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Selected Departures from May to September 2017
Vine covered hillsides slope down to a serene river, punctuated by traditional half-timbered towns and dominated by half-ruined castles above. A true picture postcard scene come true
Our tour to the Moselle Valley is something rather special: it visits places you may well have heard of together with perhaps those you have not, covering a wide variety of interests. We see the medieval ‘olde worlde’ charm of Aachen, birthplace of the Frankish Empire whose ruler, Charlemagne tried to unite Europe, becoming the first Holy Roman Emperor and which is now a lovely city in its own right and Trier – Germany’s oldest city dating from Roman times, capital of their Western Empire with the best preserved remains from Classical antiquity in northern Europe. We also enjoy a visit to Luxembourg, a tiny country with a big history. Its capital, Luxembourg City, occupies a dramatic position high on a cliff bearing down on the lower town below. The city is a melting pot of European influences as Germanic and Latin legacies have left their mark on its people and culture.
Then there is the Moselle Valley itself – it really is superb, gentle slopes covered in vines with imposing half-ruined castles seemingly crowning every summit, picturesque villages with half-timbered houses and picture-postcard, medieval towns such as our base, Cochem nestle on every sweeping bend in the majestic Moselle River. The extensive vineyards yield a rich harvest which in turn produces some of the world’s finest wines: Piesporter, Wehlener Sonnenuhr and many more. The people are open and friendly and you may well catch sight of a typical brass band which nearly every town has - a real spectacle of noise, colour and fun! So for a relaxing holiday come and see for yourself, some of the most interesting sights and beautiful scenery in Europe.
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are available at a supplement of £109 per person. The price includes return standard class Eurostar, six nights’ accommodation including breakfast and dinner, entrance to Bitburger brewery, all coach transfers and tours as described and the services of a Riviera tour manager. NOT INCLUDED River cruise from €13, wine tasting €10, approximate costs, payable locally.
We take the Eurostar from London St Pancras International to Brussels (exact time will be given on travel documents), taking approximately 2 hours. A coach will then take us to the picturesque city of Aachen and our centrally located hotel, the three-star rated Ibis where we also take dinner.
Aachen, situated amongst beautiful hills, was already famous in the time of the Celts because of the hot springs which the Romans transformed to thermal baths, whereupon the city became the administrative centre for this, one of the most northerly parts of their Empire. This morning we have a walking tour of this fascinating city. This afternoon we take the scenic drive into Cochem, where we will stay at either the three-star superior Hotel Muller or its sister property a few steps away, the Hotel Cochemer Jung.
Cochem is one of the largest towns in the area and for many years, despite its outwardly picturesque appearance, has been one of the commercial centres of the Moselle wine trade. Our Tour Manager will lead us on a guided orientation walk to see close up some of the narrow streets. We will then venture up to the lofty perch occupied by Reichsburg Castle to discover for ourselves the history of this millennium-old site. No visit to this area would be complete without a cruise on the river, so, should you wish, there is the opportunity to make the journey from Cochem to Beilstein on one of the famous cruisers.
Today we take the drive across the border into enigmatic Luxembourg. We have ample time here to explore at our own pace or you may wish to enjoy a leisurely lunch before we head back into Germany and the town of Bitburg. Bitburger beer is one of the most popular in the country and is a real signature of the Moselle area. We get the chance to learn more about this German classic as well as a sample or two in the vast, airy tasting room at the conclusion of our guided tour.
This morning we visit the charming city of Koblenz. We will have a short walking tour where you will see the Deutsches Eck with a gigantic statue of Wilhelm, now a symbol of the reunification of Germany. You will have some free time to explore at your leisure, why not stop to enjoy a coffee and watch the world go by?
After breakfast we take the short journey to the charming city of Trier, the oldest in Germany, originally Roman with perhaps its most famous citizen having been Karl Marx. During your visit you will see the stunning baroque church of St. Paulin and most striking of them all, the magnificent Porta Nigra - or Black Gate - the largest and best preserved such building in the world. You leave during the afternoon driving along the river to Bernkastel for some free time.
At the appropriate time, we drive over the picturesque Ardennes hills to take the afternoon Eurostar home.
Lovely people at Riviera
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