Introducing The Moselle Valley
While plenty of places in Germany demand that you hustle, the Moselle (in German, Mosel) gently suggests that you should, well…just mosey. The German section of the river, which rises in France and then traverses Luxembourg, runs for 195km from Trier to Koblenz on a slow, serpentine course, revealing new scenery at every bend. Unlike the Romantic Rhine, it’s spanned by plenty of bridges.
Exploring the wineries of the Moselle Valley (www.mosellandtouristik.de) is an ideal way to get to know German culture, interact with locals and, of course, sample some wonderful wines. To experience the sublime pleasures of serial sipping, look for signs reading Weingut, Weinprobe, Wein Probieren, Weinverkauf and Wein zu Verkaufen. In spring luscious purple wisteria flowers, dangling from stone village houses, anticipate the bunches of grapes that will ripen in the fall.
Lots of walking trails allow you to explore the Moselle’s banks and hillsides, where you’ll find Europe’s steepest vineyard (the Bremmer Calmont near Bremm, with a 68% gradient) and Germany’s most expensive one (the Bernkasteler Doctor in Bernkastel-Kues). Attractive villages worth a wander include (heading upriver) Ediger-Eller, Bremm, Zell, Enkirch, Traben-Trarbach, Kröv, Ürzig, Zeltingen-Rachtig and Bernkastel-Kues.
From November to about Easter, most Moselle towns are very quiet, and some hotels shut down. Accommodation can be booked via www.mosellandtouristik.de. Almost all Moselle towns have a camping ground.