The Mosel meanders in a snakelike path through the mountains west of the Rhineland, passing town after town, seemingly with the sole purpose of beautifying the riverbanks. Nearly every village and hill has its own castle or fortress, often surrounded by vineyards. The Mosel (Moselle in French) begins in the hills of France, but its most scenic portion is the last 193km (120 miles) before it enters the Rhine at Koblenz. Many of the rich and full-bodied Mosel wines are superior to those of the Rhine Valley. If you enter Germany via France or Luxembourg, the Mosel route is a good way to begin your tour of the German countryside. You'll arrive first at the major city of Trier with its significant Roman ruins before weaving through the Hunsrück and Eifel mountains.