Hi - we arriving at Frankfurt (air), staying overnight at a airport hotel. The next stay we are heading to Cochem for a few days in the Mosel. Is is better to rent a car and drive or take a train to Koblenz to pick up a car there? After Cochem we drive to conference in Willingen (uplands). After the conference we plan to drop the car in Kassel train station to catch a train to Brussels. Any recommendation if this is a good plan?
I don't know what you plan to do around Cochem that may or may not require a car. Train connections along the Mosel are excellent. Do you know that you can travel to Willingen by train too? And by train to Kassel as well. Is this a good plan? It's always a good plan to visit delightful Cochem, I think. But what plans do you have for the area? Do you not have any plans to see some sights along the Rhine as well? It's not clear how many days you have, or what you are planning to do on this trip, and it's not clear what purpose the car serves, so that's a hard question to respond to.
This sounds like a good plan. You could rent a car in Frankfurt airport, it is right next to a major highway so no problems getting out of Frankfurt there. You can drive via the scenic route in Kirchberg to reach Cochem, OR drive alongside the Rhein veering west in Boppard. Any specific reason why you are driving to Kassel to catch a train there? High-speed trains to Belgium will go also via Köln. You might want to drive to Köln and catch a Thalys train there.
Russ and Andre thanks for your notes. Andre I appreciate the recommendation on the drive to Cochem. We plan to tour some vineyards if possible and see the area. We will be finishing at a conference in Willingen we would like to get to a train so I don't "have" to drive and will be able to see the area. I will look at Koln as an option - thanks! Russ = we are only in the Cochem area for 3 nights so thought we would need the flexibility with the car. Not that I am particularly fond of driving but we are trying to see the area. In Willingen I am speaking at a conference (a few times) so want to see the area too. Past travels to France and Italy have always been a combination car and train. thanks
"we are only in the Cochem area for 3 nights so thought we would need the flexibility with the car. Not that I am particularly fond of driving but we are trying to see the area." Most visitors probably don't need a car here for such short stays as yours. The area trains are quite flexible - the main rail line between Cochem and Koblenz, for example, serves 30 towns and sees 33 trains per day in each direction, and that's just the local trains. Wineries tend to be close in; many double as inns: Weingut Winzerhof Haxel This one's quite near the station: Weingut Rademacher The Weißkopf winery ("Schloßbergkeller") and vineyard is tucked away just a few steps from the old town on the short uphill walk to Cochem's castle: Entrance Hillside Vineyard MAP Ernst (suburb) has some wineries too. But you don't need a car to get there or elsewhere since many Cochem area innkeepers hand out a free "Guest-ticket" good for free bus and train transport within a 25-km radius and discounts at attractions: www.moselholiday.com/#/guest-ticket-english/4564883179]Gästeticket Participating innkeepers
(Cont.) This map outlines the area of free travel (popular destination Beilstein is included but not on this map; Burg Eltz is there as well.) Trips outside of the Cochem area aren't free but can be done cheaply by train daypasses, which allow planned or impromptu hop-on-hop-off travel. Read about area daypasses HERE. So if your preference is not to drive, there should be no problem, IMO. I drove the area with 4 family members that included some 70+-year-olds about 12 years ago, but only because of their unpredictable knees and hips. My other 6 or so trips have been by public transport, and I have yet to exhaust the area's sights. If you need a car for the Willingen area, you could pick one up in Trier or Koblenz on your way out of the Mosel Region.