Be prepared for breathtaking views. This journey starts in Frankfurt and travels via medieval Rothenburg and Munich, where you visit the Marienplatz, to Austria, where you have sightseeing tours with Local Guides in Salzburg and Vienna. Then, drive over Semmering Pass to the popular mountain resorts of Carinthia and enjoy an overnight stay in pretty Villach. Highlight is a visit to the world-famous Lipizzaner Stallion Stud Farm. The Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy, and the Brenner Pass to Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol are scenic highlights. St. Moritz, Lake Como, and Lake Lugano are next. Enjoy a boat cruise across sparkling Lake Lugano and dinner with wine in a traditional “grotto” restaurant. Proceed to Lake Maggiore, Stresa, and over the Simplon Pass back into Switzerland, where you board a mountain train to Zermatt, at the foot of the world-famous Matterhorn for your two-night stay. Via the Rhône Valley, Lake Geneva, Berne, Interlaken, and Brunig Pass to Lucerne, for a relaxing two-night stay in this picturesque town. Your vacation is topped off by visits to the Rhine Falls, and the Black Forest for a woodcarving demonstration. Back in Frankfurt, a farewell dinner at a local restaurant awaits you to celebrate the success of your vacation.
DAY 1Arrive in Frankfurt, Germany
Welcome to Frankfurt! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Dinner)
Drive along the Romantic Road to medieval Rothenburg—a picturesque, medieval walled town that is famous for Christmas ornaments. Continue to Munich, Bavaria’s proud capital. (Breakfast)
Watch Tower along the Romantic Road
"Roses and candlelight dinners weren’t top-of-mind when the German tourism experts invented the Romantic Road, a route through western Bavaria starting in baroque Würzburg in the north and ending in Füssen near the Austrian border. The name came from the German Romantics, who formed an early 19th century school of philosophy, literature and art that prized beauty and the emotions over the rationalist thinking of the Enlightenment. For the visitor to the Romantic Road, that means sitting back and simply enjoying the beauty of the dozen medieval and baroque towns along the route."
"Munich, Germany's Secret Capital"
"Munich is the only German metropolis that seems to have everything – wealth, beauty, prominence, fame. Some even call it Germany’s “secret capital.” Unlike Berlin, which some dub “architecturally challenged,” Munich bursts with historical buildings reconstructed after the devastation of World War II. Its grand Residenz, the former home of Bavarian kings, dominates the city center, which also boasts the flamboyant, gilded Cuvillié Theater. Nearby, the neo-gothic Neues Rathaus gives a medieval touch to the Marienplatz, the heart of Munich. "
Sightseeing with a Local Guide of Germany’s “Secret Capital” features the Olympic Stadium, built for the 1972 Olympics; the 1,000-foot-high Television Tower; Königsplatz; and the HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL. Also visit lively MARIENPLATZ with the Old and the New Town Halls and the gothic Frauenkirche. An optional excursion to romantic Linderhof Castle, built by King Ludwig II, and the famous Passion Play village of Oberammergau is available. (Breakfast, Dinner)
"Promises to God are notoriously hard to keep. The townspeople of Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps have not only kept their renaissance promise, they’ve turned it into euros and cents. Flashback to 1633. Oberammergau was a stop on the market road between Augsburg and Venice. When the plague hit, the town elders swore to heaven: Protect us and we’ll do a play about Jesus’ crucifixion every ten years. The first began in 1634. Today the village of Oberammergau lives because of theater. Half of the 5,400 residents break a leg in the Passionsspiel, performed in years ending in zero from May to October."
DAY 4Munich–Salzburg, Austria–Vienna
Arrive in The Sound of Music Salzburg. Your walking tour with a Local Guide features the historic center of Mozart’s hometown, exquisite MIRABELL GARDENS, the Great Festival Hall, ST. PETER’S CHURCHYARD, and the monumental Domplatz. Then, continue through the scenic Salzkammergut Lakeland and along the Danube River to Vienna, once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire. Tonight, you may wish to try out local specialties and Viennese entertainment. (Breakfast)
Guided sightseeing features vistas of Prater Park with its giant Ferris wheel, then drive along the Ringstrasse, pass the State Opera House, the Jewish quarter, and stop at the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Austrian imperial family. Marvel at the impressive courtyards, famous Heldenplatz, and awesome St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Afternoon at leisure and you can choose from our exciting optional excursions. (Breakfast)
Start this morning with a visit to magnificent SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE. Leave Vienna and enter Styria. Enjoy a special visit to the world-famous LIPIZZANER STALLION STUD FARM in Piber, the place where these magnificent horses are bred and raised before they go to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Stay overnight in Villach. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 7Villach–Italian Dolomites–Innsbruck, Austria
Cross the Italian border and arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the Olympic skiing resort in the Dolomites, the Italian “Rocky Mountains.” Then, via Tre Croci Pass and Lake Misurina to Brunico and across Brenner Pass to Innsbruck in the Tyrolean Alps. Stroll through its medieval lanes to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Why not join an optional Tyrolean song-and-dance show? (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 8Innsbruck–St. Moritz, Switzerland
Today’s focus is the Swiss Engadine. See deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. Afternoon is free in ritzy St. Moritz. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 9St. Moritz–Lugano
Descend towards the Italian Lake Como and continue on to the southern tip of Switzerland to the resort town of Lugano, with time for an espresso on Piazza Riforma and a refreshing walk in the shade of Parco Ciani’s magnificent old trees. Tonight, a special treat: enjoy a BOAT CRUISE across the sparkling lake and dinner with wine in a traditional “grotto” restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Lake Como in Lombardy is the third largest lake in Italy
"Lake Como has been drawing celebrities since the early 1800s such Romantic poets and bohemian high-flyers Caroline of Brunswick, who built the sumptuous Villa d’Este in 1815 – now a five-star hotel. Even before that, Italian nobles built splendid estates here as their summer homes; many are now tourist attractions, such as the Villa Carlotta and the Villa del Balbianello. The latter was featured in [episode two of Star Wars, Attack of the Clones]. The fascist dictator Mussolini summered in Lake Como for years, and retreated here when World War II was going badly, hoping to escape to Switzerland. In the end, he failed and was executed by Italian partisans."
DAY 10Lugano–Lake Maggiore, Italy–Zermatt, Switzerland
From Lake Lugano to Lake Maggiore for a break in elegant Stresa. An optional boat ride to enchanting Isola Bella can be arranged. Across lofty Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its great mountain resorts. In Täsch, board a MOUNTAIN TRAIN to climb the last few miles up to Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn. (Breakfast, Dinner)
"Isola Bella. Beautiful Island. Rising out of the waters of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, a gardener’s paradise awaits. When Count Carlo Borromeo decided to give his wife, Isabella, a gift back in 1632, he was thinking big. The expansive island villa and garden he planned for her are considered the epitome of Baroque-style architecture and garden design. With terraces built straight to the water’s edge, the island appears as if it is a floating flowering ship. Many of the rooms are of notable historical interest, like the Music Room, where Mussolini hosted the Stresa Conference in 1935 that should have ensured peace in Europe, and Napoleon’s Room, where he often stayed in the company of Giuseppina Beauharnais."
DAY 11At Leisure in Zermatt
Today is your chance to enjoy an exciting optional ride on Europe’s highest rack railway to 10,272-foot Gornergrat Mountain for a spectacular view of the Matterhorn and the surrounding Alps. (Breakfast)
Through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley to Lake Geneva and via the dairy country of Gruyère to the Swiss capital, Berne. See the monumental Federal Palace during your orientation and stop at the BEAR PARK before continuing via Interlaken, a Bernese Oberland resort beneath the towering Jungfrau, and across Brünig Pass to Lucerne. Tonight, an optional Swiss dinner party with yodeling and alphorn blowing is available. (Breakfast)
Stretching along Switzerland’s southern border with France, Lake Geneva (also called Lac Leman by the Swiss) is the largest lake in Europe. It’s pristine shores support a strong fresh water fishing industry. Some would argue that it offers the most beautiful views of any waterway. They are jaw-droppingly amazing; especially the snow capped Jura Alps across the lake from Montreux and Vevey. The temperatures are moderate along the lake in winter; most of the weather takes place in the mountains. In summer numerous music festivals and artistic events are held in towns along the lake, especially Lausanne, the third most popular city for travelers in Switzerland, next to Zurich and Geneva. It is a sophisticated artist’s haven and the city where T.S. Eliot lived when he wrote “The Wasteland.”
On your walking tour, admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT and ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit church. Afterwards, shop for Swiss watches and choose from our optional activities: climb a mountain by cable car or take a cruise on the fjord-like lake. (Breakfast, Dinner)
“The Lion of Lucerne” (Lowendenkmal) is a compelling statue in the north section of Old Town dedicated to the 42 members of the Swiss Guard who were assigned to protect Louis the XVI, Maria Antoinette and their family at the Royal Palace. When the Tuileries was stormed on August 10, 1792 by rioting Parisians at the start of the French Revolution, the king ordered the soldiers to lay down their arms. They were subsequently slaughtered by the crowd and the royal family was captured. Louis had made a big mistake. In 1821 Danish sculpture Berthel Thorwaldsen finished the sculpture, a 30-foot likeness of a wounded and dying lion with a broken lance in its heart and his paw resting atop the fleur-de-lys shield of the Bourbon king. The Latin inscription translated “To the bravery and fidelity of the Swiss.”
DAY 14Lucerne–Frankfurt, Germany
On the way back to Germany, visit the thundering RHINE FALLS at Schaffhausen. Enter the pine-clad hills of the Black Forest, renowned for its cuckoo clocks, and enjoy a WOODCARVING DEMONSTRATION on your way to Frankfurt. Tonight, a special farewell dinner with wine at a local restaurant awaits you to celebrate the success of your Alpine vacation. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; boat cruise; mountain train
Full buffet breakfast daily; 9 three-course dinners, including a welcome dinner in Frankfurt and special dinners in Lugano and Frankfurt
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Years of Experience: 33 years
My enthusiasm for our history-packed European towns, fascinating cities, and beautiful Alpine scenery--not to mention the fun--makes me excited to share this region with you. My job as a Tour Director is always thrilling, as different groups make every tour a new experience.
|Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Alpine Countries:
- Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg
- Historic Centre of Vienna
- Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn
- The Dolomites
- Old City of Berne