- David’s Blog
We kick off this tour in the grand imperial city of Vienna, famous for castles, kings, music and cuisine. Then, you’ll have two relaxing days in Salzburg’s famous city center. A visit to Neuschwanstein Castle and nearby Reutte rounds out the fifth day of the tour. We'll head to Switzerland for my favorite alpine village experience in the beautiful Lauterbrunnen valley. Then we will take a turn to the north and follow the Rhine River valley through the Black Forest to the cute little town of Rothenburg. Finally, visit Hitler’s first concentration camp in Dachau before capping off your tour with two days in Munich, the capital city of Bavaria.
Your Adventure Starts Here!
Vienna - 2 nights
Salzburg - 2 nights
Reutte - 1 night
Lauterburnnen - 2 nights
Rothenburg - 2 nights
Munich - 2 nights
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Exploring Europe – 4036 Hidden Acre Rd. – Middleburg, FL 32068 FAX 800-570-1351
Meet your Exploring Europe guide at 3:00 p.m. in the lobby of your Vienna hotel for greetings and introductions. Then we will take a walking tour through the historic heart of Vienna so you can get your bearings. We will make a stop at the massive St. Stephen’s Cathedral before heading off for dinner in one of our favorite restaurants. Sleep 2 nights in Vienna. Walking: Moderate. Dinner.
After breakfast, we will begin a walking tour concentrating on the royal Habsburg’s and their importance to this city. You will visit the Opera House (when open), the Hofburg Palace, the Imperial Apartments and the Royal Treasury. The remainder of the day and evening is free to explore another museum, a palace or just slow down and enjoy the coffee café culture. Walking: Moderate.
Today, we will head west along the Danube tracing the route of the Habsburg tradesmen. Closing in on Salzburg, we will strike out on a driving tour hitting the highlights of the popular movie, The Sound of Music. Later, stroll through the historic old town taking in several famous musical sights and churches. After a bit of free time, we will meet for dinner at the Augustiner Braühaus, a huge beer hall and garden in the hills overlooking the city. Driving: 4 hours. Walking: moderate. Sleep 2 nights in Salzburg. Dinner.
We’ll spend most of the morning on a historical walking tour of Salzburg’s old town. This was the home to Mozart and the Von Trapp family so we will tie in a lot of musical elements as well. After the walking tour, you will have the remainder of the day and evening to explore more of Salzburg on your own. Your guide will be available to help with your sightseeing plans and activities. Walking: moderate.
Today we will head west into the scenic mountains of Bavaria. You will have most of the afternoon to explore Schloss Neuschwanstein, the fairy-tale fantasy castle of Bavaria’s King Ludwig II. You’ll recognize it as Walt Disney’s model for Cinderella’s Castle. Later, we will drive back across the border and set up in Reutte, Austria for the evening. Here, enjoy dinner featuring fresh Austrian cuisine in a traditional guesthouse setting. Driving: 4 hours. Walking: Strenuous. Sleep 1 night in Reutte. Dinner.
Driving through lush mountain meadows and alpine foothills, we will arrive in the tiny country of Liechtenstein in time for lunch. Enjoy a stop in Vaduz, its capital city and get your passport stamped! Then it is on to Switzerland. The beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley is located in the heart of the Swiss Alps and is filled with waterfalls, glaciers, and cowbells. After checking into the hotel, you’ll have the remainder of the afternoon to settle in. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Swiss dinner at a favorite restaurant. Driving: 6 hours. Walking: light. Sleep 2 nights in Lauterbrunnen. Dinner.
You may want to hike or ride a lift to a mountain summit, or even play in the snow. The hills are filled with alpine villages, shops, restaurants, hiking trails, and mountain lifts. Walking: Your choice.
We will get an early start this morning as we leave the Alps and head up the Rhine River valley. Along the way, enjoy a stop for lunch in Freiburg, a fortified old town sitting on the edge of the famed Black Forest. Later, arrive in Rothenburg for hotel check-in and dinner. Driving: 8 hours (with stops). Walking: Light. Sleep 2 nights in Rothenburg. Dinner.
You will have the entire day to do a little exploring on your own in Rothenburg. Enjoy a stroll in the castle gardens, a walk on the medieval-era town walls, plenty of shopping, wine tasting, and of course their cute little “Christmas all year” shops. Walking: Your choice.
It is a short ride on the Autobahn down to Munich. Before heading into town we will start our tour on a somber note as we visit Hitler’s first concentration camp in Dachau. Learn how in 1943, this became the model for all future camps. Then, let’s head directly to Munich’s bustling city center for a walking tour of the city’s highlights and an opportunity to take a break at a famous beer garden. Settle in at our hotel and enjoy a relaxing afternoon and evening. Driving: 3 hours. Walking: moderate. Sleep 2 nights in Munich.
Your tour ends this morning after breakfast. There are no scheduled activities today. Munich’s train station and airport are nearby and your guide will be happy to point you in the right direction for your onward journey. Auf Wiedersehen!
This itinerary is subject to change.
Transportation provided by coach and/or minibus from your first hotel in Vienna to your final hotel in Munich.
11 nights accommodation in centrally located hotels, guesthouses, and B&Bs. All rooms have private en-suite bathes.
All tips and gratuities to guides, drivers, restaurant and hotel staff.
Guaranteed Small Group consisting of 6-24 travelers.
All breakfasts and six of your dinners or lunches.
Water is included with all meals. Soda, coffee, tea, beer, wine or other beverages are up to you.
Traditional and gourmet dining experiences at some of David's personal favorite restaurants. Eating well is a priority and you’ll enjoy fine regional fare featuring the best the locale has to offer.
Tours and admissions to the following attractions, experiences, and sights: Orientation and walking tour of Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Rothenburg; Entrance to the imperial Habsburg site mentioned in the itinerary; WWII concentration camp in Dachau; Sound of Music walking and driving tour; Castle Neuschwanstein guided tour and entrance; two days in the Swiss Alps filled with alpine villages, hiking and grand mountain vistas; many gourmet dining experiences; and much more (itinerary specifics are subject to change).
A fulltime Exploring Europe guide and local experts dedicated to bringing to life the art, history, and culture of the tour destinations.
David’s printed tour handouts detailing each day’s historical and cultural experiences.
Free luggage tags and David’s custom-designed drawstring backpacks.
Our Unconditional Tour Price Guarantee that once locked in, will never change.
Comprehensive Travel Insurance providing full coverage for emergency medical, baggage loss, and trip delay from the moment you depart for your tour.
$50 Tour Alumni discount for each Exploring Europe tour you’ve taken prior to 2018.
$100 discount if making all payments by check, cash or bank draft. The $400 initial deposit may be made by credit card and still qualify for this discount.
Single rooms for solo travelers are available as an option for $680.
Walking and Physical Activity: We have planned this trip to provide maximum tour experiences by foot, boat, and vehicle. The basic nature of Europe does require some degree of physical activity to get out and see the sights, especially in the countryside. To help you plan, we’ve included a daily projection of physical activity. Here is our key for our walking activity ratings:
Light – Walking done on level surfaces with some small hills and elevation gains. In most cases, the bus will drop-off and pick-up at nearby locations. Two miles or less of required walking during the day.
Moderate – Walking done on paved and gravel paths. To enjoy the full tour experience, some up and down hill walking is to be expected. Four to five miles of walking per day.
Strenuous – Walking done on rugged and rocky paths with some steps and stairs. Up to six miles of walking per day.
Your Choice – No matter what your walking ability, we will help you find alternative ways to enjoy and experience all Europe has to offer. To get the most out of our tours you should be able to operate at the light level everyday with spurts of moderate and strenuous.
THE BEST OF GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND-FRANCE – Probably my most favorite part of the tour – having someone else pick the restaurant!! Usually when I go to Europe with my husband we wander around in circles for a prolonged amount of time studying menus and trying to find the “perfect” place. Tedious and exhausting. It was so nice to just have the perfect restaurant already picked out. I know this is not an easy task to try to accommodate multiple people’s picky food preferences, so hats off to Dave for being up to the challenge. And every meal I had was delicious!! Dave knows what he’s doing. –Diana, Seattle, WA
THE BEST OF GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND – David’s tour ran very smooth. Great hotel rooms with breakfast each morning. He gave informative tours of the cities and areas we visited and then we had time on our own to visit in more detail or go shopping (my favorite activity anywhere). David was happy to stop along the way for photo opps and rest stops. We did check out some new sites with him. Each day was an adventure filled with great food, wine, and sites. Loved every moment of the trip. Planning next adventure with him now. –Elizabeth, Orange Park, FL
CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN GERMANY & AUSTRIA – This was my 5th tour with David to Europe and he never disappoints. This trip was different than the rest because it was focused around the Christmas markets…nevertheless, I had a fantastic time! David always finds a great balance of hitting the mandatory “touristy” locations and allowing us the freedom to go off on our own and explore the cities we’re visiting. – Tom, Atlanta, GA
GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND-DUBLIN – The diversity of our group form the newbie teenagers to the well-traveled ladies was great. I learned so much from both. Very thoughtful when coming to issues of courtesy to our hosts, money, customs of the country. David’s calmness was greatly appreciated. Walking right in line, not having to buy tickets was a great plus. Your guides of Dachau and the Louvre were right on and helped to make the visit much more enjoyable. Packing light paid off. I am glad I did not have to lug a lot of baggage the whole time. We had talked about wifi for the bus as a potential plus. Having brewed coffee and a refrigerator was great (on the bus). Newsletter good for whetting the appetite for traveling. More Museli! Never can get enough of it. The dining was all good. Nothing can replace the time at K&K in Salzburg. The restaurant was empty. Just a few people sharing food and conversation. The food was the icing on the cake for a wonderful experience all around. Salad with huge slices of parmesan cheese. Sea bass that was exquisite and apple tart. Trying to serve a group of 26 effectively is difficulty. I saw the waitresses really working to serve us well. Thanks again for an awesome trip. – Kent, St. Johns, FL
GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND-FRANCE – All meals were very good (much better than meals experienced on river cruise after tour with David.) Swiss dinner in Salzburg was favorite evening meal. My favorite was dinner in Salzburg with small group (not included in tour) Picnic in park at Eiffel Tower was unique & something not normally offered by tours. – Ramona, Sarasota, FL
GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND-FRANCE –Well worth the money spent!!! We enjoy going with David on trips, because we KNOW the food will be GREAT & the hotels will be nice! Really enjoyed the time in the “Paris neighborhood” where we shopped for our picnic. The cheese shop was amazing, as was the aged Sheep’s milk cheese from France that we purchased there! – Laurie, Jacksonville, FL
GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND-FRANCE- The entire tour was an awesome experience! The organization, events, destinations, accommodations were all great and I believe the only way to tour Europe! Although each day we kept saying “It just keeps getting better”, I’d have to say that Paris was the best as there was so much to see and experience and the food was very good. I was very impressed with the amount of information David shared with us daily and how knowledgeable David is regarding each of the countries and the sites that we visited. – Donna, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Now that you’ve decided to join this tour, we are sure you’ll have some questions. Don’t worry, we are here to help you through each aspect of your tour from start to finish.
Join David as he shares impromptu moments from his travels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Watching these short 60 second segments are a great way to experience David’s travel style and adventures. Watch David’s Explore Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
David and his team have answered many travel related questions and they are all tucked away on his blog. But, no need to go there, just type in a keyword in the search box at the top or bottom of this page (it’s the gray rectangle with a small magnifying glass icon) and you will get results for your query.
David’s newest blog describes his personal adventures in Europe, timely information and travel hints.
We are happy to answer your travel questions and give advice and suggestions. firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-570-1351.