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A Weekend in Germany

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With Ryanair operating a new direct route from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Frankfurt-Hahn, starting in April 2016, we’ve spoken to some locals to uncover what the region has to offer and got them to share their top tips and insider hints for unearthing the hidden gems that this little known but stunningly beautiful region has to offer.

Approximately an hour and a half from the industrial city of Frankfurt, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport is actually hidden away in the forests of the Hunsrück region, an area of rolling hills famous for its hiking and cycling, cultural and ancient sites. As you travel around the region the castles sitting along the hill-tops become almost common place with one approximately every mile and a half across the entire wider region of Rhineland-Palatinate.

As a taster, here are 5 things to do within an hour’s drive from the Airport:

1. Explore Balduinseck Castle: This beautiful ruin of an ancient castle has just recently re-opened to the public after a six year closure for refurbishment. It is situated in the middle of the Hunsrück, close to the city of Kastellaun. Insider Tip: Take some lunch with you, because as you walk up the stairs that guide you to the castle you will find a great picnic area with seating, right in front of the old brick walls. The view from here is stunning!

2. Hike through a Gorge: The Ehrbach Valley offers some exciting hiking because of the diversity of the trail. The 8 mile hike will take about 4 hours, through small paths, over boulders and across little bridges. Insider Tip: Take a detour to the beautiful Ehrenburg castle which can be reached by foot from the trail.

3. Explore the Moselle: The Moselle River is lined with pretty towns; Bernastel-Kues, Traben-Trarbach and Cochem might be the most famous but the tiny city of Beilstein is also very popular, and certainly worth a visit. Insider Tip: Drive to the next city called “Briedern”, park there and look for the hiking signs “Briederner Schweiz”. The trail leads you up the hill, but don’t worry it is a short steep climb and after that the path levels out and is easy and flat. It will take you a relaxing 90 minutes with stunning moselle views, then you arrive at the castle of the city Beilstein.

4. Visit Eltz Castle: It can hardly be called an “insider hint” but nevertheless a “must see” when you are in the region. Eltz Castle is situated in the Eifel-region, so about an hours’ drive from Hahn-Airport, but it is truly worth the drive! The view alone, as you walk the approach to the castle, is stunning. Tours through the castle are included in your entrance fee and the guides will give you a great insight into life in the middle ages. Insider Tip: Be sure to arrive early as it can get very crowded in the summer. The on-site restaurant is a little pricey, aimed at tourists and best avoided – there is always great food to be had in the area.

5. Dine at Bauer Beelitz: The speciality here is pork and all the meat is cooked outside on the fire pit… come rain or shine! The meat is spectacular, the portions more than generous and the prices reasonable. On a warm summer’s evening you can sit outside and the views across the valley are beautiful. This is rustic dining at its very best. Insider Tip: The restaurant is only open on Thursday and Saturday evenings. It’s popular with the locals and well as “in the know” tourists so booking is recommended.

How to get there: Fly from Newquay to Frankfurt-Hahn with Ryanair on Thursdays and Sundays from 3 April.

Planning your trip: Book your flights at www.ryanair.com. For information on the regions and for hotel and tour bookings, please visit:

Hunsrück: www.hunsruecktouristik.de/en/

Moselle: www.mosellandtouristik.de/en/

Naheland: www.naheland.net/en/

Rhineland-Palatinate: www.romantic-germany.info/