Christmas is obviously a happy time, but this year it just feels weird. This is the first Christmas away from home and tradition plus we had some super weird work schedule conflicts! To make up for all the homesickness we decided to head out for a day trip! Our Saturday took us about an hour and a half away to Idar-Obersien and then to Bernkastel Kues! Both were beyond charming and full of German character! For all my fellow travelers you must add them as pit stops while you’re in Germany!
On our way to Bernkastel, we stopped at a cute little town called Idar-Obersien. After a quick caffeine boost, we were ready to make the very steep treck up the cliff. On our way up we checked out Felsenkirche which is a cute church literally built INTO the side of a cliff. I have no idea how this was done but it is amazing! We ended up coming up to it right at 11 so we got our own private concert. I have no idea why but we were the only ones there that day! You can go inside the church normally but because it was so close to Christmas it was closed.
After the church, we headed further up to the castle ruins. While there isn’t much left it is still crazy to look at the ruins and wonder just how something so huge was built so long ago. The views from the castle were so worth the steep climb and cold wind gust!
On our way back to the car we saw this building and we thought, “wow that looks super old!” Literally right after we said that we ran into a sign about the history of the town and turns out that building was built in 1429!!!! Crazy!
After leaving Idar- Oberstien we headed to Bernkastel Kues! You can’t take the autobahn to get there so we sang along to Christmas songs as we toured countless villages on our way. While it was a fun drive it was the curviest road I have ever been on! I’m talking full 180 turns over and over. Whew! Once we got to Bernkastel our first stop was the castle…duh! There was a lot more left of this one, but they had turned half of it into a restaurant. I get it….the views are amazing but I hate that they messed with the historics of the castle itself. We climbed all the way to the top and the views were just crazy. You could see as far as the eye could see of hills covered top to bottom in vineyards surrounding the curve of the Mosel river. Below the vineyards lay the more charming German town.
After the castle, we stopped halfway down the cliff to check out the Wasser fall (waterfall).
Finally, we strolled through the cobblestone streets and allies that make up Bernkastle Kues. The architecture is everything you think of when you think Germany.
Remember to Pin for later!
Last but not least we stopped at one more castle! Grevenburg Castle Ruins! Just a short drive from the main area of Berncastle Kues and yet again offers great views! The even have an outdoor restaurant there, but because it was so cold and close to Christmas it wasn’t open! If you visit in the spring or summer it is definitely worth the steep drive!
If you’re looking for a small, authentic and less crowded place to visit while in Germany….Bernkastel Kues and Idar-Oberstien are perfect!
Don’t miss out on Heidleburg either!