Germany & Austria Highlights


Join Harriman on this exclusive one-time tour package featuring sightseeing highlights of both Germany and Austria, concluding in Munich for Oktoberfest

On this land-based package we visit 2 countries, 3 capital cities, 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 5 glistening lakes, 12 locations featured in Hollywood movie classics, 1 soaring Eagle’s Nest, 1 famed fairy-tale castle, and much, much more.

Note: This land-based package has been designed so you can either sign up for it exclusively or piggyback it together with Belgium Beer & Battlefields or Oktoberfest in Munich to extend the cultural experience and enlightenment. But be quick, there are only a handful of seats available. Reserve your place today before the tour is sold out.

Money, details are listed below the package itinerary.


 

Frankfurt to Munich via Salzburg & The Sound of Music

September 5-14, 2017 — 9 nights, 10 days

(Minimum of 4 persons for the tour to go, with a maximum of 7 persons.)

Suggested viewing for this tour: “The Sound of Music” — “Band of Brothers” (especially episode 10: “Points”) — “The Great Escape” (filmed in and around Füssen, including a wowing shot of Neuschwanstein castle [airplane scene near end of movie with James Garner and Donald Germany & Austria Highlights tour mapPleasence]).

Package itinerary:

Rhine River (2 nights):

DAY 1, Tuesday, September 5: Frankfurt, Anne Frank, & The Red Baron

Brett Harriman, your guide, will meet you in Frankfurt for group orientation, followed by a comprehensive walking tour of the city’s historical core in the old town to its skyscraping financial district to the birthplace of Anne Frank. By the time you turn in for the evening, you will have a better understanding of why Frankfurt is ranked the 7th most livable city in the world. After touring the city, we depart for the Rhine River and our accommodations for the next two nights. En route, we will stop in Wiesbaden to visit the grave of arguably the world’s most famous fighter pilot: Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. The Red Baron.

DAY 2, Wednesday, September 6: Castles, Riesling, and a maiden named Loreley

Today we tour the vineyard-draped Upper Middle Rhine Valley. This is the castle-studded stretch of the Rhine River from Bingen to Koblenz that has joined the ranks of such unique and diverse places as the ancient pyramids of Giza and the Great Barrier Reef as an esteemed member of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Here we’ll discover picturesque hamlets and juicy vineyards adorning the riverbanks, as well as the famous Cat and Mouse castles, the bewitching legend of a maiden named Loreley, and experience a boat cruise likened to a mythical ride at Disneyland, seemingly transporting us back to a time when petty kings and ruthless robber barons occupied the magnificently medieval castles that sit nestled upon the unassailable bluffs. In the evening we’ll crown our memorable day with a tasting of local Rhine wines, red and white.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber (1 night):

DAY 3, Thursday, September 7:

As far as German fortress towns go, Rothenburg is the proverbial jewel in the crown. If one could realistically walk through a postcard, Rothenburg is the place. Here you’ll discover the Middle Ages magically preserved in the midst of a modern world. While Harriman can’t promise you villagers queuing to pay their tithes, costumed acrobats performing gymnastic feats for titled heads, or blacksmiths hammering iron by charcoal-fired forges, he can assure you will cherish this medieval gem shaped like a pork chop.

Füssen & Schloss Neuschwanstein (1 night):

DAY 4, Friday, September 8:

Today is another busy day filled with adventure and historic discovery. After breakfast, we motor south along Germany’s most popular themed tourist route, the Romantic Road, from the medieval walled towns of middle Bavaria, where time appears to have stood still for centuries, to the green foothills of the snow-peaked Alps bordering Austria, where hikers mingle with edelweiss and the melodic voices of yodelers shepherd cows to the dairy. En route we’ll pass Augsburg, one of Germany’s oldest cities, named after its founding father, Roman Emperor Augustus, in 15 B.C. We’ll meander past historic Landsberg am Lech and its high-security prison, which made national headlines in the early 20th century when Adolf Hitler was imprisoned here after his botched attempt to overthrow the Bavarian government in the so-called Beer Hall Putsch. (From Nov. 1923 to Dec. ’24, Hitler lived in cell No. 7, where he spelled out his future plans in his book “Mein Kampf,” or My Struggle, which no politician in a democratic country bothered to read, until it was too late.) Farther south we visit the Wieskirche, or Church in the Meadow, arguably Germany’s most dazzling example of Rococo-style, earning a place (since 1983) alongside the Taj Mahal and the Acropolis as an esteemed member of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Our final destination lands us in the border town of Füssen, the southern most point on the Romantic Road, where we check in to our digs then tour Schloss Neuschwanstein: the epitome of castles everywhere, a Ludwig fantasy made real that resurrected the storybook style typically associated with chivalry and noble knights, now one of Germany’s most visited tourist attractions and our regal end to Day 4.

Salzburg (3 nights):

DAY 5, Saturday, September 9: Salzburg, Austria

From Füssen we swing into Austria along a stunning alpine route—one that Ludwig often took in his carriage—through an evergreen forest, past an enchanting lake (Plansee) reflecting the most brilliant emerald-green waters before crossing back into Bavaria and on to petite Schloss Linderhof. After our castle tour, we continue our scenic spin through the charming Bavarian countryside en route to the City of Mozart and our heavenly home for the next three nights.

DAY 6, Sunday, September 10: The Sound of Music & Hallstatt

Time to throw on your specially tailored ‘play clothes’ because today we tour Salzburg and visit the sights made famous by the movie classic, “The Sound of Music,” including an excursion into Austria’s majestic lake district (locally Salzkammergut) to dip our toes in the region’s warmest lake, Mondsee. Translating to Moon Lake, Mondsee has to be romantic! It’s no wonder Hollywood married Georg and Maria von Trapp right here in the town’s Baroque church of St. Michael’s. After indulging in a slice of scrumptious strudel, we delve deeper into the Salzkammergut and disembark on the shore of Hallstätter See, an immensely scenic lake that is bendy like a seahorse and, if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear you were in Norway. Similar to a Scandinavian fjord, the lake is surrounded by dramatic scenery, gigantic mountains having sheer cliffs that rise up from its cobalt-blue waters. The primary town on this alpine wet dream is a place you all know and have wanted to visit: Hallstatt, a postcard-pretty village and another UNESCO hit bang against a forested mountain, where time seems to have stood still for centuries. And indeed, this community is mega-old! So old, in fact, an entire epoch has been named after it. The term “Hallstatt” refers to the transitional period from the Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age, circa 800-400 B.C. Thus Hallstatt, or “place of salt,” is one of the continent’s oldest towns and our finale to Day 6.

DAY 7, Monday, September 11: Berchtesgaden & Hitler’s former Eagle’s Nest

For history buffs and nature lovers, today will be another epic Highlight on our extensive tour itinerary. We fire up the engine and roll across the Austrian border to Berchtesgaden, where authentic Bavaria will be on full display in this picturesque village nestling at the toes of the Alps. Imagine pine forests, quaint farmhouses, onion-domed churches, and mountain rivulets cutting through lush meadows home to lethargic cows playing tunes with the bells hanging from their necks. Picture men clad in lederhosen, women wearing busty dirndls, girls sporting pigtails, and hikers clutching ornamented sticks seemingly within arm’s reach of jagged peaks belonging to majestic mountains. It’s authentic Bavaria; it’s Berchtesgadenerland, the real deal, and Harriman can’t wait to introduce you to the sights. Among the many attractions on the list, we will visit Germany’s only national park in the Alps; we will descend deep within a World War II bunker beneath Hitler’s former home; and to conclude our colossal day we’ll hop a bus that will climb a steep four-mile stretch of serpentine road to an elevation of 5,500 feet, more than a mile in the sky, then we step through a 400-foot tunnel blasted into the mountain face, where Hitler’s former elevator will lift us another 400 feet within 45 seconds directly into the heart of the Eagle’s Nest soaring high above Berchtesgaden boasting sensational vistas of Bavaria and beyond.

Munich (2 nights):

DAY 8, Tuesday, September 12: Munich, capital of Bavaria

This a.m. we bid Austria adieu and head north across the border to Germany’s third largest city and our delightful digs for the next two nights. Often referred to as “the village of 1 million,” Munich is the proud capital of the German state of Bavaria. But perhaps more important, Munich is the beer capital of the world, thanks to the city’s namesake monks. No wonder Munich was voted “the city most Germans would prefer to live in.” And that’s not all, the popular consensus is not confined to Germany, according to the new Mercer 2016 Quality of Living survey, Munich is ranked the 4th most livable city in the world! Thus, there is no time to waste, Harriman will guide us on an orientation tour of Munich’s old town followed by the Oktoberfest fairgrounds then introduce us to Bavarian culture and feasting, a quality best ascribed to the monks. Amen!

DAY 9, Wednesday, September 13: Palaces & playtime

Today is your day. We suggest palaces and playtime. To get you started, Harriman will pay your entrance into Munich’s royal residence as well as point you to other notable sites, such as Dachau concentration camp memorial; BMW museum and factory tour; and the world’s most famous beer hall, the Hofbräuhaus, a historical monument to over 400 years of brewing tradition, your chance to learn traditional Bavarian drinking songs such as “Oans, zwoa, G’suffa!” (One, two, chug-a-lug!), “Sweet Home Alabama,” and to perform the chicken dance in front of a live audience.

DAY 10, Thursday, September 14:

Regrettably, it’s time to say Auf Wiederseh’n to the friends we’ve made. Our tour is over, unless you’ve decided to continue the merriment and piggyback Harriman’s Oktoberfest package (in which case you get a 50 euro discount)!

Feel free to contact Harriman with any questions you may have.

 

Advance payment:

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Money, package details:

  • The land-only price for this exclusive tour package is *1,295 euro (payable in Germany) + US$500 (advance payment) per person (double occupancy), which includes your accommodations (3-4 stars, non-smoking hotels with free Wi-Fi), breakfast, all transportation and attractions we do together as a group, and Brett Harriman as your personal guide. You will be hard-pressed to find a better Germany deal, anywhere!
  • *The price for this package equates to approximately US$185 per person per day, which is hard to beat when considering the exclusive hand-held nature of the package, transportation across Germany, and the umpteen sites visited.
  • The price does not cover lunch, dinner, and of course personal expenses, such as whatever you do on your free time.
  • Transportation for this tour will be an 8-seater mini van piloted by Brett Harriman.
  • Walking & picnic lunches: Expect to do a lot of walking. We will traverse the cobbled lanes of historic towns, climb umpteen steps in castles and palaces, and hike among the vineyards of the Rhine. On the lunch front, we’ll plan picnics when possible that will save not only money but also time to allow for more sightseeing.
  • Single supplement: The package price is based on double occupancy — a supplement of US$650 will be added to the price for single travelers but who are welcome to room together to save the supplement; (notify Harriman if this is you and he will do his best to make compatible room assignments).
  • Payment: To reserve your place an advance payment of US$500 per person is required and the remaining 1,295 euro is due in Germany upon meeting your group leader. After the advance payment is made Brett Harriman will contact you to confirm your reservation. (Note: Since seating is limited to 7 guests, reserve your place sooner rather than later before the package is sold out!)
  • Cancellation: Deposits are fully refundable 75 days prior to tour departure (minus applicable transaction fees, e.g. 2.9% via PayPal). Within 75 days, however, your deposit will be forfeited (sorry!) unless your spot can be filled or you’d like to transfer the reservation to a Harriman tour package for the following year.
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