernmost watchpost of the Electorate of Mainz. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was also so taken with the ruins that he dedicated his 1774 poem ‘Geistes-Gruß’ (English title: ‘Ghost-Greetings’) to them: ‘High up on the ancient tower stands the hero's noble ghost, which, whenever a boat passes by, bids it a fair journey.’

The community of Greifenstein lies on the eastern slopes of the Westerwald in the district of Lahn-Dill, and takes its name from the ruined castle in the part of the village of the same name. The 13th century castle houses a unique museum called ‘Glockenwelt’, or Bell World. With nearly 100 bells, it takes visitors on a tour of one thousand years of bells in Germany. And not only can you see the bells, you can also hear how the sounds have developed over the centuries.

Concordia Tower in Bad Ems, Lahn valley

Spectacular view of Bad Ems from the Concordia Tower, Lahn valley

Marble Lahn Bridge at Villmar, Lahn valley

Marble Lahn Bridge at Villmar, Lahn valley (Hesse)

The view from the Concordia Tower in Bad Ems is fantastic. Once you have climbed the 76 steps up the tower, which is open all year around, to stand on the platform at the top, you are 265 metres above Bad Ems and can see the whole spa district in the Lahn valley. The view also extends as far as the Westerwald, Hunsrück and Taunus. On warm summer evenings when the visibility is good, you can even see the Freiherr vom Stein Tower of Nassau Castle.

The Lahn Bridge at Villmar is one of the final destinations of the marble quarried in the Lahn valley until 1970. Others include the entrance hall of the Empire State Building in New York, the Maharajah's palace in Tagore, the Hermitage in St Petersburg, the Kremlin in Moscow and in the cathedrals in Berlin, Würzburg and Mainz. There is also glistening grey and red marble in Weilburg Castle and in the pump rooms at the imperial spa of Bad Ems.

Discovering the city of Bad Ems by bike, Lahn valley

Discovering the Lahn riverside promenade of Bad Ems by bike, Lahn valley

More leisure tips for nature lovers in the Lahn valley:

More information about holidays in the Lahn valley

Find out everything you need to know on events, attractions and other destinations in the Lahn valley at the Lahntal Tourismus Verband e.V.

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