Before we begin, a quick note from future Helen…
By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be off on a long awaited family break. I hope no one minds that I’ve polished and republished one from the archives this week.
Wishing everyone a wonderful final few weeks of August, whatever you are up to. Now, let’s go to Germany…
Saarburg, a pretty town in Germany nestled in the rolling Saar countryside. Set in the Moselle Valley and surrounded by the vineyards this part of the world is famous for, this is the perfect destination for an outdoorsy, relaxing break. With wine.
Visiting this area puts you in Germany, geographically speaking, but it’s the perfect base for a twin centre holiday. Luxembourg is just a hop, skip and jump away and it’s perfectly possible to combine a stay here with a bit of over-the-border exploring.
In fact, that’s exactly what we did. We hit Luxembourg first for a little city break and then rounded it out with a week in the glorious German countryside. We needed a base, so we made this place home…
Campsite Landal Warsberg, Saarburg
A relaxing and family friendly campsite with a perfect hillside location, giving guests some knockout river and vineyard views.
The campsite has a range of facilities and activities available, including swimming, mini golf and a hill side toboggan run. If more relaxing and less doing is your thing, there’s also a wellness area with a spa, steam room and jacuzzi.
We went for a traditional camping experience and booked a Classic tent on site with Canvas Holidays. The cheerful orange tents are a great budget option and allow for that nights-under-canvas feeling without too much of the hard work.
The whole thing is up and waiting for you on arrival and comes with everything you need for a comfortable camping experience. Beds with mattresses, a fridge, table and chairs and a well equipped kitchen area.
Even a cork screw and wine glasses, so no excuse not to sample some of that lovely local wine.
Hiking Through the Vine Yards
After spending our first few days getting competitive at mini golf, swimming and exploring the walks around the campsite, we decided it was time to get up close and personal with some of the views we’d been enjoying.
We were camping at the top of the hill, the pretty little town of Saarburg was at the bottom and the path connecting us meandered through countryside and vineyards. Time to explore.
The descent down the hillside took us through row after row of grape vines. Neatly laid out, every so often we’d spot a sign telling us which vineyard they belong too.
We were all fascinated by the curling stems and bunches of grapes at different stages ,so different to the fields of corn and wheat that surround us at home in North West Germany.
When buying wine now, I will think of those vines and just how much goes into producing it.
Having wandered all the way to the bottom of the hill, it was time to climb up once again to the remains of the Saarburg castle . Dating from 964 and said to be one of the oldest hill top castles in southwest Germany, it was built by Graf Siegfried Von Luxembourg. He who also began the construction of the Casemates Du Bock in Luxembourg City.
Today, it is a charming ruin and pleasant place to rest and soak up the views. It is also home to lots of tiny lizards and although I wasn’t quick enough to catch one, or even a picture, we did enjoy spotting them.
If you’d like a closer look at the castle, there’s some great shots over at castles.nl. A detailed look and much better than anything I captured on my phone camera at the time!
The Town of Saarburg
From the castle, it’s an easy wander into the town of Saarburg itself. A typical Rhineland town, it’s a great place for a relaxed wander. If you prefer there is an easy self guided walk, the Saarburg Round Tour. Details and a map can be obtained from the visitor information centre.
Saarburg spreads out from the bustling market square, where you’ll find some lovely shops and cafe’s. With views down to the waterfall for which the town is known, it’s the place to stop for a coffee and an ice cream.
The rest of the town is full of charming streets and historic buildings, including an old watermill. Look down as well as up, the town also features several Stolperstein.
Built on a network of streams and waterways with pretty pastel buildings everywhere you look, the town is affectionately called Little Venice. I’ve never seen Venice so I can’t say if this is justified.
I can say that the pavement cafes and pots of geraniums and fig trees make for a very pleasant, Mediterranean atmosphere. Very different to other parts of Germany, that’s for sure.
Even after a rest and an ice cream, none of us felt like walking all the way back up the hill. Luckily, we didn’t have to. Some genius has installed a chair lift that takes you smoothly from the town right back up the campsite.
Not only did this cut out the uphill walk, it was also the height of adventure for the kids. Oh, alright, for me too.
For a change of pace, we decided to head out for a day and explore the nearby city of Trier.
Trier is definitely one of the most unique German cities I have visited. It’s history has been created by the Germans, by the Romans, by it’s geographical location on the river. It’s home to historic streets, UNESCO world heritage sites and Germany’s oldest pharmacy. Still operating, with history on display alongside the modern day pills and potions on sale.
Being in the heart of wine country, it’s also a good city if you like a tipple. Surprisingly, it’s not all about wine. Trier has put a unique and historic spin on cider. Viez or Apfelviez comes in lots of varieties and variations are created with flavours like pear or elderberry.
Each producer has their own closely guarded recipe. Finding the one you like best is trial and error… and a lot of fun.
Trier is a fabulous city, I couldn’t do it justice with a small section of a blog post. We filled a day exploring the impressive ‘Black Gate’, said to be the best preserved Roman gate North of the Alps and then finding the Jews Alley/ Judengasse and the old pharmacy, the Lowen Apotheke. That, and a bit of lunch with liquid refreshments, was enough for a day trip.
If you’d like a look at everything else Trier has to offer, find Trier Tourism here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our trip to this part of Germany as much as I’ve enjoyed re-writing it. If you liked this post, have a look at these ones next: Bad Lippspringe & Barbarians or Three German Hats.