Walking Expectations: Due to limited access to city centers by bus, expect to walk an average of four miles per day, often encountering uneven surfaces and inclines.
Highest Elevation: up to 3470 feet in Austria.
DAY 1 - Overnight flight to Europe. Refer to “Preparing for your Departure” in your Trip Documents for easy check-in procedures. Take time to relax on your transatlantic flight with the assurance that Image Tours has taken care of all the details.
DAY 2 - HOLLAND . . Arrival at Amsterdam Schipol Airport – Dutch Lowlands – Rotterdam. Upon arrival, disembark, clear passport control and collect your luggage. Refer to your “Arrival Instructions” page in your Trip Documents for directions on where and when to meet your tour manager. Board your deluxe motor coach for a pleasant drive through the neatly-groomed Dutch Lowlands. Much of the Dutch countryside is at or below sea level and is characterized by canals, dikes and windmills. Your two-night stay in Holland will introduce you to Dutch “gezelligheid,” a kind, convivial, comfortable feeling which you will experience in the days ahead. This evening, enjoy the “Welcome to Europe/ Get-acquainted” dinner with your fellow tour members at your Rotterdam area hotel. (Dinner)
DAY 3 - HOLLAND . . Delft – Amsterdam – Cheese Farm. Today’s visit to Delft provides a charming introduction to your Dutch experience. Prepare to be captivated by the picturesque streets lined with medieval architecture, characteristic canals, friendly cafés offering Dutch pancakes, which you may enjoy during your independent lunch, and inviting shops selling the famous Delft Blue earthenware. Communicating will not be a problem as English is widely spoken throughout the Netherlands (Holland). Continue to the vibrant capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, a growing city that still holds its old charm. This evening, visit a Cheese Farm where you will experience a traditional Dutch dinner after exploring how the infamous
DAY 4 - HOLLAND . . Rotterdam. Spend a full day exploring Rotterdam. Speedo boat rides (€12) are a fitting way to tour the thriving harbor. The Hop on Hop off bus provides commentary on historic sites and Rotterdam’s fascinatingly diverse architecture (€17 for a 24-hour pass including a 30 minute bike rental). The pedestrian-only area starts at the train station and offers a variety of shops, bakeries and cafes. Also worth a visit are the unique indoor Market Hall and the Maritime Museum (€12.50). Another possibility is to take the train to nearby The Hague, seat of the Dutch government. The tour manager will also offer a full day Delta Works and Rotterdam with Dinner excursion to discover how the Netherlands stays dry under sea level. (Breakfast)
DAY 5 - HOLLAND. . Brabant – Maastricht. Travel through Brabant and into the laid-back province of Limberg, a popular area for the Dutch to vacation. For your independent lunch visit Maastricht, one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands. The bisecting Maas River, medieval architecture, Gothic Sint Janskerk (church) and Romanesque Basilica of St. Servatius all contribute to the beauty of this university town, while shops and cafes add a convivial atmosphere. For many, the next stop at Margraten American Military Cemetery is an emotional experience. The graves of over 8000 American servicemen stand in everlasting memory to the sacrifices of WWII. For the location of specific graves, visit the website www.abmc.gov. Your hotel this evening is conveniently located near the converging borders of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 6 - GERMANY . . Rhine Cruise – Heidelberg – Bad Mergentheim. In Germany, some of your travel will be on the Autobahn, the first state-of-the-art superhighway system, which was expanded by Hitler. Near Koblenz, leave the Autobahn and wind through the Rhine River Valley to Boppard. A pleasure boat awaits you for an upstream cruise on the Rhine River. Keep your eyes open to spot castle ruins, hillside vineyards and medieval fortresses as you glide up Germany’s longest and most important river. Continue to Heidelberg, situated on the Neckar River and dominated by the ruins of Heidelberg Castle. This renowned university town is considered by many to embody the spirit of Germany. Your tour manager will accompany you on a walking tour of the Old Town. Following your visit to Heidelberg, proceed to the neighboring village of Bad Mergentheim for hotel check-in and dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 7 - GERMANY . . Nuremberg – Rothenburg. Begin the day with a tour of Nuremberg. Hitler staged his propaganda rallies here, and after his fall, Nuremburg was chosen as the site of the famous War Trials. For further information, visit the Documentation center at the sight of the Nazi party Rally Grounds (€ 6). If you prefer a lighter subject, enter the toy museum (€5), celebrating Nuremberg’s tradition as the city of toys. Spend the afternoon in the enchanting, medieval village of Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber. When you see the well-preserved walls, cobblestone streets, distinctive inns, and whimsical Christmas shop of Käthe Wohlfahrt’s Weihnachtsdorf, it feels as if you are walking into a fairy tale. Return to your hotel for an authentic German dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 8 - GERMANY. . Munich & AUSTRIA . . Alpine Village. Your morning journey leads you South on the Romantic Road. This area is rich in unspoiled countryside, historic castles and quaint villages. Continue to Munich Center, the elegant capital of Bavaria. Walk into the pedestrian only zone, known as the Marienplatz, where modern storefronts are cleverly integrated with the historic buildings. The focal point of the square is the Rathaus (Town Hall), with its captivating Glockenspiel (clock tower). For your independent lunch, consider the Hofbrauhaus, a one-of-a-kind beer hall, which exudes an Oktoberfest atmosphere year around. Transfer to your Alpine Village Hotel where you will stay for the next three nights. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 9 - AUSTRIA . . Salzburg – Alpine Village. The entire day focuses on the province of Salzburg with special attention to the sights made famous by the “Sound of Music.” In the city of Salzburg, stop at the gazebo (used to film Liesl singing “16 going on 17”) and at Mirabell Gardens (where several “Do Re Mi” scenes were filmed). The walking tour includes Saint Peter’s Abby and Cemetery (where, in the movie, the Von Trapp Family hides from the Nazis). Spend the afternoon shopping in the charming pedestrian-only area of the Old Town, exploring the Salzburg High Fortress, or visiting Mozart’s Birthplace (€11.00). After an independent dinner, return to your Alpine Village Hotel. (Breakfast)
DAY 10 - AUSTRIA . . Alpine Village.
DAY 12 - AUSTRIA . . Vienna. This morning a local guide will provide an introduction of Vienna, highlighting St. Stephen’s Cathedral. You will also see the Opera House, one of Vienna’s most beloved buildings. Use your afternoon to see more of Vienna’s fascinating landmarks. Take a leisurely stroll along the Ringstrasse to see some of the city’s magnificent edifices, or venture into one of the museums in the new, highly-touted Museumsquartier (MQ). For your independent dinner, sample the local Austrian cuisine at a café near the hotel or join the optional Schönnbrunn Palace and Dinner excursion. (Breakfast)
DAY 13 – CZECH REPUBLIC . . Brno – Prague. From Vienna, it is a short drive to the border. Cross into the Czech Republic, where you will stop in Brno. The main square, Namesti Svobody or “freedom Square,” is the cities focal point and is a great place to dine and shop. Arrive in Prague by late afternoon, allowing you time to get acclimated and consider options for an independent dinner or, join the optional Traditional Czech Evening excursion, offering dinner and entertainment. (Breakfast)
DAY 14 - CZECH REPUBLIC . . Prague. This morning meet your local guide for a sightseeing tour of Prague, including beautiful Staromestske namasti (the most photographed square in the city), the Old Town hall, and the Church of St. Nicholas in the little Quarter (Mala Strana). Following the city tour, consider taking a stroll along the Vltava River (also referred to as the Moldau River), and to the spectacular Charles Bridge. From higher banks across the river, the enormous Prague Castle overlooks the city, contributing to the mysterious atmosphere that is inescapable in Prague. Return to your hotel for a “Farewell Dinner.” (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 15 - Daytime flight back to U.S.A.
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