Day 1:ARRIVE IN MUNICH, GERMANY.
Welcome to Munich! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Day 2:MUNICH-SALZBURG, AUSTRIA.
Sightseeing with a Local Guide in Germany’s “Secret Capital” features the impressive Olympic Stadium, built for the 1972 Olympics; the 1,000-foot-high Olympic Tower; Nymphenburg Palace; and Konigsplatz, used for Nazi rallies during World War II. Drive along the Ludwigstrasse, and see the Bavarian Arch of Triumph and Field Marshall Hall, a monumental loggia on the Odeonsplatz. Visit lively MARIENPLATZ with the Old and the New Town Halls and the gothic Frauenkirche. Arrive in lovely Salzburg and discover the historic centre during your guided walking tour. Admire MIRABELL GARDENS, the Great Festival Hall, St. Peter’s Monastery, and magnificent RESIDENZ SQUARE, where some scenes of The Sound of Music movie were filmed.
This morning, join an optional excursion to spectacular Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. Then, continue through the scenic Salzkammergut Lakeland and along the Danube Valley to Vienna, once the centre of the mighty Habsburg Empire. Tonight, you may wish to try out local specialties and Viennese entertainment.
Guided sightseeing features vistas of Prater park with its giant Ferris wheel; a drive along the famous Ringstrasse with its magnificent buildings like the State Opera House; the Jewish quarter; and a stop at the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Austrian imperial family. Marvel at the impressive courtyards, famous HELDENPLATZ, and awesome St. Stephen’s Cathedral. An optional excursion to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, is available.
Day 5:VIENNA-PIBER-ST. VEIT.
Visit magnificent SCHONBRUNN PALACE, the former imperial summer residence, before leaving Vienna. Enter Styria, with its mountains and forests, and visit the world-famous LIPIZZANER STALLION STUD FARM in Piber, where these magnificent horses are bred and raised before training at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
Day 6:ST. VEIT-ITALIAN DOLOMITES, ITALY-INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA.
Cross the Italian border and arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the Olympic skiing resort in the Dolomites, the Italian “Rocky Mountains.” Travel via Tre Croci Pass and Lake Misurina to Brunico. Cross Brenner Pass into the Tyrolean Alps, and arrive in cozy Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol. Follow your Tour Director for a pleasant walk through the quaint medieval lanes to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Time to shop for Innsbruck’s famous crystal. Why not join an optional Tyrolean song-and-dance show?
Day 7:INNSBRUCK-ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND.
Today’s focus is the Swiss Engadine. See deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. Afternoon is free in ritzy St. Moritz.
Day 8:ST. MORITZ-LAKE COMO-LUGANO.
Descend via Italy’s Lake Como to Lugano. See Parco Ciani, and drive along the lakeside promenade to Piazza Riforma, noted for its pastel-coloured, neoclassical palazzi. Join the locals in a relaxed atmosphere at the historical Vanini Cafe for an aperitif. Tonight, why not take an optional cruise across sparkling Lake Lugano to the fishing village of Gandria, where dinner awaits.
Day 9:LUGANO-LAKE MAGGIORE, ITALY-ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND.
From Swiss Lake Lugano, drive to Lake Maggiore, the largest lake in the Swiss-Italian Lake District, and stop in elegant Stresa. An optional boat ride to enchanting Isola Bella is available. Cross lofty Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its great mountain resorts. In Tasch, board the MOUNTAIN TRAIN to climb the last few miles up to Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn.
Day 10:AT LEISURE IN ZERMATT.
A full day at leisure is your chance to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of this car-free town. Join an exciting optional to Klein Matterhorn for spectacular views of the Matterhorn and the surrounding Alps.
Day 11:ZERMATT-BERNE-INTERLAKEN-LUCERNE AREA.
A scenic drive through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhone Valley brings you to Lake Geneva and via the dairy country of Gruyere to the Swiss capital, Berne. See the monumental Federal Palace during your orientation and stop at the BEAR PARK before continuing to Interlaken, a Bernese Oberland resort nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz beneath the towering Jungfrau. Cross Brunig Pass and arrive at your hotel with its breathtaking view of the Obwalden mountain landscape and Lake Sarnen. This evening, sign up for an optional Swiss folklore show with cheese fondue, yodeling, and alphorn blowing.
Day 12:LUCERNE AREA.
In Lucerne, follow your Tour Director on a leisurely walk, and admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution. Walk along ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Afterward, shop for Swiss watches and maybe join an optional excursion to Mount Pilatus.
Day 13:LUCERNE AREA-RHINE FALLS-STEIN AM RHEIN-DORNBIRN, AUSTRIA.
Marvel at the thundering RHINE FALLS, the largest waterfalls of Western Europe, then stop in charming Stein am Rhein on your way to Austria. Arrive in Dornbirn with time to explore the historical town centre.
Day 14:DORNBIRN-MUNICH, GERMANY.
Return to Germany and follow the scenic road through Bavaria’s beautiful Allgau region and arrive in Munich. Afternoon at leisure, and, tonight, a farewell dinner at a local restaurant is the best way to say auf Wiedersehen!
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.