Whimsical palaces and gingerbread castles set the theme of our
fairy-tale rail tour, during which we relax in the wonderful
Bavarian countryside, visit the capital of Bavaria, Munich, and
take a trip by train up the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in
We meet at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras and take
the Eurostar to Brussels, traveling in Standard Premier Class,
with a light meal and drinks. On arrival in the Belgian capital we
change trains, continuing by high-speed rail to Cologne or
Stuttgart, where we overnight.
Day 2 - On to Garmisch
This morning we continue our journey in First Class to Munich
along the Rhine Gorge. This spectacular journey takes us past
extensive vineyards and brooding hilltop castles. In Munich we
change for the onward journey through southern Bavaria to
Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Standard Class), set in an idyllic location
amongst the rugged mountains of the Bavarian Alps. We spend seven
nights in Garmisch at the welcoming Reindl's Partenkirchener Hof
Hotel, situated in the heart of the town. We enjoy dinner together
Day 3 - A day at leisure in Garmisch
Your day is at leisure, giving you the opportunity to explore
Garmisch-Partenkirchen at your own pace. The town has some fine
Baroque churches and historic houses decorated with traditional
frescoes, as well as an excellent selection of shops and
You may wish to simply relax in the hotel and make use of its
leisure facilities, or perhaps take advantage of one of the many
well-marked walking trails into the Bavarian countryside.
Day 4 - Munich
Today we travel by Standard Class train to visit Munich. As the
capital of Bavaria, the city has a wonderful collection of museums,
art galleries and architectural treasures - along with a fantastic
selection of excellent shops and restaurants. We enjoy a guided
tour to introduce the sights of the city, before enjoying time to
explore at leisure. Be sure to visit Marienplatz, the city's
historic center and still its vibrant hub today. Here you can see
the impressive neo-Gothic Town Hall, or you could take the lift up
one of the copperdomed towers of Munich's imposing cathedral, the
Frauenkirche, for great views over the city.
To enjoy a true German culinary experience, the Hofbräuhaus is a
must for a typical Bavarian meal accompanied by the local brew.
Perhaps you'd like to visit Munich's Englischer Garten or English
Garden. Set in the center of the city this expansive green space of
1.4 square miles is a social hub, popular meeting place for the
locals and a fantastic area for travelers to shelter from the
bustle of busy Munich. The Kleinhesselohler See is a lake within
the garden and offers an enchanting spot to visit and take lunch.
Alternatively you could visit Munich's BMW Museum. A popular
attraction, this museum houses a collection of classic BMWs. The
exterior architecture, clad in chrome, makes for a striking
Day 5 - The Zugspitze
Today we enjoy one of the region's most popular rail journeys,
as we take an excursion on the Zugspitze Railroad, reaching the
summit of Zugspitze - which at 9,718 ft (2,962 m) is the highest
mountain in Germany. Our train departs from the town center and
climbs along the mountain base, passing the Eibsee Lake on its way
to the Zugspitzplatt, situated by the impressive Schneeferner
glacier - Germany's largest.
From here our journey continues by cable car (weather
permitting) high above the dense forests to the very summit of
Zugspitze. The rocky peak offers breathtaking panoramic views over
Bavaria, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.
Days 6-7 - Neuschwanstein
Today's full-day excursion is arguably the highlight of our
tour, as we visit two of Europe's most beautiful castles. We begin
with a visit to King Ludwig's marvellous childhood home of
Hohenschwangau. Situated on a verdant and tree covered hill, this
yellow fortress is covered in towers and turrets that lend an air
of the fanciful to the entire building. Here, we learn about the
fascinating history of the two structures. Hohenschwangau was built
on the site of the 12th century Schwanstein Fortress, but fell into
disrepair during the 18th century. Later, it was sold on, and then
lovingly reconstructed by Ludwig's father in the 1830s.
From here Ludwig planned his own larger, more impressive castle,
just a stone's throw away: Neuschwanstein. We continue to this
spectacular building, bristling with turrets and parapets, for a
guided tour. The inspiration behind one of the most famous castles
in modern times - the famed Sleeping Beauty Castle in
Surprisingly enough, for the time it was built, Neuschwanstein
was equipped with many modern conveniences, but incredibly was only
occupied for 170 days before Ludwig was deposed. We take in the
opulence of this awe-inspiring palace - one of Germany's most
popular attractions - with its sumptuous wood carvings, beautiful
chandeliers and lavish paintings which adorn the majestic
Day 7 is at leisure for you to continue
exploring Garmisch-Partenkirchen at your own pace.
Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Breakfast
Day 8 - Oberammergau and Linderhof
This morning we visit Oberammergau for a guided tour through its
pretty streets with elaborately decorated homes featuring historic
and fairytale paintings. The town is internationally famous for its
celebrated Passion Play, which stars the town's residents and is
held once every ten years. The Passion Play has now become an
internationally recognized event, and is heavily attended by
Christians from all around the world.
In the afternoon, we visit Linderhof, the smallest palace
commissioned by Ludwig II. The whole complex incorporates a range
of architectural infl uences and here we explore the striking Hall
of Mirrors which was supposedly used by the king as a type of
living room, he was known to spend a lot of his time sat here
reading solemnly, candles would burn through the night and create a
unique atmosphere because of the myriad of reflections generated in
We also explore the ornate bedchamber of the King, an exquisite
and enormous gilded bedchamber that is decorated with gold
embroidery and a rich, royal blue, which was used extensively in
King Ludwig's decorating as it was his symbolic color. Another
place we explore is the Moorish Kiosk, situated within the castle's
extensive parkland. Decorated with traditionally Arabic geometric
shapes and three golden domes, the kiosk was created for the Paris
World Exhibition in 1867 before being bought by Ludwig to decorate
the Palace grounds. Tonight in Garmsich, we enjoy a farewell
Day 9 - Back to Cologne
We leave Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Standard Class rail for
Munich and then Munich to Cologne in First Class on the high-speed
rail service. Our last night is spent in a central hotel, close to
the station, the Rhine and the city's UNESCO-listed Gothic
Day 10 - The journey home in First Class
Today we travel to Brussels where we connect with the Eurostar
service to London and home.
The following departures are guaranteed to operate:
For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from,
London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London
Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point,
and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and
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.
Overall a great vacation but the visits to the fairytale castles were disappointing- rushed through in 30 minutes and very crowded.
Hotels satisfactory but the food at the Garmish venue was rather too little in the evenings. Breakfasts excellent.
Mr R Lennon
Submitted Jul 11, 2018
It would have been 5 stars if the hotel meals had been better with more choice and larger portions.
Submitted Jul 05, 2018
all the timetables were well integrated, the tour guide was excellent, and the trips out were interesting and well planed.
Submitted Jun 27, 2018
The vacation overall was great not to busy time to enjoy the experience.
Mr B Roberts
Submitted Oct 04, 2017
The arrangements, content, and management of the vacation were all excellent,