DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Day 1 Depart USA
Depart from New York JFK on your overnight flight to Munich, Germany.
Day 2 Arrive Munich/Innsbruck
Upon arrival in Germany, you will be met by your tour director outside the secure area of the airport. We will then take a scenic drive to Innsbruck and check in to your hotel, home for the next seven nights. Innsbruck is the provincial capital of Tyrol and it has twice served as host to the Winter Olympics. This beautiful alpine destination, with its historical buildings, breathtaking scenery and snow-capped mountains, is one of the most wonderful places to visit in all of Europe.
Day 3 Innsbruck - City Tour
After breakfast we will head out on our city tour of Innsbruck. First we will visit the old town where we view everybody’s favorite, the world-famous Golden Roof. Then it’s off to see the famous triumph gate and the Innsbruck Imperial Palace, “Hofburg”. In addition, we will visit the Olympic stadium and ski jump and the beautiful gardens of the Ambras Castle. The afternoon is yours to relax, shop for Cuckoo clocks or explore on your own. This evening head out on our Cultural Discovery Series event - a Tyrolean dinner and show. Clap along to traditional Tyrolean folk dancing and music on a raucous evening in Innsbruck! Taking place inside the family-run Sandwirt Restaurant, the show features dancing by the friendly Gundolf family, as well as cowbell ringing and jigs aplenty. We will enjoy a hearty Austrian 3-course Tyrolean feast, featuring local delights like Wiener schnitzel. (B ,D)
Day 4 Innsbruck
Today is spent at leisure or take an optional tour to Salzburg. Considered one of the jewels in the crown of Europe, the city of Salzburg has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, framed by the majestic backdrop of the snowcapped Alps and famed for its old world glamour. Discover the historical side of Salzburg with a guided walking tour. Feel like you're going back in time as you explore Salzburg's Baroque old town with its beautiful churches and cathedrals. Experience the city’s charming streets with their unique wrought iron signs, its large squares with fountains and buildings inspired by royalty. As we walk we will view many of the city’s famous sites, including the majestic Cathedral of Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, and more. The hills will come alive with the Original Sound of Music, as we visit many sites from the movie Sound of Music, with Julie Andrews. Afterwards we will have some free time to explore the old town and experience this grand city. (B)
Day 5 Innsbruck - Munich Tour and Oktoberfest*
After breakfast we leave Austria and enter Germany as we travel down the autobahn to Munich, the Capital of Bavaria. Munich sits at the foot of the Bavarian mountains and is the home of BMW, oompah bands, and a vibrant history and delicious beer. On display will be the fourth largest glockenspiel in the world, Marienplatz, Munich Cathedral and the Olympic Park. Today, Munich is the beer capital of the world and the home to the legendary Oktoberfest event. Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture and history, having been held since 1810. Along with your tour director, we take the day to travel into the heart of Oktoberfest Munich, drink like the locals drink, dine on a feast of Bavarian favorites and “drink in” the incredible atmosphere. (B,D)
Day 6 Innsbruck
Today relax, take it easy, do your last-minute shopping for crystal or join the optional tour to Merano, Italy. As we leave Innsbruck behind, we will enjoy impressive panoramic views of the Austrian, Italian and Swiss Alps as we head to Resia Lake for a photo stop. We will then reach the town of Merano, Italy where we have a walking tour. Afterwards there will be free time to explore on your own, breathe the pure mountain air and taste some of the local Italian specialties. On the way back to Innsbruck, we visit the Alpine town of Bolzano to see the Archeological Museum containing the famous iceman Otzi, a well-preserved natural mummy who lived around 3,300 BC. The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Otztal Alps, hence the name Otzi. (B)
Day 7 Innsbruck - Neuschwanstein Castle Tour
Following breakfast, we enter the fairytale kingdom of 19th century Bavaria on our Neuschwanstein Castle tour! You’ll visit the enchanted castle once inhabited by King Ludwig II and take in the breathtaking alpine views of lakes and rugged Mountains. Neuschwanstein appears through the mist like something out of a dream, and as you listen to your guide you will learn about the tragic reign of the legendary “mad” Ludwig, including the obsession that drove him to build his secluded dream castle in the Alps. Enjoy dinner this evening at a traditional local restaurant in Innsbruck. (B ,D)
Day 8 Innsbruck
Today is a day at leisure to relax, unwind, visit the cafes, elegant shops, and boutiques, or simply enjoy strolling through the historic old town, or join the optional tour into the Mittenwald and Garmisch Partenkirchen, two unforgettable favorites of the area. Munich Neuschwanstein Castle Mittenwald is not only one of the most important violin making centers in the world, it is also famous for its many colorful wall paintings ("Lüftlmalereien"). The facades of many houses are decorated with wall paintings dating from the 18th century and later. In 1786 the German writer Goethe called the town a living picture book, and it remains like this today. Then it’s off to the resort town of Garmisch Partenkirchen. Partenkirchen is the older town of the two, dating to A.D. 15, when it was a Roman town called Partanum. Independent towns for centuries and still separated by the Partnach River, Garmisch and Partenkirchen were forcibly joined together in 1935, under Hitler’s instructions, to host the 1936 Winter Olympics. Today, the area of Partenkirchen is centered on the quiet, cobblestoned Ludwigstrasse. The narrow street is lined with historic buildings with open wooden shutters and street-facing facades painted in pastel-hued imagery of religious, pastoral and regional scenes. The Garmisch district is more modern and famous for its skiing. Here we will tour the squares of Richard Strauss Platz and Marienplatz, and enjoy some free time. As we return to Innsbruck we may catch a glimpse of the Zugspite, Germany's tallest mountain at nearly 10,000 feet. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner at the hotel. (B,D)
Day 9 Innsbruck to USA or extend your stay with an optional Imperial Vienna extension
This morning we will say goodbye to Innsbruck and the Tyrol and drive to the airport for our flight back to the U.S. (B)
OPTIONAL IMPERIAL VIENNA EXTENSION
Day 9 Innsbruck - Melk Abbey Tour /Vienna
This morning we leave Innsbruck behind and head to Melk. Here you will visit the magnificent 900- year old Benedictine Abbey. Located in the Wachau Valley of Austria, Melk awaits to be explored. In the Abbey complex you can visit the famed marble hall, illustrious library, and the Abbey Church with its twin towers and 200- ft high dome. Later in the day we will continue on to Vienna, Austria’s capital city. Welcome to Vienna the capital and largest city of Austria, as well as the country's cultural, political and economic center. Renowned the world over for its musical heritage, Vienna is often called the "City of Music" with many musical prodigies having worked there including: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and many more. Interestingly, in some circles the city is also regarded as the “City of Dreams,” as it was the home of Sigmund Freud. (B)
Day 10 Vienna - City Tour
Your city tour of Vienna will take you to the city’s most important sights: the Ringstrasse, the Schwarzenbergplatz, the Karlskirche and Vienna’s stunning Opera House and the impressive St. Stephan’s Cathedral. The tour will concluded at the Schonbrunn Palace, one of the most important cultural monuments in the country, and one of the major attractions in Vienna. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to explore one of the most famous European cities at a relaxed pace, experience its imperial history; shop or visit one of its numerous exciting museums. (B
Day 11 Vienna to USA
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)
*The Oktoberfest festivities on day 5 will only occur during the Oktoberfest season.
Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.