Austria, Germany and Switzerland

Austria, Germany and Switzerland

Tour Description


Spend two weeks extensively exploring some of Europe's most beautiful landscapes. This pleasantly-paced yet interesting itinerary will begin in Munich and take you from Bavaria into Austria, a Mecca of classical music, amazing Alpine views and pinot noir wines. You'll then travel into Switzerland, a country whose dramatically-stunning geography has no equal. With lakes, mountains, delicious food, charming villages and expert sightseeing, spend two weeks in a picture-perfect, Alpine paradise.

Highlights

  • Guided tour of Bavaria's Neuschwanstein Castle
  • City sightseeing tours in Munich, Innsbruck, Lucerne and Zurich
  • Lunch at "Eagles Nest"
  • "Sound of Music" Tour in Salzburg
  • Special dinner in Salzburg served with Austrian wines
  • Overnight stay in the famed resort town St Moritz
  • Visit to Vaduz, the capital of the Principality of Lichtenstein
  • Swiss Folklore Dinner
  • Mount Pilatus by Cog Train, Aerial Gondola and a cruise on Lake Lucerne

Munich - 4 nights

Day 1: Arrive Munich

Arrive in Munich, Bavaria's political and cultural capital. After exiting customs, meet your local assistant in the terminal's arrivals hall. Your group will then travel by private coach to the hotel. (Even though your group will most likely arrive before the hotel's check-in time, feel free to store your luggage with the reception staff). There will be free time until this evening to begin exploring Munich, a city famed for its fantastic cultural attractions. During this time, consider checking out the city's beautiful Englischer Garten, taking a guided tour of the Paulaner Brewery, visiting Munich's impressive BMW World, visiting the Deutsches Museum or touring the Alte Pinakothek, one of Europe's best art museums. Depending on your group's flight arrival time and interests, we could easily schedule a guided tour to any of the aforementioned attractions.

Tonight join your fellow group members for a welcome dinner of Bavarian specialties in the hotel's restaurant

Day 2:

After breakfast in the hotel, meet your local guide for a full-day guided tour of Munich (combination coach & walking, with free time for lunch and shopping). You will see this city's best attractions including Peterskirche (St Peter's Church), which is the oldest church in Munich, as well as the open-air market, Viktualienmarkt, and the medieval Isartor Gate. You will also visit Munich's Marienplatz, which has served as the city's main square for almost 900 years. If your group arrives at 11:00 am, you'll get to enjoy the iconic Glockenspiel's life-size figurines perform high atop the New Town Hall (Rathaus). Your tour will also take inside the Schloss Nymphenburg; this former summer residence of Munich's ruling Wittelsbach family is one of the most beautiful palaces in all of Europe. The tour will finish late-afternoon back at the hotel, and the remainder of the day is free.

Day 3:

After breakfast in the hotel, your group will travel south by private coach to the garden-like landscape of the Bavarian Alps. Hidden in the seclusion of the mountains, Ludwig II built one of his many dream castles: Neuschwanstein. Today you will tour the inside of Neuschwanstein Castle, the fanciful folly of Mad King Ludwig. Neuschwanstein was also an inspiration to Walt Disney in his design of Cinderella's castle in all of the parks. Afterwards you'll continue to the lovely town of Oberammergau, famed for being the site of the Passion Play that is performed once every 10 years. Enjoy some free time for shopping and exploring before returning to Munich. You group will dine tonight at a local restaurant in Munich.

Day 4:

After breakfast in the hotel, this morning your group will travel north to Dachau. Probably the most gruesome result of Hitler's rise to power was the building of the concentration extermination camps. One of the first of these was situated 15km to the northwest of Munich near Dachau. In 1965 a memorial to the victims was created, giving visitors a chance to learn of the atrocities prisoners were forced to suffer. Watch the 22-minute orientation video and then explore the cells, barracks and gas chambers. The exhibition contains accounts of the prisoners' tragic experiences from the setting up of the camp until their liberation by US-forces in 1945. Afterwards your group will return to Munich.

The rest of the day is free, so you and your fellow group members can squeeze in one remaining visit on your last day in Bavaria.

Salzburg - 2 nights

Day 5: Arrive Salzburg

After breakfast and check-out, your group will depart Munich and travel by private coach along the incredibly scenic German Alpine Road, which offers splendid views of the Bavarian Alps. Upon arrival to Berchtesgaden, you will board a special bus to travel to the mountain summit, the location of "Eagle's Nest," which was originally built as a tea house for Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday. Enjoy a tour followed by lunch taking in the spectacular views of the area. Afterwards your group will take a short drive over the Austrian border to the city of Salzburg, which naturally is "alive with the sound of music." Upon arrival to the hotel, your group will have time to check in and freshen up before tonight's group dinner at a nearby Austrian restaurant featuring regional specialties and Austrian wines.

Day 6:

After breakfast in the hotel your group will head off on an exciting, guided tour of scenic Salzburg (combination coach & walking). As you explore the historic center of Mozart's hometown, your guide will point out the sights related to the Sound of Music film. Admire the exquisite Mirabell Gardens, where the song "Do-Re-Mi" was filmed, the famous Horse Trough, the great Festival hall, St. Peters Churchyard and the monumental Domplatz. You will also visit the birthplace of Mozart on the historic Getreidegasse street. After free time for lunch, travel to the shores of Lake Mondsee to see the famous church where the wedding of Maria and Captain Von Trapp was filmed for the movie. The tour will finish back at the hotel in the afternoon and you have the evening free to enjoy Salzburg.

St Moritz - 2 nights

Day 7: St Moritz

After breakfast in the hotel your group will travel southwest, enjoying the alpine landscape, to the beautiful Austrian town of Innsbruck, which was home to the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. Upon arrival a local guide will meet your group for a walking tour of lovely Innsbruck followed by free time for lunch. Afterwards your group will re-board the coach and continuing traveling southwest into Switzerland. Your destination is the famed resort town of St Moritz. After check-in and time to freshen up, your group members will dine together tonight in the hotel's restaurant.

Day 8:

Today you are completely free to enjoy the resort town of St Mortiz located in the Engadine Valley.

Lucerne - 2 nights

Day 9: Arrive Lucerne

After breakfast in the hotel, your group will travel north by private coach to Maienfeld, the setting for the Heidi stories. A short walk leads to a collection of typical mountain houses, a village shop, and numerous goats which make up Heidi's village. You will also tour the authentic Heidi House before re-boarding the coach and proceeding to Vaduz, the capital of the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein, where you'll have free time for lunch and shopping. Afterwards your group will board its coach one last time today and drive west to Lucerne, which lies on the shores of Lake Lucerne and is one of the prettiest towns in Switzerland. After checking in to the hotel, enjoy some free time to freshen up before tonight's traditional Swiss Folklore Show, during which you will enjoy traditional Swiss food accompanied by folk music, yodeling and yes - even alphornblowing!

Day 10:

After breakfast in the hotel, your group will meet a local guide for a brief walking tour of the city of Lucerne.

See local attractions including the Kapellbrucke (covered Chapel Bridge), the Old Town Hall, Stag Square and the Lion Monument. Your group will then embark on an once-in-a-lifetime trip to the summit of Mount Pilatus, which offers views of the extraordinarily beautiful surrounding landscapes. This is your opportunity to enjoy the mountains and lakes of the region. You'll view the stunning scenery from several different vantage points: the lake steamer provides a 90-minute boat ride; the world's steepest cog railway takes you up to the top of the mountain; and a large aerial tramway connects to a modern 4-seat gondola for your ride back down to civilization. There are two hotels at the top, so you'll have time to snap some inspiring photos and grab lunch with a view. After today's unforgettable excursion, the evening is yours to enjoy in Lucerne.

Zurich - 1 night

Day 11: Arrive Zurich

After breakfast and check-out, your group will depart Lucerne and travel north by private coach to Zurich, the beautiful, financial hub of Switzerland. Upon arrival a local guide will take you on a guided tour of Zurich's impressive attractions. See the medieval Old Town, the Bahnhofstrasse, St Peter's Church and Lake Zurich. Visit the Fraumunster, whose five stained-glass windows were designed by Marc Chagall. Your tour will conclude with a visit to the Lindt Chocolate Factory shop, the perfect place to buy last-minute souvenirs.

Tonight your group will enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel's restaurant.

Day 12:

After breakfast and checkout, your group will travel by private coach to Zurich Airport for its return flight to the USA or Canada.

Inclusions

  • Accommodations: Munich 4 nights, Salzburg 2 nights, St Moritz 2 nights, Lucerne 2 nights, Zurich 1 night
  • Continental breakfast daily.
  • Ground transportation via air conditioned luxury coach
  • English speaking assistants and guides
  • Admission tickets as outlined in itinerary

Download the Alpine Paradise: Austria, Germany and Switzerland pdf file.

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