Have you ever heard of the Remstal in Baden-Württemberg? This beautiful valley in the south of Germany has shaped around the river Rems and is filled with rolling vineyards, deep forests and beautiful views from everywhere. But … without the crowds that you may typically find in the Moselle or the Eifel regions, for example. In collaboration with Baden-Württemberg Tourismus and Stuttgart Tourismus, I made a short hiking trip in this region. In this blog article I will tell you why a visit to and a walk in the Remstal should definitely be on your bucket list! And psst …. that’s not just for the excellent wines that are produced here!
About the Remstal
The Remstal is located from west to east between Stuttgart and Aalen in the south of Germany. Their motto is ‘Natur, Kultur, Wein’ and that is exactly how I experienced the Remstal myself. In the valley, the hills are covered by steep vineyards and you can really enjoy the good life here. In addition, there are many historic villages and towns, such as Schorndorf and Strümfelpbach, where you will find beautiful old half-timbered houses. In this short video you get a quick impression of the area:
The good thing about hiking in Germany
I’ve been coming to Germany for their excellent hiking trails for years now. To me, Germany is a perfect hiking destination where I can step onto the trail carefree during the day and enjoy a good meal and a nice glass of wine in the evening. Since I’m traveling by train from my hometown in The Netherlands this time, I’m taking walks that can easily be done by public transport. This is super easy, as a train runs through the Remstal and the villages that are not along that line can be reached by bus. Depending on the number of days you use public transport, you can buy a pass for several days, with which you can use all regional trains and buses.
A city walk in Schorndorf
We start our visit to the Remstal with a city walk through Schorndorf. This is Gottlieb Daimler’s hometown. I’m not that much into cars and automobile history, but if this seems interesting to you, be sure to visit the Gottlieb Daimler Geburtshaus on the Höllgasse. At first we try to follow a city walking route, but soon we decide to leave it and just stroll through the narrow streets at our own discretion. We sit down on the terrace, take pictures and shelter from the downpour. Despite the rain it is nice to be back in Germany.
We stay overnight in the charming Boutique Hotel Pfauen, right in the center of Schorndorf. It is a half-timbered house with a rich history, next to the birthplace of Gottlieb Daimler. The current owners have recently completed an extensive renovation. The small-scale and historic character has been preserved, but the rooms are spacious and comfortably furnished. There is an espresso machine and a fruit platter ready for us to start the day with. The hotel restaurant is currently closed, but if I can believe the reviews, this restaurant alone is a good reason to return to Schorndorf again.
Hiking the RemstalWeg
The RemstalWeg is a 215-kilometer long distance hiking trail that starts in Fellbach and ends in Remseck am Neckar. There are a total of 11 stages that vary in length between 11 and 25 kilometers, but can be shortened or extended at your own choice. Along the way you regularly pass through villages where you can spend the night and/or take public transport back to your starting point. We walk from Strümpfelbach to Winterbach, a distance of about 20 kilometers. The official stage runs between Strümpfelbach and Schorndorf and is 22.3 kilometers long. However, a thunderstorm was coming and we decided to shorten it.
Between vineyards and orchards
The RemstalWeg is marked in the landscape with yellow signs. We pick it up effortlessly in Strümpfelbach and soon rise above the village, into the vineyards. The trail is simple: we follow the paved road that winds through the vineyards. Once at the top we have a beautiful view of the surroundings at the Karlstein. We descend to Schnaitt through orchards and along narrow forest trails. Immediately after the village the trail goes steeply up again. This time it is the middle of the day and super warm, there is a water hose at the top and we like to use that to cool ourselves.
After Schnaitt we enter the forest and cross the Nonnenberg. Around us dark skies gather and rumble. We arrive on top of the mountain, where the small village of Manolzweiler is located. Here we will have a break until the rain is over. As it remains dark and threatening, we eventually descend via Engelberg to Winterbach, where we board the train back to Schorndorf. Arriving here it starts pouring down from above and we decide to drink the bottle of wine that we got for along the way in the hotel.
Hiking the Remstal yourself? This will help!
You can pick up a booklet including a route map at the various tourist information offices along the route. The trail is well marked, but we still had to search for signs every now and then. That is why I recommend that you also download the GPX just in case. The start and end of each section are accessible by public transport and along the way you regularly pass through villages where you can spend the night. There are hardly any campsites, so it is mainly a trail that you walk from hotel to hotel (or gasthaus, B&B, etc.). Freedom camping is not allowed in Germany. The trail is quite simple and not very technical yet is has a lot of climbs and descents. A large part of the section we walked was paved, something to take into account when choosing the right kind of hiking shoes!
The Stuttgarter Weinwanderweg
The next day it is time for another hike: the Stuttgarter Weinwanderweg. This 12 kilometer circular walk starts at the train station in Obertürkheim and takes you, via Uhlbach and the Rotenberg to Untertürkheim. Here you can get on the train back to the starting point or also walk this last part. Because we only had the morning available (we traveled to Lake Constance in the afternoon) we shortened the route slightly.
Our walk leaves from Obertürkheim and immediately goes up steeply. Our guide tells us interesting facts and stories about wine making in the region along the way. She points out a few wineries where you can taste wine (which were unfortunately still closed at the time of our visit) and possibly have a nice meal.
In Uhlbach we stop for a cup of coffee and admire beautiful half-timbered houses. After this it is quite a climb because the Grabkapelle comes into view. This chapel on the Württemberg was built by King Wilhelm I for his wife Katharina, who died only three years after their wedding. The official cause of death is said to be a virus, but she is also rumored to have died of heartbreak. It turned out that King Wilhelm, despite being much loved by the German people, was cheating on her and her heart broke when she found out.
After our visit to the Grabkapelle we enjoy the special views for a while. Special because the vineyards are a huge contrast with the industry of Stuttgart that are down below us. Still, as locals told me, Stuttgart is a very nice city to live in, simply because you can be outdoors and outside the city in no time and it’s is located in the middle of the green hills.
Unfortunately, the local wineries are still closed but will most of them will reopen soon. But we can go to the Rotenberger Weingärtle for a mini-tasting. And for a delicious Käsespäzele: a plate full of cheese and dough but definitely my favorite German dish. In Untertürkheim we board the train to Lake Constance, where our next adventure awaits.
Would you like to hike the Weinwanderweg yourself? Information panels are located at the mentioned train stations, as well as en route. The trail is well marked in the landscape as well. Would you also like to travel with a guide like we did? On this page you will find all guided walking tours that you can take in Stuttgart and the surrounding area.
Also good to know
The Remstal is easily accessible by train. From most places in Germany you can reach Stuttgart within a few hours with the ICE train. Here you can take the train or S-Bahn to the Remstal. When I compare the Remstal with other destinations in Germany, I noticed how wonderfully quiet it was here. Because the Remstal is still relatively unknown for walking, it is especially recommended if you want to go somewhere other than the Moselle, the Harz or the Eifel.
Want to continue reading? Then follow us to the western Bodensee, the next part of our journey.
Conclusion and disclaimer
I was invited to make this trip by Baden-Württemberg Tourismus. All opinions given are, of course, only my own. I traveled when Germany reopened for tourism. Please research yourself what the current travel restrictions are at the time of your journey.