Places Covered: Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Leipzig, Nuremberg
Duration: 10 Nights / 11 Days
Tour Cost: € 2,335
Time to rest or to start exploring the bustling metropolis on the River Main. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
A special treat at the very start of your journey through Germany is a romantic Rhine Cruise along the most scenic section of the Rhine River, with castle-crested hills, terraced vineyards, pretty wine towns, and the Lorelei rock. Disembark and drive to Cologne to visit the awesome gothic Cathedral. Its twin 515-foot towers, five naves, splendid stained-glass windows, and the shrine of the Three Holy Kings are eloquent testimony to the quality of medieval engineering and craftsmanship. Afterwards, enjoy a beer in the Cölner Hofbräu Früh, one of Cologne's famous breweries. Continue to charming Düsseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, for your overnight stay.
Ride the Eurocity Train to Berlin, capital of reunited Germany, where sightseeing with a Local Guide in the once-divided metropolis includes the elegant Ku'damm, the restored Reichstag, Charlottenburg Palace, a picture stop at monumental Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial, and the 210-foot Victory Column in the vast Tiergarten Park. Visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church with its bomb-damaged tower, drive along Unter den Linden boulevard, and pass the State Opera House and Checkpoint Charlie.
At Leisure in Berlin
A full day at leisure gives you a chance to join one of our exciting optional excursions, like to nearby Potsdam.
On your way south through what used to be the “other” Germany, visit Leipzig, an important center since the Middle Ages. Visit the Thomaskirche, where J.S. Bach worked, and the Market Square with its fine renaissance buildings. Continue to Nuremberg, the town of children's toys and gingerbread. Admire the impressive medieval ramparts and walk through the pedestrian area of the charming Old Town to St. Sebald Church, painstakingly reconstructed as a monument to peace from the rubble of near-total wartime destruction, and admire the Schöner Brunnen, a 14th-century fountain dedicated to the Holy Roman Empire. It is said that it brings good luck to spin the two brass rings. Of course, you will also taste the traditional Nürnberger Bratwürste.
Join the Romantic Road and arrive in medieval Rothenburg with its ramparts and towers, cobblestone lanes, and 16th-century houses. Hear how the town survived the Thirty Years' War, and shop for Christmas ornaments, for which this pretty town is famous. Next is the Bavarian capital, Munich.
Tonight, why not join an optional outing to the Hofbräuhaus? (B)
Sightseeing with a Local Guide of Germany's “Secret Capital” features the Olympic Stadium, built for the 1972 Olympics; the 1,000-foot-high Television Tower; Königsplatz, used for Nazi Party rallies during World War II; and the Holocaust Memorial. Drive along the Ludwigstrasse, and see the Bavarian Arch of Triumph and Field Marshall Hall. Also visit lively Marienplatz with the Old and the New Town Halls and the gothic Frauenkirche. In the late afternoon, drive to the romantic Passion Play town of Oberammergau, where you will stay for the next two nights.
Oberammergau. Excursion to Neuschwanstein
Highlight today is a visit to King Ludwig's magnficent Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most famous German castles and copied by Walt Disney at his theme parks. Follow your Local Guide through this fairytale castle on its craggy outcrop high above a sparkling lake. Choose from our optional excursions to make the most of your stay in this romantic area.
A leisurely drive along the panoramic German Alpine Road to the sunny northern shore of Lake Constance, Europe's largest freshwater reservoir. Visit the charming island of Lindau, then continue west and visit the baroque Church at Birnau. Enter the lush Black Forest and enjoy a special welcome by the Drubba family at their hotel, Hofgut Sternen, and learn all about the cuckoo clock, for which the area is famous, accompanied by a special welcome drink.
This morning, drive deeper into the Black Forest, then stop for a Woodcarving Demonstration, followed by a delicious piece of Black Forest Cake. Arrive in Heidelberg, Germany's oldest university town, of Student Prince fame. Time to stroll around in the Old Town, then ride the funicular up the hill and visit the red-walled Castle where the Great Vat a 58,000-gallon 18th-century wine cask, attracts particular attention. Return to Frankfurt, where a special farewell dinner with wine awaits you at a local restaurant to say, “Auf Wiedersehen!”
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
Highlights and Inclusions
Dates: 2nd June 2015 onwards
Prices: EURO 2,335 onwards per person on twin sharing basis. Prices are subject to the availability of the seats.