Destination Countryside: Moselle Valley

Destination Countryside: Moselle Valley

The Moselle Valley is a region in north-eastern France, south-western Germany, and eastern Luxembourg, centered on the river valley formed by the Moselle. The Moselle runs through, and along the borders of, the three countries, and drains a fourth, Belgium.

The main tourist town of Cochem, tucked between steep vineyards and the river, boasts picturesque medieval streets. Like most Mosel towns, Cochem grew up below its castle. Though it looks majestic — rising from a hill above town — Cochem’s castle is better admired from afar. This 19th-century reconstruction is more fanciful than authentic. Just upstream from Cochem is Beilstein, the quaintest of all Mosel towns.

Things to Do in the Moselle Valley

  • stroll the delightful riverfront promenade
  • play life-size chess
  • grab a bench and watch Germany at play
  • take the Sesselbahn (chairlift) up to a hilltop (and restaurant)
  • enjoy the views, hike down, and end up at a wine-tasting at Weingut Rademacher
  • sample local white wines
  • or sample Roter-Weinbergs-Pfirsich Likör — a cordial made from the small, tart “red peaches” unique to the Mosel Valley
  • check out the Burg Eltz castle a forest about 30 minutes by car from Cochem
  • biking and boating are also top notch in this sleepy little valley

Like a blue ribbon, the Moselle twists and turns its way between Trier and Koblenz along one of Germany’s most beautiful river valleys. The Moselle flows through a region that has been shaped by man for over 2,000 years, ever since it was first cultivated by the Romans. At some places the terraced vineyards seem to rise up almost to the sky. Some of the best Rieslings grow here. A myriad of castles towering over romantic wine villages line the banks of the river. Traben-Trarbach with its impressive art-nouveau architecture and Bernkastel-Kues with its lovely market square are just two of the many unmissable places on the Moselle.

The Moselle has been promoted as a quality white wine-producing region since the nineteenth century and “Moselle wine” is produced in three countries; it is the heart of the Luxembourg wine industry, and is also of the German Mosel region, and there are some vineyards in France. The Moselle has developed a strong tourism industry around its reputation as a rural idyll. The tourism sector is most prominent in the Luxembourgian and German parts of the Moselle.

Luxembourg’s part of the valley roughly corresponds with the central and eastern parts of the cantons of Grevenmacher and Remich. Almost all of the lowest-lying communes in Luxembourg lie along the Moselle. There are no large towns in Luxembourg’s part of the Moselle valley, but the main settlements are Grevenmacher, Mondorf-les-Bains, Remich, and Wasserbillig, all of which have populations in excess of 2,000 people.