Last Updated: 18th Sep 2011
The town is very small and peaceful which is often nice break after an often crazy time in Amsterdam. If you’re tour is traveling north it also makes it a great place to rest up before arriving in the Dutch capital.
The town itself is famous in the region for a number of things, the least of which is the ‘Burg Rheinfels’ castle that resides over the town below. As with many of the castles in this fairy-tale part of the middle-Rhine, the Burg Rheinfels was built during the middle-ages and re-fortified during the 16th century. In a region that is famed and filled with castles, the Rheinfels in St Goar is the largest in the region and also one of the oldest.
Another one of St Goar’s claims to fame is that it is home to the largest free standing outdoor cuckoo clock in the world! It hangs from the side of a store in the main street of the town. Even though this clock pales in comparison to the Glockenspiel of Munich and the Astrological Clock in Prague, people always take photos of it. Cuckoo clocks originated in the Black Forest a little south of St Goar and if you want to pick up an authentic German made clock, this is the place.
Other opportunities to shop for Germanic products in St Goar include Steiff teddy bears, Birkenstock sandals and authentic German beer steins. With Contiki you also have the opportunity see a presentation and learn more about German beer steins, many of which are manufactured near the Rhine Valley.
Otherwise the Rhine Valley and St Goar is a very peaceful, safe and relaxing part of any tour while the region also has a reputation as being one of the more romantic parts of Germany, it is also famous for the Rhinelander trains, biking holidays and cruises along the river (sometimes included on summer tours visiting St Goar).
The town is also famous for being very near the ‘Loreley Rock’ – a steep cliff that rises up from a narrow bend in the river. German mythology says was home to a young woman name ‘Loreley’. Legend has it that she threw herself off the rock into the river because of an unfaithful lover. She then became very much like one of the Sirens or Capri, with her haunting tones luring sailors to crash their boats into the banks of the Rhine. She has since been immortalized and is very popular in poetry and song as well as Germany folklore.
Another thing the Rhine Valley region is very famous for is white wine production. Up until the First World War, the Rhine has a reputation for producing the best Rieslings in the world. Although the world wine market has since offered up a myriad of different whites, the vine covered slopes of the Rhine still maintains their reputation for producing some of the best sweet white wines in the world. Tours visiting St Goar have the opportunity to take a wine tasting excursion in a wine cellar dating back to the 1600’s.
St Goar is a one night stop on Contiki Europe tours that travel through the Rhine Valley. Some tours stay in the town of St Goar while other tours stay in nearby towns in the region.
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When you do the wine tasting, definately buy a bottle (or two or three) of their Ice Wine. My dad has been in the wine, liqour, and spirits industry for 20 years and he said it was by far the best ice wine he has ever had! Enjoy!