GERMANY’S ROMANTIC ROAD Plus the Black Forest and Heidelberg

This tour explores the Romantic Road, Germany’s most popular tourist itinerary, stretching through idyllic hills and valleys from the vineyards rising above the banks of the Main River in Franconia, to Mad King Ludwig’s fairytale castles in the Bavarian Alps. Our itinerary includes superb historic cities such as Würzburg, Nuremberg, Augsburg, and Heidelberg, as well as picturesque medieval towns like Rothenburg and pretty villages such as Oberammergau. This tour is offered in collaboration with Guelph Arts Council and is conducted by historian Jacques Pauwels, specialist in German history, author of ‘The Myth of the Good War,’ ‘Beneath the Dust of Time,’ and ‘The Great Class War 1914-1918.’

BOOKING INFORMATION

April 17 - 30, 2019

$4,795.00 from Toronto

$3,755 land only $645.00 single supplement

Limited single rooms available

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VIEW TERMS & CONDITIONS DOWNLOAD PDF OF ITINERARY

*If the tour is SOLD OUT, please contact us to be added to the waitlist.


ITINERARY

Day 1 - Wednesday, April 17: Overnight flight

Late afternoon departure from Toronto for Frankfurt on a non-stop flight of Air Canada. Dinner and a light breakfast will be served on board.

Day 2 - Thursday, April 18: Worms

Early morning arrival in Frankfurt. A private coach will be waiting here to take us via the Autobahn into the Palatinate region, straddling the Rhine to the south of Frankfurt. Our destination is the historical city of Worms, associated with the legendary Song of the Nibelungs, Charlemagne and other medieval emperors, and Martin Luther; together with the neighbouring city of Speyer, Worms is also listed on
UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites because of their important role in Jewish history and culture.
Arrival in Worms, and as it is likely to be too early to check into our hotel, we tour the town’s major attractions,
the impressive Romanesque “imperial” Cathedral, the Luther Memorial, the ancient Synagogue (reputedly
Germany’s oldest), and the oldest Jewish Cemetery in Europe, in
use since the 11th century. Then we check into the centrallylocated
first-class Dom-Hotel (http://www.dom-hotel.de). This
evening, welcome drink in a typical tavern, followed by dinner
in the hotel.

Day 3 - Friday, April 19: Worms

After breakfast, we motor to the nearby
university town of Heidelberg, everybody’s favourite German
city, tucked between the banks of the Neckar River and its huge
ruined castle on top of a steep hill. Here we will first focus on the
Altstadt, the historical city centre, bisected by the lively
Hauptstraße (main street), allegedly the longest pedestrian
shopping street in Germany; major sights are the old university
on Universitätsplatz, the Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy
Spirit), and the old bridge across the Neckar River. Then we visit
the huge castle, a tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site, to
inspect the world’s biggest wine barrel and to enjoy fabulous
views of the old town and the river below. After some free time
for shopping and individual exploring, dinner in a Kneipe, a
traditional student tavern, before we return to our hotel in
Worms.

Day 4 - Saturday, April 20: Freiburg

Departure from
Worms after breakfast. We head for the town
of Speyer and visit the fine Romanesque
Cathedral that served as mausoleum to
medieval German emperors
(https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/168), another
monument with UNESCO World Heritage
Site status, as well as the mikve, a Jewish
ritual bath dating back to the 12th century.
Continue to Maulbronn Monastery, yet
another UNESCO site, described as “a
Cistercian monastery founded in 1147, still
surrounded by fortified walls, and considered
to be the most complete and best-preserved medieval monastic complex north of the Alps, and featuring an
exceptionally interesting water-management system with reservoirs and a network of canals”
(https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/546). In late afternoon, we enter Germany’s very scenic Black Forest. Late
afternoon arrival in Freiburg, the very attractive urban hub of the Black Forest and one of the “greenest” cities
on earth (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/mar/23/freiburg.germany.greenest.city). We will stay
in an “ecological” hotel, the Green City Hotel Vauban (https://green-city-hotel-vauban.de/en). Dinner in a
typical restaurant.

Day 5 - Sunday, April 21: Freiburg

A full day of leisurely touring in the bucolic hills and valleys of the
legendary Black Forest! Our program will include a visit to a traditional workshop manufacturing cuckooclocks
and other typical artefacts; the lovely lakeside resort of Titisee; the Feldberg, the area’s tallest
mountain; and the belvedere of Schauinsland, with spectacular views of the Rhine Valley, Alsace, and the
Vosges Mountains to the west and, to the south, the Swiss Alps. We finish today’s program with a leisurely
walking tour as well as some free time in Freiburg, crisscrossed by little streams bringing fresh water from the
nearby hills and featuring an impressive Gothic Cathedral as well magnificent old merchants’ houses. No group
dinner this evening.

Day 6 - Monday, April 22: Schwangau

Departure after breakfast. We enjoy more wonderful Black Forest scenery as we
motor to the town of Donaueschingen to see the Donauquelle, the source of the Danube.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source_of_the_Danube). On to Lake Constance, a vast and beautiful body of
water separating Germany from both Austria and Switzerland (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Constance).
In the village of Unteruhldingen, we visit a reconstructed village of lake dwellings built on stilts, dating back
to the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, that is, to 4.000-850 BC; this is one of the “Prehistoric Pile Dwellings
around the Alps” that are collectively classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
(https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1363).
In the afternoon we enter the Allgaeu Region, a.k.a. as the Bavarian Alps. Our destination is the picturesque
village of Schwangau near the town of Fuessen, the southern terminal of Germany’s Romantic Road. Dinner
and overnight in a traditional Bavarian inn, the Weinbauer (/www.hotel-weinbauer.de), located within view of
one of the world-famous “fairy-tale castles” of “Mad King Ludwig”!

Day 7 - Tuesday, April 23: Schwangau

Today we tour what is described by the Michelin Guide as “the exclamation mark at
the end of the Romantic Road,” the very romantic “fairytale castles” of Bavarian King Ludwig II, a.k.a. “Mad
King Ludwig, including a visit to either Neuschwanstein, perched high on a hill, OR Linderhof, another
architectural marvel surrounded by fabulous Alpine scenery; these “dreams in stone” are featured on the
tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Today, group lunch OR dinner.

Day 8 - Wednesday, April 24: Schwnagau

A full-day tour of Bavaria’s lovely countryside, including Alpine and pre-Alpine
meadows and marsh landscapes that have been placed on UNESCO’s tentative list of (natural) World Heritage
Sites, such as the Ammergau. This exploration will include visits to the Wies Pilgrimage Church, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/271), the world-famous, and very picturesque, Passion Play
village of Oberammergau, and the imposing baroque church of Ettal Abbey. In late afternoon, we return to
our hotel along a scenic road through the Austrian Alps, via the town of Reutte. The rest of the day is at leisure.
No group dinner this evening.

Day 9 - Thursday, April 25: Wurzburg

Departure from
Schwangau after breakfast. Following the
Romantic Road, we motor via Landsberg,
where Hitler was imprisoned after his failed
“Beerhall Putsch” and wrote Mein Kampf,
to Augsburg. Already founded by the
Romans, this city experienced its golden
age during the late Middle Ages and the
Renaissance, when it was a major centre of
finance, personified by families of bankers
such as the Fuggers; the city also played an
important role in the history of the
Reformation, as reflected in the “Augsburg
Confession” of 1530 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augsburg_Confession). Our local sightseeing program will
include Town Hall Square, Maximilian Street with its magnificent merchants’ homes, and the Fuggerei, the
world’s oldest social housing complex, founded by the Fugger Family in the early 16th century. In the afternoon
we continue to Dinkelsbühl, one of the prettiest of the medieval towns along the Romantic Road, featuring
impressive ramparts pierced by four city gates, a baroque castle, a fine late-Gothic church, and plenty of
beautiful traditional wood-framed houses. After our visit, we continue to the historical university city of
Würzburg, nestled in a meander of the Main River and surrounded by vineyard-covered hills such as the
legendary Steinberg. Dinner and overnight in the centrally located first-class Hotel Maritim
(https://www.maritim.com/en/hotels/germany/hotel-wuerzburg/hotel-overview).

Day 10 - Friday, April 26: Wurzburg

Morning walking tour of Würzburg, with sights such as the medieval bridge across
the Main River, decorated with statues and offering views of the Marienberg Fortress on top of a vineyardcovered
hill, the wonderful Romanesque Cathedral, and the Residenz, the exuberant baroque palace of the
prince-bishops who used to rule this city, decorated by superb frescoes by Tiepolo and classified as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. Afternoon free to shop and/or explore on your own. This evening, dinner of traditional
Franconian specialties in a typical restaurant.

Day 11 - Saturday, April 27: Wurzburg

Excursion to Bamberg, a city that earned UNESCO World Heritage status in its
entirety because it has managed to preserve the appearance and atmosphere of the centuries stretching from the
Middle Ages to the 18th century, when it was one of Germany’s major commercial and intellectual centres
(https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/624). Architectural and artistic witness to that illustrious past are the Town Hall,
situated on a little island in the Regnitz River, the impressive Cathedral with tombs of emperors and popes, the
episcopal palaces, and “Little Venice,” a cluster of picturesque fishermen's houses from the 19th century along
the banks of the river Regnitz. We will of course also pay our respects to the city’s most famous burgher, a
masterpiece of Gothic sculpture known as the “Bamburg Horseman,” considered the first monumental
equestrian statue since classical antiquity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamberg_Horseman)! Return to
Würzburg via some of the area’s famous wine villages, such as Volkach, whose wine has traditionally been
marketed in round bottles (later to be imitated by Mateus!) known as Bocksbeutel and served in big glasses
called Römer. No group dinner this evening.

Day 12 - Sunday, April 28: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Departure
after breakfast.
We motor east
to Nuremberg,
for many
centuries one
of Germany’s
outstanding
commercial
and cultural
centres,
conjuring up
names such as
Albrecht
Dürer, but also
associated with the evil dictatorship of the Nazis, whose infamous party rallies were held here in the 1930s - and
whose postwar trial was held here. Visit to the picturesque Old Town, carefully restored after the destruction
wrought during WW II, the Dürer House, the Nazi Party Rally Grounds
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_party_rally_grounds), and the German National Museum, the largest
museum of cultural history in the country (https://www.gnm.de/en). In late afternoon we leave Nuremberg and
drive to the medieval walled town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, unquestionably the most beautiful and
interesting jewel along the Romantic Road. We stay in the charming, centrally located first-class/four-star Hotel
Eisenhut (https://www.eisenhut.com/en). Today, lunch OR dinner.
Day 13 - Monday, April 29: A full day to enjoy the medieval

Day 13 - Monday, April 29: Rothenburg ob der Tauber

A full day to enjoy the medieval atmosphere and superb architecture of
Rothenburg! In the morning, leisurely walking tour of the town, including sights such as the Market Square
with the Renaissance Town Hall (Rathaus), the Councillors' Tavern (Ratstrinkstube), and St. George's Fountain;
the city fortifications, including walls, gates, and towers; the attractive Castle Garden, with great views of the
Tauber River Valley; the Plönlein, a small square considered to be one of the most photographed spots in
Germany; and the St. Jakobskirche (Church of St. James), containing a masterpiece by the famous 15th-century
Würzburg sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider. The rest of the day is at leisure. Auf Wiedersehen-dinner this
evening in the restaurant of our hotel.

Day 14 - Tuesday, April 30: Return flight

After a leisurely
breakfast, ransfer to Frankfurt Airport in time for
the departure of our non-stop return flight to
Toronto with Air Canada.

ITINERARY PDF

EXPLORE THE AREA

INCLUDED

- Return flight Toronto-Frankfurt, including all applicable airport taxes, security fees, and fuel surcharges; - Overland travel by private coach; - Accommodation based on double occupancy in four-star/first-class hotels except on days 6-8, when a threestar/ superior tourist-class hotel will be used – a limited number of single rooms is available at a supplement of $645; - Daily breakfast, mostly buffet-style, and all but three dinners (or full lunches); - All visits and sightseeing, including admission to museums and monuments, as shown in the itinerary; - Gratuities for the coach driver and local guides.

NOT INCLUDED

- All items of a personal nature; - Meals other than those shown above, and wine/beer/coffee etc. with dinners; - Travel Insurance is available on request, please call for rates.

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