In addition to the natural beauty of the Moseltal area, lush vineyards
seem to cover every possible slope, regardless of steepness. The
soil and climate conditions make the Mosel Valley a prime areas for
cultivating the Riesling grapes that are used to produce some of
Germany's finest white wines. If you look closely at the hillsides you will see that
the vineyards are crisscrossed with small motorized tracks that transports
boxes and laborers up the hills and grapes on the return run. Of
course, grapes mean nearby wineries and there are numerous opportunities to
stop and sample the local wines available along this scenic river valley.
The vineyards are interspersed with numerous, small rustic towns that
offer a variety of interesting attractions. You will see the
occasional scenic castle, although some of the most comely are modern
recreations, rather then an original. Regardless of age, the buildings
and the scenery of the Moseltal blend together and produce an idyllic region with many
If you have the time and budget, you should consider taking a cruise of
this beautiful valley. While driving the Moseltal has its own set of
charms, you will cross the Mosel to explore one town and then re-cross it to explore
the next. In fact, the 194 km (121 mile) drive takes about four hours,
without stops, although we cannot imagine anyone visiting this area and not
exploring the many attractions.
Regardless of how you choose to transit the Moseltal, we urge you to take
some time and explore this unique and peaceful area. We suspect it
will recharge your batteries and become a place that you will remember with
fondness in the years that come.
While almost every town along the Mosel is idyllic and often a good place
to stop for a meal and a short exploration, we recommend several towns for
your examination that are among the best places to visit in the Moseltal.
By the way, the area's castles were generally sited on hills, so you usually
will be able to see them before you come to the town associated with the
castle. In fact, you will see so many castle ruins and monuments that
you might become slightly insensitive to the antiquities. Now, to our
Bernkastel is on the right bank of the
Mosel as it flows to Koblenz and Kues is across the bridge on the left bank.
The Landhut castle overlooks Bernkastel and the village's compact Old Town is a
pleasant place for walking and a meal.
Cochem is a well-known
holiday towns and has several interesting attractions, including the
Reichsburg (below left) that is on the site of an earlier castle, but this one
was built in the 19th century, although its "youth" does not make it a bit less photogenic.
The castle is now owned by the city of Cochem and you can find more
information about visiting the Reichsburg at its
The Burg Eltz (shown below right), perhaps the most dramatic of the
castles in the Moseltal, is hidden away in the back country and somewhat
difficult to find, so ask directions. Note, you have to hike down to
the castle from a parking lot positioned above it. The walk down is
not bad, but the return will be a killer if you are not in shape. See
official website for more details, as Burg Eltz is open only for part
of the year.
There are several castles near Kobern-Gondorf , an area popular with
vacationers. The highway into Gondorf actually runs beneath one of
castles, so be prepared (see photo
The scenic town of Zell is located in an area with several
famous vineyards and is a pleasant place for an exploration.
Across the Mosel from Gondorf is the town of Alken that is know for the
Burg Thurant, the only dual towered castle along the Mosel. The castle
has had a long history and was once jointly owned by the Archdiocese of Trier and
Cologne who effectively split the burg in half to manage it (it has
suggested that this is the reason for the two towers). In any event,
the castle was destroyed in past wars and has been partially rebuilt.
Although privately owned, it can be visited. This
website (in German
only) provides some additional information about Burg Thurant.
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