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

Tour Overview

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
Message from the Mo

Julie Andrews and that Mad King

Mad? Or just eccentric? Ludwig emptied Bavaria’s treasury by building a series of Palaces and Castles inspired by Germanic Gods, the surrounding countryside and the composer, Wagner. Castles like the ‘Fairytale’ Neuschwanstein Castle. Who doesn’t identify Austria’s undulating hills, deep blue lakes and gorgeous church steeples with the first scene of the iconic film ‘The Sound of Music’? Julie Andrews, arms outstretched singing ‘The hills are alive’? I do!
These regions are riddled with palaces, baroque churches, mountains and medieval towns, ripe to be visited. You may never tire of the ‘chocolate box’ perfection. I find it really strange that virtually every mainstream tour out there spends just a few scant hours in these entire regions en route to their next all too brief overnight stay. Ridiculous!
Neuschwanstein Castle is wrongly treated to a ‘happy snappy’ roadside photo stop or hurried morning visit, the other castles and sights are completely ignored, and you never have time to relax by ‘those’ lakes or ride high up on ‘those’ magical Austrian hills. Madness! Aren’t these iconic sites the reason you are going to these regions in the first place?
I believe these magnificent, romantic, and beautiful regions deserve better. That is why Albatross spends 4 nights exploring the Black Forest, 3 nights amongst Bavaria’s castles, and 4 nights in delightful Spa town of Bad Reichenhall. It is absolutely the only way these hills can come alive!

Tour Itinerary

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.

Maritim Hotel, Frankfurt

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.

Hotel Ochsen, Schönwald

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.

Hotel Ochsen, Schönwald

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.

Hotel Ochsen, Schönwald

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.

Hotel Ochsen, 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.

Hotel Hirsch, Füssen

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.

Hotel Hirsch in Füssen

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.

Hotel Hirsch, Füssen

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.  

Amber Hotel Bavaria, Bad Reichenhall

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.

Amber Hotel Bavaria, Bad Reichenhall

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. 

Amber Hotel Bavaria, Bad Reichenhall

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.

Amber Hotel Bavaria, 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.  

Maritim Hotel, Munich

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

Your Hotels

Maritim Hotel, Frankfurt

Maritim Hotel, Frankfurt - 1 Night

This first class hotel is in a superb location near the city centre.
Hotel Ochsen, Schönwald

Hotel Ochsen, Schönwald - 4 Nights

This charming, family run, 4 star hotel, in a building dating from 18th century, provides an excellent base for all of our included excursions to the surrounding areas.
Hotel Hirsch, Fussen

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.

Amber Hotel Bavaria, Bad Reichenhall

Amber Hotel Bavaria, Bad Reichenhall - 4 Nights

Nestled amongst old trees and fragrant meadows on all sides, the 4-star hotel lies peacefully at the feet of the Predigtstuhl and Hochstaufen, Reichenhall’s two local mountains. Just a few minutes walk away are the Royal Spa Park, the graduation house with its open-air inhalatorium and the Bad Reichenhall casino. The hotel boasts it own Wellness area with an indoor swimming pool.
Maritim Hotel, Munich

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.

Tour Reviews

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

Neuschwanstein Castle

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

Hallstatt - courtesy of Lynn Bosley
Tour Highlights:
Reduced numbers in coach
3 and 4 night stays
Tour Manager was brilliant
Off the beaten track villages and countryside
Dinner at St Peter, Stiftskeller 


Our tour guide on the Black Forest, Bavaria & the Tyrol was excellent, friendly, easy going and very caring. I loved the free time and long stays as well as travelling with fellow Kiwis and Aussies.


Loved the fact that we stayed a few days at each place. Rooms were a good size ,clean and comfortable. The fact that wifi was available at all places was great .Food was on the whole excellent although l felt that the food in the Mueller hotel could have been better. I found Swazovski Crystal World disappointing. Our Tour Manager was extremely knowledgable and friendly who was happy to go out of his way for everyone .


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

Strasbourg, France, courtesy of Paul Thornton
We really liked the fact that we stayed more than one night in each place. The three and four night stays were wonderful. The tour was well run and lived up to all that was promised in the brochure.  It was also not overcrowded with twenty odd guests, and a big bus so that we could spread out and be comfortable and not have to try to get a front or window seat  to be able to see the countryside.
Our Bus driver was very experienced and we felt safe at all times (even on the very narrow roads and switchbacks).  It was a wonderful trip and we will certainly be travelling by Albatross in the future.
Thank you!

Dennis & Alison Bant

Black Forest, Bavaria & Tyrol
We have just returned from the above tour and we would recommend this tour to anyone. Our guide Maritza was excellent, so full of knowledge and the history of every place we visited. We found Albatross by chance and would definitely use this company if and when we want to travel again.  A really lovely tour.  Thanks Albatross

Ann & Ashley

Frankfurt, Germany
My husband and I enjoyed this tour very much. Our tour guide Maritza did an outstanding job and worked extremely hard to ensure that each person in our group felt valued, safe and had the best experience possible. Maritza continually went above and beyond to make our tour run smoothly. Her caring nature and exceptional organisational skills are a credit to her. Karsten our driver was a true gentleman. He also did everything he could to make our experiences enjoyable. Martiza and Karsten made a fantastic team, and we feel very lucky to have had them looking after us. The scenery was exquisite, the hotels were very comfortable, and our meals were very nice. I like how we did some things with our group and had an opportunity to do our own thing – it was a good balance. Thank you for a wonderful experience.

Jo-Anne and Tom, June 2018

Linderhof Palace, Germany

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.


Heidelberg Castle

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.


Alsace Wine Road

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.


Fussen at night

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

Linderhof Palace

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.


Neuschwanstein Castle

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.



Dates and Prices

Start Date End Date Price Per Person Availability
9 Aug 2022 22 Aug 2022 NZD $7,404 Space Limited - Call Now
4 Sep 2022 17 Sep 2022 NZD $7,404 Space Limited - Call Now
6 Jun 2023 19 Jun 2023 NZD $7,547 Space Available
25 Jul 2023 7 Aug 2023 NZD $7,547 Space Available
5 Sep 2023 18 Sep 2023 NZD $7,547 Space Available