I've been reading and trying to find the easiest and fastest way to Burg Eltz. We are coming from Bacharach and will have our luggage with us. We do not have a car, too - so we are open to train, taxi and shuttle bus. With a short time frame that we can devote - we do not want to do the approx. 1 hr hike from Moselkern. Is there a taxi/shuttle service as Moselkern to take us?
I don't think there is a shuttle from Moselkern, nor are there any lockers at the Moselkern station. One solution is to leave your luggage in a locker at the Koblenz station and come back and get it after touring Burg Eltz. You might have some luck leaving it at a restaurant in Moselkern. Maybe Ken will come along and advise you. He found a taxi from either Hatzenport or Löf, the next two stations north (down the Mosel) from Moselkern. I believe there is a bus from Treis-Karden, but only on the weekends. One other solution, go to the Marksburg instead. Marksburg is the only other castle in the area that was never destroyed. I sits on a high hill overlooking Braubach, on the Rhein. It's a shorter trip from Braubach to the Marksburg and there is a trolley that meets the K-D boats and takes people up the hill. Unfortunately, no lockers at the train station in Braubach.
Saturday and Sunday only, May through October there is a bus 4 times a day from Hatzenport train station to Burg Eltz. 9:16, 11:16, 15:16, and 17:16. Returns to Hatzenport at 10:22, 12:22, 16:22, 18:22.
Gin, As Lee mentioned, I was fortunate to get a Taxi from Moselkern to the car park at Burg Eltz (although the Taxi was based in Löf). It's a long story, but through a very helpful woman that translated for me, I also arranged for pick-up about three hours later. The Taxi driver didn't speak much/any English but you should be able to manage if you have the details written in German (maybe Lee could suggest appropriate wording). I should add that the Taxi was NOT cheap (can't remember the exact cost, but probably €50 or more). I believe this is the Taxi I used: http://cities.eurip.com/yp/entry/de-verkehrsmittel/l%C3%B6f/taxiewald-id-847437.html (the description used for German Taxi's as a "Mietwagen" always makes me chuckle a bit). I'm assuming the information on the website is reasonably current? Using a Taxi is one of the easiest methods, but won't be the cheapest. If you decide to use a Taxi, when you arrive at the small station in Löf, walk down from the platform to the tunnel and then left out to the parking lot to meet the Taxi. If you'll be visiting on a weekend, the Bus suggested in the previous reply should work. I don't know of any luggage storage at the stations in that area, so not sure what to suggest with your luggage? When you arrive at the car park, you'll walk or take the small shuttle down to the Castle. The hill is quite steep, so I'd suggest walking one direction and taking the shuttle in the other. I mention that as there's a great vantage point about half way up the hill that provides a perfect view of the Castle for pictures. On my last visit, NO PHOTOS were allowed during the Castle tour, but they were allowed in the Treasury which you can visit after the tour. Happy travels!
"...the easiest and fastest way to Burg Eltz..." Ummm, yeah...good luck. In theory, there's supposed to be a taxi number listed at Moselkern...'just call and the taxi will magically appear!' was the official line (OK - minus the 'magically' part), but practice didn't seem to bear that out, according to the many reviews I read prior to my attempted visit several years ago :-( There was also supposed to be luggage storage, but I decided that sounded way too dicey to depend upon. Then we decided to try it on a non-travel day, so no luggage to worry about. After tons of German pages that needed to be translated (I knew my German lessons would pay off, and God bless Google Translate!), I still decided it was going to be too much of a pain in the rear to get my two somewhat infirm in-laws to the castle. Otherwise, I would have just walked. There isn't an easy answer...sorry. Mietwagon - sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't...
Gin, having been to Burg Eltz about two years ago - let me say that while it has tremendous charm, a good hot-food snack bar with beer, a lovely forest, and a pleasant experience - it is not "un-missable". The Rhein is "un-missable". One castle on the Mosel is not. I do trust Rick's taste, and buy his books all the time. But there a million castles in Germany. Few of them are "occupied", as is Burg Eltz. And I don't have the background to suggest an native - Eisenach's Wartburg, perhaps, not to mention Neuschwanstein ... .... But if something Rick recommends is impractical, well, remember Rick's Rule #87 (made-up number) "Assume You'll Return". (Another version of Eileen's good advice!)
Mietwagen Mieten means to rent (hire in British). Wagen is a car. So Mietwagen is a rental car. If that matters. But I'm not sure, in this case, if you "hire"just the car, or both the car and the driver.
Hello Gin. There is no quick way for going to Berg Eltz. I agree with what Lee said. Go to the castle Marksburg at Braubach. Marksburg is a better castle than Berg Eltz. Ride in a train from Bacharach to Koblenz. Put your bags in lockers at the Koblenz train station. Ride in a bus from Koblenz to Braubach. There might not be busses on a Sunday. You could ride in a train from Koblenz to Braubach. (I did). I think the little trolley that takes tourists up the hill to the Marksburg parking lot does not run on Sundays.
I've gone to Burg Eltz via public transit, but I was staying in Cochem and so my luggage was at the hotel there. And it was a Saturday. I wouldn't attempt it in your situation, it's not fast and it's not easy to coordinate. We did the walk back because we had the time and timing with the bus getting back would been too difficult. It's a beautiful castle, but there are a million castles in that area, and many of them are far more easily reached without a car.
I'd second the recommendation to stash your bags in Koblenz. Walking through the forest from Moselkern is not the quickest way to Burg Eltz but it is the best way (by far) IMO. I considered the walk to be at least half of the experience. The castle itself is nice. It's fairly small. The tour only covers a small number of rooms. If I didn't have time to walk through the forest, I'd skip it and visit a more convenient castle (Marksburg or Rheinfels) on the Rhine.
I would drop a quick note to the tourist information office in Moselkern and ask them the question as above. http://www.moselkern.de/pages/de/kontakt.php YOu could proabbly just write it in German but you could also put the question through Google Translate and post the question in German below in the form. BTW: when filling out the form, the "Prüfziffer:6 plus 8 = Bitte Ergebnis eintragen" is guard against spam. Put in 14 and the form should work.