Munich, Salzburg, Salzkammergut, Berchtesgaden, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Outdoor & Adventure, History & Culture
The landscape of Bavaria would fit perfectly into a fairy-tale – medieval castles, baroque churches and cobblestone towns set in a landscape of lakes, lush national parks against a backdrop of the dramatic peaks of the Eastern Alps. The culture is more similar to neighbouring Austria than the rest of Germany, and it’s only natural to combine the journey with Salzburg.
Munich is a good start to any Bavarian journey, a perfect example of a modern city that preserves its cultural heritage, with traditional landmarks alongside contemporary buildings. Next, make a jaunt into Austria, to UNESCO-listed Salzburg with a magnificent baroque old town and a longstanding affair with the cultural arts. Easy day trips from Salzburg take you to the stunning lake district and Berchtesgaden National Park. Finish in the Bavarian Alps, where royal castles await discover of their rich histories among gorgeous settings, and a variety of outdoor pursuits are available for nature lovers, from hiking, mountain-climbing, or a vertigo-inducing cable-car ride up Germany’s tallest mountain, the Zugspitze.
Arrive in Munich and transfer to your hotel.
Meet your guide for a walking tour of Munich’s old town, visiting places for good food and company like the Hofbräuhaus and historical buildings like the New Town Hall and the Church of our Lady. Exploring the Stachus and the English Garden, you will learn a lot about Munich’s history.
The historic Viktualienmarkt farmers’ market is a delight for all the senses. It is located in the heart of the old town and it is a premier place to shop for fresh produce, dairy, bread, Bavarian specialities and even Bavarian arts and crafts! Your guide will introduce you to the marketeers who are happy to share more about their traditional Bavarian products and their history. Enjoy bites of local delicacies like Obatzter with fresh bread or local cheese as you listen to their fascinating stories.
Day at leisure in Munich to explore on your own, from its many excellent museums, to the enchanting Nymphenburg Palace and gardens, the summer residence of the former rulers of Bavaria. Don’t miss out on the famous BMW World to get acquainted with the car manufacturer’s illustrious history, with an opportunity to visit the plant and gain an insight on the production of the vehicles.
Take a train to Salzburg (approx. 1hr 45min) and check into your hotel.
Enjoy a 2hr walking tour with a guide of Salzburg’s old town, taking some of the highlights including Mirabell Palace with its splendid gardens, Mozart’s Birthplace and Mozart’s Residence, Residenz square where the Christmas markets are held, Getreidegasse shopping sheet with its historic passageways and the M32 view terrace with some of the best views of the city.
The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Salzburg on your own.
Meet your English speaking driver-guide at your hotel lobby and enjoy a day trip to the beautiful Austrian Lake District known as Salzkammerut. Your first stop will be a photo stop at the Hellbrunn Palace, which was featured in the Sound of Music film. Continue on a scenic drive, with the option to stop at Ploetz Waterfall depending on the weather (a 10min walk is required), or to Lake Fuschl, where you can capture a picture of Schloss Fuschl, now a luxury hotel, with the tranquil lake as its backdrop.
You will drive along the tour route of the Sound of Music to St. Gilgen, with a possible detour off the beaten track to a hidden viewpoint overlooking lake Wolfgang. After a stroll in the pretty village of St Gilgen, board one of the boats on Lake Wolfgang to St Wolfgang, where you can enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and also soak up the Christmas atmosphere with the local markets and stalls.
Return to Salzburg, passing Lake Mondsee, where you will have some time to stop at the wedding church featured in the Sound of Music, a former Benedictine abbey dating back to the 12th century.
Heading out south of Salzburg, you will cross the German Border towards the first German village Markt Schellenberg. Ascend to the historical Eagle’s Nest which was used during Hitler’s rule and today is a restaurant with an outdoor beer garden with striking views of the Alps from the plateau. Your journey continues to Koenigssee where you can enjoy a boat ride through this scenic lake, and then into the town of Berchtesgaden where you have some free time to enjoy lunch in one of the many Bavarian Inns. If time permits, end the day with a visit to Berchtesgaden’s salt mines which are almost 500 years old and has a range of highlights from a Salt Cathedral, and underground railway and a raft ride through the Mirror Lake deep in the mine. Return to Salzburg along the King’s Lake River Valley.
Enjoy a scenic transfer via the Bavarian countryside. You have the flexibility for photo stops and sightseeing, which your driver will be able to recommend depending on your interests.
One highlight en route is Chiemsee, Bavaria’s largest lake with one of the King Ludwig II’s Royal Castles on an island in the lake. You can enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants of Prien am Chiemsee, and take a boat to visit Herrenchiemsee Castle. Your driver can assist to purchase tickets for the castle and boat ride on the spot.
Continue onwards to Schloss Elmau to check-in, and relax at this beautiful palace.
Make your own day trip today to the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, with options to ascend and descend by cogwheel train and cable car. Enjoy the panoramic views of the beautiful Bavarian countryside, and there are a variety of hiking trails for all ages to enjoy.
Return to Garmisch-Partenkirchen where you can browse its charming streets with traditional houses featuring frescoes on their facades, and enjoy lunch in town.
Just outside town, visit Partnach Gorge, a natural monument since 1912, which you can explore via a walkway through tunnels along the fast-flowing Partnach River.
Return to Schloss Elmau for dinner.
Enjoy a day of leisure in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, with a myriad of sports activities ranging from hiking, biking, mountain climbing, paragliding and even golf in the Bavarian alps. After an active day out, head back to your hotel spa and enjoy a bit of pampering in the wellness centre, ending with a rejuvenating massage.
Enjoy a day of leisure in Schloss Elmau, with six spas offering outstanding treatments, fitness and yoga classes, and the largest hamam this side of Istanbul. There are a myriad of sports activities in the empowering alps ranging from hiking, biking, mountain climbing, paragliding and even golf. The little ones are also spoilt for choice – three family spas, a well-stocked kids club, or with edutainment workshops and outdoor adventures. Nourish the soul in the property’s very own concert hall with classical music and jazz concerts and literally events throughout the year, a unique musical tradition since it’s founding in 1916.
Depart Schloss Elmau and return to Munich, stopping at the Royal Castles of Linderhof and Neuschwanstein. The former took its name from the linden tree which is nearly 3000 years old and takes place in the magnificent romantic garden. The palace was the home of Bavarian King Maximilian and has ornate interiors. While with a more stark interior, Neuschwanstein has a unique breath-taking location and is Germany’s number one fairy-tale castle.
Your driver will pick you from your hotel and take you to Munich Franz Josef Airport for your onward journey.
Low Season: November – April
Mid Season: May, October
High Season: June – September
Roomers Munich • Hotel Goldgasse • Staudacherhof
A member of Autograph Collection hotels, this unique lifestyle hotel in the heart of the Westend ups the glam factor in Munich, with intimate and cosy rooms combined with an award-winning gastronomic concept. There is a spa with Infinity pool and cinema, and a large courtyard suitable for events. (Opened: 2017; Rooms: 280)View More
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Low Season: November – April
Mid Season: May, October
High Season: June – September
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