Last year while visiting the Mosel, we visited my friend Bartho at his winery, Weingut Eduard Kroth. He mentioned that the wine caves along the river have some of the most beautiful Christmas markets in their wine cellars. He invited us back for a wine tasting and a weekend visiting the markets this December. Of course, we jumped at it! It wasn’t hard to convince a few friends to join me in investigating the little town of Traben-Trarbach.
I made my reservations quickly so I booked through Booking.com and found the Hotel Schloß Zell. I knew we wanted to be close to Traben-Trarbach without actually staying in town so I chose the little town of Zell am der Mosel only a few short kilometers away. It is not peak season so finding accommodations was a little challenging. We left Friday and stopped in Speyer for lunch along the Rhine. One of my favorite go-to restaurants in this ancient Roman town, the Alte Hammer. It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, the service is impeccable, the food lovely and views are great! The summer is my particular favorite time to visit as their beer garden is quite big and is typically filled with outdoor enthusiasts.
Zell am der Mosel
We arrived in Zell and our hotel happened to be a castle. YUP! A castle built in the 1300’s. This gorgeous property has several rooms and large banquet facilities as well as beautiful furnishings. It also happens to be the only schloß with a synagogue and a church in the same building. (More on that later!)
We checked in with Berndt who was a dutchman working hard at the front desk. Berndt was FANTASTIC! He greeted us warmly and since we were the only ones for the weekend, he let us pick our own rooms. I was so excited to have the “tower” room! Isn’t it amazing ~
After settling in a bit we walked the town and found out a very small Christmas market was taking place in the town square along the river. But we had dinner reservations so off we went.
From our bedrooms we could smell an incredible breakfast cooking up downstairs ~ thanks, Berndt! An elegant set table and eggs to order all served in our private castle, who could ask for anything more. Berndt made us feel so wonderful and welcome that I am so excited to book another trip back there next fall. More details to follow ~
When visiting Traben-Trarbach it is good to remember MOST of the parking is in Trarbach, not Traben. You’ll have to cross a bridge to Traben – this is where the cave cellars and market is located.
These two towns attached by a bridge are wonderful ~ and so close to Bernkastel-Kues. I love these two little towns too! Absolutely worth checking out!
The market has four different cellars to visit and are all relatively close to each other. It would normally take you a whole day to walk through them! Throughout the town it is decorated as well and shop owners have all participated in joining in the festivities.
Lots of different vendors ~ some familiar, some unusual
During the day we visited two of the cave markets and they were incredible.
I would highly recommend visiting a winery while you are in the area. I love the wines along the Mosel. Sweet, dry and special. I can’t recommend Bartho and his wines high enough. You might have seen him at the local bazaars. If you are interested in a tasting, you should schedule one, this is great for the vintner and for you.
The Market at Night
Ironically, I thought the market would have been busier during the day. But the river just lights up ~ literally. Absolutely stunning.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE!
The Mosel Wein market is still happening!! – Plenty of time to plan a short weekend trip!
- 24 November to 17 December – Friday to Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- 18 December to 01 January – 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- 31 December – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you are not maxxed out Christmas markets and would like to tour one that is just a bit different ~ here you go! Can’t wait to go back to the Mosel and visit Bartho and Berndt along the river.
It’s always an adventure when you ©Travel with Wendy!