Passion Play switzerland, austria & germany
Day 1 Overnight flight
Day 2 Zurich – Lucerne
Herzlich willkommen in der Schweiz! Arrival at Zurich airport. Meet your local driver and tour escort. Upon arrival in Lucerne, enjoy a guided walking tour of the city on the magnificent Vierwaldstättersee. Your walk starts at the famous Lions Monument. Walk through the old town and pass the Kornmarkt and the Old Town Hall, a fine Renaissance building. You will spend some time at the Hirschenplatz and the Weinmarkt, with its Old Pharmacy, the very heart of medieval Lucerne. Most of the old guild houses, boutiques and patrician homes that encircle the square, have preserved their elaborately painted façades. Walk the so well-known covered Chapel Bridge (Kappelbrücke) spanning river Reuss. The bridge with its Wasserturm (water tower) and red-tiled roof is unique in containing a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century. From here you can see the Jesuit Church, one of the oldest and most beautiful Baroque buildings in Lucerne. Check in at the hotel and have some time to relax before dinner. Welcome dinner and overnight in Lucerne.
Day 3 Lucerne – Mount Pilatus Golden Roundtrip – Lucerne
Lucerne is renowned for Mount Pilatus. No mountain in the long northern arc of the Alpine foothills shows such a marked upwards thrust as Mount Pilatus on Lake Lucerne. Its rock consists of cretaceous sediment and Tertiary. The 4618-metre stretch of railway from Alpnachstad to the Pilatus Kulm (summit) was opened in 1889. With a 48% gradient, this is still the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Today you will enjoy the Mount Pilatus Golden Round Trip ; in the morning you will board for a cruise on Lake Lucerne from Lucerne to Alpnachstad. Then you make a ride with the famous cogwheel train and visit the top of Mount Pilatus. Breathe in the fresh mountain air and enjoy the stunning views from above! On the top you have some free time for lunch on your own. You will make your way downwards by Panorama Gondola and Aerial Cable car and again you will be amazed about the view. Return to Lucerne and remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight in Lucerne.
Day 4 Lucerne – Rhine Falls – Sankt Gallen – Füssen
After breakfast you will travel to Sankt Gallen. The spectacular Rhine Falls serve as a backdrop for your on route stop in Schaffhausen. Continue to Sankt Gallen with its charming, pedestrianized old town. Multicoloured oriel windows are a town feature. You will visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed St. Gall’s Abbey District. The impossing Baroque Cathedral, the stunning Abbey Library with handwritten chronicles of over a thousand years old, the lush Rococo Hall, as well as the Vaulted Cellar, are cultural highlights not to be missed.Your journey continues through the beautiful scenery of Lake Constance. You will pass Bregenz and cross the border into Germany. Time permitting, you will make a stop in Lindau, one of Southern Germany’s most picturesque towns. Soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere and see Lindau’s old town, which beautifully sits on an island in Lake Constance. Your next and last stop for today is Füssen, Bavaria’s highest town, situated on the banks of the Alpine river Lech. Overnight in Füssen.
Day 5 Füssen – Hohenschwangau – Oberammergau – Passion Play package
This morning you will visit Neuschwanstein Castle. The Fairy Tale Castle which Walt Disney based his castle of the Sleeping Beauty on. Built by King Ludwig II in 1868, who lived here only for 170 days, as he was dethroned in 1886. In the Castle you will see the influence of the operas of the composer Richard Wagner, which inspired the King. You will see the distinctive rooms, the rich decorated sitting room, the minstrel’s room and many more. After some free time in Hohenschwangau, you will continue your journey to Oberammergau where you will arrive in mid-afternoon. Time to stroll through the village and get acquainted with its murals and wood-carved houses. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel or at a local restaurant (included in the Passion Play package).
Overnight in Oberammergau area.
Day 6 Oberammergau – Passion Play package – day of the performance
Attend the renowned Passion Play today. Transfer by private deluxe coach to Oberammergau. Enjoy a light lunch (included in the package). Start of first sequence of the Passion Play will be at 02:30pm (May – August) or at 01:30pm (August – October). 3-course dinner during the 3 hour break in Oberammergau (included in the package). Transfers to and from the dinner by shuttle busses, arranged by the Passion Play organization. Start of the second sequence of the Passion Play at 08:00pm (May – August) or at 07:00pm (August – October). Transfer back to the hotel by private deluxe coach.
Overnight in the Oberammergau area.
Day 7 Oberammergau – Mittenwald – Innsbruck
You will leave Germany for Austria today, but first you will stop at Kloster Ettal, a Benedictine Abbey, founded by Duke Ludwig the Bavarian in 1330. Monks, knights and ladies shared the honor of guarding the statue of the Virgin Mary kept here. Afterwards, you will cross the border and pay a visit to Mittenwald, famous for violin-making. Learn all about building a violin at the small museum of the village. Alpine scenery surrounds you during your visit to the famous ski resort of Innsbruck. Upon arrival enjoy a guided city tour of the “Jewel of Tyrol”. Stroll through the alleys of the old town where your local guide will show you hidden courtyards and architectural details. You will see the Imperial Palace and “das Goldenes Dachl” a roof of gilded copper shingles, once built in as a royal balcony. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. For example, you can go shopping for Innsbruck’s famous crystal or take the cable car up to Nordketten mountain. This mountain is part of Austria’s largest nature park, the Karwendel Nature Park. The breathtaking 360° view leaves a lasting memory. Overnight in Innsbruck.
Day 8 Innsbruck – Wattens – Tratzberg Castle – Salzburg
This morning you will travel through the Tyrolean Alps to Salzburg. Your first stop along the route is Wattens for a visit to the Swarovksi Crystal World. Visit the exposition, the installations, sculptures and paintings by renowned artists such as Brian Eno, Jim Whiting, Keith Haring and Salvador Dalí. You will be led through a sparkling labyrinth where dream and reality seem to merge. At the end there is time to buy a nice souvenir in the shop. Travel onwards to Tratzberg Castle. Perched on a hilltop between Jenbach and Schwaz high above the Inntal Valley. This beautifully decorated castle was first mentioned in a historical document in the 13th century. Take the Tratzberg Express up to the castle. A guide of the castle will show you around the Gothic Fugger Parlour, the King’s Room and the impressive arcaded courtyard. The trip continues to Salzburg, the city of Mozart. Overnight in Salzburg.
Day 9 Salzburg
After breakfast enjoy a guided walking tour of Salzburg. For centuries, Princes and Archbishops represented the worldly and clerical power in this independent principality. Impressive monuments still bear witness to their rein. Salzburg is also known as ‘Rome of the North’. Renowned architects and artists worked through the centuries to create architectural masterpieces. During this tour you will stroll through Mirabell Gardens, across the Makartsteg pedestrian bridge into the Old Town of Salzburg and you will see Mozart’s birthplace, St. Peter’s Monastery and Residenz square where scenes of The Sound of Music were filmed. In the afternoon you will visit Hellbrunn Palace with the famous “Water Trick Fountains”, the centerpiece of this late Renaissance summer residence. The fountains once used by Markus Sittikus to entertain his guests contain mysterious grottos, water-powered figures and hidden water jets waiting to surprise. Overnight in Salzburg.
Day 10 Salzburg – Berchtesgaden National Park – Salzburg
After breakfast you will travel into the Bavarian Mountains to the Berchtesgaden National Park. In the town of Berchtesgaden you will visit Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. This former teahouse “Kehlsteinhaus” was built as a birthday present to Adolf Hitler. Perched on a mountain summit, it rises above the Obersalzberg and offers a spectacular view over the Salzburger Alps. Aferwards visit the stunning Lake Königssee nestled at the foot of the impressive, steep mountain side of Mount Watzmann. Board one of the electric passenger boats and cross Lake Königssee in. Enjoy the view of the fjord-like lake with its emerald green waters. Cruise to the world-famous pilgrimage Church of St. Bartholomew. See breathtaking waterfalls and experience the “Königssee Echo”. Travel back to Salzburg. This evening you enjoy a Mozart-themed dinner at the Sankt Peter’s Stiftkeller in Salzburg.
Overnight in Salzburg.
Day 11 Salzburg – Munich
After breakfast, meet your local guide for a city tour by coach and on foot through Munich’s outskirts and the beautiful old town and take a look into the city’s turbulent 850 years of history. See important sights such as Marienplatz the historic town square, Munich’s oldest church Sankt Peter, the Viktualienmarkt the colourful open-air market, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Bavarian State Chancellery, the Siegestor the Bavarian Arch of Triumph, the Field Marshall’s Hall, Nymphenburg Palace and the beautiful Hofgarten. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure to explore this interesting city on your own. Munich is the capital of beer – with six breweries, the Hofbräuhaus and the Oktoberfest! Interested in the story of beer? Visiting the Bier- und Oktoberfest museum is a must. Learn more about the history of beer from migration of peoples, the monasteries, the purity law, and the unique quality of Munich’s beer. This evening you will have your farewell dinner at the famous Hofbräuhaus. Overnight in the Munich area.
Day 12 Departure
After breakfast transfer to Munich Airport for your flight back home.