GERMANY ~ UNESCO Gems & Harz National Park 12D11N

$3,080.00

12D11N GERMANY ~ UNESCO Gems & Harz National Park
Departure: open date

Thanks to its rich cultural heritage and distinctive natural landscapes, Germany is home to 51 UNESCO World Heritage (“WH”) sites, ranking it 3rd highest in the world behind only Italy (58) and China (56).  Go on a tour of Germany that will take you through some of the country’s most alluring destinations including UNESCO WH gems.

The Harz Mountains in northern Germany has some of Germany’s oldest towns and villages.  With a history dating back more than a millennium, the former imperial town of Goslar is one of the best preserved towns in the world.  With its 1,500 half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets and the Romanesque imperial palace, churches, chapels and monasteries, the historic town of Goslar, together with the nearby Rammelsberg Mine (over 1,000 years of continuous mining until the 1980s), are UNESCO WH Sites.  The Old Town of Quedlinburg, a UNESCO WH Site that was described by UNESCO as an “exceptional example of a medieval European town” has often been described as the quintessential and best-preserved medieval German town.  The nearby castle-hill ensemble that includes the Collegiate Church of St Servatius, described by UNESCO as “one of the masterpieces of Romanesque architecture”, has also been recognised as a UNESCO WH Site.  Located between Goslar and Quedlinburg is the colourful town of Wernigerode with the reputation of being the “Pearl of the Harz“, thanks to its impressive town centre dominated by a fascinating castle on a hilltop that began as a medieval fortress that was eventually transformed into a fairy-tale romantic residence castle.  Whilst at Wernigerode, hop on the historic Brocken Railway, a steam train that dates back to the 1890s but ceased operation during WW2 due to damage and resumed operation in 1992 after the reunification of Germany.  The Brocken Railway chugs through stunning scenery as it climbs the Harz mountain range towards its highest peak, the Brocken, the summit of which affords spectacular panoramic views of the region.

Erfurt, the capital of the German state of Thuringia with a history dating back more than 1,200 years, is an architectural and cultural gem.  Amongst its highlights are: (1) the historic cathedral square (Domplatz) dominated by the Erfurt Cathedral famed for among others its Erfurt Bell – the largest surviving medieval-era bell in the world renowned for clarity of its tone – and the St Severus Church famed for among others its richly-endowed interior; (2) the Old Synagogue that is the oldest synagogue in Central Europe and currently on the tentative list of UNESCO WH sites; and (3) the Merchants‘ Bridge that, at about 120m long and with 32 houses built on it, is the longest inhabited bridge in Europe.  Erfurt is the town where Martin Luther first studied at its university, then later lived as a monk at the Augustinian Monastery and was eventually ordained at its cathedral.  Not far from Erfurt is Wartburg Castle, a UNESCO WH Site and the first German castle to be recognised as such, where Martin Luther hid after he opposed the Roman Catholic Church during which time he translated the New Testament of the Bible from Greek to German.

If there is one German state that epitomizes and encapsulates the best of Germany from a visitor’s perspective, it has to be Bavaria, renowned for among others the Bavarian Alps and the world-famous Romantic Road that stretches from Wurzburg – whose palace is a UNESCO WH Site – in the north to the foothills of the Bavarian Alps in the south.  Untouched by WW2 bombings and replete with structures including half-timbered houses from the 11th to 19th centuries, Bamberg, a UNESCO WH Site, is a highly picturesque town in Bavaria.  And for those who love beers, Bamberg’s world-famous smoked beer (“rauchbier”) is not to be missed.  Rothenburg, an exceptionally charming town on the Romantic Road, is a medieval gem and ranks among the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany.  In winter, Rothenburg’s famous Christmas Market transforms the town into an idyllic winter wonderland and the famous Käthe Wohlfahrt “Christmas Village” which is open all year keeps the Christmas atmosphere in Rothenburg going well before and after Christmas!  Located on the banks of the Danube River in Bavaria is the town of Regensburg whose Old Town with its historic Roman, Romanesque and Gothic structures spanning 2 millennia is a UNESCO WH Site.  All of the aforementioned towns can be visited from Nuremberg, the second largest city in Bavaria, itself famous for its historical landmarks including the walled old town.  In the days leading up to Christmas, Nuremberg is home to Germany’s most famous Christmas Market.

A city known for its Oktoberfest celebrations and its beer halls including the famed Hofbräuhaus that was founded in 1589, Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is home to centuries-old buildings and numerous museums.  In its old town is Marienplatz, a city square with landmarks such as the neo-Gothic town hall with its famous clock that is reputed to be the most extravagant clock in the world!  During the Christmas season, the entire old town of Munich is one huge Christmas Market!  For automobile lovers, a visit to Munich would probably be incomplete without a visit to the city’s most visited attractions – the BMW Museum and BMW Welt (“World”).  The history and evolution of the famous vehicles of this iconic brand and its latest models aside, the designs of both buildings are of themselves highly remarkable.  BMW World is in fact considered by many as an architectural wonder.

South of Munich in the Bavarian Alps is Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak, with a 2,962m summit accessed by cogwheel train and cable car.  On a clear day, from its summit, shared between Germany and Austria, more than 400 mountain peaks in four countries can be sighted!  Nestled in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps and close to Fussen, the southern end of the Romantic Road, is Neuschwanstein Castle, the Disneyesque fairy-tale castle of “Sleeping Beauty” fame that is probably the most-recognisable castle in the world.  From a bridge near the castle, enjoy the picture-perfect iconic views of this 19th century masterpiece and the gorge beneath it (in winter the bridge may not be accessible).

Below is the tour package for this itinerary:

D01  ARRIVE FRANKFURT – WERNIGERODE

Upon arrival at Frankfurt, head to Wernigerode.

D02  WERNIGERODE

Day trip to Goslar & Quedlinburg

D03  WERNIGERODE

Ride on the Brocken train to the summit of Mount Brocken.

D04  WERNIGERODE – ERFURT

Depart Wernigerode and head to Erfurt.

D05  ERFURT

Day trip to Wartburg Castle.

D06  ERFURT – NUREMBERG

Depart Erfurt and head to Nuremberg.

D07   NUREMBERG

Day trip to Wurzburg & Bamberg.

D08   NUREMBERG

Day trip to Regensburg.

D09   NUREMBERG – MUNICH

Depart Nuremberg and head to Munich.

Visit BMW Museum & BMW World.

D10   MUNICH

Day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle (or Zugspitze mountain, with top up).

D11   MUNICH

Shopping at Ingolstadt Village or visit Ingolstadt Old Town.

D12   DEPART MUNICH   [B]

Flight back to Singapore.

Price:
S$3,080 per person, for twin/triple sharing
Minimum 4pax to go

 

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PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • 8 nights accommodation in tourist class hotels with breakfast
  • 3 nights accommodation in apartment in Harz National Park
  • Airport transfers
  • Train tickets/passes as per itinerary
  • Guided tours in English
  • Brocken Mountain round trip tickets
  • Wartburg Castle entry tickets

PACKAGE EXCLUDES

  • Airfare
  • Tipping of guide/porterage (not compulsory)
  • Neuschwanstein Castle entry fee EUR13 (optional)
GERMANY ~ UNESCO Gems & Harz National Park 12D11N