Imperial Castles Tour

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Imperial Castles Tour – 2011

 

 

Castles of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic
 

 

 

Chateau Hluboka, Czech Republic

Cesky Krumlov

Schonbrunn Gloriette, Vienna

 

Tour the legacies of the centuries when European imperial emperors and countries competed to build the largest, most ornate, and most expensive castles and palaces.  Tour inside and explore the elaborate gardens.

Castle, palace and regional highlights include the Residence and the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Hluboka, Prague Castle and Cesky Krumlov Castle in the Czech Republic, Schonbrunn in Vienna, Fortress Hohensalzburg, Castle Hellbrunn and Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, and the Golden Roof in Innsbruck.
 

 

 

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Map

 

 

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Itinerary

Day 1 –  DEPARTURE

Board your flight from your home destination to Munich (München / Muenchen), Germany's third-largest city.

This itinerary assumes this to be an overnight flight. 

Air fare independently arranged.

Day 2 –  WELCOME TO MUNICH

Arrival in MUNICH, Germany.  At 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. the complimentary transfers depart from the airport to your hotel in Munich.

You have time in the afternoon to rest from your trip or to do some Munich sightseeing on your own.

Tonight you'll meet your travelling companions and tour director, and enjoy a welcome dinner at the Hofbrauhaus, the world’s most famous beer hall.

>  Your tour includes: Transfer from airport to Munich hotel, three-course dinner with menu choice, including one beverage and coffee or tea after dinner, overnight in Munich.

Marienplatz, Munich

Day 3 – MUNICH, NUREMBERG, PRAGUE

After breakfast we head north to NUREMBERG (Nürnberg or Nuernberg in German, sometimes Nurnberg on the net), the former free Imperial City dominated by a large fortress, the Burg.  An orientation drive features the landmarks of the city and ends on the main square, the Hauptmarkt, where each year Germany’s most famous Christmas Market takes place.  Free time for early lunch in the city centre before we continue our journey.

We head east to PRAGUE, the immortal capital of the Czech Republic, also called the Golden City or the Mother of Cities.  Enjoy a leisurely evening stroll through the old town with your local guide.  See the Jewish Prague, Old Town Square, and the Astronomical Clock, and enjoy a great Bohemian dinner in Town tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, local guide in Prague, three-course dinner, Hotel Mövenpick in Prague


 

Prague

Day 4 – PRAGUE

Today in PRAGUE you are going to spend all morning at one the largest castles in the world, Hradcany or Prague Castle.  There was already a castle in the 9th century.  It was rebuilt in the 14th century in gothic style under Charles IV, and given its final style under Empress Maria Theresa.  Today it is the historical and political centre of both city and state.

Enjoy a free afternoon and evening for shopping or to join the locals on Wenceslas square, visit one of the many museums, go for a stroll in the park or along the Vltava River, maybe get a ticket for an opera tonight.  Dinner on your own tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance fee for Prague Castle, service of local guide, Hotel Moevenpick in Prague

Prague Castle from below

Day 5 – VIENNA

We say goodbye to Prague this morning and head southeast to VIENNA, the capital of Austria and at one time capital of one of the largest empires in Europe.

We arrive in time for lunch in Vienna, after a drive along the Ring Road which offers Vienna’s most famous sights: Opera, Hofburg, National Museum, Town hall, Burgtheater, University, Parliament and much more.  Afterwards join your local guide for a walking tour of the heart of Vienna, including an inside visit at St. Stephen's Cathedral.  Enjoy free time for shopping on Kaertnerstrasse or Graben or more sightseeing.

We have an unforgettable dinner in a typical Heurigen tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, guided sightseeing tour of Vienna, entrance to St. Stephen's Cathedral, three-course dinner, Hotel Ananas in Vienna

Vienna Hofburg

Day 6 – VIENNA, SCHONBRUNN

This morning in VIENNA we bypass the long lines with pre-arranged access to see Schonbrunn (Schönbrunn or Schonbrunn in German), Austria’s answer to Louis XIV's Versailles. See Maria Theresa’s summer palace and enjoy free time in the splendid baroque garden.  Inside guided tour with local specialist.  Afterwards you are shown how apple strudel is made in the Imperial Kitchen, and you may try it together with a cup of coffee.

Afternoon and evening at leisure.  The to-do list is endless.  Maybe ride the Giant Ferris Wheel in the Prater, known from the movie “The Third Man”, visit the Opera or the Hofburg from the inside, relax in one of the beautiful parks, spend time in a typical “Kaffehaus”, or sign up for a classical concert.  Dinner on your own tonight.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, guided tour of Schonbrunn Palace, apple strudel and coffee, Hotel Ananas in Vienna

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

Day 7 – HLUBOKA, CESKY KRUMLOV

After breakfast we leave Vienna and back into the Czech Republic to HLUBOKA NAD VLTAVOU.  The town of Hluboka nad Vltavou (4,500 citizens) is famous, above all, for its stunning Hluboka Chateau, built in the Windsor Neo-Gothic style, with its splendid interiors.  The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is situated in the middle of a large English park.  Adjacent to the castle is the Ales South Bohemian Gallery with a unique exposition of Bohemian medieval art (a well-known collection of Gothic Madonnas) and equally attractive twentieth-century art.

From there a very short ride to CESKY KRUMLOV, one of the best preserved medieval towns in the world.  On the UNESCO World Heritage list it ranks Number Two, only after Venice.

After free time for lunch, join your local guide for a tour of the Castle of Cesky Krumlov, founded by the Lords of Krumlov in the thirteenth century.  It is the second largest castle in the Czech Republic, after Prague Castle.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, guided tours of Cesky Krumlov and Hluboka Castles, dinner at hotel Hotel Ruze in Cesky Krumlov


 

Chateau Hluboka nad Vltavou

Day 8 – SALZBURG

After breakfast we go south the scenic way – along the Vltava River to SALZBURG, this world famous city where upon arrival you are met by your local specialist for a guided walking tour.  See the Mirabell Gardens, Getreidegasse with Mozart’s Birthplace, the Cathedral and take the funicular up to Fortress Hohensalzburg for an inside guided tour.

In the evening a surprise: dinner in Castle Hellbrunn, one of the settings for the Sound of Music.  Enjoy a fantastic Castle Dinner and see the Trick Fountains in the famous Garden of Hellbrunn.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrances to Hohensalzburg, funicular, and Hellbrunn Gardens, service of local guide, three-course dinner in Hellbrunn, Hotel Austrotel in Salzburg

Mirabell Gardens, Salzburg

Day 9 – INNSBRUCK

Today we depart for INNSBRUCK on the scenic Alpine road via St. Johann.

Upon arrival in the capital of the Tyrol enjoy a nice stroll to see the famous little Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl in German) below the impressive Austrian Alps, the fine baroque church, the Hofburg, built by Empress Maria Theresia, and maybe shop for Swarovski Crystal, which is made in Innsbruck.

In the evening, we have a nice Tyrolean dinner and a traditional folklore show with yodeling, alphorn blowing, Schuhplatting and dancing.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance to Tyrolean dinner show, including three-course dinner, overnight in Innsbruck

Innsbruck Hofburg

Day 10 – LINDERHOF, MUNICH

Today we say goodbye to Austria and the Inn Valley and soon after leaving Innsbruck we cross the border back into Germany.  Morning break in LINDERHOF, Bavarian King Ludwig II’s beautiful castle hidden deep in the forest, not far from Oberammergau.  We visit the Castle from the inside with a castle guide.  Afterwards we take a look into the Grotto and the Kiosk.  Time to explore the beautiful gardens on your own.

From here we continue back to MUNICH.  In the afternoon you have tickets to tour THE RESIDENCE, the winter palace of the Wittelsbach family that ruled Bavaria for 800 years.  Although originally dating from the 14th century, subsequent additions and alterations gave the Residence a variety of architectural styles, though Renaissance features predominate.

>  Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance and guided tour of Linderhof, entrance to Residence, three-course dinner, overnight in Munich

Linderhof

 

Day 11 – HOME FROM MUNICH

Time to say "Auf wiedersehen".

One final breakfast and then transfer to MUNICH Airport for your return flight home.

>  Buffet breakfast, transfer to Airport

 

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Tour Features 

bulletDoor-to-door transportation
bullet9 breakfast buffets and 7 three-course dinners with menu choices, one beverage, and coffee or tea after dinner
bullet9 nights accommodation
bulletAll entrance fees and local guides
bulletNo hidden extras
bulletMaximum group size of 30 people

Complete printable itineraries in PDF format:

          Imperial Castles Tour Itinerary

Schonbrunn Pavilions

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 the best of eastern Europe, 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.

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

 

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Images

Prague, from Prague Castle

Prague Municipal House

Chateau Hluboka

Cesky Krumlov

Dinner time

Schonbrunn Gloriette

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

Salzburg

Salzburg

Golden Roof, Innsbruck

Innsbruck, May 2008

Residence, Munich

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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Imperial Castles Tour  In Depth

Gallery
Larger Pictures of Castles, Communities and Regional Highlights
Images of Imperial Castles Tour features, contributed by past guests and from public domain sources
Maps
Detailed Itinerary Destination Maps
2-page printer-friendly PDF including:
-  Imperial Castles Tour Destinations Map from the top of this web page, and
-  Detailed map with Imperial Castles destinations marked by day.
Research
Links to Sources of More Detailed Information
Clickable links to detailed articles on major Imperial Castles Tour itinerary features 
Groups
Pictures of Previous Tour Groups and Participants
Photos from recent year Imperial 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.
Comments, experiences and recommendations from guests on the May and June 2009 Bavarian Castles and July 2009 Kids and 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:

          Imperial Castles Tour Itinerary

The 2011 Imperial Castles Tour listed below is offered on the following basis:

Tour prices are for the land segment only.  Air fare is not included.
Tour size is 18 to 30 persons.

Prices are per person, in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy.
Single Occupancy is available for a Single Supplement charge of US $ 300.
Three adults sharing one room each receive a Triple Occupancy reduction of US $ 150.
A child 8 to 16 years old sharing a room with two adults receives a 30% reduction on this tour.

A deposit of US $ 300 per person is required to secure a reservation.

 

        Imperial Castles Tour - 2011

 

 

Your overnight
flight leaves ...

Status

Double
Occupancy

Single
Occupancy

Triple
Occupancy

Child 8-16
with 2 Adults

 

May 28, 2011

Available - Book now
 

US $ 2,790

3,090

2,640

1,953

 

  Save 2011 Early Bird Special

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

   

 

Reservation details and materials >

Reservations

 

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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