Entry No. 51: Mosel Valley, Germany
Boy, do I miss getting a call from my BFF asking if I feel like taking the afternoon off and heading to the Mosel to soak up some spring sunshine and wine … those were the days! For three glorious years, we lived among the foothills of the Mosel Valley near the western border of Germany and this playground was an easy 15-20 minute drive from our home. It may sound silly but because these medieval towns made up our greater neighborhood, I’d hardly ever remember to take my DSLR and I don’t have a ton of photos of these beautiful towns we’d frequent on weekends and lazy weekday afternoons but I’ll share what I have and tell you my ‘insider tips’ if you’re planning a vaca to this romantic corner of the world for your honeymoon …
Another favorite weekend spot of ours was Bernkastel-Kues which is famous for its beautiful Christmas market as well as the rolling vineyards, cobblestone streets and castle-turned restaurant overlooking the town. Bernkastel always made me feel like I was stepping back in time …
Cochem was a bit further of a drive so we didn’t visit this town as much but you definitely don’t want to miss it! This photo (above) was clearly taken in the fall/winter but you can still see how enchanting the ride into the town is … the dreamy castle perched on a hill will be sure to have you feeling like you’re in a fairytale in no time.
Burg Eltz (above – try to ignore the scaffolding) is tucked away in a nearby forest and is probably the coolest castle I’ve ever visited. It just feels magical. Read more about this beauty in my top tips at the bottom of this post.
I took the rest of these photos in Bernkastel (as we visited this town the most).
Top Tips for the Mosel Valley:
Piesport. This town is a delight for the senses and houses our favorite winery – Weingut Bollig-Lehnert. It’s owned by the sweetest British lady and her German husband and their Riesling and Eiswein are the best I’ve ever had. The spreads that came along with a wine tasting were my favorites, as well – I remember smoked salmon with fig jam and brie. Yum! Last I heard, they were also running a B&B but that may have changed since we lived there. Definitely try to squeeze this town and winery into your itinerary.
Cochem. While some may tell you to skip this castle as its restoration has made it not quite as authentic as other castles, I still adore this castle to bits! Maybe it’s because this was the first “real” castle I ever visited – I was 8 years old the first time I climbed the hill to this beauty! Regardless, it’s a dreamy setting, a fun little hike up the hill and the furnishings are beautiful (even if they’re not completely historically accurate). If you have the time, I definitely recommend this castle and the sweet medieval town that lies below.
Burg Eltz. Rick Steves has said that Burg Eltz is his favorite European castle and I can certainly see why. This gem has avoided wars and has remained perfectly in tact for 800 years. As I understand, it still remains in the Eltz family. The castle is open for tours and the furnishings are historically accurate. I actually enjoyed this castle more than Neuschwanstein!
Bernkastel-Kues. You may want to hop on a river cruise at this town which will let you see the landscape from a new perspective. Also, this town is famous for its amazing Christmas Market which I previously wrote about. There are also frequent festivals held here and in the surrounding Mosel towns to celebrate ancient summer holidays and the fall harvest – you’ll get to see wine princesses, oompah bands, lederhosen and lots and lots of wine! Have fun and prost!
If you have any tips, insights, suggestions or comments, I’d love to hear them! Did you miss the other entries of CB’s Travel Journal? Click here to catch up!
Images by moi.