The fairy-tale castle of Burg Eltz. / © Unsplash
This route along the German side of the river takes you through fairy tale villages, castles, museums, and more. You'll want to do it again and again.
This trip is not only for families with children. It's for everyone and I've been looking forward to writing about it for quite some time now. It is one of my friends' and family's favourite itineraries. They just keep going back. In fact, I do too, because it's simply magical!
It is doable in one day but I highly recommend pacing it out over a long weekend, so that you can fully enjoy this beautiful region and take your time exploring both the hidden and not-so-hidden beauties. All in all, it makes for a relaxing and rewarding weekend.
I also call it the "impress your visitors" itinerary. When friends and family are over it's the perfect trip to take them on.
Are you ready?
First stop: Pyrmonter Muhle (Pyrmont Mill)
Pyrmonter Muhle is basically a restaurant with rooms you can stay in, too.
The amazing thing about it is its combination of a secluded location, intriguing architecture, and its position facing the Elzbach waterfall from one side and Piermont castle from the other. A stone stairway leads you to the terrace of the restaurant where you can enjoy the view.
The nature around here is stunning and you get the feeling of being "lost" in "paradise".
It's also only 9km away from our second stop: the magical Burg Eltz. So you can always head back here for lunch. Reserving ahead is highly recommended - details on their website.
Extra tip: Pyrmonter Muhle is amazing in all seasons. I like it both on a warm day to make the most of the terrace, and when everything is white, covered in snow.
Second stop: Burg Eltz - the fairy-tale castle
How can I fit into words the beauty of this castle and its surroundings?
We love to hike to Burg Eltz, which is simply stunning. Nine hundred years of history and a castle that appears many times in travel lists as one of the most beautiful in Germany and the whole of Europe.
It's open for visits from 1 April to 1 November. There's also a great terrace with a café serving snacks and drinks.
Burg Eltz is a remarkable historical monument combining interesting architecture, artifacts, furniture, decorative objects and more.
Before the Covid pandemic Children's Days were organized at the castle. It's worth checking the website regularly in case they make a return, as well as for other events.
Burg Eltz is a must visit. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
Third stop: Cochem
Cochem is a beautiful town on the Moselle with narrow streets, restaurants, small alleyways, a medieval marketplace, a beautiful castle, and more.
There's a chairlift, a theme park for kids, lovely views and amazing timbered houses. There's even a water park!
Cochem / © Unsplash
There's loads more details in the links at the end of this article.
If you have the possibility to spend the night in Cochem it's definitely worth it, with the castle and bridges beautifully illuminated.
Random fact: it's said that Nicolas Cage's mum comes from Cochem.
Fourth stop: Beilstein
The 'Sleeping Beauty of the Moselle', Beilstein is a must.
A lovely little town on the river, it makes the little ones dream and the big ones dream bigger.
While walking around the town you will pass under little bridges, find the cutest places with cafes and restaurants, observe some of the most picturesque architectural treasures of the area, and catch beautiful views of the Moselle.
Don't believe me? See some stunning photos of Beilstein here.
Fifth stop: Traben-Trarbach
The first time we did this itinerary, we made the mistake of driving through Traben-Trarbach without stopping.
It's another pretty little town with museums, nice hotels, and the iconic towers on the bridge that resemble Rapuzen's tower, well, sort of...
Traben-Trarbach is also great at Christmas, with an outdoor and indoor Christmas market (partly in caves!).
Alte Zunftscheune / © TravelMatKanner
It's also the home of one of my favourite restaurants in the area, "Alte Zunftscheune". The place is a living museum, full of old objects, machinery, cutlery, dishes and more. It has the feeling of being in the pages of a fairy-tale, while you are surrounded by wood, cosiness, and the nostalgia of old times.
Final stop: Bernkastel-Kues
Before returning to Luxembourg you must stop at this beautiful town.
Its Christmas market is considered one of the best in the region, and it truly is magical.
The narrow streets and pedestrian-only historic centre will mesmerise you. It's the place to "get lost" in.
Luckily, you are returning to equally beautiful Luxembourg. And this time with many more memories and new impressions.
This itinerary works particularly well at Christmas time, given the magical markets in Bernkastel-Kues and Traben-Trarbach!
Additional information and stops you can include in the itinerary
There's a theme park and animal park in Cochem. You can feed the deer here who roam freely.
Barrock villa, where Goethe was a guest.
Eifel tourism information has lots of ideas for family friendly activities.
The castle-hotel at Ehrenburg offers medieval wagons to stay in, maximum capacity four.
Moselland museum, where you can rent a tractor!
And... let'z TravelmatKanner!