Central Europe

Enchanting Europe: 10-day Tour of Germany, Switzerland and Austria

Immerse yourself in one of the most romantic and artistic destinations of the world. Europe’s wealth of scenic beauty, cultural heritage and world-class culinary influences is astonishing for its depth and diversity from border to border. Life among the alps is the drawcard of central Europe – as traditional and contemporary lifestyles, cityscapes and mountainous skylines present a study of contrast and harmony. From fairytale settings to historic monuments to winding rivers, your magical 10-day journey through Germany, Switzerland and Austria will be filled with glorious sights in such exciting adventures as a River Rhine cruise, a mystical drive through the Black Forest, and see the Munich Olympic Stadium. PLUS nine nights of luxury accommodation, unique dining experiences, private transportation, local travel guides and more.

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There’s something about the triumvirate of Germany, Switzerland and Austria that makes it the dream alpine vacation. Spectacular mountainscapes run from border to border, framing medieval German castles, mirrored in pristine Swiss lakes, and echoing with the sound of music in Austria’s glorious rolling high country.

What you’ll love – the rich cultural and musical heritage, charming villages and historic architecture

Enjoy the breathtaking panorama of hilltop castles, terraced vineyards and villages of timber-framed houses on a Rhine River Cruise. Pass the legendary Lorelei rock rising vertically from the waters, named after the folkloric nymph who threw herself into the river in a tragic love affair – and continues to lure sailors with her ‘murmuring’ siren song.

Drive through the scenic Black Forest region, an area of unrivalled natural beauty with its dense forests of thick pine trees. View the charming traditional homes with their long sloping roofs nestled in the forest. Be bewitched by the *thunderous Rhine Falls *near Schaffhausen, Switzerland, one of Europe’s largest and most impressive.

Journey back in time in the heart of historic Innsbruck, Austria, whose breathtaking architecture ranges from Gothic to Baroque to Neoclassical. Among its most spectacular is the Golden Roof, one of the most** extraordinary rococo structures in Tyrol**, built around 1500 AD in honour of Emperor Maximilian’s marriage to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan.

Drive through glorious alpine scenery to visit Bavaria's "Mad" King Ludwig's *fantasy castle of Neuschwanstein *perched high above the valley below. Lauded for its romantic architecture, the castle boasts two magnificent halls with dazzling, extravagant decorations in gold and blue.

Optional tours – includes a tour of Mount Pilatus in Lucerne, a Tyrolean evening with drinks and a Sound of Music Tour

Tour Mount Pilatus in Lucerne, ascending the world’s steepest cogwheel railway which winds through lush meadows and mountain streams to the mountain summit at nearly 7000 feat. Enjoy an exciting descent by aerial cableway.

Can you yodel? Find out in an authentic Tyrolean evening featuring a varied entertainment program of** folk music, dance and yodeling** in an afternoon tour to charming Seefeld with Carriage Ride in Innsbruck.

Venture up the mountains to the fairytale village of Obermmergau in Bavaria’s Ammergau Alps, and learn about its impressive Passion Plays, performed every 10 years in the town since 1634. Visit Linderhof Castle, one of the most artistic and stylistically complex ensembles of the 19th century. This is the smallest of three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed.

Explore the ruins of** Obersalzberg in Salzburg, **once a mountain retreat for senior Nazi SS officers, in the countryside. Transfer to special motor coaches adapted for the scenic mountain climb and ascend to Hitler's notorious ‘Eagle's Nest.’ An Austrian Alps & Sound of Music Tour is offered when the Eagle’s Nest Tour is not available during April, May, and November.

Luxury accommodation – comfortable stays in centrally located hotels offer the best of all worlds in amenities and indulgences

Stay in the charming Hotel Grauer in Innsbruck, which offers all the amenities of a modern city hotel behind its enchanting traditional façade. Enjoy the comfort of the renovated rooms, or book into a treatment at its wellness centre with panoramic indoor pool, sauna, steam bath, solarium and fitness centre.

While in Lucerne, you'll stay in a *gorgeous regal building that dates back to 1875 *and is fitted out with modern comforts including flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. The stylish hotel is located across the road from the picturesque Lake Lucerne and is only a 15-minute walk from the Swiss Museum of Transport.

Your Package Includes

  • Nine nights of luxury accommodation including one night each in Mainz, Heidelberg and Salzburg, and two nights each in Lucerne, Innsbruck and Munich
  • Gourmet experiences including nine breakfasts and four dinners with wine
  • Hotel porterage
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Services of local guides per itinerary
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Gratuities for tour manager and coach driver

Valid for Departure Dates:

1 June 2018

29 June 2018

13 July 2018

22 July 2018

High Season:

17 August 2018

9 September 2018

21 September 2018

28 September 2018

Important: Please allow for travelling time from Australia. International flights and airport transfers are not included in your package and must be purchased separately. It is your responsibility to make your own travel arrangements and ensure that you arrive in Mainz on your chosen tour start date.

*Instant Booking: *To secure your dates at purchase, click 'Instant Booking' and select your preferred package. Once your preferred package is selected you'll click through to 'Choose Your Dates of Travel' and will be able to enter in your preferred tour commencement date.

Twin-share package: The package is valid for ONE PERSON aged 8 years or older (based on twin share). If you are travelling with another person you must purchase TWO PACKAGES, otherwise, an additional single traveller surcharge will apply. Single travellers will get their own room throughout the tour.

Single traveller surcharges:

May, June and July – $530

August, 9 September – $1050

21 and 28 September – $770

Guests must be aged 18 years or older.

Maximum Room Capacity: The maximum room capacity is two adults.

Minimum tour capacity is two guests and maximum tour capacity is 40 guests.

Please note, disability access is limited during the tour, please consider this before making your booking. Hotels may not have ramps, wide entryways or elevators to accommodate disabled passengers or devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and motorised scooters. Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs, walking frames and motorised scooters may not be taken aboard motor coaches.

Please note, gratuities are included for your tour manager and coach driver. Tipping for other services is at your own discretion.

Travel insurance is compulsory. We suggest purchasing travel insurance as soon as possible after purchasing this package.

Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated) and menu options are subject to change.

Additional expenses such as (but not limited to) flights to and from Australia and airport transfers are not included with this package.

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond your intended stay overseas.

A visa may be required to the countries you are visiting and transiting. It is your responsibility to ensure you are holding a current visa.

All activities and services are subject to availability.

Please note that full terms and conditions apply - refer LuxuryEscapes.com/term

DAY 1 – Frankfurt

Make your own way to your hotel in Mainz on the storied Rhine River. Spend the day at leisure. Your tour manager will introduce you to the delightful itinerary ahead in the evening before you enjoy a welcome drink and dinner with the rest of the group.

Accommodation: Hilton Mainz Meals: Dinner

DAY 2 – Rhine River Cruise & Heidelberg City Tour

Enjoy a morning cruise on the scenic Rhine and see stunning vistas of hilltop castles, terraced vineyards and villages of timber-framed houses along the river. Pass the mighty Lorelei rock rising vertically from the waters named for the siren "Lorelei" who bewitched sailors passing by. In Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany, view the imposing red sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle originally built in the 12th century. This hilltop Gothic masterpiece has encountered turbulent times but still stands as a dominant symbol of the city. With the rest of the day at leisure, take the chance to explore Heidelberg’s enchanting alleys and lanes in the Old Town with its small gardens, museums and lovely galleries.

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3 – Black Forest

Head south on a scenic drive through the Black Forest region, an area of unrivalled natural beauty with its dense forests of thick pine trees. View the charming traditional homes with their long sloping roofs nestled in the forest. Continue on a drive to Schaffhausen, surrounded by vineyards, where you will be greeted by the thunderous Rhine Waterfalls – one of Europe's largest and most powerful. Then, on to beautiful Lucerne, with its pristine lakeside setting and gorgeous mountainous panorama. Spend two relaxing nights here in the centre of the Swiss Alps.

Accommodation: Grand Europe Hotel Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4 – Lucerne

Explore the heart of central Switzerland today. Begin at the inspiring Lion Monument, one of the best-known monuments in the country, created in remembrance of the heroic death of Swiss guard killed in 1792. Continue to the 14th century medieval Chapel Bridge, one of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe, which forms the centrepiece of Lucerne's townscape. Shop for chocolate, watches and the famous Swiss and German cuckoo clocks or sip coffee at an outdoor cafe. Choose to join the exciting optional tour to Mount Pilatus in the afternoon, which ascends the world's steepest cogwheel railway, winding through lush meadows and sparkling mountain streams to the summit of Mt Pilatus at nearly 7000 feet. Descend by aerial cableway and return to your hotel.

Accommodation: Grand Europe Hotel Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5 – Neuschwanstein Castle

Stop at the tiny storybook Principality of Liechtenstein and its capital Vaduz, a proud remnant of feudal Europe, sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria. Drive through glorious alpine scenery to visit Bavaria's "Mad" King Ludwig's fantasy castle of Neuschwanstein perched high above the valley below. This is one of the most visited castles in Germany and a symbol of idealized romantic architecture. Among the castle's finest rooms are two magnificent halls with extravagant decorations dazzling in gold and blue. Cross into Austria via the mighty Fern Pass and journey to Innsbruck, the Tyrolean "capital" of the Austrian Alps.

Accommodation: Grauer Baer Hotel Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6 – Innsbruck

Steeped in centuries of colorful history, Innsbruck features fine examples of imperial splendor. Journey back in time with an array of splendid architectural gems from the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical period. Stop at the Golden Roof, overlooking a bustling square in the heart of historic Innsbruck and the Wilten Basilica, one of the most splendid churches in Tyrol with its stunning rococo decorations. Innsbruck has hosted two Olympic Winter Games (1964 and 1976) – see the famous ski jump used for the great winter sports. Enjoy an afternoon optional tour to charming Seefeld with Carriage Ride, and enjoy an authentic Tyrolean evening featuring a varied entertainment program including folk music, Tyrolean dances and yodelling.

Accommodation: Grauer Baer Hotel Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7 – Salzburg City Tour

After breakfast, travel to Salzburg. This baroque jewel was the birthplace of Mozart. The guided walking tour takes you to view the house where Mozart was born, as well as to the squares and gardens of this beautiful city, crowned by the 11th century Hohensalzburg Fortress. The city is also known for the singing von Trapp family and the setting for the film, The Sound of Music. Explore charming Salzburg or join in the optional excursion to the ruins of Obersalzberg, once a mountain retreat for senior Nazi SS officers, in the countryside. Transfer to special motor coaches adapted for the scenic mountain climb and ascend to Hitler's notorious ‘Eagle's Nest.’

*Austrian Alps & Sound of Music Tour is offered when the Eagle’s Nest Tour is not available during April, May, and November

Accommodation: Castellani Parkhotel or Hotel Europa Salzburg Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8 – Munich

Continue to Munich and arrive at Marienplatz square, the city’s cultural centre, dominated by the gothic New Town Hall housing Munich's world-famous Glockenspiel, which dates back to 1908. This colorful mechanical clock has lifesize figures that dance to music with shows several times a day. In the afternoon, a guided city tour takes you past the Olympic Stadium situated in the heart of Olympia Park in northern Munich, built as the main venue for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Stop at the breathtaking Nymphenburg Palace for a photo; this once summer residence of the rulers of Bavaria is decorated with a gorgeous baroque façade. Drive through the city to see countless museums, galleries, palaces and impressive historic monuments. Enjoy your free evening at one of the famous beer halls.

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Munich City Centre Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9 – Munich

A full day to enjoy Munich with its plethora of shops and restaurants and to explore at leisure. Perhaps, venture to the mountains on the optional tour to the fairytale village of Oberammergau and visit Linderhof castle. Tonight, toast your final night in Munich with a delicious dinner at a local restaurant

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Munich City Centre Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 – Tour ends

Make your own way to the airport for your departure flight.

Meals: Breakfast

Getting to Frankfurt is easy. Regular flights are available with carriers including Etihad, Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific.

Direct Flights (departing Australia only): Booking your flight with us is a quick, easy process. First, confirm your travel dates with the hotel, then head to our new online booking page to book your flights here.

Multi-Stop Trips (departing Australia only): If you require a stopover en route or are travelling to multiple destinations, simply call 1300 88 99 00,

We will be in touch within 24 business hours with a quote at the lowest rate possible, with no booking fee to you.

We returned from this 10 day tour on May 11 of this year. We combined it with a Swiss rail pass and toured Switzerland on our own afterward. This is our 6th tour with Gate 1 and, as usual, the experience was first class! Our tour director, Robert, went above his duties by walking private groups into town on his own time. The optional tours were informative and fun! We included all the options and enjoyed each one.
- TripAdvisor
Our Tour Manager was knowledgeable, professional and kept our group well informed. Every stop we made (Mainz, Heidelberg, Lucerne, Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Munich), was just marvelous. Got in all the major sights. Upon arrival, we got an city orientation and local tips such as restaurants, additional places to visit etc. The hotels were well chosen, located right smack in the city centers or just a short walk.
- TripAdvisor