Duration: 12 Days
Spectacular scenery, medieval towns, fairy-tale castles, a fascinating history, and world-class beer…this is Germany!
On this Germany tour, you’ll see Germany’s highlights and visit its most famous cities, as well as its medieval towns and scenic areas. Your holiday begins and ends in Frankfurt with overnights also in the Rhineland, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Munich, and the Black Forest area.
Magnificent scenery awaits you on this value-minded Germany holiday. Enjoy a cruise on the Rhine River, passing castle-crested hills, terraced vineyards, and pretty wine towns. In Bavaria, visit King Ludwig II’s 19th-century Neuschwanstein Castle, nestled high in the Alps. Drive along the Romantic Road with its charming villages, cobblestone streets, walled cities, half-timbered houses, and scenic countryside, and stop in Rothenburg, a walled town that has retained its medieval character. Finally, enjoy Germany’s lush Black Forest region, named because the forest is so thick, people called it black.
Among the tour highlights are: the famous gothic cathedral in Cologne—known for its twin-steepled towers—that was started in 1248 and completed in 1880; Lübeck, a Hanseatic city and UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in the 12th century and Veste Coburg Castle, built in 1225 and one of Germany’s largest castle complexes. Today, the complex houses the former art collections of the dukes of Coburg.
You’ll also enjoy sightseeing of the must-see sights in the cities, including Munich’s Marienplatz, the main square in the city that hosts the Oktoberfest beer festival. In Dresden, see the Zwinger Carillon Pavilion, where the 40 bells of the glockenspiel sound every quarter of an hour.
From the beautiful scenery and exciting cities to the historic sights and fun experiences, this Germany tour has it all!
Please Note: There has been a slight itinerary update for departures 27 December. Please call reservations for full details of this update.
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers. (D)
Today's highlight is an included RHINE CRUISE to enjoy scenic views of the Rhineland, including the famous Lorelei rock. The next highlight is Cologne with free time to visit its impressive gothic CATHEDRAL, started in 1248 and completed in 1880. (B,D)
Journey into Niedersachsen to visit Hamelin. Admire its town centre with the colourful historical buildings and magically fancy gables echoing the story of the Pied Piper. Continue to Hamburg. (B)
Start the day with an orientation drive in Hamburg, one of Germany's greatest maritime cities. Later, depart for Lübeck, formerly a free Hanseatic city and independent state. Lübeck, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is considered the cultural capital of northern Germany. Thomas Mann, Günther Grass, and Willy Brandt-all Nobel laureates-were among the famous residents of this city. Later, arrive in Berlin and enjoy your first evening in the capital of Germany. (B)
No longer divided but every bit as fascinating, Berlin was once the city of contrasts with the wall separating two different worlds. Now, the city has developed into a harmonious blend of new and old, preserving its historical buildings and impressive boulevards as well as creating brand new buildings in the most daring architectural styles. See all of this on the included city sightseeing with a Local Guide. Consider an optional excursion this afternoon. (B)
Travel southwest to Dresden, the old capital of Saxony and at one time rightly called the "Florence on the Elbe." See the ZWINGER CARILLON PAVILION and much more on your included sightseeing. Then it's on to Leipzig, where composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn lived the last years of their lives. It was Mendelssohn who founded the Leipziger Conservatory in 1843. (B,D)
Leave Leipzig to visit Weimar, home to many intellectuals of the past but mainly known for the name given to the historical period of the "Republic of Weimar." This city is also famed as the home of the Bauhaus architectural movement in the 1920s. Next stop is Coburg. Visit the dominating and mighty VESTE COBURG CASTLE, built in 1225. Continue to Nuremberg for a visit to its famous town centre, dominated by the imperial castle. (B)
Drive along the Romantic Road, through towns and villages protected by medieval towered gates and battlements, with squares of half-timbered houses and richly decorated fountains. Visit a fine example of this architecture in the quaint medieval centre of Rothenburg. Overnight in Munich. (B)
With a Local Guide, take advantage of the included sightseeing tour of the city known as Germany's "Secret Capital." Time to admire the beautiful main square, MARIENPLATZ, do some shopping, and sample Munich's famous beer! (B,D)
Leave Munich and drive into the heart of the Bavarian Alps to visit the most famous 19th-century, neoromantic castle of the world, King Ludwig II's fairytale NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE. Enjoy more idyllic scenery on your way through the Black Forest. (B,D)
The day starts with a visit to Heidelberg-location of Germany's oldest university and inspiration for the German Romantic movement. From here, continue to Frankfurt. (B)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)