11D10N GERMANY Black Forest ~ Romantic Road ~ Bavaria
Departure: 28 November 2021
D01 ARRIVE FRANKFURT – HEIDELBERG – BADEN-BADEN – FREIBURG [D]
On arrival at Frankfurt, head to Heidelberg – Germany’s oldest university town – in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg. Thanks to its picturesque riverside location and its beautiful old structures including a massive castle that overlook the town centre, Heidelberg attracts visitors wishing to appreciate the scenic beauty of Germany’s Rhineland. From Heidelberg, head into the famed Black Forest of Germany. The Black Forest (Schwarzwald in German) is a large forested mountain range – measuring about 160km, north to south, and up to 50km, west to east – in Baden-Wurttemberg. So called the Black Forest, thanks to its famous black fir trees and thick tree canopy, the region attracts visitors loving its beautiful rolling landscapes, its picturesque villages with half-timbered buildings, its iconic cuckoo clocks and no less its outdoor recreational activities. Thanks to its relatively mild climate and mineral-rich hot springs, Baden-Baden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been a popular spa destination since Roman times. End the day at Freiburg, a vibrant university town popularly regarded as the “Jewel of the Black Forest”. A stroll through the old town overlooked by the 116m tall spire of a stunning church – one of Germany’s most beautiful religious buildings and a Gothic architectural masterpiece – is a must. Surrounding the church is a cobblestone pedestrian square ringed by historic monuments. Sights aside, Freiburg is also a place for foodies with its hearty Baden dishes, locally-brewed beer and – thanks to favourable climate and terroir – outstanding regional wines.
D02 FREIBURG: GENGENBACH/TRIBERG/FELDBERG [B]
Gengenbach is a very beautiful medieval town in the Black Forest famous for its towering medieval spires, a cobblestone town square and a little chapel on a hill overlooking the town and surrounded by lush vineyards. It is the proud owner of the world’s biggest Advent Calendar – the 24 windows of the 18th century town hall represent the 24 “windows” of an Advent Calendar. Triberg is famous for its waterfalls – Germany’s highest waterfalls with a spectacular drop of 163m over 7 cascades. A walking path climbs through the steep Triberg forest, stopping at several viewpoints overlooking the river as it plunges down from pool to pool in a constant white froth. Triberg is also famous for its finely crafted woodcarvings and especially its world-renown cuckoo clocks. Feldberg in the Black Forest, with its summit at about 1,500m above sea-level, is the highest mountain in Germany outside of the German Alps. The summit offers beautiful panoramic mountain and valley views. Thanks to its snowy winters and 50km of slopes, Feldberg is a popular destination for winter sports – it is in fact the birthplace of skiing in Germany.
D03 FREIBURG – STUTTGART – ROTHENBURG – NUREMBERG [B,D]
Depart Freiburg and head to Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Wurttemberg renowned for being home to the HQs and museums of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. A “pilgrimage” for automobile enthusiasts, the Mercedes-Benz Museum showcases more than 130 years of automobile history with over 1,500 exhibits including 160 vehicles spread over 9 floors of a building that is itself a captivating structure. You don’t need to be an automobile enthusiast to appreciate the museum! After Stuttgart, head into the state of Bavaria and to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, an exceptionally charming town on the Romantic Road, Germany’s most popular touring route. Rothenburg is a medieval gem and probably the best preserved medieval town in the whole of Germany. In winter, Rothenburg’s famous Christmas Market transforms the town into an idyllic winter wonderland. The famous Käthe Wohlfahrt “Christmas Village” in the heart of Rothenburg which is open all year keeps the Christmas feeling going well before and well after Christmas! End the day at Nuremberg, the second largest city in Bavaria after Munich famous for its historical landmarks including the walled old town. Nuremberg is home to Germany’s most famous food export – German sausages and in particular the Nurnberger sausage.
D04 NUREMBERG: BAMBERG/WURZBURG [B]
Untouched by WW2 bombings and replete with structures from the 11th to 19th centuries, Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a highly picturesque town with its muralled old town hall, beautiful churches and bridges and half-timbered houses. For those who love beers, Bamberg’s world-famous smoked beer (“rauchbier”) is not to be missed. Continue on to Wurzburg, the starting point of the Romantic Road in the north and a university town well-known for its lavish baroque and rococo architecture and also as the wine capital of Franconia (in northern Bavaria). Its main attractions are the 18th century Residenz Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the imposing Marienberg Citadel. Located on the banks of the River Main and surrounded by vineyards stretching as far as the eyes can see, Wurzburg’s idyllic setting adds to its charm. Back in Nuremberg, go on a walking tour of its old town. Home to Germany’s most famous Christmas market and also Germany’s most famous Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer, Nuremberg has a sizeable charming old town with cobblestone streets and structures reminiscent of its rich and proud medieval and Renaissance past.
D05 NUREMBERG – NORDLINGEN – AUGSBURG – GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN [B,D]
Depart Nuremberg and head to Nordlingen, an attractive walled town on the Romantic Road located in the crater of an asteroid impact. Apparently, its walls and buildings have millions – about 72,000 tons! – of diamonds embedded in them, thanks to the asteroid impact that turned graphite-loaded rocks into diamond-encrusted rocks that were used to build the town (thankfully, the builders weren’t aware then that the glistening elements within the rocks were actually diamonds or else the town might not have been built!). Enroute to the Bavarian Alps, stop by Augsburg, one of Germany’s oldest cities. Visit Fuggerei, a walled enclave that is also the world’s oldest social housing complex still in use with a history that goes back half a millennium. With 67 buildings and 147 apartments, it is often described as another small town within the town of Augsburg. Fuggerei was created by Jakob Fugger, a wealthy merchant of Augsburg, as a place for the town’s poor workers where they could live together debt-free and to that end the rent was set at less than one Euro per year and it hasn’t been revised since! From Augsburg, continue on to the alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen (“GaPa”). Surrounded by beautiful mountain views, GaPa’s medieval old town is filled with beautifully-painted homes and buildings many of which depict historical events.
D06 GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN: ZUGSPITZE [B]
Visit Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak, with a 2,962m summit accessed by cogwheel train and cable car. At the summit, enjoy 360-degree panoramic views of the German and Austrian alps (on a clear day, you can see more than 400 mountain peaks in four countries!). As the peak is shared between Germany and Austria, visitors can literally cross into Austria whilst at the peak – no passport is needed as both countries are in the EU – and even descend into Austria! (Crossing into Austria is not advisable for now given existing pandemic-related border restrictions.) Return to GaPa for a city tour of the twin towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen.
D07 GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN – MITTENWALD – OBERAMMERGAU – FUSSEN – NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE – MUNICH [B,D]
Depart GaPa and head to the highly picturesque alpine town of Mittenwald regarded by many as probably the most beautiful Bavarian alpine village! Oberammergau is a beautiful alpine village renowned for its woodcarving industry and its once-a-decade (for the last 380 years) Passion Plays attracting visitors from all over the world. Fussen, the highest town in the Bavarian Alps renowned for violin making, is at the southern end of the Romantic Road. Nearby Fussen is the fairy-tale castle of Disney fame (remember Sleeping Beauty?) – Neuschwanstein Castle. From a bridge near the castle, enjoy the picture-perfect iconic views of this 19th century masterpiece and the gorge beneath it. Continue on to Munich, the capital of Bavaria, and home to centuries-old buildings and numerous museums. Munich is known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and its beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589. In the old town is Marienplatz, a city square with landmarks such as the neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall) with the Rathaus Glockenspiel (reputed to be the most extravagant clock in the world). In the days leading up to Christmas, the entire old town of Munich is one huge Christmas Market!
D08 MUNICH: BMW MUSEUM/MUNICH CITY TOUR [B]
Probably Munich’s most visited attractions, BMW Museum and BMW Welt (“World”) offer visitors the opportunity to not only appreciate the history and the evolution of the famous vehicles of this iconic brand but also, at BMW World, its latest models. The designs of both buildings are of themselves remarkable and BMW World is in fact considered by many as an architectural wonder. Enroute back to Munich for a city tour, stop by Nymphenburg Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in Europe built in the 17th century (not entering the palace).
D09 MUNICH [B]
Enjoy Munich on your own in the morning. Obligatory pre-departure (Covid-19) PCR Testing at a nearby test centre sometime in the afternoon.
D10 MUNICH [B,D]
Visit to Ingolstadt Village an open-air shopping paradise with more than 110 boutiques from designer brands, and thereafter a guided tour of the Ingolstadt old town.
D11 DEPART MUNICH [B]
Free time until your transfer to Munich Airport for your departure flight.
S$4,150 per person, for twin/triple sharing
S$850 for single supplement
Minimum 10pax to go