A small town.
Big cities are great holiday destinations. They often have museums, playgrounds and other attractions. When it comes to accommodation you usually have a lot of choice and because there is so much choice it is quite rare that everything is fully booked. Only in high season and in case of an event you might miss the boat. Otherwise you’re bound to find something of your liking. There are also many restaurants to choose from and in the evenings there are cinema’s, theaters, clubs, bars etc.
All that said, I prefer to stay in a small town. Even though I’ve had great times staying in big cities these days I want a good night sleep. No more hostel noise all night long. No sounds from people walking by after a good night out. Not even the sounds of traffic, ambulances and fire brigades passing the streets. A quiet apartment away from any traffic and people is all I need.
“That means from now on boring holidays”, you might say. Away from it all, there’s probably nothing to do. That is not the case. My ‘quiet apartment’ is usually in between big cities. Or at least with lots of different attractions nearby. Yes, I do miss out on the nightlife, but tell you the truth: with a young daughter a night out without having her to stay elsewhere usually means a horrible day after. She is fully awake and we are exhausted from the night before. An evening with a good book, a Netflix series or simply enjoying the company of my husband does just fine.
This year one of those ‘quiet apartments’ we stayed at was in a small German municipality called Treis-Karden. Or in Karden to be more precise. Treis and Karden were two small towns on either side of the river Moselle that merged in 1969. Karden was founded in the 4th century, Treis in the 8th. In the past they both were important at some point in history and they have the buildings to prove it. Because of this, there are still many historical places to visit. And when you’re not into churches or castles you can simply enjoy a good local wine.
These days Treis-Karden is mainly a picturesque tourist destination. Whereas our accommodation in Karden was perfect, we had to cross the river to Treis to get some groceries. According to an older local with a walker, all shops in Karden had closed. Luckily we had a car to cross the bridge to go to the big supermarkets and we were here only for a few days. For someone who lives here, however, it must be quite a disadvantage, especially when you’re not that mobile.
On the other hand, for young children Karden has a brand new playground. Also all the schools are on this side of the river. But when you’re on holiday you have other priorities than school and groceries. So: what is there to do for travelers in and near Treis-Karden?
1. River Cruise.
Since the river Moselle flows through this little municipality one of the highlights is definitely a river cruise. You can take them from Treis, but it is also possible to drive to a city or town nearby and take a boat from there.
This area is great for hiking. There are lots of trails and plenty of castles to visit. Along our apartment was a hiking trail that went all the way to Burg Eltz.
3. Visit a church.
Like I mentioned before both towns have a rich history. There are several churches to visit. I would recommend the abbey church (‘stiftskirche’) of St. Castor, which you can find in Karden. St. Castor was a missionnary who lived in the 4th century. He is said to have founded this first congregation near the Moselle at the place where you can now find a cemetery. His statue stands near the current church, which was built in 1183.
Recently a brand new playground was built in Karden. However, there also is a playground in Treis, near the water. Both are excellent for younger children to play in and both are for free.
5. Beer garden and mini golf.
In Treis you will find a beer garden at walking distance to the playground. There is a huge terrace and it has a – paid – mini golf track. For children there are many toys around that they can use for free. Our daughter Eryn especially liked the tractor.
This is the largest city in the area and has a lot to offer. It’s a 15 minute drive from Treis-Karden. Here you can find a castle (‘Reichsburg Cochem’), a mustard mill, a bunker from the Cold War and many shops. A city walk through Cochem is also one of the highlights.
7. Cycling along the Moselle.
Many people come to the Moselle to cycle. When you take a river cruise you will see many of them cycling along the river, from one pretty town to the next.
8. Visit a castle (Burg).
You cannot visit the Moselle region and not visit at least one castle. They are one of the main reasons for us to keep on coming back here. Our favorites are Burg Eltz, Burg Thurant and Reichsburg Cochem.
9. Wine tasting.
When you’re more into relaxing with a good wine, you’ve also come to the right place. In Treis-Karden, but also in most other towns near the Moselle there are places to go wine tasting. Try a ‘Riesling’ or ‘Sekt’ that comes from this region! On 9 and 10 August 2019 there is a food and wine festival in Treis-Karden.
10. Visit a zoo or entertainment park.
For children there are several zoo’s and entertainment parks around. We went to the Animal and adventure park (‘ Tier und Erlebnispark’) Bell. This park opened in 2015 where once was a fairytale land. It now has several farm animals and a few felidae. The ring-tailed lemurs have a pleasant area with lots of trees where you can walk around in and see them up close.
Also on Travelharts.com.
On our photo site there are many albums about the beautiful castles you can visit near the Moselle. Burg Eltz is one of them. If you like to see the photos, click here.
Photos of the medieval Burg Eltz located in the hills near the river Moselle between Koblenz and Cochem. It is one of the most beautiful castles in Europe.
In France you can find the double walled city of Carcassonne. To read our story about this beautiful city, click here.
How I revisited the medieval fortified city of Carcassonne with my family the day after the river Aude flooded. It rained but our visit was memorable.