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Alps, Central & Eastern EuropeRegional Journey
Duration: 10 days Visiting: Germany
Welcome to Berlin.
On arrival at Berlin’s Tegel Airport, transfers to your hotel depart at 10:30 and 12:30. In the afternoon, perhaps visit the KaDeWe department store - the shopping centre of West Berlin which during 40 years of division, became the shop window of the West. At 17:30, join your Travel Director and travel companions for a Welcome Dinner with wine, at a local restaurant.
The Spirit of Berlin.
Join a Local Expert to see some of Berlin's many highlights. Travel along the Ku’Damm to the Memorial Church. Drive through the Tiergarten to see Norman Foster’s glass dome that crowns the reconstructed Reichstag building. Continue past the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of the reunification, and down along the Unter den Linden, past the Humboldt University and State Opera. Stop on Museum Island before enjoying an afternoon at leisure in this once divided city. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit the glorious palace of the Prussian Emperors at Potsdam?
Dresden, a Baroque Phoenix on the Elbe.
In Dresden, join your Local Expert to see the splendours of the city. From the Frauenkirche, which has risen again from the destruction of World War II, walk past ‘The Procession of the Dukes’, a mosaic of colossal proportions on the Royal Palace facade. See the enormous cathedral, Semper Opera House and Baroque Zwinger Palace.
The Bavarian Capital of Munich.
Enjoy the German countryside as you cross the Danube to reach fun-loving Munich where an orientation with your Travel Director will show you the university, Victory Arch and the Marienplatz, where crowds gather at the Town Hall to watch the antics of the Glockenspiel. At night, perhaps consider dinner at one of Munich’s famous ‘Bier Kellers’?
The Jewels of the Bavarian Alps.
Today you will stop at Neuschwanstein, a fairy-tale castle spectacularly perched on an Alpine mountainside. Visit King Ludwig II’s favourite castle, which was supposedly the inspiration for many of Walt Disney's castles. Admire the exuberantly decorated apartments, including the Throne Room and Lohengrin Grotto. Continue along part of the Alpine Road amid beautiful scenery to the Wieskirche, a masterpiece of Bavarian Rococo. Venture onto Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps, home of the famous Passion Play, which dates back to 1634. See the immense theatre and colourfully painted chalets.
Lindau on Lake Constance and into the Black Forest.
Travel through lush, rolling dairy country to Lindau, an island situated in the middle of Lake Constance, connected to the mainland by a causeway. Stroll through the narrow streets past old inns and half-timbered houses, to admire the fantastic backdrop of the Swiss and Austrian Alps across the lake. Take a delightful drive along the shores of Lake Constance, lined with orchards and vineyards and into the Black Forest. For dinner you are treated to a Farm-to-Table experience at a local restaurant with locally sourced ingredients, skillfully prepared and accompanied with wine.
Medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
The Black Forest is the land of cherry cake and cuckoo clocks, where traditional farmhouses dip their thatched roofs almost to the ground. Continue on to Nuremberg, renowned for its medieval architecture. Admire the charming blend of stone and timbered dwellings in the Old Town, see the massive ramparts, most of which are still standing. Venture to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the best-preserved town on the Romantic Road. Plunge back into the 16th century during your orientation with your Travel Director as you walk through narrow cobbled streets lined with high-gabled houses to the market square, dominated by its Renaissance town hall. With an artisan baker, enjoy a demonstration and learn about the history of the traditional pastry Schneeballen (snowball), followed by a tasting. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure for further exploration. For your Dine-Around Evening, choose from a hand-picked selection of restaurants within the walls of the Old Town.
The University City of Heidelberg and Mainz.
Stop to meet locals who still make cuckoo clocks by hand, a tradition passed down over 300 years. Then head through the valleys, where villages and isolated farms nestle beside fast-flowing streams, before travelling north to Heidelberg. Visit Heidelberg Palace, or Heidelberger Schloss in German, one of the world's most impressive palace ruins, synonymous with the Romantic Movement. Venture inside to see the Heidelberg Tun, a gigantic wine vat built into the building's cellar in 1591 and able to hold 130,000 litres. Hear its associated tales of the dwarf court jester, Perkeo. Spend time in the vast and insightful Apothecary Museum, before marvelling at the panoramic vistas of the city and Neckar Valley from the castle fortress. Your hotel is in the nearby town of Mainz, a bustling and important town since the time of the Romans.
Castles of the Rhine Experience.
Begin the day with a relaxing cruise past steep-sided vineyards, half-timbered taverns, hilltop castles and the infamous Lorelei Rock. Alight at Boppard and continue to Koblenz where a gigantic equestrian statue of Wilhelm I guards the junction of the Rhine and Moselle. Have your camera ready as you return along the eastern bank. Enjoy the scenic views from the mighty Niederwald Monument. In the evening, round off your German experience with a farewell Celebration Dinner overlooking the River Rhine, complete with local wine. Prost!
Auf Wiedersehen Frankfurt.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast with departure transfers arriving at Frankfurt airport at 08:00 and 10:00.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Drive to Potsdam for a guided tour of the beautiful Cecilienhof Palace, where the Potsdam Declaration was signed in 1945. Then it's on to another UNESCO World Heritage Site; the magnificent grounds of Sanssouci Palace to stroll amid the famous terraced gardens of Frederick the Great.
Adult Price: EUR 48.00
Explore the shadows of the past with our local expert and visit the staggering Holocaust Memorial. Stop for a photo at ‘Checkpoint Charlie’, location of the tense stand-offs between U.S. & Soviet forces during the Cold War. Then a real highlight as we visit the Berlin Wall Memorial. The memorial contains the last section of the Berlin Wall with a guard tower and preserved grounds and is thus able to convey an impression of how the border fortifications developed until the end of the 1980s. Learn about this focal point of 20th-century history and of the fate of those who attempted to cross it.
Adult Price: EUR 32.00
Tonight we'll go to historic Eckberg Castle. Built in 1861, the Castle is home to one of the most idyllic restaurant/hotels in the region. You'll dine like nobles in the garden Hall and enjoy stunning views of the gardens and the uniquely beautiful Elbe valley.
Adult Price: EUR 69.00
Enjoy a scenic ride from Dresden along the river Elbe. We'll see castles, drive over the “Blue Wonder Bridge”, and enjoy quaint small towns. Soon, we'll reach Pillnitz castle, built by August the Strong as a pleasure palace. Upon arrival, enjoy a stroll through the beautiful gardens, see the Chinese-influenced palaces and admire the views from the terrace down to the river. Then, we'll continue to the Schloss Hotel (Castle Hotel), next to the palace, to enjoy a wonderful dinner. n.b. This optional experience may be offered without dinner for €35.
Adult Price: EUR 69.00
Tonight we'll soak in the lively atmosphere of a popular traditional restaurant. We'll enjoy traditional Bavarian hospitality and sample delicious regional specialties and local beer.
Adult Price: EUR 65.00
After Hitler's rise to power in 1933, the first concentration camp for political prisoners was opened outside the town of Dachau and it became a blueprint for others to follow. Now maintained as a memorial, spend some reflective moments amid the remains of the camp prisons, reconstructed barracks, kitchens, workshops and baths which serves as the museum. A chilling and emotional reminder of the horrors of war.
Adult Price: EUR 33.00
Drive to the small river port of Rudesheim, known for its Riesling wines and narrow ‘Street of Thrushes', which buzzes with lively restaurants, old taverns and festive music long into the night. Throw back a schnapps, feel the pulse of live entertainment, and enjoy a fun-filled evening of song, merriment and regional German food. Prost!
Adult Price: EUR 63.00
Berlin (Traditional) - GERMANY
The Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm Hotel is a 5-star, design hotel perfectly located in Berlin's City West area and just steps from the well-known Kurfürstendamm shopping area. The hotel was designed by award-winning architect, Jan Kleihues and features spacious, comfortable rooms, an ideal retreat after a day exploring.
Dresden (Boutique) - GERMANY
MUNICH (Contemporary) - GERMANY
The Pullman Munich Hotel is a modern hotel, centrally located in Munich's bohemian Schwabing district. Rooms are contemporarily designed with a homely feel and the outdoor terrace or peaceful beer garden is the perfect spot to unwind and reflect on a day of sightseeing.
Hotel Alte Post/Hotel Wittelsbach, Oberammergau.
Lörrach (Traditional) - GERMANY
The Steigenberger Hotel Stadt Lörrach is perfectly set at the heart of Lörrach, within Germany's Black Forest region. Furnishings throughout the hotel are contemporary and welcoming, ensuring your stay is relaxed and comfortable. Your spacious room is the perfect retreat after a day of sightseeing and complimentary WiFi means you'll be connected to friends and family back home during your stay.
Rothernburg-ob-der-Tauber (Historic) - Germany
Located in the historic centre of medieval Rothenburg, the Hotel Eisenhut consists of four patrician houses from the 12th and 18th centuries, furnished with select antiques and original artworks.
Hilton Mainz/Hilton Mainz City.