Munich, Oberammergau, Partnach Gorge, Garmisch, Rothenburg, Augsburg, Nördlingen, Heidelberg, Rhine Valley, Marksburg, Mosel Valley, Cochem, Bacharach, Oberwesel
Dates are customizable for private departures.
The Oberammergau Passion Play is a once-in-a-decade experience and is yours to enjoy with this 9-day itinerary. From Munich to Heidelberg, Oberammergau to Rothenburg, bask in the natural beauty of the Rhine Valley as your customizable tour will immerse you in fairytale towns, captivating scenery, and stunning castles.
Munich - Arrive in Germany and Discover Munich
Munich combines its rich folkloric traditions with the blessings of a modern and elegant city. You will find men walking around in traditional lederhosen, women wearing customary dirndls, and the sounds of music emanating from the famous Glockenspiel in Marienplatz. Your private transfer will meet you at customs upon your arrival at Munich International Airport and escort you into the heart of the city to reach your luxurious hotel. After settling into the comforts of central Munich, your guide will meet you in the lobby for an exploration of Bavaria’s capital city.
Munich‘s streets pulse with life beneath the towering Baroque churches like the 18th-century Asamkirche. The aromas of cheese and spices will fill Viktualienmarkt, where local merchants showcase delicious fare before reaching the city palace of Bavarian kings. You also have the option of visiting BMW World to take in the fantastic displays or wonder at the building‘s impressive double-cone architecture. You can also choose to have dinner at the famous Hofbräuhaus for the sounds of Bavarian oompah music accompanying traditional German fare.
Munich - Immersive Munich Tour
After breakfast, your guide will meet you in the lobby and lead you on a tour of Munich’s distinctive neighborhoods beginning with the English Garden. The park is Germany’s largest and covers 910 acres, and the glamourous scenery encompasses winding streams and a glistening lake. You will continue to Nymphenburg Castle to find the former summer residence of the Bavarian monarchy and wander through the garden’s hedge maze and marvel at the statues of Greek gods.
As you visit distinctive neighborhoods, you can find history, vibrancy, and bohemian ambiance that has attracted students, artists, and intellectuals for centuries. You have the option of visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. A specifically licensed guide will take you through the sobering remains of the barracks, the camp, and the crematory with a compassionate account of life and death at Dachau.
Oberammergau - The Passion Play
After breakfast, you will leave Munich in your luxury rental car and make your way toward the incredible peaks of the Bavarian Alps. You can stop at the 10th-century Andechs Monastery to sample one of the legendary ales the monks have brewed for approximately 600 years. After checking into your hotel in Oberammergau, you will find the picturesque town reminiscent of a storybook as the surrounding lush valley will shine green beneath the alpine summits. A flowerbox decorates every home, and the aromas of fresh pretzels will drift out of the local bakery along with rye bread and sourdough rolls.
In the afternoon, you will attend the unique cultural event of the Oberammergau Passion Play and the highlight of this itinerary. Villagers stage and perform the play once every ten years to fulfill a vow made in 1634 after the devastating Bubonic Plague spared their poor inhabitants. Over half of the villages’ 5,000 residents take part in a dramatic open-air performance of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The drama, emotions, and enthusiasm create a palpable atmosphere that derives from the sheer grandeur of the display. The performance blends opera and ritual to become a Hollywood epic.
Oberammergau - Fairytale Landscapes and Castle
In the morning, you will have an early tour of the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. You will have the castle to yourself as you enter before opening hours with your expert guide. As you wander this magical fairy-tale castle, take a glance at the royal chambers of late King Ludwig of Bavaria and enjoy the splendid views of the surrounding mountains and lush forest from the castle‘s towers. Continue to Garmisch, the host of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games. The ski jump continues to decorate the slopes of town like a monument leading your eye to the surrounding natural wonders.
You can follow the thrilling walkway carved into the rock where torrential streams of glacial waters thunder past. Once at Linderhof Palace, you will find King Ludwig’s favorite storybook castle, where the monarch lived among opulent gardens and lavish apartments. Jewels encrust the rooms, and a crystal chandelier that holds 108 candles adorns the king’s former private bedroom. You have the option of traversing Zugspitze, Germany‘s highest peak. A breathtaking cableway will take you within minutes of the summit, offering a view of Lake Eibsee’s emerald surface and dozens of snow-covered peaks.
Rothenburg - Traveling the Romantic Road & Rothenburg
Your scenic drive along the Romantic Road will bring wonderful stops along the way to Rothenburg. Begin with enchanting Augsburg set alongside winding steams and through Nördlingen, which is known for the ancient city wall encircling the historic center. You can stop in the town of Dinkelsbühl to find half-timbered houses and 18 preserved watchtowers. You will reach Rothenburg to find Germany’s prettiest medieval town. Much of the charming streets and architecture dates back to the 17th century, defined by the imposing defense towers, ancient city walls, and narrow cobblestone streets.
The weekly market continues to fill the town with the aromas of kohlrabi in spring and black salsify in winter. Your guide will lead you through the preserved medieval treasures of town as you wander alongside half-timbered houses and charming customary shops. After a traditional Rothenburg dinner, you will meet your guide for an unforgettable Night Watchman tour. Your guide will be a medieval knight in authentic dress, who will take you through the narrow lanes and alleys guided by a lantern. You will hear heroic tales and fascinating legends of the town’s efforts to defend itself through the centuries.
Heidelberg - Exploring Stunning Heidelberg
You will drive along the scenic roads and through the forest that surrounds Germany’s oldest university town to arrive in Heidelberg. The historic neighborhoods rise out of the riverbanks and showcase the crowning castle ruins. From your gorgeous hotel, you will have views of the Altstadt’s glowing red rooftops and the 656-foot long Old Bridge.
Your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby eager to escort you on an insightful tour of the gorgeous city left unharmed during World War II. The stunning castle continues to overlook the Neckar Valley. You can take the path known as "Philosopher‘s Way" for exhilarating views of the historic city, sweeping from the old castle to the surrounding valley. You have the option of visiting the neighboring town of Speyer. What was once a grand city home to German emperors is now a charming setting dominated by the inspiring 11th-century cathedral. You can also choose to enjoy authentic local cuisine at a celebrated restaurant on the banks of the Neckar River, finding items such as spaetzle and leberknödel.
Rhine Valley - Enjoying the Romantic Rhine Valley
As you make your way to the Rhine Valley, you will stop at Mainz. The town overlooks the confluence of the Rhine and Main rivers while possessing a blend of German and French ambiance. Half-timbered homes line the cobbled lanes of the Alstadt, and Chagall’s ethereal stained-glass windows shine into St. Stephan Kirche. You can wander through town at your own pace to find the Gutenberg Museum. You can marvel at the original Gutenberg Bible, the first book ever printed. As you continue along the Romantic Way, you will spot the Mouse Tower, a stone structure with Roman foundations that acts as the gateway to Romantic Rhine Valley.
The landscape features medieval castles, riverbanks, and sweeping vineyards. Navigate around famous Loreley, a mystical rock formation that has for centuries inspired medieval knights, poets, and tourists before you pass Kaub’s shiny white castle in the midst of the Rhine River. You will arrive at your castle hotel in Oberwesel, where the nearly two-mile wall surrounds the medieval town. You can follow the path set beneath the 16 dramatic guard towers. At dinner, you will indulge in the local cuisine at the celebrated restaurant in your hotel.
Rhine Valley - Basking in the Rhine & Mosel Valley
You will venture to Marksburg after breakfast to find Marksburg Castle, majestically looming over the River Rhine. With its countless little towers and turrets, it is one of the area‘s most magnificent castles. Initially built in the 14th century, it has managed to survive passing wars and warriors. As you reach Mosel Valley, you will see how the Mosel River magnificently carves its way underneath steep vineyards and epic medieval castles. Stop in Cochem to enjoy lunch around the medieval town center. Half-timbered houses wind along the narrow streets beneath the imperial castle.
You will stop at one of Germany’s top 10 winemakers for a private tour and tasting of the distinguished vintner. Your guide will open precious bottles for you to taste, such as a Mosaik blend of even varietals resulting in aromas of spring flowers, citrus, and lingering notes of ginger. You have the option of visiting Burg Eltz, one of Germany‘s most magnificent castle. Countless little towers from the 14th century still house the same family above a lively beer garden. After you return to Obewesel, you can also choose to dine on a restaurant terrace for marvelous views of the Rhine Valley and the Burg Rheinfels.
Frankfurt - Depart for Home
After breakfast, you will visit the pretty village of Bacharach, where the 14th-century wall hides arched gateways and half-timbered houses. The walkways open up to views of the rushing waters of the Rhine River. You will pass the local restaurants filled with the aromas of traditional Rhine Valley cuisine, such as roast pork and fried potatoes. As you stroll past the small wine shops, you can stop in to sample wines crafted at local vineyards to find aromas ripe peaches and apricot or flavors with hints of spice. After spending time in Bacharach, you will turn your rental car into the Frankfurt International Airport and check-in to your flight home.
- Witness the fascinating Oberammergau Passion Play, which occurs once every 10 years and includes nearly all 5,000 citizens of the village
- Experience the fantastical architecture and operatic mosaics of Neuschwanstein Castle during a private guided tour before opening hours
- Sample the delicious flavors of the Rhine Valley wine region with a private tasting hosted by an award-winning winemaker for an unforgettable introduction to local wines
- Bask in the enchanting ambiance and stellar views of Rothenburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval towns with half-timbered houses and shops from the 1600s
- Discover the opulence of King Ludwig’s fairytale design of Linderhof Palace, where Versailles-style gardens and lavish rooms embody king’s exuberance
- Visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz to view the Gutenberg Bible, the first book ever printed
- Explore the wonderful scenery of Partnach Gorge on an adventurous walkway carved into the rocks and passing rushing glacial waters
- Visit the 15th-century Andechs Monastery to sample famous beer brewed by the monks for over 600 years
Your 9-day tour of Germany is custom-tailored to your interests by focusing on the wonders of culture and heritage from Bavaria to the Rhineland. Your time in Germany features tours and activities exclusive to Zicasso that will reveal destinations from a new, exciting perspective. You can travel at your own pace along the Romantic Road and between Rothenburg to Heidelberg, discover Rothenburg by lanternlight guided by a medieval knight, and witness the entire village of Oberammergau spring to life during the Passion Play performance.
$4,045 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.
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