Eltz Castle, Germany
Eltz Castle (or Burg Eltz, in German) is buried in the forest near the town of Moselkern, Germany. There are a seemingly infinite number of castles in Germany, and if that’s your thing, there are dedicated castle tours of Germany that only stop at the biggest and most beautiful of Germany’s castles. Some tours are as short as a week; some extend much longer than that.
I found Burg Eltz to be utterly charming and a great option for those who want to see a castle in Germany but are not necessarily interested in a 2-week castle tour. I would recommend an early start to your day, as school groups visiting can clog the castle and shuttles begin arriving in earnest around 1000. The entrance fee is about 10 Euros and the castle accepts cash ONLY. The cash-only rule also applies to the restaurants on the premises as well. The 40-45 minute tour only covers a small part of the castle, but our guide was knowledgeable and the tour well executed. If you are willing to wait 20-30 minutes upon arrival, there is a tour in English you can take. Otherwise, all other tours are in German. We did not hear of any tours in Italian or French. Waiting 20 minutes for the tour is no burden, as you can wander the beautiful castle courtyard or access the Treasury (there are English handouts explaining the exhibits at the entrance to the Treasury) while you wait. After your tour, it is worth your time to linger at the small restaurant in the castle, with its view of the surrounding valley. Food options are listed in both German and English. The castle is peaceful and beautiful, and makes for an easy, calming day after a long night of flying. I would personally recommend hiking into the castle– the picturesque walk adds to the experience, and follows the river at a gentle incline towards the Castle. After your day at the Castle, you have two options. You can leave via the train to Koblenz and reach Bonn or Cologne long before evening, or you can meander into sleepy Moselkern, order some excellent German food, and watch the night fall slowly around you. It’s all up to you!