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Where to spend 3 days on the Mosel

We will be on our own for a few days in mid September and would like to spend a few days on the Mosel. We would be coming from Luxemburg and heading to Frankfurt. What would make a good base? Any suggestion for what to see and do? We will most like have a car. Thanks
Tom and Marsha

Posted by
1787 posts

Beilstein is at the top of our list for places to which we'd love to return.

Posted by
18373 posts

I spent three days on the Mosel in 2008. I did it without a car and, with one exception, never felt I needed one. There is frequent rail service on one side of the river and, except for Sundays, good bus connections to surrounding times. You can find connections on the website of the local transit district, Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Mosel, VRM, www.vrm-info.de (it can display in English). I stayed in the town of Treis-Karden because I could get a single room there. I wanted to stay in Cochem because it's a bigger town, more to see there (they have a castle), and centrally located for travel to other places, but they were having a festival, Federweisfest, in Cochem and no one wanted to rent a double room to a single person. First day was wine day. I took the train/bus to Bernkastel where I had a delicious lunch with several different wines, then went to Zell for a look at the cat and dinner. The second day I went to Cochem, toured the castle and town, then tasted wines at Rademacher. Unfortunately, I left Beilstein for the last day, which was a Sunday, and they run a sparse bus schedule on Sunday. I got stuck in Beilstein for 4-5 hours. Beilstein is very small. After two hours I had seen everything. If I had had a car, I could have left. The quote for car rental only, no fuel, was €29 per day. I actually spent €29,60 total for public transportation for three days.

Posted by
2876 posts

Another vote for Bernkastel. We stayed there a few years ago and it was great. Very picturesque village with half-timbered houses all around, interesting shops, and several very good small local restaurants. We had a car and it was easy to visit Cochem, Burg Eltz, Trier, etc. It's right on the river. Last week we picked up a bottle of superior Bernkastel reisling, at Costco of all places.

Posted by
1064 posts

I cannot believe this! I am in total agreement with James on something! Bernkastel-Kues is a great base for the Mosel. Bernkastel has one of the nicer old towns along the river, while Kues has good, inexpensive restaurants that cater to locals instead of Brits and Americans. It is along one of the prettier stretches of the river and the view is unspoiled by train tracks, unlike Cochem, but it is served by buses if you are not driving. I have never understood the appeal of either Cochem or Beilstein other than RS promotes them in his books, so I agree with James on still another point. If you do stay in Bernkastel-Kues, I would recommend the Gasthaus of the S.A. Pruem Winery, along the river just outside of town. To me, there is something special about staying at a winery or brewery when traveling in Germany.

Posted by
11973 posts

Great time of the year to be there. I'm not going to disagree with the base suggestions. I've been to Cochem only and liked it - but not so much that there can't be a better choice. Personally, I wouldn't use the car, the local trains hug the river and take you where you need to go - distances are short, daily pass is cheap, and views are nice. Trier (Roman ruins and nice town) and Burg Eltz (do the hike from Moselkern) are high on my list. Views of vineyards and sampling the local wines are also worthwhile. I love the dry (troeken) whites.

Posted by
2723 posts

Hi Tom and Marsha, I'd suggest Cochem. Charming old town topped by a castle with a picturesque riverside walk. Actually, we stayed right across the river (Mosel) from Cochem in Valwig at the Hotel Weinhaus Rebenhof. We stayed 4 nights (Oct. '07) and visited Cochem, Burg Eltz, Beilstein, Zell, Bernkastel and Trier. Burg Eltz is not to be missed. We also like Bernkastel. Oh, we had a car. We have some photo's at: www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/index.html www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/travel15.html Paul

Posted by
5602 posts

Beilstein is far too small for a 3-night stay. Bernkastel is a great little place with some fine buildings and lots of character, but it no longer has train service and you'll need to use bus transportation + trains for outings without a car. I've stayed in Bullay - excellent transportation connections, totally non-touristy, a very scenic setting, great for hiking and biking, and I'd stay there again if renting an apartment, but it's fairly small, and the restaurants are few in number, and it lacks the historical buildings you'll find in Bernkastel and Cochem. Cochem is far and away my favorite town. It's a tumble of narrow streets that evoke the Middle Ages with lots of cobblestones, towers, mysterious staircases, and old town walls. As with Bullay, transportation is excellent, and there's more to do there (Reichsburg Castle, falcory show, chairlift ride, and often a festival) and many more dining and lodging choices than in the other towns. Moselkern (Burg Eltz train stop) is only a few minutes downstream, and Beilstein (worth a short visit) is a one-hour riverboat cruise upstream.

Posted by
87 posts

We spent a few nights in this area last September. One night in Trier and two nights in Beilstein. Trier was important to Rome and they left a lot for us to see. We also loved Beilstein. I would only stay there if I had a car and was staying overnight. I can see why a day trip might disappoint, but the town is wonderful for it's medieval atmosphere. The whole region is great and I'm sure many options would be great.

Posted by
18 posts

We spent 5 nights in Beilstein and didn't feel it was too small, however, we took day trips and used Beilstein as our comfortable, quiet homebase. I'm a city dweller, so for me it was a complete delight after a day of sightseeing to relax on the terrace, overlooking the river and local vineyards, with a glass of local wine, knowing that I had a clean and quiet room waiting for me!

Posted by
49 posts

It seems that everyone has beaten me to suggest many of their favorite locations. I agree with everyone. I was a surveyor with the U. S. Army for several years and we always loved being assigned to a project on the Mosel River. I have come to really appreciate the Cochem area where we now stay at the Hotel Mosel Romantik Panorama. The Reichsburg Castle is a great tour as are all of the wineries in the Cochem area. Still, I would defer to the recommendations of others (Bernkastle-Kues is another great area), because the entire length of the Mosel River Valley has so much to offer. If you have time, don't miss the Burg-Els Castle tour.

Posted by
63 posts

We stayed at Cochem in April 2009 and used it as a base to visit Cologne, Trier, Burg Eltz, and local bike trips. Burg Eltz heads up. It's a great hike up the hill from Moselkern and a great site to see, but I have heard that the castle exterior is being renovated so there is lots of scaffolding to ruin your pix.

Posted by
527 posts

I've biked along the Mosel several times -- absolutely love it; I've stayed in Treis-Karden at Hotel Brauer, nice room with balcony, reasonably-priced bike rental a block back; and have biked to Burg Eltz -- biked and then hiked through the woods; ice cream with strawberries in Cochem --- biking through the vineyards, drinking halb-trocken (half-dry) wine, etc. Have also stayed in Bernkastel and Enkirch. Hope to get back again soon.

Posted by
331 posts

I would say Cochem or Bernkastel, the latter being my favourite. Although both get very busy I would say Bernkastel a little less so. Never seem to be as many cruise ships berthed. Also is far more car parking if you are driving. I would say that it's also a little less claustrophobic, having as it does more space between the river and the hills behind, more open spaces in general, (wider streets), and more sun because the buildings aren't so high. It's a toss up really. Both are beautiful.

Posted by
5 posts

* why not Kolblenz..? is the the end of the mosel and meets the rhein right there. the german corner or deutschen eck is where the two rivers meet I believe. their is a cassel in the city to. from koblenz you can catch a direct train into frankfurt.

Posted by
174 posts

Tom I line up with Russ and a few others when I would highly recommend Cochem. Great resturants (Vargas is one), lots of hotel choices, and it is convenient to day trip from. We stayed at the hotel Moselflaire which was across the river from Cochem and offered outstanding views of the town, valley and castle, while being a little out of the frey. Trier is really worth a nice visit, and I particularly enjoyed the museum of Roman antiquities there and of course wineries! Enjoy Mike
DC

Posted by
107 posts

I don't know where to stay, but warning about Burg Eltz. 90 percent of it was under scaffolding when we were there a couple of weeks ago, so check witht he tI before you waste your time. We can't post a picture, can we? If so, I'll post what we saw after riding the 1 1/2 hour train, and 1 1/2 hour hike to get there!!! GRR. Christine

Posted by
929 posts

Lee mentioned it in passing, but we really enjoyed Zell an der Mosel last summer. Stayed in Schloss Zell (a mini-castle converted to a hotel, right in town) and had a fabulous locavore dinner under the grape arbor in their courtyard. Had a great conversation with a beefy German industrialist and his girlfriend, from the former East Germany, about all sorts of world happenings. It was my birthday, and what a great day it was. Then we walked on the path along the river until the sun set. I'd post our pictures - swans, sunset, half-timbered buildings - if I could. Highly recommended.