Our tour to the Moselle Valley is something rather special: it visits places you may well have heard of together with perhaps those you have not, covering a wide variety of interests. We see the medieval "olde worlde" charm of Aachen, birthplace of the Frankish Empire whose ruler, Charlemagne tried to unite Europe, becoming the first Holy Roman Emperor, and which is now a lovely city in its own right. Also Trier - Germany’s oldest city dating from Roman times, capital of their Western Empire with the best preserved remains from Classical antiquity in northern Europe. Then there is the Moselle Valley itself - it really is superb: gentle slopes covered in vines with imposing half-ruined castles seemingly crowning every summit, picturesque villages with half-timbered houses and picture-postcard, medieval towns such as Cochem nestle on every sweeping bend in the majestic Moselle river. The extensive vineyards yield a rich harvest which in turn produces some of the world’s finest wines: Piesporter, Wehlener Sonnenuhr and many more. The people are open and friendly and you may well catch sight of a typical brass band which nearly every town has - a real spectacle of noise, colour and fun! So for a relaxing holiday come and see for yourself, some of the most interesting sights and beautiful scenery in Europe.
- Return rail connections available on selected dates from more than thirty regional stations
- Return standard class reserved seat on Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Brussels
- Five nights dinner, bed and breakfast in three-star hotels
- One of the most beautiful valleys in Europe
- Guided tour of Aachen - capital of Charlemagne
- Visit to Koblenz - impressively situated at the confluence of both the Moselle and Rhine rivers
- Visit to Cochem, centre of the Moselle wine trade
- Visit Trier - the oldest city in Germany - dating from Roman times
- Visit to Bernkastel most picturesque town in the valley
- Escorted by our experienced tour manager
- The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. In Germany "twin" rooms are often a double bed with two mattresses and individual bed linen. Single rooms are subject to availability at a supplement of £65 per person. The price includes return standard class Eurostar, all coach transport, five nights dinner bed and breakfast at hotels as mentioned, all tours as mentioned, services of a Riviera tour manager throughout.
- Not included: River cruise €8, wine tasting €7.50, approximate costs, payable locally.
- Please note there is a £10, £20, £25 or £50 supplement for certain regional stations.
- Standard Premier ClassUpgrade
- In order to enjoy your Eurostar experience to the full, you may upgrade toStandard PremierClassfor only £139 return, subject to availability. This price includes a complimentary light meal, offeredfrom a selection of sweet and savoury coldsnacks andincludes adrink appropriate to the time of day, served at your seat while you relax in thespacious comfort of Standard Premier Class.
We take the Eurostar from London St Pancras International to Brussels (exact time will be given on travel documents), taking approximately 2 hours. A coach will then take us just over the German border to the picturesque city of Aachen and our centrally located hotel, the three-star rated Ibis where we also take dinner.
Aachen, situated amongst beautiful hills, was already famous in the time of the Celts because of the hot springs which the Romans transformed to thermal baths, whereupon the city became the administrative centre for this, one of the most northerly parts of their Empire. The city further came to prominence when Charlemagne made it his capital, whereupon he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor, and a feat of building lasting several hundred years commenced, the remains of which are still with us. Thirty princes were crowned King of Germania in the superb cathedral, parts of which date from 800AD, and built in Byzantine style from the eastern Roman Empire, is similar to what is found in Istanbul today. Another must is Charlemagne’s treasure, ancient bibles and other relics from the Middle Ages. This morning we have a walking tour of this fascinating city. This afternoon we take the scenic drive over the rolling Eifel hills. We soon arrive in the most picturesque part of the Moselle Valley, Kinheim, staying four nights at the atmospheric three-star family owned Hotel Pohl. It is situated on the river itself, with a bar and terrace offering panoramic views, with the basement having a small swimming pool and sauna. It is over 100 years old and built in the true style of the region.
This morning we visit the charming city of Koblenz. Its name derives from the Latin for confluence and indeed it sits strategically and impressively at the confluence of both the Moselle and the Rhine rivers. The majestic fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, one of the largest in the world, dominates the town from the opposite river bank. Although much of the city was destroyed during World War II, a large part of the Old Town has been sympathetically restored and we will have a short walking tour where you will see the Deutsches Eck with a gigantic statue of Wilhelm, now a symbol of the reunification of Germany, and some lovely Romanesque churches and Renaissance buildings. You will have some free time to explore at your leisure and as attractive squares with fountains, amusing sculptures and pavement cafes abound, why not stop to enjoy a coffee and watch the world go by?
Today we travel downstream and first of all we visit Cochem. We approach this superb little town from the high plateau, giving unrivalled views of the castle crowning a mound covered in vineyards – some of the most famous in the Rhineland. You may like to see it all with a ride up on the cable car – not for the faint-hearted. Cochem is one of the largest towns in the area and for many years, despite its outwardly picturesque appearance, has been one of the commercial centres of the Moselle wine trade. We spend the rest of the morning here before crossing the river, heading for picturesque Beilstein, a famous location in the German film industry, where we can also visit a small café, reputedly offering the best cakes in the area. Cakes are almost a religion here and are famous throughout the world. Enormous in size, using only the finest of ingredients such as apples, raspberries, strawberries, cream, biscuits and even schnapps – simply mouth watering: they do not do a great deal for your waistline but they do for your taste buds! No visit to this area would be complete without a cruise on the river, so, should you wish, there is the opportunity to make the journey from Cochem to Beilstein on one of the famous cruisers – serene, peaceful and offering views hitherto unseen. After dinner why not join us on a visit to a local wine-producer, where you learn about this ancient craft and enjoy a selection of wines to make a perfect end to the day.
After breakfast we take the short journey to the charming city of Trier, the oldest in Germany, originally Roman with perhaps its most famous citizen having been Karl Marx. During our visit we will see the stunning baroque church of St. Paulin, the Baths, the Basilica and most striking of them all, the magnificent Porta Nigra - or Black Gate - the largest and best preserved such building in the world. Whilst in Trier, why not visit the Roman Amphitheatre, which is one of the most perfectly preserved in the world. With its wealth of varied buildings and the medieval main square, you will find Trier absolutely fascinating. We leave during the afternoon driving along the river, passing through such famous wine villages as Piesport famous of course for its Piesporter, to Bernkastel for some free time. Half-timbered and serene, this lovely town is dominated by the Landshut Castle, perched high on the valley sides. Bernkastel is very famous for its wine and in fact possesses the largest single vineyard in Germany.
At the appropriate time, we say our fond farewells to this beautiful corner of Europe, driving over the picturesque Ardennes hills to Brussels for an afternoon Eurostar service (exact times will be given on travel documents) back to London St Pancras International.