5 days - 4 nights - from € 399 p.p. The Charm of the Romantic
   

 

 

 

 

Castles with Rapunzel-like towers, quaint sidewalk cafes, sprawling vineyards and their prized products, moss-covered stone bridges, centuries-old Saturday markets. It's visions of scenes like these that bring so many visitors to the historic towns and villages of Germany. The quaint, the scenic and the hospitable have made them prime destinations for couples, poets and the hopelessly romantic alike. Plan a trip with your special someone to the best of Germany's historic and charming towns for a trip that promises to make romance and memories.

 
Day 1 - Wiesbaden

 Arrive at Frankfurt International Airport (or at Wiesbaden Main Train Station) to start your tour. Taxi transfer to your hotel in the Historic Highlights City of Wiesbaden, located in the City Centre. Wiesbaden received its descriptive name, literally "bathing in the fields," from the Franconians in 829. Long before this group, though, the thermal waters were discovered by the Romans. Nearly 2000 years ago, Roman soldiers began to bathe in the thermal water that bubbled up through the ground. They found these steaming pools had healing effects on them, and the ancient attraction still remains. Wiesbaden's wealthy spa, resort and casino owners can thank those stinky Roman soldiers and their inadvertent discovery while washing up in the fields for their continued popularity and profitability today. It began to develop as a resort town in the early nineteenth century, and the European aristocracy came in droves. The presence, prestige and influence of the cultural elite helped develop an extensive calendar of cultural events (many surviving to this day) and the magnificent structures built to house them. Casinos became popular in Wiesbaden to entertain the royalty, nobility and intellectual elite between dips in the baths and it quickly became one of the leading spa destinations in Europe. There are several attractions of particular interest regarding Wiesbaden's Roman roots. The Heidenmauer (Heathens' Wall) is the city's oldest structure from Roman times and is found next to the Römertor (Roman Gateway). It was part of a Roman stronghold dating back to 364-375 A.D. built to ward off attacks from the Germanic tribes. Only fragments of the wall remain today. The Römertor was built in 1902 with a covered wooden bridge. In the Römisches Freilichtmuseum (Roman Open-Air Museum) next to the Römertor, there are copies of stone tablets found in Wiesbaden from the Roman era. In the Museum Wiesbaden, an extensively renovated art collection and exhibit focuses on the "Roman Era and the Early Middle Ages." The Altstadt (Old City), once encircled by a city wall, lends itself to strolls through its narrow, twisting alleys lined with houses dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Perhaps the most impressive area is the district around the "new" Kurhaus, the massive and magnificent Wilhelminian structure that opened in 1907. The neoclassical structure is awe-inspiring with its massive dome and rich adornments, also housing the ornate Spielbank. Try your luck at the famed casino, where roulette, blackjack and poker are the primary games of choice and visitors can tour or even take lessons. The adjacent Kurhaus Colonnade features a less formal gambling setting with 130 slot machines. And, of course, you can't leave Wiesbaden without experiencing the thermal baths as the Romans did. The Kaiser-Friedrich- Therme, erected in 1913, re-opened to the public in 1999 after extensive restorations. This historic thermal bath is heated by the Adlerquelle, a hot spring with a temperature of 66°C. It offers an Irish-Roman Bath, a fascinating contemporary sauna landscape, and a range of therapies using natural methods of treatment.

 
Day 2 - Rüdesheim, Sankt Goarshausen (near Loreley) & the Rhine

Today a train takes you from Wiesbaden to Rüdesheim, gate to the Mittelrheintal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stunning valley measures around 65 kilometres in length, here the majestic Rhine Rivers breaches the Rheinische Schiefergebirge (schistose mountain). Along the Mittelrheintal are so many historic monuments and cultural landmarks as just about no where else in Europe. The vineyards towering high above the rapidly floating river are a sight to see. The train will then take you to the idyllic "wine- town" Sankt Goarshausen, which lies at the foot of the Loreley. Explore the mediaeval part of the picturesque Old Town, where two of the towns towers as well as parts of the original wall protecting the town are preserved.
After a short train ride you will reach the Historic Highlights City of Koblenz. Between the picturesque landscape of the Rhine and Mosel and surrounded by four low mountain ranges, is this more than 2000-year-old town known as the "Gateway to the Romantic Rhine," the ideal starting point into the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Koblenz's abundance of cultural monuments and historical buildings, the cozy little lanes and alleyways, and the relaxed and happy atmosphere of its squares and river promenades make Koblenz a charming town where its guests feel right at home. And it's a perfect base for exploration of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers that border the city. Start by exploring the narrow alleys and vibrant plazas of the Altstadt (Old Town), situated in the corner of town bordered by the Mosel to the north and Rhine to the east. A scenic walk that gives a sense of the breadth of this charming quarter is along the Mosel and Rhine promenades.
Stroll across the Balduin Bridge, first builtacross the Mosel starting in 1342. The view back to the Altstadt offers a unique view with the turretsof the Old Castle and the two pointed steeples of St. Florin's Church. The two rivers play a major role in the German mythos. The Rhine symbolizes strength and pride, while the Mosel is more nurturing. Just a short stroll upstream along the Rhine promenade, sculpted figures of "Father Rhine and Mother Mosel" lie caressing and affectionate on a bed of grapes. Behind them in stately counterpoint stands the sprawling neo-classical Elector's Palace, built in the late 1700s (closed to the public). Make your way to the Deutsches Eck - or German Corner - where the Rhine and Mosel meet. It's here that a giant copper statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I on horseback was erected in 1897, close to the spot where the Order of German Knights had its headquarters as early as 1216. The statue was destroyed by bombs in 1944. From 1953, the bare pedestal was known as the "Memorial to German Unity." After reunification, a copy of the statue was replaced in 1993. Today, flags of all German states wave proudly over the two rivers. Standing at the tip of the Corner, you can watch the sparkling waters of the Mosel swirl into the powerful Rhine. Across the Rhine stands the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, looming 388 feet above the river and reminding visitors of Koblenz's symbolic strength and historic significance. Today, the Fortress houses a memorial to the German army, a youth hostel, the Regional Museum and a restaurant with excellent regional food.
Built on the occasion of the German Wine Exhibition in 1925, the Wine Village is situated on the Rhine banks (in the Empress- Augusta-Gardens). It has been a destination for connoisseurs of good wine and regional specialties for nearly 75 years. The complex includes a genuine vineyard and half-timbered houses from some of the most famous German wine-growing areas. Sit inside for a relaxing view out onto the river, or enjoy the romantic ambiance of sharing a glass of wine on the outdoor trellised courtyard. There are myriad other attractions to enjoy in Koblenz aside from rivers and wine, though. The art museums alone could keep some guests captivated for a week. The Mother Beethoven House displays the world's largest private Beethoven exhibition. It was in the former home that the composer's mother, Maria Magdelena, was born in 1746. It also now houses documents and letters of cultural figures of the period. A building rich with history, St. Castor´s Basilica was at one time the favorite church of the Carolingian emperors. In this Romanesque building (consecrated in 836), the Verdun compact on the division of the first German Empire was prepared in 843. The church's fountain reminds us of Napoleon's rise and fall, and its cryptic inscription is one of history's great curiosities. Much of the city was demolished during World War II and was rebuilt with care, and the Deutsche Kaiser Building stands as a monument to the pre-war history of this city. An early 16th century "residential tower" with battlements, it was the only building to survive the war in its area of the Altstadt.
Your hotel is located close to the main train station.

   
  Day 3 - Freiburg

First-class train ride to the Historic Highlight City of Freiburg.
Today Freiburg is a cheerful "little big city" with southern flair and a charming mix of tradition and progress. It's a German city with an almost Mediterranean climate and certainly the attending ambiance and joie de vivre. France, after all, is just 25 kilometers (15 miles) away. The Austrians also left their cultural fingerprint here thanks to the city's 400 years as part of the Habsburg Empire. The site of this cosmopolitan university town is unmatched: right at the foot of the Black Forest and in the middle of the "three-country corner" where Germany, France and Switzerland meet. With the Vosges and the Alps nearby, a climate reminiscent of Lugano and a renowned thermal mineral bath and spa resort, its location is a natural attraction. In Freiburg, you encounter historic sights at every corner. The Cathedral Square is surrounded by impressive buildings, the tallest of which is the steep-roofed historical Kaufhaus (Old Merchants' House) with its colorfully adorned bartizans. Sights worth visiting include the Old and New Town Halls, the Haus zum Walfisch (House of the Whale) with its superb late Gothic portal, the Basler Hof (Basel Court) and the two medieval city gates (Martinstor and Schwabentor) still standing today. Picturesquely encircling the magnificent Gothic Cathedral begun in 1200, the medieval Old Quarter features architectural treasures including a colorful marketplace, twisting, narrow lanes and miniature streams flowing through the streets and alleyways. The cathedral's 381-foot tower ranks among the masterworks of Gothic architecture, distinguishing Freiburg's incomparable silhouette. If you attempt to climb the Cathedral tower, you'll be rewarded at the pinnacle of your climb with a breathtaking view. And even at such lofty heights, the enchanting ambiance of this old university town is palpable. The old city center's numerous historical monuments, museums, theaters, cozy restaurants and quaint bars all make this city so popular among students and visitors alike. You will quickly note a unique city feature, the so-called Bächle - or little streams - built nearly 600 years ago as a water supply and to fight fires. The water flows down to the Rhine, providing a way for tired backpackers to cool their feet and a race course for kids with rubber ducks. These babbling little streams offer a charming and often whimsical air to the Old Town. The city was an historically important center of commerce, and the historic Merchant's Hall (1520-30) is a symbol of the significance of trade in medieval Freiburg. The municipal market, customs and financial administration building is identified as a center of trade by its arcades hall, and its façade is decorated with coats of arms and statues indicating the city's links with the House of Habsburg. A popular day trip within the city limits is the Schauinsland, Freiburg's 4,213-foot "hometown" mountain. The scenery viewed from the cable car running to the summit spans far out over the Rhine plain, past vineyard hills toward the gray-silhouetted backdrop of the French Vosges mountain range. From the summit, the view extends deep into the Black Forest and south to the Alps. Tiny villages, with their red roofs and narrow steeples, and ivy-draped castle ruins perfect this idealistically quaint setting. You hotel is located right at Freiburg main train station.

   
  Day 4 - Heidelberg

 

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First-class train ride to the Historic Highlights City of Heidelberg. A taxi will take you to your hotel in the City Center (Old Town). Heidelberg is renowned for its romantic ambiance. Joseph von Eichendorff, the German Romantic poet who studied in Heidelberg in 1807, could be speaking today: "Heidelberg itself is magnificent romantic city; there the spring entwines the houses and courtyards and everything ordinary with vines and flowers, and castles and forests tell a wonderful fairytale of times past. "Take in the magic of the Castle, the Old Bridge and the Old Town panorama; wander through the picturesque side streets full of enticing opportunities to look, poke around and shop; enjoy the varied year-round program of cultural activities and the flair of historic student pubs. See the indelible marks of the imperial Prince Electors Palatine who ruled Heidelberg for so many centuries, and keep your eyes open for lions emblazoned upon various public spaces, the traditional symbol of the "Kurpfalz"(Palatinate).Heidelberg is an endlessly walk able little city. Stroll the Old Town for traditional markets on the squares and cosmopolitan shopping on the bustling Hauptstrasse. The restaurant selection is plentiful, and some of the best people-watching is to be done from outdoor dining on this main pedestrian way. The ruins of the Heidelberg Castle area steep but short hike, or one stop upon the funicular rail, from the Old Town. Majestically perched high above the narrow lanes and picturesque roofs of town, the magnificent red sandstone structure crowns the city. For five centuries it was the glamorous residence of the Electors Palatine. The construction lasted over 400 years and consists of ramparts, outbuildings and palaces in all styles from Gothic thigh Renaissance. The two dominant buildings at the eastern and northern side of the courtyard were erected the 16th century, and today they are considered to be two of the most important buildings in German architectural history. Another point of interest regarding Heidelberg's Electors Palatines the triumphal arch in honour of the Prince Elector Karl Theodor, located at the far eastern edge of town. When the foundation-stone was laid on October 2, 1775, the Prince Elector personally attended the celebration. He took a personal interesting the construction work, and the final result was a neoclassical building following the tradition of Roman triumphal arches, crowned by four lions. Portraits of the Prince Elector and his wife can be seen under the princely hat towards the top of the structure. You can also visit the tombs of the Prince Electors in the Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Ghost). No city was as beloved by the Romantic poets as Heidelberg, due in great part to her enchanting location on the Nectar River amidst mountains, woods and sloping vineyards. The city has drawn and inspired great writers and thinkers for many centuries, leading its popular walking path to become known as the Philosopher's Walk. Recognized as one of Europe's most beautiful trails, you can take a leisurely ramble to see the panorama of the city and river below that moved the likes of Goethe, Mark Twain, Carl Maria von Weber, Alan Ginsburg and many more. As Germany's oldest university town, Heidelberg flaunts her distinguished history while retaining a youthful atmosphere. One in five residents is a student, and the many bistros, bars, boutiques, music and dance clubs, coffeehouses and theatres catering to this group are to be enjoyed by the visitor as well. And be sure to treat yourself to a "Student's Kiss," Heidelberg's mouth-wateringly sweet specialty.

 
Day 5 - Heidelberg

Enjoy your last day of the tour. The train (first-class) will take you directly to Frankfurt Airport or any train station in Germany, if you continue your tour.

 

Book This Tour

INCLUDED
  • Airport Transfers

  • 4 nights accommodation

  • All train transportation in first class

  • Sightseeing at leisure

  • Tour package with valuable information, maps and brochures

  • Some entrance fees

5 days / 4 nights independent tour

€509 per person - based on double occupancy


Alternatively:

AVIS rental car instead of 1st class train travel:

€399 per person - based on double occupancy

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