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Autumn, Winter, Spring & Christmas MarketsRegional Journey
Frankfurt and on to Mainz.
Welcome to Germany. From the Rhine Valley to the Alps, experience lively cosmopolitan cities, historic old towns and breathtaking natural scenery. Transfers from Frankfurt airport to your Mainz hotel depart at 09:30 and 12:30. Mainz has been a bustling and important town since the time of the Romans. Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at 18:00, for a walk through the Cathedral Quarter to witness the magnificent architecture of the city’s Dom. At a local restaurant, enjoy a pleasant evening of good food and wine during your Welcome Dinner.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the Romantic Road to Munich.
Head to fortified Rothenburg ob der Tauber, overlooking the winding Tauber River. Once through the medieval walls, you are immediately transported back into the 16th century, as cobblestone streets lead you to the medieval Market Square with its Town Hall. Perhaps visit Tilman Riemenschneider’s ‘Holy Blood’ altarpiece in St Jakob’s Church or pop into the Christmas shop where you’ll find the festive spirit all year round? Follow parts of the Romantic Road to fun-loving Munich.
The Bavarian Capital of Munich.
During your orientation you will see Victory Arch and the university, concluding in the Marienplatz with its soaring Gothic Town Hall and colourful Glockenspiel. For those arriving before Christmas, visit the festive Christmas Market and meet a local stallholder for a taste of traditional Lebkuchen and a fragrant cup of Glühwein. The rest of the day is at leisure. Why not try a foaming stein of beer at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus?
Lake Chiemsee to Salzburg.
Travel alongside the beautiful Lake Chiemsee and cross the Austrian border to Salzburg, ‘alive with the Sound of Music.’ Walk with your Local Expert through the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace and admire the city skyline, crowned by the majestic Hohensalzburg Fortress. Cross the Salzach River to see Mozart’s birthplace on the Getreidegasse, a lively shopping street lined with charming wrought-iron signs. Follow the narrow lanes of the Old Town to the domed cathedral and the splendid Residenz Fountain, before having time at leisure to enjoy as you please. In the evening, perhaps visit an Austrian chalet for dinner, drinks and the opportunity to learn about life in the countryside?
Innsbruck, mountain-ringed Capital of Tyrol.
A scenic journey takes you through snow-capped mountains to Innsbruck. A multitude of Rococo cherubs and angels will greet you when you venture inside the Wilten Basilica. See the Imperial Palace and magnificent Golden Roof in the Old Town, then loose yourself in the festive atmosphere as you spend some time exploring Innsbruck's magical Christmas Markets. The giant Christmas tree dominates the square and is adorned in lights and decorations. Browse the market stalls, selling handmade trinkets that make perfect gifts for friends and family, along with delicious local treats of home-made biscuits, jams and delicious, soul-warming Glühwein. In the afternoon, meet your coachman and take in the delightful scenery and pure fresh air on a horse-drawn carriage ride, known as a Fiaker. At night, journey to the charming town of Hall in Tirol, which boasts one of Austria's best-preserved historic town centres. Enjoy a medieval highlight banquet set in a 700-year-old building.
Liechtenstein and Lucerne by the Lake.
Delightful scenery abounds as you make your way to the Arlberg Tunnel. Stop in Vaduz, capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein, one of Europe’s smallest countries. Cross the Swiss border and continue to lakeside Lucerne. Your Travel Director will show you the covered wooden Chapel Bridge and you’ll learn about the poignant history of the Lion Monument. Then you are at leisure to shop for Swiss watches or delicious chocolate.
Start the day with a spectacular cable car ride with incredible views up Mount Pilatus. Back in Lucerne, you are free to admire the superb baroque Jesuit Church, stroll along lakeside promenades, or explore the old walls and watch towers of the medieval fortifications.
Heidelberg, Romance on the Neckar.
Stop at Schaffhausen to see the Rhine River thundering over the Rhine Falls. Cross the German border and venture deep into the Black Forest. Following the Rhine Valley north, head for the town of Heidelberg, set on the banks of the river Neckar and dominated by its magnificent red sandstone castle. Stroll through the old town with your Travel Director. Perhaps see the old Student Prison? In the evening, enjoy good food, wine and company at your Celebration Dinner.
Depart Frankfurt Airport.
A transfer to Frankfurt airport’s Terminal 1 arrives at 09:00 and Terminal 2 at 09:15.
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.
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
South of Munich, we'll venture from the magnificence of the Bavarian Alps to the world-renowned passion-play village of Oberammergau. Admire the artistically - decorated architecture of local homes, churches and of Ettal Monastery. Then, we're on to mad King Ludwig’s baroque fantasy - the rococco splendour of Linderhof castle, set in beautiful gardens.
Adult Price: EUR 40.00
Drive into the pretty Austrian countryside for a special evening in an Austrian Chalet. Meet the owners and learn about rural life over a homemade dinner in this cosy corner of Salzburg. In a totally unique experience, sip home-made beverages, feast on home-baked bread, succulent meat and oven baked vegetables.
Adult Price: EUR 61.00
A visit to the Nordkette is an unforgettable experience - a unique combination of relaxation, natural wonder and modern architecture. Space-age stations designed by star architect, Zaha Hadid herald your journey up to Hungerburg. From here the panoramic gondola continues up to the 1,905-metre-high Seegrube, where (weather permitting) you can enjoy tremendous views of the entire Central Inn Valley and across to the Italian border. Back down in the Old Town, join your local expert to explore the heritage of the Golden Roof and the "Black Men" of Emperor Maximilian.
Adult Price: EUR 54.00
Incredibly, Switzerland provides all its citizens protection in case of nuclear disaster or war. Go behind the scenes for a unique tour of one of the world's biggest civilian fallout shelters! Cold War secrets of the Swiss will be revealed by our expert guide.
Adult Price: CHF 46.00
Widely considered to be the loveliest of the mountain lakes, much of the shoreline of Lake Lucerne can only be fully appreciated from the water. Admire the spectacular homes of the fortunate few, privileged to live on its scenic shores, as we cruise gently by. Two drinks will be served during the trip.
Adult Price: CHF 49.00
Mainz (Contemporary) - Germany
A traditional hotel set in an ideal location to explore the historic Old City.
Munich (Traditional) - Germany
The Westin Grand Munich is a modern hotel located in the fashionable Bogenhausen district.
Salzburg (Contemporary) - Austria
Innsbruck (Contemporary) - Austria
The AC Hotel Innsbruck is centrally located and just a few minutes walk from the Old Town. It was originally built in 1972 for the Winter Olympic games and has since been completely refurbished and upgraded to offer comfortable, sleek-designed rooms, each with views of the surrounding Alps.
Lucerne (Contemporary) - Switzerland
This hotel is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.
Heidelberg (Contemporary) - Germany
Located in the heart of the city and just a short drive from Altstadt, the city's old town, is the Crowne Plaza Heidelberg City Centre. Your traditional-style room is comfortable and includes free WiFi to stay in touch with friends and family.
Our guests rate us
11520 independent user reviews received during the past year.
17 January, 2019
Trip: had the best time of my life want to do another one
Service: our tour guide Betty was amazing friendly knew what she was talking about always helpfuland alsways made you feel welcome from day one would go on another tour insight vacations if Betty was the tour guide
14 January, 2019
Trip: Our trip was a true Winter Wonderland. The horse drawn carriage ride through the Austrian Forest was beautiful. The snow fall was an added bonus for our fellow travelers who have never experienced snow.
Service: I believe that the tour director and the bus driver make or break a trip. On our trip both were outstanding. Thank you Carl and Romulus.
14 January, 2019
Trip: Brilliant places to have visited.
Service: I would definitely travel with insight again. Carl the tour director was amazing and made the trip absolutely enjoyable
08 January, 2019
Trip: I love the snow. I can build snow man and snow angel
Service: Its better than the other tours I have been to... After been through horrible experiences, I been self driving but decide to give tour another chance and it turn out well.
07 January, 2019
Trip: I think that in this type of a trip is better to end in the city that we started, so that if we need to leave early its easier to manage the transportation requirements
Service: the service was really good overall, but I had requested to have two beds in all of the hotels that we went, when I got to the first destination, Heinz informed me that that was not communicated to the trip organizer but he took care of it.
07 January, 2019
Trip: very beautiful and activities was very well organized
Service: Information was always ready.
05 January, 2019
Trip: Insight Vacations always deliver more than expected.
Service: Our TD Ebony was excellent. She was very knowledgeable about all of the locations, and she was very caring and friendly. Our Bus Driver Pal safely navigated us throughout the trip (even on rain and snow days). He too was very caring and friendly.
05 January, 2019
Trip: My only complaint is we visited Oberammergau on a Sunday. All the shops were closed but a few cafes were open. The tour director gave us 90 minutes to visit. Since everything was closed, 30 minutes would have been more than adequate.
Service: Ebony was an excellent tour director. She kept us informed and was very organized. Provided lots of insight to the areas we visited and several extra treats from the region we were visiting. Wonderful trip!~
05 January, 2019
Trip: Loved the pace, places, Christmas markets and staff. The carriage ride through woods was magical.
Service: Loved our Christmas trip to Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Excellent tour guide, Ebony, and driver, Pal. Knowledgeable and personable.
04 January, 2019
Trip: Amazing Winter wonderland tour.
Service: Insight vacations was an awesome experience for myself and my son.
03 January, 2019
Trip: Betty our tour director was amazing. Would highly recommend them.
Service: Betty our tour director was amazing. Would highly recommend them.
03 January, 2019
Trip: Promised Snow and Christmas Markets, all delivered, fabulous.
Service: The itinerary included a lot of different experiences, was well run, always on time, allowed for variations when necessary and generally very efficient.