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Oh Germany, what can't you do? A land of history, fairytales, cobblestones, perfume, bratwurst, wine and beer, this is a country to fall in love with. Take a whiff of Cologne and its incredible cathedral then sample the local wines in Rüdesheim. You'll have to drag yourself away though, because Freiburg and the Black Forest is waiting, a region that inspired Hansel and Gretel and countless legends. Finish in Munich, one of Europe's prettiest cities, and indulge in what many would consider the best beer (and food) in the world.
Day 1: Cologne
Willkommen in Köln! Welcome to Cologne, located on the Rhine River and famed for its gothic architecture among many other things. Meet your group at 6 pm then hit Cologne for an included dinner at a local restaurant with a glass of kolsch beer, the local brew.
Day 2: Cologne
Take a leader-led walk around the centre of Cologne and visit the famous, drop-dead gorgeous Gothic cathedral. More than just an orientation point, Cologne Cathedral has dominated the city's skyline since it was completed in 1880 and it's impossible not to feel slightly religious in its presence. Cologne, unsurprisingly, is the home of the original eau de cologne and has smelt seriously good for a seriously long time. Enjoy the rest of the day to explore the city and the water front. Stroll along the river by dark and pull up a pew in one of the city's beer halls.
Day 3: Rüdesheim am Rhein
Today you'll take a train from Cologne to Rüdesheim (approx 2.5 hours). Straight out of a velvet Christmas stocking or a wood-chipped miniature house, Rüdesheim is famous for its overly traditional feel. Set on the banks of the Rhine, this small town is packed full of half-timbered houses, vineyards and enthusiastic residents. Check in to the hotel on arrival. Then it's time to travel by cable car up the hillside to the UNESCO listed 19th century Niederwald Memorial, commemorating the German unification of 1871. From here you will have some gorgeous views across vineyards and the Rhine Valley. Later on taste some wines. Rüdesheim is a a winemaking town, so if zesty riesling is your tipple you're in for a real treat. In the evening perhaps enjoy a traditional German meal by the Rhine River and maybe share some stories with the friendly locals.
Day 4: Koblenz / Rüdesheim am Rhein
Depart Rüdesheim in the morning for a boat cruise on the Rhine to Koblenz, a 2000-year-old town that really is awfully pretty. Surrounded by small mountains and vineyards and characterised by winding alleys and historic buildings, Koblenz is the perfect place to explore by foot. Take a quick orientation walk with your leader then enjoy a free afternoon getting to know this beautiful corner of the world. You'll catch the evening train back to Rüdesheim, arriving a touch before 8pm, at which point you can call it an evening or polish your palate with some local wines.
Day 5: Freiburg
Catch the morning train from Rüdesheim to Freiburg (approx 3 hours). Situated on the edge of the beautiful Black Forest region, this tasty town is known for its sunny weather, beautiful surroundings and the strange gutters in its streets, which carry water diverted from the river for livestock and fighting fires. Well, that's what they used to be for, now they just sound nice. The city suffered heavy bombing during WWII but has bounced back and is now a beacon of sustainability, with a government heavily invested in environmental progress. Check in to your hotel on arrival, then take an orientation walk around town with your leader. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.
Day 6: Black Forest / Freiburg
Transfer by private vehicle from Freiburg into the Black Forest. This is fairytale country and the forest where Hansel and Gretel encountered the wicked witch, but rest assured there's no evil here, just stunning European scenery featuring mossy streams, green valleys and the cutest houses you can imagine. The exact itinerary depends on the time of year, but usually we visit Titisee Lake and stretch our legs on the Black Forest's highest mountain, the Feldberg, at 1,494 metres. You'll also indulge in traditional Black Forest cake at a local cafe. In the afternoon you'll return to Freiburg for a free evening to enjoy the buzzing university atmosphere.
Day 7: Munich
Today will be your longest travel day, coming in at approximately five hours, albeit on a comfy intercity train. Arrive in Munich in time for a late lunch and take a walk with your leader afterwards. The city may be best known for its yearly Oktoberfest, but there's so much else to see and do here apart from, you know, beer. Though the beer is ridiculously good. Munich is one of the prettiest cities in Europe, so walking around the city is extremely rewarding and once you've finished, you've definitely earned one of those tasty beers we can't stop talking about.
Day 8: Munich
Today is a free day to discover all that Munich has to offer. Visit some of the impressive museums such as the Royal Palace and Bavarian National Museum, or perhaps check out one of the art galleries. The Alte Pinakothek is one of the oldest galleries in the world or, if you feel like getting out of the city, a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle is a great option. Built by the reclusive Bavarian King Ludwig II, this castle was Walt Disney's inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's castle and is visited by over a million people every year. Back in the city, you could also check out the surfers at the Eisbach, Munich's famous river wave. Meet up with your group in the evening for a typical Bavarian farewell dinner and beer. Think schnitzel, think bratwurst, think sauerkraut and think beer. Lots of delicious beer.
Day 9: Munich
Your adventure comes to an end today after breakfast. There are no more activities planned and you're able to depart the accommodation after check-out.
- Cologne - Welcome Dinner
- Cologne - Cathedral Visit
- Rüdesheim - Wine Tasting
- Rüdesheim - Cable Car
- Rüdesheim - Niederwald Memorial
- Rhine River - Cruise to Koblenz
- Black Forest - Day Trip
- Black Forest - Cake & Coffee
- Munich - Traditional Bavarian Dinner
8 Breakfast(s) Included
2 Dinner(s) Included
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
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The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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