Winding through the steep slopes of the Eifel and Hunsruck hills in the German state of Rheinland-Palatinate, the Mosel Valley follows the course of the Mosel River for more than 60km (100 miles) between Trier and Koblenz, where the Mosel’s waters flow into the Rhine. The valley encompasses thousands of acres of vineyards, a full 10 percent of the national total. The beautiful scenery, fine wine, Roman ruins, medieval castles, and riverside towns with cobble streets and half-timbered houses make the Mosel Valley a prime area for exploration. As with the previous Rhine itinerary, this day trip begins in Koblenz, where the Rhine and the Mosel rivers converge.
By Train & Boat -- If you’re headquartering in Cologne and want to enjoy a boat cruise down the Mosel River, the easiest way is to take a train to Koblenz, about 85km (53 miles) southeast of Cologne (1 hr. by train). From Koblenz, a boat operated by KD (tel. 0221/20881; www.k-d.de) sails down the Mosel to Cochem, 51km (32 miles) southwest of Koblenz. From Koblenz, boats depart (May–Oct) at 9:45am, arriving in Cochem at 3pm A return boat departs Cochem at 3:40pm, arriving in Koblenz at 8pm. Check current train (www.bahn.com) and boat schedules online before you go.