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Make time for the Rhine and Mosel Valleys?

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Make time for the Rhine and Mosel Valleys?

Old Nov 28th, 2013, 10:25 AM
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Make time for the Rhine and Mosel Valleys?

My partner and I are planning a fifteen day vacation in Germany next September. I am using points for the air flight so I want to make that purchase soon. We love architecture, museums, churches, nature, all aspects of travel. I want to visit Berlin for 4 days as a stopover to Munich. From the Munich Airport we will pick up a rental for a 8 or 9 day tour of Southern Germany. I definitely want to stay in Fussen for 3 nights to tour the King’s Castles, Weis Church and the Zugspitz summit.

Next we would tour up the Romantic Road to Rothenburg for 2-3 nights including a side trip to Wurzburg and perhaps Bamberg.

Lastly we could drive through Nuremberg for an overnight stay or just drive on to return our car in Munich. Finally we would stay in Munich for 3-4 nights.

Our question; should we work in a tour of the Rhine and Mosel Valleys as part of this trip? I would be open to staying a few nights in this area. It just requires a lot of driving to get up to this area and then the 5 hour drive back to Munich. We don't mind some driving but not hours and hours in the car.
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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 01:19 PM
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Our question; should we work in a tour of the Rhine and Mosel Valleys as part of this trip? I would be open to staying a few nights in this area. It just requires a lot of driving to get up to this area and then the 5 hour drive back to Munich. We don't mind some driving but not hours and hours in the car.>

well you have answered your own question, right?

There is so so much to see and do in Bavaria by car - stay in the Munich area - many IME find the best part of the Rhine (Rudesheim to Koblenz) underwhelming - the Mosel is one of the most gorgeous river valleys in Europe and Cochem is the picture-postcard town of your dreams - castle protruding out of a ineyard-clad hill in the town center.

But there are equally awesome things in the Munich area - like the Zugspitze - drive to Garmisch-P, a great base -- lots of cozy guest house hotels and take the train to the summit.Oberammergau, Linderhof Palace, Herrenchiemsee Palace and even Nurnberg is a fascinating town.

So rather than waste a day each way to the Rhine/Mosel - 5 hours plus getting to the hotel, packing up, etc. I think you will find plenty to do right in a compact area around Munich.

Salzburg, Austria makes a nice day too.
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Old Nov 28th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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PalenQ,
Thank you for your prompt response. I worked out a plan where we return to Munich from Rothenburg via Nurnberg. Of course I would have to look at more sights in the area such as the ones you have mentioned. I have a tendency to try to take in too much so perhaps you are right in suggesting I pull back. But....its hard to give up Bacharach, Cochem, and Trier.
BTW, Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 05:18 AM
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Thanks for the thanks!

Regensburg is another Bavarian town, on the Sanube, that everyone seems to like and so did I - said to have more historic (old) buildings in its city center than any other German town.

Have you considered flying out of Frankfurt and thus ending up your trip there - spending 3 days or so on the Mosel (Cochem is a great great base - Trier just a bit up river and the Rhine not far - easy day trips and not far to Frankfurt, return car at airport before flight.
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 05:48 AM
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In case you haven't made any purchases yet--you might think about the Frankfurt area airport idea as PalenQ says. I've been to Germany twice, once for 2 weekends and a week (with DH on business) and once for 3 weeks where I did daytrips by train and DH and I had 3 weekends with a car (with him on business again).

I've been to all the places you are thinking about except Berlin (and Weis Church). While it is of course going to be totally up to you and your interests and preferences, I will tell you my favorites, in order:
Trier (at least a couple days)
The Rhine Valley (2-4 days)
Bavarian area (wow--could spend a whole month or more, right?!)
The Mosel Valley
The Romantic Road (2-3 days?)
Munich and Nurnberg left me disappointed but that was just my particulars (weather, time, and I didn't have a car around Nurnberg)

I loved Bamberg!
Are you considering Dachau? Sobering important stop.
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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and if going between say Rothenberg and Heidelberg - another great stop - one of the few German cities not blitzed in WW2 - fantastic castle above town - you can drive the Castle Road between Rothenberg and Heidelberg and onto the Rhine/Mosel area.

The Castle Road plies a river valley dotted with cute towns and castles - much more romantic road than the Romantic Road, a two-laned traffic-clogged highway when I have taken it - now the towns along the Romantic Road are sweet but the road itself not!

anyway a neat way to end up in the Rhine/Mosel/Frankfurt area - the Castle Road.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cast...=1600&bih=1074
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 07:24 AM
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For another point of view, here's my ranking of texasbookworm's list:

The Mosel Valley (2 days)
The Rhine Valley (2 days)
Bavarian area
The Romantic Road (1 day) and Rothenburg (1 day)
Trier (half a day unless you love Roman ruins)

Munich's OK and I haven't been to Nurnberg.

We didn't go to Zugspitze. (Living near montains we're blase about them.) Instead of staying in Fussen, we got a hotel in Hohenschwangau at the base of the hills where stand Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. Made for an early start at Neuschwanstein before the crowds. Then drove north on the Romantic Road, with a quick stop (an hour?) at Wieskirche. The latter is definitely worth seeing, especially for the contrast of its pastoral setting and the ornate interior.

We also made a memorable stop at Herrnchiemsee, another of King Ludwig's castles, located on an island in the middle of a lake, east of Munich. You have to park your car, take a little ferry to the island, then walk (or take a carriage) to the castle. This was Ludwig's attempt to duplicate or outdo Versailles. I was particularly struck by a Meissen candelabra, which made crystal candelabras look rather crude.

Ah, the usual problem. So many interesting places, so much to see. Still not a bad problem to have.
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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September is a great month to see Germany.

Given your time and interest in architecture, I think you ought to see some of Bavaria and the Rhine/Mosel region as well. I would spend most of my Bavaria time in northern Bavaria rather than southern.

Würzburg: The Residenz Palace (with adjacent Hofkirche chapel) and the Marienberg Fortress are terrific. Nuremberg is good too. In addition to these and Rothenburg, nearby Bamberg and the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica in Staffelstein are not to be missed. And why would you want to miss the Franconian open-air museum in Bad Windsheim?? It's an amazing collection of buildings from the last 6 centuries where you can get a glimpse at the life of European commoners, not just the royalty:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...conia_Bav.html

http://www.urlaub-und-reise-news.de/...dt-und-Dom.jpg

Very near Würzburg you will find some smaller well-preserved historic towns in Franconian wine country on the Main River - Ochsenfurt, Marktbreit, and Sommerhausen. These are often overlooked by international tourists racing past them to join the other tourists in Rothenburg; it's a nice place to linger during grape harvest season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLUgpoQIFHI

The old walled town of Iphofen is near Würzburg as well and fantastic too:

http://www.stadtbild-deutschland.org...&threadID=2985

"I definitely want to stay in Fussen for 3 nights to tour the King’s Castles..."

For the architecture-oriented, you should be informed that these are late 19th-century palaces, not castles. Neuschwanstein was created by a theatrical set designer - it was made to resemble a castle. Ludwig's other palaces are Versailles-based, not dissimilar from palaces you'll find in Munich and Würzburg.

The heavy concentration of 700-1,000-year-old castles (Burg Eltz and Marksburg are perhaps the best choices for touring) in the Rhine/Mosel region are, IMO, not to be missed. I find them more significant, interesting and unique than the Füssen-area structures.
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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plus in September there will be wine festivals all along the lovely Mosel!

Cochem is the type of town many folks dream of staying in but rarely do - very different than larger cities.

https://www.google.com/search?q=coch...=1600&bih=1074
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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We did 6 days of cycling from Frankfurt up the Rhine and down the Mosel. Unforgettable scenery, friendly people,great food and wines. Triers' ancient Roman ruins were amazing, especially since I had not yet then been to Rome. Have to agree with texasbookworm.
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Old Nov 29th, 2013, 10:49 AM
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Lots of good ideas here. I have to sit down with my map and look at the different options. The number of interesting sights is astounding; sadly I cannot take off more than 2 weeks at a time.

We are flying through Berlin and feel we should spend at least 3-4 nights. I have never been to Berlin and have heard great things about their museums. By flying into Munich I could spend 3-4 nights and then rent a car for the remaining period. Frankfurt would be closer to the Rhine and Mosel but I don’t have an interest in staying in that city overnight.

I am not sure if I should cut down the time in those cities to give more time to auto touring. The biggest problem is deciding what NOT to see. Editing can be a problem. How many castles do I want to see? Of course I want to see them all but that is not possible. Yes, I know I should just “plan on coming back” but that is not easy for this voracious traveler.

Putting the sights in order that you consider most important is very useful to me. Of course we all have different tastes but It helps me to prioritize.
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Old Nov 30th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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Any good guesthouse or hotel recommendations for Cochem? And is 2 nights there a fair amount of time to travel around the area? Then maybe one more in the Rhine River Valley?
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Old Nov 30th, 2013, 04:46 PM
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Or how about 2 nights in Bacharach and 2 nights in Cochem with one night in Trier?
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Old Dec 1st, 2013, 07:15 AM
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All that changing hotels will eat up time. And those places are not that far apart. I'd stay in Cochem or another Mosel River town. Cochem to Trier is a minimum of 1 hour driving time, 1.5 hours if you take the scenic route along the river. Cochem to Bacharach is a little over an hour.
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Old Dec 1st, 2013, 07:54 AM
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Good suggestion, packing and unpacking can take up time and energy. I am wondering if the drive from Rothenburg to Cochem will be too long? Google puts it at 4 hours if I drive up the Rhine. If I drive straight to Cochem it is still 3 hours 20 minutes. I am trying to figure out the logistics of staying in one place (which I prefer) and doing day trips.
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Old Dec 1st, 2013, 02:28 PM
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Trier is a nice city but cannot compare IMO as a base or a place to overnight than Cochem or other town on a pretty stretch of the Mosel - Trier is not on a nice part of the river and the river can not really be seen from most places in town.

And personally I would say Trier is a great day's adventure but one day for most is enough. Stay in a more romantic place - Trier has lots to see and do but overall in looks, etc is just a so-so (which means for Germany nice enough) city.
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Old Dec 1st, 2013, 09:05 PM
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You could also stay in Büdingen rather than Rothenburg, if you want an authentic, medieval walled town. Only an hours drive from Frankfurt, this would cut down your drive time.

http://www.buedingen.info/en/
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Büdingen rather than Rothenburg, if you want an authentic, medieval walled town>

I always have been struck by Rothenburg as being more a museum than a real town!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 03:36 PM
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To limit packing and unpacking in the Rhine/Mosel area where would you base? Cochem, Bacharach, St. Goar, they all seem to be great places to stay and are relatively central. Perhaps three nights in one of these towns makes more sense than two nights along the Rhine and two in the Mosel. I am assuming Berg Eltz, Marksburg Castle, Burg Rheinfels Castle and Trier would be the important stops.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 08:33 PM
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Like others have said, concentrate on Bavaria and save Berlin and surrounds for another time.

Good advice has already been given Enjoy
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