Best of Germany

Best of Germany 1440

Embark on a journey through cosmopolitan cities, picture-book towns and breathtaking natural scenery as you explore the iconic highlights of Bavaria, cruise beneath the fairytale castles of the Rhine, and watch skilled clockmakers in action in the Black Forest.

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AAA Member Benefit

  • $40 Optional Excursion Voucher

 

Early Payment Discount

  • Book and pay in full by February 28, 2018, to save 7.5% on your trip

 

Inclusions

  • Insight Experiences & Authentic Dining connect you with local people and authentic flavors that bring each destination to life.
  • Travel in Style on luxury coaches with extra legroom, and stay in stylish, hand-picked hotels in convenient locations.
  • Passionate and Expertly-Trained Travel Directors take care of all the details, from priority access to hotel check-ins and local recommendations.
  • Smaller Group Camaraderie lets you travel with like-minded guests from around the English-speaking world.

 

ITINERARY

DAY ONE: YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS

Board your overnight flight to Europe.

DAY TWO: WELCOME TO BERLIN

On arrival at Berlin’s Tegel Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, explore on your own with a visit to the KaDeWe department store – the shopping centre of West Berlin. Tonight you will join your Travel Director and companions for drinks, followed by a Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.

Hotel: Swissotel Berlin

Meals: Dinner with Wine

DAY THREE: THE SPIRIT OF BERLIN

After a relaxed start and a buffet breakfast, join a Local Expert to see some of Berlin’s many highlights. Travel along the Ku’Damm to the Memorial Church, then drive through the Tiergarten to see Norman Foster’s glass dome crowning the reconstructed Reichstag building. Continue past the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of the reunification, along the Unter den Linden, and past the Humboldt University and State Opera. Stop on Museum Island before enjoying an afternoon at leisure in this once-divided city. On your own, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the glorious palace of the Prussian Emperors at Potsdam.

Hotel: Swissotel Berlin

Meals: Buffet Breakfast

DAY FOUR: DRESDEN, A BAROQUE PHOENIX ON THE ELBE

In Dresden, join your Local Expert to experience the splendors of the city. From the Frauenkirche, which rose from the destruction of World War II, you’ll walk past “The Procession of the Dukes,” a mosaic of colossal proportions on the Royal Palace facade. On your journey, you’ll also see the enormous cathedral, Semper Opera House, and Baroque Zwinger Palace.

Hotel: Hyperion Hotel Dresden am Schloss

Meals: Buffet Breakfast

DAY FIVE: MEDIEVAL ROTHENBURG

Today, you’ll venture to Rothenburg-ob-der Tauber, the best-preserved town on the Romantic Road. Feel yourself plunged into the 16th century as you walk through narrow cobbled streets lined with high-gabled houses to the market square, dominated by a Renaissance town hall. Enjoy a demonstration from an artisan baker, and learn about the history of the traditional pastry Schneeballen (snowball), followed by a tasting. Spend the rest of the day exploring at your leisure. Tonight, enjoy a  Dine-Around Evening, choosing from a hand-picked selection of restaurants within the walls of the Old Town.

Hotel: Hotel Eisenhut

Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY SIX: NUREMBERG AND THE BAVARIAN CAPITAL OF MUNICH

Take a short drive to Nuremberg, renowned for its medieval architecture, to admire the charming blend of stone and timbered dwellings in the Old Town, see the massive ramparts(most of which are still standing), and shop for delicious Lebkuchen. Continue across the Danube to reach fun-loving Munich, where an orientation with your Travel Director will show you the university, Victory Arch, and the Marienplatz – where crowds gather at the Town Hall to watch the antics of the Glockenspiel. At night, consider dinner at one of Munich’s famous ‘Bier Kellers.’

Hotel: Hotel Pullman Munich

Meals: Buffet Breakfast

DAY SEVEN: THE JEWELS OF THE BAVARIAN ALPS

Travel to Neuschwanstein, a fairytale castle spectacularly-perched on an Alpine mountainside. A local historian will show you King Ludwig II’s favorite castle, which is rumored to be the inspiration for many of Walt Disney’s theme park castles. Visit the exuberantly-decorated apartments, including the Throne Room and Lohengrin Grotto, and continue along the Alpine Road amid beautiful scenery to the Wieskirche, a masterpiece of Bavarian Rococo. Then, venture onto Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps, home of the famous Passion Play, which dates back to 1634, and see the immense theatre and colorfully-painted chalets. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore as you wish.

Hotel: Hotel Alte Post/Hotel Wittelsbach Oberammergau

Meals: Buffet Breakfast

DAY EIGHT: LINDAU ON LAKE CONSTANCE AND INTO THE BLACK FOREST

Enjoy a relaxed start and buffet breakfast before travelling through lush, rolling dairy country to Lindau – an island situated in the middle of Lake Constance and connected to the mainland by a causeway. Stroll through the narrow streets past old inns and half-timbered houses to admire the fantastic backdrop of the Swiss and Austrian Alps across the lake. Take a delightful drive along the shores of Lake Constance, lined with orchards and vineyards, and into the Black Forest. Stay in the quaint town of Villingen-Schwenningen, which has existed for 1,200 years and was under Austrian lordship through the Middle Ages. For dinner, you’ll be treated to a delightful farm-to-table experience at a local restaurant with locally-sourced ingredients that are skillfully-prepared and accompanied with wine.

Hotel: DORMERO Hotel Villingen-Schwenningen.

Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY NINE: THE UNIVERSITY CITY OF HEIDELBERG AND MAINZ

The Black Forest is the land of cherry cake and cuckoo clocks, where traditional farmhouses dip their thatched roofs almost to the ground. Travel the German Clock Route and stop to meet locals who still make cuckoo clocks by hand, a tradition passed down over 300 years. Then, head through valleys where villages and isolated farms nestle beside fast-flowing streams before travelling north to Heidelberg. In the city, visit Heidelberg Palace (“Heidelberger Schloss”), which is one of the world’s most impressive palace ruins and is synonymous with the Romantic Movement. Venture inside to see the Heidelberg Tun, a gigantic wine vat capable of holding 130,000 liters built into the building’s cellar in 1591 – and hear the associated tales of the dwarf court jester, Perkeo. Spend time in the vast and insightful Apothecary Museum before marveling at the panoramic vistas of Heidelberg and the Neckar Valley from the castle fortress. Your hotel is in the nearby town of Mainz, which has been a bustling and important town since the time of the Romans.

Hotel: Hilton Mainz

Meals: Buffet Breakfast

DAY TEN: CASTLE OF THE RHINE EXPERIENCE

Begin the day with a relaxing cruise past steep-sided vineyards, half-timbered taverns, hilltop castles, and the infamous Lorelei Rock. Alight at Boppard and continue to Koblenz, where a gigantic equestrian statue of Wilhelm I guards the junction of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. You’ll want to have your camera ready as you return along the eastern bank – and for the scenic views from the mighty Niederwald Monument. In the evening, round off your German experience with a farewell Celebration Dinner overlooking the River Rhine, complete with local wine. Prost!

Hotel: Hilton Mainz

Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY ELEVEN: AU WIEDERSHEN FRANKFURT

Your journey comes to an end after breakfast with departure transfers arriving at Frankfurt airport.

Meals: Buffet Breakfast

 

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1 AAA Member Benefit: Voucher can be used toward the purchase of additional optional excursions. Excursion vouchers are valid per guest and must be used on vacation, cannot be substituted or transferred, and have no cash value. All offers may be withdrawn at any time. Other conditions and restrictions apply.2 Early Payment Discount: New bookings only. Prices are per person, land-only, and consider double occupancy (single supplements apply). 7.5% EARLY PAYMENT DISCOUNT (EPD): Applies only to trips featuring the EPD in the price panel – see 2018 Europe brochure for details. ALL OFFERS are based on availability, do not apply to all trips/departures, and may be withdrawn at any time and without notice. PAYMENT: A deposit of up to $550 per person is due within 3 days of booking with full payment by 28 Feb 2018, or 45 days before departure, whichever is sooner. Further restrictions apply. Contact your Travel Agent for details. CST No. 20687545-20.