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Belgium or Rheinland

Euless, Texas
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Belgium or Rheinland

We are traveling with our daughters, 13 and 11, to Europe at the end of June 2014. We are starting in Paris and will rent a car upon our departure from the city. We are meeting family in Koln a few days later and then on to Leipzig. The question is which route to take - head to Belguim for 3-4 days or to Saarland/Rheinland region. I am wanting to find a base and take day trips. We prefer small towns/villages. We love great food and wine. I want my children to get a feel for the area and the flavor of each stop. I would like to spend 1/2 the day touring and 1/2 the day playing. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Belgium or Rheinland


Fastest drive will be through Belgium via Charleroi and Liege but that also will be most boring. Suggest to drive to Reims first, see the mighty Cathedral and drive to Luxembourg after that. The city of Luxembourg is often overlooked but it makes a great visit. You'll find plenty of small towns in Luxembourg. On the way to Koln don't miss Trier. This city, more than 2000 years old, has a lot to offer.

You also can take a lot of byways through Ardennes heading north. Many scenic drives but you'll need a good map (or maybe gps but never travel without a map either). Last drives get you through Ardennes and Eifel.

Is this a one way trip Paris-Leipzig? Have you checked the drop off charges?

For roadtripping in Europe use: www.viamichelin.com

For more info you also can use the Road Trips forum:


Happy planning.


Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: Belgium or Rheinland

I agree the route through Luxembourg / Trier to Koln is going to be more interesting than heading through Belgium. Assuming you use Trier (or somewhere near it) as your base, if you want to focus on wine, you could take a day trip down to Strasbourg and then work your way back up by way of the Sudliche Weinstrasse (the Southern Wine Street), which winds its way from the French / German border near Wissembourg up to Bad Durkheim. There are countless small towns with great places to eat local food (and drink local wine) along the route, as well as a number of 15th-17th century castles along the edge of the forest. You can make the route as long or short as you want, and jump back on the Autobahn back to Trier when you've had enough.

Alternatively, head to Bingen, park your car, and pick up one of the numerous Rhine river cruises north towards Boppard / Koblenz. I highly recommend getting off the boat at Sankt Goar and walking up to the Rheinfels castle. It is one of the most interesting ruins I've explored in the Rheinland, as they have subterranean passages open to the public. Be sure to bring a strong flashlight if you want to tour them. When you're done, you can catch one of the frequent local trains from the base of the hill back up the river to your car in Bingen. It's an easy afternoon that I reviewed previously here: tripadvisor.com/…489553

I have family near Landau in the Pfaltz, and spent many summers over there growing up. If you have questions about anything between Strasbourg / Bad Durkheim / Karlsruhe feel free to PM me, as I know that area particularly well. I'm less familiar with the area west of the Weinstrasse, e.g. Luxembourg / Trier, as we rarely headed in that direction.

3. Re: Belgium or Rheinland

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