Imperial Cities of Europe and Oberammergau
Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria
On this unique tour we visit some of Europe’s most beautiful and historic cities, delight in the extraordinary scenery of mountain and lakes, and attend the world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play – an event that only occurs once every 10 years.
We will spend time in these cities:
BUDAPEST (3 nights) - Hungary’s historic capital has stunning architecture and magnificent bridges spanning the Danube linking the medieval Castle Hill of Buda to 19th century Pest.
PRAGUE (3 nights) - The ancient “Golden” capital of Bohemia is known as “The City of a Hundred Spires” with lavish palaces and festive city squares.
SALZBURG (2 nights) - Birthplace of Wolgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as “Sound of Music” fame.
VIENNA (3 nights) - One of Europe’s most elegant capitals. The grandeur of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s glorious art and architecture has been carefully preserved.
OBERAMMERGAU (2 nights) – The highlight of our tour is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The residents of this quaint Bavarian village have been performing this emotional play every 10 years since 1647 to honour a solemn pledge to “The Almighty”. As the Black Death (bubonic plague) swept across Europe, some of the villagers survived and made a vow to re-enact the agony of Christ’s crucifixion in thanks for being spared. There is a cast of 600 and a chorus of 100. The beautiful open stage is framed by magnificent alpine scenery. The play is in German but there are ongoing translations. We have the best available seating for the play.
*** Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.
Itinerary / Excursions
Day 1: Departure
We depart for Budapest.
Day 2: Budapest
We arrive in Budapest and transfer to our centrally located Spa hotel. Enjoy the thermal spring’s relaxation effects prior to our Welcome Dinner!
Day 3: Budapest
On our tour of this stunning city we’ll see the impressive Hero’s Square, the architectural splendour of the Opera House, the Houses of Parliament, the 2nd largest synagogue in the world and much more. At the exquisite Grand Market Hall we’ll enjoy a special tasting lunch of Hungarian cuisine. Then we’ll proceed to the Citadella for a picturesque bird’s eye view of the city, and on Castle Hill we’ll stroll to the Fisherman’s Bastion and visit the gothic gem - Matthias Church. This evening we’ll enjoy a typical Hungarian dinner, folkloric dancing and Gypsy music!
Day 4: Danube Tour
We drive along the Danube River through the Hungarian countryside to the Baroque, artisan village of Szentendre. This 18th century town remains unchanged with cobblestone streets, hidden alleys and colourful old houses - an ideal town for strolling and visiting some of the many galleries and shops. A tour and tasting awaits us at the Marzipan Museum, which features sculptures made of marzipan. Lunch is included in Visegrad - an old town with a 13th century fortress that has housed many notorious visitors, including (according to legend) Count Dracula!
Day 5: Gyor / Bratislava / Prague
We first stop in the old Hungarian city of Gyor, known as the “City of Waters”, and then the capital of Slovakia - Bratislava. Short walking tours of both cities take us through their pedestrian Old Town centres full of statues, old city squares and 18th century pastel-coloured buildings. Late afternoon arrival in Prague.
Day 6: Prague
Our coach and walking tour will show us the stunning sights of the Hradcany Castle district, with visits of the majestic St. Vitus Cathedral, the Loretto Chapel and “The Golden Lane” - named after the goldsmiths who lived here in the 17th century. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 7: Prague
On our guided walking tour we’ll stroll across the Charles Bridge to Lesser Town’s winding narrow streets, where we’ll see the artisan houses, small 17th century palaces, the Jewish Ghetto and the famous astronomical clock. Later we’ll enjoy a river cruise through the historic district, and the rest of the afternoon will be at leisure for exploring, shopping (best buys are crystal and garnet jewelry), or to enjoy a coffee or dark ale while people watching at one of the many outdoor cafes.
Day 8: Cesky Krumlov / Salzburg
We head to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cesky Krumlov. Our walking tour of this picture postcard medieval town will take us through the cobblestone streets of the historic centre, with its romantic nooks, lively shops, cafes, and museums. Lunch is included. We then proceed to Salzburg for a 2-night stay.
Day 9: Salzburg
On our special Sound of Music walking tour we’ll stroll down Salzburg’s cobblestone streets with their wrought iron signs, old squares, sculptured fountains, and sites associated with the boy genius - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as the filming of the Sound of Music.
Day 10: Munich / Oberammergau
We proceed to Munich for a tour of this Bavarian capital, known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and beer halls. We will see Altstadt (Old Town), Marienplatz Square and more before continuing to Oberammergau, which in addition to its famous play is renowned for its wonderful woodcarvings, painted houses and Christmas shops. En route, we’ll see Mad King Ludwig’s fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, which was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom!
Day 11: Oberammergau Passion Play
A day to remember as we attend the Oberammergau Passion Play. The two-part play has an afternoon and evening performance, featuring hundreds of local amateur actors.
Day 12: Salzkammergut Lake District / Vienna
We first take a cruise on Wolfgangsee Lake, and enjoy the mesmerizing views of the beautiful lake, forested mountains, and quaint villages. After a walking tour of St. Wolfgang, we’ll proceed to Vienna for our final 3 nights.
Day 13: Vienna
Our city tour of Vienna takes us along the “Ringstrasse” with its magnificent buildings like the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the Opera House, Parliament and many more grand buildings and monuments. We’ll stroll by the Spanish Riding School, and then visit Schonbrunn Palace with its 440 rooms and magnificent interiors. This evening we’ll dine at the Palace, followed by a concert of the works of Mozart and Strauss in the Palace Orangery.
Day 14: Vienna
A day at leisure to enjoy the city. You may want to visit Belvedere Palace or the Sisi Museum, watch the training of the Lipizzaner’s horses at the Spanish Riding School or just enjoy a Viennese coffee and world-famous Sacher Torte at a sidewalk cafe. Your Tour Manager will be on hand with suggestions. This evening is our Farewell Dinner.
Day 15: Home
We fly home to Canada.
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