Whilst cities, no matter which country in the world you are in, can be fun I much rather visit small towns. During my week in Germany recently, where I was on a quest to find the best Christmas Markets, I decided I wanted to hire a car and drive out to visit some small towns. Not only did I find a beautiful small town that almost made me cry (I’ll be writing more on that soon), but the most magical little Castle I’ve ever seen, Eltz Castle!
Eltz Castle was built prior to the year 1157 (making it a medieval castle) and is still owned by members of the original Eltz family. Despite the battles and wars since then the castle has never been destroyed.
The entire drive there it was a glorious blue sky day but as we got closer to Eltz Castle we started to descend into a valley of thick cloud, so you could barely see a few metres in front of you. I was starting to get real worried that we wouldn’t even be able to see the castle, but luck was on our side.
Just as we rounded the corner the clouds broke and the sun shone down onto Eltz Castle like rays from heaven. I wish this sounded less corny but it’s the only way I can describe it, it was a truly magical moment.
It was so bright and heavenly that we couldn’t capture its beauty with our cameras, so we sat for a moment and enjoyed every second before it disappeared (sometimes it’s better like that).
To add to our luck, once the first rays of light dispersed we were blessed with an incredible angle of the afternoon sun that hit the castle perfectly, the sun glowing in between the castle turrets like in a movie. I have no idea how to use photoshop or the likes (the most I know to do with my photos is an auto-enhance on my phone or iPhoto) so these photos look glorious not for my clever editing but because of our sheer luck of arriving at just the right time.
TOURING ELTZ CASTLE
I wish that I was able to go inside the castle and have a tour but they were closed for the winter.
The website for Eltz Castle states that they will re-open in March and that the entrance fee is €10 per person.
The tour takes you around Eltz Castle, visiting rooms such as the Armoury, the Knight’s hall, the original Kitchen and the Countess’ bedroom. Eltz Castle also boasts a treasury with a collection of more than 500 exhibits dating over 8 centuries. The exhibition focuses on artworks by German gold and silver smiths, extravagant jewellery and real weapons.
If hiking is your thing the website also explains that there is a variety of hikes around the castle, which sound beautiful.
HOW TO GET TO ELTZ CASTLE
I hired a car from Cologne airport and drove to Eltz Castle, which took about an hour and a half. The drive was super easy (though I recommend a GPS or active Google Maps as there were a lot of lane changes) and beautiful, lots of rolling hills and sleepy towns.
If you are ever lucky enough to visit the western side of Germany please be sure to visit this most magical castle. It is one of my favourite finds of all time and I truly felt like I was in a fairytale that day (and I visited it with my very own Prince Charming)!
Over to you. Where is your favourite castle or most magical find? Let me know in the comments below!