This tour combines dramatic Bavarian castles with picture-postcard Tyrolean Alpine scenery. Our main hotel is in the village of Lermoos in the shadow of Germans highest mountain, and surrounded by lush forest and cable cars. We include excursions to the Zugspitze Mountain, Ettal Monastery, the spectacular Solden Glacier Strasse and three of Mad King Ludwigs iconic palaces.
Please note if a suitable Eurotunnel crossing is not available we may need to cross to/from France by ferry
Travel Insurance £47.50 pp
Day 1 - Friday
After an early taxi pick-up we will drive to Folkestone and take a train through the Channel Tunnel*. Driving through France, Belgium and Luxembourg, we reach our overnight hotel, the Mercure Saarbrucken Sud, by the end of the afternoon.D
Day 2 - Saturday
Following a good night's sleep and a buffet breakfast we rejoin the coach and make our way through Germany, crossing the Austrian border this afternoon and arriving at the Hotel Edelweiss for a six-night stay. Enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine or fruit juice before dinner.B, D
Day 3 - Sunday
About half an hour's drive from our Hotel is the pretty town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, formerly the home of the composer Richard Strauss. From here we will travel by cogwheel train and cable car to the Zugspitze which, at 2,962 metres above sea level, is Germany's highest mountain. Our train journey takes in gentle views of fertile farmland and pretty meadows, before climbing into the increasingly dramatic scenery of Hell Valley and spiky mountain peaks. The final ascent to the summit is by cable car, passing over the world's highest steel ropeway towers, with views of Lake Eibsee. There will be time to visit the terrace restaurant and enjoy the impressive panoramic view across four countries before heading back down the mountain.B, D
Day 4 - Monday
Our first destination today is 'Mad' King Ludwig's Linderhof Palace. It has intricately ornate rooms and beautiful gardens that combine formal Baroque-style with Italian Renaissance and fine landscaping. After time for lunch, we visit nearby Ettal Abbey with its majestic domed basilica. The Benedictine Monastery is famous for its brewery and distillery.B, D
day 5 - Tuesday
We take a scenic drive through one of the most beautiful valleys in the Tyrol to Obergurgl Parish and the Alpine resort of Solden. The village is renowned as a ski centre during the winter months, but in summer the surrounding backdrop comes alive, offering wonderful views of the forests, mountains and valleys. This afternoon we will be following the Otztal Glacier Toll Road, the highest panoramic road in the Eastern Alp, set at some 2,800 metres above sea level, offering impressive views of the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach Glaciers.B, D
day 6 - Wednesday
We travel back into Bavaria to visit one of the world's most romantic castles. Another of King Ludwig's creations, Neuschwanstein provided Walt Disney with the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's Castle, and later featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The mock-medieval architecture and stunning views have to be seen to be believed. Nearby is Ludwig's childhood home of Hohenschwangau Castle with its richly furnished interiors which exude a more 'lived-in' feel. Admission to both castles is included.
Important note: At both castles there will be an uphill walk from the coach park, with many steps, making it unsuitable for those with mobility difficulties. As an alternative, you can spend some time in the old monastic town of Füssen with its pretty blend of brightly coloured buildings, typical Bavarian architecture and cobblestoned streets.
Day 7 - Thursday
No excursion today, allowing time in which to enjoy the leisure facilities at the Edelweiss, take a stroll along one of the mountain trails, and explore Lermoos.B, D
Day 8 - Friday
After breakfast your drivers will load the luggage and we will say farewell to our Tyrolean home. Retracing the outward route through Germany, we will spend another night at the comfortable Mercure in Saarbrucken.B, D
Day 9 - Saturday
To Calais today then a Channel crossing back to the UK.B
This family-run chalet-style hotel sits in a stunning natural landscape, surrounded by the mountains of the Tyrolean Zugspitze. The Edelweiss prides itself on its warm Austrian welcome, generous meals and efficient service. It is a short stroll from the pretty village of Lermoos. There is plenty of space in which to relax, including a beautiful mountain-view terrace. Each of the 145 bedrooms, reached by a lift, has free Wi-Fi, television and mini-safe. The Hotel has extensive leisure facilities, including both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Meals are buffet style, with a really good choice of dishes.
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