The Moselle River is a river that runs from France, via Luxembourg, to Germany and has a length of 544 kilometers. In Germany you will find a number of cute Moselle towns along the Moselle River, like Trier, Cochem, Wierschem (Burg Eltz), Koblenz and Traben-Trarbach. We decided to visit three towns in the Moselle Valley in 1 day: Trier, Cochem and Wierschem for a visit to Castle Burg Eltz. The towns are very pretty, but the route is stunning as well. On the way you will pass several vineyards! Below you will find the ultimate Moselle River road trip – a one day itinerary.
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First stop of the Moselle River road trip: Trier
Trier is the oldest city in Germany, together with Worms. The city was founded in the Roman era and used to be the capital of the entire Western Roman Empire for a while. You will find a number of sights from the Roman era and ones that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
A number of sights that you shouldn’t miss are the Cathedral of Trier, the Church of Our Lady, the Porta Nigra, the Trier Crafts Market, the Hauptmarkt, the Karl Marx House, the St. Joseph’s Church and the Electoral Palace.
We slept one night just outside Trier in Maxhof Trier, a nice and affordable apartment. We explored the city the next morning, from 08:30 to 12:30 hrs.
From Trier to Cochem
From Trier we drove to Cochem, the second stop of the Moselle River road trip. This drive takes about one hour. Cochem has only 6,000 inhabitants, but is very popular among tourists because of its beautiful historic town center and its famous wines.
In this town you will find a number of attractions, like the Reichsburg of Cochem and the market square in the center of the town. You can take a boat tour, which sails past other Moselle towns and places of interest in the area. What should not be missed during a visit to this town is drinking a delicious Moselle wine and enjoying the German tradition of ‘kaffee und kuchen’ (coffee and cake).
Cochem is a small town and three hours of exploring this place will do. We stayed here for two hours, from 13:30 to 15:30 hrs, but we didn’t visit the Reichsburg itself, because we were also going to Burg Eltz. Do you have some more time? A tour of the Reichsburg takes about 45 minutes.
From Cochem to Wierschem (Burg Eltz)
From Cochem you drive to Wierschem, a small village where the castle Burg Eltz is located. Burg Eltz, also called Eltz Castle, is a beautiful castle in the Eltz Forest. You’ve probably seen this castle already on Instagram! At the edge of the Eltz Forest you’ll find a parking lot where you can park. The exact location of this parking can be found here. A footpath leads you to Burg Eltz in about twenty minutes.
It is possible to see the inside of the castle with a 45-minutes guided tour. During the tour a guide will take you through 850 years of Western European construction and cultural history. You will visit the armory, bedrooms, halls, the kitchen and more. Very special to see and experience how the nobility lived through the centuries. You will also pay a visit to the treasury, where you can view works of art made of gold and silver, ivory and porcelain and historical weapons.
We arrived at the car park at around 16:30 hrs, walked along the forest path to the castle and took part in the guided tour from 17:00 hrs. After our tour everyone was already gone, so we could take some nice pictures! Burgh Eltz was the last stop of the Moselle River road trip and around 19:00 hrs we drove home.
More Moselle towns
You can easily extend your stay in the Moselle Valley by several days, or even weeks, by spending more time in the aforementioned cities, but also by adding other towns to your trip. Also take a look at the towns Straußwirtschaften, Beilstein, Bernkastel-Kues, Traben-Trarbach, Konz, Alken and Koblenz if you are planning a holiday along the Moselle River.
In addition, the vineyards that adorn the banks of the Moselle River are an attraction in and of itself. If you like cycling, you’ve come to the right place! There are more than 1,000 kilometers of cycle paths along and around the river.