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Where is the best town to stay to best explore the Rhine/Mosel?

Where is the best town to stay to best explore the Rhine/Mosel?

Nov 1st, 2004, 01:34 PM
  #1  
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Where is the best town to stay to best explore the Rhine/Mosel?

I understand that it is probably better to spend a few nights on both the Mosel and the Rhine rivers, but we are trying to avoid 1-2 night stays on our vacation next May. We would like to stay somewhere in Germany that has good access to exploring the Rhine and the Mosel. We are considering Boppard or St. Goar, but are open to suggestions. We would ike to spend 1 whole day exploring the Mosel, and 2.5 days exploring the Rhine region between Cologne and Mainz. Is this doable?

Thanks!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 03:56 PM
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You won't be able to "explore" the Mosel in a day, but you can hit a few spots. Cochem (by car or train) and Bernkastel (if you have a car) make the best stops for a daytrip, I think; of course, Burg Eltz, the most amazing castle, just east of Cochem, ought to be seen as well - try to squeeze it in.

Both Boppard and St. Goar make for good bases. Each has a ferry and a train station. St. Goar is my favorite spot; it is more scenic, with 3 castles visible from the town, but smaller. Boppard has a livelier atmosphere, a better variety of places to stay, and eateries and a bit more to do, but the ambiance in St. Goar is more to my liking. We spent a few days there in vacation rental overlooking the Rhine a year ago, and it was great.

You should probably limit your Rhine explorations to the much smaller area between Bingen in the south and Koblenz in the north. Mainz-to-Bingen is pleasant in spots but not terribly interesting; ditto north of Koblenz (the WW II peace museum in Remagen is a worthwhile stop, however.) You can tour Burg Rheinstein (very briefly, not much there) near Bingen and Marksburg (much more interesting!) in Braubach or the Rheinfels ruins in St. Goar (pretty good for a pile of rubble), but the best castle is Burg Eltz, near Moselkern on the Mosel. Of your 3.5 days, I'd suggest allotting at least 1.5 days on the Mosel so you can see Eltz AND some other towns there.
Russ is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 04:16 PM
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We have spent some time in both areas also. Without going over all of it again, I agree with the advice Russ is giving you.

After numerous trips through the years on both rivers, I think I like the Mosel overall better than the Rhine. Both have great spots, but that is my opinion.

Both are easy to get around by car, but you also need to book a boat ride to really relax, enjoy the beer and watch the towns float by. They have all sorts of day trips you can take. be sure to do one of these.
Bob1 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 04:21 PM
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Russ is as usual very accurate with his suggestions, although he might have pushed Burg Eltz a bit harder - it is an absolute must-see in my book.

What few people seem to recognize is that you can stay on the other side of the Rhine from Koblenz and access the Lahn river (never mentioned on this site as far as I know, but well worth a week - I understand you haven't time for it, though) as well as the big two. From Lahnstein you can drive down the RH side of the Rhine, and return up the LH side where a bridge brings you back to Lahnstein again.

Using that same bridge you can cut across to the Mosel near Winningen, thereby avoiding Koblenz, and drive down to the little bridge at Karden-Treis, do a right and you are only a few km from Burg Eltz.

I will give you a few suggestions for accommodation in Lahnstein in a minute, on this post if it works, otherwise several posts above.

Harzer
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Nov 1st, 2004, 04:34 PM
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The four star Hotel Dorint overlooking the Rhine is highly recommended.

Prices start at 59 Euros.

Harzer
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Nov 1st, 2004, 05:06 PM
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We are also thinking of visiting these two rivers/areas next September for 4 nights...is it possible to do by train and boat, we don't wish to rent a car.
susanna is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 05:25 PM
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Susanna - Definitely yes! We spent 10 days in an apartment in St. Goar and went off each day by boat or train. Easy and a great way to do it. We went up the Lahn, down to Trier and even found the
berkenstock factory. Enjoy, CJ
CarolJean is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 05:44 PM
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Thanks CarolJean...We are thinking of staying 4 nights, probably in St Goar, and just taking daytrips on the train and boats.
susanna is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 06:42 PM
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"We are also thinking of visiting these two rivers/areas next September for 4 nights...is it possible to do by train and boat, we don't wish to rent a car."


Very possible.

The Rhine boats are enjoyable for a short time but can become very crowded, and they offer little shade save in the often smoke-filled cabin areas. I would plan to take the boat one direction for a couple of hours and proceed or return by train - between Koblenz and Bingen, nearly every town on both sides of the river is served by both train and boat - and the walking distance between the two is usually minimal - making this a simple matter. I would recommend getting a pocket train timetable from one of the manned stations (Mainz, Bingen, Boppard, Koblenz) or a local tourist office in the area so that you can achieve some flexibility and not get stranded unnecessarily.

The regional daypasses for weekday train travel on the local trains (called the Rheinland-Pfalz ticket) make it cheaper than a car too (21 or 22 Euros of up to 5 people traveling together on weekdays after 9 am on the RB and RE trains.) On Sats or Suns, get a "happy-weekend ticket", which costs 28 Euros but accomplishes the same - unlimited travel on local trains for 5.) These passes can be bought from machines at any station from Mainz to Koblenz to Trier along these rivers or at any ticket counter there (in advance, if you like.)

If you don't have time to walk 45 minutes each way from Moselkern station to Burg Eltz, a car might be the better way to get there. However, this is a very pleasant walk through the forest, and it puts you in the proper mood for a visit to another century.
Russ is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 07:07 PM
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Thanks Russ...that's just what I wanted to hear.
susanna is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 10:26 PM
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Many other threads have discussed this area and concurr.
If you have a car and want a 1/2 day adventure, the Nordschleife at der Nurburgring about 20 min N of Cochem is a must do - it's the old, very beautiful Formula 1 race track, now open to the public, mostly on Mondays for about 12 Euro a (14.8 mi) lap.
M
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Nov 1st, 2004, 10:55 PM
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We were at the Mosel just a few weeks ago. Our base for 3 nights was a small family-run hotel in Cochem. We found the location to be perfect to daytrip further south (Bernkastel, Traben-Trarbach) and north (Burg Eltz, Koblenz).
MyriamC is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Myriam, could you tell us where you stayed in Cochem?
bettyk is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2004, 10:17 AM
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Thank you for all of your information. I really appreciate it. Its always hard to gauge how much time to spend in an area. We are now considering adding an extra night and breaking up our time on the Mosel (possibly 2 nights) and the Rhine (possibly 2-3 nights). We will have a car but are planning on taking a cruise on the Rhine as well.

Thanks again!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2004, 10:49 AM
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when i was there a few years ago i was also told there are municipal bicycles you can rent and get on and off the boats at stops to explore the towns.
sounded like fun, weather pemitting.
lincasanova is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2004, 11:01 AM
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Thanks to a suggestion on this board, we stayed at Haus Lipmann in Beilstein on the Mosel in Sept. 2001. The rooms have a view on the Mosel. They are clean, the shower was small (but powerful) and it was only 85 Euros a night. What a bargain. You can dine on the patio overlooking the Mosel. It was a terrific place with a friendly owner. There is also a beer hall open on Friday and Saturday nights that was a blast (what I remember of it).

And Burg Eltz, for sure go. It was spectacular. Although not a Rick Steves devotée, he did offer a great driving shortcut to the castle. This how I explained it in my trip report.

"I had read in Steves' book not to follow the signs to Burg Eltz, because those were longer hikes to get there. Instead we ignored the Eltz signs in Moselkern and followed the signs to Munstermaifeld as he had suggested. We kept the faith because it seemed like we were headed in the wrong direction.

However, in about seven kilometers we came to a 'T' in the road. Signs to Burg Eltz were seen again. We made a left and went though Wierscheim and from that town's exit sign it was only 2km to the Burg Eltz Upper parking facility. It was an easy 10 -15 minute walk down to the castle from there."

That shortcut will save you at least an hour or hour and and a half of walking.
maitaitom is online now  
Nov 2nd, 2004, 11:03 AM
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"we stayed at Haus Lipmann in Beilstein on the Mosel in Sept. 2001.."

Make that September 2003. That German liqueur I drank that night must have killed more brain cells than I thought.
maitaitom is online now  
Nov 2nd, 2004, 12:13 PM
  #18  
kk
 
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I stayed at the castle hotel attached to the Rheinfels ruins above St. Goar, a wonderful spot.
I found the Rhine area over-industrialized and hard to imagine as it must have been in the lovelier 19th century.
Therefore, I would strongly advise you to cut your time on the Rhine way down and up your time along the quieter, more scenic (but admittedly smaller) Mosel River.
kk is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2004, 12:26 PM
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bettyk: we stayed at Moselromantik-Hotel Thul. It's a 3* family-run hotel, nothing fancy at all but very friendly staff and good food!
http://www.hotel-thul.de
MyriamC is offline  
Nov 4th, 2004, 06:02 AM
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We visited the Rhine/Mosel areas in September this year and ended up staying at Hotel Gunther in Boppard. The hotel is owned by an American and is located right on the Rhine river. We enjoyed setting on the balcony watching the river activity. We were looking for a hotel without train tracks, parks, etc between us and the river.

Although we visted St. Goar many times and loved the "quaint" atmosphere of St. Goar, the town was booked for a Rhine in Flames event.

Concerning Burg Eltz ---- this is a MUST do attraction in our opinion. As suggested before, follow the Rick Steves directions and you have a short walk down/up a STEEP hill. We walked down and rode the shuttle up! The view when you walk around the corner of the valley and castle is stunning!

Marla
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