Burg Eltz (tel. 02672/950500; www.burg-eltz.de), a stately castle tucked up the Elzbach valley north of the river, is nearest to Moselkern and makes for a nice stopover between Cochem and Koblenz. It lies 20km (12 miles) northeast of Cochem and 29km (18 miles) southwest of Koblenz with access via the A48 and A61 autobahns and Route 416 on the left bank. A parking lot, Antoniuskapelle, less than 800m (1/2 mile) from the castle, can be reached via Münstermaifeld. A bus runs to the castle every 5 minutes and costs 1.50€. Outdoor enthusiasts can take a 35-minute hike on a marked path through the valley from Moselkern.

Burg Eltz can stake the claim to be the most beautiful authentic castle in Germany, surpassing any 19th century mimics like Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. The original structure, built from the 12th century to the 17th century, has been preserved in all its glory thanks in part to one family member who served in the French army to keep the "Sun King" Louis XIV from laying it to ruin. The castle houses different families in four separate residences, with original medieval furnishings that include some fine old paintings and tapestries. A treasury contains works by goldsmiths and silversmiths, armor, weapons, and other objects acquired by the family over the centuries. The castle is open daily April to November 1 9:30am to 5:30pm. Admission is 8€ for adults, 5.50€ for children, and 24€ for a family ticket. There are two small self-service restaurants in the castle.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.