After meeting your coach in Bedford or Maidstone you will be taken via the Eurotunnel across Europe to your Hotel where an evening meal and a glass of wine awaits you.
On our first day you will visit what is rightfully considered Germany’s castle par excellence. It has remained in the possession of the original family since the 12th century and was never destroyed. Besieged during the so called “Eltz-Feud” between 1331-1336 it offers the opportunity to have a closer look at medieval siege warfare, a remnant of which is Castle Trutzeltz or Baldeneltz, one of the few surviving siege castles in Europe, which is nestled into the hillside only a few hundred meters away from Castle Eltz. In 1331 this siege saw the first documented use of cannon north of the Alps – cannon projectiles from the siege can be seen in Castle Eltz’s extensive armoury. After exploring the castle and its surroundings we will head to the ruins of Virneburg castle. The Virneburg is a 12th century ‘Höhenburg’ situated on a 430-meter-high slate dome which offers spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. Having fallen into disrepair by 1663 it was finally destroyed by the French in 1689. After this we will take you back to the comforts of your hotel.
On your third day we will take you to the awe inspiring twin castles of Manderscheid, where on either side of the river Liesel, which has carved a deep, winding valley into the rock, stand castles with a distance of less than 300 meters between the two. They offer a unique glimpse into the medieval conflict of interest between the Electorate of Trier and the Duchy of Luxembourg. The upper castle probably already existed by 973 AD and it is one of many places with a claim of having been the birthplace of Charlemagne. Owned by opposing sides for centuries, both castles were besieged numerous times in the 12th and 14th centuries until they were finally destroyed by the French in 1689. Here you will have ample of time to explore both ruins and the breathtakingly beautiful scenery before heading back to the hotel where Christian Schlich will await you with good selection of regional wines to sample.
On the morning of day four we will visit Schloss Bürresheim, which is situated only 10 minutes drive away from your Hotel. Today, medieval castles like this are rare: remotely standing for centuries in an unspoiled landscape with creeks, forests and mountains, Bürresheim Castle has never been conquered or destroyed like most of the other castles in the Rhineland. The castle consists of a picturesque group of buildings constructed between the 12th and 17th century and will enchant you with its rich and colourful half-timbered houses, gothic defensive galleries, slated roofs and cone-shaped tower tops. The inside of the medieval main building still lends an impression of the modest life of a minor German lord in the 1490s – big halls with fossilised oaken pillars, wooden ceilings and huge chimneys. The castle was made famous in the movie Indiana Jones 3 under the name of “Schloss Brunswald”.
Later we will head out to what is probably one of the most beautiful villages in the whole of Germany. Hidden away in a dell amidst the rolling hills of the Vulcan Eifel massif is the enchanting historic village of Monreal; a true medieval gem which is dominated by the twin castles of Loewenburg and Pilippsburg which are perched dramatically on adjacent hillsides overlooking the town. A walk up to the Loewenburg Castle will reward you with spectacular views across Monreal’s beautiful, sheltered location within the green, wooded valley of the Eltz.
After a hearty breakfast you will travel back to the UK.
Rob is a full-time German military historian, public speaker and published author who has made his specialist study the life of the German soldier in wartime. He has acted as a historical consultant for television companies and is a regular contributor to a number of British and German specialist military history magazines. He acted as historical consultant for the Department of Media, Culture and Sports and the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme of the UCL Institute of Education and Equity. He has also worked as an historical advisor and contributor for a number of British television programmes including the BBC’s ‘Great War War Interviews’, ‘Voices 16 – Somme’ and Channel 4’s ‘Battle of Britain: The Last of the Few’ and Channel 4’s ‘Last Heroes of the Somme’. His latest book ‘Fritz and Tommy: Across the Barbed Wire’ written in conjunction with Professor Peter Doyle was published by the History Press.
Rob’s own family originates from the Volcanic Eifel region and can be traced back to the 12th century, giving him a deep understanding of the regional culture and history.
What's Included and How to Book
Included in the Castles, Wine & Venison tour package:
- Return Channel crossing.
- Five days touring the Volcanic Eifel, Germany
- Four nights full board accommodation in the Hotel Forsthaus, Volkesfeld (accommodation excludes drinks.
- The services of our expert guide who will join the coach on arrival at the hotel on the evening of Day One.
- All tips, taxes and admission charges.
- A detailed TourPal – an extensive booklet that will provide you with a wealth of background information about the sites we will be visiting.
- The services of a tour manager who will accompany the coach for the duration of the tour.
- The fully equipped executive coach features air conditioning, seat belts, ample leg room, WC, tea and coffee making facilities, over seat reading lights, a USB charging point for every seat, alternative entry via right hand side for safety when alighting on the continent, and the ability to lower the front of the coach to make access easier when boarding or exiting the coach.
- The coach departs from Bedford with a second pick up at Maidstone. Alternatively, passengers may choose to meet the coach at the Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal.
Hotel Forsthaus, Volkesfeld
You’ll be staying in a converted and modernized forester’s lodge in the heart of the beautiful Nette valley which today is an officially declared climatic health resort and where a volcanic spring allowing you drink sparkling water directly from the rock is only 10 minute walk away. Here Christian Schlich and his team will supply you with the best that the region has to offer. In the mornings you will enjoy a sumptuous breakfast buffet which includes locally made sausages, hams, cold meats, rolls and bread. Each day, before we head out to explore the area’s rich history, Chris will supply you with a packed lunch containing local delicacies like smoked Mettwurst, fresh fruit and traditional rolls while in the evenings, after our return, he and his team will let you explore the local cuisine rich in fresh meats, venison, locally farmed trout and good local wines from the Moselle and the Ahr. Special dietary requirements can be catered for upon request.
The ‘Hunters Cabin’: The Forsthaus Hotel offers families or larger parties the chance to live in their own ‘hunters cabin’, which is situated on the hotel grounds. The large, wooden cabin is split into to seperate halfs, each half offering spacious accomodation for four people (two double bed rooms, one living room, one bath room with shower) – if you travel in larger group, or with children get in touch with us for more info. Per head price remains unchanged.
Prices and Booking Procedure:
- Double/Twin Room, 2 people sharing – £770 per person (total price £1,540)
- Double/Twin Room, single occupancy – £870
When booking this tour select your room choice from the drop down “Room Type” menu at the top of the page, then click “Add to Basket”.
If booking a combination of shared and single occupancy rooms please add to basket separately. The “Continue Shopping” button in your basket will return you to this page.
A deposit of 30% of the total amount is required on booking, with the remainder due no later than 8 weeks prior to the departure date.
Please see the Terms & Conditions page for further details.
The number of people in your party is governed by rooms booked:
1 shared double/twin = 2 people
1 single occupancy = 1 person
Please have to hand the names and contact details of all members of your party when making your booking as these will need to be entered on the checkout page.