I am wanting advice on the best way to tour the castles. My sister and I will be staying in Cologne for 2 days and then head South to see castles for 2 days. The main castles I would like to see are Burg Eltz, Marksburg, and Rheinfels. Should we go by train or car? We will probably do a short river cruise from St. Goar to Bacharach.
Train vs car: here's my experience in Bacharach. The train station is always near the river and the castle is way up on top of the mountain. When you take the train, you end up hoofing thousand steps (unless you find a taxi). I am 68 yrs old and the walk up to Bacharach castle (incl my luggage) just about did me in!
Btw, Bacharach castle is a Youth Hostel (DJH) and anyone (with HI membersip) can stay there for 20.50 Euro/ night (incl breakfast). But you need reservations.
Rheinfels is a castle ruin. It's not a standing castle for you to tour through the halls and rooms. Why not STAY in a castle hotel. Then you can have the best of both worlds.
Rheinfels and the Marksburg are both easily accessible by train, as are all of the towns in that area. Both of the castles are at the top of a hill, but in both cases there is a shuttle to the top. I climbed the path to the Marksburg. From the bottom it look daunting, but it really not that bad - a 15-20 minute walk. Burg Eltz, on the other hand, is a pretty good trek through the woods. Not a bad walk, I'm told, but not particularly pleasant in the rain. But, is it worth the cost of a car rental just to see it when there is so much else to see in the area? In 2004 I decided "no".
Hi Jennifer, Just wanted to say that seeing/visitng Burg Eltz was the highlight of our entire 11 night trip to Germany in 2007. If you can get there, I highly recommend it. It's the best castle we've ever seen. We have a few photo's at: http://www.worldisround.com/articles/338874/index.html Paul
Paul, I love the pictures. I was able to see the castles from a distance last year, but did not get to tour it. It was November and it was closed. I am actually looking forward to the hike from the train station.
Hi Jennifer, Thanks! Just a suggestion, if the walk doesn't take you up by the car park above Eltz, you may want to ride the shuttle from the castle up to this area. The views with the castle below are terrific. We visited on a misty/drizzly October morning. This actually added to the overall experience. My suggestion, don't rush through this visit. It's something special. Paul
Hi once again, I just wanted to add Marksburg was all that also. IF I could only visit one, it would Eltz, no question. See both while in the area. Just my extra 2 cents. Paul
Paul, I agree about the car park area. I got to see the view from there last year and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, we didn't get to tour the castle, because it was closed. I am really looking forward to it.
Burg Eltz is amazing!! if you don't have any kind of back or legs problem and if you are in okay shape I recommend you do the walking trail from the train station. It may take 30-40 minutes but it is worth every step of the way.
Thanks Gil. That is the plan to walk from the train station. I enjoy being able to walk and enjoy the scenery.
Don't forget that you'll have to walk back down, too.