(BERLIN in/ MILAN out)
Your day by day itinerary
Day 01 - Arrive at BERLIN Airport.
A warm welcome awaits you upon arrival airport by your driver and Tour Director who will be with you from now on throughout your land tour. - Enjoy a refreshment on board your motor coach following by a transfer to your hotel where a welcome reception is waiting and a special dinner will be served this evening. (D)
Day 02 - See BERLIN and POTSDAM.
The morning sightseeing tour will show you first what used to be the West and East part of Berlin, like Alexanderplatz, a vast square located in former East Berlin, dominated by a Television Tower and built in 1969. We take the elevator up to about 1.000 feet to enjoy from its observation deck a beautiful panorama of the city. - Then, your motor coach will take you on sweepy avenue "Unter den Linden", lined with linden trees and planned by the great elector Friedrich Wilhelm in the 17th C. - Your next stop will be at Berlin´s landmark Brandenburg Gate of the late 18th C which has symbolized the division of the city after World War II up to 1989. Once, the Nazis stages victory parades here and the Soviets hoisted their Red Flag on its Quadriga in 1945. - Nearby you will see the rebuilt "Reichstag" that now houses the German Parliament, constructed with a glass dome resting on columns to provide daylight to its main chamber. -From here, a short drive takes you by way of Berlin´s new Museum Island, listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, to Friedrichstrasse that leads us to "Checkpoint Charly", former crossing point between East and West Berlin and where once American and Soviet tanks stood muzzle to muzzle. - By way of historic Potsdam Platz we arrive at the ruined tower of former Emperor William Memorial Church, kept as a reminder of WW II destruction. Here on famous boulevard Kurfuerstendamm free time will be yours, perhaps to visit "KaDeWe" (Kaufhaus des Westens), Europe´s biggest department store. - Early afternoon we leave for Potsdam by way of "Glienicke Bruecke", a bridge over the river havel and the focal point of "cloak and dagger" strategies between the USA and USSR. An icon of Cold War in large part exchanging prisoners on this bridge for many years. - A few minutes drive from here takes us to Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, chosen in 1945 as site for the Potsdam Agreement. - Nearby, you are scheduled to visit Sanssouci Palace designed by Friedrich the Great in 1744. The inside tour of this lovely castle demonstrates the virtuosity of artists who created a sumptuously rich Rococo décor. You will also enjoy the grounds which is spectacular adorning the top of the vine-covered terraces, splendid gardens, fountains and tree-lined paths. - Later this afternoon return to your hotel in Berlin in time for freshen up and for dinner. (B & D)
Day 03 - Depart for DRESDEN.
We leave Berlin this morning and travel further south by way of the quaint village Luebbenau in the beautiful district of "Spreewald" with a stop. This ancient swamp of marshy lowland is made up of a labyrinth by over 300 waterways. The unique flora is recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in 1991. Here, you will take a barge trip into the heart of delightful verdant countryside and will enjoy its silence, broken only by occasional bird calls. - Then it´s on to Dresden, also called the Florence of the river Elbe. Great art treasures are worth to be seen now and its architecture of fascinating beauty. You will see the "Zwinger", built during the early 18th C as a setting for outdoor court festivities, a perfect example of late Baroque architecture. We tour the inside of the Royal Palace which is set to become a globally acclaimed center for art with the integration of its breathtaking treasure chamber "Green Vault" and the eminent Cabinet of Prints and Drawings. - See the church "Frauenkirche" and its quarter "Neumarkt" which has regain its status as the historical heart of Dresden with its Semper Opera House of 1841. - Afterwards, proceed to your hotel and enjoy a tasty dinner with a glass of wine. (B & D)
Day 04 - Depart DRESDEN via NUREMBERG to ROTHENBURG on the ROMANTIC ROAD.
Leaving Dresden this morning by way of Nuremberg with a stop, Germany´s imperial capital during the Middle Ages. A sightseeing tour will show you its old town quarter surrounded by an almost intact city wall with numerous towers. The Museum Bridge will lead us to the bustling market place and to its 14th C Beautiful Fountain, a landmark of Gothic architecture. The east side of this square is overlooked by the Church of Our Lady where mechanical figures perform their noon time rituals. Across the Old and New City Hall, St Sebaldus Church comes in sight, built during the 13th C with a magnificent Gothic choir and tomb, an outstanding example of brass art including a sarcophagus of the late 14th C. - Ample time will be yours to explore this city on your own before we continue with our tour. Your further route leads west now and soon travelling on Germany´s Romantic Road arriving Rothenburg. Hardly any other town casts such a spell on visitors as this architectural gem. A short walking tour revals half timbered houses, medieval turrets, gates and towers almost untouched in its original architecture ever since the Thirty Years War. You will enjoy its beautiful painted Old Town Hall of both Gothic and Renaissance style and admire the outstanding "Baumeister-Haus", an ancient restaurant building of 1596. - On the north side of this square you won´t miss the former "Ratstrinkstube", an old tavern whose clock jacks enact several times a day its famous bumper of a wine legend representing a "master draught" which took place here in 1631. - Then, you will be visiting St James Church with its famous high altar, known as the "Last Supper of the Holy Blood", a 16th C masterpiece of woodcarver Tilman Riemenschneider. - Transfer to your hotel for a welcome reception and for dinner. (B & D)
Day 05 - Depart ROTHENBURG via VADUZ in LIECHTENSTEIN to INTERLAKEN.
Travelling further south this morning by way of Ulm, birthplace of Albert Einstein and to peninsula Lindau on three country lake Constance with a break to visit its picturesque streets lined with beautiful half timbered houses. Admire the colourful painted Town Hall from the 15th C, the Prison Tower of the 14th C and its church St Peter, built even during the 11th C. - Enjoy some free time at the lively old port and promenade which is dominated by a light house and a lion monument. Browse around before we continue with our drive into Switzerland by way of Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein, dominated by its impressive castle. Known as the smallest sovereign state and famed for its artistic and colourful stamps, Liechtenstein has become part of the Swiss Confederation in 1919 and a busy tourist attraction. - Then its on to Zurich with an orientation drive to show its landmark "Frauenkirche", an imposing church that took place of a former convent of the 9th C features stain glass windows by Marc Chagall. - Before leaving Zurich we motor on famous "Bahnhofstrasse" that will lead you to the city´s lake with a beautiful panorama. - Later this afternoon arrive at the city of Interlaken with its spectacular alpine scenery providing a good view of the summit "Jungfrau", Switzerland´s highest mountain rising up to about 12.000 ft. - This evening enjoy a special Swiss dinner with wine. (B & D)
Day 06 – Excursion to GRUYERES, to MONTREUX and to the CHILLON CASTLE on LAKE GENEVA.
Today´s excursion starts with a scenic drive over the Jaun-Pass road with an altitude of about 4.500 ft providing breathtaking views of the towering Alps and down to Lake Geneva. We stop at the medieval and fortified village of Gruyeres to view its 15th C castle of former counts and are scheduled to visit a model Swiss Dairy for a cheese tasting and have a closer look at its ripening area and cheese wheels of up to 80 lbs. – Following this stop we travel downhill to Lake Geneva by way of Vevey, where Charly Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood and Graham Greene, one of the greatest novelists, have both found here their R.I.P. – Then, it takes only a few minutes to arrive at Montreux, the most frequented resort on Lake Geneva because of its beautiful site and pleasant surroundings, but also for its classical music festivals as well. An orientation drive along the shores of a large bay which is lined with sumptuous palaces and hotels will take you to the terrace of a parish church in the picturesque old quarter of Montreux to enjoy the best overall view of the town and the lake. – In sight comes now the Chillon Castle, Switzerland´s most historic monument, built on a rocky islet reflecting its towers in the waters of Lake Geneva. To enter this 12th C old castle, a moat has to be crossed on a bridge to arrive the Great Hall with a magnificent ceiling, displaying an imposing 15th C fireplace. Several salons and other rooms like the former Banqueting Room and the Knights´ Room are remarkably decorated with a selection of fine furniture. Of much interest the castle chapel of the 14th C, an architectural jewel. Francois de Bonivard remains the most famous prisoner here and was chained to one of the pillars and it´s said that his footprints can be traced in the rock. – Following this impressive site, we shall return to our hotel in Interlaken for another tasty dinner and overnight. (B & D)
Day 07 - Leave INTERLAKEN for LUGANO.
We leave the resort of Interlaken this morning travelling south through the impressive St Gotthard tunnel with a length of about 11 miles, journey along the lovely Ticino Valley by way of Bellinzona, known for its fortifications of the 13th and 15th C, resting on three castles connected by walls. – Then it´s on to Lugano, by Italians called the “Queen of the Ceresio” nestled on the shores of Lago di Lugano and framed between the wooded Mount Bré and Mount Salvatore. – Arriving at the hotel, a welcome reception is waiting before we join some later for dinner. – At the evening enjoy the health resort of Lugano on your own, perhaps for taking a pleasant stroll under the arcades of Via Nassa and down the magnificent promenade along the lake shore through the Municipal Park, a delightful garden where fine trees spread their shade and where in season open-air concerts are taking place. (B & D)
Day 08 – Excursion from LUGANO to COMO, to LAGO MAGIORE, to its island ISOLA BELLA and to LOCARNO.
Following breakfast this morning an orientation tour of Lugano will show you the Cathedral of St Lawrence and its fine decorated doorways of Renaissance, numerous buildings and monuments in the Italian-Lombardy architecture, Mediterranean-style squares, arcades and the lakeshore promenade that coasts the lake winding its way up to the municipality of Paradiso, a wonderful blend of nature and culture. – Then, leaving Lugano for Como appreciated for its beautiful setting and opulent lakeside gardens. We stop at Piazza del Duomo and Torre Vittoria, remain of an ancient fortification to visit its splendid 14th C Cathedral showing a remarkable façade, richly decorated. The interior of this dome combines Gothic architecture and Renaissance decoration. Moreover, magnificent tapestries, a Decent from the Cross and an organ comprising 96 registers and 6.000 pipes can be seen. - Following this stop we continue with our excursion westwards to its brilliant gem Lago Maggiore. At Stresa which attracts many artists and writers, we shall board a ferry that takes us over to the island Isola Bella, one of the famous Borromean islands, named after the wife of Charles III. You will be visiting its palace of the former princely family, built in Lombard Baroque style representing several state rooms, Napoleon´s apartment, a ball room and a Hall of Mirrors. – The gardens, filled with a variety of exotic plants which form an amazing baroque composition, a truncated pyramid of ten terraces ornamented with statues, beautiful fountains and a shell-shaped amphitheatre providing an extraordinary scenic effect. – Back from its island we proceed some further north and arrive at Locarno on the Swiss side of Lago Maggiore. Known for its annual Film Festivals, an orientation drive will lead you to the city´s 15th C and historical Castello Visconti and to its monastery Madonna del Sasso, a pilgrim church overlooking Locarno from a hill in the hollow of a sunny bay. – After this beautiful stop, surrounded by vine-covered slopes, your motor coach drive takes you around the lake now and back to Lugano in time for freshen up and for dinner at your hotel. (B & D)
Day 09 – Leave LUGANO via VERONA for ABANO TERME near VENICE.
During the morning we leave Lugano and its resort area, set among the steep but beautiful slopes of the Alps and travel south by way of Lago di Garda to Verona, former home of Romeo and Juliet immortalized by Shakespeare. An orientation drive will show you delightful buildings of Roman and Venetian architecture, the splendid and fortified castle Castelvecchio of the 14th C and the “Arena”, largest amphitheatre in the Roman world which can accommodate up to 25.000 spectators during the annual opera season. – Then, we continue with our drive to the area of Padova which used to be one of the most prosperous Roman cities about 2.000 years ago. – Nearby, we arrive at our today´s destination Abano Terme for dinner and for the following two nights, an elegant thermal resort well-shaded by pines and to be distinguished by one of Italy´s most famous spa towns. (B & D)
Day10 – Excursion to VENICE.
After a good breakfast your morning starts with a short drive to Piazzale Roma in Venice following by a boat transfer on picturesque Grand Canal to St. Markus Square, past magnificent palazzos and numerous footbridges like the famous one of Ponte di Realto. Founded over a thousand years ago and built on 117 little islands with a link to the sea, Venice´ beauty still reflects an incomparable architecture of Byzantine domes, palaces of Venetian-Gothic style, charming squares, dozens of silent canals and numerous traditional gondolas. – One of the city´s highlights will be a guided visit to the Doges´ Palace, residence of the former rulers of Venice features a vast collection of art treasures, a symbol of Venetian power and glory. Built in the 12th C, but completely transformed between the 13th and 16th C. Your tour will start at the top of the Golden Staircase and will pass through a suite of rooms and halls like the Grand Council Chamber of 14.000 sq ft with paintings and portraits of over 70 doges as well as Tintoretto´s “Paradise”. – Following this visit, ample time will be yours to explore some fascinating narrow alleys on your own, browse or shop around for Venetian glass or lace and discover the romance of this intriguing city of canals perhaps by a gondola ride to experience the unique atmosphere that makes Venice one of the most attractive cities in Europe. – Back at your hotel in Abano Terme you will be treated to a special Italian-style dinner this evening. (B & D)
Day 11 – Leave ABANO TERME/ VENICE for MILAN.
While leaving this morning the legendary area of Venice, the journey takes us west by way of Brescia, known for its automotive engineering and for the Beretta firearms manufacture. - Arriving at Milan, the city sightseeing tour will take you to its landmark and Cathedral presenting over 2.000 statues of marble and saints keep a vigilant eye over the city from its spires. We will view the brick castle Castello Sforzesco of the 15th C which houses one of Italy´s most important art collections. You will be visiting the world-famous opera house La Scala, built 1778 and its museum to view from one of the boxes the mighty auditorium. – Then it´s time for our hotel check-in and a welcome reception, following by a special candlelight dinner with wine. As a highlight this evening there will be a surprise-drawing with everyone winning a valuable gift. (B & D)
Day 12 - Your last day of tour and departure.
Following a hearty breakfast at the hotel, your motor coach tranfer is waiting for Milan Malpensa Airport, say “Buon Viaggio” to the Old World and good-bye to your driver and Tour Director before your flight takes you back home. Wishing all of you a happy return .....! (B)
WHAT YOUR LAND TOUR COST ALL INCLUDES
11 accommodations at first-class hotels throughout land.
11 full buffet-style breakfasts.
11 four-courses dinners with choice of main-course, including three times with wine.
Total: 22 meals.
Bag service in/ out at all hotels.
4 welcome receptions.
Touring by a private and late-model motor coach with all modern facilities such as washroom/ toilet, air-conditioned, reclining seats, panoramic windows, kitchen/ bar, serving hot snacks and beverages (not included).
Airport transfers starting in Berlin and ending in Milan, all excursions and side trips, sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary.
City sightseeing tour of Berlin including entrance to the Television Tour and entrance to Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam.
A barge trip on the waterways of Spreewald.
City sightseeing tour of Dresden including entrance to the treasure chamber "Green Vault".
City sightseeing of Nuremberg.
Walking tour of Rothenburg/ Romantic Road including St James Church and its famous altar piece of T. Riemenschneider.
Excursion to Gruyeres for cheese tasting, to Montreux with an orientation drive and entrance to the Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva.
An orientation tour of Lugano, an excursion to Como with sightseeing and to Lago Maggiore including a visit to the island Isola Bella with entrance to its castle.
An orientation tour of Locarno.
An orientation tour of Verona.
Excursion to Venice including roundtrip transfer on Canal de Grande to St. Mark´s Square and guided entrance to the Doges´ Palace.
City sightseeing tour of Milan including a visit to its Opera House La Scala.
A valuable gift to each member of tour last evening with festive dinner.
* An experienced motor coach driver and a professional English speaking Tour Director throughout land.
LAND TOUR COST PER PERSON SHARING DBL// TWIN-BEDEDD ROOM
- 25 - 30 paying persons = Euro 1.920,- p.p.
- 31 - 35 paying persons = Euro 1.825,- p.p.
- 36 - 40 paying persons = Euro 1.765,- p.p.
- Single supplement = Euro 385,-
All rates net in Euro and not commissionable.
Each 25 paying persons – plus 1 person free of charge on land.
Please select your own departure/ arrival dates.