When you travel to a location as outstanding as the Mosel valley, it would be a shame to forget your camera. I recently headed home to spend a week preparing for the Fluent German Retreat, and on my trip I collected a few top tips to share with you.
The following sites are not to be missed and can be visited in a day or two. But wie alles an der Mosel, it pays to take your time and slow down to find a relaxed pace.
Top 5 Photo Spots in the Mosel Valley
1) Porta Nigra, Trier
Where would Trier locals be without their beloved Porta? This old Roman city gate stands proudly on the West End of Trier. It may not impress you with its beauty at the start, but this location is unmissable as the city's Wahrzeichen - our flagship building. This is where Germany's oldest city meets for coffee.
The inside of the Porta Nigra is fascinating, and during the summer you can take guided tours with a Roman centurion.
Eiscafé Calchera, just a few steps away from the Porta, is the city's finest address for Italian ice cream.
2) Straußwirtschaft im Weingut
Straußwirtschaften are the traditional German cousins of microbreweries, run in the wineries of wine country and open only a few months per year. Let yourself be spoilt with local foods and fresh wines right from the cellar. It might be true that we export all the good stuff.
You can find them in every village and know them by a bunch of ribbons, stray or branches (the Strauß) displayed on the outside the house.
3) Altstadt Bernkastel-Kues
Bernkastel-Kues is an absolute Mosel classic, visited for centuries by everyone from convalescent kings to US Army staff looking for a relaxing weekend. This town has everything you could want from a German photo spot: a castle ruin high up in the hills, a traditional market square second to none other, and a romantic bridge across the river to boot.
Bernkastel is bustling, charming, and thoroughly enjoyable for visitors at any age. It's most incredible during the Weinfest der Mittelmosel, crowned with stunning fireworks that reflect in the river on a warm September night.
At most German wine, beer or shooting festivals, you are in the presence of local royalty. In the Mosel valley for example, young ladies (usually between 17 and 25) represent their villages, towns and even the whole winemaking region. This job is coveted, and can even lead to a career travelling the world to represent German wine.
And if you make it to the Fluent German Retreat, you might spot a picture of me as a fresh-faced young wine queen proudly representing Mülheim.
So obvious that it's nearly forgotten, the Mosel river is an absolutely breathtaking sight. Winding its way through ancient slate hills, lined by vineyards, it looks every bit as wonderful as it sounds. The Mosel valley has something beautiful on offer around every bend. Sometimes your eye will be drawn to an old castle, vines on a steep slope or a boat peacefully making its way down the river bends. The Mosel is a unique experience - drive or hike up one of the hills and you'll be spellbound.
Look out for the word Moselschleife in a guidebook, and do not let fear of a steep vineyard put you off. My favourite locations are the Brauneberg directly opposite our Retreat venue in Mülheim, the hills above Kröv and Minheim.
Where To Find Out More
This post covers just a few of the beautiful locations in the Mosel valley, and obviously there are hundreds more spots to discover. For example, I love the Josefinenhöhe in Veldenz,
This place is popular with travellers all around the world, yet undiscovered by the big tourist hordes, so prepare to discover your own private trail.
Are You Ready to Speak German?
If you want to experience these wonderful places and speak German with the people that live there, you are invited to discover the Fluent German Courses. These courses offer easy, straightforward explanations and examples to get you talking as fast as you can.