Ahr Valley Travel Guide
The Ahr Valley (Ahrtal in German) is a region in Rhineland Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia that surrounds the narrow River Ahr. It’s also Germany’s largest red wine growing region. Red grapes are able to grow and ripen here, because of the warm microclimate created by the volcanic slate cliffs and soil. The Ahr’s most notable red wines are Spätburgunder (pinot noir), Portugieser, Dornfelder, and Frühburgunder. If you prefer white wine like us, the Ahr also produces exceptional blanc de noir wines.
The Ahr feels like a local secret. Unlike the Moselle Valley and Upper Middle Rhine, there aren’t many foreign tourists who know about the Ahr. During your visit, you’ll be surrounded by locals.
The best way to experience the Ahrtal is by drinking wine, and even better, by hiking the Red Wine Trail (Rotweinwanderweg) while drinking wine. And if you’ve had enough wine, then we recommend venturing to Regierungsbunker for a guided tour of a Cold War government bunker, built between 1960 and 1972. There’s also one Therme (thermal bath spa) located in Bad Neuenahr, which is a good option for a rainy day.
When to Visit the Ahr Valley
We visited twice in summer and had a great time. However, early Fall is probably the most rewarding time to visit, as wine festivals are in full swing in the Ahr’s wine-growing towns.