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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. 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. 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. 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.
In the morning, meet your coachman and take in the delightful scenery and pure fresh air on a horse-drawn carriage ride, known as a Fiaker. In the afternoon, a scenic journey takes you through snow-capped mountains to Innsbruck. 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. 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.
This morning depart for Lucerne by first stopping at the Wilten Basilica where a multitude of Rococo cherubs and angels will greet you when you venture inside. 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
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
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 rococo splendour of Linderhof Castle, set in beautiful gardens.
Adult Price: EUR 47.00
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.