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Robbietravels Jan 13th, 2013 03:10 PM

Best place to stay for Rhine and Mosel day trips
After visiting friends in England, we plan to fly to possibly Frankfurt in late August. My question is which town to stay in to do mini river trips. We want to do a one day trip on the Mosel. If I understand what I've read, the stretch from Cochen upstream to Beilstein or Bernkastel is the prettiest. For the Rhine the stretch from Rudesheim to St. Goar is best.
I read that we should spend a couple hours in Boppard and Burg Eltz.
Please comment.

So where should we locate ourselves (Trier, Cocoen, Rudeshein?) and what trains would get us back to lodging at the end of each day.

Is flying in to Frankfurt best. We'll take a low cost carrier out of Gatwick so we may have other options closer to these boat trip I have not considered.

PalenQ Jan 13th, 2013 05:07 PM

Cochem is my favorite and of many others - to me the cutest of those towns and has great train service to Burg Eltz - well actually to Moselkern, which is a few miles below the famous castle - take cabs there or do a sweet few-mile walk like I did up thru forests to Burg Eltz, one of the very few castles on the Mosel or Rhine not turned to ruins by marauding armies, especially Napoleon's - and Cochem is a great base for the Rhine as well.

Take a train from Cochem to Koblenz and change for trains to Rudesheim - then hop on a K-D boat ( to float back down the Rhine to Koblenz - a few hour cruise thru the fabled Rhine Gorge - and the most scenic part of the Rhine.

You can also hop to Trier easily from Cochem in a few minutes by train and Trier, one of Europe's oldest cities - once Charlmemagne's capital of a part of the Holy Roman Empire it boats a former Roman Temple still intact that is now a Christian basilica - any neat Roman ruins as well like the Porta Negra, the 'entry to the eastern part of the Holy Roman Empire' as they said. Trier also has the Karl Marx House, a museum and study center devoted to that famous philosopher who grew up here.

So Cochem is the perfect base for all those places and to me is the prettiest town on all the Mosel or Rhine or at least as pretty as any.

For lots of great info on German trains check out these superb IMo sites -; and Check for English schedules and fares - if traveling enough days be sure to check out the German Railpass that lets you hop any train anytime with very few exceptions and is also valid on the K-D boats on the Rhine and Mosel (can also take a K-D boat to Moselkern.

Rudesheim is a nice town but one that many folks dislike because it is overrun with tour-bus groups - Cochem is your fantasy town, surrounded by vineyard-carpeted cliffs IMO.

Robbietravels Jan 14th, 2013 08:25 AM

Thanks so much. Cochen is it. Any hotel or B & B recommendations in the $140-$170 range? Restaurant recs?

valtor Jan 14th, 2013 08:52 AM

We also stayed in Cochem and loved it. We visited from there Koblenz, Trier, Luxemburg, Beilstein, Burg Elz.
We had not a car, used the train and this was very convenient.

We stayed at Pension Albers, located on the pedestrian commercial main street. We had there an apartment, very nice and equipped with every thing you need. The owners were kind and helpful.
See opinions about this place:

You can book via

PalenQ Jan 14th, 2013 01:21 PM

check out the Cochem Tourist Office official site for hotel and guesthouse info and awesome pictures of this incredibly cute town.

lincasanova Jan 14th, 2013 01:37 PM

Frankfurt Hahn is actually just a few miles from the Mosel and that is where we have always found the cheapest flights, on Ryanair from where i live. Check out everything. Both FRA and Frank.Hahn are convenient.

There are so many nice towns to see just have to accept the fact you'll need to go back since it is IMPOSSIBLE to see them all. Choose a few top rated ones and leave the rest for other trips.

Robbietravels Jan 14th, 2013 05:25 PM

All good advise. i'm taking all this in. So if we fly in to Frankfurt Hahn we can take a train from the airport to Cochem?

VolCrew Jan 14th, 2013 06:36 PM

I second the recommendation on Trier! One of my favs.

lincasanova Jan 15th, 2013 12:08 AM

There are buses from FH to the Mosel and also t Frankfurt itself among other places but I do not know where. We had a car for all the bopping in and out.. saved a LOT of time.Just driving along the river was wonderful.

Best to see how convenient the departure airport is for you in London. Stansted is quite a ways out of town and may not be a logical jumping off point for you regardless of the price.

Here is a bus route I have found

Finecheapboxofwine Jan 15th, 2013 01:32 AM

We stayed at the Hotel Haus Sonnschein in Cochem which was located right on the river and overlooked the Reichsburg Castle. It was during off-peak season and we were able to drop in and get the room. We are a family of four and had plenty of space and the top floor room even had a little private patio which overlooked the castle. I wouldn't hesitate stay there again.

PalenQ Jan 15th, 2013 04:21 AM

A great day trip from Cochem is to take a boat to Beilstein, up river - plying one of the prettiest stretches of the Mosel - take buses back to Cochem - this area is also a great place to rent a bike and say cycle downstream to Moselkern and then hike or taxi up to Burg eltz - put your bike on a train to return quickly to Cochem if you do not feel like cycling back the 10 miles or so.

PalenQ Jan 15th, 2013 07:05 AM

IME of staying in Cochem multiple times is that local hoteliers are aloof to book rooms for only one weekend night - like just a Friday or Saturday so plan the two nights be included in your overall stay for easier booking in the tourist season. Many Dutch flock down here and there are many Americans as well as there are many American GIs in the area.

Robbietravels Jan 15th, 2013 01:20 PM

Thanks for the Cochem nod. Now I'm puzzled about how to get there Lincasanova, you're right, Stansted is too far so we can forget about flying into Frankfurt Hahn. We can fly into Dortmund from Luton or into Cologne from Gatwick (both cheap Easyjet flights). Germanwings has a flight from LHR to Cologne. We'd tour Cologne if we flew in and overnighted there, I've been, DH would like a half day visit.

So is it better to overnight in Dortmund or Cologne in terms of the shortest train ride to Cochem?

So that you have a picture of my draft itinerary, after days in Cochem to do day trips on the Rhine and Mosel, we'd train it to Strassbourg, rent a car and spend 2-3 nights in Colmar area. From there we keep going south into Switzerland and end up meeting friends eight or nine days later in central France, all by car. It would be nice to have a car for Cologne to Cochem, hmm. I'll look into a fews days rental in Germany. The main car rental needs to begin and end in France to avoid those absurd cross country fees.

PalenQ Jan 15th, 2013 01:42 PM

Cochem is also a short train ride from Luxembourg - check out Luxembourg's Findel Airport from the UK. Trains every hour to Cochem via Trier - may have to make a simple change in Trier.

Cologne is a marginally shorter train ride to Cochem (always change at Koblenz) than Dortmund .

Yes I'd drive from airport to Cochem - when going to Strasbourg it is a lovely lovely drive up the Mosel Valley via Trier and Luxembourg towards Strasbourg though that may not be the most direct route. But driving along the Mosel is oh so pretty - I've done it on a push bike many times - awesomely gorgeous - do drive along the Mosel - one reason for having a car - take trains perhaps to do the Rhine thing.

PalenQ Jan 15th, 2013 03:28 PM

Beware of drop off charges - sometimes obscenely steep for renting in one country and dropping off in another!

PalenQ Jan 16th, 2013 10:01 AM

If you like to bike or want to bike a little the Mosel if one of Europe's primo biking venues - thousands of Europeans like the Dutch come here to bike on the riverside bike paths that hug the river most of the way to Koblenz from Trier.

One great biking trip goes upstream to Beilstein and back but one that is more utilitarian goes downstream to Moselkern - as noted before from which to visit Burg Eltz, one of Germany's most famous castles.

Now after biking this stretch for over a decade guiding tours I say go downstream as the Mosel can be a veritable wind tunnel at times and the wind usually blows downstream - nothing worse than battling a strong headwind - and at Moselkern you can put your bike on a train if you want to easily return to Cochem - you can rent bikes at Cochem's train station.

Another favorite activity of mine in Cochem is to visit the Hieronimi Winery, smack opposite the town center just to the east of the bridge - nice short tours and tasting and the chance to buy Mosel white wine right from the source.

PalenQ Jan 16th, 2013 11:34 AM

If driving up the Mosel check out Bernkastel-Kues, to me the 2nd or 3rd prettiest larger town on the Mosel between Koblenz and Trier - Zell being the other.

And of course Trier makes a classic few-hour stop or a good overnight - lots of Roman ruins and the fantastic Porta Negra, to me the best Roman relic (not ruin) outside of Italy - as is the old Roman Temple converted into a Christian basilica nearly two centuries ago.

nanaof4 Jan 16th, 2013 12:59 PM

In 2011 I flew into Frankfurt, then caught the train to Bacharach where I stayed 2 nights (good place to get the KD Rhine boat to St. Goar). Beautiful cruise. Then trained to Cochem for 3 nights. Both Bacharach and Cochem are incredibly cute villages. From my Cochem base I rented a bike and rode to Beilstein, which, IMO is the cutest, most quaint village on either the Rhine or Mosel. I love the bike path along the Mosel. Since I managed to arrive at the crossing for the small ferry at just the time they stopped running for the lunch hour, I kept on riding to the next bridge where I crossed and rode to Beilstein on the other side of the river. The second day I wanted to rent a bike again, but when it started raining I decided to take the boat instead. This goes through the Fankel locks. Whatever you decide you will have a great time in any of these villages along the Rhine and Mosel.

lincasanova Jan 16th, 2013 01:07 PM

do not miss bernkastel-kues. I agree.

Robbietravels Jan 16th, 2013 02:26 PM

I'm noting all the routing and stop over info. We can't bike, both have injuries but we plan to do day trips on both Mosel and Rhine.

I think I've figured out a routing that works to begin our continental swing. We fly from LHR to CGN (Cologne) on Germanwings and overnight in Cologne. We tour Cologne the next morning and rent a car and drive down to Cochem, making stops. We stay 2 or 3(??) nights in Cochem and return the car in Offenburg. We take a bus or taxi the 11 miles to Colmar. Rent car in Colmar, tour wine area and then head in to Switzerland. After 7-8 days there, drop off the car in Chateauroux, near where we are staying with friends. Comments please.

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