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Explore the "Three Corners" of Europe – where Germany, France and Switzerland meet by the Rhine River. Tour beautiful castles in Germany and France, explore charming towns in both countries, and cruise on the Rhine River that serves as the border here. Go sightseeing in Strasbourg and at the Rhine Falls. Follow the Alsatian Wine Route. And enjoy the Christmas Markets in three countries. Then visit gorgeous Lucerne in Switzerland, and take in the breathtaking vistas from the top of Mount Pilatus.
Day 1 – DEPARTURE
Board your flight from home to Zurich, Switzerland.
This itinerary assumes this to be an overnight flight.
Air fare independently arranged.
Day 2 – Saturday - WELCOME TO ZURICH AND ALSACE
Arrival in ZURICH, Switzerland. At 12 noon we depart from the airport and head first into France, to your hotel in Alsace which will be your home for the next three nights.
Alsace was fought over for centuries by France and Germany, and owned by both for extended periods. The culture is a unique but predictable resulting blend.
Today, the region presents only a peaceful aspect, with pastel-painted villages, fortified towns, and sleepy vineyards.
Rest in the afternoon, begin exploring the town, or just take it easy.
Tonight you'll meet your travelling companions and tour director and enjoy a great welcome dinner.
> Your tour includes: Transfer from airport to hotel, three-course dinner with menu choice, including one beverage and coffee or tea after dinner, hotel in Alsace
Day 3 – CASTLE HAUT-KOENIGSBOURG, ALSATIAN WINE ROUTE
Since its construction in the 12th century, the HAUT-KOENIGSBOURG CASTLE at Orschwiller in Alsace has been a constant witness to both European conflicts and rivalry between lords, kings and emperors.
A number of illustrious owners each left their mark on the castle’s history, and successive events even led to changes in the castle’s structure. Enjoy a tour of this magnificent castle with its majestic architecture and its incredible view across the Alsatian plain.
We continue on the ALSATIAN WINE ROUTE, stopping in villages along the way, each of them offering a delightful picture postcard setting and some the best examples of Alsatian architecture.
> Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance fees, wine tasting, three-course dinner, hotel in Alsace
Day 4 – STRASBOURG AND COLMAR
This morning we drive into France to visit STRASBOURG, seat of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. Join your guide for a walking tour of the old town and visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The 142-metre (466-foot) spire is a masterpiece of architectural elegance and intricacy. We also visit La Petite France, the most picturesque district of old Strasbourg, with magnificent half-timbered houses that date from the 16th and 17th centuries. Fishermen, millers and tanners once lived and worked in this part of town where the streets have been built level with the waterways.
Time for lunch on Strasbourg's beautiful Christmas Market before we continue to COLMAR in the heart of Alsace. Colmar's Germanic and French architectural heritage was spared by the frequent wars that ravaged this area. Highlights include the “Koïfhus”, Pfister House, and the House of Heads. The town has preserved the charm of its romantic districts (Tanner’s District, Little Venice). Enjoy your guided tour of the old town, which also includes a visit to the Bartholdi museum, housed in a vast residence which was the birthplace of the creator of New York's Statue of Liberty. Its rooms contain a collection of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's most important works, thanks to the heritage the artist's widow left to the city.
Dinner tonight in France.
> Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance fees, tours in Strasbourg and Colmar, services of local guides, three-course dinner, hotel in Alsace
Day 5 – FREIBURG, BREISACH
This morning go for a stroll around the old city of FREIBURG with your guide. Walk the main streets and squares, its small streams (Bächle) and lanes with the colourful mosaics made of Rhine pebbles, the Cathedral Square (Münsterplatz) with its merchant town houses and secular buildings, the colourful farmers and trader market, and get to know the city's very long history. A tour of the Gothic cathedral with its wealth of medieval treasures forms the highlight of the tour.
Spend time at Freiburg's Christmas Market before we continue to BREISACH for an orientation tour and a visit to its Christmas Market, followed by dinner.
Then we cross the Rhine and head to beautiful LAKE TITISEE in the Black Forest for two nights.
> Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, service of local guide, three course dinner, hotel at Lake Titisee
Day 6 – HOHENZOLLERN CASTLE
Today visit one of Germany's most beautiful castles, HOHENZOLLERN CASTLE, rising majestically from atop the Swabian Hills. We go inside for a guided tour. King Frederick William IV. of Prussia had it reconstructed and wrote in 1844:
"The memories of the year 1819 are exceedingly dear to me and like a pleasant dream, especially the sunset we watched from the bastions… Now a dream of my youth has become one wish, to see the Hohenzollern hill made habitable once more…”
Indeed the bastions and towers offer a breathtaking panorama over the countryside, and the splendid halls and rooms offer lots of valuable works of art pertaining to the history of Prussia´s Kings and Germany's emperors.
On the way back we take a scenic route through the Back Forest and stop for Black Forest Cherry Cake on a lake!
Dinner tonight in the country in the heart of the Black Forest.
> Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, entrance fees, three-course dinner, hotel at Lake Titisee
Day 7 – RHINE FALLS, LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
Today it is goodbye to Germany and the Black Forest as we cross the border into Switzerland. We stop in Schaffhausen to see the largest waterfalls in Europe, the RHINE FALLS, where in summer 600,000 liters of water falls down 23 meters (75 feet) every second.
We continue to LUCERNE, this most beautiful city at the foot of the Swiss Alps on fabulous Lake Lucerne. See the Lion Monument (the famous dying Lion of Lucerne), walk the wooden Chapel Bridge and join your guide for a stroll of the old town.
Later shop for something really Swiss – chocolate, watches or army knives – or stroll along the Lake this afternoon.
Tonight look forward to a typical Swiss dinner in town, on your own.
> Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, visits at Rhine Falls and Lucerne, hotel on Lake Lucerne
Day 8 – LUCERNE, MOUNT PILATUS
This morning be prepared for incredible views as you climb up MOUNT PILATUS. From the top enjoy endless views of the mountains and plains and lakes below. Time for a Swiss hot chocolate before we return downhill again.
Back in LUCERNE you have the afternoon free to spend at your leisure. Maybe go for a cruise on Lake Lucerne, visit the Swiss Museum of Transport or one of the many Art Galleries, go hiking in the stunning surroundings, just relax, or get your final shopping done on Lucerne's Christmas market.
Tonight be prepared for lots of fun at a Swiss Folklore Farewell Dinner.
> Buffet breakfast, door-to-door transportation, cable car rides, three-course dinner with show, hotel on Lake Lucerne
Day 9 – HOME FROM ZURICH
Time to say "Auf wiedersehen". One final breakfast and then a complimentary transfer to Zurich Airport for your return flight home.
If your flight is leaving earlier then 10.30 a.m. we can arrange for an alternative transfer at your expense.
> Buffet breakfast, transfer to Airport
All features as per itinerary, departure guaranteed
7 breakfast buffets
6 three-course dinners, each including one drink and coffee or tea
Accommodation for 7 nights
Entrance fees, and local guide fees
Services of the Tour Director and Driver throughout the tour
All castle visits include inside tours with experienced guides and plenty of time on your own
There are no hidden extras. Maximum group size is 30 persons
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
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