Delve beneath the surface of two incredible countries – Germany and Austria. Enjoy Bavarian hospitality in the charming city of Munich. Be mesmerized by a spiritual interlude at the Passion Play in Oberammergau; be amazed by the fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein, and experience authentic Tyrolean hospitality in Innsbruck with its’ amazing imperial Habsburg architecture. On this tour, experience it all from grand palaces and an unforgettable performance, to great cuisine, and unforgettable scenery.
Day 1 - Depart for Munich, Germany
Transfer to the airport and board your flight to Munich, Germany for the incredible Oberammergau Passion Play.
Day 2 - Munich
Upon arrival in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, we transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to enjoy Munich at your own pace prior to our Welcome Dinner. Some great ideas for optional excursions include:
•Oktoberfest Tour | The city is known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and its beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589.
•Nuremberg | Live history can also be found on the Imperial Castle which is Nuremberg’s grand landmark. With the historic Memorial Nuremberg Trials, a documentation center in Court Room 600 is accessible to illustrate what happened during the Nuremberg Trials.
Your Tour Director can help with some other great ideas and the necessary arrangements. (D)
Day 3 - Munich
This morning, we start our guided city tour of Munich and its centuries-old buildings. Our local guide will take us to Munich’s must-see sights such as the Old City Hall, the Music Clock that reenacts stories from the 16 Century (an extravaganza which can be seen at 11:00am, 12:00pm and 5:00pm) and Amalienburg. In the afternoon, we will visit Dachau. The Dachau Concentration Camp was established in March 1933 and was the first regular concentration camp established by the National Socialist (Nazi) government. Heinrich Himmler, as police president of Munich, officially described the camp as “the first concentration camp for political prisoners.”(B,D)
Day 4 - Munich - Oberammergau
Today, we depart for and visit the only castle where Ludwig II lived: Linderhof. Here, we explore the gardens and visit the inside of the palace. After, we visit Ettal Abbey and its beautiful church devoted to the assumption of the blessed virgin. Then, we travel to Oberammergau for our 2-night stay. (B,D)
Day 5 - Oberammergau / Passion Play
Today is the day you have been waiting for! This morning and afternoon are dedicated to the Passion Play. Enjoy breakfast and then have time to experience Oberammergau where our Catholic faith comes alive in the enactment of the Passion of Christ.
First performed in 1634, the Oberammergau Passion Play was created from a vow made by the inhabitants of the village. The bubonic plague was wreaking havoc in the region and the villagers asked God if they were spared from the effects of the plague, they would perform a ‘passion play’ every 10 years. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Oberammergau - Füssen - Salzburg, Austria
After breakfast, a comfortable drive brings us to Füssen in Bavaria, Germany situated 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) from the Austrian border. It has a population of 15,608 and the town is known for its violin-making industry and spa facilities. We tour Neuschwanstein Castle and later enjoy a walk and some free time in the Old Town. After, we continue to Salzburg for our 2-night stay. (B,D)
Day 7 - Salzburg
Our day begins in the historic center of Salzburg. We walk its narrow streets and secluded passageways discovering its medieval roots. The heritage of the Catholic Church here is evident in the Archbishop’s Residence at Dom Platz. Then onto visit Mirabell Palace with its beautiful gardens. Mirabell Palace is one of the most important shooting locations from the famous Hollywood musical “The Sound of Music” -Maria and the children dance around the Pegasus Fountain in front of the palace singing the song “Do Re Mi”. We admire the unique views across Mirabell Gardens towards the Hohen Salzburg Castle before our visit to the mighty Romanesque Cathedral as well as the Nonnberg Convent of Benedictine nuns. In the Getreidegasse, we view Mozart’s birthplace, now one of the most visited museums in Austria. Then, make a stop at Hellbrunn Palace to enjoy its gardens and hidden trick fountains! (B,D)
Day 8 - Salzburg - Vienna
After breakfast, we drive through the pristine Alps countryside making our way to Vienna. Upon arrival in Vienna, we check-in to our hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure before dinner tonight. (B,D)
Day 9 - Vienna
Our journey today is a tour of Vienna, home of Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We visit the spectacular St. Stephen’s cathedral, the symbol of Vienna. Construction commenced in the 12th century and today, it is one of the most important Gothic structures in Austria. At St. Stephen’s, we’ll see the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mariapoch and tour the Cathedral and its catacombs. Those willing, may climb the 343 steps to the top of the Cathedral spire for its incredible views over Vienna!
We then continue to Schönbrunn Royal Palace, a summer residence with 1,441 rooms including a Hall of Mirrors where Mozart performed at the age of six before a young Marie Antoinette Louis. Schönbrunn Palace was put on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in December 1996. Our adventure continues to Belvedere Palace, well known for its beautiful gardens. As we meander back to Vienna, we visit Karlsplatz with its Church of St. Charles Borromeo and Otto Wagner’s Stadtbahn pavilions. Along the way, we stop and have a little coffee break and enjoy the famous Vienna pastries, such as Sacher cake. (B,D)
Day 10 - Depart Vienna
After breakfast this morning, we have some time at leisure to take-in Vienna one last time before transferring to the airport for our flight home. Upon arrival, we head home full of great memories. (B)