3-day Moselle Valley itinerary
Are you looking for fairy tale castles surrounded by beautiful vineyards? Cute ancient medieval villages? Or are you into exciting outdoor activities? The Moselle Valley in Germany is the perfect place for you to go! Say what? If you’ve never heard of it, that’s actually a good thing. These calm and stunning region in Germany has lots to offer for all ages. In this blog post, you will find our 3-day Moselle Valley itinerary including all the highlights we saw during our road trip.
This itinerary includes some amazing pieces of the Moselle river (walking, hiking and driving), five beautiful typical German towns, two hilltop castles, a 360-meters long suspension bridge, and the stunning Gipfelkreuz viewpoint.
Preparation is key to a fun, hassle-free road trip so you might want to check out my road trip checklist to make sure you have an unforgettable experience!
Moselle Valley route in Germany
On the map below I have marked all town and highlights we visited during this 3-day itinerary:
- The red pins represent the five German towns we visited
- The orange stars are all the major highlights
Day 1: Koblenz, Geierlay Suspension Bridge and Burg Eltz
Koblenz is a quiet and relaxing town and a perfect city to start your Moselle Valley adventure! We woke up early to start exploring the city center and came across several highlights.
Memorial of German Unity
The impressive 37-meter-tall Memorial of German Unity looks larger than life! Standing next to the monument, which features Emperor Wilhelm, made me feel so small.
Climb the Memorial of German Unity for a nice viewpoint on the Deutsches Eck. You can find the entrance behind the statue (opposite of where I took the photo below). The Deutsches Eck marks the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine.
And then I spotted a cable car! I know it’s a little corny, but I just could not help myself wanting to go for a ride. The cable car goes across the Rhine and up to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which is located in the UNESCO-protected Upper Middle Rhine Valley. We had an entire cabin to ourselves, which made the ride even more fun. During the ride we got an incredible view on the two mighty rivers and nearby towns.
Once we were high up we visited the Festungpark Ehrenbreitstein and climbed upon the wooden viewing platform. This interesting outdoor structure is made using 4 L-shape wooden columns.
You can either follow the L-shapes or take the stairs right at the entrance (shortcut) to get a mesmerizing view. This is the perfect viewpoint to overlook Koblenz or use the structure to create interesting photographs!
Again, we had the entire platform to ourselves. I do think this place is more popular (or is it still a somewhat hidden gem?) during spring or summer. The attached park seems like a nice place for a picnic or event.
After a stroll and a quick lunch in the city center we realized we already saw most of Koblenz. It was smaller than we expected and in 2-3 hours you can pretty much see all the major highlights.
Geierlay Suspension Bridge
The Geierlay Suspension Bridge is one of the most picturesque bridges in Germany, one of the highlights in the Moselle Valley. Instagram has definitely given this place a boost. That’s how I found out about this bridge too!
From the visitor center (don’t expect much out of it) it’s a 2,5 kilometer walk to get to the bridge, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes! When we visited the bridge (during fall season) it was also quite chilly, so you won’t regret bringing a warm jacket. The bridge is open 24/7 and a visit is totally free.
The Geierlay is 100 meters high and 360 meters long, located in the heart of the Hunsrück mountains. When we arrived early in the afternoon it was pretty crowded. It seems like this place is no more a well-kept treasure…I do understand why; it’s a truly unique experience to walk above the valley from Mörsdorf to Sosberg. Such gorgeous surroundings, especially during the fall season.
I was so excited to visit the fairy tale Burg Eltz! From the parking lot, you can either walk or take the shuttle bus (which only runs from April – November when the castle is open for tours) towards this pretty chateau. The shuttle bus leaves from the parking lot next to the Antonius Chapel and will drop you off at the iconic bridge entering the castle.
We took the ‘scenic’ walking route, which is a 2-km walk. We didn’t notice anything special about this path though. I think my imagination ran wild when I saw the word ‘scenic’. I at least expected to see rose petals guiding us to the castle, haha.
When we arrived at the entrance a large group just left the castle, so we got lucky. There’s something magical about this 800-year old castle, hidden in the forest, and located atop a 70 meter high rock. It’s one of the best-preserved castles of its kind. The Eltz family, who still owns it today, keeps this place in superb conditions. It also may have helped this castle was never destroyed or overtaken. A Moselle Valley must-visit if you ask me!
Burg Eltz is open daily April through November 9:30 am to 5:30 pm for castle tours. If you happen to visit the castle outside of these months you can still visit the castle, but you won’t able to get in any rooms. We didn’t take a tour and even then, this place is worth a visit. Although I didn’t bring my princess dress, I did have a Cinderella moment! For the best photo of the castle from above head for the viewpoint. This is in the last u-shaped bend of the paved road which leads down to the castle.
Day 2: Cochem and Bremm
Cochem must be the most beautiful city I saw during our Moselle Valley road trip! There a lots of gorgeous old streets, typical German homes, and there is a romantic castle place up on a hill.
The medieval Reichsburg Cochem catches your eye immediately and the location, on top of a hill, makes it look extra fascinating from a distance. To me it felt like this castle had eyes and guards its town to make sure nothing destroys the peace you’ll find here.
The original castle was built in the 12th century, but much of it was destroyed by the French in 1688. Most of what you see now was built in a romantic neo-Renaissance style when Berlin banker Louis Fréderic Jacques Ravené restored the property. Luckily, you can still find remnants of the Medieval building in the ring wall, tower, and at the great hall (Rittersaal).
Want to get married? Or thinking about asking THE question yourself? Then let your partner read this article (or surprise them), because couples can be married by the registry officer in the Chapel. What a romantic place…
After the mesmerizing view we got overlooking the castles walls we were eager to see more of Cochem!
The town square looks stunning with its traditional German half-timbered houses. Little seems to have changed for centuries.
Cochem has many pretty buildings, quaint cottages and black & tan guild houses. Bring some cute outfits along, because I’m sure you’ll spot a place that’s perfect for an Insta snap. This charming town looks picturesque on almost every corner.
In the afternoon it was time for some serious action when we arrived at Bremm! Make sure to bring your hiking shoes (I wore regular boots, but I would strongly recommend proper hiking boots) and enough water and food to discover the most breathtaking viewpoint of the Moselle Valley. There are various routes available and this is the hike we decided on to get to the ‘Gipfelkreuz‘ viewpoint.
During this 1,5-hour hike to the top we picnicked and stopped several times to take in the beautiful scenery. Please choose your hike wisely and consider your skills and the length of the route. You may want to take photos or stop along the way; you definitely don’t want to be hiking this route when it’s getting dark. And if you’re afraid of heights this narrow and steep route is maybe not for you. However, we are no professional hikers and perhaps it’s all a piece of cake to you. Just be smart and prepared.
When we reached the Gipfelkreuz we were happy to find out there’s a small bar which sells drinks and snacks that you can enjoy on their terrace (with an astonishing view). Also, nice to know: restrooms are available (and they are clean!). We sipped on our drinks while staring at the Moselle from about 300 meters high. I would consider this hike as the highlight of our Moselle Valley trip. What an awesome reward after an intense hike!
After that exciting adventure we drove off to Brauneberg, where we ate the best schnitzels of our life at Gasthof Zur Klosterschenke. Friendly staff, heavenly food, a cozy German interior and an extensive menu. Even when you’re not into schnitzels they have a lot of other tasty options. Also vegetarian.
Day 3: Brauneberg, Bernkastel-Kues and Traben-Trarbach
Brauneberg is a very small town with not much to see. In the morning went for a short stroll along the Moselle river and we took some photos of the pretty vineyards.
Then we walked into the city center which we saw within one hour. Some homes were decorated with Halloween pumpkins which was fun to take some photos with!
The twin medieval towns of Bernkastel and Kues, split by the Moselle, form the heart of the beautiful Middle Moselle. When we arrived, it was pretty quiet, and it made us feel like we had the entire town to ourselves. The first thing is I noticed were all the pretty colored houses surrounded by green top hills.
In the district Kues, which we found a little less exciting, you can find many wineries and taverns. We are not huge wine fans, but if you are then you probably will have a wonderful time trying out the different Riesling wines.
After a simple lunch we drove to Traben-Trarbach. Once upon a time this town had the second largest wine trading center in Europe after Bordeaux. That’s why you will spot large wine cellars and magnificent big art nouveau villas. Make sure you don’t miss the Brückentor (Bridge Gate), Villa Huesgen, Breucker Villa, and Hotel Bellevue. It felt like time stood still…
This town was the last one on our list and that means our 3-day road trip had came to an end! I think the Moselle region in Germany is a great destination if you need a break from your busy life, enjoy visiting cute traditional towns, ancient castles, looking for excitement, or when you are big nature lover.
Finding your way to any of the German towns mentioned is easy (and Germans sure love their maps). Also lots of local speak a few words (or more) of English and all seem friendly. Go check out this hidden gem before others will!
Psssst, curious to see more of the stunning Moselle Valley?
Check out my Instagram Moselle Valley story for more videos of this lush region, behind-the-scene clips of our hikes, and more!