Whoever believes that the Mosel valley in Germany is just for old people is totally wrong. In 2015 I already visited the Mosel valley and recently I visited again for enjoying some hiking trails. I hiked some nice circular trails as well as a part of the Moselsteig, a long distance trail in Germany. In this article I tell you everything about hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany, including tips for the most beautiful routes, where to stay and more. Enjoy reading!
About the Mosel and the Mosel Valleyl
The Mosel (or Moselle) is a 544 kilometer long river in France, Luxembourg and Germany. It originates in the French Vosges and flows into the Rhine near Koblenz. The most beautiful part of the Moselle can be found in the Mosel Valley, roughly between the cities of Trier and Koblenz. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills covered with vineyards, steep slopes and a winding river. Along the way you will find old castles and fortresses, numerous remains from Roman times and beautiful viewpoints.
The most famous places on along the Mosel river are Trier, Cochem and Zell. Most villages are connected by a bus route or a railway, which makes walking here possible without going on holiday with your car and / or hiking parts of the famous Moselsteig.
The Moselsteig is one of the longest quality trails in Germany with 365 kilometers in distacne. Each stage is between 11 and 24 kilometers long and combines hiking along the banks of the Moselle with hiking through the vineyards and along high viewpoints.
In addition to the Moselsteig, there are various “Seitensprungen” or circular walks that combine the Mosel banks with the hinterland. Which is perfect if you want to stay in a one place and hike from there, rather than to walk from A to B to C. With these Seitensprungen you combine the best places of the Moselle with each other.
Because there is public transport in many places, you can determine your route and distances yourself. I did not do the Moselsteig in its entirety, but did run several stages and / or parts of it. The nice thing about combining stages with circular walks is the fact that you not only walk along the river, but also take in the rolling and relatively quiet hinterland.
The Moselsteig is not difficult, but it has considerable climbs and descents, sometimes with some climbing and scrambling. Along the way, some Via Ferrata are possible, but if you do not want this, you can skip it, there is always an easier alternative route indicated.
Route suggestions for the Moselsteig
I hiked stages 13 and 14 from the Moselsteig entirely. Stage 13 leads from Reil to Traben Trarbach and stage 14 goes from Reil to Zell. These are perfect if you want to catch the Moselweinbahn train route. I stayed at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil and hiked as follows:
Day 1. train Reil – Traben Trarbach, hike back to Reil (15 km, 5 hrs)
Day 2. train Reil – Bullay, hike 3 km from Bullay to Zell, from Zell back to Reil (12,5 km, 4 hrs)
I found this the easiest as you always walk back to your hotel rather than a train station, which makes you hike against the clock for a bit and thus is this more relaxing.
Along the way you will come across the “Collis Steilpfad”, a simple Klettersteig (without harness, also to bypass), and the Prinzenkopfturm with beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Tip: take these hikes in the fall when the leaves turn color, the Moselle is a lot quieter than in summer and the colorful landscape makes your hike in the Moselle extra special!
The Calmont Klettersteig
Also very awesome is the Calmont Klettersteig. This simple Via Ferrata is located between Bremm and Ediger Eller. The Calmont is the steepest vineyard in Europe and they have built a nice Via Ferrata. Not a real challenge for the experienced alpinists, but nice to test your alpine skills once if you are unsure whether a real Via Ferrata is your thing.
From here you can do the steep climb to the Calmont Gipfelkreuz and walk back along the Moselsteig to Ediger Eller along the high route. You can read my complete blog about the Calmont Klettersteig here.
Hiking trail Moselachter
During my most recent trip to the Moselle I spent the night in Landal Sonnenberg in Leiwen. From here I made the circular hike Moselachter, or a circular walk in the shape of an 8. I started from my house and first did the ‘left eight’ (the eight is on its side) that mainly took me through the forest and along the viewpoint Moselkino. I also passed the most beautiful viewpoint of the Moselle in 2016 at Leiwen.
Then came by a steep section steeply up a relatively narrow and worn out trail (not for people with a fear of heights) and eventually back to Leiwen via the quiet hills behind the valley. This hike is 15 kilometers long and took me about 5 hours.
Hiking tour Mehringer Schweiz
Another beautiful Moselsteig Seitenprung is the circular walk Mehringer Schweiz. I did part of this tour in combination with the Moselsteig, the highlight of which was the visit to the Fünfseenblick, a viewing tower with a beautiful view over the Moselle near Mehring and Pölich. You will also walk through the vineyards of the Moselle and visit the Roman villa in Mehring. This walk is 14 km and takes about 5 hours.
Hiking in the Mosel Valley: what to know as well
Each part of the Moselle has its own hiking map. If you walk the Moselsteig, you can order a walking guide including map material online. Most Seitensprungen are also included here. Before my trip I downloaded the app “Gastlandschaften Rheinland Pfalz”, it contains all routes and you can also use it as navigation during your hikes in the Mosel Valley.
However, the routes are also well marked everywhere, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Most trails are fine, when a trails is more difficult this is often indicated so that you can opt for a simpler detour where possible.
The Moselweinbahn goes from Traben Trarbach to Bullay. The rest of the transport is mostly by bus. On this website you will find more information about the Bus und Bahn around the Moselsteig.
Where to stay in the Mosel region
I stayed in the Moselle valley twice. The first time at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil, a cozy and authentic hotel on the river. The second time I rented an apartment at Landal Sonnenberg, a beautifully situated and small-scale Landal park in the southern part of the Moselle near Leiwen. There are also plenty of campsites on the Moselle, mostly on the banks of the river.
Conclusion and disclaimer
Hopefully you found these articles about hiking along the Moselle useful and I got you excited to visit the Mosel valley in Germany. If you have any questions and / or additional tips, please leave them in the comments. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we will receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.