Bavarian Castles Tour – 2014

King Ludwig II's Castles and the Bavarian Lakes

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Neuschwanstein

Hopfen am See

Linderhof

 

Discover the wonderful castles of King Ludwig II and the beauty of Bavaria's lakes and countryside.  Tour inside the castles with local guides and take time to explore on your own.  Alternate the visits to castles with other excursions, including a trip to the top of Mount Zugspitze, the floral grandeur of Mainau, the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, the Church in the Meadow, Oberammergau and other picturesque towns and villages in the region, and other highlights listed in the itinerary below.

Note:  Our June 13 through 21 tour is sold out.  Other departure dates are still available.

 

Option:  Add the Three Nights Venice Extension to this tour to also visit one of Europe's most romantic cities.

 

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Map

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Itinerary

Day 1

 

Board your flight from your home destination to Munich, Germany.

This itinerary assumes this to be an overnight flight.

Air fare independently arranged.

Day 2 – HOPFEN AM SEE

Arrival in Munich, Germany.  Your flight should arrive at the Munich Airport by 11:15 a.m. at the latest for the complimentary transfer at noon.

When the group is complete we head south to your home away from home in HOPFEN AM SEE, on the lake near Fussen (Füssen or Fuessen in German).  Our home base here at the southern end of Germany's famous Romantic Road is within hiking distance of Neuschwanstein in the beautiful Bavarian Alps.

You are staying in a typical local "landhaus", where you are a friend, not a tourist.  Your rooms are very gemuetlich, decorated in Bavarian country style, all with cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, extra sitting area, balcony, and a great mountain view.

Your local expert, Astrid Baur, will take you out for a Bavarian dinner on the Lake Promenade tonight.

>  Your tour includes: Transfer from airport to hotel, three-course welcome dinner with menu choices, one beverage, and
   coffee or tea after, overnight at Landhaus Koessel in Hopfen am See


Landhaus Kossel (Kössel / Koessel)

Day 3 – NEUSCHWANSTEIN, HOHENSCHWANGAU

Today we focus on NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE (Schloss Neuschwanstein in German), Germany's most famous castle.  First we go to Marienbruecke (Mary's Bridge) sitting high above the Poellat Gorge, where we can take the best pictures of the castle.  (If Mary's Bridge is closed because of ice or snow on the path, you will be taken to another lookout where you can take wonderful pictures of Neuschwanstein.)

From there we walk downhill for our inside tour of Neuschwanstein.  Afterwards there's time for lunch and a stroll on Lake Alpsee, where young Ludwig learned to swim.  [ Larger photos of Neuschwanstein, including helicopter views, are included in the Bavarian Castles Gallery in the In Depth section below. ]

In the afternoon we visit SCHLOSS HOHENSCHWANGAU, the castle built by his father Maximilian, where Germany's fairy tale king spent much of his childhood, and where he dreamed about his future castles.  Local guides in both castles.

Fantastic dinner tonight in the area where Ludwig II was planning his next castle, Falkenstein.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrances and guided tours of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau,
   horse carriage, three-course dinner, Landhaus Koessel


Neuschwanstein

Day 4 – ZUGSPITZE, LINDERHOF, OBERAMMERGAU

Beautiful drive via Austria to Garmisch where we take a cable car up to the ZUGSPITZE, at almost 10,000 feet Germany's highest mountain, with a matchless panorama.

We continue on to SCHLOSS LINDERHOF, Ludwig's beautiful hiding castle deep in the forest, which served as a background for the romantic fantasies of the young king.  Inside visit with local guide.

Back home via the pretty village of OBERAMMERGAU, known for the passion play, a tradition which derives from a vow made by the inhabitants in 1633 that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague then sweeping the region they would perform a passion play every ten years.

Medieval Dinner in Fussen tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, Zugspitze cable car, guided tour of Linderhof, three-course dinner,
   Landhaus Koessel


Linderhof

Day 5 – HERRENCHIEMSEE, BAD TOLZ

 

Today we focus on King Ludwig II's largest castle, HERRENCHIEMSEE, which he built on an island in Lake Chiemsee after a visit to Versailles.  Herrenchiemsee was Ludwig's most expensive project, he stayed here only about one week.

Boat and horse carriage rides to the castle and local guide for inside tour.

On the way back we stop in the beautiful town of BAD TOLZ (Bad Tölz or Bad Toelz in German).  Bad Tolz became famous for its spa.  It also features colourful painted buildings.

There's time to relax before we join the locals tonight for great atmosphere and food at a local brewery.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, boat and carriage rides, Herrenchiemsee tour, dinner, Landhaus Koessel


Herrenchiemsee

Day 6 – MUNICH, NYMPHENBURG

We go to MUNICH (München or Muenchen in German, sometimes Munchen on the net) and first we visit SCHLOSS NYMPHENBURG (Nymphenburg Palace), where Ludwig was born, and the Marstallmuseum, containing many of Ludwig's elaborate carriages.

An Orientation Tour of Germany's secret capital features the Olympic stadium, Olympic Tower, Leopoldstrasse, Schwabing, Ludwigstrasse, Odeonsplatz, Koenigsplatz, Karlsplatz, Church of our Lady, and Marienplatz where you see the Glockenspiel.

Afterwards plenty of time on your own for shopping, more sightseeing (BMW Museum, German Museum, Pinakothek, ... the options list is endless).  Dinner on your own in the evening.  Why not have a stein of beer at the Hofbrauhaus (Hofbräuhaus), Munich's famous beer hall?

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, Munich orientation tour, entrance to Nymphenburg Palace, Landhaus Koessel


Nymphenburg

Day 7 – WIESKIRCHE, LAKE STARNBERG, ANDECHS

We take the Romantic Road today to visit the masterpiece of Bavarian Rococo, WIESKIRCHE, also known as the Church in the Meadow, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We continue to LAKE STARNBERG and at Berg see the Votivchapel and the cross in the lake where Ludwig died.  Then on to ritzy Starnberg with time for lunch and a stroll on the lake.

Afterwards a short drive to ANDECHS, a famous Benedictine monastery on the Holy Mountain.  The monks are also well known for making their own beer, which we have time to enjoy in one of the many beer gardens.

Great dinner in the country tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, three-course dinner with menu choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea after,
   Landhaus Koessel


Wieskirche

Day 8 – LAKE CONSTANCE, LINDAU, MAINAU

Our last day takes us to LAKE CONSTANCE (or Bodensee, its German name), where we visit fortified, charming LINDAU, with its harbour and the old lighthouse, the narrow lanes, the many fountains, romantic courtyards and hidden corners.

After lunch we take a boat to visit the Island of MAINAU in the lake, a paradise for plant enthusiasts because even tropical flowers grow in the mild climate. The palace and the charming baroque church contribute to the magic of the island.

Expect a fantastic farewell dinner in a typical mountain inn tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, ferry to Mainau, entrance to Mainau, three-course dinner, Landhaus Koessel


Mainau

Day 9 – RETURN

Time to say "Auf wiedersehen".  Transfer to Munich Airport for your return flight home.

Your flight should not leave Munich before 10:30 a.m.

If you wish, you can extend your vacation with the optional Three Nights Venice Extension outlined below.

>  Buffet breakfast, transfer to airport


 

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(Optional) Three Nights Venice Extension

 

Turn your Bavarian Castles Tour into an even more magical vacation with an extension to Venice, described as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man" and as "one of Europe's most romantic cities."

This three-night extension takes the same approach to visiting Italy's Veneto region as our longer Italian Highlights Tour. 

Travel across the scenic Alps, visit Verona, the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and check into your 4-star hotel on Venice's Lido Island.  Ride the bus boats on the Grand Canal and see the Rialto Bridge, tour inside the palace and basilica on St. Mark's Square, go for a gondola ride, and visit the scenic islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello.  Shop if you wish, explore on your own, or relax on Lido Island's beach.

Full details are provided in this Three Nights Venice Extension itinerary.

 

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Tour Features 

 

  • All features as per itinerary, departure guaranteed
  • Door-to-door transportation (all modes).  Leave the navigating to us.
  • 7 breakfast buffets
  • 6 three-course dinners with menu choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea after dinner
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and local guide fees paid
  • No hidden extras, no optional excursions – already included
  • Maximum group size of 30 people, fewer on most tours
  • The tour language is English only.
  • There is no packing and unpacking, as we stay at the Landhaus Koessel every night.
  • The days are well planned to offer you many highlights, but you are never rushed.
    Ideal combination of free time and planned activities.
  • Skip the lines at must-see attractions.
  • All visits are inside, not drive-by.  Learn the stories that bring old buildings to life.
  • You will see not only the highlights but also the spots where only the locals go.
  • Tour director – Let our experts make every day and destination fascinating!
  • Satisfaction assured – backed up by our money-back guarantee.

 

Complete printable itinerary in PDF format:  Bavarian Castles Tour Itinerary

 


Neuschwanstein

 


Herrenchiemsee

Hotel – The Landhaus Koessel

The Landhaus Koessel is located on Lake Hopfen, near Fussen, with beautiful scenery and mountain views of the Bavarian Alps.

You stay in Bavarian Country Style rooms, which are very spacious, with extra sitting areas, balconies, cable TV, direct-dial-telephones, coffeemakers, mini-bars, and hairdryers. You will feel at home immediately. High speed internet is available. For more information please see the Landhaus Koessel English-language page.

Find out for yourself what makes this particular place in the Alps so special that King Ludwig wanted to spend the rest of his life here.


The Landhaus Koessel

 

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Images


Hopfensee

June 2008 Tour at the Landhaus

Hohenschwangau

At Linderhof, September 2006

View from Zugspitze

Oberammergau

Bad Tolz

Marienplatz, Munich

September 2007 Tour

Ludwig Votivchapel, Lake Starnberg

At Hopfensee, May 2008

Lindau Harbour

There are more pictures in the In Depth section below.  The Gallery has larger images of tour destinations, and Groups has photos of participants in past tours.

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Bavarian Castles Tour  In Depth

Larger Pictures of Castles, Communities and Regional Highlights
Images of Bavarian Castles Tour features, contributed by past guests and from public domain sources.
This gallery now includes three dramatic and exclusive helicopter views of Neuschwanstein.

Detailed Itinerary Destination Maps
4-page printer-friendly PDF including:
-  Bavarian Castles Tour Destinations map from the top of this web page,
-  Detailed maps with Bavarian Castles destinations marked by day (2 pages), and
-  Fussen Area map, highlighting the locations of the castles.

Links to Sources of More Detailed Information
Clickable links to detailed articles on major Bavarian Castles Tour itinerary features

Pictures of Previous Tour Groups and Participants
Photos from recent year Bavarian Castles Tours

 

 

Other website pages, shared with other tours, also provide in depth information.

Tours Characteristics
Notes on the distinguishing features of the various tours offered. 
What's so special about these tours?  How do they differ from each other?

References
Comments from participants in this and other Castles tours.

Travel Info
Clickable links to air and rail travel resources, currency and time conversion, etc.

 

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References

Our Bavarian Castles Tour was a dream come true.  It was the best vacation we have ever had.  We are now interested in the French Castles Tour for 2013....

 - Marcy Sayre,
New Jersey, June 2012

 

Thank you so much for the great tour you took us on.  All was very enjoyable!  There castles were the hi-light, but your planning, the Landhaus where we stayed, bus rides, dinners – all were first class.  Thanks you so much.

- Veronica McLean,
 Vancouver, Canada, June 2012

I have travelled extensively across the world, but this was the best organised tour I had ever been on. 

At every point it was organised for the convenience of the customer and not the tour company, and they really went out of their way to ensure the trip was enjoyable and hassle free. 

Plus it's true, there are no hidden extras.  I hardly spent anything on the trip which was really inclusive, and this makes it a good option in a credit crunch environment. 

Highly Recommended.  A+++++

  -  Dawn Osborne, England, June 2010

Thank you again for a wonderful tour of Ludwig's castles and the personal knowledge of the region you shared with us.  We had a really fun group and the size was just right.  I very much appreciated your arranging everything for us – that personal touch is what made it a wonderful trip for me.  We didn't have to worry about how to get to the castles, where to buy the tickets, what time to catch the ferry, etc.  And the restaurants you selected were just as wonderful....  I look forward to booking my next castle tour with you, and will highly recommend my friends to do the same.

- Lauriat Heilman, Atlanta, Georgia, June 2009

Additional comments on this and other Castles Tours are provided on a separate  References Page .

Comments, experiences and recommendations from guests on past tours are featured in our  References Video .

 

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Cost and Date Information

 

Complete printable itineraries in PDF format:

Bavarian Castles Tour Itinerary

Three Nights Venice Extension Itinerary

The Bavarian Castles Tours listed below are offered on the following basis:

Tour prices are for the land segment only.  Air fare is not included.

Prices are per person, in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy.
Single Occupancy is available for a Single Supplement charge of US $ 300.
A child 8 to 16 years old sharing a room with two adults receives a 40% reduction on this tour.

Guaranteed Departure:  The Bavarian Castles Tour is guaranteed to operate
as scheduled and will not be cancelled due to a low level of participation.

A deposit of US $ 300 per person is required to secure a reservation on these tours.

 

Bavarian Castles Tour – 2014 Departures

 

 

Your overnight international flight leaves ...

Status

Double
Occupancy

Single
Occupancy

Child 8-16
with 2 Adults

 

May 16, 2014

Available - Book now

US $ 2,349

US $ 2,649

US $ 1,409

 

June 13, 2014

Sold Out

US $ 2,349

US $ 2,649

US $ 1,409

 

July 26, 2014

Available - Book now

US $ 2,349

US $ 2,649

US $ 1,409

 

September 6, 2014

Available - Book now

US $ 2,349

US $ 2,649

US $ 1,409

 

September 19, 2014

Available - Book now

US $ 2,349

US $ 2,649

US $ 1,409

 

Private Tour Option

Do our dates not work for you?  We can arrange the tour for you or your party as a private tour.  Same itinerary as above in a private limousine
or van, with bilingual, professional private guide / chauffeur.  Prices per individual are the same as for the regular group tour, plus a US $ 200 per day
private tour premium for the group.  Please send an e-mail to confirm availability.

 

Reservation details and materials  >

Reservations

 

The "Christmas Markets Tour" (King Ludwig II's Castles and the Bavarian Christmas Markets) shares much of the itinerary of the "Bavarian Castles" Tour detailed here.  Full details are provided on the Christmas Markets Tour page.

 

Dates for all current multi-day Castles tours >

Tour Dates

 

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Contact Information

Contact the Tour Director, Astrid Baur, in Germany (Eastern Time + 6 Hours)

U.S. Phone:  (202) 580 - 8732  /  German Phone:  011 - 49 - 171 - 546 68 39

  

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