SAVE up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by August 31
A wonderful winter tour, visiting the best of Europe's great highlights. At this time of year, nothing could be more enjoyable than rubbing shoulders with the locals while you snack on home-made gingerbread and sip mulled wine in cozy cafés and colorful Christmas Markets.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Welcome to Germany. From the Rhine Valley to the Alps, experience lively cosmopolitan cities, historic old towns, and breathtaking natural scenery. Transfers from Frankfurt Airport to your Mainz hotel depart at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. Mainz has been a bustling and important town since the time of the Romans. Enjoy a walk through the Cathedral Quarter to witness the magnificent architecture of the city's Dom. In the evening, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception with dinner and wine.
Head to fortified Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber, overlooking the winding Tauber River. Once through the medieval walls, you are immediately transported back into the 16th century, as cobblestone streets lead you to the medieval B Market Square with its Town Hall. Perhaps visit Tilman Riemenschneider's "Holy Blood" altarpiece in St Jakob's Church or pop into the Christmas shop, where you'll find the festive spirit all year round. Then, follow parts of the Romantic Road to fun-loving Munich.
An orientation tour shows you Victory Arch and the university, concluding in the Marienplatz with its soaring Gothic Town Hall and colorful
Glockenspiel. For those arriving before Christmas, visit the festive Christmas Market and meet a local market stallholder for a taste of traditional Lebkuchen, and a fragrant cup of Glühwein. The rest of the day is at leisure. Later on, why not try a enjoy a foaming stein of beer at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus?
Drive beside beautiful Lake Chiemsee and cross the Austrian border to Salzburg, "alive with the Sound of Music." Walk with your Local Expert through the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace and admire the city skyline, crowned by the majestic Hohensalzburg Fortress. Then cross the Salzach River to see Mozart's birthplace on the Getreidegasse, a lively shopping street lined with charming wrought-iron signs. Follow the narrow lanes of the Old Town to the domed cathedral and the splendid Residenz Fountain. In the evening, why not visit an Austrian chalet for dinner, drinks and the opportunity to learn about life in the countryside?
A scenic drive takes you through snow-capped mountains to Innsbruck. A multitude of Rococo cherubs and angels will greet you inside the Wilten Basilica. You'll see the Imperial Palace and magnificent Golden Roof in the Old Town. In the afternoon, meet your coachman and take in the delightful scenery and pure fresh air on a horse-drawn carriage ride, known as a "fiaker." At night, drive to the charming town of Hall in Tirol, which boasts one of Austria's best-preserved historic town centers. Enjoy a highlight medieval banquet set in a 700-year-old building.
Delightful scenery abounds as you make your way to the Arlberg Tunnel. Stop in Vaduz, capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein, one of Europe's smallest countries. Cross the Swiss border and continue to lakeside Lucerne. Your Tour Director will show you the covered wooden Chapel Bridge and you'll learn about the poignant history of the Lion Monument. Then you are at leisure to shop for Swiss watches or delicious chocolate.
Start the day with a spectacular cable car ride with incredible views, up Mount Pilatus. Back in Lucerne, you are free to admire the superb baroque Jesuit Church, stroll along lakeside promenades, or explore the old walls and watch towers of the medieval fortifications.
Stop at Schaffhausen to see the Rhine River thundering over the Rhine Falls. Cross the German border and venture deep into the Black Forest. Following the Rhine Valley north, head for the town of Heidelberg, set on the banks of the river Neckar and dominated by its magnificent red sandstone castle. Stroll through the old town or perhaps see the old ‘Student Prison'? In the evening, enjoy good food, wine and company at an end-of-tour Celebration Dinner.
A transfer to Frankfurt Airport's Terminal 1 arrives at 9:00 am and Terminal 2 at 9:15 am.
8 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Signature Evening (SE), 1 Three-course table d’hôte Dinner (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year’s Eve will enjoy festive Highlight Dinners which will replace an included meal.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|17 Nov 17||26 Nov 17||$2,075$1,919pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|24 Nov 17||3 Dec 17||$2,075$1,919pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Call 1-877-622-9109 Book Now|
|1 Dec 17||10 Dec 17||$2,075$1,919pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|18 Dec 17||27 Dec 17||$2,295pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|20 Dec 17||29 Dec 17||$2,250pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Dec 17||7 Jan 18||$2,225$2,058pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Dec 17||7 Jan 18||$2,225$2,058pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Call 1-877-622-9109|
Christmas Markets :
Festive Celebrations : Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $440.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $79 per person.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation..
U.S. citizens traveling to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering these countries.
The currency in Germany and Austria is the Euro (€).The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Please note that Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, however many prices are nonetheless indicated in euros to help travelers compare prices. Some Swiss merchants may accept euros but are not obliged to do so. Change given back will most likely be in Swiss francs.
While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in Europe, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
Traditional German cuisine is rich and delicious. Try specialties including a variety of bratwurst with sauerkraut, cold cuts, spätzle and potato dumplings. For dessert you cannot miss the world famous Black Forest Gateau. Beer is a big part of German culture; sample a variety of German offerings including pilsner, Kölsch and sour beers. In Frankfurt, try the local cider (Apfelwein). Wine is also popular throughout Germany, and world-class whites are produced in the Rhine and Mosel regions.
Austrian cuisine is hearty and satisfying and reflects regional influences from Italy, Hungary, Germany and the Balkans. Try a variety of sausages including the popular Wiener Schnitzel and Viennese specialties such as goulash and apple strudel.
Swiss cuisine is a flavorful blend of German, Italian, and French influences and a wide variety of regional offerings. Specialty dishes include fondue and raclette (cheese dipping dishes), sausages and rösti (fried potato), bündnerfleisch (air-dried beef) and fondue bourguigon (cubes of steak with various sauces). Swiss pastries and desserts are excellent. There are also spirits made from fruit; the most popular are Kirsch, Pflümli and Williamine. And don’t miss out on the world-class selection of Swiss chocolate.
A service charge is typically included in the price of food at restaurants in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. When leaving a tip, it is appropriate to simply round up or add up to 10 percent to your bill. Rather than leaving your money on the table, be prepared to leave it with your waiter when you pay your bill. If you are expecting change, simply tell them how much you will need back after gratuity.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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