From the Kurpfalz through the Neckar valley to the Kraichgau.
An impressive prelude to the first tour is the Baroque Palace in Mannheim, one of the largest palaces in Europe. A few kilometres further on, Schwetzingen Castle and the magnificent castle garden welcome visitors. Then follows Heidelberg with its world-famous castle, which for generations has been the romantic reason for guests from all over the world to visit the city on the Neckar. The Castle Road turns here into the Neckar Valley and now largely follows the meanders of the river, which it leaves only for a visit to Mosbach. The Neckar River is dominated by defiant knight's castles high above the valley. They lie close together on the way to the imperial palace in Bad Wimpfen and live up to the name "Castle Road". Examples are Hornberg Castle, for 45 years the residence of the "Knight with the Iron Hand" Götz von Berlichingen, and Guttenberg Castle. Both have been owned for centuries by the barons of Gemmingen and offer an ideal combination of castle romance, fantastic views and warm hospitality. More and more vineyards line the castle road. In Gundelsheim, which is dominated by the imposing Horneck Palace, the route crosses the Neckar and and leads through the Kraichgau to over Sinsheim, where the first section of the tour ends at Steinsberg Castle with its panoramic views.