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International Town of Vines and Wine

Bernkastel-Kues is one of the most appreciated Moselle towns and is proudly called the ‘international town of vines and wine.’ Local wine-growers will charm you with delicious wines, grown in vineyards of world-wide fame. Savour the exceptional wine — accompanied by regional dainties. Situated on both sides of the Moselle River, the town invites you to go for a stroll through its unique ensemble of wonderful medieval half-timbered houses.

1. Location of Bernkastel-Kues in Germany

The town of Bernkastel-Kues is located in the Moselle-Saar holiday region, approximately 29 km to the west of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (see map on bottom of page).

The Moselle-Saar is one of the nine holiday regions of Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate. Of the Rhine's tributaries, the Moselle is considered the loveliest. Idyllic wine villages perched on steep, vine-clad slopes, and romantic little towns with a medieval feel, such as Cochem and Bernkastel-Kues, lend the Moselle valley its unique character. Trier, over 2,000 years old, is the oldest town in Germany and its stone relics dating back to Roman times have now been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. Come and discover for yourself the jovial hospitality of local Moselle people — and don't forget to treat yourself to a delicious glass of that famous local Riesling. ... read more about the Moselle-Saar holiday region

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2. Bernkastel-Kues and its Sights

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Video: Bernkastel-Kues ‘International Town of Vines and Wine’

Like hardly any other region in Germany the Moselle Valley attracts people from far and near, enchanting its visitors with mild, almost Mediterranean temperatures. Enjoy the idyllic landscape, the elegant Riesling grown in vineyards of world-wide fame, enjoy the sight of massive fortresses and impressive castles, of picturesque villages with their half-timbered houses that line up along the banks of the Moselle like pearls on a string. Bernkastel-Kues is called the centre of the middle Moselle.

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2.1 Historical Old Town Centre

Guests from all over the world come to Bernkastel-Kues every year to seek and find diverting recreation in the ‘international town of vines and wine.’ Situated on both sides of the river, underneath the imposing ruin of Landshut Castle, the old town invites you to go for a stroll through historical lanes. Discover its unique ensemble of wonderful medieval half-timbered houses. Marvel at the ‘Spitzhäuschen’, looking so fragile and seeming to balance on its tiny socket on which it was built in 1416. Promenade along the splendid renaissance town hall built in 1608, the marvellous St. Michael’s Well and the pretty St. Michael’s Parish Church with its mighty tower. Stroll to the impressive Graacher Tor, an old town gate where you will find the town museum. You might as well visit Cusanus-Haus where the famous scholar Nicolas of Cusa was born in 1401.

In addition to the historical town centre there are three new parts of town: Wehlen, Andel and Kueser Plateau. Only a few minutes away, each of the parts has its own charms and attractions — and still is part of the integral whole: of Bernkastel-Kues, a state-approved resort, a town of wine and tourism with visitors from all over the world. As you see, there are many sights to be discovered in Bernkastel-Kues. A promenade in town will be even more exciting, if you follow the tracks of the myths and legends of town. It will be a pleasure for one of our town-guides to tell you more about the history of town — telling you also the little, entertaining anecdotes that the common guide-books conceal.

2.2 Three New Parts of Town

The three parts of town Andel, Wehlen and Kueser Plateau enrich Bernkastel-Kues with their own attractions and charms.

In Andel you will find sap-green grassland, meadows abounding in flowers, sunny vineyards and wooded hillsides: this is a place for hiking, cycling, in-line skating, canoeing or even flying in a waterplane above the Moselle. Become a gold-digger in Andel! Amid a native woodland there is a real gold creek where you might find some nuggets, still nowadays. Try your luck!

Wehlen is famous for its mysterious sundial: On the dial there is no seven. Why? Well, after seven o’clock the sundial is in the shade anyway, so they left out the seven. One of the most elegant white wines is growing in the vineyard ‘Wehlener Sonnenuhr’ which is named after the sundial. The steep, stony slate slopes produce a delicious wine with a fresh acidity appreciated by connoisseurs of wine all over the world.

Kueser Plateau is the right place for those who seek both recreation and activity. Here, you will find all sorts of leisure facilities: hiking, jogging, nordic walking on idyllic paths — in the vineyards or on refreshing paths in the woods. Mountainbiking on narrow trails, tennis or riding a horse — fresh air and relaxation guaranteed. Kueser Plateau has been a certified resort with ‘healthy climate’ since 2005. Local hotels offer attractive wellness programmes.

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3. International Town of Vines and Wine

The Moselle region is known in particular for its fruity and mild Riesling wines. They once founded the good reputation of German wine all over the world and are appreciated especially in the USA. But local winegrowers also produce extraordinary dry Riesling wines which experts hold in high esteem because of their fruity nuances, their aroma and their mineral fullness. The wine is grown on steep slopes rising up to 60 degrees and on terraces with Mediterranean flair. The mild micro climate and the slaty soil, which stores the warmth, provide ideal conditions for the Riesling vines. The range of individual nuances of Riesling wines is fascinating. But Riesling is not the only type of grape of this region — fresh Elbling, Rivaner, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are part of the winegrowers’ assortments — as well as red wines like Pinot Noir and Dornfelder. So it’s no wonder that Bernkastel-Kues attracts thousands of visitors every year — especially in autumn, during the vintage. But every season offers its delicacies to those who like to be tempted!

If you would you like to test your wine knowledge in practice, we recommend a visit in the Vinothek. In the underground vaults of St.-Nikolaus-Hospital more than 160 different wines are waiting to train and to charm your senses of smell and taste. In a unique tasting you will discover the liquid treasures of the region of Moselle, Saar and Ruwer. After that, you can profit from your latest experience and purchase your favourite wines in the Vinothek-shop.

The Moselle Wine Museum is right beside the St.-Nikolaus-Hospital. There you can learn about the hard working conditions in the vineyards and cellars of former times; work which was the foundation of what the Moselle wine still stands for today: first-class wines which combine fruit and aromatic fullness.

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4. Cultural Heritage & Festivals

Middle Ages and Modern Times, gaiety and aestheticism, culture and cheerful festivals — in Bernkastel-Kues these seeming opposites are wedded on to another.

One of the most important medieval philosophers influenced the town substantially: the cardinal Nicolas of Cusa also known as ‘Cusanus’. He is the author of many writings relating to the Arts which where ahead of their time — his scientific works are considered as epoch-making. In the Cusanus-Geburtshaus, the birthplace of Nicolas of Cusa, you will find a documentation on his life and his work. Seize the opportunity to meet this remarkable scholar — and don’t miss to have a look at the Cusanus-Stift, the Cusanus Foundation, with the famous library which comprises one of the most precious collections of old manuscripts in the world.

The range of facilities in Bernkastel-Kues is wide and does not only serve those who are keen on education: people who like to savour, to celebrate and to live high will enjoy our cheerful wine festivals. In spring, for example, there are the ‘Tage der offenen Weinkeller’ (the ‘days of open cellars’) inviting to come and taste the new wine. In August, the ‘Wein- und Straßenfest’ (the “wine and street festival’) attracts many people to come to Kues. And in September, there is the festival highlight of the year: the famous ‘Weinfest der Mittelmosel’, the greatest wine festival of the Middle Moselle with fireworks and a splendid parade. In advent, a Christmas-market enchants visitors and residents with its unique atmosphere.

The Moselfestwochen, a music festival, has become an institution for music adorers. More than 70 musical events in the most beautiful places along the Moselle meanders form the leading music festival in Rhineland-Palatinate. You will be fascinated by first-class concerts — and artists of world-wide reputation.

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5. Shopping & Pleasure

A stroll through the shops of Bernkastel-Kues offers numerous opportunities to cheer up yourself and your friends at home with original gifts. You will find the whole range of products concerning wine and table decoration in the shops of Bernkastel-Kues. In the old part of town, many nice, little shops with charming decorations offer typical and extraordinary products in good style. Fashion and clothing are important themes in Bernkastel-Kues, too. On the market-square, some of the shops offer vines, so you can take home your favourite type of grape — cultivation advice inclusive. Or simply buy a few bottles of the wine which you liked so much, here. Every mouthful of it will bring back the holiday feeling. Taking home typical delicacies of the Moselle region is a nice way of making the savour of the holiday last a bit longer. A very special shopping event is a visit of the grocery store in colonial style accurately reproduced in every detail, including a historical coffee roasters’.

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6. Leisure Activities & Sports

For those who like activity holidays and for sports enthusiasts there is so much to discover in Bernkastel-Kues. Cycle along the idyllically winding banks of the river and make a tour to the rugged side valleys. Swing the paddle in a canoe right beside the natural vegetation of the riversides. Pass through a sea of green vines — either wandering through the vineyards, or following one of the Nordic walking tracks. If you are looking for more motion and activity — for example tennis, riding or even water-ski — you have all the opportunities to make your holiday wishes come true in Bernkastel-Kues . Would you like to freshen up in a cool pool? Come to find pleasure in the modern indoor and outdoor swimming-pools, massage pool, solarium, childrens’ pool and on the sun terrace. The sports and leisure facilities in Bernkastel-Kues offer a wide range of possibilities — to your pleasure.

Discover the beautiful valley of the Moselle during a relaxing tour on board of one of the white, elegant excursion boats — and enjoy sweet idleness. The ‘Panoramabahn’, an easy-going coach with panoramic windows, might show you round the town centre of Bernkastel — then way up into the vineyards of Kues — and then take you all the way back. Or go for a ride in a hot-air balloon: you will enjoy a wonderful sight on the river, the castle and — of course — the vineyards. How about bowling? Or playing minigolf? Or fishing? You’re welcome to do what you like to do!

Many interesting excursions are possible, too: you can explore the Bernkastel Wine Region. Or you can drive from Bernkastel-Kues to Trier in about 40 minutes, after only 60 minutes you reach Burg Eltz, which seems to be a fairy tale castle — and only a few minutes away, there is the idyllic Kloster Machern, a former Cistercian nuns’ abbey. Also Luxemburg and the Eifel region with its maars are only a stone’s throw away! There is so much to discover. So we suggest: choose Bernkastel-Kues as your ‘home’ during the holidays — and explore the surroundings from here!

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7. Health & Rehabilitation Holiday

For many years, Bernkastel-Kues has been one of the first resorts to be picked for a cure. Patients with various diseases find help in the renowned clinics and sanatoriums. There is a new, modern rehabilitation centre with 1050 beds in five private clinics. The clinics of the rehabilitation centre are specialized in cardiac diseases, orthopaedics, neurology and psychosomatics. In the Kurgastzentrum there are assembly rooms for the guests of the health resort.

Can you go on a holiday with a seriously ill person? – You can. The patients’ relatives are free to use the many facilities in town, while the staff of the Cusanus-Krankenhaus, the well equipped local hospital, is taking care of the ill holiday-makers. A ‘holiday dialysis’ is appreciated by guests who need a regular purification of the blood. Flexible opening-times make it possible to spend the holiday at ease. Wellness-programmes and the possibilities of alternative medicine are available in many hotels and other institutions. Choose from classics like sauna and massage or traditional Chinese medicine to improve your health and your well-being.

In 2005, Bernkastel-Kues has been certified as a resort with healthy climate — and is now officially among the 50 places in Germany, where the healthy climate facilitates recovery. The air is very pure here — and if you do sports, the recreative effect is extraordinary. Nature is extremely fascinating all year, so every walk is a comfort for body and senses. The world-famous health resort of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic is the twin town of Bernkastel-Kues. Various friendship clubs and a partnership association are lively junctions between both towns. In Bernkastel-Kues, a square is named after the twin town: Karlsbader Platz.

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8. Events Finder

There is always something happening — whether it is art, music, wine festivals or a host of other activities. The Events Finder gives you an overview about what is on, where and when. Here you can search for events and festivals in the region.

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9. Hotel & Holiday Flat Finder

Here you have direct access to the online accommodation reservation service of the Tourist Board of Rhineland-Palatinate. No other hotel reservation system on the Internet offers you such a broad and comprehensive list of accommodation in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate regions. You can list accommodation, search accommodation, contact accommodation establishments and make online reservations.

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10. How to get there from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

10.1 By Rental Car

Google Maps: Route from (A) Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to (B) Bernkastel-Kues
(29 km distance / 29 minutes driving time) » get directions

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10.2 By Bus

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has no direct railway or bus connection to Bernkastel-Kues. However, the buses from the airport will take you to railway stations where you can connect with Deutsche Bahn trains or local transport links.

Weblink: Deutsche Bahn — show integrated Rail and Bus Services from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to Bernkastel-Kues

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Tourist Office Address

Gestade 6
54470 Bernkastel-Kues

Tel.: +49 (0) 65 31 - 50 01 90
Fax: +49 (0) 65 31 - 50 01 919