The Moselle Camino, part of the St. James' Way network, from Koblenz to Trier is not a name on everyone's lips. In actual fact, it is a "small" but mighty pilgrimage, far from the major routes, in an attractive location and featuring plenty of highlights as it snakes its way through one of Germany's most famous wine-growing regions along the Moselle river.
Six of the routes in the St. James' Way network cross Rhineland-Palatinate, and four of them head to Germany's oldest city, Trier, and to the city's St. Matthias' Abbey. One of these is the Moselle Camino, which starts in Koblenz's Stolzenfels district. Although it's part of the St. James' Way network, there is no proof of it being recognised as a pilgrimage route. Yet there is plenty of evidence that pilgrims took this path on their travels from the Middle Rhine to Spain. Pilgrimage sites and churches from the Middle Ages are still part of the route today. The Moselle Camino has been part of the network of pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela since 2008. It is a scenic route upriver that runs along the Moselle and across the Eifel and Hunsrück low mountain ranges, taking in plenty of spiritual and cultural highlights along the way. The pilgrimage and hiking route remains consistently varied and interesting throughout as pilgrims make their way through romantic wine-growing towns and villages, such as Traben-Trarbach and Bernkastel-Kues, which are known for their fine wines the world over. They pass medieval castles and ruins, whose rather dark histories give pause for thought, and stop at traditional pilgrimage sites and places of worship, such as the Pilgrimage Church of Bleidenberg or the forest chapel on Hansenberg hill. It is a route that doesn't necessarily need to lead to meditation, but it moves all who take it and certainly sees pilgrims lost in thought as they take a break with a glass of good wine.
Total length of route: between 160 and 180 km/7–8 stages
Pilgrim hostels along the route?: Yes
Arrival options: Koblenz Central Station
Departure options: Trier
About the route: daily stages between 35 and 70 km; moderately difficult, requires good fitness levels