The Moselle is a river that may not be brimming with superlatives. However, those who open up to the inconspicuous waters will love the unique landscapes and natural wonders along the river. The Lower Moselle between Zell and Koblenz, where the river flows into the Rhine, is a real treasure trove for touring riders.

I get stuck on an inconspicuous post on Facebook. I am interested in a picture of the loop of the Moselle at Calmont, the steepest vineyard in Europe. The area is well known to me from many hikes. Nice. And then I see that the post comes from my old quad friend Andreas, who has chosen the area around Bremm for a short vacation for a few days with buddy Werner. Hmm, not far from me, so I pick up the phone. “Are you up for a nice tour?” I ask and we make an uncomplicated appointment for next Sunday, a wonderful day in early autumn. We meet in Cochem at the train station, there is a huge parking lot where you can park cars with trailers. I have at least 70 kilometers to travel, so the Polaris Sportsman 570 will travel piggyback by then. At the weekend the parking fees are very cheap, a day ticket costs 4 euros.

Andreas on an LTZ 400 and Werner, who drives a KFX 700, come straight from their vacation home in nearby Bremm. After a corresponding Pow-Wow, we haven’t seen each other for a few years, we saddle up and start a relaxed day tour along the so-called Terrassenmosel. In advance, I made a few thoughts about the special highlights I would like to present to the guys from the Ruhr area. Not that easy, because there are so many incredibly beautiful corners here. Finally, I focus on the countless castles and palaces, which are sometimes directly on the river, sometimes on the hills to the left and right, as intermediate destinations.

Robber barons on tour

So we start from Cochem, the largest city in the Cochem-Zell district with just 5,000 inhabitants. When the weather is nice, however, it feels like a million people cavort in the picturesque place, which is particularly popular with motorcyclists and Dutch motorhome owners. The legendary Reichsburg (www.burg-cochem.de), which rises mightily from the middle of the old town, cannot be approached directly by vehicles. So we limit ourselves to the viewing possibilities that are given to us from the embankment. Since I know the castle, I can only recommend a visit to the 1000 year old walls. Our route first leads us a little upstream over the B 49 to the Moselle bridge near Bruttig, where we cross over.

In the district of Fankel we turn left onto Kreisstraße 36 and leave the Moselle for the first time for fun bends. It goes uphill on a well-developed road and through fluid curve combinations to the L 202, where we turn left. Shortly afterwards we pass the Maria Engelport monastery (www.kloster-engelport.de), which is open to visitors at any time. After all, it is almost 800 years old, a worthwhile destination for a short break. We follow the road without a straight line until we come back to the B 49 and the banks of the Moselle in Treis-Karden. We stroll down the river for about 14 kilometers and enjoy the shoreline, which is rarely used at this time of year, in glorious sunshine. In Brodenbach it goes right and immediately after a mini roundabout left up into the mountain path or K 72. We always drive uphill on a serpentine road that would look good on every alpine pass.

At the top of the plateau, a well-signposted path leads to the Ehrenburg (www.ehrenburg.de), which is widely known for the vivid depiction of the Middle Ages. A few thalers as a road tax are definitely worth it for a visit and an extended break or a piece of roasted wild boar. We take the same route back to the Moselle and continue to just before Alken. There we turn right and follow the signs to Thurant Castle (www.thurant.de). You can drive to the entrance gate via a small cul-de-sac. The castle is privately owned, but visitors are always welcome. For a small fee you can explore the extensive castle grounds and at the kiosk there is also something for the small hunger. Definitely a worthwhile detour.

We only drive a few curves back to the river and continue on the B 49 towards Koblenz for about 25 kilometers. Shortly after the city limits we drive over the Kurt-Schumacher-Brücke and switch back to the left bank. Here’s a tip: The tour could also start from here, there are free parking spaces directly under the bridge, where cars and trailers can be parked. But we have half-time here and stop by the Stattstrand (www.statt-strand-koblenz.de) for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink.

The cool location is one of Koblenz’s hot spots and worth a visit in summer. We have to hurry up slowly, so our route now leads back upstream via the B 416 towards Cochem. In Hatzenport we turn off the Moselle again and head for Eltz Castle (www.eltz.de) via a few detours. If you are really interested in castles, you should take the short walk (there is also a shuttle bus) and invest the ten euro entry fee. In my opinion, Eltz can easily compete with Neuschwanstein Castle. We take the Pyrmont Castle (www.burg-pyrmont.de) near Roes via various smaller Eifel roads. The facility is not open to the public all year round, but you can always get a coffee in the adjacent restaurant. Via the L 110 and a little road called Pilliger Heck (K 32) we follow the signs to Müden and enjoy the countless curves through the vineyards until we land back on the banks of the Moselle. The last 15 kilometers to the parking lot in Cochem are then unwound in no time. The speedometer has counted a little over 140 kilometers. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering the number of stops we have, you should easily plan a whole day.

Text and photos: Frank Meyer

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