Best of Germany: Rhine Valley | Black Forest | Bavaria

22 Days


GERMANY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Black Forest
  • Romantic Rhine Valley
  • Munich, Bavaria
  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavarian Alps
  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  • Berchtesgaden, Bavarian Alps:
    • Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest
    • Berchtesgaden National Park
    • Königssee Lake
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber
  • Dachau Concentration Camp
  • Nuremberg
  • Würzburg
  • Frankfurt

Best of Germany: Rhine Valley | Black Forest | Bavaria

22 Days


Dates

  • April 9-30, 2019

Pricing

  • Tour Pricing: $5,395

 

Best of Germany: Rhine Valley | Black Forest | Bavaria

22 Days


DAY 1: ARRIVE | FRANKFURT, GERMANY

Welcome to Germany! Arrive at your leisure. Meet your group at the hotel at 5pm for a welcome orientation meeting. After you've had a chance to get to know your travel companions, a Volant representative will take your group out for a traditional German welcome dinner. 

We recommend that you arrive a day or two early in order to combat the effects of jet lag and to offer yourself more time to explore the local attractions of Frankfurt at your leisure, including the Frankfurt Cathedral, ​Römer, and the ​Staedel Museum.

Meals: Dinner

Sleep: Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany

DAY 2: WURZBURG

This morning we'll head to the city of Würzburg of northern Bavaria, situated on the Main River (1h 45m). We will tour both the ​Würzburg Residence and ​Marienberg Fortress, after which we'll have free time in Würzburg's old town.

Würzburg Residence: Built in the 1700s, this Baroque style ‘residence’ has been a world heritage UNESCO site since 1981. It's home to Neumann's world-famous staircase, roofed by an unsupported vault, upon which is a massive fresco measuring 18 x 30 meters, one of the largest frescos ever created! 

The Marienberg Fortress, originally built in the 13th century on a late Bronze Age fort site, has been reconstructed due to damage caused during WWII. It now houses two museums. The Fortress and the location are loaded with a rich history of culture and conquest.

After touring these two major monuments to Germanic history, we'll head to Würzburg's old town. Feel free to wander at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own. Feel free to explore German cuisine amongst historic buildings and quaint roadside eateries. 

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Würzburg, Germany

Wurzburg Residence, Wurzburg, Germany

Wurzburg Residence, Wurzburg, Germany

Marienberg Fortress, Wurzburg, Germany

Marienberg Fortress, Wurzburg, Germany

DAY 3: ROTHENBURG

Today we'll continue our drive into the German countryside towards Rothenburg ob der Tauber a Bavarian favorite  (1h). Rothenburg ob der Tauber, meaning, "Red Fortress above the Tauber," is located on a plateau overlooking the Tauber River. It's known as one of Europe's most well-preserved medieval old towns. 

Rothenburg is situated on the famous "Romantic Road", a pilgrimage route connecting many of Germany's most picturesque towns and castles. You'll have free time to wander Rothenburg's old town, to view the many timber framed houses and quaint, cobbled streets. You'll be sure to enjoy your time here as it's been hailed as "the most German of German towns," and to possess "quintessentially German" scenery and culture. 

Dinner will be on your own tonight as you leisurely explore Rothenburg's Medieval streets. 

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg, Germany

DAY 4: NUREMBERG

Now to Nuremberg (transfer: 1h 30m). As Bavaria’s second largest city, Nuremberg has many exciting sites and sounds to take in. This morning is yours to tour the city at your leisure. Apart from the grisly, Nazi rallies and war trials, Nuremberg is known for its heaps of toys and local beers. It also has claim to Germany's first railway, connecting itself to the city of Fürth. If you so desire, visit what is considered one of Europe's most formidable medieval fortifications: Nuremberg castle (Nürnberger Burg). Or, you could as well visit ​St. Sebaldus Church, or the iconic water fountains of ​Schöner Brunnen and ​Ehekarussell. 

This evening we'll dine as a group and unwind from today's adventures. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg, Pegnitz River, Germany

Nuremberg, Pegnitz River, Germany

DAY 5: DACHAU | MUNICH

Today's journey will take us to Dachau (1h), a Nazi Concentration camp that was responsible for the imprisonment of around 200,000 people. We'll spend a few hours in Dachau. 

After a sobering tour of Dachau we will make out way back into Munich (1h). The evening is yours to explore Munich's exhilarating nightlife, or to enjoy at your own pace. 

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Munich, Germany

Dachau Bunkbeds, Germany

Dachau Bunkbeds, Germany

DAY 6: MUNICH

As the capital of Bavaria, there is enough here to keep us busy for quite some time. Today is designed to give you ample time to see Bavaria's capital at your leisure. We will be staying in Munich for a total of three nights, so there will be plenty of time to see Munich's highlights. 

  • Marienplatz, or the heart of old town, contains many historical landmarks
  • St. Peter’s church, Munich’s oldest church
  • Frauenkirche, a gothic church that is infamous for its Devil’s Footprint
  • The Munich Residenz, art collections and treasury room
  • The English Garden for spectacular sunset over this urban park.
  • Cultural scenes, second only to Berlin's
  • Local Specialty Foods
    • Try a local Breze, also called a soft pretzel.
    • Kässpätzle is another local delicacy.
    • Found somewhere between pasta and dumplings, Spätzle is made by dropping soft dough into boiling water.
    • These staples will be found all over town as they are traditionally found in southern Germany.

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Munich, Germany

Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

DAY 7: MUNICH

Today is reserved for seeing what you missed yesterday. You'll have time to get some exercise as you walk the many pedestrian pathways through the Englischer Garten, a large, tranquil park stretching itself along the Isar River. 

  • Marienplatz, or the heart of old town, contains many historical landmarks
  • St. Peter’s church, Munich’s oldest church
  • Frauenkirche, a gothic church that is infamous for its Devil’s Footprint
  • The Munich Residenz, art collections and treasury room
  • The English Garden for spectacular sunset over this urban park.
  • Cultural scenes, second only to Berlin's
  • Local Specialty Foods
    • Try a local Breze, also called a soft pretzel.
    • Kässpätzle is another local delicacy.
    • Found somewhere between pasta and dumplings, Spätzle is made by dropping soft dough into boiling water.
    • These staples will be found all over town as they are traditionally found in southern Germany.

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

DAY 8: BERCHTESGADEN

This morning, we're off to Berchtesgaden, Bavaria (2h).

Tucked away in the Bavarian Alps, on the outskirts of town we will visit Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, Kehlsteinhaus. Adolf’s former mountain-top base offers spectacular views and delicious food. While in this area we will have the opportunity to walk along the Mannlgrat ridge which is considered to be the easiest way to reach Hoher Göll’s summit.

Berchtesgaden National Park offers incredible views of Lake Konigssee, one of the most pristine lakes in Germany. With its blue waters and green backdrop, Lake Konigssee is one of the most memorable views on this trip.

Tonight we'll dine as a group a the quaint mountain village. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Berchtesgaden, Germany

Königsee, Berchtesgaden, Germany

Königsee, Berchtesgaden, Germany

DAY 9: BERCHTESGADEN

Today we have options. Depending on weather, we'll either take a short hike near Lake Königsee, or we'll head underground to explore the local Salt Mines. If it's the latter, you'll dress as miners do, and hop aboard a trolly that take you back in time to discover the history of the mines.

After you've enjoyed a day in nature--one only the Bavarian Alps can provide--we'll head back to our village for dinner.  

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Berchtesgaden, Germany

Berchtesgaden, Bavarian Alps, Germany

Berchtesgaden, Bavarian Alps, Germany

DAY 10: GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN

After a relaxing start to our day, we'll journey west to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, also known as the top of Germany (3h). Upon arriving in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you'll have stunning views of Germany's highest peak, and consequently the Bavarian Alps: Zugspitze. This ski resort town is a natural playground for those who want to see stunning lakes and get their boots on local hiking trails. We'll spend the day exploring the natural wonders of this valley. 

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Zugspitzblick, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Zugspitzblick, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

DAY 11: GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN

Today we'll head out again into the natural playground below Germany's highest peak, Zugspitze. You'll have a few options today.  If you wold like, you can ride a cable car to the top of Germany. Or, if you would like to do some easy hiking along shoreline trails, you can head to Eibsee Lake. Whatever you choose, you'll be sure to enjoy the natural wonders of this mountainous valley. 

This evening we'll head back to our village for an evening meal together. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Eibsee Lake, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Eibsee Lake, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

DAY 12: NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE | BAVARIA

This morning, we'll drive further west to Füssen, home of the castle that inspired Walt Disney himself: Neuschwanstein Castle. 

Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th century romanesque revival palace, which was built upon a hill in southwest Bavaria as a hideaway for a reclusive king. Its neighboring castle, Hohenschwangau was built years before by his father. Talk about competition between family members; needless to say the son won that battle. We'll take our time at the castle and the surrounding hiking trails. 

After our time in the forested hills, we'll head back to the small town of Füssen for dinner and relaxation. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Füssen, Bavaria, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwandi, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwandi, Germany

DAY 13: HOHENSCHWANGAU CASTLE | BAVARIA

This valley isn't complete without a visit to Neuschwanstein's neighbor castle: Hohenschwangau Castle. We'll take the morning hours to visit this massive residence of the Bavarian King Ludwig II. 

After our castle visit, you'll have free time to explore either the Museum of Bavarian Kings, or you can take a walk along the forested shoreline of Alpsee Lake. Take your time. Enjoy. Relax. This place of natural beauty should not be rushed. 

This evening we'll head back to Füssen for dinner (10m).

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Füssen, Bavaria, Germany

Hohenschwangau, Fussen, Bavaria, Germany

Hohenschwangau, Fussen, Bavaria, Germany

DAY 14: BLACK FOREST | FREIBURG

After getting an early start to our day, we will leave Bavaria behind and work our way to the Black Forest and finally to Freiburg (4h). Along the way to Freiburg, we'll have a chance to stop at at Lake Constance, a lake that connects three bordering countries: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (1h 45m). We'll enjoy the blue waters and cool breeze as we take a short walk to stretch our legs.

If you would like, you can pay an optional visit to the Zeppelin Museum, a technological museum specializing in airship travel. This museum is known for its displays on the famous Hindenburg, that, after a short flight over New York City, exploded while trying to dock to its mooring in New Jersey, USA (May 6, 1937).

After our visit to Lake Constance, we'll enter the Black Forest from the east side and cross through it in order to get to Freiburg. Before arriving at Freiburg, we'll stop at the beautiful mountain lake, Titisee. You'll have free time to take another short walk to stretch your legs, this time inside the Black Forest. 

After we've enjoyed the nature trails deep inside the Black Forest, we'll make our way to Freiburg, which is known for its medieval old town and temperate climates. Freiburg will serve as our gateway to the Black Forest. 

We'll eat dinner as a group tonight upon our arrival in Freiburg.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Freiburg, Germany

Titisee, Black Forest, Germany

Titisee, Black Forest, Germany

DAY 15: BLACK FOREST | FREIBURG

Situated in southern Germany, in the lower Rhine River Valley, and on the western side of the Black Forest, is Freiburg. We'll spend our day here today. We'll first head for the nearby hills known as the Schlossberg. This forested hill is reached by a funicular railway and offers an observation tower and hiking paths. The Kanonenplatz offers scenic views overlooking the city below. 

After enjoying the hills of the Black Forest, we'll head back to town. You'll have free time to enjoy Freiburg's Old Town at your leisure. 

Enjoy dinner at your leisure in Freiburg's old town. 

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Freiburg, Germany

Black Forest, Germany

Black Forest, Germany

DAY 16: BADEN-BADEN | HEIDELBERG

As we head north along the Rhine River towards Heidelberg, we'll stop in at Mummelsee Lake, deep in the Black Forest (1h 30m). We'll take a hike along the lake's shoreline to an overlook offering expansive, scenic views of the Black Forest. 

Continuing north, we'll transfer to Baden-Baden, a town in the Black Forest known for not only its beauty and quaint atmosphere, but also for being a fashionable 19th century thermal spa resort (40m). We'll have free time to take in town's charm. For those who may be interested, there will be an option to summit ​Merkur Mountain by way of funicular. The summit provides spectacular views of the Baden Baden basin and overlooks the Black Forest as well as local ruins. ​Lichtentaler Allee, a walkway through a tranquil park and botanical garden, is another attraction in Baden-Baden that could be explored. 

After our visit to Baden-Baden, we'll transfer to Heidelberg (1h 20m). Feel free to eat dinner at your leisure. There are many good, local restaurants near our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Heidelberg, Germany

Mummelsee Lake, Baden-Baden, Germany

Mummelsee Lake, Baden-Baden, Germany

DAY 17: HEIDELBERG

Heidelberg’s old town lays adjacent to the Neckar River. The day is yours to visit the highlights of Heidelberg at your leisure. 

Heidelberg's highlights include the following:

  • The sandstone, Castle of Heidelberg and its accompanying forested walking paths
  • The historic Heidelberger Market Square
  • The Church of the Holy Spirit.
  • The historic, 14th century university
  • The Old Bridge of Heidelberg
  • King’s Throne, known as Königstuhl.
  • The view from this mountain summit overlooks Heidelberg and the Neckar River.
  • Michaelskloster Heiligenberg (monastic ruins on a hilltop overlooking the city) and walking paths
  • The famous, "Snake Way," a forested walking path with views overlooking the Neckar River
  • Philosophengaertchen, a botanical garden on the side of a hill overlooking the Neckar River and Heidelberg

Feel free to eat dinner at your leisure. There are many good restaurants nearby.

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg Bridge, Germany

Heidelberg Bridge, Germany

DAY 18: SPEYER | TRIER

Today's adventure will take us to two of the oldest towns in Germany: Speyer and Trier.

Speyer, built by the Romans in the first century, has some of the best preserved Roman-style architecture in Germany. The soaring spires of the Speyer Cathedral dominates the landscape. The Altpörtel (old gate) is ornate, historical, and simply beautiful to look at. Speyer is famous for have tombs of eight Holy Roman Emperors and German kings. They can be found in the Speyer Cathedral.

Trier, built by the Romans in the second century, this town offers everything you'd expect from a Roman city: thermal baths, a large amphitheater, and great architecture (the oldest bridge in Germany). Among towering stone Roman gates and theatrical amphitheaters, you can find the birthplace of the very controversial figure known as Karl Marx. If you're interested, feel free to take an optional tour of the philosopher's birthplace home in order to learn more about the history of communism and about the man himself.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Trier, Germany

Speyer Cathedral from above, Speyer, Germany

Speyer Cathedral from above, Speyer, Germany

Trier, Germany

Trier, Germany

DAY 19: ELTZ CASTLE | COLOGNE

This morning we'll transfer to Eltz Castle (1h 40m), situated high above the Moselle River. This fairytale castle inspired many creators and artists working on Disney films. It's gothic architecture and location on a hill, high above a river, give the castle a mysterious and enchanting ambiance. 

After our tour of Eltz Castle, and lunch, we'll transfer to Cologne (1h 45m), a city with more than 2,000 years of history. You'll quickly see the towering, twin spires of Cologne's gothic Cathedral along the horizon as we approach the city. We'll have a chance to visit the massive cathedral, taking in its size and beauty. After our visit to the cathedral, we'll visit Cologne's old town and walk along the bank of the Rhine River. We'll eat dinner as a group tonight.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Cologne, Germany

Eltz Castle, Germany

Eltz Castle, Germany

Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, Germany

Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, Germany

DAY 20: RHINE VALLEY | KOBLENZ

This morning we'll make our way south, down the Rhine River Valley. We'll see many hillside castles fit for the best fairy tales, sprawling vineyards, and of course the Rhine River. 

Our first stop will be at Bonn, known for the central Beethoven House, a memorial and museum honoring the composer's birthplace. You'll have free time to explore Bonn's highlights. Some highlights include the following:

  • Bonn Minster (cathedral)
  • The pink and gold Altes Rathaus (city hall) 
  • Poppelsdorf Palace housing a mineralogical museum
  • Haus der Geschichte with post-WWII history exhibits

After Bonn, we'll continue our journey south along the Rhine River to Koblenz, the gateway to the ruined castles of the Rhine Gorge and the many terraced vineyards. Situated on the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, Koblenz displays a massive statue of William the Great.

You'll have a few options at this point. You are free to choose what you'd like to do. If you would like, you can travel further south along the Rhine River to the neo-Gothic Stolzenfels Castle with its gardens. Or, if you would like, you can book a short, leisurely Rhine River cruise.  

We'll spend the night here. Dinner is on your own. 

Meals: Breakfast

Sleep: Koblenz, Germany

Koblenz from the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Koblenz, Rhine Valley, Germany

Koblenz from the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Koblenz, Rhine Valley, Germany

DAY 21: RHINE VALLEY | FRANKFURT

The Rhine River Valley will keep us company today as we begin our journey back to our starting point: Frankfurt. The castles, historic towns, and vineyards all along the Rhine River are enchanting, inspiring romantics to book river cruises and enjoy the ample reveries.

We'll work our way down the Rhine River on a scenic drive, stopping at small towns along the way to fully take in the famous landscape. 

Towards the end of our scenic drive, we'll pass by Mainz, known for its medieval old town and half-timbered houses.

We'll end the day upon our arrival at Frankfurt. Tonight we'll dine as a group for once last German feast as our farewell dinner. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sleep: Frankfurt, Germany

Upper Rhine River Valley, River Bend, Germany

Upper Rhine River Valley, River Bend, Germany

DAY 22: DEPART | HOME

Our epic German journey ends after breakfast. Depart to the Frankfurt Airport at your leisure. 

Thank you for choosing Volant Travel, and Auf Wiedersehen!  

Frankfurt, Old Town, Germany

Frankfurt, Old Town, Germany

Best of Germany: Rhine Valley | Black Forest | Bavaria

22 Days


Inclusions

  • All accommodations (2-3 star)
  • Scheduled meals
  • Transportation throughout tour
  • Neuschwanstein Castle entrance fee
  • Dachau Concentration Camp entrance fee
  • Eltz Castle entrance fee
  • Personal guide

Exclusions

  • International airfare (to and from Frankfurt International Airport)
  • Entrance fees to museums and other attractions not listed in ‘Inclusions’
  • Personal items: Laundry, shopping, etc.
  • Traveler’s and medical insurance
  • Airport transfers

Best of Germany - Rhine Valley - Black Forest - Bavarian Alps | Voant Travel Tour Map Best of Germany – Rhine Valley – Black Forest – Bavarian Alps | Voant Travel Tour Map[/caption]

Contact Us Today

By email: [email protected]

By phone: 801.651.7208

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