A Luxury Fairy Tale Tour of Germany

A 10 day trip to Germany 
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There is a kingdom where fairy tales exist, and it’s a magical land where Sleeping Beauty slept, and the dwarfs surrounded Snow White. Journey through the world of the Brothers Grimm, where fictional tales are created from the realm of the real. Rapunzel's hair flicked over a castle wall, the tales of the Pied Piper, and surreal medieval villages of knightly stories. The relics of the brothers and fables of their characters blur into reality with this unique 10-day tour that immerses you in the fairytale route of Germany. 

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Frankfurt, Römerberg, Goethehaus, German Museum of Architecture, Museum of Applied Art, Hanau, Gelnhausen, Steinau an der Strasse, Marburg, Oberstadt, Landgrave Castle, Elisabethkirche, Alsfeld, Fairytale House, Little Red Riding Hood Land, Bad Wildungen, Waldeck, Baunatal, Kassel, Fridericianum, Bruder Grimm Museum, Murhardsche Bibliothek, Schlosspark Wilhelmshöhe, Reinhardswald, Sababurg Castle, Goettingen, Rumpelstiltskin Castle, Hamelin, Pied Piper House, Bad Oeynhausen, Buxtehude, Bremen, Bremen City Hall 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Frankfurt – Poetry and History in a Compelling City

Frankfurt's modern metropolis hides a compelling history, one of the timber-framed houses and poetic echoes. While the skyscrapers are glass-fronted, the old riverbank still remembers the city's more than 2,000 years of history. Touch down in Frankfurt and be greeted by a local guide for transfer to a five-star hotel in the city. Rest and relax before an afternoon tour loops around the historical landmarks; the iconic home of Goethe, filled with his scribbled lines, ancient houses with wood frames found around Römerberg and then the museum riverbank and views of the country's innovation. The German Museum of Architecture connects the centuries, while the Museum of Applied Art has your eyes firmly in the experimental design of the future. But which future? That dreamt up in the 18th-century or that one that leads on from now? The evening is at your leisure, and the guide can make dinner recommendations as Frankfurt is the culinary center of Germany.

What's Included: accommodation, airport transfer, tour

Day 2: Hanau to Gelnhausen to Steinau an der Strasse – The World of the Brothers Grimm

The Fairy Tale Route begins with the Brothers Grimm. To understand their magic, explore their background and discover the inspiration that extended from their balconies. They were born in Hanau, where a sandstone monument proudly remembers the town's famous sons. Cobblestone lanes wind past the Neustädter Rathaus (Town Hall) to Philippsruhe Castle, a renovated ruin that is enveloped by a historical park. Next, it's Gelnhausen where a witch-tower holds grim tales from the 15th-century, and a time when fairy tales were the work of suspicion. The brothers also lived in Steinau an der Strasse, a beautiful medieval town where timbered houses lean over the lanes. Your hotel is nestled among the old cobbled center of Steinau an der Strasse and small puppetry acts play out the famous fairy tales throughout the evening. Already, the distinctions are beginning to blur, and you can sense the fantasy that surrounds you.

What's Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Marburg – Grimm Brothers Fairytale Paintings Beneath a 10th-Century Castle

Landgrave Castle stands imperiously above Marburg, a 10th-century fortress of thick stone archways and geometric lines. It's the starting point of today's tour, a landmark of surreal grandeur and the most unusual shape. From here you will wind down the narrow lanes into Oberstadt, the enchanting old town that appears to come straight from the folk literature. It was here that the Brothers Grimm wrote several traditional fairy tales based on the stories that floated from ear to ear through the surrounding area. Fairy tale aficionados can gaze out from anywhere in Marburg and will recognize something as Otto Ubbelohde, the Brothers' painter-illustrator, used many motifs from the town and countryside which continue your vacation's blur between reality and fiction.

What's Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Alsfeld to Bad Wildungen – Through Little Red Riding Hood Land to the Village of Seven Dwarfs

Start the day in Fairytale House, a call back to the legacies found in the Marburg countryside. Inside the timbered house, find old paintings and manuscripts that would become legends, along with memorabilia from the 18th-century tales.  Journey next through Little Red Riding Hood Land as indigenous forests are still dotted with white horses. Stop in Bergfreiheit, where Snow White's house is set neatly in a picturesque village as legend tells of Margaretha von Waldeck, a local beauty who was poisoned by her stepmother in 1554.

At the nearby copper works, just 450 years ago miners came from other countries with promises of no taxes in exchange.  Only short, wiry and strong men were invited to apply, hence the legend of the dwarves. Snow White's house was home to such miners, and all were kept away from the young Margaretha's beauty. Spend the night just a couple of miles from the house, in the historical spa town of Bad Wildungen, where soothing thermals and steam baths will provide a relaxed evening in the heart of Germany.

What's Included: accommodation, guided tour, breakfast

Day 5: Baunatal to Kassel – The Heart of the Fairytale

While the Grimm Brothers brought the fairytales to an international audience, they had been shared across Germany since the Middle Ages. It was Dorothea Viehmann who passed them down to the Brothers, and her home is an essential stop in the fairy tale narrative. Nearby is the Brothers Grimm Museum in the Palais Bellevue, filled with original documents and stories that continue to ignite the imagination. Follow the historical slant to Kassel, where the Murhardsche Library houses an incredible array of fairy tale archives. Think of a tale, and it's earliest written and drawn incarnations are likely here. Next, there's the Electoral Library, where the Brothers worked for many decades and wrote so much of their work. Complementing the facts is Kassel itself, a medieval town that could have been the setting for a hundred fairy tales. It's a destination straight from travel reverie, filled with exquisite small castles, ornate townhouses, and a maze of lanes that encourage you to explore and get lost. End the night with the illuminated Herkules monument, a sweet end to a fairy tale day.

What's Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Reinhardswald to Goettingen – The Sleeping Beauty Route Through Germany, With a Little Braid of Rapunzel

Today's route is bathed in fantasy, wrapped in legend, and a delight to decipher. Sababurg Castle climbs above the trees in Reinhardswald as spiral staircases make postcard-perfect loops through the circular domes. This is the residence of Dornröschen, otherwise known as Little Briar Rose or Sleeping Beauty. A production of the story is played out in the castle courtyard over lunch, the story enhanced by the thorny rose briars that surround the fortress. In the surrounding villages, there are tales of Prince Charming – again a fusion of reality and ridiculous bedtime story – then the plait of Rapunzel that hangs over the crenelated tower of Trendelburg Castle.

You will be greeted by a man in a suit of armor as you descend into a vaulted cellar you shake your head at the ten-meter tress of blond that hangs from a high window. How real is it? Well, it's certainly a ten-meter braid of beautiful hair, so it's up to you to decipher the narratives provided by a guide in shining armor. Finish the Sleeping Beauty Route (yes, this is a real route), in the university town of Goettingen, where the Grimm Brothers lived when they moved away from Kassel. At the heart of the old, boutique town is a bronze figurine of a poor, but beautiful, maiden who is claimed is the world's most kissed girl. Like everywhere on this tour, story and reality blur to capture your imagination.

What's Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch, performance

Day 7: Hamelin – The Iconic Pied Piper of Hamelin

Robert Browning’s “The Pied Piper” has its origins in the town of Hamelin.  Throughout the streets, there are pavement rat markers, corn sacks, cheese graters, and wonderfully picturesque stone and timbered houses. All of these combine as the tale is performed on the town square, the open air shows reminds you that this is a sad fairy tale, albeit one set in “a pleasanter spot you never spied.” The town is almost entirely from the medieval era, with hardly a modern building for miles. Watch a performance over an al fresco lunch on the town square then visit the Pied Piper House to discover the haunting stories that this legend was based upon. The afternoon and evening are at your leisure, and you would not be the first to hear flutes as they echo down the cobblestone alley.

What's Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch

Day 8: Bad Oeynhausen to Buxtehude to Bremen – Local Legends Plus the Hare and the Hedgehog

This fairy tale route is enshrouded in a native forest as almost every drive leads you through the full awnings of ancient oaks and soaring beeches. While the settings are a blend of imagination and legend, the route is a real journey through magnificent woodland and along picturesque rivers. Today your chauffeured luxury saloon will take you through the World Heritage forest to the town of Bad Oeynhausen, where a museum is dedicated to the original legends of this land. Then it's on to Buxtehude, also wrapped in green as in the tale of the Hare and the Hedgehog. Like always, the driver guide illuminates the stories to reveal just how much reality there is in the fairy tales. End the day in Bremen, a World Heritage town that's easy to explore on your own. Every lane seems to lead past beautiful Renaissance architecture, and you're likely to hear the strange sounds of the town musicians, who are animals.

What's Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Bremen – World Heritage Renaissance and Famous Town Musicians

A donkey that plays music? A cat and cockerel call from beneath the pavements? For the Germans, one of the favorite Grimm fairy tales is that of the Bremen Town Musicians. The theatrics are played out on the main city square, and it's rather comical, especially as the donkey beats the drum. But still, not all fairy tales can be glamorous and glorious. On a city tour, explore the famous sights of Bremen as you start with the Renaissance townhouses that shimmer to World Heritage acclaim. Wander past the bronze statue of the town musicians and onto one of the historic mills that line the walls of the inner city, then to a cafe for an energizing coffee. Continue through the exquisite Schnoor, the old living quarters that survived World War II bombing and provide an incredible enchantment to complete the fairy tale itinerary.

What's Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Bremen – Departure

Return to the real world as you're transferred to the airport for your return flight. So many fairytales swill through the imagination, fusing the legendary stories of grandmothers with the scripts of the Brothers Grimm. A regional connection returns you to Frankfurt where you meet your intercontinental departure.

What's Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$2,995
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
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.