This tour explores the most southern parts of Germany while also crisscrossing the borders with Austria and Switzerland. After visiting Freiburg, the gate to the Black Forest, go north and visit the romantic town of Heidelberg. Your last stop is the Rhine Valley where you will be staying in a castle that has accommodated a number of German emperors well over 1000 years ago.
This trip will be customized according to your wishes.
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 attractive Neo-Renaissance villa was built in 1886 next to the Nymphenburg Palace and park, one of the most famous sites in Munich.
The 17th century palace, now open to the public, has played an important role in numerous historic events. The small, family-run hotel next door prides itself on its 23 individually designed bedrooms and friendly service. Bicycles are loaned for free, for example, and tickets for the local public transportation system for the ride downtown can be purchased at the reception desk. In spite of the quiet location, Germany`s largest beer garden is just minutes away. The hotel staff will gladly provide restaurant recommendations and assist with the planning of local activities. Indeed, the little inn was recently named a Service Hotel by the travel website Venere.
Rental car pick-up
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Vehicle: VW Polo or similar (EDMR)
Location: Munich (Railway Station)
The scenic route will take you through the rolling hills of the Prealpine countryside past beautiful Chiemsee. One of Ludwig the Mad's (Ludwig II) most spectacular projects after Neuschwanstein is located on the island of Herrenchiemsee: An opulent palace designed as a replica of the Palace of Versailles.
There are several quaint Bavarian towns close to the route, such as Traunstein and Ruhpolding.
The city located at the northern boundary of the Alps is one the most beautiful in central Europe. The backdrop of the Alps to the south contrasts strongly with the rolling plains to the north.
The closest Alpine peak – the 1,972 m Untersberg – is only a few kilometers from the city center. The inner city, or old town, is dominated by baroque towers and churches. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is Salzburg's most famous son. The houses where he was born and also lived in are popular tourist attractions and there are many monuments remembering the “Wolferl” in the city. His family is buried in a small church graveyard in the old town.
The historic villa was built in 1863 by an Italian master builder and from 1923 to 1938 was the residence of the world-famous von Trapp family, whose life underlies the musical “The Sound of Music”.
The property is situated in the middle of a picturesque park near the historical centre of Salzburg. Since 2008 the hotel has been restored to its former glory and is open to the public for the first time as a hotel. Numerous photos recall the former inhabitants of the villa, creating a family charm. The former bedrooms are now stylish and individually furnished guest rooms. In the dining room you start the day with a rich Breakfast, which you can finish later with a glass of wine on the large terrace or in the cosy salon.
The capital of Tyrol is located in the Inn Valley at the junction of the north-south route connecting Germany to Italy with the east-west route between Switzerland and Vienna.
The only major city in the Alps has a medieval city center with narrow alleys and numerous examples of Gothic architecture, the most famous of which is the house with the Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl). The city, which has twice hosted the Winter Olympics (1964, 1976), is famous for its scenic setting amid soaring Alpine peaks such as the Karwendel mountain range in the north and the Lanser heads as well as the Patscherkofel – a popular skiing terrain – in the south-east, where a cable car leads to the summit also during the summer months.
The old double eagle coat of arms of the Astro-Hungarian Empire still hangs above the entrance to the historical guesthouse.
In the 15th century the stalls of Emperor Maximilian I (known as the Knightstood on the site. The stalls were replaced by a patrician villa in the 17th century that has now served as an inn for nearly 500 years. Since its recent restoration the hotel has been awarded a 4-star rating. No two rooms in the building are alike, and most are decorated in accordance with a specific theme, such as the Sissi Room named after the Austrian Princess or the Castle Room. The area of the building that contains the hotel restaurant was once part of a neighbouring monastery. The restaurant, one of the best in Innsbruck, also has a proud, 500-year tradition. A wellness and massage centre is also available to guests.
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.
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.
Despite its two thousand year history the city on the southern shore of Lake Constance is vibrant. This is due to the University, which attracts many young people, to the theaters and concerts.
Since 1993 the harbor is dominated by a massive statue that rotates once around its own axel every four minutes. A nine meter high female figure with a plunging neckline holds two gnomes in her hands. This is the legendary prostitute Imperia and the two gnomes are the Emperor and the Pope. During the Council of Constance 1414-1418 she slept – and played – with both. Jan Hus, who criticized the power and demoralizing influences of concubines within the Roman Church most violently, was burned at the end of the Council in Constance at the stake.
The old town around the cathedral and the town hall is especially beautiful and interesting.
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.
The city in southwestern Germany which lies in the Upper Rhine Valley between the French Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest to the east, enjoys a pleasant warm climate.
Its story begins with a castle (Freiburg – “free castle”) of the Zähringer Duke in 1008. Today the vibrant university town with over 30,000 students is a stronghold in the world for solar energy research and one of the few German cities with a “green” mayor. The picturesque, traffic-free old town with its magnificent cathedral lends itself to a leisurely stroll, to shop or to dine. South of the city the Schauinsland rises, – one of the most beautiful mountains in the southern Black Forest. And a few kilometers north the Kaiserstuhl (Emperor’s Chair), a range of hills where rare plants and excellent wines grow, emerges from the Rhine plains.
The hotel is actually located in two buildings: one on the Münsterplatz in the shadow of Freiburg's impressive cathedral, the other just a short walk away along cobblestoned streets.
The Weinstuben serves a very satisfying lunch or dinner in a congenial, cozy atmosphere. Beamed ceilings, wooden tables, white linen, and contented chatter set the mood for the charming restaurant. It is a popular place to dine in the marvelous medieval town of Freiburg. In addition to the restaurant, there are 26 guestrooms, found either directly above the Weinstube or in the neighboring building. All have been refurbished and are very attractive.
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.
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.
Rental car drop-off
Location: Frankfurt Airport (Desk at Airport)