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COLORFUL AUSTRIA, GERMANY & SWITZERLAND

OCTOBER 04-17, 2023

Experience first-class lodging and a hand-crafted itinerary we have become known for.  Discover Germany and its diverse landscape of rich culture and history. In the heart of Europe, fairytale castles rest high on craggy mountaintops, and tiny romantic villages enchant with chocolate box charm and the typical German Gemütlichkeit. In the forests, the fragrant flora and fauna shade the legends of fairies and goblins. Of course, the Magic Cities of Germany buzz with beer gardens, remarkable architecture and rich history.  Delve into the culture with a fun language lesson, wine taste on the shores of Lake Constance and its surrounding vineyards, a cooking class/dinner with a private chef, interpretive Holocaust Museum visit with survivors, and an opportunity to chat with our tour guide who witness first-hand the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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The tour is to be accompanied by Gerrit Book 

 

Founder of “Book – Agency for Culture, Education, and Travel”, lives and works in Berlin and Zurich.  He has degrees in Chinese language and culture, modern German literature, and teaching German as a Foreign Language from Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin.  An extensive world traveler, he has worked in Shanghai and Chengdu, China and in the US city of Boise, Idaho.  As a teenage resident of Berlin in 1989, Gerrit offers a unique perspective of both the old and new Germany.  LEARN MORE HERE

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Berlin:  Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag exterior, Topography of Terror museum, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of EuropE, Regenbogenfabrik, Markthalle IX food market, Künstlerhaus Bethanien

 

Prague:  Prague Spring, Václav Havel, Wenceslas SquarePrague, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Alfons Mucha’s stained glass, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane, Old Town

Salzburg:  Walking tour, Getreidegasse, Salzburg Cathedral, Mirabell Gardens, Austrian coffee houses, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart birth house, Mozart’s concert

Munich:  Historic Old Town, English Garden and Isar River, dinner at Hofbräuhaus

Füssen. Hohenschwangau Castle, Neuschwantein Castle

Lake Constance:  Rhine river, Reichenau Island, Mainau Island, Lake Dwelling Museum, Pfänder gondolA, Wine, cheese & hops tour

Bernese Highlands: Gimmelwald Village, Top of Europe, Jungfraujoch, The Jungfrau railway, Ice Palace Sculptures

Zurich:  Highlight tours, scenic ferry of Lake Zurich, Fraumünster Church, cable car to Felsenegg vantage point

INCLUDED:

• Roundtrip flights from Burlington, VT*

• 12 nights world-class lodging

• 22 Meals (13 Breakfasts, 9 Dinners)

• Full-time tour manager

• Full-time local guide

*PRICES AVAILABLE WITH NO AIR

NOT INCLUDED:

• Airport meals

• Lunches, 3 dinners

• Optional traveler’s insurance

ITINERARY

DAY 1 BURLINGTON, VT – BERLIN, GERMANY 

Welcome Dinner

DAY 2 BERLIN 

Led by Champlain Tours’ German history expert Gerrit Book, we will explore the years between 1933 and 1945 when Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party steered Germany into war and terror. Visiting some of the most important sites in Nazi Germany's capital, we will examine the rise of the Third Reich, the horrors and tragedies of their regime, and the events and circumstances that led to their fall. Our tour will include visits to the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag exterior, Topography of Terror museum and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Breakfast

DAY 3 BERLIN  

The other side of Berlin’s story is its strong connection with counterculture. The neighborhood has historically been home to a generation of '68 anti-war draft dodgers, poets, pop stars, and performance artists. Iggy Pop and David Bowie hung out here, Yoko Ono and Joseph Beuys held Fluxus happenings, and the area became a laboratory for hippie culture and alternative movements. We may visit the Regenbogenfabrik, an abandoned building now used as a cultural center, the famous food stands at Markthalle IX food market, and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, a former hospital also reclaimed as an art hub. Along the way, we’ll also step sideways into the courtyards and gathering places of Kreuzberg’s diverse communities.

Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 4 BERLIN - PRAGUE  

We'll start our day with tales of Prague's past struggles with communist occupation, the significance of the Prague Spring, and the emergence of Václav Havel. We'll then retrace the footsteps of Prague's celebrated Velvet Revolution, following the events of November 17, 1989, through the modern city to Wenceslas Square, where thousands of Czechs held up and rattled their keys, telling their communist leaders, "The time has come for you to go home." We'll return to the present in time to enjoy dinner together.

Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 5 PRAGUE 

This morning we'll hop on a local tram to take us across the Vltava River and up the hill to the most massive castle complex in continental Europe: Prague Castle. We'll tour the impressive St. Vitus Cathedral, home to Alfons Mucha's striking stained glass; the Old Royal Palace; St. George's Basilica (when available); and the Golden Lane. After our visit, you're on your own to wander back down to the Old Town, where you'll be free for the evening.

Breakfast

DAY 6 PRAGUE - SALZBURG

Salzburg is a perfect town for a walking tour, and that's how we'll spend our morning: strolling under the wrought-iron signs of the Getreidegasse, going Baroque at the Salzburg Cathedral, and exploring the Mirabell Gardens. The rest of your day is free for wandering through Salzburg's magnificent gardens, hiking up the fortress hill for a panoramic view, or pedaling a rented bike into the countryside, singing "do, re, mi."

Breakfast

DAY 7 SALZBURG 

This morning is at your leisure. We recommend taking a stroll to Café Tomaselli in the heart of Salzburg's Old Town. This café is one of the most renowned European coffee houses. No other traditional café in Austria can look back on such a long history. Still family-owned today, it is a stylish representation of more than 300 years of Austrian coffee house tradition.

Later, we will follow the early footsteps of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – the monuments and the birth house of the genius of music. To conclude our day in Salzburg, we will soar above the roofs of Salzburg on the funicular to the fortress of Salzburg. Relish in centuries tradition as we enjoy a special dinner and Mozart's concert.

 

Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 8 SALZBURG - MUNICH

Today's drive is a good time to just sit back and enjoy views of pristine mountains and sparkling lakes. We'll stop for lunch on our way to the heart of Bavaria — home of fairy-tale castles, well-worn lederhosen, sing-along beer gardens, and oompah-hospitality. We'll spend our time getting a behind-the-scenes look at Munich with a walking tour through its historic Old Town, learning about the "checkered" history and traditions of Bavaria. There will be free time to stroll around Germany's most livable city, soak up some culture at its world-class museums, or rent a bike to pedal the car-free paths of the English Garden and Isar River. Tonight, we'll enjoy dinner together at the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, a beer hall in Munich, originally built in 1589.

 

Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 9 MUNICH - FÜSSEN

The beautiful old town of Füssen, a short two hour journey from Munich, lies at the gateway to the Bavarian Alps. Just outside town, the picturesque old royal district of Hohenschwangau is framed with mountains, forests and lakes. Here, Hohenschwangau Castle can be found, the boyhood home of the future King Ludwig II. Above it, soaring to the sky from its lofty seat in the mountains, his great creation: Neuschwanstein Castle. Neuschwanstein is the most iconic sight in Bavaria and Germany.

Named the 8th wonder of the world, Neuschwanstein Castle is Germany’s most famous sight. A fantastical castle on a mountain perch in the Bavarian Alps, our Neuschwanstein Castle Tour has inspired and amazed generations of visitors, among them Walt Disney. The castle from a fairy tale simply has to be seen to be believed.

 

Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 10 MUNICH – LAKE CONSTANCE.

Lake Constance is fed by the Rhine River and borders Germany, Austria, Switzerland – and just 40-minutes away – the small Principality of Liechtenstein (one of the smallest countries in Europe) and is one of the most idyllic places in Europe and also one of the most varied, archaeologically and historically. It is equally known for its unique archaeological remains as it is for its photogenic castles and abbeys, all of which are in picturesque valleys framed by mountain tops and clear blue waters. enjoy the highlights of Lake Constance with the Early Medieval Romanesque churches on Reichenau Island and the sumptuous blossom on the Mainau Island as well as the Lake Dwelling Museum in Unteruhldingen, the oldest open-air stone-age museum in Europe. Weather permitting, take in the sweeping views of six countries from the top of the Pfänder in Bregenz (gondola).

Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 11 LAKE CONSTANCE

Today, we head to the “green gold“ hops which is the main ingredient of beer with a visit of the hops trail and museum in Tettnang. After that enjoy a delicious cheese and wine degustation of artisanal cheese and fine wine presented by cheese sommelier Michael Bode in his private tasting room in Lindau.

Breakfast

DAY 12 LAKE CONSTANCE – GIMMELWALD, BERNESE HIGHLANDS

The traffic-free village of Gimmelwald, perched on the cliffs above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, is our favorite base for pastoral countryside hikes or riding lifts to dramatic cut-glass alpine panoramas. For some travelers, there's little to see in the village, but we think you might enjoy a fascinating day sitting on a bench and learning why they say, "If heaven isn't what it's cracked up to be, send me back to Gimmelwald." With its Swiss chalets and their neat geranium-filled window boxes, sloping pastures with grazing cows and craggy, white-capped mountains in all directions, the valley can look like living inside a postcard. Explore the village and go for a scenic hike before joining group for dinner.

Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 13 BERNESE HIGHLANDS – ZURICH, SWITZERLAND 

Visit the Top of Europe, Jungfraujoch. The Jungfrau railway takes you all the way to a height of 3,454 m (11,332 ft), where you’ll find the sculptures of the Ice Palace, guided glacier treks and 360-degree views across the Alps from a rotating restaurant. Snow and ice are year-round at this elevation, and you can visit the Snow Fun Park to try winter sports even when it’s summertime down the mountain.

As we depart the Highlands for Zurich, experience a panoramic tour of top sights like the Swiss National Museum, the Zurich Opera House and the Old Town, and then take to the water for a scenic ferry crossing of Lake Zurich. Marvel at the grand architecture of Fraumünster Church and the Bahnhofstrasse and then gaze at sweeping Alpine vistas as you ride a cable car to the vertiginous Felsenegg vantage point.

Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 14 ZURICH AIRPORT

PRICING PER PERSON

DOUBLE
(group of two)

$6,999
PER PERSON

SINGLE

$9,499

*20% deposit at booking. | *Balance due May 5. 2023

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY

STEP

1

BOOK YOUR
TRIP

You will receive a letter of confirmation within one week.

STEP

2

GET YOUR TRIP DETAILS

Receive your travel packet with all your travel details 1-2 weeks prior to departure.

STEP

3

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

Contact us at any time. We are always happy to speak with you.

STEP

4

ENJOY YOUR TRIP

Relax and enjoy your stress-free travel!