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Germany, 11 Days

In the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI in Munich, Regensburg, Altotting, Marktl, Burghausen, Lake Chiemsee, Salzburg, Oberndorf, Innsbruck, Oberammergau, Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Wurzburg and Rudesheim

 GER - 20111

  • Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrival in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, and welcome by your tour guide. Bus transfer to the hotel for an early check-in. Time to rest. In the afternoon, explore the city on a sightseeing walking and bus tour. It was here that Josef Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977. See the Palais Holnstein, the residence of the Archbishop, and the historic old city with its famous buildings and squares, such as Marienplatz square and the town hall, the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) with its distinctive onion-topped towers, and Nymphenburg Palace, the baroque residence of the Bavarian kings (outside view). Dinner and overnight stay in Munich.

    Day 2: Regensburg - Altotting. After breakfast, drive through the scenic landscape of the Bavarian Alps to Regensburg, Germany's "medieval miracle". The entire old town of the city is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, comprising a large number of remarkable buildings and structures such as the Stone Bridge, an exceptional engineering achievement dating from the 12th century. Joseph Ratzinger has deep ties to the city. He was both a professor and vice president at Regensburg University. His brother, Georg Ratzinger, has been the conductor of the world-famous Regensburg Cathedral Boy Choir for 30 years, Germany's oldest boy choir. Continue to Altotting to see the shrine of Mary and the most important pilgrimage center in South Germany. Dinner and overnight stay in/near Altotting.

    Day 3: Altotting - Marktl - Burghausen - Altotting. A tour takes you to the pilgrimage center and its famous Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of the Miraculous Image), a tiny octagonal chapel which keeps a much-venerated statue of the Virgin Mary and is visited by more than 1 million pilgrims a year. Continue to the twin-towered Stiftskirche (collegiate church) with its treasury; to the Jerusalem Panorama of Christ's Crucifixion, the Pilgrimage and Local Heritage Museum as well as a diorama show. Continue to Marktl, often called Marktl am Inn ("Little Market on the Inn River"), the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI. Visit his birth house which now houses a museum and his baptistery. Continue to Burghausen on the Salzach River with the impressive fortress, the longest in Europe. Return to Altotting for free time. Dinner and overnight stay in/near Altotting.

    Day 4: Lake Chiemsee - Salzburg. After breakfast, head to Lake Chiemsee, which features a spectacular creation of King Ludwig II, Herrenchiemsee Castle. Situated in the center of the lake, on 'Herreninsel', the castle was supposed to become the "New Versailles". Overnight stay in Salzburg.

    Day 5: Salzburg. The sightseeing tour of Salzburg features the cultural and historic monuments such as the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the birth house of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the impressive Salzburg Cathedral with its Cathedral Museum and Cathedral Square, the main theater venue during the Salzburg Festival. The tour continues with a visit to Mirabell Palace and its marvelous gardens full of fountains and sculptures. Free time in the afternoon to explore the city independently. Dinner and overnight stay in Salzburg.

    Day 6: Oberndorf - Innsbruck - Upper Bavaria (250 km). Today we will return to Germany. First visit Oberndorf, a tiny village where the Christmas carol "Silent Night" was composed. Visit the Stille Nacht (Silent Night) chapel, museum and St. Nikolas Church where the popular carol was first performed. Continue to Innsbruck, rococo capital of the Austrian Tyrol, with a history dating back 800 years. The walking and bus tour features Emperor Maximillian's "Golden Roof", famous Maria Theresiastrasse, Court Church and the Olympic ski-jump. Our next stop will be near Oberammergau in Upper Bavaria for dinner and overnight stay.

    Day 7: Ettal Monastery - Oberammergau - Linderhof (100 km). First head to the Benedictian Ettal Monastery, near Oberammergau. Continue to Linderhof Castle, one of Mad King Ludwig's fairytale castles with its fabulous 105-feet-tall fountain. Another enchanting drive through Bavaria's forests and lakelands takes us to the elaborate Neuschwanstein Castle, the crown jewel of Bavaria Castles, for a photo stop. Dinner and overnight stay near Fussen or Kempten.

    Day 8: Wies Church - Rothenburg (300 km). On the way to Rothenburg visit Wieskirche (Wies Church) where rococo art reaches unparalleled perfection. The masterpiece, created by the brothers Dominikus and Johann Baptist Zimmermann of Wessobrunn, received international recognition as UNESCO World Heritage. Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Glimpse into the middle-ages, at perhaps the most famous town on the "Romantic Road", a nearly intact medieval walled-city without a single modern building within. Go on a tour of the city to see city hall, the Glockenspiel, St. Jakob's Church famous altar carving by Tilman Riemenschneider. Free time to walk along the cobblestone lanes with their wonderful variety of shops. Kathe Wolfahrt's year-round Christmas Village is a must! Walk along the medieval walls that encircle the town, or just relax and enjoy the quaint little town. Dinner and overnight stay in Rothenburg.

    Day 9: Rothenburg - Nuremberg - Wurzburg (220 km). After breakfast, continue to Nuremberg. A tour of the city takes you along the "Historic Mile" with the major architectural and artistic highlights of the historic city which enjoyed its Golden Age in the late Middle Ages. As a result of its political influence as the foremost imperial city of the Middle Ages and home of the imperial regalia, combined with its economic prosperity as a strategically-located commercial center, Nuremberg came to be one of the largest and greatest cities in Europe. Artists such as Albrecht Duerer and poet and playwright Hans Sachs reflect the city's artistic and intellectual prowess of that time. Visit the birth house of Albrecht Durer. Continue to Wurzburg for overnight stay and dinner. Wurzburg is the center of the Franconian wine area - discover the fantastic wines in a wine tasting. Overnight stay in Wurzburg.

    Day 10: Wurzburg - Rudesheim - Frankfurt. Today we'll visit the Residence Palace, one of Europe's most renowned baroque castles and UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon go on to the quaint and charming village of Rudesheim dating back to pre-Roman times. Enjoy a first tour of the city including its history in wine-making, before relaxing on a boat tour on the Rhine River along one of the most picturesque stretches of this majestic waterway passing magnificent castles and the famous Loreley rock. Overnight stay and dinner in Frankfurt.

    Day 11: Departure. Transfer to Frankfurt International airport and flight home.

    (subject to alterations)

  • Tour includes

    Coach rides and day trips in a modern long-distance bus, experienced driver, and accommodation in mid-price hotels in double rooms with ensuite bathroom or in church guest houses; half-board (breakfast and dinner), guided tours by trained local tour guides in Munich, Regensburg, Altötting, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Rüdesheim, admission fees for: Jerusalem Panorama Museum Altötting, birth house of pope in Altötting, Herrenchiemsee Castle, Ettal monstery (plus guided tour), Linderhof Castle, Christmas museum in Rothenburg, residence palace in Würzburg, boat tour to Herrenchiemsee, shuttle service at departure day to Frankfurt International Airport, maps and informative material.

  • Not included

    International and domestic flights, tips, City Tax, lunch (but we can arrange), Accompanying (English-speaking) tour host, beverages, personal expenses, possible increases in fuel prices.