1 Welcome to Berlin.
On arrival at Berlin's Tegel Airport, transfers to your hotel depart at 10:30 and 12:30. In the afternoon, perhaps visit the KaDeWe department store - the shopping centre of West Berlin which during 40 years of division, became the shop window of the West. At 17:30, join your Travel Director and travel companions for drinks followed by a Welcome Dinner with wine, at a local restaurant. (DW) Stay Two Nights: Sofitel Berlin Kurfuerstendamm.
2 The Spirit of Berlin.
Join a Local Expert to see some of Berlin's many highlights. Travel along the Ku'Damm to the Memorial Church. Drive through the Tiergarten to see Norman Foster's glass dome that crowns the reconstructed Reichstag building. Continue past the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of the reunification, and down along the Unter den Linden, past the Humboldt University and State Opera. Stop on Museum Island before enjoying an afternoon at leisure in this once divided city. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit the glorious palace of the Prussian Emperors at Potsdam? (B)
3 Dresden, a Baroque Phoenix on the Elbe.
In Dresden, join your Local Expert to see the splendours of the city. From the Frauenkirche, which has risen again from the destruction of World War II, walk past ‘The Procession of the Dukes', a mosaic of colossal proportions on the Royal Palace facade. See the enormous cathedral, Semper Opera House and Baroque Zwinger Palace. (B) Stay: Vienna House QF Dresden.
4 The Bavarian Capital of Munich.
Enjoy the German countryside as you cross the Danube to reach fun-loving Munich where an orientation with your Travel Director will show you the university, Victory Arch and the Marienplatz, where crowds gather at the Town Hall to watch the antics of the Glockenspiel. At night, perhaps consider dinner at one of Munich's famous ‘Bier Kellers'? (B) Stay: Pullman Munich Hotel.
5 The Jewels of the Bavarian Alps.
Today you will stop at Neuschwanstein, a fairy-tale castle spectacularly perched on an Alpine mountainside. Visit King Ludwig II's favourite castle, which was supposedly the inspiration for many of Walt Disney's castles. Admire the exuberantly decorated apartments, including the Throne Room and Lohengrin Grotto. Continue along part of the Alpine Road amid beautiful scenery to the Wieskirche, a masterpiece of Bavarian Rococo. Venture onto Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps, home of the famous Passion Play, which dates back to 1634. See the immense theatre and colourfully painted chalets. (B) Stay: Hotel Alte Post/Hotel Wittelsbach, Oberammergau.
6 Lindau on Lake Constance and into the Black Forest.
Travel through lush, rolling dairy country to Lindau, an island situated in the middle of Lake Constance, connected to the mainland by a causeway. Stroll through the narrow streets past old inns and half-timbered houses, to admire the fantastic backdrop of the Swiss and Austrian Alps across the lake. Take a delightful drive along the shores of Lake Constance, lined with orchards and vineyards and into the Black Forest. For dinner you are treated to a Farm-to-Table experience at a local restaurant with locally sourced ingredients, skillfully prepared and accompanied with wine. (B/DW) Stay: Steigenberger Hotel Stadt Lörrach.
7 Medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
The Black Forest is the land of cherry cake and cuckoo clocks, where traditional farmhouses dip their thatched roofs almost to the ground. Continue on to Nuremberg, renowned for its medieval architecture. Admire the charming blend of stone and timbered dwellings in the Old Town, see the massive ramparts, most of which are still standing, and perhaps shop for delicious Lebkuchen? Venture to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the best-preserved town on the Romantic Road. Plunge back into the 16th century during your orientation with your Travel Director as you walk through narrow cobbled streets lined with high-gabled houses to the market square, dominated by its Renaissance town hall. With an artisan baker, enjoy a demonstration and learn about the history of the traditional pastry Schneeballen (snowball), followed by a tasting. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure for further exploration. For your Dine-Around Evening, choose from a hand-picked selection of restaurants within the walls of the Old Town. (B/DW) Stay: Hotel Eisenhut, Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
8 The University City of Heidelberg and Mainz.
Stop to meet locals who still make cuckoo clocks by hand, a tradition passed down over 300 years. Then head through the valleys, where villages and isolated farms nestle beside fast-flowing streams, before travelling north to Heidelberg . Visit Heidelberg Palace, or Heidelberger Schloss in German, one of the world's most impressive palace ruins, synonymous with the Romantic Movement. Venture inside to see the Heidelberg Tun, a gigantic wine vat built into the building's cellar in 1591 and able to hold 130,000 litres. Hear its associated tales of the dwarf court jester, Perkeo. Spend time in the vast and insightful Apothecary Museum, before marvelling at the panoramic vistas of the city and Neckar Valley from the castle fortress. Your hotel is in the nearby town of Mainz, a bustling and important town since the time of the Romans.(Breakfast) (B) Stay Two Nights: Hilton Mainz/Hilton Mainz City.
9 Castles of the Rhine Experience.
Begin the day with a relaxing cruise past steep-sided vineyards, half-timbered taverns, hilltop castles and the infamous Lorelei Rock. Alight at Boppard and continue to Koblenz where a gigantic equestrian statue of Wilhelm I guards the junction of the Rhine and Moselle. Have your camera ready as you return along the eastern bank. Enjoy the scenic views from the mighty Niederwald Monument. In the evening, round off your German experience with a farewell Celebration Dinner overlooking the River Rhine, complete with local wine. Prost! (B/DW).
10 Auf Wiedersehen Frankfurt.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast with departure transfers arriving at Frankfurt airport at 08:00 and 10:00. (B)