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Austria

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2–6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2–8 miles of walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.

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Day 1: Welcome to Bavaria

We'll meet at 3 p.m. at our hotel in Munich for a "Welcome to Bavaria" meeting. After an orientation walk through our neighborhood, we'll get introduced to Munich's efficient public transportation system. This evening we'll enjoy a hearty dinner together. Sleep in Munich (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Marvelous Munich

This morning we'll join a local guide for a fascinating walk through Munich's Old Town, weaving together the history and traditions of Munich and Bavaria. We'll visit the legendary Hofbräuhaus beerhall and explore the centuries-old Viktualienmarkt, famous for traditional crafts and gourmet food stalls — of course we'll taste some specialties along the way. The rest of the day is yours to explore the English Garden, take in a museum, or — on winter tours — simply savor the surrounding Gemütlichkeit (comfy-coziness) of Munich's Christmas markets. Tonight, you'll be free to perfect your prost with new friends at one of Munich's historic beerhalls, where you can hoist a liter-sized mug of beer, and a pretzel as big as your head. No Bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Fairy-tale Neuschwanstein and Salzburg

Get your cameras ready! This morning we'll drive through the picturesque villages and lush rolling hills of Bavaria. When we arrive at the foothills of the Alps, we'll hike uphill to tour "Mad" King Ludwig's fantasy that inspired Disney: Neuschwanstein Castle. Afterwards, we'll share a picnic lunch together and visit Germany's greatest Rococo-style church, the Wieskirche. Then, we're off to Austria and charming Salzburg, the city of splendid gardens, Baroque churches, and one of Europe's largest medieval fortresses. We'll settle into our quaint hotel and share dinner together. Sleep in Salzburg (2 nights). Bus: 4 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: Splendid Salzburg

Salzburg is the perfect town for a walking tour, and together with our local expert, that's how we'll spend our morning: strolling under the wrought-iron signs that line Getreidegasse, through picturesque gardens and going for Baroque at the Salzburg Cathedral. We'll then drop into a cooking school, for a lesson on how to make the amazing, appley Austrian treat Apfelstrudel. The rest of your day is free for hiking up the fortress hill for a panoramic view, or (on winter tours) wandering through the Christmas markets. Your free evening is perfect for a concert featuring the work of Salzburg's favorite son: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Lovely Lakes and Hallstatt

This morning we'll make our way to the postcard-pretty Lake Hallstatt. On our way, we'll skip like stones across the pristine waters of Austria's Salzkammergut lakes district on a boat cruise enjoying the breathtaking lakeside villages and craggy mountain vistas. This afternoon we'll settle into our cozy lakeside lodging, where you'll be free to commune with Mother Nature on foot or by boat — or hike up to one of the world's oldest salt mines. This evening we'll gather together to learn about the history and culture of Schnapps, with tastings of course. Zum wohl! Tonight we'll share dinner together. Sleep on Lake Hallstatt (1 night). Bus: 2 hours. Walking: light.

Day 6: Melk Abbey, the Danube and Vienna

Today we'll take another scenic drive to the Danube Valley, where we'll tour the artistic treasures and Baroque wonders of the Benedictine abbey at Melk. Then we'll cruise Austria's prettiest stretch of the Danube River and check if it really is blue (season permitting). We'll finish our day in the one-time capital of a powerful empire — and our tour's grand finale — extravagant, opulent Vienna. After checking into our hotel we'll take a walk, orienting you to historic Vienna, including St. Stephen's Cathedral. The rest of the evening is free to enjoy dinner on your own. Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Historic and Royal Vienna

This morning we'll be introduced (figuratively, curtsies not required) to the family who created one of Europe's most dynamic empires: the Habsburgs. We'll join our local guide for a walking tour that takes us into their residence: the Hofburg Palace, including their Imperial Apartments and Treasury. Our tour will continue with a behind-the-scenes peek inside Vienna's famous opera house (when available). Your afternoon is free to explore another world-class museum or two, or slow down to enjoy sipping a coffee in the city where Europe's café scene was born. Tonight we'll meet for our last dinner together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Prost! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Vienna's airport by train, bus, or taxi. You'll have easy connections to home, or on to other points in Europe. Auf Wiedersehen!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

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