When Is the Best Time
Saarburg is a lovely town and famous for its waterfall and castle within walking distance. You can easily spend half a day here.
The Saarburg waterfall is unique because it does not flow through wild natural landscapes as others do, but instead directly into the old town of Saarburg. The 17 m high waterfall is formed by the river Leuk.
The Saarburg waterfall is most picturesque in the morning, with the perfect light in the back of you. Due to the proximity to France and Luxembourg, Saarburg is busy during the weekends with visitors from neighbouring countries and Germans as well.
Usually, on Sundays, shops are closed in Germany, but there is an exception for Saarburg, which attracts many foreign tourists and Germans alike. Most visitors enjoy a coffee or lunch outside of one of the cafes and restaurants.
You can sit next to the river and hear the roaring waterfall. It is quiet in the morning, especially on Sundays, but crowded at midday especially on such beautiful sunny days.
High above the Saar on a hill, you can see the ruins of one of the oldest castles of the West. It is a picturesque landmark and the namesake of the town of Saarburg.
The castle complex is freely accessible and absolutely worth seeing. In 964, Count Siegfried of Luxembourg purchased the castle hill from the Trier Cathedral Church and built a mighty castle complex.
The Belvedere Tower was originally a low nobility castle mansion built in 1595 - collapsed in 1877 - and was newly built from red sandstone ashlars in 1895. Belvedere comes from the Italian language for viewpoint.
The castle ring was 137 m long and up to 50 m wide. From the early 12th century, the castle was owned by the Archbishops of Trier, who, over the centuries, developed it into one of the most important fortifications in their territory.
After several destructions and reconstructions, the castle lost its importance from the 18th century onwards and became a ruin. In 1860, the town of Saarburg bought the ruins, and in 1896 established, the viewing plateau at the upper part of the tower.
When climbing over 100 steps up the narrow spiral staircase, you get rewarded with a magnificent panoramic view of the Saar Valley.
You will be surprised to see goats running around when you visit the castle in spring and summer. This is for a very simple reason; they are there to keep the vegetation low.
How to Get to Saarburg Castle and Waterfall
Saarburg is a half an hour drive south of Trier in proximity to the Luxembourg and France border in the west of Germany. Close to Saarburg, you will find the famous vineyards of the Moselle.
There are plenty of signs in the old town centre of Saarburg and from the parking to show you the directions to all attractions. From the waterfall, walk direction of the church and here to the left along the old town wall to get to the castle. It takes 5-10 minutes by foot, and benches are along the cobbled path for a break.
Everything is well signposted in the town, and you easily find what you are looking for. The closest parking is within walking distance of the waterfall and castle. Parking Google Maps BEV parking (battery electric vehicle) park for four hours for free.
Where to Stay Close to Saarburg?
This hotel is located opposite the information centre and town hall, close to all attractions.
We spent a night in a vineyard, did a wine tasting in the evening, and enjoyed the excellent kitchen. The rooms at "Weingut Apel" are clean, and the beds are excellent. You get to the wine estate by car, only a 20 minutes drive from Saarburg at Moselle River. A rich buffet breakfast can also be booked at the reception, which I highly recommend.
Biking Along the Saar
The Saar River flows next to the town, and the waterfall is a popular break for bikers. This well-marked river bike trail of 110 km leads along the river Saar and passes by Saarburg. Starting point of this route in France behind the German border is Sarreguemines endpoint, Konz, close to Trier.
Best Months to Visit
Location and Tips
The waterfall is located in the beautiful old town centre of Saarburg and tumbles down in steps more than 20 meters. The waterfall canal makes for a unique experience. Initially, the small Leuk River flowed around the town, not through the town centre.
The river was rerouted in the 13th century to provide firefighters with water in case of a fire. At the same time, mills were built at the bottom of the waterfall. Today you can visit the mill museum.
Exciting attractions include the old town centre, medieval timbered houses, and Saar Castle can be seen in one day.
Saarburg is very popular and close to the border of France and Luxembourg. Shops are open on Sundays. You can sit and enjoy a coffee, ice cream or the typical Tarte flambee in one of the many cafes. The town also has castle ruins atop the hillside overlooking the river and the surroundings. You can climb the high tower for fascinating views.
Another attraction is the nearby chairlift to get high up into the vineyards. There is also a walking path to get to the top of the hill. This is a great opportunity for families with small children and people who have difficulties walking longer distances uphill.
We visited Saarburg once At easter and once in the summer on the weekend, and the town was pretty busy. However, we had no trouble finding a place to sit when it was time for a break.
If you like to follow the river for a day, rental bikes are offered. The region is also famous for its excellent wine and vineyards.
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