If you are hardy and in reasonably good shape, one of the more popular ways to approach the Philosopher’s Walk is to cross the Old Bridge over the Neckar River to the entrance for the “Schiangenweg” (i.e. the “Winding Path”), a rather steep and winding pathway up the mountain.
Once we reached the Philisopher’s Walk, which indeed was nestled amongst vineyards, we discovered several flower beds containing exotic looking plants not found in the valley below. Somehow, the climate up on the mountain is more favorable for these plants than can be found down in the town itself.
In addition to the enjoyment we got from exploring nature on the mountain, our love of historical landmarks was peaked by discovering that there were ruins of a 4th century BC Celtic Hill Fort and 11th century monasteries (St. Michael’s and St. Stephen’s, both
branches of the nearby Lorsch Abbey) further up the mountain. In 1935, Hitler’s Nazi Party constructed an amphitheater (known as “Thingstatte”) higher on the mountain. It is still here intact.
We had a delightful time exploring this fantastic Heidelberg landmark, particularly because of the views it offered of Old Town down across the river.