Day 1: Munich
Upon your arrival in Munich, you will be transferred to your hotel. That afternoon, you can choose to tour of the sites where Pope Benedict XVI lived & worked &/or visit Marienplatz, or Mary's Square to see the new town hall's famous Glockenspiel, a percussion instrument similar in design to a xylophone. You will also have the opportunity to see some of Munich’s most iconic landmarks such as the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady), the Archbishop's Palace & many others. You may also decide to venture through the old town by foot.
Day 2: Munich - Steingaden
Today, you'll visit the Wieskirche, known as the most beautiful rococo church in Bavaria & home to the miracle of the Scourged Savior. Now a destination for pilgrims, it was here that tears appeared on the wooden statue of Christ. The church has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1983. Next, visit the Feldhernhalle, or Field Marshal’s Hall & the Cathedral. It was inspired by Italian design & served as a tribute to the Bavarian Army. Return to Munich where you will have an evening at leisure. Take in some of Germany’s finest culture, arts & food during your free night in the capital city.
Day 3: Munich - Oberammergau
Following a short drive from Munich, you will arrive in Oberammergau, most famous for its decennial theatrical portrayal of the crucifixion of Christ. Because it only happens once every 10 years, this is truly something extraordinary to witness. In Oberammergau’s last performance in 2010, nearly 2000 people, half of the town’s population, participated. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the historic village. See some of its notable outdoor murals depicting religious scenes & fairy tales. Visit a marketplace to admire some of the famous woodworking to come from the village.
Day 4: Oberammergau - Innsbruck
You will depart for Innsbruck, Austria early in the morning. This city in western Austria hosted the winter Olympics in 1964 & 1976. Your time in Innsbruck will be filled with site-seeing. Among some of the landmarks you will get to visit are Maria Theresienstrasse & the arcaded Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, beautiful central streets in Innsbruck. Herzog-Fredrich-Strasse is not only lined with handsome burghers' houses, but is the home of the famous Goldenes Dachl, or the "Golden Roof." Around 3,000 gold tiles cover the roofed balcony from which Emperor Maximilian I sat & enjoyed the sights & sounds of Innsbruck.
Day 5: Innsbruck - Salzburg
In the morning, you will depart for Salzburg, the city of Mozart. Salzburg was not only the birthplace of world-renowned 18th century composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but it was also the setting for several parts in the movie, The Sound of Music. You will arrive with time for shopping, a walk through the scenic old city & a visit to Geburtshaus, Mozart's birth house. Your evening will be free to further explore the city as you wish. See some baroque architecture, stroll past the sculpture of Sphaera or stop in St. Peter’s Abbey.
Day 6: Salzburg
Following breakfast you will visit Hohensalzburg Castle, of High Salzburg Fortress. Atop Festungburg mountain, the castle overlooks Salzburg’s Old Town. It was built at the behest of the Prince-Bishops of Salzburg in the 11th century as a stronghold for the Archbisopric of Salzburg, a state within the Holy Roman Empire. With the rest of your day, you can explore at will. Visit Mirabell Palace just outside of the Old Town, known for its expansive gardens or see Schloss Leopoldskron, a national monument & historic Rococo palace.
Day 7: Salzburg - Vienna
From Salzburg, you will head to the capital city of Austria, Vienna. One of the first stops will be a visit to the Naschmarkt, Vienna's primary outdoor farmer’s market. In the afternoon, stop by St. Stephen's Cathedral or the Opera house. Visit the imperial palace of Schönbrunn, also home to the world’s oldest zoo. You may just decide to stroll through the old town & stop in a famous Viennese café.
Day 8: Vienna
Today, you'll visit the imperial Hofburg palace. The Hofburg lies in central Vienna & has been referred to as a city within a city. Originally built in 1220, it was gradually expanded over the centuries, accumulating palaces, gardens & chapels. It has served as the residence for a long history of powerful Europeans & is now used as the official residence of the Austrian President. It is also home to the famous Spanish Riding School, the original riding school for Lipizzan horses. You'll be able to see them train & perform.
Day 9: Vienna
Return flight to U.S.