We are planning on visiting the Burg Eltz castle and would like to know if anyone has visited the castle. We understand the hike to the castle is 45-60 minutes. How long do most people spend at the castle? Can you sightsee without a tour or is it all tour-based?
My wife and I took the hike trail from Moselkern train station. It took us about 45 minutes to the castle. If you are in good shape I'd recommend taking the trail.
I don't remember the hike into Burg Eltz taking very long--downhill all the way and coming back to the car park we used the shuttle. We drove from Frankfurt airport and there was a sign on the autobahn which probably indicated where to exit for the longer hike. However, we missed it and it would have been a hassle to back track--especially being jetlagged. It was late October and the foliage was outstanding.
Would you be getting there via train or car? I have been twice, but both by car. It's still a bit of a hike down from the car park, but there is also a shuttle available (a few Euro). Both times we spent a few hours there, though we did the walk from the car park which means it takes longer. (The views are worth it.) As far as I know, you cannot visit the inside on your own but only with a tour. The first time, we had an English tour, but the second it was a German tour. (The guide was nice enough to do a short spiel in English for the 6-8 of us non-German speakers on the tour and I speak a bit, so we still enjoyed it.) It really is one of the highlights of the area.
I’ve also only driven, but Rick’s guidebook has all of the details on hiking time. The interior tour is available only by guide…recall it lasting about 45 minutes. You can spend as much time as you prefer on your own around the grounds outside…30 minutes tops. The views and surrounding woods are fantastic, so I might recommend grabbing a beer and a snack at the self-serve restaurant outside…another 45-60 minutes. There’s outdoor table seating on a nice patio overlooking the valley. It was a little misty/ foggy when I visited…sort of a ‘mysterious’ feel to the castle. If you haven’t seen photos of Burg Eltz yet, check out their website before you go.
Moselkern train station to Burg Eltz - one hour to 90 minutes.
Parking lot to Burg Eltz - 15 to 20 minutes all down hill.
I have done both of these hikes this year.
We were just there a few weeks ago. I'll echo other's comments and add a few of my own: You can do the hike faster if you are used to hiking. 45 - 60 minutes is very generous. We spent only a few hours at the castle. About one hour for the tour, one hour for the museum area and ground and one hour enjoying the best bowl of pea soup and beer I have ever had.
It really shouldn't take more than an hour; I did it with 75-year-old relatives with bad hips and knees and that's about what it took us.
Here's a description that will help you get there:
You need to take the tour.
I was just there last week! As others have said, it depends if you take your car or visit by train. It took us (two fairly fit 20somethings) about an hour from the Moselkern train station to the top of Burg Eltz...and we really strolled. The majority of that walk is flat or at a very slight incline--nothing strenuous. The most difficult part for a young or older person may actually be once you reach the castle, and have to go up a number of stairs. I found the walk (along a wonderful brook) more pleasant than the castle itself. Sure, the views of the castle were beautiful, but there was very little to do once you actually got there. It seemed really touristy, and was my least favorite of all the castles we toured in the area. You have to take the tour if you want to go inside (you only see about ten rooms total, I think--but there was construction going on in one of the rooms, and also some German band shooting a ridiculous music video while we were there, so maybe you'll get a more substantial tour). Maybe we just had a bad English speaker, but the tour was very rushed and he was unable to answer our questions or explain basic things that were asked. The tour only lasted about 15 minutes, and I think it was about 6 or 8 euros. We spent an hour to climb, an hour at the castle, and about an hour to get back down to the train station. It was a pleasant day but I won't do it the next time I return to the area, and definitely wouldn't do it in bad weather.
I walked from the train station. The walk was great, through light forrest along a stream, very slightly uphill until you get to the castle. I didn't hurry and I would guess the walk was about an hour.
The castle itself is nice. I took a tour (maybe a German language tour, I can't recall), I believe a tour is your only option. The tour went pretty quickly; it was nothing spectacular - more like a quick run through the house with a little history thrown in.
We hiked from the train station. The hike was the highlight of our visit to Burg Eltz. We stopped at a butcher shop in Moselkern and purchased meats for a picnic. Although our tour was in English, my children had trouble understanding the guide who was not a native English speaker. The views are beautiful from the castle but the forest hike was more memorable for us.
Hey Everyone! I am heading that was in a few days and I am wondering is a trip to Burg Castle worth it?
Brian, it is worth it if by car. Not so sure I would want to hike there and back. There is a great view of the castle from the ledge near the parking lot, but the descent to the valley and on to the castle is pretty steep.
Some planning as to the day of the week would be helpful. The hike to Burg Eltz starts in Moselkern. The rail stations on either sides are Hatzenport and Treis-Karden. On the weekend, there are frequent (about every hour, alternating directions) buses between Hatzenport and Treis-Karden, both ways, that stop in Wierschem. The Bahn gives the walk from Wierschem to Burg Eltz as 11 min, and I have found their estimates to be conservative; it's probably less than 10 min. Use the German Rail (Bahn) website to find schedules. I've spent nine nights in the Rhein-Mosel area without seeing Burg Eltz (one trip it was closed for the season). Everything else I wanted to see was easily accessible by public transportation, so I did not otherwise need a car. I thought of renting a car just to see Burg Eltz, but the cost of a one day car rental was too much, so I saw the Marksburg, the other intact castle in the area, instead.
@Brian, Although part of the Castle can only be seen via a guided tour and part of the exterior may still have scaffolding, I absolutely believe it is "worth it". On the topic of getting to the Castle, this is a copy of a reply I posted earlier this year: "For travel to Burg Eltz, I believe a new Shuttle service has started this year, but I can't remember the details. I'd have to do some searching on the net. The usual route that many travellers take is to do the hike from Moselkern, which takes about an hour each way (depending on your hiking speed). You'll arrive in the valley floor below the Castle, cross a small bridge and then climb the stairs to the entrance point. I used a Taxi from Moselkern on my last visit, but that's an expensive option and would have to be pre-arranged. The Taxi firm I used was based in Löf, so it might be better to disembark at the small station there if you'll be using a Taxi. If you travel by road to the Castle, you'll have to either walk down the steep hill or take the Shuttle from the car park (€1 each way I believe). I found the small charge for the Shuttle was absolutely worth it, especially on a hot afternoon. You might consider taking the Shuttle in one direction and walking the other, as there's a great vantage point for photos about half way up the hill. One point to note is that the Castle is currently undergoing renovations, so there may still be some scaffolding on the outside." I still haven't found any information on the new Shuttle service that was supposed to start this year. Hope that helps.
"I still haven't found any information on the new Shuttle service that was supposed to start this year." Perhaps I missed something in the previous replies, but are you referring to a shuttle from Moselkern, or the existing shuttle from the car park down the road from Möntenich? If the former, well, I know nothing of that. If the latter, the shuttle works as previously written. It runs regular circuits every few minutes from the car park down to the castle and back. If mobility is a problem for whatever reason, I would recommend taking the shuttle both ways. You won't see how steeply the road to the castle declines until it practically drops out from under your feet.
@Tom, There was a post here a few months ago regarding a new Shuttle service that was supposed to be starting from Moselkern or other points to the Burg Eltz car park. There's further information in this Thread: www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/86637/cochem-to-burg-eltz.html I was aware of the other Shuttle, as that's the method I used to get from the car park down to the Castle. I used a Taxi from Moselkern and then back to Löf the day I visited. It was a bit expensive but definitely the best option for me as the hike would have been "painful". After arrival in the car park, I took one look at how steep that hill was, and decided the €1 was absolutely worth it!
Be sure to have a plan B & C... We planned to take the shuttle after arriving by train. No shuttle running, don't remember why. Plan B, couldn't find a taxi. Lovely young couple from Canada also had arrived by train. We started walking together. Plan C, I urged them to feel free to walk on as I was surely slowing them down (we were mid 70's). Wonderful conversation and they stayed with us all the way back to Koblenz. Yes, it's a doable beautiful walk if you have to do it that way.
We were there a couple of weeks ago with the GAS Tour and really enjoyed it. The walk both ways was pleasant, especially since we were lucky enough to have great weather. Also, happy to report that all of the scaffolding is down, so the views of the castle are fantastic.