Victor Hugo, the famous author of “Les Misérables” admired the castle in today’s post and described it as “tall, terrific, strange and dark”. English painter, William Turner, painted this fairy-tale castle enthusiastically. The famous Burg Eltz (known as Eltz Castle) caught the attention and admiration of famous poets, authors and painters. Being the history aficionado that I am, it therefore caught my attention as soon as I read about it in my Lonely Planet guide. I wanted for a long time to know for real how Victor Hugo must have felt when he described that wondrous castle. Therefore, I did my research and set my mind to hike to Burg Eltz. I went alone for the first time which was a few years back, but I couldn’t hike because by the time I reached the castle it would had been closed for the guided tour. I met an American couple, very friendly and loving, we shared a taxi and managed to join the English tour together. I was mesmerized as it was fall and the castle looked breathtaking with the yellow golden trees offering the perfect backdrop. I enjoyed it so much that I decided I was going to visit again and hike all the way up to Burg Eltz. I told my sisters that I was taking them on a memorable experience and off we went on what we still recall as one of our unforgettable hikes together. I’m very happy to share this hiking adventure with you. I’m still determined to one day go on the “Eltz Castle Panorama” award-winning dream hike (12.6Km, 5 hours).
Now, our journey started in Koblenz Hauptbahnhof (Train Station). We hopped on the Regional Train from Koblenz to Moselkern on the Moselle River. It was a short train ride and we arrived into the quiet village on a perfect Sunday just before noon.We walked into the village and asked for directions. A group of friendly hikers offered to show us the way to the pathway which leads to Burg Eltz. My sisters and I walked with them through the village admiring their positive energy and infectious enthusiasm for nature and life. We were no less than them, but sometimes it feels great to meet people who are on the same wavelength as you.
There were enough signs on the roads showing the direction to Burg Eltz. You can easily follow them. We thanked our new friends for showing us part of the way. We parted ways feeling grateful and happy.After about 40 minutes of walking, talking with the friendly group we met and taking photographs we finally reached the Ringelsteiner Mühle. It was crowded and people’s laughter filled the air from a distance. We felt excited!The weather couldn’t have been any more perfect than it was… Sunny, blue skies with a nice breeze in the air. Just right for a hike.We decided to stop for a quick snack before we continued our hike. The best choice to go for in Germany during the summer is always Eisschokolade mit sahne in the warm sun.The service was good and they offered lunch as well. The staff was welcoming and accustomed to tourists. We talked to a few people here and there which was really nice.We paid our bill and continued following the signs and footpath to Burg Eltz (approximately 30 minutes from Ringelsteiner Mühle).
Hiking through that wonderful valley and breathtaking nature overwhelmed us with a sense of freedom which took over every single cell in our bodies. We felt free. We felt alive. We felt connected to nature. That reminded me of a beautiful poem by the talented poet Walt Whitman;
“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road. Healthy, free and the world before me. The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose. Henceforth I ask not good fortune – I myself am good fortune; Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, strong and content I travel the open road … “
What a beautiful and scenic walk it was through the Eltz forest which is a nature reserve leading all the way up to the 850 years old fairy-tale Eltz castle.
As we continued walking through the snaking pathways leading up to the castle, our wait was finally over and excitement was heightened as we began to get glimpses of the glorious Burg Eltz through the trees.Follow me and the rest of the crowds to the mesmerizing castle.The medieval castle is perched upon a 70m high rock within a paradise of nature in a deep valley. It’s located between Koblenz and Cochem. Thankfully the castle didn’t get destroyed during the war. It’s such an important attraction due to its unique architecture, location and historical importance. It was built to protect the trade route back in the days between Mosel-Maifeld-Eifel. The castle has eight soaring towers and a medieval timber frame structure.The castle interior is only accessible via a 45-minutes guided tour. There are a few English tours during the day and it’s definitely worth the wait. The inner courtyard is very medieval and seemed like it just came straight out of a movie. The inner courtyard was built over a period of 500 years by the three branches of the Eltz family; The Kempenich (The House of the Golden Lion), The Rübenach (The House of the Silver Lion) and The Rodendorf (The House of the Buffalo Horns). The families lived in separate buildings across the castle, but they shared the same courtyard and managed to peacefully co-exist.
While we waited for the English guided tour, we decide to visit the treasury and armory. There was an abundant collection of precious artifacts, weapons and jewellery.Unfortunately, photography inside the castle was prohibited and therefore I couldn’t take any photos to provide for your entertainment here, but I can definitely tell you that the castle didn’t fail to impress. It was highly enchanting, cozy and romantic. The castle is open from 9:30am – 5:30pm. It’s closed during winter. You can check all details and information on the Burg Eltz website here.We hiked back all the way down to the train station and headed back to Koblenz for a much needed dinner fit for knights. It was a marvelous day!
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you ever go to Burg Eltz after reading about my visit, then I’d be delighted if you left me a comment to tell me all about your hiking adventure.
Lots of love,