Dreamy promenades, picturesque half-timbered villages, steep slate slopes with fantastic views and fairytale castles and palaces – sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? In order to spend a wonderful holiday in the middle of nature, we don’t always have to wander far into the distance. Whether a vacation in the Bavarian Forest or some of the most beautiful lakes in Germany – there are just as beautiful places in this country and the varied nature delights tourists from all over the world. The Moselle region is one of the most spectacular landscapes in Germany and is the perfect travel destination for everyone who appreciates enjoyment and comfort. This year you are somehow not in the mood for a typical beach vacation and would rather explore your homeland instead? So how about a relaxing holiday on the Moselle? In this article you will find the most beautiful towns, castles and excursion destinations on the Moselle that are always worth a visit!
Why is a Moselle vacation worthwhile??
The beautiful Moselle runs for a total of 544 kilometers through Germany, Luxembourg and France and is considered one of the most beautiful river valleys in Europe. The river has its source in the French Vosges, runs through Lorraine and then forms the natural border between Germany and Luxembourg. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the Moselle runs through Trier in Rhineland-Palatinate and flows into the Rhine at the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz. Combine the splendor of the landscape with the picturesque villages, vineyards and castles with fine wines and hearty German cuisine and you have the most important ingredients for a wonderful holiday on the Moselle.
Holidays on the Moselle: the most beautiful places!
Even if the Moselle valley is described as romantic and fairytale-like, many still refer to it as old-fashioned and something for retirees. In fact, if you look at the historic marketplaces of Cochem and Beilstein, you will mostly meet elderly people pushing their way through the narrow streets in groups. The bulky oak wall units are still an indispensable part of many holiday apartments and most restaurants have remained true to the style and cuisine of the 70s. But the region has great potential and exudes an indescribable charm that you simply have to experience for yourself. In order to convince you of this, we will reveal the most beautiful places and towns on the Moselle to you below!
Trier was already in the year 17 BC. Founded in BC and is therefore the oldest city in Germany. The beautiful city used to be one of the largest metropolises of the Roman Empire and was made an imperial residence in late antiquity. The cityscape is still shaped today by monumental Roman buildings that are just waiting to be discovered. Trier has numerous sights to offer and a small city trip should not be missing on any holiday on the Moselle. The most famous and spectacular building in the city is without a doubt the Porta Nigra (Black Gate). It was probably built in the second century AD and, together with other buildings from Roman times, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another sight not to be missed is the Trier Cathedral. With construction beginning around 1,800 years ago, it is one of the oldest churches in Germany. Particularly noteworthy is the cloister that connects the cathedral with the Liebfrauenkirche next to it. Then take a little detour and visit the Aula Palatina (Constantine Basilica) – another beautiful Roman site that was built in the time of Emperor Constantine and now functions as a church. The Roman Imperial Baths, which are actually the largest baths in Europe, would also be of interest to all wellness fans. After you’ve had enough of all the Roman sights, you should definitely treat yourself to a glass of Riesling on the market square and let yourself be enchanted by the atmosphere of the city.
Koblenz is a great place that is surrounded by two of the most impressive rivers in Europe: the majestic Moselle and the mighty Rhine. The beautiful city is not only one of the oldest in Germany, but also one of the most diverse. Whether you take a walk through the city center, enjoy the view from the cable car or take a boat trip: Koblenz has a lot to offer and is therefore an absolute must for a holiday on the Moselle. The top attraction is of course the world-famous Deutsche Eck, where the Rhine and Moselle merge and the view from the cable car is simply indescribable. The place also houses the 37 meter high equestrian statue of the Kaiser Wilhelm monument.
Where we are at the cable car, we mustn’t forget another sight in Koblenz. The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress towers over the two rivers at a total of 118 meters and the freely accessible platform offers you a great panoramic view of the German Corner. It houses the Landesmuseum Koblenz and is the second largest fortress in Europe. And if you’re not the museum type, take a long walk around the grounds around the fortress. Around the fairytale Görresplatz in the old town of Koblenz there are numerous cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy the regional wines and cuisine.
Vacation on the Moselle: Cochem
For Cochem on the Moselle, “small but nice” applies, because with just 5,000 inhabitants it is actually the smallest independent city in Germany. Cochem nestles beautifully on the slopes of the Moselle and is one of those cities that look like something out of a fairy tale book. The old town is full of history and spectacular sights that you can easily explore on foot during a stroll. So how about treat yourself to an iced coffee on the market square and marvel at the magnificent baroque town hall? The most popular attraction on a Moselle holiday, however, is the Reichsburg Cochen – the huge castle towers 154 meters on a green hill visible from afar above the old town.
The fortress was built in 1020 and once guarded the stretch of river in the region. However, it is not possible to arrive by car and you can only reach the Reichburg Cochem after a short but steep climb. Once there, you can enjoy the fantastic view of the Moselle valley from high above or visit the interior of the castle on a guided tour. Another exciting and little-known sight that you can discover during your vacation on the Moselle in Cochem is the Bundesbank Bunker. Although it has been around since the Cold War, it wasn’t known until 2016. Why would you ask yourself for sure? During the Cold War, a substitute currency worth around 16 billion Deutschmarks was stored there, which was even supposed to survive a nuclear war.
Numerous picture-perfect towns await you along the Moselle, and Beilstein is one of them! The city is located directly on the right bank of the river and is still known as the “Sleeping Beauty of the Moselle”. Winding, cobblestone streets, beautiful half-timbered houses decorated with flowers and romantic inner courtyards – Beilstein looks like a film set and is the perfect place to slow down. The old town is very compact and is best explored with a relaxing walk. One of the most popular sights is the famous monastery staircase that leads to the Carmelite Church of St. Joseph above. And if you are a guest in Beilstein, you should definitely visit the Metternich castle ruins and enjoy the wonderful view of the Moselle valley from there.
The Moselle loop near Bremm should not be missing on any Moselle holiday
The most iconic view of the entire region awaits you above the small village of Bremm. The Moselle winds in numerous loops through the landscape and the most famous of these is undoubtedly the Moselle loop near Bremm. It is located on the Bremmer Calmont, the steepest vineyard in Europe, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful river bends in the world. There are no barriers at the vantage point at the famous summit cross, so you can enjoy the fairytale foresight in peace. You can reach the summit cross either via the Calmont via ferrata or the Höhenweg from Ediger-Eller. And if you don’t want to be so active, you can of course arrive by car.
With its distinctive roofs, towers, oriels and located on a rocky plateau in the middle of nature – Eltz Castle is the epitome of a real fairytale castle! Although the castle is not directly on the river, it is probably one of the most beautiful castles in Germany and can be ideally combined with a vacation on the Moselle! The castle dates back to the 12th century and annually attracts more than 300,000 tourists from around the world. Eltz Castle is actually one of the few castles in the Federal Republic that could never be conquered by force and has survived all wars almost unscathed. The magnificent castle is also still owned by the same family whose ancestors built it in the 12th century. In order to get a better impression of the knightly living culture and way of life, you should definitely take a guided tour of the interiors. Go on a journey through time and let yourself be enchanted by 8 centuries of history. A hike along the well-known Moselle Traumpfad Eltzer, which is known for its great view of the Moselle plateau and the Elzbachtal, is also highly recommended.
The Geierlay Bridge
Would you like to experience a little more action during your vacation on the Moselle? Then the Geierlay suspension bridge would be just right for you! The bridge is located in the Hinsrück between Sosberg and Mörsdorf and, with its 360 meters length, is the second longest suspension bridge in Germany. It is also 100 meters high and does not guarantee anything for the faint of heart or people with a fear of heights. At first, it might take a bit of effort to move forward. But the uncertainty is suppressed by the lush forests and the wonderful view and an unbelievable feeling of freedom spreads. The Geierlay Bridge can be reached on foot or by bike and you should plan around 30-40 minutes for the easy hike. But not only the bridge, but also the area is really worth seeing and the numerous routes are ideal for a long walk through nature.
Vineyard vacation on the Moselle
And good news for all wine lovers! The Moselle is actually the oldest wine region in Germany, with one well-known wine town after the other. More than 4,000 wine-growing businesses cultivate more than 9,000 hectares of vineyards on the Moselle. The proportion of white wine is around 90% and the steep slopes on which Riesling, Bacchus, Dornfelder and white Burgundy grow are known worldwide. Riesling in particular, which is still referred to as the “queen of the white vines”, finds optimal growth conditions on the slate soils of the steep slopes. The area around Bernkastel, with its wine towns and famous vineyard locations, is considered to be the heart of the entire cultivation area.
You can of course discover the best wines in the world during a vacation with a winemaker on the Moselle. Viticulture in the Moselle valley has a very long tradition and the Romans planted their vines on the steep slopes around the river 2,000 years ago. Finally, a little insider tip: During your vacation on the Moselle, you should definitely try the so-called “ice wine”, which is made from grapes that were harvested after the first frost.