Often overlooked, the Moselle River offers incomparable beauty, fine Riesling wines and amazing places to explore like Trier, Germany’s oldest city.

I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

The above line from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” could easily have been written about the Moselle River. A winding tributary of the Rhine that was essentially unnavigable until 1964, the Moselle has long been outshined by Europe’s more distinguished waterways. And, certainly, at only 339 miles (in comparison to the Volga River, Europe’s longest at 2,193) it is far from the largest.

However, what the Moselle lacks in mileage it makes up for in beauty, arguably boasting some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Fringed with sloping green hills, quaint villages, striking white chapels and more than a dozen castles dating as far back as the 11th century, the Moselle is so much more than simply a mode of transport. It is a destination in itself.

Straight out of a Fairytale

With half-timbered storybook homes dotting unspoiled landscapes swathed in lush vineyards, the romantic Moselle Valley is the stuff of fairytales. In fact, the Brothers Grimm used the Moselle River as the setting of their final scene in “The Seven Swabians,“ and likely had its environs in mind when penning such tales as “Snow White” and “Rumpelstiltskin.”

It is nearly impossible to capture a photograph undeserving of a postcard while gliding along these tranquil waters, particularly between the cities of Koblenz and Trier where the river cuts through the earth in its most dramatic bends.

Some of the Best Wines of Germany

For many, Germany conjures images of Oktoberfest and thus, beer is often the first spirit that comes to mind. However, the Moselle Valley has been a winegrowing region for more than 2,000 years, when the ancient Romans commenced this time-honored tradition.

Unlike other wine regions, the Moselle is unique in that many of its vineyards grow at sharp angles—in fact, the world’s steepest vineyard is in the Moselle Valley! The climate and hills also lend themselves to periods of intense fog that produce “noble rot,” a strangely beneficial fungus that creeps onto grapes and results in sweeter wines, including much-lauded German Rieslings.

From spring through autumn, charming local festivals in river towns with half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets celebrate the fruits of their vineyards’ labor with pageants, hikes, tastings and fireworks, making a trip ashore almost as unforgettable as your scenic cruise.

It is undeniable that the Moselle River makes an impact on all who journey upon it. So, take the river less traveled on your next AmaWaterways cruise!