With quaint river villages and castles on mountains, all draped with changing leaves, not much beats driving through Germany in the Fall. Before the colorful early November Fall turned into the dead winter, we decided the best way to day trip western Germany was to see three castles in the same day. Also, to be frank, we needed something to kill time before the Christmas Markets opened.
First stop, Burg Eltz. Just under two hours from Kaiserslautern, chances are that you’ve heard of, or even toured this medieval Eltz Castle. We’ve been before too. This time, we wanted to get out early enough taking advantage of no crowds and viewing the castle at dawn.
Burg Eltz is a 15 minute walk through the woods once you arrive to the parking area. About half-way through the walk you start to get astonishing views of the castle.
Although the castle was closed for the season, our goal was to snap pictures in the early morning, decorated with changing colors of the season. Since there were no crowds, we were able to capture the castle un-bothered from multiple angles.
Even though the goal of this trip wasn’t to tour the castle, we toured the castle on a previous trip. If you decide to visit Burg Eltz while it’s open for visitors, you can tour this still occupied castle for €10 and grab a meal at the onsite restaurant.
15 minutes from Burg Eltz and on the way to Cochem is Burg Pyrmont. This 13th Century castle once also belonged to the Eltz family, and now is mostly used as space for events.
Frankly, we only stopped by this castle since it was on the way to Cochem and figured it was a good opportunity to take pictures. I wouldn’t make it the focus of a single day trip, and I don’t even think the castle workers liked us getting too close to the castle. Still, it’s worth “seeing” if you’re already in the area.
Ordered to be built in the 11th Century from the Holy Roman Emperor, Reichsburg Cochem is a beautiful hilltop castle situated on the Mosel River. Getting there was only a 30 minute drive from Pyrmont Castle.
Although it was a steep uphill walk to get to the castle, the walk is made easier with breathtaking views you get of the castle and surrounding area. Once we got to the top, we had the option to tour the castle, but we decided to just stop in the gift shop and make our way back downhill.
We decided Cochem village was a great place to walk around and grab a bite to eat. We ate at Alt-Cochem which serves traditional German food. We enjoyed strolling through the village and mostly window shopping, although we did make a pit stop in a wine cellar to pick up a couple bottles of white wine to bring home. The ride from Cochem back to Kaiserslautern is just under two hours.
We left our home in Kaiserslautern at 6am and returned home around 4pm, enough time to make it home to watch college football. Even though we didn’t tour the inside of the castles, the 3 castle day trip is a cheap and easy way to see some of the best that Germany had to offer. After all, the best pictures you get of a castle are from the outside, right? If you decide to tour the castles, below are links to that will help you with hours, prices, and more details for your future adventure.