Southern Germany Tour: Rhine River, Bavaria, Black Forest

14 days – EUR 1,960.00 pp in dbl-room1
St. Goar, Cologne, Rothenburg, Munich, Füssen, Konstanz, Freiburg, Heidelberg

On this excellent tour for first-time visitors to Germany you will stay in two medieval castles while experiencing some of the country's most beautiful regions: the Rhine River, Bavaria and the Black Forest.


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1st day: St. Goar

Majestic accommodations: A 12th century castle
Majestic accommodations: A 12th century castle
A castle chamber
A castle chamber
Ancient cultural landscape: The Rhine Valley
Ancient cultural landscape: The Rhine Valley
You arrive at the airport in Frankfurt.

Rental car pick-up
Type: VW Rabbit or similar
Pick-up location: Frankfurt, Airport

Via Mainz
Distance: 100 km Travel time: 1:30 h

You will pass Mainz, an ancient Roman city with a magnificent medieval cathedral. The most famous stretch of the Rhine with terraced vineyards, castle ruins and picture-book villages begins at Bingen, where the Rhine enters a deep valley.

Accommodation: A medieval castle overlooking the Rhine

1 Night, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
During the 12th century the Dukes of Schöneburg ruled the area from this castle on a hill above the town of Oberwesel and levied duties on Rhine commerce. The castle was burned down in 1689 and lay in ruins for over 200 years until it was bought and restored by an American named Mr. Rhinelander in the early 1900s.

Today the modern, luxury hotel is owned once again by the town of Oberwesel and has been managed by the Hüttl family since 1957. It offers 20 elegant, individually furnished rooms and two suites with four-poster beds and balconies facing the Rhine River. Guests can stroll through the surrounding forests, meadows and vineyards or just relax and enjoy the one-of-a-kind views.

 

Details: Middle Rhine Valley
One of the longest rivers in Europe, the Rhine flows 1,320 km from Switzerland to Holland. The Middle Rhine Valley, a World Heritage Site, stretches from Koblenz to Mainz in central Germany. Because of the river's importance as a trade route during the Middle Ages, numerous castles were built on top of the high cliffs along its banks. The towering ruins of many of these fortresses can still be seen today. Below the cliffs the Rhine is lined with picturesque villages and sloping vineyards, making this one of the most scenic stretches in Germany.

One particular cliff soars high above the water line near St. Goarshausen at the narrowest part of the river: the Loreley. According to legend, Loreley was the name of a beautiful maiden who lured navigators to their death on the rocky shores of the Rhine by the enchanting sound of her singing. The best way to experience this section of the river is by taking a steam boat from St. Goar to Kaub.
Map: 1st day: St. Goar

2nd day: Cologne

A tradition in Cologne since 1863
A tradition in Cologne since 1863
Cologne: Location of the Umfulana office
Cologne: Location of the Umfulana office
Via Bonn
Distance: 150 km     Travel time: 3:00 h

You will follow the Rhine Valley to Koblenz, where the Moselle River flows into the Rhine. Shortly before reaching Cologne you will pass Bonn, the former capital of the Federal Republic of Germany and the birthplace of Beethoven. Important sites include the 11th century cathedral and Beethoven-Haus, which contains the largest Beethoven collection in the world, including the last piano owned by the composer.

Accommodation: An award-winning hotel next to Cologne Cathedral

1 Night, Bed & Breakfast
The 5-star hotel has been an institution in Cologne since it was first opened in 1863. In 1910 it made headlines when it began offering ensuite bathrooms with running warm water, a rarity at the time that was considered the epitome of luxury and comfort. This tradition has been proudly maintained over the last century: exactly 100 years after it began offering warm water, the hotel in the heart of Cologne was named the Hotel of the Year by one of the country's leading hotel and restaurant guides. The exceptional service extends from the "pillow card," which enables guests to select just the right pillow for a good night's rest, to the free minibar and valet parking. Two restaurants are available: a gourmet restaurant often referred to as "Cologne's Dining Room" by the locals, and a relaxing Oriental café recently named Germany's foreign cuisine restaurant of the year. The rooms are surprisingly quiet despite the central location just steps from the train station and the Cathedral.


Details: Cologne
Founded by the Romans in 30 BC, Cologne is one of Germany's oldest cities. The city marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire and was therefore of great strategic and military importance to the Romans. For many centuries now it has been a leading trading and transportation hub due to its location along the Rhine River. Cologne University, established in 1388, is the second oldest and the largest university in Germany. Cologne became one of the focal points of Western culture during the Middle Ages when the bones of the Three Wise Men were brought to Cologne in 1164 after being captured from Milan. Cologne Cathedral, one of the most magnificent structures north of the Alps, was built to house these relics, although construction wasn't completed until 600 years later. The landmark was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Pope Benedict XVI visited the cathedral in 2005. The city boasts 12 Romanesque churches among its numerous other historical sites. Cologne is also known as the centre of the German Mardi Gras celebrations that peak during the carnival period.
Map: 2nd day: Cologne

3rd day: Rothenburg

At the city gates: A tollhouse from the year 1264
At the city gates: A tollhouse from the year 1264
History preserved: Rothenburg ob der Tauber
History preserved: Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Romantic Road
Motorways: 390 km Travel time: 4:00 h
Scenic route: 410 km    Travel time: 4:30 h

East of Cologne you will pass through a hilly, forested region known as the Bergisches Land, then proceed southwards along the western edge of a low mountain chain called the Westerwald, a region famous for its pottery. Southwest of Frankfurt the route will take you through the hilly forests of the Spessart region, one of Germany's largest natural parks, before reaching the medieval city of Würzburg. The most famous of the city's many sites is the Old Bridge dating back to 1473. From here you can take the "Romantic Road" (Romantische Straße), an old trade route that connects many of Bavaria's most picturesque villages, or continue on the main motorway.

Accommodation: A Tollhouse from the year 1264

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Originally built in 1264 as a customs house, the hotel occupies one of the best locations in Rothenburg: on main street, next to a medieval city gate and just minutes from the central square. The current hosts, Stephan and Lilo, are the fourth generation of the same family to run the facility, which has been a hotel since 1488. The first thing guests notice is the charming entryway decorated with antiques. The bedrooms come in all shapes and sizes, and no two are alike. They all have one thing in common, however: each was personally decorated by the hostess with exquisite attention to detail. Guests can sample traditional Franconian dishes and home-brewed beer in the rustic restaurant.


Details: Rothenburg
Time seems to have stood still in this quaint little city huddled in a bend of the Tauber River. The cobble-stoned streets of the old town are lined with medieval buildings still protected by the old city wall. The two main streets, Herrngasse and Schmiedgasse, form an "L" that meets at the central market square dominated by the Renaissance town hall. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for a good view of the town or walk along the top of the city wall. A popular attraction in addition to the architecture is the torture museum featuring medieval tools of torment.
Map: 3rd day: Rothenburg

5th day: Munich

Perfect location: Hotel next to the Hofbräuhaus in Munich
Perfect location: Hotel next to the Hofbräuhaus in Munich
Baroque city: Munich
Baroque city: Munich
Via Nuremberg or Romantic Road
Distance: 250 km Travel time: 3:00 h
Romantic Road: 280 km Travel time: 4:00 h

The eastern route will take you past Nuremberg before turning south to Munich. The former "Free City" crowned by the Imperial Castle is worth a visit.

Romantic Road: From Rothenburg take the Romantic Road (Romantische Straße) south to Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen, then continue to Munich via Donauwörth and Augsburg. Rothenburg, Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen are the only three towns in Germany with fully intact medieval city walls.

Accommodation: A downtown hotel next to the Hofbräuhaus

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
The 4-star hotel with an authentic Bavarian ambience is just a few doors from the famous Hofbräuhaus in the very heart of Munich. In addition to spacious, modern bedrooms with individually adjustable air-conditioning, the property features an award-winning restaurant, a cosy bar and spa/fitness facilities. An especially popular feature is the lavish breakfast buffet. All major sites in the Munich Old Town are within easy walking distance. Parking is available directly beneath the hotel.


Details: Munich
Like many cities, Munich started out as a small town enclosed by a wall and then expanded beyond it. The 'inner city' occupies such a small area that most sites are close together and easy to visit. The closeness gives a sense of the original wall - in fact, the gates still remain. The River Isar flows through the city, which is very green for its size. The enormous English Garden is a park with a lake and beer garden (of course) and is well worth a visit. Munich has true continental weather, meaning very warm in the summer and very cold in the winter. The splendid Prealpine lakes are less than an hour's drive away to the south. Munich is much more than the venue for the Oktoberfest - it is the high-tech capital of Germany, where many international companies have their European headquarters. There is too much to see in just a few days: the German National Museum is only the most famous of the countless museums and galleries. Beautiful baroque churches and beer gardens abound.##ENDE##
Map: 5th day: Munich

7th day: Füssen

Where Ludwig II once tread: A mountain inn
Where Ludwig II once tread: A mountain inn
Stunning view from the inn
Stunning view from the inn
Medieval fantasy castle: Neuschwanstein
Medieval fantasy castle: Neuschwanstein
Romantic Road
Distance: 160 km     Travel time: 2:30 h

Much of this journey follows a scenic stretch of road that connects some of the most enchanting villages, churches and landscapes in southern Germany. A few places worth noting along the way are the towns of Hohenfurch, Schongau, Peiting, Rottenbuch and Wildsteig and the Pilgrimage Church of Wies, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Accommodation: A remote mountain-top castle

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
On a lofty summit originally selected by King Ludwig the Mad for the site of another fairy-tale castle after completion of Neuschwanstein sits a hotel which is like no other. Newly arrived guests are first struck by the endless vistas of mountains, green valleys, lakes, and forests at their feet. Then comes the hotel itself, in which every room was individually and imaginatively decorated by the owners themselves, resulting in living quarters that are not mere guest rooms but distinct creations that exude luxury, taste and comfort. Next to the hotel the ruins of Ludwigfinal project still stand, within whose tranquil walls the visitor may better sense the lingering spirit of the eccentric ruler than at tourist-plagued Neuschwanstein, clearly visible in the distance. Travellers who brave the narrow road leading up to the castle will be richly rewarded.


Details: Neuschwanstein
Three miles south of Füssen at the edge of the Alps is the fairy tale castle built by King Ludwig II. One of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany, its design was inspired by stage decorations used for two Wagner operas, Tannhäuser and Parzival. The King known as "Ludwig the Mad" was officially declared insane before the castle's completion in 1896, and he drowned under mysterious circumstances in Lake Starnberg in southern Bavaria shortly after being removed from power. Consequently, no one has ever lived in the castle. Tours can be taken through several rooms, including the Throne Room and the Singers' Hall. The best views of the castle can be had from the Marienbrücke (Mary's Bridge).
Map: 7th day: Füssen

9th day: Konstanz

Tastefully decorated on the shore of Lake Constance
Tastefully decorated on the shore of Lake Constance
Idyllic: Lindau Harbour on Lake Constance
Idyllic: Lindau Harbour on Lake Constance
German Alpine Road, Lake Constance
Distance: 140 km Travel time: 3:30 h

The route leads along the panoramic German Alpine Road, one of the most scenic stretches in Germany, to Lake Constance. In Lindenberg you may want to stop to sample the famous Lindenberg Cheese. From Lindau you will trace the entire north shore of the lake around to the city of Konstanz in the southwest corner.

Accommodation: An exclusive lakefront villa

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
The attractive villa built in 1872 in the late-Empire style is a registered landmark on the shore of Lake Constance. The nine bedrooms featuring lake views have been lovingly decorated and furnished with antiques. Guests can stroll along the shore promenade directly in front of the building, relax in the large garden behind it, or take cruises to various destinations around the lake. Downtown Constance is just a 15-minute walk across a bridge over the Rhine in one direction, the beautiful island of Mainau a few minutes' drive in the other. The charming hotel is also perfectly situated for day trips to Switzerland.


Details: Lake Constance
Europe's third largest lake is widely considered one of its most beautiful, thanks to its incomparable Alpine setting. Yet what makes the freshwater lake truly unique is its geographical position between three countries: Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Oddly, it has never been established what part of the lake belongs to which country, thus making it impossible to determine what country one is officially in during a boat ride. The River Rhine flows through the lake, entering at the east end, passing through the city of Konstanz and exiting near the medieval Swiss town Stein am Rhein. The romantic island of Mainau with its landscaped gardens and sculptured flowerbeds is worth an excursion. The little town of Stein am Rhein, the Swiss answer to Rothenburg just 28 km west of Konstanz, should not be missed.
Map: 9th day: Konstanz

11th day: Freiburg

Unique experience: A stay in Germany\'s oldest inn
Unique experience: A stay in Germany\'s oldest inn
Freiburg: The Old Granary
Freiburg: The Old Granary
Black Forest
Distance: 180 km Travel time: 3:30 h

The relatively short leg allows enough time for a scenic drive through the heart of the Black Forest. Beautiful Lake Titisee is an excellent place to stop for coffee.

Accommodation: Germany's oldest guesthouse

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
In business since the year 1120, the hotel in the centre of Freiburg credibly claims to be the oldest continually operated guesthouse in Germany. The property has gone through numerous architectural changes through the centuries, starting out as a Romanesque building before being converted to gothic and finally baroque style. In tune with the hotellong history, the hosts place great emphasis on traditional Black Forest hospitality. Many of the bedrooms are done in rustic country-inn style. Guests can ask to see the historical vaulted cellar. All major sites in the old town are within easy walking distance.


Details: Freiburg
The city tucked away in the southeast corner of Germany enjoys an exceptionally pleasant climate thanks to its geographic location in a warm valley between the Vosges region of France and the Black Forest. The settlement began as a free-market town that grew up around the castle of Duke Konrad of Zähringen in the early 12th century (Frei = free; Burg = castle). Today Freiburg is a vibrant university town with 30,000 inhabitants and one of the world's leading centres of solar energy research. Motor traffic is restricted in the picturesque old town with its magnificent 13th century cathedral, making it an excellent place for dining, shopping or merely taking a stroll. While admiring the sights just be careful that you do not step in a "Bächle," narrow channels of water that run alongside many downtown streets. While locals could avoid this pitfall in their sleep, the wet feet of some tourists testify to their admiration for the local architecture. According to legend, anyone who steps in the channel is destined to marry a citizen of Freiburg.
Map: 11th day: Freiburg

13th day: Heidelberg

Renaissance architecture: Hotel in Heidelberg
Renaissance architecture: Hotel in Heidelberg
The cradle of German romanticism: Heidelberg
The cradle of German romanticism: Heidelberg
Via Baden-Baden
Distance: 180 km Travel time: 2:30 h

From Freiburg the route will head north along the entire west edge of the Black Forest National Park. One of the oldest German spas is located towards the north end of the Black Forest: Baden-Baden. Remnants of Roman baths show that the natural springs of Baden-Baden have been valued by the privileged classes for over 2,000 years.

Accommodation: A Renaissance hotel in downtown Heidelberg

1 Night, Bed & Breakfast
Heidelberg is a romantic old university town with a long pedestrian street, the Hauptstrasse, which constitutes the dynamic heart of the city. The hotel stands at the beginning of this key avenue. Its stately facade dates from 1592, the year the gold sign was imprinted that still hangs above the door. Official records show the building served as a town hall for a decade before becoming the Hotel Zum Ritter. Thanks to the hotel's impressive facade and central location, its lovely panelled dining room is popular among the throngs of tourists that flock to Heidelberg. This makes the hotel a very bustling place in the evenings. It has been extended to the rear, and in the newer wing you find ten spacious, modern bedrooms with custom-fitted furniture and floor-to-ceiling draperies. The remaining rooms vary from small single rooms to large bedrooms overlooking the busy main street. The decor is more modern than old-world.


Details: Heidelberg
Situated on the Neckar at the point where the river flows into the Rhine valley, this university town is considered one of Germany's most scenic cities. It was the cradle of German romanticism around 1800 and a source of inspiration for many important German authors of the period, such as Clemens Brentano, Joseph von Eichendorff and the Schlegel brothers. Numerous prominent thinkers have been associated with Heidelberg University (founded in 1313), including Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Jürgen Habermas. Karl Drais, who invented the bicycle in 1817, also studied here.

The city and its famous medieval castle were destroyed in 1693 and rebuilt in the baroque style of architecture in the 18th century. The majestic ruins of the partially restored Heidelberg Castle rest on a hill overlooking the city. Visitors who take the time to walk up the hill to the castle will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Heidelberg and the surrounding landscape
Map: 13th day: Heidelberg

14th day: Frankfurt

Rhine-Main Valley
Distance: 90 km Travel time: 1:00 h

This leg will take you around the edge of the Odenwald forest through the heavily populated Rhine-Main Valley.
Rental car drop off
Drop off location: Frankfurt, Airport

Departure

Rental car

Rental car company: AVIS (Germany)
Type: VW Rabbit or similar (Group B)

Equipment: Air-conditioning, radio/CD, electric windows, central locking system, manual shift

Max excess/deductible: EUR 850.00
AVIS
Services The price is per person based on two persons sharing a double room and includes accommodations (meals included as stated above) and rental car (if stated above).

USD 2,609.001
(EUR 1,960.00)1




The tour can begin on any date desired.
Best Travel Time:
April – October

Upon booking this tour you will receive:
» the names, addresses and telephone numbers of each accommodation
» vouchers
» detailed directions to each accommodation

Please call us if you would like to request a customized itinerary, book a tour or just ask quesitons about our range of services.

Your Consultant

Martin Bach
Phone: +49 (0)2268 9098-15

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1Price per person based on two people sharing a double room, flights not included. Prices may vary by season and due to differences in available services.

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