Southern Delights train

Cities and Nature

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Travelling on this tour will show you why so many castles and country hideaways were built in the South: inaccessible mountains, mysteriously deep clear lakes and breathtaking views dominate the landscape in this part of Germany, which we will explore on walks and by boat.

But first we travel through the Eastern part of Germany, where you can observe the changes that have been brought about since the German reunification, especially in the cities of Dresden and Leipzig.

Other city visits, including the historic town of Regensburg, a day outing to Salzburg in Austria, and time in Bavaria's capital Munich complete the historical and cultural picture of the impressive and multi-facetted Southern region.

 

book-nowOur Highlights: Eastern Cities: Dresden, Leipzig – Old City of Regensburg –  Day Walk near Berchtesgaden or Visit of Salt Mine – Boat Tour Königsee –  Alpine Gondola Ride and Walk in Berchtesgaden’s National Park or Hitler’s Eagles Nest – Salzburg, Austria – Munich

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Photos: Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus / Fotolia

Map

germany map including Munich, Bavaria, and border hopping to Salzburg, Austria

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Itinerary

Day 1: Dresden - Day Trip to Leipzig and Guided City Tour

Day 2: Trainride to Regensburg – Guided City Tour

Day 3: Trainride to Berchtesgaden – Boat Tour on Königsee

Day 4: Day Walk Wimbachklamm or Visit of Salt Mine/Bad Reichenhall

Day 5: Day Trip to Salzburg, Austria – Guided City Tour

Day 6: Alpine Gondola Ride and Walk Jenner Mountain or Hitler’s Eagles Nest

Day 7: Trainride to Munich – Exploring the City

 

Day 1: Dresden - Day Trip to Leipzig and City Tour

We meet in the historically, culturally and architecturally fascinating city of Dresden, one of the main centres in the Eastern Part of Germany, formerly known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR). From here we head for a day trip to another fascinating Eastern city, Leipzig, which played a significant role in instigating the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, through events which took place in and around St. Nicholas Church. The weekly Monday prayer held here became in the 1980s the starting point of peaceful Monday demonstrations against the DDR (=GDR) regime. Since the reunification of Germany, Leipzig has undergone significant change with the restoration of some historical buildings, the demolition of others, and the development of a modern transport infrastructure. In 2010, Leipzig was included in the top 10 cities to visit by the New York Times. On a locally guided city tour we learn more about this interesting city, before heading back to Dresden for the night.

Day 2: Trainride to Regensburg – Guided City Tour

A scenic trainride takes us from Dresden to Regensburg in about 4.5 hours. The first settlements in Regensburg date to the Stone Age and the large medieval centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On a guided city tour we explore the city and its rich history. One sight to behold is the Stone Bridge, built 1135–1146, a highlight of medieval bridge building. Also not to be missed is the Dom (Cathedral), an example of pure German Gothic, which contains numerous interesting masterpieces and is home to the famous boys choir ‘Regensburger Domspatzen’.

Day 3: Trainride to Berchtesgaden – Boat Tour on Königsee

After our night in Regensburg we board a train that will take us in about 4 hours to Berchtesgaden, our base for the next 4 nights. From here we take the bus to nearby Königsee, a wonderful example of a crystal-clear alpine lake and Germany's deepest and cleanest lake. The lake is about 5 miles (8 km) long and rather narrow, like a fjord, and might remind Kiwi visitors of Milford Sound.
It is located in the Berchtesgaden National Park and the surrounding mountain walls are so sheer, there is no path around the lake. As the boat is the only way to explore the Königssee we will board a quiet electric boat and glide past the picturesque baroque church of Sankt Bartholomä to the other end of the lake, from where we go for a walk (ca. 40min) to another, smaller lake before we head back by boat.

Day 4: Day Walk Wimbachklamm or Visit of Salt Mine/Bad Reichenhall

We return to the National Park for a walk in the awe inspiring gorge Wimbachklamm through a wild alpine landscape.
We start at the Wimbach Bridge and follow the easy trail through the narrow gorge with its spectacular waterfalls all the way up the amazing Wimbach Valley, flanked on both sides by two of Germany’s highest mountains, to the traditional Wimbachgries Hut.
If the weather isn’t good enough for a walk, we can go and see one of the local salt mines the region is well-known for, or visit Bad Reichenhall, a spa town and traditional center of salt production, obtained by evaporating water saturated with salt from brine ponds.

Day 5: Day Trip to Salzburg, Austria – Guided City Tour

Today we go on a day trip to Salzburg, one of Austria’s oldest cities, dating back to the 5th century B.C. Some of us think of Mozart, some of Julie Andrews, but there is a lot more to this compact courtly city. The Altstadt, or ‘Old Town’ with its world famous baroque architecture is dominated by one of the largest castles in Europe, the massive Festung Hohensalzburg, and is yet another one of the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites we visit on this tour.
We explore the city and its many fabulous sights on a locally guided tour. Apart from Mozart’s birthplace and residence we visit the Palace of Mirabell with its wide gardens full of flowers, which was the setting for parts of the musical and film The Sound of Music. Afterwards we can walk up the Kapuzinerberg, a hill adjacent to the old town, which is often referred to as Salzburg’s ‘green lung’ and offers fantastic viewpoints over the city.

Day 6: Alpine Gondola Ride and Walk Jenner Mountain or Hitler’s Eagles Nest

Todays walk starts with a gondola ride – the Jennerbahn is a small two-person cable car that will take us to the top of Jenner Mountain (1,874m / 6,150ft), from where we can view over 100 German and Austrian peaks as well as beautiful Lake Königssee and the Berchtesgaden National Park. Over a dozen hiking trails with various levels of difficulty begin here and invite us to see some of the most beautiful areas in the German Alps.

If you don’t want to go for a walk today, you can alternatively visit Hitler’s Mountain Retreat ‘Kehlsteinhaus’, nicknamed Eagles Nest, which sits on a mountain peak high above Berchtesgaden and thus occupies one of the most breathtakingly scenic spots in Germany. It can only be reached by an elevator bored straight down through the mountain and linked via a tunnel through the granite below that is 124 m (407 ft) long.
The Kehlsteinhaus was given to Adolf Hitler as a 50th birthday present and served him as a place to entertain visiting dignitaries. It is now a cosy restaurant with most of the original features still intact, and offers a spectacular 360 degree view of the Alps.

Day 7: Trainride to Munich – Exploring the City

Today we leave the alpine region behind and and take the train to Bavaria’s capital city Munich, which has recently been ranked Germany’s most livable city. We go for a wander through the inner city and then you are free to explore the sights you are most interested in at your own leisure.

We enjoy a last night together in Munich. 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

 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

 Leipzig
The city is situated at the confluence of three rivers, Weisse Elster, Pleisse and the Parthe. The name is derived from the Slavic word ‘Lipsk’ for a “settlement where the linden trees are”. From these idyllic sounding beginnings Leipzig has become a centre of trading, arts, culture and learning. Click to read more

 Regensburg
Regensburg has been a settled area since the Stone Age. It is situated at the confluence of the rivers Donau (Danube) and Regen, which gives it its name.

The large medieval city centre has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2006 due to its unique and important part in the history of the region and the Holy Roman Empire. Part of its relevance was due to the construction of the Stone Bridge across the Danube. Click to read more

 Berchtesgaden
Looking at the picturesque city and stunning landscape surrounding Berchtesgaden one wouldn’t think that its initial success was based on mining salt deposits in the region. Two notable mountains dominate the landscape: the Watzmann and the Kehlstein with the infamous Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler’s ‘Eagle’s Nest’. Nowadays Berchtesgaden manages its natural beauty through the establishment of the Berchtesgaden National Park and attracts tourists with its huge range of activities available in the region, some of which you will be enjoying on your day trips. Click to read more

 Königsee
As the lake is only accessible from one point, travelling on it and exploring it has always been by boat. It is known for its pristine clear waters and to preserve this only electric powered boats have been allowed since 1906. These boats service the various small settlements and will take you the full length of the lake to the famous pilgrimage church of St. Bartholomew. Click to read more

 Wimbachklamm
Klamm is the German word for a very narrow ravine which is made by stream cutting erosion. Your walk will take you through the gorge, along the river and up to the Wimbachgries hut, surrounded by the impressive Watzmann, Grossem Hundstod and the Hochkalter mountains. Click to read more

 Salzburg
Situated by the banks of the river Salzach (salt river) the area has been populated since the 5th century BC. Salt created the wealth in and around Salzburg which can be seen best in its Baroque and Rococo architecture. Salzburg is not only the home of world famous musicians, Mozart and Haydn, but also another UNESCO World Heritage site you’ll get to see on our tours: the Old City, with the Hohensalzburg Fortress at its heart. Click to read more

 Jenner Mountain
The Jenner is one of the few mountains accessible by gondola and has always enjoyed huge popularity. Not only due to its ease of access, but also for the spectacular views that can be enjoyed from the top of the 1.874 m high mountain. You’ll be ‘eye to eye’ with Germany’s 3rd highest mountain, the Watzmann, and you’ll get an eagle eye’s view over the lake Königsee, 1200m below.Click to read more

 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. 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 Active in Eastern Germany and Alpine Gems 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:

• Train and bus tickets to all destinations according to the itinerary (German Railpass 5 days)

• Transfer to/from accommodation

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

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

• 3 lunch packages (on walking / boat excursion days)

• 3 dinners (3-course menu - Regensburg, Berchtesgaden, Munich)

• Leipzig

  - Day trip and guided city tour

• Regensburg

   - Guided city tour

   - Entrance fee Regensburg Cathedral

• Berchtesgaden

   - Boat tour Königssee 

   - Day walk and entrance fee Wimbachklamm  

   - Alpine gondola return ride and day walk Berchtesgaden National Park

• Salzburg, Austria

   - Day trip and guided city tour

• Munich

  - 1 day public transport

• 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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