Time Zone: GMT+1/UTC
Tipping: Service and VAT is included in prices in restaurants and bars in Germany. However it is typical to round up the amount, usually by adding 5-10% and ensuring the amount ends in a full euro amount.
The Rhine Valley is one of Germany's most visited regions on coach holidays due to its compact area filled with wonderful explorations to be made. Vineyards and castles bless hillside landscapes and Rhineland culture and hospitality is welcoming whichever town or city you roam through. The region is the true essence of beauty; boat excursions or even cruises must be enjoyed if visiting this area of Germany, especially the Rhine in Flames and Rhine River Light events.
Take a coach holiday to Beethoven's birthplace Bonn to be part of the fast and furious Grand Prix action or Rhineland's cosmopolitan capital Cologne for the huge Carnival celebrations while getting to know its 2,000-year history. Come the winter Christmas markets can be found in many different cities and towns of the Rhine region. Koblenz, Monschau and Rudesheim are cosy traditional markets, while Cologne with its seven different markets offers huge selection.
Christmas and New Year are also perfect for visiting the region as traditional flavour and flair give a new aspect to the festive season. The rivers may be cold but the warmth from locals provide fond memories and stories to tell on your return home.
The beauty of an escorted tour is that you'll be in the best and safest hands when it comes to holidaying in foreign lands. To help you have an enjoyable holiday in the Rhine Valley, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Health and Travel Insurance
Contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country-specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide, is available from NHS Choices.
If you are visiting Germany you should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as German nationals. The EHIC will not cover medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation. Most tours offer the chance to purchase one-trip travel insurance at the time of booking.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.
Crime levels are broadly similar to the UK but take sensible precautions to avoid mugging, bag snatching and pick pocketing. Be particularly vigilant at airports, railway stations and Christmas markets and do not leave valuables unattended. If your passport has been stolen, you must go to the nearest police station and get a police report.
For stays of up to three months your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Germany.
British Citizens do not need a visa to enter Germany. If you hold a different type of British nationality, check entry requirements with the German Embassy.
Any other nationality looking to visit Germany must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about Rhine and the Moselle Region please visit the Official Tourism Website at romantic-germany.info.
From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to wine, here a few must-dos whilst in the Rhine Valley:
The Rhine River
There's no better way to experience this region than taking an excursion or cruise along the Rhine river. With many castles dominating the hillsides, invest in a guide book to understand the history and significance of each. Cochem, Koblenz and Rudesheim are key embarkation points and offer the perfect setting before or after your time on the fast-flowing river.
The Rhine and Moselle Valleys combined have over 22,000 hectares of land producing fine Riesling and Pinot Noir wine amongst some other well-known varieties. Whether you want to hike through the vineyards at your own leisure or climb the hillsides on a tourist land train, the possibility to find out why this region can produce full of flavour grapes that goes on to make one of the sweetest wines enjoyed all over the world can be taken by you.
UNESCO World Heritage sites
There's no hiding from the culture to discover in many different towns across the Rhine Valley, from the Roman remains in Trier, including the cathedral and church of Our Lady, to the final resting place of Salian Emperors at the Speyer cathedral. 75km of the 500km Limes archaeological sites run through the Rhineland region, making it popular with those who have a keen interest in this history.
Aachen and Monschau
One city and one village, both steeped in history and charm. Aachen is famous for hot springs turned into thermal baths by Charlemagne, who enticed many kings and queens to the area. 2014 sees the 1200th anniversary of Aachen's legend's death when celebrations and exhibitions will bring to life his connections to the city. Monschau was once a key industrial village, and the famous Red House was built in 1752 and used to make and design cloth for many years after. Now you can view in the offices thousands of drafts and the masterpiece of the house, a self supporting spiral staircase made of Oakwood.