If you google "most charming villages in Germany" you will likely come upon a small town called Cochem on the Mosel River. That's how I discovered it. And since it is located relatively near Dusseldorf, where we arrived from the States, I made it our first overnight stop on our trip this summer.
What to see in Cochem? Large castle? Check. Cute half-timbered houses? Check. Charming town square? Check. Romantic river-side strolling? Check. Plus steep wine vineyards all around and delicious Mosel wines to sample.
I can't believe we hiked up to the castle the same day we got off the plane after a 12 hour flight, but we did. The walk is not strenuous and the views of the valley are lovely. The guided tour of the castle is relatively brief and therefore inexpensive - we paid 14.50€ for a family ticket.
|Construction of Cochem Castle is thought to have begun in the year 1000.|
|Views of the Mosel River valley from Cochem Castle.|
The town square in Cochem is one of the prettiest I've ever seen. This photo was taken from the second story window of the Rathaus (city hall):
|Cochem town square.|
Below the castle along the river is a colorful row of historic homes and buildings, making a stroll on either side of the river very scenic. We walked several miles every evening on the beautifully landscaped paths and bridges.