When my husband and I first moved to Germany we searched for that typical German town with ‘gingerbread houses’ and an old mystical feel to it. After realizing most of that was in Bavaria, hours away from our house in Rheinland Pfalz, we stumbled upon the Mosel River. A 30-minute ride from our house through windy roads and hills brought us to the bed of the Mosel River where we entered into the town of Bernkastel-Kues. With old Romantic Road style buildings surrounded by vineyards, we knew we had landed in one of the most beautiful parts of Germany that seemed almost untouched by mainstream tourism.
The Mosel River (spelled Moselle in some parts) stretches through France, Luxembourg and Germany. You can drive along the river or bike on the paved path that runs beside it. On either side of the river are rolling hills that are covered in vineyards, small villages, and historic castles.
Best of the Mosel
Our favorite town is Bernkastel-Kues. Located at the middle point of the river, it is a small town sparkling with history and beauty. It’s the perfect location to begin your journey on the Mosel or to be your one and only destination.
Things To Do
In Bernkastel-Kues you can spend the day wandering through the narrow windy and hilly streets, stopping in shops, eating lunch and drinking wine from local vineyards. The ground is paved with cobble stones and sometimes climbs uphill, so it’s best to wear flat shoes and the town may not be well suited for the physically handicapped or anyone who has trouble walking on uneven ground.
The perfect day visiting the Mosel would be riding your personal or rented bicycle. Start biking towards the town of Trier and go a few towns down, then over the bridge, and return back on the other side of the river. Once you get back to Bernkastel-Kues, find a cute wine bar and park yourself for an hour or two at a table overlooking the river and sip on the famous German Riesling wine.
In America, Riesling is famously known for being sweet, but in Germany there are so many different Riesling varieties. Lieblich (sweet), Halbtroken (semi dry) and Troken (dry). When you find a great wine bar, they will allow you to taste a sampling of different varieties.
Everywhere along the Mosel are restaurants and cafes that offer wine tastings. If you see the sign “weinprobe” (wine tasting), simply go in and ask for the wine tasting. Depending on the location, you might be able to sample at your table or be sent to the back. I have been in some pretty interesting places in search of a wine tastings. The winery could charge you a few Euros to do their tasting or offer it for free in hopes that you will leave with a bottle of wine.
If you do buy wine, you can enjoy it later that evening or bring it home in your checked luggage. Just make sure your wine is well wrapped and your bag isn’t over weight with the addition of the wine.
The best part of the Mosel is its beauty. My favorite place to view the Mosel is from the top. The castle of Bernkastel-Kues is the ideal location. You can hike from the bottom up or drive your car. There is parking at the top and a steep hill to walk down to get to the castle. Inside the castle there is an open-air restaurant (there isn’t a roof) so it is best to go is on a sunny day. The view is breathtaking. Park yourself at the restaurant and enjoy a glass of wine or café and some kuchen (coffee and cake).
Another way to see the Mosel is by boat. In each town there are local docks where you can pick up a sightseeing boat. Cruises don’t cost much and will give you a different view than you would get in a car.
Some other great towns to stop at along the Mosel are Cochem, Traben Trarbach, and Trier.
When To Go:
The best time to visit is in late spring through early fall. Every year, towns all along the Mosel celebrate their harvest with a wine festival beginning in August.
A trip to the Mosel River is a memorable way to spend some vacation time. The majestic views and old world charm will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated.
Boat Cruise: http://www.kolb-mosel.com/
About The Author: This post was shared by Alexis Veigas who is passionate about travel and finding the perfect place off the beaten path. Alexis has spent the past three years living in Germany. She now resides in Columbus, Georgia with her husband and is always planning her next adventure!