The most famous section of the 820-mile Rhine River is the Rhine Valley. Its stunning countryside, beautiful castles and ruins, picturesque towns and hills full of vines have earned it the nickname "The Romantic Rhine." The almost 50-mile glacial alpine valley runs between the cities of Bonn and Bingen in Germany, spanning the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate.
The area has been a major tourist attraction since the 19th century. Reichenstein and Rheinfels castles, along with the famous Loreley—a rock that soars almost 400 feet above the waterline—are three of the most popular attractions. The valley is one of the 13 recognized wine districts in Germany. The sunny, dry and warm climate provides excellent conditions for growing grapes, and vines can be found all over. The annual Night of the Thousand Flames, when 50 illuminated ships convoy to the town of St. Goar to watch the illumination of the Loreley rock, is a popular event.