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German itinerary help - 2 or 3 nights between Trier & Alsace

German itinerary help - 2 or 3 nights between Trier & Alsace

Mar 24th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 525
German itinerary help - 2 or 3 nights between Trier & Alsace

Hi all,

As usual, when I have a dilema, I turn to the experts here. Thanks in advance for reading this!

The short story is in the thread title. The long story is that we arrive and will spend the first 3 nights in an apartment in Cochem. We leave the apartment on Sunday, May 4.

Our daughter, studying in Trier, will most likely have school obligations Monday thru Wednesday. We will then meet up and travel to Alsace for a few days, before heading off to visit family in eastern Bavaria.

I'm torturing myself with the options, but here's what I have considered:

1. Stay in Trier for those nights. We could daytrip around, but we'll have a night or two to spend in Trier later in the trip.

2. Rhein valley. Although we'll be on the Mosel, it's only for 3 nights, probably not enough time to get over to the Rhein. But, is it too similar to the Mosel area?

3. Black Forest, perhaps Gengenbach? Then have DD hop a train and meet us in Strasbourg, and on to the Route du Vin.

4. The Neckar area east of Heidelberg. I adore castles. DD could train to Mannheim or Heidelberg and we could continue on to Alsace.

5. ?? Have I missed anything? What would you do?

Oh, and if it matters, Mr. Fan and I have never been in Europe alone. We've always traveled with an Uncle or Daughter, so this will be our little 'getaway' within the trip.

I am grateful for any and all opinions. Oh, and we'll have a car and we haven't visited any of these areas of Germany. Past trips have all been Bavaria, with a quick jaunt to the Bodensee.

phieaglefan is offline  
Mar 24th, 2008, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you are staying on the Mosel, then you should skip the Rhein area and see something differnt.

We spent a few days in Bernkastel-Kues on the Mosel last September and did a day trip to Trier and Echternach, Lux. We enjoyed both, but if you are going to spend time in Trier later in your trip then maybe you should do something else.

We visited Gengenbach a couple of years ago and loved this little town. From there, you could do a day trip to Baden Baden, driving along the Schwarzwald Hohenstrasse (I believe) or Black Forest High Road.

On the other hand, we also fell in love with Bad Wimpfen which is about an hour from Heidelburg, and on the Neckar River.

BW is small but so lovely. We did a day trip to Dinkelsbuehl and Schwaebisch Hall but you could do Heidelburg as a day trip instead.

It was so nice to come back to our quiet little hotel in Bad Wimpfen at the end of the day!

You can see all of our Germany photos at our website: www.webshots.com. Do a search for dkubiak.

You can't go wrong with any of those choices IMO!
bettyk is offline  
Mar 24th, 2008, 07:20 PM
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Many options. You don't need to go far to see some interesting places.

Not sure what your 3 days in Cochem include, but Trier might be a good spot to make outings from. Bernkastel is a must-see town but doesn't require a lot of time. Saarburg is a very attractive town. Luxembourg City has its appeal as well.

That said, I think the Rhine is quite different and worth your time, depending on what you'd like to see.

"I adore castles."
Marksburg Castle provides a good tour - real medieval castle, never destroyed:


Linz is an adorable village on the east bank north of Koblenz; Remagen on the west bank has a terrific WW II museum in the supports of the former "Bridge at Remagen" (movie, George Segal/Ben Gazzara.) A ferry connects Remagen with Erpel, a village reachable by train just north of Linz. You could do some or all of these visits on the way to Cologne, where many sights and accommodations lie within a few hundred meters of the train station.

With several days, you might loop back to Trier via the Eifel mountains and on the way include a visit to Aachen and to Monschau, a well-preserved old weavers town set in a river gorge south of Aachen - gorgeous place:


Russ is offline  
Mar 25th, 2008, 04:32 AM
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Posts: 525
Wow, thank you both for your detailed responses.

Betty, your posts and photos are what originally drew me to Gengenbach and Bad Wimpfen as possibilities. If you had to chose one of these two towns for a few nights in early May, which one would you pick?

Russ, wow, thanks for the suggestions. Monschau looks awesome, but it's in the wrong direction. I guess I was trying to stay south to avoid alot of excess driving.

I will also look into Linz and Remagen.

Assuming you stayed in Cochem for a few days, is there a specific town on the Rhein that you'd choose? Perhaps a slight contrast to Cochem.

It's tempting to stay close in case our Daughter can get away earlier than expected. That way we could all travel to Alsace together. On the other hand, a short getaway for the 2 of us is tempting as well.

Thanks again for your thoughtful responses.
phieaglefan is offline  
Mar 25th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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Oh, phieaglefan, I'd have to say Bad Wimpfen. We truly fell in love with this beautiful little town. There were few tourists in May when we were there and the local people were so nice. And, as I said, it's a good location for taking other day trips around the area.

We enjoyed our stay at the Neckarblick Garni Hotel. It's just a short, pleasant walk to the Haupstrasse and they have parking for guests.

Here's some info in English:


bettyk is offline  
Mar 25th, 2008, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 139
My wife and I have done several trips on the Rhein and I do not think you would wasting your time on it even if you are seeing the Mosel.

Check out the towns of Bacharach or St. Goar. You can also do a search for me (jgwagner4) and read my travel reports on this forum. We did portions of our trips on the Rhein in 2005 and again in 2007.

What ever you decide to do, have a great time!

jgwagner4 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 05:46 AM
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Posts: 251
Hi phieaglefan,
clear vote for Bad Wimpfen against Gengenbach! In case you have a car the best thing would be to go from Heidelberg along river Neckar and visit several other nice small towns on the way like Neckarsteinach, Hirschhorn or Guttenberg. If you are into romantic castles, this should be a must. I found it equal to Romantic road. Just have a look at burgenstrasse.de (English version) and you will understand what I mean.
wolfmisc is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 06:19 AM
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wolfmisc is so right. That drive along the Neckar River is beautiful!
bettyk is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 525
Thanks for everyone's input. So it now seems as if I am chosing between the Rhein and the Neckar. It's a tough decision.

On one hand, it seems that the Rhein would be close, and doing that, we could swing back by Trier, pick up our daughter, and then head to Alsace.

On the other hand, the Neckar feels a bit more 'genuine'. My German is somewhat passable, so I'm not concerned about that.

I will do some more research. Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to respond.
phieaglefan is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,171
While based in Cochem, a must see is Burg Eltz. Where it's situated and the castle itself (inside and out) are simply the best we've seen. Beautiful.


Our pic's from this past October are at:


pja1 is online now  
Mar 27th, 2008, 05:10 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 680
You have some great suggestions so far. Here are some more:

- If you travel up the Mosel, be sure to stop in Koblenz, a charming but often overlooked town. See the Deutches Eck where the Mosel flows into the Rhine, Europe's largest fortress Festung Ehrenbreitstein with a wonderful view of the river, and lots of lovely cafes and wine bars. Then you can travel down the Rhine and see LOTS of castles including Burg Maus, Burg Katz, Burg Reichenstein, Burg Rheinstein and taste a Rüdesheimer coffee, ending in Mainz to see the Gutenberg museum and the gorgeous cathedral.

- If you decide to the Black Forest, there aren't as many castles, but the Malbronn Monestary outside of Pforzheim is well worth a vist, as is Ettlingen for the half-timbered houses. If you like beer, the brewery in Alpirsbach is worth a stop. Also consider the University town of Freiberg and no visit would be complete without visiting the home of the cuckoo clock, Triberg.

- Trier itself is worth at least a day, particularly if you are interested in Roman ruins. From there, Luxembourg City and Metz, France are both possibilities.

- The Neckar also has its attractions, but given everything else that is much easier to reach, I'd save this part of Germany for another visit.

You really can't go wrong, whatever you decide.
Have fun!
wanderfrau is offline  

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