Fly from you home city to Munich.
TRANSFER TO EHRWALD IN THE TYROL
AT THE BASE OF THE ZUGSPITZE
The Tyrol (in yellow) is one of the
nine Länder (Provinces) of Austria.
Arrive at Munich Airport by 9:30 am.
dollars into Euros
at the airport.
We drive south to Garmisch-Partenkirchen,
site of the 1936 Winter Olympics and home of the famed composer
who died there in 1949.
Here we cross the Loisach River and the border into Austria and
the province of Tirol (German for the Tyrol.)
The traditional village of Ehrwald, population 3,000, offers unique
old-style Tyrolean charm hard to find in this modern fast-paced age.
Erhwald sits near the base of the Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany
at 9,715 feet.
The village is on a beautiful plateau 3,500 feet above sea level,
in a peaceful valley selected by National Geographic magazine
as one of the most scenic and beautiful spots on Earth.
DAY FREE TO RECUPERATE
OVERNIGHT IN EHRWALD
After the stress of your overnight trans-Atlantic flight,
this is your special day to recuperate and relax in preparation for
the rest of your tour.
Today is also your chance to experience a serene and unhurried
Austrian mountain village.
Unspoiled scenery, flowers, animals, woods and meadows, lakes and
mountain streams make
Ehrwald a very unique place to savor and enjoy.
We suggest you take a leisurely walk across the peaceful meadow in
the valley to the nearby village of Lermoos. Look for these flowers
along the way:
Scharfer Hahnenfuss (yellow ... they're buttercups),
Primel (white ... primrose)
Even a couch potato can easily walk the aptly named Panoramaweg,
a not too strenuous hiking path through the forest to Lermoos, with
excellent views of both villages.
Enjoy lunch in Lermoos. Then meander back to Ehrwald to watch
the locals go about their daily activities.
If skies are clear, you might want to ride the cable car to the top of the
for lunch at the summit with
incredible views in all directions.
There once was a border station at the top, now empty, and you can
cross back and forth from Austria to Germany.
WIESKIRCHE ~ THE MEADOW CHURCH
KING LUDWIG'S FAIRY TALE CASTLE
OVERNIGHT IN EHRWALD
Depart at 9:15 am and drive north on the old
Roman trade route, the
Via Claudia Augusta, past
the ruins of Ehrenberg Castle to Reutte, market town in a scenic spot
near the German border.
We cross back into Germany at Füssen and make our first stop at the
Lech Waterfall, to see the rushing water and the bust set into the
mountain rock of King Max II, father of King Ludwig II.
Then we continue on to the richly-frescoed
(Meadow Church.) The interior offers
one of the world's most extravagant and flamboyant displays of the
This pilgrimage church is the masterpiece of Dominikus Zimmerman,
who worked on the building from 1746 to 1754.
Lunch is at the historic and atmospheric
Hotel Mueller in Hohenschwangau.
King Ludwig II's
Next we visit what is probably the most famous castle in the world:
King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the village of
Neuschwanstein exemplifies a child's fantasy of a fairy tale
It was built as a shrine to three operas of
Although some of the interiors remain unfinished, the king's suite
was completed. The large neo-Romanesque minstrel's hall recalls the
setting for the second act of Tannhäuser --the Hall of Song
in the Wartburg Castle.
The two-story throne room closely resembles a Byzantine church,
with its resplendent gold and polychrome mosaics, galleried arcades,
and central dome.
Perched on a craggy rock above dark green pines, the grey
Neuschwanstein looks down on the smaller, ochre
the family home where Ludwig
was raised as a boy and in his last years watched the construction
of his masterpiece.
The Michelin guide rates the "unforgettable view" from Neuschwanstein
Walk to the bridge over the rushing waters of the Pöllatfall
for an excellent view of Neuschwanstein from the side.
OBERAMMERGAU AND LINDERHOF
OVERNIGHT IN EHRWALD
Depart at 9:15 am for the Passion Play
The worst years of the plague in Germany were those between 1627 and
1635. In 1632, one million people died of famine and the plague in
The village of Oberammergau was spared until autumn 1632, when in less
than a month, 84 adults are known to have died.
On October 27, 1633, the Village Council led all those who could walk to the
parish church. There before the altar the villagers vowed that if God
would rid them of this plague, they would forever enact a Passion Play
every ten years recalling the last week of Christ's life on earth, his
crucifixion and his resurrection.
To this day residents of the village take part in what is now a world-famous
Oberammergau is celebrated not only for its play, but also for its many painted
houses, such as Hänsel und Gretel Haus, and for its wood-carvers.
You will have time in Oberammergau to visit Käthe Wohlfahrt's Christmas
village and her astonishing collection of Yuletide decorations, ornaments,
figures and gifts from around the world.
Garden of Linderhof Castle
Linderhof is the smallest castle of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, "a
rococo hunting lodge" deep in the forest of one of the wild valleys of the
Ammergau Alps, which the royal hunters reserved for their own use.
This palatial gem combines Italian Renaissance and baroque styles and is
opulently decorated. A magnificent park with formal gardens, fountains and
pools makes Linderhof very special.
Ettal Monastery , founded in 1330 by Ludwig the Bavarian, is a monumental
complex in a stunning alpine setting with a high Baroque church at its center.
Some (local residents, anyway) say
the decorated ceiling rivals that of the Sistine Chapel.
Red Riding Hood House in Oberammergau