Starting in Munich, your first visit is the fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein, after which you follow the Romantic Road to Rothenburg. A stay in 2000-year-old Augsburg gives you plenty of time for stops in some of the charming villages along the way. After visiting Heidelberg, the highlight will be a stay in a medieval castle in the Rhine valley.
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Although it is still a relatively young city, Munich’s charisma extends far beyond the Bavarian borders. Around the 11th century a few monks settled on the Isar – hence the name (apud Munichen – with the monks).
Because of its strategic location at a bridge and also at the intersection of two trade routes, the city soon became the residence of the Wittelsbach family who reigned as dukes, electors and kings of Bavaria. The city experienced a boom in the Baroque era and finally also in the 20th century. Munich became the capital of Art Nouveau – but also of the National Socialist movement. In 1919 Hitler already tested the demonic effect of his speeches in the Hofbräukeller. Although Munich is a high-tech location today, the Bavarian folklore is lovingly cared for, especially in the last week of September when the Oktoberfest beer festival takes place.
The 4-star hotel with an authentic Bavarian ambience is just a few steps 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.
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Vehicle: VW Polo or similar (EDMR)
Location: Munich (Railway Station)
The Allgäu between Lake Constance in the west and the Lech River in the east is considered one of the most beautiful destinations in southern Germany.
Extended moors and forests cover the north, while the southern part, sculptured by the ice age, is hilly and fertile. In the south the Allgäu borders the Alps with soaring mountain peaks and deep valleys. The Upper Swabian Baroque Road (Oberschwäbische Barockstraße) will lead you to marvellous churches and castles which harmonize wonderfully with the countryside.
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 Ludwig's final 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.
From Füssen you will take the Romantic Road to the north. Numerous castles, monastries and quaint villages are tucked into the rolling hills and forests.
The first part of the route is known as the “Land of Churches”. The rococo pilgrimage church of Wies (a World Heritage Site) and the baroque church in Rottenbuch should not be missed. Other places worth visiting include Wildsteig, Schongau, Hohenwurch and Landsberg am Lech. [Side note: Landsberg is where Adolf Hitler was imprisoned in 1924 and wrote “Mein Kampf”.]
The second oldest German city after Trier is named after the Emperor Augustus. Because of its strategic location on the main route to Italy, it quickly rose to a free imperial city and an important commercial center in the Middle Ages.
The Romanesque cathedral dates back to this time and on its south side one can admire the “prophet-windows” which are just as old – the only ones world-wide. Also worth seeing are the “Fuggerei”, the oldest social housing development in the world that has been inhabited since 1523, as well as the house of the Mozart family and the birthplace of Bertold Brecht.
The small hotel in the heart of Augsburg has been run by the same family for four generations. Despite its central location, the inn sits in a surprisingly quiet section of the Old Town near the Cathedral, surrounded by narrow medieval streets where time seems to have stood still.
The 15th century building originally served as the residence of the Cathedral Provost, Johann Duke of Bavaria, whose coat of arms still adorns the hallway. In 1518 Martin Luther hid from the authorities in the Provost's garden. Other famous guests included Marie Antoinette, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Napoleon III.
In this Middle Franconian town on the Tauber river time seems to have stood still since the 30-year war. It now is a world-famous tourist attraction with narrow cobbled streets, tall Gothic gabled houses, churches with significant high altars and a completely preserved city wall with numerous watchtowers: The cityscape of the free imperial city has become the epitome of German romanticism.
If you stay in one of the historic hotels in the city, make sure to participate in the guided tour with a medieval night-watchman.
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.
The capital of the Palatinate (Kurpfalz) is at the point where the Neckar coming from the Odenwald enters the Rhine valley.
It is considered the cradle of German Romanticism and has inspired poets such as Brentano, Arnim or Eichendorff. The city is mentioned for the first time at the end of the 12th century. 200 years later the university was established and the castle under Palatine Count Rupert was built. In 1693 the town and castle were destroyed and rebuilt in the 18th century in baroque style. Rising majestically above the roofs of the old town are the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle – the most spectacular in its location, size and beauty in all of Germany. The classical-romantic view of Heidelberg's Old Town and the castle can be enjoyed from the Philosphengärtchen (Philosophers' Garden) and along the Philosophers’ Way on the north bank of the River Neckar.
On entering the rooms in this new boutique hotel guests are first struck by the stunning views of Heidelberg from every window. At night the illuminated castle and Old Town spread out before you will almost seem unreal. For more unrestricted panoramic views you can relax on the rooftop lounge, or spend the afternoon or evening even higher up in the hotel's private vineyard – with a well-stocked picnic basket provided by your host.
After admiring the view guests can begin to admire their temporary home away from home: every room and every piece of furniture in it were exclusively designed by a Florentine architect with an eye to balance and harmony. All items of furniture were handmade by local craftsmen. While thoroughly modern, the interior decor was designed to recapture the late 18th century spirit of Romanticism, when Heidelberg was Germany's philosophical and literary centre. The noble simplicity of the 18th century building's white exterior gives the impression of a private residence rather than a hotel. Downtown Heidelberg is just a few minutes' walk away across the famous Old Bridge.
You will pass by the city of Worms, where Martin Luther was threatened with excommunication in 1521 unless he retracted his teachings.
He refused and was declared an outlaw by Emperor Charles V. Important sites in Worms include the Romanesque cathedral from the 11th and 12th centuries and the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe.
From its source at St. Gotthard in Switzerland up to its mouth of branched river arms in the Netherlands the Rhine covers 1320 km.
For thousands of years it has been one of the most important trade routes in Europe. Between Bingen and Koblenz it squeezes through a deep valley which is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Germany and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Castles and ruins alternate with vineyards and picturesque half-timbered towns. Many myths and legends surround the valley; the best known is about the Loreley, who sat on a cliff, combing her beautiful long golden hair and enchanting the boatmen with her enticing singing voice, so that many men drowned in the quickening waters of the Rhine. The best way to experience the valley is from the boat on a trip from St. Goar to Kaub.
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.
Location: Frankfurt Airport (Desk at Airport)