COCHEM, 55km along the Mosel as it winds from Koblenz, is as attractive a half-timbered town as any on the Mosel, but tends to be let down by the sheer number of its visitors. It's known above all for its Reichsburg (daily mid-March to Nov 9am–5pm; 4.50; Tel:02671/225, Web: www.reichsburg-cochem.de ), a turreted medieval-style castle built high above town in 1877, though following the original ground-plans of a castle that's been here since the eleventh century. The walk up to the castle is clearly signposted from town and takes around fifteen minutes; its antique-dotted, mock-medieval interior can only be explored on forty-minute guided tours (frequent; German-only, but translation sheets provided). The town's other main attraction is the Pinnerkreuz chairlift (daily: mid-July to Aug 9.30am–7.30pm; Easter to mid-July & Sept to mid-Nov 10am–6pm; 5.50 return; Tel:06541/98 90 63), which begins a short walk west of the tourist office, and offers not only great views of the valley but also the chance for a pleasant downhill hike back to town between vineyards.
Trains pull in on the north bank just downstream of town, within easy walking distance of the tourist office at Enderplatz 1 (all year Mon– Fri 9am–1pm & 2–5pm; May to mid-July also Sat 9am–5pm; mid-July to Oct also Sat 9am–5pm, Sun 10am– noon; Nov– April Sat 9am–3pm; Tel:06541/600 40, Web: www.cochem.de ). A good place to stay and eat is the centrally located Alte Thorschenke, Brückenstrasse 3 (Tel:02671/70 59, Web: www.castle-thorschenke.com ; Price: 101-120), which dates from 1332 though most of its rooms – some with four-poster beds – are in a modern 1960s wing. Its restaurant has all the usual German dishes, with most mains around 13.