St Johann, Salzburg and the Austrian Alps
Explore the mighty Austrian Alps on this wonderful holiday to one of Europe's most scenic and alluring countries. From our base in the enchanting Tyrolean town of St Johann, we discover the majesty of this Alpine wonderland.
From our St Pancras Departure Office, we board the Eurostar to Brussels, before continuing on to Cologne, where we overnight. On Day 2, continuing our journey to Austria, today we join the direct service to Munich, enjoying the comforts of First Class and Germany's efficient railway network as the vast and varied landscapes speed by. From Munich, we join the regional service (Standard Class) to Wörgl, where we disembark the train and board a private coach to take us the rest of the way to St Johann in Tirol. Nestled in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps, the spellbinding scenery will take your breath away. Our base in St Johann is the welcoming Park Hotel.
Today you are free to explore beautiful St Johann in Tirol at leisure, and to soak up the pleasant atmosphere in our truly marvellous surroundings. With a quintessentially Alpine-village feel, St Johann in Tirol is comprised of pretty pastel-coloured, traditional Alpine hut buildings, adorned with colourful flower boxes, all dominated by the quaint Maria Himmellfahrt church in the town centre. You could enjoy a peaceful stroll around town, and perhaps visit the museum detailing history of the region.
Our hotel is also ideally based for sojourns into the mountains, and is within walking distance of St Johann's two cable cars. The ascents alone are incredibly scenic, and from the summit you can enjoy unparalleled panoramas of the Tyrol. There are also numerous hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty you might like to explore.
Today we embark on a journey to the Hohe Tauern National Park for one of the highlights of our tour, the superb Grossglockner High Alpine Road. After breakfast this morning, we travel north into nearby Salzkammergut by coach, where our journey begins.
First opened in 1935, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road has progressed from a convenient mountain pass and impressive feat of engineering to one of Austria's premier tourist destinations- and it is easy to see why. Plunging ravines, glacial lakes, vibrant meadows and rugged peaks are in abundance as we traverse the snaking road, crowned by Austria's highest mountain and glacier of the same name, the majestic Grossglockner. The route is dotted with stopping points, so there will be plenty of unrestricted photo opportunities. At the end of the road is the enchanting village of Heiligenblut.
Although its most distinctive feature is probably the Gothic St Vinzenz pilgrimage church, it is also the historical sight of the only gold-digging settlement in the Alps. There will be some time at leisure to explore here before we return to St Johann.
Today's full day excursion takes us firstly by coach to Jenbach, where we join the narrow-gauge Zillertalbahn Railway, which opened in 1902. Travelling in beautifully restored four-wheeled carriages, we enjoy a 19-mile (31 kilometre) steam-hauled* journey through the dramatic Ziller Valley. Our route takes us past lush green pastures and charming remote villages of half-timbered houses and traditional chalets, as we make our way to picturesque Mayrhofen at the head of the valley. Here you are free to explore its cobbled streets lined with pretty pavement cafés and unique shops. Alternatively, take a cable car higher into the mountains and enjoy the panoramic vistas from the summit before making the return journey.
*Steam-hauled where possible, train may run by Diesel
On today's excursion we travel to Zell am See by rail (Standard Class), a beautiful town set in an idyllic location between Lake Zell and Hohe Tauern National Park. Here we enjoy a leisurely boat trip across the sapphire-blue waters, a great way to admire the stunning scenery, from the lush forests to the undulating hills and towering mountains beyond. The rest of the day is free to explore picturesque Zell am See. Take the time to visit its historic centre, stroll along the attractive lakefront promenade, relax in one of the many pavement cafés, or perhaps take a cable car up Schmittenhöhe Mountain, which towers over Lake Zell, and admire the wonderful views from the summit.
Today we take a coach to Salzburg, one of Austria's best-loved cities, Salzburg is perhaps most famous internationally as the birthplace of Mozart and as the setting for 'The Sound of Music.' Upon arrival we enjoy a guided tour, seeing the iconic Getreidegasse, the Residenz and the magnificent Mirabell Gardens, gaining a fascinating insight into Salzburg's vivid history. The rest of your time is then at leisure.
The remarkably preserved Old Town is truly a joy to discover. Be sure not to miss Salzburg's crowning glory, the brooding Hohensalzburg Fortress. Accessible both on foot and by funicular, the Fortress is an enduring emblem of Salzburg and its past, and the plateau on which it is perched offers a superb vantage point for looking out over this glorious city, the turquoise Salzach River and the verdant hills beyond. Alternatively you may like to visit the ultra-modern Hangar-7 and view its collection of aircraft and Formula One race cars.
Another popular destination is the Stiegel- Brauwelt, here discover the fascinating world of beer brewing and learn the history and the process of creation for this famous beverage. Afterwards, why not try some of the local produce in the museum's on site restaurant and bar area?
Afterwards, you could stroll through the Old Town and visit the ancestral home of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; both his birthplace and his former home can be found in the city and are now interesting museums showcasing the life, works and mind of this fantastic musical genius, whilst his statue, the Mozartplatz, can be found close to the Slazach River. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.
We travel to Wörgl (Standard Class) before continuing via Munich to Cologne. The following day, we continue on to Brussels, transferring for the Eurostar to London.
We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
NEW FOR 2020: Inclusive Luggage Transfer
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 46 verified reviews
The holiday was very well organised. The hotels were extremely good and rail travel and coach travel was very comfortable.
Great Rail Journeys were faultless throughout, however, on the journey from Brussels to Austria the German railway system was abysmal. Both legs of the trip (Brussels to Cologne, and then Cologne to Munich ) were plagued with delays and two major engine failure on the locomotive. When we arrived in Austria everything was brilliant, great hotel, excellent food, friendly staff and a well organised and enjoyable itinerary. The GRJ tour manager Steven was amazing,
Return journey to Mayrhofen too long. Saltzburg fell below expectations. Train journey from Brussels to Cologne 2nd class and too long.
1. The train from Brussels to Cologne was a lengthy journey - 3hrs 43mins (Due to engineering work). The made for a late evening meal at the Hotel. 2. Our room was overlooking the Atrium and we were kept awake by loud music. I understand Yvonne Cox complained to the Hotel resulting in a reduction in the volume round about midnight. We did have a quiet room for our stay on the return journey. 3. On the way back from the Alpine Road the hour long stop at Heiligenblut was too long. Personally we would rather have got back to the Park Hotel an hour earlier to negate the need to rush for dinner. 4. These are the only negative comments we have about the holiday. The rest of the holiday was excellent which we would rate as 5 Star.
Marked down by one star because the 'free' national rail travel did not meet our expectation. HS1 use was excluded. Nothing mentioned in terms and conditions. Despite returning the tickets that were provided and buying HS1 tickets we were refused any contribution towards the cost.
Excellent guided tour and such a beautiful country
We generally enjoyed the holiday but there were too many dull times, we always seemed to be hanging around waiting for trains or going for toilet and coffee breaks. The tour manager was good, the hotel was all you wanted it to be. Beware, although the holiday is inclusive breakfast and lunch are the same repetitive food, though they are very generous with drinks at dinner. The excursions are long and the time spent at the destinations is fairly short in comparison.
Great tour guide, beautiful location, fantastic hotel and food and a friendly bunch of fellow travellers.
Lovely holiday. Excellent organisation throughout.
Well organised travel, helpful and knowledgeable tour manager. Good and comfortable hotel.
St Johann, Salzburg and the Austrian Alps