Host of some of Germany’s most famous car races, including the Formula One German Grand Prix (in even-numbered years), the historic HockenheimRing has three circuits and stands that can accommodate up to 120,000 fans. Formula One cars have reached speeds of up to 330km/hr here.
Inundated with visitors most of the year, Cochem is the Moselle at its most touristy, with a bank of pastel-coloured, terrace-fronted restaurants lining the waterfront. Its tangle of narrow alleyways and dramatic castle precipitously perched on a rock, however, are well worth a stop.
Across the river from Bacharach and about 8km upriver from Loreley, near the village of Kaub, stands the fairly-tale Pfalzgrafstein, a boat-shaped toll castle perched on a narrow island – perfect for picnics – in the middle of the Rhine. To get out to there, hop on a Fährboot next to the Kaub car ferry dock; there are departures every half-hour.
Victor Hugo thought the Burg Eltz, hidden away in the forest above the left bank of the Moselle, was ‘tall, terrific, strange and dark’. Indeed, this 850-year-old fairy-tale castle, owned by the same family for more than 30 generations, has a forbidding exterior somewhat softened by the turrets that crown it like candles on a birthday cake.
Founded in about AD 760 and Unesco-listed in 1991, Lorsch Abbey was an important religious site in its Carolingian heyday (8th to 10th centuries). A handful of medieval buildings have been preserved; the rare, Carolingian-era Königshalle and the Altenmünster are the most accessible.
Framed by forested hillsides, vineyards and rose gardens, the 1300-year-old town of Braubach, 8km south of Koblenz on the Rhine's right bank, centres on its small, half-timbered Marktplatz. High above Braubach are the dramatic towers, turrets and crenellations of the 700-year-old Marksburg, which is unique among the Rhine fastnesses as it was never destroyed.