Are you ready for a magical weekend adventure? Hop in and join me on a whimsical journey just a two-hour drive from Belgium to the heart of the Eltz forest in Germany. There, hidden among the trees, lies Eltz Castle, a fairytale retreat that's perfect for nature lovers and those looking for a delightful weekend escape.
A Tale of Centuries: Eltz Castle's 900-Year History
Eltz Castle is a special building that survived all the wars throughout our history. Today, the castle is still owned by the Eltz family since the 12th century. Can you believe this castle has been around for more than 900 years?
The Eltz family ownes one of the largest weapon and treasure rooms in the world. The architecture in itself is already very distinctive, but it is even more unique due to its location. The castle is built on a 70-meter rock overlooking the 300-hectare Eltz forest, perfect for everyone who loves a beautiful hike.
What to know before visiting Castle Eltz?
When you arrive at Burg or Castle Eltz you will see one big parking, this one will cost you 4 euros per day, and it is the only one available in the neighborhood. There is a guard overlooking the parking area, and the barriers close at night.
From there you can take several routes toward the castle. Every hike has a different length and scenery, depending on how much you want to see the forest.
The shortest hike is 800 meters and starts at the barrier, but is, in my opinion, not as pretty as the walkway on your right, who is 1,3 km and will give you an amazing viewpoint over the castle.
Parking fee for the entire day: Cars/motorbikes € 4 cars with trailer/camper vans and coaches: € 8. You need to pay in cash!
Eltz Castle welcomes visitors every day from April 1 to November 1, with doors opening at 9:30 AM and closing at 5:00 PM
Pet Policy: Animals are not permitted indoors at Eltz Castle.
Does Eltz Castle provide Guided Tours?
Yes! Here is some information about the guided tours at Eltz castle. They are provided in English and French. But internaitonal guests can equest a complimentary flyer with the tour text in Chinese, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish.
Conducted by trained guides.
Start at regular intervals from 09:30 in the upper courtyard.
Tours last approximately 35-40 minutes.
The last guided tour commences at 17:30.
What to know about the Treasury visit of the castle?
Nestled within the historic walls of Eltz Castle lies the captivating Treasury, a repository of centuries-old artifacts and treasures that offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of the castle's past. Here's what you can expect during your visit:
The Treasury welcomes visitors to go on a self-guided journey. Wander through the carefully curated exhibits at your own pace, allowing you to enjoy the historical ambiance and discover the stories behind each valuable artifact.
Access to the Treasury is included with your admission ticket to Eltz Castle.
Hikes around Eltz Castle
Hiking around Eltz Castle is very easy! All the hikes are indicated on the boards near the entrance of the parking.
Are you an experienced hiker or do you want to challenge yourself? I would recommend you the one and only " Eltz fortress panorama road" with a length of 12 km overlooking the whole forest and the castle from all sides.
Another option is to hike the Moselsteig hike. A strong hi
ke between 11 and 24 km for expert hikers! The Moselsteig trail is renowned for its diversity, winding through landscapes that include terraced vineyards, forests, and the meandering Moselle River. While the trail doesn't form a direct loop around Eltz Castle, certain sections provide stunning glimpses of the river and the surrounding hills.
If you have difficulties walking, then you can take the "Burg shuttle bus"only available during the weekends.
They ride every 10 minutes from the castle back to the parking. Because the parking is located higher up, it could be useful to take the bus back after your visit.
The shuttle bus is €2 per person to pay in cash only!
Drones are strictly forbidden because the castle is still inhabited (private domain)
You can have beautiful "as-like" drone shots from the road toward the parking
Entrance fee: €14, students: €7 (prices 2023)
Guided tours are possible every 10 minutes, they take about 40 minutes
You would need approximately 2.5 hours to visit the castle and its chambers. The castle is a well-known touristic place and can be crowded.
I recommend going after 4 pm to avoid the crowd, or before 11 am if you are from the region.
There is a restaurant that serves fantastic traditional German food for those who want to try out a delicious schnitzel. They are only open during lunch!
Don't want to cross the border? Did you know Belgium has more than 3000 castles? Check out this blog post on the best 10 countryside castles in Belgium!
Where to Stay in Eltz for the weekend?
Weinhaus Fries: This family-run hotel is only 12 km from Burg Eltz and offers rooms with a scenic view of the Moselle River and Castle Thurant.
Hotel Ostermann: This charming hotel is located 3.5 km outside the little town of Treis-Karden, and it offers an indoor swimming pool and sauna.
Ferienhaus SteigRhein: This apartment provides guests with a balcony with a river view. A terrace is available on site and both hiking and cycling can be enjoyed within proximity.
Best Restaurants in the Neighborhood
Restaurant Burg Eltz: If you want to dine in style, head to Restaurant Burg Eltz, located in the castle itself. This elegant restaurant serves gourmet cuisine made from local ingredients and features a stunning view of the castle.
Restaurant zur Kripp: This cozy restaurant is located in the village of Moselkern and serves traditional German cuisine. The menu features hearty dishes like schnitzel, bratwurst, and sauerbraten, as well as local specialties like Mosel wine and flammkuchen.
Weinhaus Zum Josefshof: This charming restaurant is located in the village of Ellenz-Poltersdorf, about 10 minutes from Castle Eltz. The menu features regional cuisine made from fresh, local ingredients, and the restaurant also has a lovely terrace overlooking the Moselle River.
I hope you will enjoy the castle as well as the forest. If you visit the fortress, let me know by tagging me in your pictures on Instagram: @fly_along and I will gladly repost your beautiful moments in Castle Eltz! I wish you all a very lovely weekend!
Keep on exploring and Fly Along!