Alpine Gems train-bus-hike

Castles, Cars and Walks

Neuschwanstein Castle - a travel highlight

We will take you to some sites that immediately spring to mind when thinking about Germany: Neuschwanstein and BMW!

What better way to demonstrate that in Germany the old and new live side by side than by visiting famous historical castles and churches, as well as looking behind the scenes of a major player in the famous German car industry.

We actively explore Germany's southernmost region, in the cities by subway, bike or punt, and in the Alp on diverse scenic walks, including a gondola ride.

 

 

book-nowOur Highlights: Munich Bike Tour, Olympic Park, BMW, Art & Museums – Ornate Pilgrimage Church of Wies – Famous Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles – Alpine Spa Town Oberstdorf im Allgäu – Diverse Alpine Walks – World's Tallest Church Ulm Minster – Punting in Traditional University Town Tübingen

 

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Photos: Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus / Fotolia

Map

tour map Southern Germany

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Itinerary

Day 1: Munich – Exploring the Inner City on Foot and Bike

Day 2: Olympic Park – BMW – Deutsches Museum

Day 3: Pilgrimage Church of Wies – Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles – Alpine Health Resort Oberstdorf

Day 4: Breitach Gorge Walk and Alpine Lake Walk/Swim

Day 5: Gondola Ride and Day Walk Nebelhorn

Day 6: Ulm, world's tallest church and old town quarters – Punting in Tübingen 

Day 7: Tübingen Sightseeing

 

Day 1: Munich – Exploring the Inner City on Foot and Bike

We meet in Munich, Bavaria’s capital. To get an overview of the old inner city we climb up Old St Peter’s Church. Not far from the church is the quaint farmer’s market Viktualienmarkt that has become popular with gourmets. We stroll through the diverse stalls of local delicacies and take in the unique atmosphere.

Around lunchtime we start exploring the major highlights of the city by bike. At a leisurely pace we cruise through the English Garden and along the Isar River and its beaches. Part of the tour is a lunch break in Munich’s most popular beer garden.

The remainder of the day can be used at your own leisure. You might want to visit some of the inner city art galleries or take advantage of the diverse shopping opportunities. We stay the next two nights in a central hotel.

Day 2:  Olympic Park – BMW – Deutsches Museum

In the morning we take the tube to the Olympic Park, which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. As we marvel at the state of the art architecture of the Olympic Stadium we are not only reminded of the sporting events (who doesn’t remember Mark Spitz) but also the tragic attack on the Israeli Olympic team.
On a clear day the 291m high Olympic Tower provides an amazing panoramic view all the way to the Alps.

We then visit the close-by 'BMW Welt' (=world) and get an insight into the fascinating world of German car manufacturing at this multi-functional  exhibition facility showcasing the latest models. For those wanting a deeper insight, there is the option of taking a tour of the actual production plant, and/or spend time in the excellent BMW museum.

The rest of the day we spend in the world-renown ‘Deutsches Museum’. This largest technical museum in the world showcases countless masterpieces of science and technology.

In the evening we can enjoy the unique Bavarian atmosphere in the famous 'Hofbräuhaus' restaurant and sample some of the local specialties.

Day 3: Pilgrimage Church of Wies – Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles – Alpine Health Resort Oberstdorf

From Munich we head to the picturesque alpine region Allgäu, where we will be based in the spa town of Oberstdorf for the next three nights.

On the way there we stop at two of Germany’s most famous sights. A gem of baroque architecture with truly amazing frescoes and stuccowork, the magnificently ornate pilgrimage church Wieskirche is situated in the secluded setting of an alpine valley. It is often described as the most beautiful rococo church in Bavaria, and probably in the world, and was given international recognition in 1983 when it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site.

Nearby Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe, commissioned by king Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to his favourite composer Richard Wagner. The breathtaking setting of the famous fairy tale-like castle could not be more idyllic as it sits on a rugged alpine foothill above the village of Hohenschwangau.
In order to avoid the tourist masses as much as possible we will walk up to the castle through the secluded Pöllat Gorge and visit the interior of the impressive building.

Before we continue to Oberstdorf, we walk via a little frequented forest trail to Hohenschwangau Castle, the royal family's summer residence, and take in the atmosphere on a walk around the grounds. Finished in 1837, Ludwig (born 1845) spent a large part of his childhood here, whereas he never actually resided in Neuschwanstein.

Day 4: Breitach Gorge Walk and Alpine Lake Walk/Swim

Our base Oberstdorf is Germany's southernmost health resort and is located in the midst of the Allgäu Alps at 815m above sea level. Well-known for its superlative air quality and health-promoting spring water, it offers more than 200km of hiking trails at all levels of difficulty, some of which we want to explore in the next couple of days.

Our first walking highlight is the Breitachklamm (Breitach Gorge) - a spectacular narrow flume that extends over 1.5 miles (2.5 km) and is over 500 feet (150 m) deep. Breitachklamm boasts vertical walls, waterfalls, a rushing river, a magnificent forest, and interesting flora. The gorge, one of the most impressive of its size in all of Europe, is between 8,000 and 10,000 years old. Near the end of our walk we enjoy a traditional regional lunch at a local farmstyle restaurant.

In the afternoon we embark on a leisurely walk that leads us up to a small romantic alpine lake surrounded by native forest. Bring your togs for a dip in the clean green mountain water.

Day 5: Gondola Ride and Day Walk Nebelhorn

We are taking a gondola as a means of transport up to the Nebelhorn, the highest peak (2224m/7297ft) in the region.  From the top we enjoy a panoramic view of 400 peaks stretching all the way to Austria and Switzerland. We spend the day hiking on the spectacular alpine trails that lead us back to the valley floor.

Day 6: Ulm, world's tallest church and old town quarters – Punting in Tübingen  

We leave the alpine region behind and head to Ulm, where we visit the tallest church in the world, the Ulm Minster. The steeple measures 161.5 metres (530 ft) and contains 768 steps. The ascent to the top level is well worth it for the fantastic panoramic view. Then we stroll through the Fischerviertel, the city's old fishers' and tanners' quarter. This charming area of half-timbered houses is built along the two channels of a tiny river - crossed by a series of footbridges. Historic buildings are well preserved here and house several art galleries, a number of restaurants and the crookedest hotel in the world.

The base for our last two nights is Tübingen, a traditional university town and the city with the youngest average population in Germany. The Neckar river runs through central Tübingen. In the evening we go boating in 'Stocherkähne', the Tübingen equivalent of Oxford and Cambridge punts, only slimmer. We glide past the elongated 1500 meter-long Neckarinsel (Neckar Island), famous for its high, ancient plane trees, some of which are more than 200 years old, and enjoy the view of many historical houses.

Day 7: Tübingen Sightseeing

Tübingen's Altstadt (old town) survived the Second World War due to the city's lack of heavy industry. After a guided sightseeing tour you have time to take in the special atmosphere and wander through the crooked cobblestone lanes, narrow-stair alleyways and streets lined with canals and well-maintained traditional half-timbered houses.

We enjoy a last night together in Tübingen. Individual departure after breakfast the next morning.
We are happy to help arrange your arrival and departure or book additional services for you (such as additional nights).

 

Highlights

 München / Munich
The original settlement was near a Benedictine monk settlement, which is remembered in the city’s name (Old High German ‘Munichen’ means “by the monk’s place") and the picture of a monk in the coat of arms. From the 16th to the 18th century Munich attracted all kinds of artists, architects and philosophers shaping and changing its appearance and citizens. During World War II Munich was heavily damaged in 71 air raids, but a very conservative plan restored a lot of the original character buildings of the city.

On your bike trip around the park, you will get to see a variety of sights: tea houses, beer gardens, historical monuments, artificial lakes and clever landscaping. Click to read more

 Wieskirche / pilgrimage church of Wies
In 1983 the church was given World Heritage Status which paved the way for extensive restoration work between 1985 and 1991. During your visit you can enjoy the stunning Rococo architecture and decorations in all their glory. Click to read more

 Neuschwanstein Castle
After the death of his grandfather Ludwig I in 1868, Ludwig II was able to draw on his funds and realize his architectural ideas of the Middle Ages. This included the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. Neuschwanstein had been intended as a private refuge for the king, but very soon after his death it was opened to the public to try to recoup some of the expenses.

Your private walk in and around the castles will give you plenty of photo opportunities to take home. Enjoy the extravaganza this trip will display and let yourself be transported to a mystical magical time. Click to read more

 Hohenschwangau Castle
The castle was built on the remains of the fortress Schwangau, from the 12th century, after Ludwig II’s father Maximilian II of Bavaria saw it on a walking tour. He fell in love with the site and bought the ruins.

Nowadays you can visit the castle to see the beautifully restored rooms and a separate museumdisplaying the art and explaining the history surrounding the buildings and the family. Click to read more

 Oberstdorf
Oberstdorf is Germany’s most southern municipality and a popular skiing, hiking and spa town. It is situated on a plain leading to all the major mountains and hiking routes of the region. Click to read more

 Breitachklamm
The Breitachklamm is (alongside the Höllentalklamm) the deepest gorge of the Bavarian Alps with an approximate depth of 150 meters. It was formed during the last glacial period. Even though efforts had been made to make the gorge accessible, they were unsuccessful until the early 20th century. The first detonation to create an accessway was done on 25th July 1904 and exactly a year later the walkway was inaugurated. Since then up to 300.000 visitors come annually to experience the stunning and overwhelming natural beauty.

This excursion will not only show you remarkable rock formations, but also give you the opportunity for a quiet swim in a secluded alpine lake. Click to read more

 Nebelhorn Mountain
The Nebelhorn (foghorn) is with its 2224 meters height the highest peak of the region and offers spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and ranges. The peak can be reached by foot, but it’s recommended only for trained climbers and with specialist equipment. The easier and much more picturesque way to get there is by using the gondola. Click to read more

 Ulm
The city of Ulm has a rich history dating back as far as 5000 BC and is situated at the confluence of the Blau and Iller rivers into the Danube. Despite its altitude of 479m above sea level, the three rivers have created the environment for an extensive fishing and tanning industry, with parts of the city resembling a coastal town with all the watery channels and waterways rushing around the houses. Ulm is mainly known for the Minster, with the highest steeple in the world and as Albert Einstein’s birthplace. Click to read more

 Tübingen
This particularly picturesque city has managed to combine the traditions of old with a modern lifestyle to create one of the most liveable cities in Germany. In fact, in 1999, admittedly a while ago, it was voted the city with the highest standard of living in Germany. Click to read more

You can find more info and background stories about the interesting sights of this tour in our blog articles overview page.

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Photos: Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus / Fotolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dates, Services & Price

Dates:

All our tours are available on customized dates between June and September.
We can guarantee departures if you have a group of 4 or more - contact us

This tour links with Southern Delights and/or can be booked with any of our other tours.
We are happy to help arrange your transport, additional nights or any other services as required.

 

What's Included:

• 3 day tour in Minibus, excursions and activities as detailed in itinerary

• Train and bus tickets to all destinations according to the itinerary

• Transfer to/from accommodation

• 7 nights in good mid-range hotels (German standard 3 stars) incl. breakfast

all accommodation in double or twin rooms, single room optional with surcharge

• Munich

  - 2 days Munich City Tour Card (unlimited travel on public transport services)
  - Half day guided bike tour incl. Beergarden lunch
  - Visit of Olympia Park with Olympia Tower
  - Guided tour and entrance fee BMW World
  - Entrance fee German Museum

• Oberstdorf

   - Visit pilgrimage church of Wies
   - Alpine gondola ride and walk Nebelhorn
   - Entrance fee Breitachklamm
   - Visit and entrance fee Neuschwanstein Castle

• Ulm 

   - Entrance fee Ulm Minster
   - Guided tour of the old fishers and tanners quarters

• Tübingen

   - Punting boat hire
   - Guided city tour

• Professional bilingual & bicultural tour guide (English/German) throughout your whole trip

• Most guided tours are for the members of our group only and carried out by local guides

 

Price:

EUR 1.785 p.p. for  4 - 6 participants (discount available for groups of 7 or more)

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