King Ludwig's Castles and the Bavarian Lakes

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Bavarian Castles Tour – 2010 and 2011 

 

 

King Ludwig II's Castles and the Bavarian Lakes

 

 

Neuschwanstein

Hopfensee

Linderhof

 

Discover the wonderful castles of King Ludwig II and the beauty of Bavaria's lakes and countryside.  Tour inside the castles with local guides and take time to explore on your own.  Alternate the visits to castles with other excursions, including a trip to the top of Mount Zugspitze, the floral grandeur of Mainau, the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, the Church in the Meadow, Oberammergau and other picturesque towns and villages in the region, and other highlights listed in the itinerary below.

 

New!  Now, if you wish, you can add the optional Three Nights Venice Extension to this tour to also visit one of Europe's most romantic cities.

 

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Map

 

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Itinerary

Day 1

Board your flight from your home destination to Munich, Germany.

This itinerary assumes this to be an overnight flight. 

Air fare independently arranged.

Day 2 – HOPFEN AM SEE

Arrival in Munich, Germany.  Your flight should arrive at the Munich Airport by 11:15 a.m. at the latest for the complimentary transfer at noon.

When the group is complete we head south to your home away from home in HOPFEN AM SEE, on the lake near Fussen (Füssen or Fuessen in German).  Our home base here at the southern end of Germany's famous Romantic Road is within hiking distance of Neuschwanstein in the beautiful Bavarian Alps.

You are staying in a typical local "landhaus", where you are a friend, not a tourist.  Your rooms are very gemuetlich, decorated in Bavarian country style, all with cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, extra sitting area, balcony, and a great mountain view.

Your local expert, Astrid Baur, will take you out for a Bavarian dinner on the Lake Promenade tonight.

>  Your tour includes: Transfer from airport to hotel, three-course welcome dinner with menu choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea after, overnight at Landhaus Koessel in Hopfen am See

Landhaus Kossel (Landhaus Kössel / Koessel)

Day 3 – NEUSCHWANSTEIN, HOHENSCHWANGAU

Today we focus on NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE (Schloss Neuschwanstein in German), Germany's most famous castle.  First we go to Marienbruecke (Mary's Bridge) sitting high above the Poellat Gorge, where we can take the best pictures of the castle.  (If Mary's Bridge is closed because of ice or snow on the path, you will be taken to another lookout where you can take wonderful pictures of Neuschwanstein.)

From there we walk downhill for our inside tour of Neuschwanstein.  Afterwards there's time for lunch and a stroll on Lake Alpsee, where young Ludwig learned to swim.

[ Larger photos of Neuschwanstein, including new helicopter views, are included in the Bavarian Castles Gallery in the In Depth section below. ]

In the afternoon we visit SCHLOSS HOHENSCHWANGAU, the castle built by his father Maximilian, where Germany's fairy tale king spent much of his childhood, and where he dreamed about his future castles.  Local guides in both castles.

Fantastic dinner tonight in the area where Ludwig II was planning his next castle, Falkenstein.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrances and guided tours of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, horse carriage, three-course dinner, Landhaus Koessel


 

Neuschwanstein

Day 4 – ZUGSPITZE, LINDERHOF, OBERAMMERGAU

Beautiful drive via Austria to Garmisch where we take a cable car up to the ZUGSPITZE, at almost 10,000 feet Germany's highest mountain, with a matchless panorama.

We continue on to SCHLOSS LINDERHOF, Ludwig's beautiful hiding castle deep in the forest, which served as a background for the romantic fancies of the young king. Inside visit with local guide.

Back home via the pretty village of OBERAMMERGAU, known for the passion play, a tradition which derives from a vow made by the inhabitants in 1633 that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague then sweeping the region they would perform a passion play every ten years.

Medieval Dinner in Fussen tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, Zugspitze cable car, guided tour of Linderhof, three-course dinner, Landhaus Koessel

Linderhof

Day 5 – HERRENCHIEMSEE, BAD TOLZ

Today we focus on King Ludwig II's largest castle, HERRENCHIEMSEE, which he built on an island in Lake Chiemsee after a visit to Versailles, and where he stayed only one week.

Boat and horse carriage rides to the castle and local guide for inside tour.

On the way back we stop in the beautiful town of BAD TOLZ (Bad Tölz or Bad Toelz in German).

There's time to relax before we join the locals tonight for great atmosphere and food at a local brewery.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, boat and carriage rides, Herrenchiemsee tour, dinner, Landhaus Koessel


 

Herrenchiemsee

Day 6 – MUNICH, NYMPHENBURG

We go to MUNICH (München or Muenchen in German, sometimes Munchen on the net) and first we visit SCHLOSS NYMPHENBURG (Nymphenburg Palace), where Ludwig was born, and the Marstallmuseum, containing many of Ludwig's elaborate carriages.

An Orientation Tour of Germany's secret capital features the Olympic stadium, Olympic Tower, Leopoldstrasse, Schwabing, Ludwigstrasse, Odeonsplatz, Koenigsplatz, Karlsplatz, Church of our Lady, and Marienplatz where you see the Glockenspiel.

Afterwards plenty of time on your own for shopping, more sightseeing (BMW Museum, German Museum, Pinakothek, ... the options list is endless).  Dinner on your own in the evening.  Why not have a stein of beer at the Hofbrauhaus (Hofbräuhaus), Munich's famous beer hall?

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, Munich orientation tour, entrance to Nymphenburg Palace, Landhaus Koessel

Nymphenburg

Day 7 – WIESKIRCHE, LAKE STARNBERG, ANDECHS

We take the Romantic Road today to visit the masterpiece of Bavarian Rococo, WIESKIRCHE, also known as the Church in the Meadow, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We continue to LAKE STARNBERG and at Berg see the Votivchapel and the cross in the lake where Ludwig died.  Then on to ritzy Starnberg with time for lunch and a stroll on the lake.

Afterwards a short drive to ANDECHS, a famous Benedictine monastery on the Holy Mountain.  The monks are also well known for making their own beer, which we have time to enjoy in one of the many beer gardens.

Great dinner in the country tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, three-course dinner with menu choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea after, Landhaus Koessel

Wieskirche

Day 8 – LAKE CONSTANCE, LINDAU, MAINAU

Our last day takes us to LAKE CONSTANCE (or Bodensee, its German name), where we visit fortified, charming LINDAU, with its harbour and the old lighthouse, the narrow lanes, the many fountains, romantic courtyards and hidden corners.
 
After lunch we take a boat to visit the Island of MAINAU in the lake, a paradise for plant enthusiasts because even tropical flowers grow in the mild climate. The palace and the charming baroque church contribute to the magic of the island.

Expect a fantastic farewell dinner in a typical mountain inn tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, ferry to Mainau, entrance to Mainau, three-course dinner, Landhaus Koessel

Mainau

Day 9 – Bavarian Castles Tour

Time to say "Auf wiedersehen".

Transfer to Munich Airport for your return flight home.

Your flight should not leave Munich before 10:30 a.m.

If you wish, you can extend your vacation with the optional Three Nights Venice Extension outlined below.


>  Buffet breakfast, transfer to airport

 

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Oberammergau Passion Play 2010

 

Demand for the Oberammergau extension to this tour far exceeded our ticket allotment, and these tours sold out.

The details below remain online for the information of guests on the June 4 Bavaria + Oberammergau tour.

 

Information:  Day 9 – Bavarian Castles Tour + Oberammergau Passion Play

The 2010 Bavarian Castles Tour can be extended by an additional day to include a complete performance of the Oberammergau Passion Play.  Guests return home one day later than on the basic Bavarian Castles Tour (on Day 10).

After a leisurely breakfast on Day 9 we begin with a guided walk through FUSSEN, an old Roman Town on the Lech River.  Walk its narrow streets and lanes and enjoy the details your local guide provides.
After free time for lunch we drive to Oberammergau for the Passion Play.

The Oberammergau Passion Play was first performed in 1634 to honour the village’s vow that it would perform a passion play depicting the life and death of Jesus every ten years if it were spared the effects of the bubonic plague then sweeping the region.  Oberammergau was spared the worst effects of the plague and has continued to honour its commitment throughout the centuries.

In the year 2000 Oberammergau presented its Passion Play for the 40th time.

The play is now performed repeatedly over the course of five months during the last year of each decade, and involves over 2,000 performers, musicians, and stage technicians, all residents of Oberammergau.  The Passion Play Theatre, with renovations completed in 1999, now accommodates an audience of 4,720 in covered seats.

The first part of the performance runs from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m., the second from 8:00 to 10:30 p.m.  Your ticket category is “1” or “1a”.

During the break enjoy a nice dinner in town.  We return to the Landhaus for overnight.

 

Information:  Day 10 – Bavarian Castles Tour + Oberammergau Passion Play

Time to say "Auf wiedersehen".
Transfer to Munich Airport for your return flight home.
Your flight should not leave Munich before 10:30 a.m.

>  Buffet breakfast, transfer to airport

 

       Bavarian Castles Tour + Oberammergau Passion Play Itinerary  (Sold Out)

 

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(Optional) Three Nights Venice Extension

 

Turn your Bavarian Castles Tour into an even more magical vacation with an extension to Venice, described as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man" and as "one of Europe's most romantic cities."

This three-night extension takes the same approach to visiting Italy's Veneto region as our longer Italian Highlights Tour. 

Travel across the scenic Alps, visit Verona, the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and check into your 4-star hotel on Venice's Lido Island.  Ride the bus boats on the Grand Canal and see the Rialto Bridge, tour inside the palace and basilica on St. Mark's Square, go for a gondola ride, and visit the scenic islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello.  Shop if you wish, explore on your own, or relax on Lido Island's beach.

Full details are provided in this Three Nights Venice Extension itinerary.

 

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Tour Features 

bulletDoor-to-door transportation on a 47-seat coach
bullet7 breakfast buffets and 6 three-course dinners including one beverage and coffee or tea after dinner
bullet7 nights accommodation
bulletAll entrance fees and local guides
bulletNo hidden extras
bulletMaximum group size of 30 people
bullet2010 tours with the Oberammergau Passion Play extension have an additional breakfast, dinner, and accommodation night, and a Class 1 ticket for the play.

Complete printable itineraries in PDF format:

          Bavarian Castles Tour Itinerary

          Bavarian Castles Tour + Oberammergau Passion Play Itinerary  (Sold Out)

Landhaus Koessel breakfast buffet

Tour Director

Astrid Baur is a German native who has successfully conducted over 200 tours throughout Europe and Germany for thousands of happy clients. Astrid will take you around Bavaria, which she knows by heart.

You will see not only the highlights but also the spots where only the locals go. The days are well planned to offer you many highlights, but you are not rushed. And there is no packing and unpacking, as we stay in the same place every night.

The tour language is English only.

Astrid organizes the tour personally, and you can contact her directly as explained in the Contact Information section below.

 

 

Castles Intro Video Astrid has posted a short video clip on YouTube introducing herself and her tours.
           >  Castles Intro Video
 

Astrid Baur

Hotel – The Landhaus Koessel

The Landhaus Koessel is located on Lake Hopfen, near Fussen, with beautiful scenery and mountain views of the Bavarian Alps.

You stay in Bavarian Country Style rooms, which are very spacious, with extra sitting areas, balconies, cable TV, direct-dial-telephones, coffeemakers, mini-bars, and hairdryers. You will feel at home immediately. High speed internet is available. For more information please see the Landhaus Koessel English-language page.

Find out for yourself what makes this particular place in the Alps so special that King Ludwig wanted to spend the rest of his life here.

The Landhaus Koessel

 

     

 

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Images

Hopfensee

June 2008 Tour at the Landhaus

Hohenschwangau

At Linderhof, September 2006

View from Zugspitze

Oberammergau

Bad Tolz

Marienplatz, Munich

September 2007 Tour

Ludwig Votivchapel, Lake Starnberg

At Hopfensee, May 2008

Lindau Harbour

There are more pictures in the In Depth section below.  The Gallery has larger images of tour destinations, and Groups has photos of participants in past tours.

 

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Bavarian Castles Tour  In Depth

Gallery
Larger Pictures of Castles, Communities and Regional Highlights
Images of Bavarian Castles Tour features, contributed by past guests and from public domain sources. This gallery now includes three dramatic and exclusive helicopter views of Neuschwanstein.
Maps
Detailed Itinerary Destination Maps
4-page printer-friendly PDF including:
-  Bavarian Castles Tour Destinations map from the top of this web page,
-  Detailed maps with Bavarian Castles destinations marked by day (2 pages), and
-  Fussen Area map, highlighting the locations of the castles.
Research
Links to Sources of More Detailed Information
Clickable links to detailed articles on major Bavarian Castles Tour itinerary features 
Groups
Pictures of Previous Tour Groups and Participants
Photos from recent year Bavarian Castles Tours

horizontal rule

Four other website pages, shared with other tours, also provide in depth information and travel services.

Tours
Tours Characteristics
Notes on the distinguishing features of the various tours offered. 
What's so special about these tours?  How do they differ from each other?
References
References
Comments from participants in this and other Castles tours.
Travel
Travel Info
Clickable links to air and rail travel resources, currency and time conversion, etc.
Book Travel
Book Travel - Flights, Hotels, Packages, Cars, Cruises, Activities
Through a partnership with Expedia.com we are pleased to offer self-service travel search and booking services.

 

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References

I have travelled extensively across the world, but this was the best organised tour I had ever been on. 
At every point it was organised for the convenience of the customer and not the tour company, and they really went out of their way to ensure the trip was enjoyable and hassle free. 
Plus it's true, there are no hidden extras.  I hardly spent anything on the trip which was really inclusive, and this makes it a good option in a credit crunch environment. 
Highly Recommended.  A+++++

 

  -  Dawn Osborne, England, June 2010
Thank you again for a wonderful tour of Ludwig's castles and the personal knowledge of the region you shared with us.  We had a really fun group and the size was just right.  I very much appreciated your arranging everything for us – that personal touch is what made it a wonderful trip for me.  We didn't have to worry about how to get to the castles, where to buy the tickets, what time to catch the ferry, etc.  And the restaurants you selected were just as wonderful....  I look forward to booking my next castle tour with you, and will highly recommend my friends to do the same.
- Lauriat Heilman, Atlanta, Georgia, June 2009
What an unbelievably fantastic experience!  From the fantasy and extravagance of King Ludwig’s storybook castles, the picturesque cities bulging with historical, cultural and religious significance, and the serenity of bovine-studded green pastures and church towers spotting the Bavarian countryside, to the welcoming hearts of our gracious hosts at Landhaus Koessel.... We can’t wait to book our next tour with Astrid, as we know her selection of living accommodations, meals, scenes and sites will, again, exceed our wildest expectations.
- Rosemarie & Jim Wess, Roseburg, Oregon, September 2008  Read more ...

Many additional comments on this and other Castles Tours are provided on a separate  References Page .

Comments, experiences and recommendations primarily from guests on the May and June 2009 Bavarian Castles Tours are featured in the European Castles Tours  References Video .

 

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Cost and Date Information

 

Complete printable itineraries in PDF format:

Bavarian Castles Tour Itinerary

Bavarian Castles Tour + Oberammergau Passion Play Itinerary  (Sold Out)

Three Nights Venice Extension Itinerary

The 2010 and 2011 Bavarian Castles Tours listed below are offered on the following basis:

Tour prices are for the land segment only.  Air fare is not included.

Prices are per person, in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy.
Single Occupancy is available for a Single Supplement charge of US $ 300.
A child 8 to 16 years old sharing a room with two adults receives a 40% reduction on this tour.

Guaranteed Departure:  These 2010 and 2011 Bavarian Castles Tours are guaranteed to operate as scheduled and will not be cancelled due to a low level of participation.

A deposit of US $ 300 per person is required to secure a reservation on the Bavarian Castles Tours, US $ 400 on the tour with the Oberammergau Passion Play 2010 extension.

 

        Bavarian Castles Tour – 2010 Departures

 

  Your overnight international flight leaves ... Status Double
Occupancy
Single
Occupancy
Child 8-16
with 2 Adults
 

May 21, 2010

Completed

     
 

June 4, 2010

Completed

     
  September 10, 2010 Available - Book now US $ 2,090 US $ 2,390 US $ 1,254

 

Private Tour Option

Do our dates not work for you?  We can arrange the tour for you or your party as a private tour.  Same itinerary as above in a private limousine or van, with bilingual, professional private guide / chauffeur.  With 4 people in a group, for example, the price per person is typically EUR 1,700.  Please send an e-mail to get a quote for your specific situation.

Semi-Private Tour option: Depart July 29, start Munich July 30, end August 6.  There is an opening to add one or two additional couples at EUR 1,700 or 1,600 per person.  Please e-mail for details.

 

        Bavarian Castles Tour + Oberammergau Passion Play 2010

Sorry, but the June and September Oberammergau extensions to the Bavarian Castles Tour are sold out.
 

 

  Your overnight international flight leaves ... Status Double
Occupancy
Single
Occupancy
Child 8-16
with 2 Adults
  May 21, 2010 Completed        
 

June 4, 2010

Completed      
  September 10, 2010 Sold Out      

 

        Bavarian Castles Tour – 2011 Departures

 

  Your overnight international flight leaves ... Status Double
Occupancy
Single
Occupancy
Child 8-16
with 2 Adults
  April 22, 2011 New - Easter Tour
Available - Book now
US $ 2,190 US $ 2,490 US $ 1,314
  May 21, 2011 Available - Book now US $ 2,190 US $ 2,490 US $ 1,314
  June 18, 2011 Available - Book now US $ 2,190 US $ 2,490 US $ 1,314
  September 10, 2011 Available - Book now US $ 2,190 US $ 2,490 US $ 1,314

 

  Save 2011 Early Bird Special

Book your 2011 tour by August 31, 2010 and save US $ 100 per person from the above prices.

 

2010 and 2011 Reservation details and materials

Reservations

The "Christmas Markets Tour" (King Ludwig II's Castles and the Bavarian Christmas Markets) shares much of the itinerary of the "Bavarian Castles" Tour detailed here.  Full details are provided on the Christmas Markets Tour page.

 

Dates for all current European Castles Tours >
Tour Dates

 

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Contact Information

Contact the Tour Director, Astrid Baur, in Germany (Eastern Time + 6 Hours)

Email:   astrid.baur@t-online.de

U.S. Phone:  (202) 580 - 8732  /  German Phone:  011 - 49 - 171 - 546 68 39

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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