Black Forest, the Bavarian Alps, and Austria Tour
14 Relaxing Days
- Leisurely 3 and 4 night stays
- Small group size from just 10 to 28
- Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour
- Character hotels in superb locations
- Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
- 'My Time' guaranteed
Wander down cobblestoned streets in stunning villages, explore Ludwig’s fairytale castles and taste wine on the ‘route Alsace du Vin’. Tour the stunning Gardens of Mainau, take in the spectacular mountain views from Hitler’s Eagles Nest and soak up the atmosphere of beautiful, baroque Salzburg… ahhh!
- Stay 4 nights in Schönwald in the centre of the Black Forest
- Visit Heidelberg Castle and picture perfect Colmar
- Taste wine on the ‘route Alsace du Vin’
- Visit Triberger Wasserfälle - Germany’s highest waterfall
- Stay 3 nights in picturesque Füssen
- Wander around the amazing gardens of the ‘Flower Island’ of Mainau
- Explore Neuschwanstein Castle on a guided tour
- Enjoy the mountain cable car ride up to Tegelberg
- Explore the extravagant Linderhof Palace and gardens
- See the most beautiful church in Europe – Wieskirche
- Stay 4 nights in the delightful Spa town of Bad Reichenhall
- Explore picturesque Rattenberg and in the old town of Innsbruck see the Golden Roof
- Explore Hitler’s Eagles Nest and visit Berchtesgaden and the historic town Salt Mines
- Enjoy a full day to explore Salzburg
- Discover the stunning village of Hallstatt
- Follow the scenic Lakes District road and relax over lunchtime in picturesque, lakeside Wolfgangsee
Julie Andrews and that Mad King
Day 1: Frankfurt welcome
Your tour commences this evening in wonderful Frankfurt:a city of contrasts – from modern skyscrapers to beautifully maintained old buildings. Join us tonight for a welcome drink before dinner in your hotel. This is an ideal chance to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers.
Day 2: Heidelberg, Gengenbach and the Black Forest
We spend the morning in the nearby ancient university town of Heidelberg. Set in the wooded Neckar Valley, it is noted for its twin-towered bridge and red sandstone castle. We have included a funicular ride up to the castle and entrance to the castle courtyard and terrace. From here you can enjoy the magnificent views of the city and Neckar River below. Entrance is also included to see the world’s largest wine barrel and the German Apothecary Museum. Later, we drive deep into the Black Forest to enjoy an afternoon stop in Gengenbach. With its watchtowers and market square surrounded by lovely half-timbered houses, it is easy to see why it has been called a “pearl among the Black Forest towns”. We continue to nearby Schönwald, where we spend the next four nights.
Day 3: Strasbourg cruise and Triberg
Our morning will be spent in Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament. On arrival, we board a glass topped boat to enjoy a river cruise around the heart of this beautiful city. Retaining its old world charm, there are three bridges spanning the River Ill, massive fortified towers and the pedestrian streets around the Place de la Cathédrale and Place Broglie are a delight. Take time to enjoy one of the numerous cosy bistros and cafés. Late afternoon and evening is at leisure in Triberg, in the very centre of the Black Forest, famous for its cake, and home to the world’s largest cuckoo clock and Germany’s highest waterfall - Triberger Wasserfälle.
Day 4: Colmar and the Alsace Wine Road
Crossing the Rhine in France, we spend the morning in postcard perfect Colmar. On arrival we will enjoy an orientation tour through the heart of town on the ‘Petit Train’. Brightly painted, half-timbered houses on narrow, twisting lanes make a perfect backdrop. The River Lauch winds its way through the centre, known as the Little Venice district. Your afternoon will be spent driving along the Route Alsace du Vin (Alsace Wine Road). Stretching from Strasbourg to Colmar, we pass the pretty villages of Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr and Kaysersberg on this famous wine road. At one of the local wineries we will stop to enjoy a wine tasting of various classic local wines.
Day 5: Gothic Freiburg and Lake Titisee
This morning we visit the capital of the Black Forest – the gothic city of Freiburg. Sensitively restored, Freiburg is one of the most charming of German cities, located where the Black Forest meets the Rhine Plain. Arcaded shopping streets and little streams lead through the old town to its great gothic cathedral. Lunch today is included on the terrace of a restaurant on the shores of Lake Titisee, offering the most splendid panoramic views across the lake to the forest. Afterwards, enjoy a cruise on the crystal clear waters of this famous lake and time to explore in the lake resort town of Titisee. Your evening is at leisure in Schönwald.
Day 6: Flower Island of Mainau to Bavaria
Heading south-east we soon arrive on the western shore of Lake Constance. Crossing a short causeway we visit the Flower Island of Mainau where a local guide leads us through the 111 acres of beautiful gardens and landscaped grounds. Originally created nearly 200 years ago by Prince Nikolaus, these magnificent botanical gardens also boast an arboretum and an Italian rose garden complete with pergolas, sculptures, fountains and 500 varieties of roses. In summer it is splendid with its rhododendrons along with huge displays of over 350,000 flowers. After catching a ferry across Lake Constance to Meersburg, we follow the northern lakeshore to enjoy an afternoon break in the old harbour town of Lindau. Later we continue to Füssen, in the mountains of Bavaria.
Day 7: Neuschwanstein Castle and Tegelberg
We start the day in Hohenschwangau. On one hill overlooking the little village you have the neo-gothic castle of Hohenschwangau and on the other side above the village is a wooded mountain spur and Neuschwanstein – the fairytale castle of ‘mad’ King Ludwig. We take a leisurely stroll up the wooded road to enjoy a guided tour through Neuschwanstein Castle’s state rooms, king’s apartments, halls and throne room; all reminiscent of a Wagner operatic saga. Later this afternoon we will take a cable car ride up to Tegelberg to take in the excellent views down onto the fairytale castles far below. Your evening is at leisure in Füssen.
Please note: The guided tour through Neuschwanstein Castle incorporates climbing up and down a number of staircases and, as there are no elevators, the inside visit to the castle this morning may not be suitable for those with walking difficulties or limitations.
Day 8: Linderhof Palace, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Wieskirche
There is nothing quite like a day in the mountains! Our first stop will be a visit to Linderhof, an extravagant French Rococo Palace – yet another of King Ludwig’s amazing creations. Lunchtime will be in the beautifully decorated town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. ‘My Time’ to relax in one of the traditional beer gardens or restaurants, or shop in the broad pedestrian mall. This afternoon we drive through Bavarian farmlands and forests to make a stop in arguably the most beautiful church in Europe – Wieskirche (the ‘Church in the Meadows’). Surrounded by green fields, the interior of this World Heritage Listed church is an astounding Rococo creation.
Day 9: Innsbruck and Rattenberg
Taking the beautiful Fern Pass across the Bavarian Alps, we descend into the Inn Valley to visit the nearby winter resort city of Innsbruck. There will be time at leisure to explore the sights of the Alstadt (old town) such as the Hofburg Imperial Palace, cobblestoned streets and the renowned Golden Roof. Later, we follow the dramatic Inn Valley through the rolling Tyrolean hills and villages, to enjoy a short afternoon stop in the pretty village of Rattenberg. We then continue to the delightful spa town Bad Reichenhall, where we stay four nights.
Day 10: Salzburg and ‘My Time’
We have allowed a full day to explore Salzburg – the baroque city of Mozart. A local guide will take us on a walking tour of this enchanting city, including several locations used in the film ‘The Sound of Music’. Your afternoon will be at leisure to explore the myriad of narrow, cobblestoned streets, ornate squares and churches, fascinating shops and traditional coffee houses. The views from the enormous Festung (Fortress), sitting high above the city, are magnificent.
Day 11: Berchtesgaden, Eagle’s Nest and Salt Mines
A fascinating day ahead as we visit Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s Eagles Nest. We take a breathtaking bus journey up the winding Kehlstein road and then, joined by a local guide, and in Hitler’s personal luxurious brass elevator, we ascend inside the mountain for a guided tour of the Kehlsteinhaus. This alpine retreat is better known as Hitler’s Eagles Nest and the mountain views are spectacular. Lunchtime will be spent in the picturesque and historic town of Berchtesgaden, before we visit the old Salt Mines. After dressing up in a salt miner’s uniform, we enjoy a fun filled ride on a small train deep underground, take wooden slides (or steps) and then float on a barge across a crystal clear underground lake, beautifully illuminated by a light show.
Day 12: Hallstatt and Lake Wolfgangsee
Our day is spent exploring the Austrian Lakes District! After a leisurely start we explore the picturesque town of Hallstatt. Set on a rocky terrace jutting into the quiet dark water of the lake and surrounded by towering peaks, this is considered the oldest inhabited village in Europe and perhaps the most beautiful in Austria. Lunchtime is at leisure in St. Wolfgang, on the extraordinarily picturesque Lake Wolfgangsee. Our return journey to Bad Reichenhall takes us alongside Wolfgangsee (lake) and around Lake Fuschl. Your evening is free in Bad Reichenhall.
Day 13: Extravagant Herrenchiemsee Palace and Munich
Entering Germany, we stop in the town of Prien on Lake Chiemsee. Here we board a boat to cross over to the island of Herreninsel where we enjoy a guided tour through ‘Mad’ King Ludwig’s Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee. Utterly extravagant, the State Rooms were modelled on the Palace of Versailles. Later, we continue to Munich for our final evening together and celebrate with a farewell dinner.
Day 14: Munich
Your tour ends today after breakfast.
Incredible Value Inclusions
- ALL excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
- Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
- Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
- 13 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
- Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
- 22 Meals – including breakfast daily (B), lunch on the shores of Lake Titisee (L) and 8 dinners (D)
- Tea, coffee and a complimentary beverage with all included dinners
- Hand Selected Albatross Experiences – Strasbourg river cruise, Lake Titisee lunch and cruise, cable car ride to Tegelberg and Berchtesgaden Salt Mines visit
- Local guides as described in the itinerary
- ALL tips to your Tour Manager, Driver and Local Guides
- Personal audio system whilst on tour
- Free WiFi at hotels
With no additional 'on tour' costs!
Maritim Hotel, Frankfurt - 1 Night
Hotel Ochsen, Schönwald - 4 Nights
Hotel Hirsch, Fussen - 3 Nights
Superbly located in the picturesque town of Füssen, Hotel Hirsch, built in the ‘Art Nouveau’ style,
has been owned by the same family for four generations. The hotel combines elegantly modern comfort and the Bavarian ambience. All rooms have private facilities, TV and telephone.
Wyndham Grand, Bad Reichenhall - 4 Nights
Maritim Hotel, Munich - 1 Night
This 4 star hotel is in a superb location in the city centre near the central railway station, and just a few minutes walk from the main pedestrian shopping mall.
The itinerary featured many interesting sights and fabulous scenery. Unfortunately, the weather was poor for most of the time, but we still enjoyed ourselves. The major highlights were - visiting the Alsace region of France, particularly 'postcard perfect' Colmar and Ribeauville; the Flower Island of Mainau; Neuschwanstein, the fairytale castle of King Ludwig, and Linderhof, a beautiful French Rococo Palace. The forest and mountains were striking, and the small towns were picturesque. All of the hotels were of a high standard, and the included meals were excellent.
The hotels were well located, particularly the ones in Fussen and Salzburg.
There were 27 friendly travellers in the group. The tour manager was excellent - highly organised and very knowledgeable. A large bus was used, so everyone had plenty of opportunities to 'spread out'. The bus driver was excellent - we always felt safe. We would definitely travel with Albatross again.
We have just returned from Europe on our trip which included the Black Forest, Bavaria and Tyrol Tour.
We wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the tour - it was professionally run with great accommodation, a very informative tour guide, and interesting and varied sites and attractions. Meals were of a high standard (so huge!). This was our first experience of group touring as we normally travel independently, and we certainly did appreciate only 20 people being on the tour!
Kaye & Chris
Firstly, let us say that we thoroughly enjoyed the tour, with the tour director and driver both being excellent.
As to the accommodations, we considered them all very good. It was very refreshing to stay in smaller villages and hotels as opposed to the major cities/mainline hotels.
All in all we consider that the Albatross 'model' is excellent and would not like to see it change into something akin to Trafalgar or Insight, as the current approach differentiates Albatross from that market.
In conclusion, we were thoroughly satisfied with the tour, and would have no hesitation in again booking with Albatross, and/or in recommending Albatross to others.
David & Margaret
On my recent Black Forest, Bavaria & the Tyol tour the highlight for me was the Alsace region, Triberg and Hohenschwangau. Very few tours cover the Alsace region and it lived up to it's expectations. We covered a lot and yet it did not seem rushed. It was great having a small group and the family run hotels had character.
It was our first visit to Germany, the land of fairytales and castles; nothing prepares you for the depth of green you will see. The Black Forest really is green, the foliage so dense you can't see the forest floor. I will never tire of the snow-capped mountain peaks that adorn almost every direction you turn or the picture perfect homes that look like giant Cuckoo clocks. The multi coloured buildings in the Alsace region stimulate the senses, so different to what we are accustomed too at home. Our Tour Leader Gina had a wealth of knowledge to share and ensured we enjoyed all this tour had to offer. I was particularly impressed with the views from our room in Fussen and Kirchberg, our third Albatross tour will definitely not be our last.
Paul, travelled May 2016
Dennis & Alison Bant
Ann & Ashley
Jo-Anne and Tom, June 2018
Gina our guide was so very good in every possible way and excellent! We both felt very confident to relax and enjoy… as she was always informative and would anticipate all needs! Lovely variety of gorgeous scenery and inclusions… We loved Carston our bus driver… very competent and humorous! Overall excellent tour.
Overall the Germany Black Forest Tour was amazing! I previously didn’t expect so much beauty everywhere, in every region! One day perfect and then everyday competing with the last, and I was stunned and quite emotional many times feeling tears in my eyes! Thank you so much Albatross Tours, and importantly, to Marcus our wonderful coach driver who unreservedly looked after our safety and hydration with patience and good humour, and patience in all else! And wholeheartedly I cannot give enough praise for our tour manager Katia Provencher who fulfilled her role exceptionally, was well organised, knowledgeable, patient and a lovely approachable woman! She looked out for me at every turn and everyone else! I will always seek the chance to travel with Albatross as I look to my ‘Bucket List’ again and again.
Gina was an exceptional tour guide and host. Very well prepared everyday and always in control. I needed to see a doctor in Triberg late one evening (around 9pm) and Gina managed to find a doctor after hours and accompanying me to ensure the doctor understood my situation. Gina also organised a taxi and accompanied me to a pharmacy in the next town. Through all this she displayed a genuine interest in helping me even though I’m sure she had some work to do for the next day. Gina is a true asset to Albatross. Overall I thought the tour was excellent made even more so because of our fellow travellers and Gina.
My husband and I have had a wonderful experience with Albatross Tours for the second time. Our guide, Gina was exceptional as was our driver Harold.
A great tour made even better by an excellent director where nothing seemed too much trouble and she seemed to love showing us all around ‘her’ countryside. All organisation was excellent.
We have thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed pace of this fabulous tour. It has been great to stay in lovely hotels for an extended period and not having to pack and unpack everyday has been marvellous. Each place we have visited has been very interesting and mostly for the right amount of time. Our tour manager has been very helpful and knowledgeable, and we felt that nothing was too much trouble for her. Both she and the bus drivers have been very professional but also very personable and friendly. We would definitely recommend this tour to anyone and look forward to travelling with Albatross again. Well done and thank you.
Andres and Hans
This is my very first overseas trip and I had a fantastic time. The coach was very comfortable and the drivers excellent. The accommodation and meals were great and the scenery beautiful. Our tour guide Gina was fantastic. She is well organised, knowledgeable, goes out of her way to ensure everyone is happy and has everything they need. And she is a lovely person. I would do this tour again tomorrow if I could.
I have never travelled before, therefore I was nervous but for our expert tour guide with his vast knowledge of Germany, France and Austria. Nothing was too much trouble for him. His great sense of humour and thoughtfulness was greatly appreciated. Our drivers were experts and took great care of passengers and luggage. I am a much more confident person now, many thanks to Albatross.