It comes as no surprise that two of Europe’s most-loved rivers have a myriad of spectacular cities, towns and villages dotted along them. There’s nothing better than diving into the French and German cultures that have woven themselves into every nook and cranny, around every street and corner. Join us in on a 15-day river cruise where all the treasures of the Rhine & Rhône will be revealed!
As you approach Mainz, you can’t miss the towering spires of its cathedral that have dominated the skyline for over 1,000 years. At its feet, you can explore the medieval neighbourhoods, the winding alleyways and charming shops and restaurants. For bookworms, Mainz is a must-visit! Did you know that Mainz was the birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the letterpress? Johannes turned the world on its head with his invention in the 15th century and has since been commemorated at the Gutenberg Museum. Here, you can view two of the Gutenberg ‘bibles’ – the first books printed by Johannes himself.
Rüdesheim is one for the wine connoisseurs! Not only does it produce stellar Rieslings and Pinot Noir (just to name a few!), its location is perfection. With the Rhine gently flowing in front of it and vineyards stretching above the town, cobblestone-paved streets and the German half-timbered houses that we adore, you can’t help but fall in love at first sight.
The charming city of Mâcon imbues scenes of picture-perfect pastel houses in the southern end of the Burgundy region of France. You will also find ancient ruins, grand churches and – in true riverside style – a historic bridge that connects the right and left sides of the riverbanks. With so much history woven into the city, you can’t miss the L’Apothicairerie de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Mâcon – a hospital dating back to the 1770s – and its apothecary that has been frozen in time with classic walnut cabinets housing old medicinal jars.
Tucked in amongst lush greenery, the medieval town of Viviers was established around the 5th century. Delightfully car-free in its Old Town, you can wander with abandon and discover this treasure along the Rhône. There is uniformity amongst its buildings with their pale-stone exteriors, peppered with a mix of Christian, Roman and medieval influences along the way.
Commonly known as the City of Popes due to being dominated by the Palace of the Popes, Avignon has developed into a true French treasure and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also has a vibrant cultural and art scene, so the small town packs a punch when visiting. Time your visit with July and you might be in luck to see its annual festival, regarded as one of the biggest performing-arts events in France.
These are just some of the treasures you’ll find on the 15-day ‘Rhine & Rhône Revealed’ river cruise! Take a look at the full itinerary by clicking here.