Moselle Valley

Like many others in the area, Cochem's original 11th-century castle fell victim to French troops in 1689, then stood ruined for centuries until wealthy Berliner Louis Ravene snapped it up for a pittance in 1868 and had it restored to its current – if not always architecturally faithful – glory. The 40-minute tours (some in English; leaflet/audioguide otherwise available) take in the decorative rooms that reflect 1000 years' worth of tastes and styles.

In summer, various themed tours, such as musical or ghost tours, are available; check the website for details. Its restaurant hosts four-hour banquets (including castle tour adult/child €49/24.50) on Friday and Saturday evenings, attended by costumed staff, with wine served in a clay tumbler that you get to keep, culminating in a knighting ceremony.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Moselle Valley attractions

1. Bundesbank Bunker

0.79 MILES

Camouflaged as residential buildings and built to survive a nuclear war, this extraordinary Cold War secret bunker owned by the German Federal Bank was…

2. Karmeliterkirche St Josef

3.96 MILES

Up a steep staircase from Fürst-Metternich Strasse, this baroque 17th-century Carmelite monastery church has a spectacular interior with a vaulted ceiling…

3. Burg Metternich

3.99 MILES

Above Beilstein looms Burg Metternich, a ruined hilltop castle reached via a footpath off Im Mühlental (at the top of cobbled Bachstrasse). Built in 1129,…

4. Hängeseilbrücke Geierlay

8.59 MILES

Stretching 360m at a height of 100m above ground, Germany's largest suspension bridge isn't for the faint-hearted but the valley views are spectacular…

5. Burg Eltz

8.72 MILES

At the head of the beautiful Moselle side-valley the Eltz, Burg Eltz is one of Germany's most romantic medieval castles. Never destroyed, this fairy-tale…

6. Mont Royal

11.88 MILES

Above Traben are the remains of the vast Mont Royal fortress, constructed between 1687 and 1698 and designed by Vauban for Louis XIV as a base from which…

7. Buddha Museum

13.54 MILES

A magnificent 1906 Jugendstil former winery, designed by Bruno Möhring, is the unlikely home of the Buddha Museum, which has a beautifully presented…

8. Mittelmosel-Museum

13.6 MILES

A 1755 baroque villa proud of having hosted Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for a few hours in 1792 is now home to Traben-Trarbach's local history museum…