With over 20,000 castles scattered throughout Germany it is hard to know where to start. Burg Eltz, in the Rhineland-Palatinate region is about as colossal as castles come.
The Rhineland-Palatinate region is also known as Germany’s romantic region, thanks to its proliferation of castles, forests and all round magical landscapes. Burg Eltz or Eltz castle epitomises all of these features, its magical mish mash of architecture from many periods poised majestically at an elevation of 70m over the River Eltzbach, a tributary of the Moselle.
Apart from its imposing beauty, what makes Germany’s Burg Eltz so special is that it is still officially in possession of the Eltz family and has been for over 850 years. It was built over various stages, depending on how much was in the aristocratic coffers at a particular period of time and, when you book a tour, you can take in all the different architectural styles and stories that accompany them.
Burg Eltz is located in the magnificent natural heritage of Eltz Forest, much of which is protected as a Natura 2000 nature reserve and can be enjoyed fully on the 13km Castle Panorama hiking trail. There are also various shorter trails around this stupendous setting, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy it.
How to get to Burg Eltz by train
Frankfurt is the closest major city to Burg Eltz, with one change in Koblenz, although it is highly recommended basing yourself in Koblenz if you want to enjoy the Rhine region for a longer period of time. From here, take a 35 mins train to Moselkern which is right at the foot of the hill where the castle is located. If you want to appreciate the location of the castle fully, and have no mobility issues, the best way to approach the castle from there is on foot. From the station it’s a 30 mins walk to the castle trailhead, which is all very well signposted. Count another 45 mins forest hike from there, but it’s worth it. If not, take a 10 mins taxi ride from the station.
Best time to visit Burg Eltz
Not surprisingly, the castle gets busy in peak season and so the best time to visit Burg Eltz is between 09.30-11.30 or 15.30-17.30 hrs. Take on the hiking route though, if you want some breathing space from crowds and cameras. Burg Eltz is only open between 01 April and 01 November, although you can enjoy the forest and trails at any time of year.
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