Active in Eastern Germany bus-hike

Explore Man-made and Natural Treasures

Travel in a small group to discover the best of Eastern Germany

Apart from its history, the Eastern part of Germany has a reputation for exquisite decorative arts manufacture and stunning landscapes.

On this tour you will visit museums and castles as well as the famous Meissen Porcelain manufactory and many architectural gems in Dresden highlighting these cultural aspects. Stops in Polish-German Görlitz and historic Bautzen will provide additional insights into Eastern cities.

Exploring the former GDRs natural beauty will include a bicycle tour and punting through the Spreewald near Berlin, a scenic hiking tour in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and at Europe’s largest natural stone bridge, located in Prebischtor in the Czech Republic. 

 

book-nowOur Highlights: Bike Tour and Punting in Spreewald near Berlin – Moritzburg Castle - Meissen Porcelain Manufactory – Architectural Gems in Dresden - Day Walk amidst Spectacular Rock Formations in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains – Europe's Largest Natural Stone Bridge, Czech Republic - Polish/German Görlitz - Historic Bautzen

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Photos: Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus / Fotolia

Map

Germany Tour map including border hopping into Poland

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Itinerary

Day 1: Berlin - Spreewald Region

Day 2: Spreewald - Bike Tour and Punting

Day 3: Moritzburg Castle – Meissen Porcelain Manufactory – Dresden

Day 4: Dresden - City Sights

Day 5: Walk in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains - Spectacular Bastei Bridge

Day 6: Day walk, partly in the Czech Republic - Prebischtor

Day 7: Back to Dresden - Polish-German Görlitz and Historic Bautzen

 

Day 1: Berlin – Spreewald

We start our tour in Germany’s capital city Berlin. Depending on your arrival time you have time to explore the city before we meet in the afternoon to make our way to the Spreewald region, where we spend the next two nights. It only takes us about 1.5 hours from the bustling city and we find ourselves in a different world. We spend the next two nights in a local Spreewald hotel.

Day 2: Bike Tour and Punting Spreewald

The Spreewald (Spree Woods) is known for its traditional irrigation system which consists of more than 200 small channels (called "Fließe"; total length: 1,300 km) within the 484-square-kilometre (187 sq mi) area.

A popular pasttime is exploring the woods by bike, or taking to the water on canoe-type boats. We want to do both today. First, we go on an about 40km long bike tour through the picturesque landscape. A stop at the open air museum in Lehde takes us back to the 19th century and gives us an insight into local farmlife and regional craftsmanship.

In the evening we hire some of the typical small boats used on the channels – punts or “Stocherkähne” and take in the unique atmosphere and views.

Day 3: Moritzburg Castle – Meissen Porcelain Manufactory – Dresden

We head towards Dresden today and enjoy a number of interesting stops on the way. First we visit the Baroque Castle Moritzburg, a fairytale-like compound surrounded by a pond. In the 18th century, it served Saxony’s Elector Frederick Augustus I, also known as Augustus the Strong, as a hunting lodge and a magnificent backdrop for royal delights. We take in the atmosphere on a walk through the impressive romantic park with its fountains and channels.

Another interesting stop on the way to Dresden is the world-renown Meissen porcelain manufactory. Meissen porcelain is the first European hard-paste porcelain and is sometimes refererred to as ‘white gold’. The stunning pieces of art produced here often depict minutely detailed landscapes and port scenes, animals, flowers or courtly scenes.

Production started in 1710 and attracted artists and artisans to establish one of the most famous porcelain manufacturers, still in business today as Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen.

In the early evening we arrive in Dresden, where we spend the next two nights.

Day 4: Dresden – City Sights

Dresden ranks as a world-class city of art and culture. With its location on the banks of the river Elbe it combines notable art treasure, many impressive architectural sights and a charming landscape.

After a guided walk through the city, you have time to go and explore at your own pace. Enjoy the magnificent promenades on the bank of the Elbe, and take your pick from the many interesting museums and monuments. Or you might just want to take in the charming details of amazing buildings like the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche), Royal Palace, Zwinger, or the Semper Opera House,  to name but a few.

Another appealing option is to enjoy the gorgeous Elbe Valley, one of the most beautiful river landscapes in all of Europe, on a historic steamboat cruise.

The ‘Sächsische Dampfschiffahrt’ operates the largest and oldest fleet of historic paddle steamers in the world, and let’s you take in the enchanting scenery including vineyards, old townships and the stunning cliffs and rock formations of Saxon Switzerland at a leisurely pace.

 
Day 5: Walk in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains - Spectacular Bastei Bridge

The Bastei is a breathtaking rock formation towering 194 metres above the Elbe River in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, not far from Dresden.
It is the major landmark of the Saxon Switzerland National Park and has been a tourist attraction for over 200 years. In 1824, a wooden bridge was constructed to link several rocks for the visitors. This bridge was replaced in 1851 by the present Bastei Bridge made of sandstone.

We enjoy the spectacular views on a 3-4h circular walk before we head to the typical Saxon village of Hinterhermsdorf, with its neatly restored traditional “Umgebinde” houses. We will spend the next three nights in this charming village right on the border to the Czech Republic, which was declared “Saxony’s Most Beautiful Village“ in 2001.

Day 6: Day walk, partly in the Czech Republic - Prebischtor

We will spend most of today in the nearby Czech Republic. Pravčická Brána, also known as Prebischtor in German, is the largest natural stone bridge in Europe and is located in a lush green mountainous and picturesque region in the north-western Czech Republic, known as Bohemian Switzerland (aka Czech Switzerland). On a day walk (about 5-6 hours) we take in this stunning natural gem and many other amazing vistas.

Back in Hinterhermsdorf we enjoy another night together in this beautiful region.

Day 7: Back to Dresden - Polish-German Görlitz and Historic Bautzen

We take the bus to Görlitz, Germany’s easternmost town, which is really a twin city as it is situated right on the border to Poland. Görlitz and Zgorzelec are two towns on opposite banks of a narrow river, with two bridges and a bus line connecting the German and Polish parts of the town. The rich architectural heritage is very well preserved and survived the Second World War more or less intact.

On our way back to Dresden we stop in Bautzen, which is renowned for its historical town centre with its skyline of medieval towers, but was also infamous throughout the German Democratic Republic for its penitentiaries. On a city tour we learn more about this part of German history.

The contrast between old and new can be seen especially well in Dresden, where we return to for our last night. A controversial Allied aerial bombing towards the end of World War II killed thousands of civilians and destroyed the entire city centre. The impact of the bombing and 40 years of urban development during the East German communist era have considerably changed the face of the city. Since the German reunification in 1990 and with many parts of the historic inner city reconstructed, Dresden has regained importance as one of the cultural and economic centres of Germany.

To round out our Eastern Germany tour we spend our last night in this historically, culturally and architecturally fascinating city.
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

 Spreewald
Just 100 km South of Berlin you will find one of Germany’s biosphere reserves: the Spreewald. This reserve was created as one of the last actions of the Council of Ministers in 1990. In March 1991 the land preservation order was recognized by the UNESCO by giving it international protection status. Click to read more

 Moritzburg Castle
The first building on the site was a Renaissance–style hunting lodge built for Moritz of Saxony, Duke of Saxony in 1542. MoritzburgCastle has four round towers and was constructed on a symmetrical artificial island. We enjoy a walk through the beautiful park and gardens surrounding the castle. Click to read more

 Dresden
The city’s name is derived from the Old Sorbian word “Drezd’any”, meaning ‘people of the forest’. Dresden is situated along both banks of the river Elbe, enjoys a mild humid continental climate.It is one of the greenest cities in Europe, with 63% of the city being green areas and forests.

As Dresden had been a royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony for so long, its architecture was always at the cutting edge of the times. It’s not only a Baroque and Rococo jewel box, but also has fine examples of Renaissance, Historism, Classicist, Modernism and Postmodernism styles on display. Click to read more

 Bastei
The Bastei is a rock formation in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains near Dresden, towers 194 metres above the Elbe and reaches 305 metres above sea level. Over 100 million years ago it was formed through water erosion of the sandstone area. Click to read more

 Görlitz
This is Germany’s easternmost township and lies along the river Neisse, together with its Polish twin city Zgorzelec. As the city was part of Silesia since 1815 it has a lot of museums and activities recording the cultural heritage and keeping it alive in music festivals, youth groups and a dedicated newspaper. Click to read more

 Bautzen
Even though the region had been inhabited since the late Stone Age, a proper Germanic settlement existed here since the 3rd century AD. As Bautzen is the unofficial capital of Upper Lusatia, it still plays an important role in the economics, culture and politics of the region. 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 Cosmopolitan North and 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:

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

• 7 nights in good mid-range hotels (German standard 3-4 stars), incl. breakfast

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

• Spreewald

   - 1 day bike hire

   - Entrance fee Open Air Museum Lehde

   - Channels punting tour

• Meissen

   - Entrance fee and guided tour Porcelain Manufactory

• Dresden

   - Guided city walk

• Hinterhermsdorf

   - Guided hiking tour including ferry ticket river crossing & entrance fees Bastei

   - Hiking Day Prebischtor (Czech Republic) 

• Görlitz

   - Guided city walk

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

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Discover Germany with your own personal guide! 

 

Details

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